Sunday, February 28, 2010

Will They EVER Stop Eating?

I have come to discover that children can have an unbelievable capability to put away food! I barely get the dishes complete from one meal before they are back in the kitchen begging for more food! It is non-stop asking, pleading, begging, and shoveling of food for them!

Here are a few things I have learned about feeding my crowd!
  • There are times that I must 'close' the kitchen.
  • If you do not show up during a good time frame - you lose out!
  • I am constantly pointing out what a 'right' serving size is.
  • Rarely will one casserole feed our family anymore unless I have a huge salad too!
  • The kids will always come into the kitchen 15 minutes before the meal is complete - dying of starvation.
  • If I will have veggies prepared before the meal they will snack on them! If you are hungry enough they will even eat (trees) broccoli.
  • IF the kids have been out of the house apparently it is an unspoken rule that they must eat again before their day can end! Whether we have a meal at 5:00 or 7:00 if they leave the house and come back home, they WILL be hungry AGAIN!
  • If I make breakfast they want cereal.
  • If I say cereal is for breakfast they want (the works) sausage, bacon, eggs, and biscuits!
  • Snacks are NOT a must EVERY day. (Sometimes this will ruin the next meal. If they have become a picky eater then we stop snacks for awhile.)
  • Kids will NEVER put things back in the refrigerator the RIGHT way!
  • If you say you don't like something then you get an extra helping! (We have found over the years ONE child's comment can create havoc at the dinner table.) It is no longer tolerated to say you do not like something.
  • If you do not care for the food that is served you must eat as many bites as your age. (If you are 3, you eat 3 bites, if you are 4 you eat 4 bites, and so on.) Around 6-8 years old they have learned NOT to say they don't like something. They have caught the idea when you are at some one's house or your own, you will try a few bites and then politely leave the rest. No major melt downs of "I DON'T LIKE THIS!" When we have them take as many bites as their age we let them know the first bite you will hate, the 2nd bite you will realize it might not taste as bad as you thought, the 3rd bite might reveal your new favorite food. We see over time they sometimes find they like a food they did not know they liked but at least at this point they have not influenced someone else NOT to eat!
  • All kids go through a 'picky eating stage' and it is challenge to walk through this as a parent when it is the end of the day or you have just slaved over the food.
  • Toddlers and Teens have the same stomachs....bottomless pits!
  • Some of our best conversations are over the 2nd dinner after an event! I have learned to cherish this meal verses being angry at yet other moment in the kitchen.

So, how is feeding your crowd?

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