Closing the Kitchen

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Recently, my kids have gone from eating their brown rice and veggies, quinoa with garlic and ginger, and organic poultry, fish, and meats to wanting only fruit and dairy and grains.  They’d probably want coke all the time except that stuff has never passed their lips so they don’t know what they are missing.  And that’s why they prefer the starchier, sweeter stuff.  They’ve had it and they’re not naïve anymore to the big world of junk food.  I should have kept them in the dark…

Anyway, my only hope is to have them be hungry enough at meal time so that they’ll eat what I have to offer.  I don’t plan on being cruel and force feeding them what they don’t like.  But I need them not to eat processed foods and I want to avoid scenarios where they tire me out to the point of desperately feeding them crappy sugar laden breakfast cereal “Fine, you win!  Just stop the whining!” (yes, it’s happened).

I’m going to close the kitchen.  I grew up hearing that children require snacks in between meals because they’re growing and they get hungry more often.  But, I have been learning more and more about nutrition from experts and many of them hold the opinion that we should be hungry before meals and we shouldn’t snack all doggone day-and this includes children.  And while I don’t think snacking is a sin, I do think that for me and my kids it’s become an inconvenient appetite destroyer.

I try to make every meal and not pull it out of a box.  I also eat different foods than my kids.  And my husband eats different foods from me and the kids.  So by the time dinner rolls around I’ve made seven different meals and cut up fruit or vegetables or cheese for snacks and it just hit me that I practically live in the kitchen.  Not cool.  I grew up hearing the whole “pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen” saying and swore I’d NEVER spend too much time in the kitchen.  In fact, when I was pregnant, I looked down to find myself barefoot in the kitchen, freaked out, and quickly got some shoes on my swollen feet.  You can say feminism has scarred me.  Whatever.  Point is, I hate looking at food all day you know?  It says, “eat me!” and so all day I’m fighting the temptation to eat the kid’s whole wheat pasta or my husband’s rice and beans.  Or I’m sneaking in a bite of food here and there and realizing that one bite of food is enough to throw blood sugars and weight loss efforts.  It’s exhausting.

So I’m closing the kitchen.  I’m going to make sure the kids eat a good breakfast and then I’ll have my grapefruit or avocado or whatever I’m having and then kitchen closed.  It will reopen for lunch and then it will close.  It will reopen for dinner and then it will close.  My kids are used to a bottle of milk or coconut milk or almond milk before bed.  I’ll leave them that luxury.  But snacks in between meals?  Nope.  I need them hungry enough to eat what I know is best for them to eat.  I mean who’s in charge here?  Me or them?

Ok, I’ve adequately pep talked myself.  Let’s do this!

(I’ll keep you posted on our progress…or lack thereof :)

Do any of you stick to three meals and no snacks during the day?  If so, how does it work for you?

4 Comments

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I think if I stuck to 3 meals a day, I’d never eat since my poor belly can’t handle “meals”
HOWEVER.. I wish I was a 3 meal a day person because it’s SO much easier on the blood sugars.

KUDOS to you…. I love your pep talk! :)

I eat a good breakfast every day but do not snack between breakfast and lunch because of insulin resistance. I do always have a snack (an apple, a cheese stick, or pumpkin seeds) in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. I usually dont have anything after dinner, before bed unless I am having blood sugar issues. My sis-n-law does something similar to what you are doing, breakfast, lunch, one snack in the afternoon and dinner for the boys and they have very specific things they are allowed to eat and nothing else. They know what time each meal is “available” so they don’t ask for anything in between cause they know they wont get it! It seems to work for her and them! Good luck with closing the kitchen! When the kids are older and can read, you should totally get a closed/open sign!

“Kitchen closed!” is heard from my lips every day at my house! It’s awesome. I am excited for you. I was in the same boat as you are now and I would prepare this delicious laborious meal and we’d sit down to eat it and they weren’t hungry!! That ended pretty quick. And now, I use that phrase when I need the kitchen to myself to experiment and when I need them to eat a square meal. It works wonders for all aspects! Good luck!

We did that with our kids. Sometimes in summer when they are really active (swimming all day) we’d throw in a snack, but it was always something like apples and peanut butter or string cheese. At meals we stopped asking them what they wanted for meals and they started happily eating (almost)everything we served. We had a few tough “picky” eaters at ages 2-4, but we persevered…

It really helps to keep them on track with eating the best things if they arrive at the table nice and hungry.

I think some parents think that because their kids crave carbs every hour that they really need more food. Just like everyone else, they ride that sugar/insulin rollercoaster and get crabby and hungry shortly after eating refined carbs. It’s hard to get off the rollercoaster, but it’s great when you do. Our son has been eating lowish carb like me for the past 6 months and has leveled his moods/emotions for the first time in his life. He’s happier, and we’re happier.

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