My kid doesn’t eat on own. My kid doesn’t understand if he is hungry. My kid keeps on searching food when she is hungry, and so on. Many times we hear these complaints. There will be many more forms or variants of these. But all of them are targeting eating habits of children. Mostly here parents want to address the food needs of kids other than the defined meal times. These food requirements arise when children come from school, come back after playing on ground, etc. There can be food needs even in intermediate time frames also. How do you satisfy demand of children’s food between meals? Do children actually come and say I am hungry and ask for something?
Mostly faced challenge, isn’t it? Here the biggest challenge is understanding if children are actually hungry. Because they are not hungry enough to ask for a meal. Actually, they don’t want to have meal during that time. They just want to have something light that can fulfil limited hunger at that time. What do they do for that? Either they don’t eat anything and wait for meal time, or go for some junk food. Just grab something like potato chips, chocolate or something in same line and run away. Sometimes they fail to find a food item during that time, and prefer to remain hungry. I am sure, parents will not like this. So how to solve it?
What if we make food items readily available to children to beat this hunger? Food items of our choice, which are going to be tasty, healthy and remaining good for couple of days. Examples would be dry fruits, nuts, roasted beans, healthy biscuits, some items from your children’s recepies. Basically, those items which can go into a jar and remain fresh/good for longer time. Yes, we can have 3-4 jars (pastic jars, bottles with bigger mouth). Add limited quantity of these items to such jars and put a lid on it. Mind you, these jars have to be transperent so that children can see through the food items easily. You can also take a small fruit basket along with these jars. Keep all these filled jars in a corner, on a table in kitchen. Location should be easily visible to kids when they start searching for food while hungry. We can also put small board/name plate – “ABC’s Food Corner” on it.
Keep checking the food level and quality everyday and refill, remove and change food items as and when required. Monitoring is very important.
It solves the problem. It makes food item available to kids every time. They know a place where they can find food for them always. They also know, that food item is something that they like. We know it is healthy. We know we have fulfilled children’s hunger demand on their own by establishing a system. We also understand the food habits of kids, what they like, and we can also introduce new food items to kids.
- Monitor the jars regularly for quality and quantity
Keep limited quantity so that it does not become an alternative for meal
Change food items so that kids don’t get bored by same thing again and again
Keep a track of children’s likings through the quickly finishing food items