It is not always easy to know how much our kids should eat at any one time. This interview on KATU’s AM Northwest, Nov 18, 2011, gives some basic ideas. Remember we want to respect our kids’ appetites–forcing them to sit in front of a plate until they finish it, OR restricting food at regular meal and snack times is NOT going to help them to be responsible eaters!
Our job is to provide food at REGULAR meals and snacks–2 to 4 hours between each eating time, and then let them use their appetites as guides for how much to eat. We can help prevent over or under eating by NOT letting them graze through out the day (grazing includes beverages like juice, diluted juice, fruit drinks, or milk as well as foods–plain water is fine!).
The kitchen is closed between meals and snacks. Our children are not going to starve if they refuse a meal or snack and then have to wait 2 hours before having the opportunity to eat again.