By: Naomi Maharaj
Think you have this parenting thing down to a science? You handle messes, tiffs, and tears without a bat of an eyelash? Or are you constantly second guessing yourself; reading parenting books and trying to decide which parenting style you want to implement? Take this parenting quiz (part 4 of 6) to see your score (Parts 1 & 2 & 3 are here)
Now that your baby has started regularly eating solid foods, you want to start feeding her on a more predictable schedule: regular times throughout the day so you can better plan ‘meal time’. But which theory of feeding do you follow?
a) Bringing up Bebe is the latest hype at your baby group. You decide to move towards 3 solid (and fancy!) meals a day, plus an afternoon snack.
b) You go academic. The American Academy of Pediatrics Handbook, recommends 3 main meals and 2 in between meal snacks for the average toddler/preschooler. You plan accordingly.
c) At the dentist’s office, you pick up a parenting magazine, and see that 3 meals and 3 snacks is preferable. You make a mental note to start prepping as soon as you get home.
d) You ask your family doctor, who tells you 3 meals a day is ample. NO SNACKS.
Whichever option you choose, the remaining options will advise that you are setting your child up for obesity and a lack of desire to try new foods. My own pediatrician advised me (D) indicating that our society’s need to constantly give our kids snacks was uncalled for. Though I chose not to follow her advice, I can see where she was coming from: Almost every organized event I take my 3 year old to has built in snack time.
While we may view the timing of when we feed our children differently, keep in mind the ultimate goal is to provide nutritious foods to our young ones to help them grow big and strong while providing them the basis of a healthy relationship with food. While I am not an expert, I venture to hypothesize that it is the quality (nutritious value) of the food we are feeding our children that is important, not the frequency throughout the day by which we offer it.
How do you plan meals for your kids?
Naomi Maharaj is mom to two boys, ages 2 and 3. She started the blog Laughing Mom when her second son was a few months old as a way to highlight the lighter side of parenting. In the face of sleep deprivation, crying babies and tantruming toddlers she hopes to be able to see, and share, the humor in it all. Naomi occasionally comments on current events or human interest pieces that catch her attention. Connect with Naomi on Facebook.