• Emily Rault

Creating structure when feeding kids!

Why should I think about creating a food timetable for my children?

During school time, teachers do not allow 25 students to go to their bags and eat endless snacks. They provide a time schedule for fruit snack, recess and lunch time with water bottles on desks (usually).

At home, many children have ongoing access to foods in the fridge and pantry. After school, weekends and school holidays tend to be times children are snacking most due to boredom, sensory cravings, emotion or hunger.

It is common we find children constantly searching for food when they haven’t entertained structured or sustainable meals and snacks during the day (much like grown ups).

So what do i do?

Creating an eating timetable that suits your family will help to reduce mindless snacking and improve your children’s hunger and fullness regulation skills.

An example might look something like:

7:30am Breakfast

10:00am Snack

12:00pm Lunch

2:30pm Snack

4-4:30pm Snack

5:30-6pm Dinner

7:00pm After dinner snack if needed.

8:00pm Bed

It is important to schedule plenty of snack opportunities to assure your children they will not miss out on food. Often, in cases where children feel restricted or unsure of when they will eat again, they sneak or binge on foods. This can strongly impact their relationship with food as a teenager and adult!

If setting a timetable for every meal and snack is difficult to begin with, try choosing one main meal and snack time, leaving the rest as before. As your child adjusts to the timetable, add new times for the remaining meals and snacks.

Tip: Try a visible poster or board in the kitchen displaying the timetable.

Do we need to do this everyday?

It is expected that life can get in the way of any routine we create for ourselves and family. For the most part, sticking to your food timetable on a daily basis will help to maintain familiarity in your child's eating habits. However! It is essential to practice flexibility along they way e.g. family outings/events, busy days, illness etc. It won't always go to plan and that is absolutely okay!

We are purely helping kids to slow down and recognise when or why they are choosing to eat.

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