I need some feedback.
Jesse has gotten into the habit of grazing (a fancy word for he eats alot of snacks throughout the day and not enough at meals) lately. I know part of this is probably the preschool age- I have read that 4 year olds can't sit still for very long and it is expecting too much for them to sit and eat a whole meal. I have also heard that for preschoolers, it is better to let them graze on healthy food throughout the day to get all their nutrients. I have always tried very hard to limit snacks during the day and to train Jesse to eat meals with the family. But, it is just not working. He is asking to eat lunch earlier and earlier, after several snacks after breakfast (which he hasn't been eating entirely) and dinner time is usually a battle, unless it is something he really likes. SO, I am at the point where I have realized that he probably won't get all of his good nutrients at a meal. I have tried to make snacks a little more meal-like but I am at a loss for how to approach this. Should I stick to my guns and say no when he asks for one snack after another (literally, he finishes one and begs for another) during the day or should I make his snacks packed with protein and other good stuff (like little bites of chicken or turkey dogs)? Should I expect that he sit with us during our meal and eat the majority of what we put on his plate (we never make him eat all of it but if he wants dessert he needs to eat a determined amount- this is usually a good motivator).
This is what I have tried as snacks so far:
- whole wheat goldfish or dry cereal
- bananas, apples, carrots, frozen blueberries
- I tried hearty granola bars for a while but I think he has caught on- Odwalla has these carrot raisin and berries go mega that are pretty much a meal but he doesn't eat them anymore, Karis will!
-I tried soy beans, roasted and salted- he spits them out
- Raisins or Craisins
-Pirate Booty w/ spinach and kale (he loves this)
- We don't do juice, just milk with meals and water in between.