1. Provide regular meal and snack times. This will save you the worry that your child is going hungry and will help your child to curb a frequent snacking habit.
2. Children frequently mistake being tired or bored for being hungry. Help your child work out what they are truly feeling.
Ask if they are really hungry, but fight the urge to tell children, “You are not hungry.”
Notice if your child is acting out of boredom or tiredness, and help to address these feelings first.
Figure out if your child just wants your attention.
Take a few minutes to stop and give your child some one-on-one time.
3. If your child really seems to be hungry, offer a part of the next meal or a choice of fruit or vegetable as a snack. Even with structured meal times, there may be times when you need to be flexible. You are the best judge. I tell my son that he can have carrots or celery if he asks before dinner. If he refuses, then I know he might not be really hungry. As a mom, I would be fine with offering him that option if it’s warranted.
Please see my other posts for the previous Meal Wars series. And don’t forget your responsibilities and your child’s when meal time comes. It takes preactice just like anything else we do.