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Lunch Time Limit?

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  • Lunch Time Limit?

    I have a DCB3 that has recently decided to take the tiniest of bites when he eats and it’s becoming a little annoying. He has always been a slow eater, but within the last three weeks, he’s really slowed it down. I will have all the other kids down for nap and be cleaning the tables around him, telling him to hurry the whole time. He could easily sit there for 45 minutes. I’m not sure if he’s trying to delay nap time - he always naps - or what could be the reason for the sudden change. He’s not distracted and he doesn’t talk, he’s focused on eating the entire time.

    Do you give kids a time limits to eat before you put the plate up? Do you save it for after nap? Do you just let them finish eating no matter how long it takes?

    I try to have everyone transition to nap at the same time, until last week when I decided to put the others down before him.

  • #2
    I have a limit. We have a schedule and I need it to be followed as close as possible for everyone's sake.

    I don't have this issue at lunch, but I have one that is super slow at afternoon snack. I start giving him warnings a few minutes before snack time is over. "You have 5 more minutes before snack is over and I put up your plate."

    I don't save any food for the kids. If they eat it, then great. If not, it goes in the trash.

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    • #3
      I don't currently have a slow eater but when my Foster son age 3 1/2, took forever eating dinner I would set a timer for about 10 minutes, give him a warning and then take his plate once the timer went off. You'd be amazed how fast he ate after the first time he lost his plate.

      If my own son doesn't finish his snack or meal then I may save part of it for him for after work, just so I don't waste it. All other kids once they are done eating their plate or bull gets dumped into the trash even if they didn't touch a thing.
      284878

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      • #4
        20 minutes and it is time to dump in bin 1 and stack in bin 2. They have 15 minutes in public school, that is what I am preparing them for.

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        • #5
          My lunch generally goes by fast anyway....kids don't eat quite like they used to, so?? I have a few but not many that eat well when it comes to healthy eating.

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          • #6
            I also don't let them leave the table until the 15 minute mark for the ones who like to rush off then complain about being hungry all day. If they are being rude or disruptive at the table, they move their plate to the "quiet table" and eat in solitary. "Quiet table" is unwanted because it does not even have a window to stare out of, just a mirror of you watching yourself pout until you can get up.

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            • Annalee
              Annalee commented
              Editing a comment
              Love the mirror analogy.....

          • #7
            Thanks all! I’ll try the time limit tomorrow to see how he does. The poor kid is skin and bones, I hate doing that. But I also am very particular about keeping everyone on the same schedule.

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            • #8
              I'd push lunch up a bit. If someone is being pokey I tell the others to get ready to do something fun like go outside or down to our other play room. The others will get excited and whoop usually. The pokey one speeds it up in order not to miss out. Our nap isn't right after lunch though. They get free play when they're done eating, then pick up time which the older group are excited about because they like nap time since it's movie time for them. Their excitement makes the others pick up faster too.

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              • GirlMomma
                GirlMomma commented
                Editing a comment
                Ohhh! I never thought about moving nap time.

            • #9
              So I tried the timer yesterday… DCB shoved a bunch of food in his mouth and gagged on it at lunch. For afternoon snack time, he ate very slow and took the tiniest bites again.

              Is there something else going on that perhaps I’m missing??

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              • #10
                Breakfast 830-9. If you come after 9, hope you ate. Lunch is served at 1130 and done at 12. We remind at 1145, 1150 and then pull plates at noon. Snack, depends, if were outside, fine putter as long as you want. Inside? served at 230 done at 250.

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
                  So I tried the timer yesterday… DCB shoved a bunch of food in his mouth and gagged on it at lunch. For afternoon snack time, he ate very slow and took the tiniest bites again.

                  Is there something else going on that perhaps I’m missing??
                  dental issues? Mabey it hurts so hes eating with just a few teeth? Ive done that with back teeth issues. Throat issues? It hurts so he eats slow but is hungry?

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                  • #12
                    My DD has a sensory issue and always ate rather slowly, if she gets too much in her mouth she spits it out.

                    I actually worried about her when she started school, that she wouldn't have enough time to eat.
                    284878

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                    • #13
                      Thank you, I’ll mention the sensory thing to DCM and see what she thinks. This just started within the last few weeks though.

                      I don’t think it’s his teeth because he is 3 1/2 now and I think he’s got all of them.

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                      • #14
                        99.9% of food issues aren't food related. If the issue recently started, I would bet it's more about control and being able to control his own environment etc.
                        I would not make a big deal out of it at all, set a timer. Remind him when lunch is half way through and then almost over. When lunch is over, take plates whether they are done or not. Remind him to take smaller bites if he is stuffing his mouth etc... more than likely a few days of not really noticing or caring about the issue, he will be back on track and eating at a good pace without issues. For me personally, the bigger deal I make of something the worse it gets so I just do what I do and let them figure out their part of it which out switching or changing up the regular schedule we have.
                        3 is tough. They want to be big and in charge but little and get away with things at the same time.

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                        • GirlMomma
                          GirlMomma commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I ignored it for many weeks until I came here. I think I’ll just continue to let it go, remind him at the 10 & 5 minute marks and move on. I’ve just never seen this behavior happen before.
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