View Full Version : Getting all her calories between 5 and 9 pm, what to do?

04-12-2004, 10:26 PM
Sarah used to eat pretty regularly, 3 main meals and 2 smaller snacks. She was always a hearty breakfast eater until recently. But in the last few months her eating habits have become very odd.

She now often skips breakfast entirely (i.e., eats 2 bites and is done). I offer a morning snack, but she wants none of it. At lunch she sometimes eats well and sometimes not. After her nap, I offer her a snack and she refuses. By 5 pm she is STARVING and gobbles down usually a pretty good meal. At 7, I offer her a snack, which is usually pretty substantial (yogurt, fruit, maybe some cereal and milk). She eats and is in bed by 7:30.

The problem is that this isn't the "real" bedtime anymore. She dozes and fits and stirs and eventually wakes up crying between 8 and 9, wanting to eat. I have tried not giving her food at this time, and very occasionally this works. But 9 nights out of 10 she will cry until we get her up and feed her. And she will eat ANOTHER huge and hearty meal (maybe another yogurt, more cereal, more fruit/veggie). She will then happily go to sleep and sleep through the night.

In some ways it doesn't bother me. But in other ways it really irks me. And it drives DH crazy.

Here's our schedule:

7:00 am breakfast - usually only a few bits and 4 oz of milk
12:00 lunch - sometimes hearty, sometimes not, and 4 oz of milk
5 pm dinner - hearty meal, 4 oz milk
7 pm snack - eats well plus some water
7:30 bedtime
8-9 pm - second snack - hearty snack plus some water and maybe some milk

She gets water throughout the day. Occasionally (maybe once or twice a week) she will ask for juice, and I give it to her.

Any thoughts?

04-13-2004, 08:17 PM
I wonder if pushing breakfast back a bit (until 8 or 9 if possible) might help? If I feed him right after he wakes up, James often won't eat anything. Of course, even if I wait, he still doesn't always eat, but I have a better chance. I don't know if you want to do this, but you could also try separating milk from meals (offer milk at a snacktime) and see if she eats more that way.

Elizabeth, Mom to James, 9-20-02
EDD #2, 10-30-04

04-14-2004, 04:22 PM
Oh, I feel for you. Elijah's latest is to wake up at 10 pm and start crying for "gogurt" which is his way of saying yogurt (although on my last grocery store trip I noticed that there is, in fact, a real product called gogurt!). He is the opposite of Sarah--his calories are in the morning and he often eats a skimpy dinner, leading to the late night muchies.

Pushing breakfast back to 8:00 or 9:00 might help, although Sarah might just be going through a phase which will work itself out. You can also try giving her a smoothie in the morning instead of her milk. If she will drink it, it will certainly give her more calories earlier in the day.

04-14-2004, 06:30 PM
Assuming that your daughter is otherwise healthy (gaining weight, free of reflux/pain, has normal amount of energy, etc.) I can only tell you how my son eats.

My son is a snacker...I have tried to fight it, but can not win. So, from 10:00am to 3:00pm he snacks. This actually has improved his appetite at breakfast and dinner (I don't know why...kids are wierd)

I worked two healthy snacks into his 1 hour of tv per day...at 11, he gets a snack (fruit, yogurt, cheese and crackers) and then he gets The Wiggles. At 3, he'll get another snack (fruit/cereal bites, pretzel goldfish) and then he gets Sesame Street. He started looking forward to the snack, because he knows that right after his snack, he gets some tv time. (He also gets milk with his snacks)

Maybe this will jump start your daughter's appetite?