Rachel (@rachonlife) sat down to share with her 150,000 followers why she’ll never say ‘no’ to her kids if they tell her they’re hungry.
“There will never be an instance where I say ‘you can wait’ or ‘not right now’ or ‘the kitchen is closed’ – they can always have something to eat, because I’m not going to teach my children to ignore the natural cues of their body,” she said in a TikTok video.
“As soon as I start restricting food, my kids are gonna start being deceitful about eating when they’re hungry – I know this, because I did it.”
Fellow parents praised her stance and shared how they work around this at home. One said: “Instead of ‘kitchen is closed’ I say ‘chef is off duty’ and offer snacks, leftovers, etc.”
Another mum said: “I generally am the same way except today when my kid asked for a snack literally five minutes before dinner was done and I told him he could wait.”
Snacking in particular is a divisive topic in the world of parenting. But in a piece for the New York Times titled ‘There’s No Shame In Kids Snacking’, feeding experts suggested it’s more of a problem if you write off a child’s desire for food, rather than letting them snack.
Dietitian Elizabeth Davenport told the publication: “Kids have smaller tummies and can’t eat as much as we do per meal, so they have to eat more frequently. A child constantly asking for snacks is likely just growing and hungry.”
Of course, there are times when kids will graze and this can be an issue because it means they never get hungry enough for their main meals.
In order to prevent this, experts advise treating snacks like mini meals, scheduling them at regular intervals throughout the day and eating them at the table (this is to prevent mindless snacking and also to reduce the risk of choking).
As Strong4Life explains: “When kids know they can count on another meal or snack in just a few hours, it’s easier for them to stop eating when they feel full.”
In her video, Rachel also shared some of her other “unpopular” parenting techniques, one being that if her children do something bad, and they come forward and tell her or her husband, the consequence will be “way less”.
“There will be consequences”, she added, but they “will not be in trouble” – for example, being grounded.
She also said there is never a question she won’t answer. “I don’t care what it is, I don’t care what the content is, what the topic is, what the timing is does not matter,” she explained.
The mum said when her kids want to learn, she will reward that behaviour by answering their questions. “And if I don’t know, I will try and find out,” she added.