Billy is starving by dinnertime. We eat kind of late--around 6:45 most nights when we sit down at the table. I tell people we eat at 6, but that's only if we have somewhere we need to be immediately after. The neighbors, for the most part, are on the same schedule. It works for us, but it doesn't work so well for Billy.
Part of the problem is school. He's doing more during the day, three days a week. There are things to keep his brain busy and fewer opportunities to graze. There's a nap and recess and peers to entertain him. Getting home around 3:45, he had been immediately hitting the kitchen looking for snacks. White foods--bread, rice, bananas, apples. He's my white foods kid. The girls I could trust to go into the kitchen and come out with something small and decent for a snack. Left to his own devices, it would be a big glass of chocolate milk and his weight in crackers.
The other part of the problem is that white foods thing--because he is the pickiest of all, there are meals that pass him by because he will not eat that broccoli or that soup or that curry. I love making Indian food but rarely do these days because he will eat nothing, not even the rice because of those weird cardamom pods in it. He would rather be hungry and hope for something tasty than give in and eat something new. This is a challenge.
So I've instituted afternoon tea. Folks come home from school and put their things up and away while I put on a kettle of water to boil. We make tea in the teapot and I bring out a few things to nosh on. We started it this week, and it's working pretty well. Not big enough to be lunch, but big enough that supper is smaller, simpler, than before. It's a change of mindset but I think I like it. Definitely a school-day option, not an everyday occurrence. It keeps Billy from losing it completely by 5:45 and gives another ritual to the day. I need more of those, so it's good. I think it will stay.