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It's once again that time in the show when The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids answer reader questions.
See what questions the rest of The 4 Moms team is answering:
This week, each of the 4 Moms has chosen questions from the 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Facebook page . Be sure to head on over there if you have a question you would like us to address in our next Q&A post. Simply "like" the page, then leave your question, and we'll see if we can work it in next month.
Here are a few of the questions we've had this week:
- How do you regulate snacks? My kids are constantly begging.
We almost always have apples, bananas, oranges, and/or carrots available for snacks. Those are available for any and all kids who want an "after nap-time  snack" or if I feel that a child is genuinely hungry at another time.
The standard rule is that snacks are only to be eaten after nap-time, which is usually around 3:00 in the afternoon. I do not hesitate to say "no" to a child who is whining that they are hungry between meals at other times, especially if I have noticed that they have eaten poorly at mealtimes. Occasionally I notice that a child seems to be going through a growth spurt and, even after eating heartily at meals, will still be hungry. In those cases, I allow him or her to get some fruit, carrots, or a spoonful of peanut butter.
As a generality, we do not allow children to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Our children know that if they are picky or skimpy about their eating at mealtime, they will be hungry until the next meal rolls around.
Our system seems to work well for us, since we have healthy children and not a fat one in the bunch.
- How big is your pantry? What items do you stock up on?
We have a closet-type pantry in our kitchen where we keep the items we use every day, and we use the room attached to our garage, that houses our well pump, as a food storage area. We have an extra refrigerator and a chest freezer in there, plus the shelves my husband built. See this post on food storage for large families  for ideas from other moms on how they manage food storage.
- Do you have baby books for all your kids?
What a rude question! I don't believe I have ever been as insulted as I am now to receive such a nosy and intrusive interrogation! (Smockity looks around nervously to see if her diversionary tactics worked...)
- How do you handle kids' shoes? We have shoes everywhere!
I wish I had a good answer to this one! I have to admit that I am a touch envious that the children in books like the one we just finished, Little Britches , go around barefoot. (By the way, I'm still upset that the book ends the same way every time we read it! ~wipes tear)
Even though we try to limit shoes to "church shoes" and "play shoes", that is still 32 shoes for just the children in our house! Add in mud boots, soccer cleats, and flip flops, and it can get nuts!
Ideally, we try to keep mud boots on the side porch, church shoes in closets, and play shoes in cubbies designated for each child located just outside our laundry room.
That is the ideal. Realistically, we find shoes under the trampoline, under beds, in the bathroom, on the kitchen floor, and other places they aren't supposed to be.
So, now I'd like to know from you...