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For those who take their kids to McDonalds... - Page 4

post #61 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellen Griswold View Post
So, my question is, do you make your child eat their food before giving them the toy? Why do you do this?
Yes, we do. Our rules when eating out are the same as at home: when the food is served, we eat. We don't play, read books, get up from the table to run around, or whatever. Meal time is family-together time. Playtime is for when are we are done and tummies are full (and, at home, have been excused).
post #62 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellen Griswold View Post
So, my question is, do you make your child eat their food before giving them the toy? Why do you do this?
No, I do not make my children eat their food before they get the toy.

I also do not give them the toy with their food. If we go to McDonalds, they usually want to play on the playplace. We just have always done it that the playplace & food is for while we are there. Then, when it's time to leave, toys come out. They are opened in the car to play with there. For us it has nothing to do with eating the food, but rather expediating our exit. If the kids don't want to play, they don't have to if getting the toy is that important (though it never has been).
post #63 of 142
We *JUST* started getting toys from McDs a few weeks ago... So far, I've waited to give it to him till after we're done eating, just to speed up the eating process - we dont' play at the table at home, so why would we at a restauarnt?? It'd just take 2 or 3 or 4 or 10x as long to eat... and most times we have stuff to do.
post #64 of 142
Haven't read all the responces but it looks like I'm in the minority. A signifigant dent must have been made in the food (kids are beyond happy meals now) to receive the toy. It was always my way to do things so no fits were ever thrown.
post #65 of 142
I do buy Mcd's and similar occasionally. I rarely actually buy a meal with a toy. (mostly becuase they'd rather have the dollar chicken sandwich which is not a kid meal option at McD's) But when I do, I take the toy and give it to them after the food. *usually* the Happy Meal is saved for a road trip treat anyway and my reason for even buying the toy in the first place is something new to mess with for part of the road trip.

When we do fast food, I just give them their sandwich/nugget whatever and fries at the same time. If they don't say anything, I will not hand over the drink till they've eaten some.

My kids have never said anything about it. If they did, I'd probably hand it over, especially in the restaurant.
post #66 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by 34me View Post
Haven't read all the responces but it looks like I'm in the minority. A signifigant dent must have been made in the food (kids are beyond happy meals now) to receive the toy. It was always my way to do things so no fits were ever thrown.
That is what we do. Not that I need them to eat all the nuggets and apples, but enough that they won't be screaming for food 30 minutes later when we are out shopping or errands. If I give them the toy, they don't eat at all and I just threw money down the drain and ruined my outing. So not that I am mean, but, they actually have to consume some calories before the toy is introduced. And with two kids who never seem to be full (both thin and active) this is important for my sanity.
post #67 of 142
i follow my kids' cues. usually, they're hungry enough that they don't care about the toy until after they've eaten anyway. if they're not hungry enough that the toy is a distraction, i let them have the toy. i can always offer the food again later when they're ready for it.

christina
post #68 of 142
really?
i give them the whole Happy meal...
why on earth would i force them to eat to get a toy...kind of goes against what i teach them at home, to eat until they are full, then, stop...
micky d's, they eat a bit, play a bit, eat a bit, play a bit...
im ok with that.
post #69 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
Yes, we do. Our rules when eating out are the same as at home: when the food is served, we eat. We don't play, read books, get up from the table to run around, or whatever. Meal time is family-together time. Playtime is for when are we are done and tummies are full (and, at home, have been excused).
This.

We pretty much can't eat at McD's (we're vegan), but at, say, Taco Bell, the rule would apply. It might be a little different because we just about never eat at the fast food restaurant. We usually just bring it home.
post #70 of 142
We never go McD's, but I can understand where the mom is coming from.

I used to allow toys at the table, but it really isn't fun cleaning up after a playmobil elephant and rhino have trampled through the soy sauce.

My nephew, who has pretty drastic mood swings from hypoglycemia, will get to a point where is is so hungry that he loose interest in food and patients with sitting and eating. Though he will be grumpy enough to throw a fit over not getting the toy, if he was allowed a toy at that point, he would play with it instead of eating for a few minute before having a fit over something else.

Different kids have different needs, so we can't always base what others should do based on what works well for our own kids.
post #71 of 142
I haven't read ALL the replies, but here's what I do: I let them have the whole bag. They see what they're getting in terms of the toy, and inevitably the first thing they want is for me to open the little plastic bag the toy is wrapped in. The rule is that typically they have to eat SOME of their meal before they get the toy. Not all of it, and if it's something they think is really cool (which doesn't happen much at McD's) then I will occasionally let them have it right away.

DS will eat even if I give him the toy up front. The kid would eat the bag too, if I'd let him. He's at a growing/eating-nonstop phase right now. DD is different. Toys distract her. The song stuck in her head distracts her. The shape of the french fry distracts her. Heck, the number of salt grains stuck to the fry may distract her to the point of having to sing a song about it before she dips it in the ketchup and paints the top of the burger with it... you get the idea. If she has the toy, the food will go completely unnoticed (and it may go unnoticed regardless, it's hit or miss with her).

We almost never visit a McD's with a playplace, but that is nearly always saved for last if we do. That's a matter of priorities though, because we came to the restaurant (and I use that word loosely here) to eat, and while playing may be on the agenda as well, it's secondary to the purpose of filling the bellies.
post #72 of 142
Mine have mostly outgrown happy meals by now, but when they were younger, if we were at McD it was because they requested it as a treat lunch, and it was mostly as a place to play rather than for the food (they ask for the upscale sushi place when they want real food -- harder on the budget, better for the tummy). So they get what they want, they can play with the toy or play on the playground or eat, whatever. I take a magazine and relax until they are tired of playing, eating and the noise and ready to go. Why hurry a good distraction afternoon? My only rule was they couldn't take the toy into the placeground because it would get lost, broken or hurt someone and any of those options ruined the fun.
post #73 of 142
Nope, they can have the toy whenever they want. I don't get the withholding of the toy either. As my kids have gotten older, they want to eat more and play with the toy less. In fact, we've quit ordering kids' meals because they eat too much and they don't really care about the toy. (Though to be fair, mostly when we go, it's to a Playland because it's been raining for weeks, and we get a drink or an ice cream and that's it.)
post #74 of 142
double post
post #75 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
Yes, we do. Our rules when eating out are the same as at home: when the food is served, we eat. We don't play, read books, get up from the table to run around, or whatever. Meal time is family-together time. Playtime is for when are we are done and tummies are full (and, at home, have been excused).


This is us also.
post #76 of 142
The food is usually too hot for them to eat at first anyhow. If we go out to eat anywhere, DS usually has something (like a toy) to play with whilst we wait for the food and then whilst he has to wait for it to not scald his mouth.

Its obviously different at home because I don't serve food up to my son that has to meet health standards via temperature! lol - We tend to be grazers anyhow so often end up taking food home with us. DS eats when he is hungry. Like-wise, I have no problem with him eating and playing and eating and playing at home either. We, as adults, do the same. DH read the 'paper' over breakfast, I read a book at lunch, small children are not entertained by stimulating adult conversation - so I don't personally get the idea that they have to sit at the table and be 'part of the family' - when they are regardless. But I also, as a SAHM and home educator, don't feel that table meal times are a way to connect - because we have all day to do that. Guess we are lucky in that respect. I might feel differently if I didn't see my children for 8 hours of the day (ie - they are at school/im off at work/etc).

I also don't think the two can really be compared though. One could classify, even a happy meal, that such eating out is a 'treat' - and with treats come exceptions. My son at home obviously doesn't get a new toy with every meal! lol
post #77 of 142
DS gets distracted by the toy and won't eat if it's opened first. We wait, but we always have so it's old hat to him.

I could easily see him throwing a fit when he was smaller if he wanted the toy first and was overtired or hungry though. In that instance, we'd just take the food and go home and eat instead of sitting in public.
post #78 of 142
We generally wait to eat before the toy, I generally pass him his food and keep the toy in the bag...but if he is being nice and asks properly we will often give it to him....if he throws a fit well, unfortunately he wont get it until another day. We generally don't go into the restaurant it is usually on the go, in the car if we stop.
post #79 of 142
I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you give it to them before... it's a bribe. If you give it to them after, it's a reward.

We literally *never* eat McDonald's or other fast food, but we go to restaurants where the kids get toys or crayons. When the food comes, the toy goes away until we're finished.

If we did eat McD, I would tell dd that we're not getting the meal with a toy. I'd explain to her that it's less expensive to just buy the burger and fries and we can save that little bit of money toward a quality toy that won't break in two seconds and that wasn't made in China.
post #80 of 142
I don't do happy meals. They're a waste of money, with the dollar menu so readily available. And we always drink water anyway.
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