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Do you think it's cruel not to make children extra food if they don't like what you made? - Page 5

post #81 of 103

We always have an afternoon snack but after that no snacking before dinner.  People are hungry when it gets to dinner time for sure.

post #82 of 103

I think its cruel that you have to try to cater to 5 peoples preferences. =P

post #83 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I'm curious to know how often the people who don't allow their children to get something else cook food that they themselves don't like? My MIL required my husband and his siblings to eat everything (and it backfired on 5 out of 5 children by the way), but she will tell you that she never, ever cooked foods if she didn't like them. How's that fair?

 

True. I rarely make something me and my DH don't like. BUT, we are not picky eaters at all. We will pretty much eat everything.  I dislike blueberries, but everyone else loves them, so I do bake with them or buy fresh ones for snacking. My DH won't touch shrimp, so I cook it on the side to add to me and the kids dishes.  But again, I'm not the type of person to make my kids eat something I know they don't like.

 

And I cut off snacking by about 3:00pm for dinner at 5:30pm. My kids will not eat dinner if they snack after that. But I will allow snacking after dinner if they are still hungry.  

post #84 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I'm curious to know how often the people who don't allow their children to get something else cook food that they themselves don't like? My MIL required my husband and his siblings to eat everything (and it backfired on 5 out of 5 children by the way), but she will tell you that she never, ever cooked foods if she didn't like them. How's that fair?

I agree.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by k x s View Post

I think its cruel that you have to try to cater to 5 peoples preferences. =P

It's not a choice between "eat this or go hungry" or catering to 5 people.  

 

I wear the badge of short order cook quite proudly, though admittedly out of necessity, and you do hear "I can't make that because I'm already making this".  My stove is clogged, or my pans are committed, or they asked for a baked potato at the last minute*.  It is not: "one lasagna, one spaghetti and meatballs, one stir-fry, one hamburger, and one bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, comin' right up!"  

 

It is a converstaion about wants, about what we have available, what one cook (and eventually more, hopefully!) can realistically prepare and have ready all together.  Some menu items can always be on the menu-- yogurt, toast, raw veggies, fruit, nuts, etc.

 

*this came up last night, actually.  It turned out that no one was hungry right off, I didn't have the rest of dinner started, and it wasn't that late in the evening, and 1/2 a baked potato sounded good to dh as well.  So, on this night, it did work out.  I popped the potato in the oven, sat at the table playing solitaire while the girls did their puzzle books.  Dinner was a little late, but no one minded.  This might not have worked on a different night, but tonight it did.

post #85 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by k x s View Post

I think its cruel that you have to try to cater to 5 peoples preferences. =P

Children do not ask to be born -- it is the parents who choose it. Providing food for the children you brought into this world is your responsibility. It is not cruel to be considerate. After all, you want your children to be considerate of you. Model consideration.

Has the OP abandoned this thread? I hope our bickering didn't drive her away.
post #86 of 103

I didn't read all the replies, but, I do not think you are being unreasonable.

 

Personally, eating cereal for dinner drives me crazy and I would not allow that.  DH tries that and it REALLY irritates me.  Thing is, his mother didn't make meals, they just ate whatever they fixed themselves, or his dad ordered pizza, I guess...

 

I grew up with either my mom or my dad, and later my sister or I, fixing dinner.... EVERY NIGHT.  We either ate what was fixed, or went without.  My sister didn't like Baked Potatoes, so my mom allowed her to have cottage cheese instead.  I didn't like cottage cheese, and did like potatoes, so wasn't a problem growing up.

 

With DD and DH, I usually give them two choices of what they want for dinner... they decide, I make it (with DD's help now - she's much more likely to eat something she picked out and participated in making).

 

If DD doesn't eat her meal, I cover it and put it in the fridge, she's welcome to eat it later if she's hungry (sometimes I reheat, some times she gets it cold).  There's only been one meal I fixed her an alternate food... I made Thai Chicken Curry Soup... it was a little more spicy than the recipe let on...  She loves spicy... but it was HOT!  She got a different meal that night after taking one bite and not liking it, and a different meal when we ate the left overs....

 

Good Luck!

post #87 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I'm curious to know how often the people who don't allow their children to get something else cook food that they themselves don't like? My MIL required my husband and his siblings to eat everything (and it backfired on 5 out of 5 children by the way), but she will tell you that she never, ever cooked foods if she didn't like them. How's that fair?

I often cook and eat food I am not fond of because my dd likes them. I would live on burritos, peas, and spaghetti if I could but I value variety for health reasons. If I make a food I know my dd will despise I make an alternate for her but this rarely happens anymore.

I think there is a big difference between not preparing extra food for a child who just wants an alternative to a food they also like and not offering an alternative to a food your child despises. I also think eating only carbs is a bad habit to get into, cereal for dinner each night isn't healthy, and that the alternative food should be in the same food group as the food that is skipped if substitutions are allowed.
post #88 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by k x s View Post

I think its cruel that you have to try to cater to 5 peoples preferences. =P


If you mean me, I really don't mind a bit because my only food agendas are to make those five people happy and well-fed.  We mostly rotate meals we know everyone likes, add an extra veggie sometimes, etc. 

 

My kids are all big enough to help make dinner anyway.  They are likely to be helping in the kitchen, peeling potatoes, etc. and when we have the pasts salad I dislike and others love, ds who adores it most actually does the cooking for the whole meal anyway.  Nobody's catering if I simply prepare myself a salad to avoid wheat...  The fact that everyone helps in the kitchen means no one is a victim and everyone can help make decisions about meal choices.  For instance since not everyone loves baked potatoes but everyone loves oven fries, I sometimes will just offer to make those but only if the kids will peel potatoes so it's not all my job to fulfill their wishes.

post #89 of 103

I haven't read the other replies, but this is how I feel about it:

 

As long as I'm blessed enough to have a multitude of food options in my house, my children will be able to eat something nutritious that they want to eat, even if it isn't what I first offered them.   We just do not have food battles in my house.  

 

We've also found that growing a large, organic garden helps our kids love their vegetables! 

post #90 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

We've also found that growing a large, organic garden helps our kids love their vegetables! 

This does help!  My veg-phobic younger daughter becomes a regular rabbit during the growing season.  Both graze on peas, raw kale, carrots straight from the garden bed.... doesn't work with every single thing.  They still won't eat tomatoes unless they come in a ketchup bottle.    

post #91 of 103
Quote:

Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I guess it depends on how you handle the situation. Forcing your child to sit at the table until they eat the food you made or refusing to let them eat any other food until that particular plate of food was eaten would be cruel, IMO. Trying to make them feel bad or punishing them would be cruel.

Teaching the kids to not make a fuss and just go get a sandwich, fruit or a bowl of cereal occasionally if they don't want the meal made sounds healthy and reasonable to me. 

 

In my home, I ask everyone for input when I plan meals. I take dd's suggestions for a few nights each week.

This.

post #92 of 103
The question, when deciding if it's ok for the child to get him/herself something instead of eating the prepared dinner, really is 'how often is "on occasion"?' If it's more than once a week, I think the cook has to do more to provide for the child. I don't think anyone is saying the cook has to completely cater to a child. But catering only to the adults, or only the cook, is what is unacceptable.

So, how often is "occasionally"?
post #93 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

The question, when deciding if it's ok for the child to get him/herself something instead of eating the prepared dinner, really is 'how often is "on occasion"?' If it's more than once a week, I think the cook has to do more to provide for the child. I don't think anyone is saying the cook has to completely cater to a child. But catering only to the adults, or only the cook, is what is unacceptable.

So, how often is "occasionally"?

Maybe twice a month.

I plan meals with my kids most of the time. I'm also careful to leave certain meals "deconstructed" so they can eat it the way they like. For example, beef stroganoff. My daughter loves the steak bits, the egg noodle pasta and the mushrooms. She despises the gravy that is made with sour cream. I make this meal and everyone mixes it on their own plate by serving themselves from separate bowls. You can do tacos and Mexican salads this way, too.

Between my policy of "eat this or make your own dinner" and my policy of "no late afternoon snacking"... our mealtimes are peaceful and pleasant times to re-connect at the end of the day. My oldest was just home from college over the holidays and she said one of things she missed most about being away was our dinners as a family.happytears.gif

Now pek, on the flip side of this issue ......I know a mom who made a "grown ups meal" and "kid's meal" every night for 15 years and her kids have a very poor diet of typical American fare. Chicken nuggets, macaroni, pizza and such. All the while, she and her hubby ate a real meal each evening with lovely veggies and variety. I don't think she did her kids any favors by this and she was always complaining what a chore it was to cater to the kids but "they don't eat anything else".
post #94 of 103
Again, there is a difference between being considerate and serving kids junk food. Please don't misinterpret my posts. I do not, never have, never will, feed my son anything I felt had no value, just so he would eat. If I were going to do that, why worry about him eating only cereal for dinner every night? I gave him healthy and familiar meals for years, until he wanted more variety. And I always kept his food issues in mind. He gets migraines from sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors, so I keep things natural, and make fron scratch. It's more effort on my part, but I've benefitted, too!!

I don't know if we're really that far apart on the issue in practice, just in words.
post #95 of 103

I have 3 kids.  One is not picky, one moderately picky and one very picky.  I do not think how kids are raised always relates to how picky they are.  

 

They are responsible for getting their own breakfast, lunch, snacks.  I try to keep healthy, yummy food present, and junky ones to a minimum, but that is it.  

 

I make one supper, but am open to leaving things out if people really hate them and it will ruin the meal for them.  I like peppers, the 3 kids do not.  It is no skin off my back to add peppers to my salad and leave the main bowl of salad pepper free.  I do try to make meals that most people like a couple of times a week, but I am not extreme about it.  

 

The two kids who are picky can fend for themselves (which includes clean-up) if they want a different supper.   They are old enough to.  When they were not old enough to, I would get them yoghurt, fruit, hummus and crackers, carrot sticks - whatever was healthy and simple.  

 

All 3 of my kids have a fairly healthy attitudes towards food and their bodies.  Yeah, I wish 2 were less picky - oh, well.  They are not over or under weight, they do not use food inappropriately (say out of boredom or emotional eating), they are not addicted to junk food,  there is not even a hint of eating disorders….we are good.  

 

I am not convinced picky kids grow into picky adults, either.

post #96 of 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post


Between my policy of "eat this or make your own dinner" and my policy of "no late afternoon snacking"... our mealtimes are peaceful and pleasant times to re-connect at the end of the day. My oldest was just home from college over the holidays and she said one of things she missed most about being away was our dinners as a family.happytears.gif

 

Sweet.

 

When I was 18 my family left for a cottage for a summer.  I was fending for myself, food wise, for the first time in my life.

 

I ate nothing but hamburger and KD for 6 weeks.

 

I was so thrilled when my family came home and made real meals.  I literally pounced on the veggies and stuff I once semi-spurned.  

 

It was a bit of turning point for me, actually.

post #97 of 103
I was a horribly picky child. Now I eat vegetables daily. It's hecka weird.
post #98 of 103

I am blessed with good eaters. My dds are 11, 8, and 4. Well, when I say "good eaters", I mean, they will eat any fancy-pants, ethnic food I prepare, but balk at the simple stuff. It's like a reverse blessing. That being said, I lovelovelove beans, and none of my kids have ever been fans. It took years and years of me preparing and serving beans for them to FINALLY eat them at a meal without grousing. I consider it an accomplishment on my part. I never forced them to eat beans. We have an "adventure bite" rule and they have seen me enjoying beans. On the nights that I'd serve beans, they had to sit at the table and could have something else after their adventure bite and after dinner. Usually a PB sandwich, but they aren't huge PB fans either, so it was more a question of having a full belly than it was about having a dinner they enjoyed (Cereal is NEVER an option bcs two of the three eat that stuff like dessert, and could go through a box without thinking about it...and that's the low sugar healthy stuff!). The girls still don't LOVE beans, but they will eat them (I don't make them very often, and never really did...maybe once or twice a month).  What I think is wonderful is that they have learned to be polite about it - which I think will serve them well when they are eating at a friend's house or are out at a restaurant and I am not there to mediate. I'm also thrilled that they are eating chia seeds.  That was always just an add-in option, never a do or die situation, but I love the blasted things, and they now ask for them in their yogurt. I think sometimes foods have to be presented several times for the foods to be appreciated.

post #99 of 103

So, how do parents enforce this "adventure bite", "one bite/ two bite" rule?  One easy answer would be, state the rule and then the child complies, perhaps after some complaining and hearing the rule restated.  

 

But what happens when a child really digs his heels in?  

 

I ask because I think many parents have children who comply relatively easily regarding food and family meals.  Or perhaps they are motivated somewhat by hunger, at least compared to many posters' children who I know are unmotivated by hunger at all and will dig their heels in, regardless of how empty their bellies are.  

post #100 of 103

We used to play an m&m game. Three m&ms per child at dinner. The m&ms were earned for different things.Napkin on the lap, staying seated the entire meal, the adventure bite. When the behavior stuck, we'd rotate in a different one. Amazing what a kid will do for an m&m. LOL. We haven't done that game in a long, long time, and actually, I think we tried it once with my now 4 year old (because it had worked so beautifully with the older two) - but she quickly realized she didn't like m&ms all that much and they weren't worth the effort. I feel a bit conflicted about using candy as a reward - our potty training efforts ("potty training in less than a day") had a similar reward system and honestly, it bothered me.  But it worked. So, I guess...I don't know.  We aren't a dessert eating family, so three m&ms seem harmless. And I don't see any food-issues rearing their heads with my older kids bcs I used food as a reward...yeah, can you tell I'm a little conflicted about it? But I'll tell you, family mealtimes used to run a lot more smoothly when that game was in effect!

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