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A wasting food WWYD - Page 4

post #61 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
There aren't many better ways to create eating disorders than forcing people to eat when/what they don't want to, outside of their bodies' cues. I feel as strongly about this as I do about spanking, cio, etc. It's unhealthy at best, damaging at worst.
Very, very true in most cases. There is no need at all to force a normal, healthy child to eat or to finish their plate. And yes it can lead to all kinds of eating problems down the road.

However . . . .

There is a fine balance between letting your child take full control of their eating, and needing to recognize and manage the feeding of a child who has some health or behavioral issues. Because ultimately it's my responsibility to feed my child and make sure she gets proper nutrition one way or another. I do NOT believe in force feeding, but I do believe in getting help if a child is not eating well.

There are an unfortunately high number of kids who don't have normal hunger cues. If the child is consistenly not hungry, or not eating certain textures of food, it's time to get to the root of the problem. It could be allergies, constipation, reflux, sensory issues, just to name a few (in my dd it was all of the above). If a child is not feeling well, the will be unable to recognize hunger, or will make the child have gas or a hurting tummy so they don't feel hungry. It is because some children have problems that are unrecognized, that they are force-fed by worried parents who don't have the experience or resources to get help for them.

My oldest dd has issues that went undiagnosed for years. Worried about her as I was, I gave her liquid nutrition and we followed her around with bites of food a few times a day to make sure she got a healthy balanced diet. As it was, she was very small and thin *because* she did not feel like eating because she had problems. She is now a great eater and can follow her own cues, because we have found the source of her problems and addressed them. As a first time mother I was not aware of the possible health issues. I just knew she was not eating, her ribs were showing, and she had some major behavioral problems.

My dd2, unfortunately, turned off her hunger cues because of severe pain associated with silent reflux. I was told over and over she had colic. The whole "she'll eat when she's hungry enough" thing has never applied to her. To make a long story short, we are slowly trying to wean her from her feeding tube. She is capable of eating about 50% of her diet by mouth but if it was up to her she'd eat about 10% and it would all be in the form of crackers or bread. I measure out how many calories she needs for a meal, make sure it's balanced, and I feed it to her bite by bite until it's gone, even if that's 2 hours later and I have to just follow her around and give her a bite during play. If she is not interested, I take her onto my lap and tell her she can play again after she takes the bite.

Believe me, I would rather not have to go to these measures to feed my child but it's either that or have her so dependant on her feeding tube that she will not ever experience what it's like to taste, chew, and swallow. Which stimulates the brain in more ways than I can list here and is necessary for development (just like babies who explore their world through chewing toys and their fingers, etc).

I know that my children are not typical and this post is off topic in some ways. I just wanted to put it out there that if your child is having feeding difficulties, please do try to see if there is an underlying cause.
post #62 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama

Seriously, I think that we would be hard-pressed to find a pyschologist who claimed that being told, "This is what you asked for, this is what you need to eat" causes eating disorders.

Namaste!
Not if it is left at that, for that particular mealtime. BUt we are talking about when the child doesn't get to eat ANYTHING again, until finishing what wasn't eaten, or never again allowed to have a particular food because THAT TIME he/she decided it wasn't really wanted.
post #63 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by liawbh
Not if it is left at that, for that particular mealtime. BUt we are talking about when the child doesn't get to eat ANYTHING again, until finishing what wasn't eaten, or never again allowed to have a particular food because THAT TIME he/she decided it wasn't really wanted.
That's certainly not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a child saying "I want X, takes ONE BITE of X, then says, I want Z." Or says "I'm full" at dinner, then 15 minutes later is there asking for cake and ice cream.

I think dharmamama hit it on the nail. I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tell dd... "I don't care if you're full, you clean your plate!". THAT is what leads to eating disorders. I let dd follow her tummy cues... but if she tells me she's full and doesn't want to finish her meal one minute, I'm not going to let her come back minutes later, get something else and throw her food away.
post #64 of 104
I think there are twoi different conversations here.


I think it is completely wrong to force a child to finish what is on her plate or not allow her to have any food again until she finishes what she wanted for lunch, etc.
post #65 of 104
[It sure appeared that you were saying that you were denying him food:


Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Cuz I already said in one of my other posts that I was going to chalk this up to a learning experience, and that next time he asks we will tell him he can't have the whole sandwich. But it's not really the best of the best because he WANTS the whole sandwich, and then I'm feeling stupid denying him food that he is asking for. But now I know that that's what needs to happen for a little while.


In any event, I guess I don't understand why you "feel stupid" denying him not food that he wants, but rather only denying him the ability to waste it.

Saying to someone, "I don't want to waste the food, so I will only put a small portion on your plate right now, but feel free to have as many of those portions as you like" is to me a very perfectly nice and gentle way to deal with this.

He is still IN FULL control this way of how much he eats. The only thing he is not controlling is how much sits on his plate at any one time.

If he is upset about it, then it is defintitely not about food in any way.
post #66 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Seriously, I think that we would be hard-pressed to find a pyschologist who claimed that being told, "This is what you asked for, this is what you need to eat" causes eating disorders.

Namaste!


Seriously, I think all most of us are saying is we're not playing 10 rounds of "I want this - 1 bite - No, now I want this- 2 bites - I changed my mind I want this" all day long. I'm sorry but it ain't happening. I'll let my 2 year old change her mind once or twice, but my 7 year old knows that when he asks for something he needs to eat it or wait for the next meal to get something else. He also knows that when he serves himself something like peanut butter, cereal with milk, or other food not easily returned to it's original container he has to eat what he takes or wait until the next meal.

I don't think a single person in this thread advocates "you will eat what I give you and like it or else sit until you do eat it." If you are against portion control and not allowing your child to run through 3 or 4 foods a bite apiece before settling on what they want then this is your thread. Otherwise I think you're preaching to the choir.
post #67 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovemyBoo

I don't think a single person in this thread advocates "you will eat what I give you and like it or else sit until you do eat it." If you are against portion control and not allowing your child to run through 3 or 4 foods a bite apiece before settling on what they want then this is your thread. Otherwise I think you're preaching to the choir.

Sadly, this is not true. A pp said this:
Quote:
Kitchen rules are that if you ask for it, you eat it. If you don't eat it you don't get any snacks, treats, other food until you do eat it. If you still don't eat it, then you will not get served that food again.
post #68 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa
not allow her to have any food again until she finishes what she wanted for lunch, etc.
Well, where do we draw the line on this? My daughter will turn her nose up at the ravioli she requested not ten minutes ago, and I will say, "This is what you asked for, if you want to eat, this is what you get." She will say, "I'm not hungry." I will say, "Ok, put your plate in the refrigerator," which she does.

Guess what? Ten minutes later she comes to me and says, "I'm hungry! I want lunch!" And I will direct her to the ravioli that is at this point less than 20 minutes old.

So yes, I am saying that she can't have something else until she eats what she asked for. And I am fine with that.

At dinner, she can have what's for dinner. I won't force her to eat the ravioli. I'll probably eat it for lunch the next day (unless she beats me to it).

But I'm certainly not going to cook an entirely new lunch just because she's decided to snub the one she just asked for, and I'm not going to let her run into the kitchen and choose something else on her own, either.

And I am confident that I will not be creating an eating disorder in her. I don't control what my daughter eats or how much she eats. She makes her own choices, but I do require that she be responsible for those choices.

I'm more worried about my son, who will eat anything at any time, whether he's hungry or not, just so he can have whatever anyone else has.

Namaste!
post #69 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa
Sadly, this is not true. A pp said this:
I knew as soon as I posted that someone was going to find a quote and prove me wrong. Conceded. Most, not all.

My point was it seems that most of us are, generally, on the same side.
post #70 of 104
post #71 of 104
If eating disorders were caused by
(a) not being able to eat exactly whatever you feel like eating at the moment
(b) being pressured not to waste food
(c) being expected to eat particular foods at particular times and places
(d) having limited food choices
(e) perceiving desirable food as scarce and/or not always under one's own control

...then the majority of people throughout the world and throughout history would have had eating disorders. Instead, with a few rare exceptions, eating disorders are pretty much limited to wealthy modern societies, where people have more food choices, more access to more food, and more control over what they eat than just about anyone else in history.
post #72 of 104
oops
post #73 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Well, where do we draw the line on this? My daughter will turn her nose up at the ravioli she requested not ten minutes ago, and I will say, "This is what you asked for, if you want to eat, this is what you get." She will say, "I'm not hungry." I will say, "Ok, put your plate in the refrigerator," which she does.

Guess what? Ten minutes later she comes to me and says, "I'm hungry! I want lunch!" And I will direct her to the ravioli that is at this point less than 20 minutes old.

So yes, I am saying that she can't have something else until she eats what she asked for. And I am fine with that.

At dinner, she can have what's for dinner. I won't force her to eat the ravioli. I'll probably eat it for lunch the next day (unless she beats me to it).

But I'm certainly not going to cook an entirely new lunch just because she's decided to snub the one she just asked for, and I'm not going to let her run into the kitchen and choose something else on her own, either.

And I am confident that I will not be creating an eating disorder in her. I don't control what my daughter eats or how much she eats. She makes her own choices, but I do require that she be responsible for those choices.

I'm more worried about my son, who will eat anything at any time, whether he's hungry or not, just so he can have whatever anyone else has.

Namaste!
jsut wanted chime in, i have done this too, i will save a meal for the oppurtinity in the next hour to eat it, but i wont serve it at our next meal, and also dont see a problem with this.
post #74 of 104
Perhaps I should start another thread, but this is what happens in my house. DS #1 gets up in the morning and wants cereal for breakfast. I put the bowl on the table, I don't make him sit down and eat his breakfast, he can take one bite, go play and come back 30 minutes later for bite #2. He may take bite #2 and decide he no longer wants cereal and asks for a different snack. Cereal cannot be saved for later. Do I give him a smaller portion of cereal? As it is he is getting probably 1/8th of a cup. Do I prepare only one bite at a time? I give him the choices for breakfast and he has chosen cereal, he wants the cereal, but decides he wants something else, something different than what he has. I have to balance the needs of everyone in our family, ds is not an only child and there are others, including myself, that have needs that need to be met, and I cannot simply stand on-call in the kitchen for the moment he may be ready for one bite of cereal and then one bite of toast.

On some rare occasions, I like to leave my house. Making sure ds has eaten before we go is imperative- otherwise he'll be grumpy, crabby, cranky, uncooperative. Ds does not realize "I need to eat now because a meal is not going to be available while we're waiting in line at the bank" Yes, I bring snacks. A source of frustration for me is that I have to be a walking vending machine whenever we leave the house, even if he has had an entire meal; god help me if I have to run out on short-notice and only have one snack available. DS will meltdown, cause a scene, make whatever it is I need to accomplish IMPOSSIBLE (this is not a rare thing, it is just how he IS, and he's 4) because I only have a banana and he wants something else, something different than what is available. So essentially, I am trapped at home unless we are going to the grocery store, but even then he'll melt down because I can't feed him a yogurt we are buying or pop the popcorn in the store.

Mealtimes. We do not force him to sit down and eat with the rest of the family. We provide a small portion (I'm talking the bare minimum to be considered a meal vs. just a bite). If we didn't parent him, he would take one bite and then want something different. The only time he doesn't want something different is if he's eating junk (ice cream, cookies, etc), which is pretty much limited to dessert each night, and even then we try to have healthier options (no candy, no oreos, etc). We have dessert, a small scoop of ice cream, following dinner because my husband and I enjoy having a small scoop of ice cream. If I followed DS's cues, he would have one bite of dinner, eat ice cream, and then complain that he is hungry. At this point, dinner has been cleaned up, leftovers put away, and I am ready to wind my day down, get children ready for bed, and, if I'm lucky, sit for 5 minutes without someone placing any demands on me. If I could just take out his bowl and put it on the table and he'd eat it, it would be fine, but no, he wants me to help him eat. Helping him eat goes like this- he'll take a bite, leave the table, run around, keep the bite of food in his mouth for 5 or 10 minutes as I strongly encourage him to chew (it's not safe to run around with food in his mouth). Meanwhile I'm sitting at the dinner table by MYSELF, ready to give him his next bite, which could be immediately following the 1st or 15 minutes later. At this point I am wondering why I am sitting at the table helping him eat, when he's not even there. But, if I put the food away, he'll want me to help him eat because he's hungry. I don't want my child to go hungry, but I am not his butler either. He will melt down if I don't help him (BECAUSE HE IS HUNGRY!!!) and make everyone miserable.

Add to this equation severe tooth decay- for a variety of reasons unrelated to the types of food he eats, due to most likely how he eats. He has had 9 fillings- he doesn't drink soda or juice, candy is for Christmas and Easter only, etc. The dentist had said the fact that he grazes means there is always food for the bacteria that causes tooth decay available on his teeth, and for genetic/unknown reasons he is predisposed to having this bacteria present in his mouth. This makes sense to me- it's the same as walking around with a mouthful of juice at all times. So to protect his health, he needs some parameters around eating.

I would love some suggestions on how to handle this. I feel that some boundaries need to be in place for DS's wellbeing, my sanity, and for a balanced family life.

I feel like this is where DS needs me to be his parent. I try to follow his lead, but just like having to "make" him use the toilet before we leave the house to avoid him peeing in his pants, I have to create some boundaries regarding food and wasting. And as the parent, I also need to teach him that there are other people in his life and their needs need to be respected and met as well.

Is he the poor soul who is eternally longing for something different than what he has, the poor soul who is never satisfied with what he has, who always sees the grass-greener on the other side? Or have I failed as a parent in instilling him the ability to be happy with what he has? Has my offering of choices throughout his childhood created a sense of entitlement to whatever he wants whenever he wants without any regard to the impacts his changing decisions have upon others? Perhaps he is acutely aware of how his quickly changing decisions impact others and revels in the control and power he is able to influence? Maybe he finds it invigorating to fuel his ego by making the way our entire family works 24/7 revolve around his unconventional eating habits? I don't know, but I'm struggling to find a balance and any suggestions are appreciated.
post #75 of 104
pjs -

I don't have much advice, but I will say that your situation is EXACTLY why we started establishing boundaries about (while still respecting dd and not limiting) food choices. This is exactly what I was saying before about how along the way, I feel a parent should be TEACHING children that respect goes both ways and they need to respect you as the one who prepares the food.

The only suggestion I really have is for snacks... I always have an assortment of healthy snacks for dd to chose from the fridge for eating at home or on the road: sliced cucumbers, olives, carrots, grapes, sliced cheeses, cut-up pears, peanuts, yogurt, hummus, strawberries are staples here... I could go on. Anyway, I let dd have her choice of these snacks. She gets to make the decision, but once it's made, I don't let her take one bite and throw it away (an unpopular concept here, it seems).

This morning I had to stick to my guns (kind of). Dd wanted 10 more minutes to sleep-in before school, so we had little time to get her into her uniform and get her ready. She eats breakfast only about 50% of the time, but wants a cup of milk almost every morning (she recently weaned and morning nursings were her favorite). I respect that and don't MAKE her eat breakfast. This morning I asked her if she wanted something to go with her milk. "Yes, mommy, can you cut up an apple for me to eat in the car?" I did so, but 10 minutes later when she got in the car she said that she didn't want an apple, she wanted... I can't remember... an orange I think. Anyway, I told her that she had just requested an apple, which I had cleaned and cut for her and that's what she had to eat. But I did give her a small choice... told her that about the only other thing I had time (in the next 30 seconds before she left with dh to school) to get her was a hunk of cheese. She opted for the apple.

Even though it seems like I'm in the minority here, I have to say... stick to your guns. That's my opinion and I stand by it.

ETA: Read my other posts, too, because I don't feel like this post TRULY reflects my personal opinions.
post #76 of 104
Pjs, does your four year old actually require that you feed him? Like spoon the food into his mouth? Because if so, that is the first thing I would cut out.

After that, I would move on to setting a timer for how long your meal will last. Tell your son honestly that you do not enjoy sitting alone at the table while he runs arund the house. Tell him that your meal will last 20 (10, 30, however many) minutes and that when you are done, you will be getting up from the table and cleaning up dinner and you will no longer be available to "help" him eat.

Also, and this is just me, I would require that your son sit at the table if he is going to eat. In his case, it is clearly unhealthy for him to be eating the way he is, as it is affecting his teeth. Ask your dentist for some guidelines and see if he can talk to your son about his teeth and the effects of his eating habits.

Is it possible that your son has some sensory issues around eating? My best friend is an OT and I remember her saying that holding food in the mouth often indicates a sensory issue. Could you get this checked out?

I am of the opinion that family members have to work together to find ways to peacefully co-exist. The way your son has chosen to structure his mealtimes is not working for you; therefore, it is not working for the family as a whole. There needs to be some give and take on both sides to find an acceptable solution.

I don't think that requiring your son to sit at the table while he eats and feed himself are unduly controlling. You're not forcing him to eat food he doesn't want, you're merely requiring that he eat it himself and remain seated while he does so. How much he eats is entirely in his control, and he doesn't need you to be sitting right there so that he can eat.

Maybe he has some sensory issues that need to be dealt with or maybe he's just picked a quirky way of eating. Either way, things need to get on a better track for you both.

Namaste!
post #77 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisainCalifornia
But adding guilt into the situation--we don't waste food! There may be starving children elsewhere (very 1950's metality--even my uber controlling mom did not use that oldie but goodie)
I was thinking more about this. Of course my kids eating what they have requested does not directly help a specific child in another country who doesn't have enough to eat. But I see it as one part of a much larger issue: as Americans, we tend to feel that since we have so much readily available to us, we might as well use it. This leads to an overuse of resources that does directly affect the rest of the world. I view the eating thing as just one way that we can teach our kids that we need to be careful of our resources because they are ultimately global resources and, if we are frivolous with them, there is an impact on other people. If I can teach my kids that food is nourishment, not a toy, and that we should only buy what we are going to eat and eat what we have prepared so it doesn't go to waste while we consume still more of the earth's resources just because we "want" to, then maybe there is some hope that Americans as a whole will stop being so greedy and selfish.

Just a thought.

Namaste!
post #78 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Pjs, does your four year old actually require that you feed him? Like spoon the food into his mouth? Because if so, that is the first thing I would cut out.

After that, I would move on to setting a timer for how long your meal will last. Tell your son honestly that you do not enjoy sitting alone at the table while he runs arund the house. Tell him that your meal will last 20 (10, 30, however many) minutes and that when you are done, you will be getting up from the table and cleaning up dinner and you will no longer be available to "help" him eat.

Also, and this is just me, I would require that your son sit at the table if he is going to eat. In his case, it is clearly unhealthy for him to be eating the way he is, as it is affecting his teeth. Ask your dentist for some guidelines and see if he can talk to your son about his teeth and the effects of his eating habits.

Is it possible that your son has some sensory issues around eating? My best friend is an OT and I remember her saying that holding food in the mouth often indicates a sensory issue. Could you get this checked out?

I am of the opinion that family members have to work together to find ways to peacefully co-exist. The way your son has chosen to structure his mealtimes is not working for you; therefore, it is not working for the family as a whole. There needs to be some give and take on both sides to find an acceptable solution.

I don't think that requiring your son to sit at the table while he eats and feed himself are unduly controlling. You're not forcing him to eat food he doesn't want, you're merely requiring that he eat it himself and remain seated while he does so. How much he eats is entirely in his control, and he doesn't need you to be sitting right there so that he can eat.

Maybe he has some sensory issues that need to be dealt with or maybe he's just picked a quirky way of eating. Either way, things need to get on a better track for you both.

Namaste!


I think those are great ideas. I cannot fathom not having the child sit with the family during mealtimes. Dinner is the only meal of the day where we are all together as a family.
post #79 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I was thinking more about this. Of course my kids eating what they have requested does not directly help a specific child in another country who doesn't have enough to eat. But I see it as one part of a much larger issue: as Americans, we tend to feel that since we have so much readily available to us, we might as well use it. This leads to an overuse of resources that does directly affect the rest of the world. I view the eating thing as just one way that we can teach our kids that we need to be careful of our resources because they are ultimately global resources and, if we are frivolous with them, there is an impact on other people. If I can teach my kids that food is nourishment, not a toy, and that we should only buy what we are going to eat and eat what we have prepared so it doesn't go to waste while we consume still more of the earth's resources just because we "want" to, then maybe there is some hope that Americans as a whole will stop being so greedy and selfish.

Just a thought.

Namaste!
A couple of years ago I read a conversation on a message board (pretty sure not this one) about McDonalds Happy Meal toys. Much whining about how they "had" to get them for their kids, as kids insisted etc. Then one mother posted about how she felt that the meals were unhealthy, so she would take the kids to McD's, buy the happy meals, throw away the food and keep the toys. All because her kids "had" to have a piece of plastic worth about 10 cents.
post #80 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
I cannot fathom not having the child sit with the family during mealtimes.
I too think that sitting together as a familly avoids many of the problems in these posts. No, the child is not required to eat anything but they must sit with the family where (hopefully) there are lively discussions and conversation.


I also avoid the "what if they keep asking for something else" by having our meals on the table and that being IT. You don't get something else. You pick from the choices on the table. My children have never complained about this. They know they will always find something they like on the table.

[When they were younger there were Snacks are placed on a table also before bed. Each child chose one item, or I chose three of four. A typical snack table might have been cheese cubes, sliced red peppers and rice cakes]


There is always something on the table that everyone likes.

So a dinner might be (it was last night ) Chicken, Mushrooms, Noodles, Fresh Asparagus, Sliced Cucumber and Tomato, Rasberries and Oranges.

Each item was served in bowls. If one of my kids had a huge problem with wasting I might dole out small portions, but assure them they could have as many of these as they like.

Some of us had Chicken, Mushrooms Noodles and Oranges. Some had Asparagus Tomatoes Rasberries and Oranges.

I know that over time, everyone eats a well balanced dietl.

We discuss what happened to us that day and have a topic of the day. Last night's was Which American Idol contestant do you think might make it the top 12? The night before was Do you like this winter being so mild, or do you miss the snow?
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