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A wasting food WWYD - Page 5

post #81 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
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.
Have you ever had a wiggly high needs kid before? Because it's impossible to have them sit for dinner until they are ready to sit for dinner. For our dd it was around age 4.5. Short of securing her to the chair with straps or something, I can't see how we could make her sit. It's one of those battles I won't force. I see it in the same light as many people force-feeding their kids. If I force my kids to sit at the table before they are ready to, they will learn to hate dinner time. It will become an endless power struggle.

My 5yo will sit and eat dinner most of the time now. My almost 2yo will climb up into her chair, take a bite, and get down again, do a circle around the room and come back for another bite.
post #82 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
Have you ever had a wiggly high needs kid before? Because it's impossible to have them sit for dinner until they are ready to sit for dinner. For our dd it was around age 4.5. Short of securing her to the chair with straps or something, I can't see how we could make her sit. It's one of those battles I won't force. I see it in the same light as many people force-feeding their kids. If I force my kids to sit at the table before they are ready to, they will learn to hate dinner time. It will become an endless power struggle.

My 5yo will sit and eat dinner most of the time now. My almost 2yo will climb up into her chair, take a bite, and get down again, do a circle around the room and come back for another bite.


Yes, my 2nd DD fit these desriptions. But "sitting" did not require sitting quietly. Dinners were at a young age "raucous" singing, clapping affairs. We have a bench in our dining area so she could drape her body over it, kneel, etc...Sometimes she would "help" another family member get another napkin or some spices, which gave her an opportunity to get up, but the expecation to remain with the family and not go off and do something else was always met.
post #83 of 104
No way my two year old can sit through an entire meal, and I wouldn't dream of forcing her.

Also, she has several small meals and snacks throughout the day and I am not going to not feed her if I am not hungry.

We do eat all the main meals together.
post #84 of 104
Thanks for all of the ideas. We have been slowly and gently trying to establish some boundaries around eating. I don’t want eating to become a power struggle, but it obviously hasn’t been working leaving it up to our child either.

We definitely do the snack assortment. Unfortunately since our dentist visit, the only snacks DS can have without brushing his teeth immediately after are veggies. I do put out a veggie tray, but his willingness to eat from it wanes after an hour or two. Anything else has to be “monitored” by me so I can make sure his teeth aren’t bathing in bacteria (even from eating crackers, cheese, bananas, yogurt, etc), which means I need to prepare/get it, make sure he eats it within a certain time, brush his teeth , and make sure he doesn’t consume anything for 30 minutes after brushing (to achieve the full benefit of the toothpaste our dentist has recommended).

As for feeding him with a spoon or fork, if I leave him to feed himself, he’ll take 2 or 3 bites over the course of an hour. After an hour, his interest in whatever food he’s been eating is gone, and thus wanting a different snack and wasting the food I have prepared for him. The only “efficient” way to get him to eat within a reasonable time frame (meaning less than an hour) is for me to feed it to him. Last week for example, I wanted to go to Target, so I started lunch at 11:00 am. Just trying to get ½ a sandwich into him so he will cooperate while we’re at Target. Well at 2 o’clock I had had it. I was trying to help him eat so we could go, and lunch took 3 HOURS!!! That is so unacceptable in my book, but the alternative would have been to bring the sandwich and give it to him when he wanted a snack (and he would have then thrown a tantrum because he wants a DIFFERENT snack) or let him go hungry and throw a tantrum because he wants a snack! So my choices are suffer through a 3 hour lunch or suffer through running an errand. It seems like no matter what I do we’re asking for some type of issue related to food.

I have started telling him that I will help him eat during lunch/dinner but once I am done eating, he’s on his own. But it is hard to let him go to bed hungry because he can’t focus on eating for 5 minutes, and then even if I let him suffer the consequences of being hungry, I’m the one getting dragged out of bed at 5:30 because his belly is telling him he’s hungry to make him a bowl of cereal that he’ll eat two bites of and then want something else.

As for requiring him to sit at the table, this is something DH and I go back in forth on. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to just have him sit with the family during dinner, but he is a high-spirited energetic child. If he’s “forced” to sit at the table, he responds by interfering with his baby brother’s dinner. He’ll go out of his way to distract, interfere and just plain bother his baby brother and then we have two kids who haven’t eaten dinner. We’ve also tried bribery- just sit and eat then you can have dessert. It seems to help to give him something to work towards, but even then he doesn’t really have the focus or the attention span to just eat 4 bites of pasta. I’m almost thinking in some way he is using food to get my attention. As we are a family of 4, one on one time, while not rare, is not a daily occurrence.

We have talked many, many times about eating habits, sugar bugs, and brushing both with and without the dentist. He does get it, but for whatever reason there is a block between hearing what is said and being agreeable to me helping him take care of his teeth.

As far as sensory issues around eating, I’m not inclined to think it’s a sensory thing because it seems like it is the typical thing any child does. Meat always hangs out in his mouth for awhile, which I remember doing as a child. Other times, it really seems like a procrastination or even civil disobedience, unwillingness to cooperate type of thing. It’s almost like he can’t he focus long enough to chew and swallow, he wants to be doing other things, anything other than sitting or standing at the table and eating. He doesn’t do it the majority of the time, but it is frequent enough for me to notice.

I guess what my problem comes back to is if I leave him sitting at the table for 20 minutes to eat however much he wants, he will eat a bite or two and then complain as soon as he gets up from the table that he’s hungry and he wants something different to eat. And as his mom, I know that if he doesn’t eat X amount, he is miserable to be around and everyone, including him, suffers. So my goal is to make sure he eats X amount within a certain time without causing a power struggle, without creating food issues and without wasting food (because like velochic, I would double my grocery bill if I let all of the foods he is given go uneaten by him). Unfortunately, I don’t know how to achieve that goal. I let him listen to his body, but now his teeth are literally rotting out of his head (which I went through as a child and I vowed I would never let my child go through that same horrible experience, it impacted my self-worth, my confidence, my thoughts regarding dental health and dentists, etc) even though we don’t buy/consume juice, soda, cookies, dried fruit, candy, and all of the other cavity culprits!

Maya44, I originally chimed in on this post because what is put out for lunch or dinner is it, but of course, if he does eat all of his dinner and wants a banana for dessert, I’m going to give him the banana. I guess I thought my problem was with wasting food, but after having posted about my struggles, it now appears that the wasting food was only a symptom of the greater problem I am facing. I don’t mind if we’re having salad, pasta, meatballs and bread for dinner and ds only eats bread or eats salad and bread (amazingly enough when he actually does eat, it is very varied, he doesn’t ever say “I don’t like X”, but rather indicates he wants something else) and fruit; it’s the getting him to eat X amount within a certain time that I struggle with. It’s clear that’s what needs to be done for his and for the family’s benefit, but even reading now as I type, it seems like if there’s anyway to guarantee food issues this is it. But as a family we can’t live with him constantly nibbling, brushing, still being hungry five minutes later and wanting something different (on many occasions he’s been actually at the dinner table with some food in front of him and complaining that he’s hungry!) and we can’t live with him being miserable because he’s hungry either? Maybe it is a sensory issue?

Anyway, this is what we as a family have been struggling with for about the past year, even just putting this out there makes me feel a little bit better. It’s clear there’s no easy solution.
post #85 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs
I guess what my problem comes back to is if I leave him sitting at the table for 20 minutes to eat however much he wants, he will eat a bite or two and then complain as soon as he gets up from the table that he’s hungry and he wants something different to eat.
Let him take responsibility for his choices. If he's hungry because he only ate a bite or two, well, you know what? That's what happens when you only eat a bite or two.

If he won't eat his sandwich before you go out the door, well, then he'll be hungry and miserable. It will be a miserable trip for you, but maybe after a few times of that, he will learn what the consequences of his actions are. It's not your responsiblity to make him eat. All you are responsible for his providing him with noursihing food.

This whole scenario reminds me of my nephew, who is 2 1/2 and tiny. My sister's entire life revolves around making this kid eat. Personally, I think that my nephew is secretly laughing at them all: Look how much I can control my entire family! All I have to do is close my mouth when they send a chicken nugget my way, and an entire circus ensues to entertain me!

Ok, I don't really think he's laughing at them, but I do think that he's learned that he wields a lot of power and can make his parents dance anytime he wants.

Perhaps your son enjoys all the attention his eating habits bring him?

Could you just tell him that from now on, eating is his job and you're not going to nag him anymore?

Namaste!
post #86 of 104
I'm going to give it a try.
post #87 of 104
pjs...

I don't know "the norm" and I'd never want my kid to be that anyway, probably , but it sounds like what you are going through is particularly tiresome and frustrating.

And for what it's worth, deep in my heart I disagree with a recurring opinon here about these issues leading to eating disorders. Not that my opinion matters much, but I think it's about self-esteem and self-image - and I'm American, so I can say this, but it seems to be more an issue with media portrayal of beauty rather that seeing our own beautiful self worth inside. You're just trying to establish healthy eating habits that respects the family as a whole and you, in particular, as the one who prepares the meals. I don't see this struggle naturally leading to psychological problems.

Best of luck and let us know if you find a good solution.
post #88 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs
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.
Yes - yes, you do want him to go hungry at this point! And to not get his way 100% of the time. It is the hard job as the parent to NOT give the little darlings what they want all the time. That creates absolute monsters for us, and eventually for their teachers and then spouses.

It is not our jobs - we shouldn't even strive for it! - to provide them their every whim. The world doesn't revolve around them (well, the firstborns for a few years - I guess it does) and it does them a disservice to let them think it does. There are other people, and like you mentioned, their needs are important too.

In a Love and Logic class, we heard that dinner is prepared and put on the table for 30 minutes. Eat whatever you need to keep you satisfied til breakfast. At my house, they eat or don't eat - I don't nag or ask them to have four more bites or any such thing. Dinner is dinner. Please sit at the table during that time. Some of my kids eat up and ask for more. Some graze and chat. Some barely touch a thing. Can you guess which ones are sitting at the table first thing when breakfast is served? Hunger is a better motivator than mom begging/pleading/hand feeding one more bite each 15 minutes. That is insanity IMO. With the exception of the example given about the child with the feeding tube - I am talking about the 99.5% of kids who will learn to eat normally given a parent who won't be manipulated about food.

I think it is only fair to have at least one or two things on the table that you know each child likes. I like the kids to try each thing but I don't force it at all - as I was a picky eater and still remember throwing up that brussel sprout (I was a teenager).

Kids go through phases of growth where they eat as much as a grown man - and other phases where they eat barely enough to keep a bird alive. You know what? My kids have gone through both types of phases many times and are neither overweight nor malnourished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs
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 think you are WAY overthinking this. It is the power trip/control one. He does it because he can; you let him. Keep it really simple - food out, tell him it will be out for 30 minutes and to eat what he needs to be full til breakfast. You eat yours. NO comments to him about how much time left or doesn't he think he'll be hungry if he doesn't eat now or anything. NO COMMENTS. 30 minutes up, food put away. Yes, of course you will be dealing with a whiny, hungry child that night. You will both survive it. Still no mention of "if you'd only eaten" or making him something else. Be loving and sympathetic and remind him that you'll make breakfast at 7:30. It will not take more than a day or two of this for him to decide to eat or be hungry. You take your control issues out of it and he'll not be able to manipulate you anymore. He will not starve missing one dinner (which HE chose to miss - you didn't withhold food!)

Oh, and to the OP's situation - was your dh planning to eat the other half of his sandwich? If so, it shouldn't have been given to ds in the first place - it is someone else's meal. If there was more, and ds's meal was eaten, I'd have made him another half a sandwich. I think his wasting food is a shame - but I think with little kids, there is a certain amount of that. It is hard to guess how much more they'll need to be full. If him playing with food is upsetting to you, I'd just take it away as soon as he starts. If he fusses, he fusses.
post #89 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
Have you ever had a wiggly high needs kid before? Because it's impossible to have them sit for dinner until they are ready to sit for dinner. For our dd it was around age 4.5. Short of securing her to the chair with straps or something, I can't see how we could make her sit. It's one of those battles I won't force. I see it in the same light as many people force-feeding their kids. If I force my kids to sit at the table before they are ready to, they will learn to hate dinner time. It will become an endless power struggle.

My 5yo will sit and eat dinner most of the time now. My almost 2yo will climb up into her chair, take a bite, and get down again, do a circle around the room and come back for another bite.


Yes, I have a very wiggly 6 yr old son with Autism. If you want to talk about "high needs", I think he more than qualifies, LOL. But, since he and his 8 yr old brother were small, I have taught them that dinnertime is family time. I did not allow the running around the table and "fly by" eating and still do not. We teach them that when it is mealtime, it is time to eat our food, even if we do not eat it all. (I am not a fan of the "clean plate" club) We have even had them there with books and crayons or small toys until they learned. Our mealtime is not a long period of time, so I see nothing unreasonable about children being taught to sit with their parents for a meal. Heck, my boys even help set the table and clear it now.

When you go to restaurants, do you allow the kids to run around the restaurant? I would hope not, for their safety and the sake of the peace of other diners.

I am sure you will not agree and that is okay. I just wanted you to hear from the "other side".
post #90 of 104
[QUOTE=Kirsten]Yes - yes, you do want him to go hungry at this point! And to not get his way 100% of the time. It is the hard job as the parent to NOT give the little darlings what they want all the time. That creates absolute monsters for us, and eventually for their teachers and then spouses.

It is not our jobs - we shouldn't even strive for it! - to provide them their every whim. The world doesn't revolve around them (well, the firstborns for a few years - I guess it does) and it does them a disservice to let them think it does. There are other people, and like you mentioned, their needs are important too.

In a Love and Logic class, we heard that dinner is prepared and put on the table for 30 minutes. Eat whatever you need to keep you satisfied til breakfast. At my house, they eat or don't eat - I don't nag or ask them to have four more bites or any such thing. Dinner is dinner. Please sit at the table during that time. Some of my kids eat up and ask for more. Some graze and chat. Some barely touch a thing. Can you guess which ones are sitting at the table first thing when breakfast is served? Hunger is a better motivator than mom begging/pleading/hand feeding one more bite each 15 minutes. That is insanity IMO. With the exception of the example given about the child with the feeding tube - I am talking about the 99.5% of kids who will learn to eat normally given a parent who won't be manipulated about food.

I think it is only fair to have at least one or two things on the table that you know each child likes. I like the kids to try each thing but I don't force it at all - as I was a picky eater and still remember throwing up that brussel sprout (I was a teenager).

Kids go through phases of growth where they eat as much as a grown man - and other phases where they eat barely enough to keep a bird alive. You know what? My kids have gone through both types of phases many times and are neither overweight nor malnourished.



I think you are WAY overthinking this. It is the power trip/control one. He does it because he can; you let him. Keep it really simple - food out, tell him it will be out for 30 minutes and to eat what he needs to be full til breakfast. You eat yours. NO comments to him about how much time left or doesn't he think he'll be hungry if he doesn't eat now or anything. NO COMMENTS. 30 minutes up, food put away. Yes, of course you will be dealing with a whiny, hungry child that night. You will both survive it. Still no mention of "if you'd only eaten" or making him something else. Be loving and sympathetic and remind him that you'll make breakfast at 7:30. It will not take more than a day or two of this for him to decide to eat or be hungry. You take your control issues out of it and he'll not be able to manipulate you anymore. He will not starve missing one dinner (which HE chose to miss - you didn't withhold food!)



I cannot go from dinner until breakfast without getting hungry. I wouldn't expect my child to.


I disagree with almost this entire post. I will not let my child go hungry. It may be what you want, but it is definitely not what I want.
post #91 of 104
[QUOTE=the_lissa]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Yes - yes, you do want him to go hungry at this point! And to not get his way 100% of the time. It is the hard job as the parent to NOT give the little darlings what they want all the time. That creates absolute monsters for us, and eventually for their teachers and then spouses.

It is not our jobs - we shouldn't even strive for it! - to provide them their every whim. The world doesn't revolve around them (well, the firstborns for a few years - I guess it does) and it does them a disservice to let them think it does. There are other people, and like you mentioned, their needs are important too.

In a Love and Logic class, we heard that dinner is prepared and put on the table for 30 minutes. Eat whatever you need to keep you satisfied til breakfast. At my house, they eat or don't eat - I don't nag or ask them to have four more bites or any such thing. Dinner is dinner. Please sit at the table during that time. Some of my kids eat up and ask for more. Some graze and chat. Some barely touch a thing. Can you guess which ones are sitting at the table first thing when breakfast is served? Hunger is a better motivator than mom begging/pleading/hand feeding one more bite each 15 minutes. That is insanity IMO. With the exception of the example given about the child with the feeding tube - I am talking about the 99.5% of kids who will learn to eat normally given a parent who won't be manipulated about food.

I think it is only fair to have at least one or two things on the table that you know each child likes. I like the kids to try each thing but I don't force it at all - as I was a picky eater and still remember throwing up that brussel sprout (I was a teenager).

Kids go through phases of growth where they eat as much as a grown man - and other phases where they eat barely enough to keep a bird alive. You know what? My kids have gone through both types of phases many times and are neither overweight nor malnourished.



I think you are WAY overthinking this. It is the power trip/control one. He does it because he can; you let him. Keep it really simple - food out, tell him it will be out for 30 minutes and to eat what he needs to be full til breakfast. You eat yours. NO comments to him about how much time left or doesn't he think he'll be hungry if he doesn't eat now or anything. NO COMMENTS. 30 minutes up, food put away. Yes, of course you will be dealing with a whiny, hungry child that night. You will both survive it. Still no mention of "if you'd only eaten" or making him something else. Be loving and sympathetic and remind him that you'll make breakfast at 7:30. It will not take more than a day or two of this for him to decide to eat or be hungry. You take your control issues out of it and he'll not be able to manipulate you anymore. He will not starve missing one dinner (which HE chose to miss - you didn't withhold food!)



I cannot go from dinner until breakfast without getting hungry. I wouldn't expect my child to.


I disagree with almost this entire post. I will not let my child go hungry. It may be what you want, but it is definitely not what I want.
You can solve this problem by having a planned set snack time after dinner. But everthing else really will solve the problems and will not result in a hungry child, unless they choose to be.
post #92 of 104
Well, I still stick by my original comment that the OP did the right thing. We are talking about 1/2 sandwich. What is that, fifty cents at the most?!?! Doling it out in tiny bites when the child has asked for the whole thing just sets you up for an argument about "how much" every time. So he misjudged. I have done it. Maybe he thought it would taste, feel, smell different. Giving him the chance to find out is fine. I very seriously doubt he would ask then rip up every sandwich for eternity. Probably not more than 3 sandwiches. I do not think it sets up a lifetime of food wasting craziness.

Having a child go hungry or forcing a child to eat something before they can have anything else is not a good idea in my book. Neither is forcing a child to sit through a meal if they are not ready. Helping them to do so, OK. My dd sits through meals. Always has from day one. It means breaking out playdough sometimes or whatever, fine. But if she still was not capable of sitting, then that is her choice. Cannot sit in a restaurant? Then we leave and do not try again until she is OK sitting through meals at home. Really not a big deal.

I have had to bite my tounge when dd asks for something then doesn't eat it. It does bother me. In the big scheme? Introducing controversy involving food is just not good IMO. She eats most of what she asks for. She has gone through phases where she doesn't. I have no idea why. But I refuse to make conflict over it. I also do not buy the "you will eat what is on the table or go hungry" plan. There are days when my favorite meal does not seem appetizing to me. Luckily I get to choose what is for dinner so usually I get what I want. Dh is also articulate enough to say "honey, I love your chili but I just don't feel like it tonight, can we have spaghetti instead?". Dd cannot do that. So if I serve what I think is a variety including things I "know" she likes and she still asks for something different? NO BIG DEAL. She is big enough to open the fridge or cabinet and get one of the many easy to grab foods that are available. I really just do not get why this is a problem for people. It is not "disrespecting" me. As long as everyone is fed and happy, I am happy.
post #93 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
Let him take responsibility for his choices. If he's hungry because he only ate a bite or two, well, you know what? That's what happens when you only eat a bite or two.

If he won't eat his sandwich before you go out the door, well, then he'll be hungry and miserable. It will be a miserable trip for you, but maybe after a few times of that, he will learn what the consequences of his actions are. It's not your responsiblity to make him eat. All you are responsible for his providing him with noursihing food.
if i only eat a little bit of my dinner and get hungry later i get something to EAT. if i get hungry while i'm out i EAT something while i'm out. if i don't like something i get up and get something else to EAT. my child gets that same option. they get to EAT when they are hungry. and i agree--it is not my responsibility to make him eat (even if i knew how). i provide nourishing food for my child when he needs to EAT.

if i'm in the middle of something it is simple. they can help themselves to anything. if i'm not busy, i'll make something.
post #94 of 104
Exactly wolfmama.
post #95 of 104
[QUOTE=the_lissa]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten
Yes - yes, you do want him to go hungry at this point! And to not get his way 100% of the time. It is the hard job as the parent to NOT give the little darlings what they want all the time. That creates absolute monsters for us, and eventually for their teachers and then spouses.

It is not our jobs - we shouldn't even strive for it! - to provide them their every whim. The world doesn't revolve around them (well, the firstborns for a few years - I guess it does) and it does them a disservice to let them think it does. There are other people, and like you mentioned, their needs are important too.

In a Love and Logic class, we heard that dinner is prepared and put on the table for 30 minutes. Eat whatever you need to keep you satisfied til breakfast. At my house, they eat or don't eat - I don't nag or ask them to have four more bites or any such thing. Dinner is dinner. Please sit at the table during that time. Some of my kids eat up and ask for more. Some graze and chat. Some barely touch a thing. Can you guess which ones are sitting at the table first thing when breakfast is served? Hunger is a better motivator than mom begging/pleading/hand feeding one more bite each 15 minutes. That is insanity IMO. With the exception of the example given about the child with the feeding tube - I am talking about the 99.5% of kids who will learn to eat normally given a parent who won't be manipulated about food.

I think it is only fair to have at least one or two things on the table that you know each child likes. I like the kids to try each thing but I don't force it at all - as I was a picky eater and still remember throwing up that brussel sprout (I was a teenager).

Kids go through phases of growth where they eat as much as a grown man - and other phases where they eat barely enough to keep a bird alive. You know what? My kids have gone through both types of phases many times and are neither overweight nor malnourished.



I think you are WAY overthinking this. It is the power trip/control one. He does it because he can; you let him. Keep it really simple - food out, tell him it will be out for 30 minutes and to eat what he needs to be full til breakfast. You eat yours. NO comments to him about how much time left or doesn't he think he'll be hungry if he doesn't eat now or anything. NO COMMENTS. 30 minutes up, food put away. Yes, of course you will be dealing with a whiny, hungry child that night. You will both survive it. Still no mention of "if you'd only eaten" or making him something else. Be loving and sympathetic and remind him that you'll make breakfast at 7:30. It will not take more than a day or two of this for him to decide to eat or be hungry. You take your control issues out of it and he'll not be able to manipulate you anymore. He will not starve missing one dinner (which HE chose to miss - you didn't withhold food!)



I cannot go from dinner until breakfast without getting hungry. I wouldn't expect my child to.


I disagree with almost this entire post. I will not let my child go hungry. It may be what you want, but it is definitely not what I want.
What exactly do you disagree with and why? I am honestly curious. You think we should give them what they want 100% of the time, regardless of anyone else's needs? You think they will starve if they aren't given every food item they ask for, even though the meals and snacks have been offered all day at the appropriate times? You think we should beg and plead with them to eat, to hand feed them bites as they run by each 15 minutes?

I know you said you have a two year old. There is a big difference between a two year old's food needs, and ability to sit through dinner - and pj's kid. I think with a two year old, there is not the manipulation that is seen in other poster's examples. A two year old is just hungry when they are hungry and that is clearly a different thing altogether. Even those of us who think that food should be put away when the meal is over aren't talking about infants and toddlers. When you have a four, five, eight year old child running (or stopping) the household due to food manipulations, that is when you get a little firmer about how far you are willing to let the kid run his/her power trip.

There have been examples on this thread of preschool age kids making the parents' and siblings' lives painfully difficult. For long periods of time. Clearly something has to change. No one is suggesting withholding food and making kids go hungry to teach them a lesson. Food is offered at least three times a day. If the child wants to try to extend the power trip by CHOOSING not to eat it, or much of it, so be it. Anyone who wants to be a short order cook - and parent, can prep for a child who has a hard time when the real world arrives.

I think that the hardest part of parenting is doing the stuff that the kids don't like or appreciate at the time but is necessary. It is not fun to be the bad guy.

Allowing one child to have that much power over whether or not others can enjoy a meal, can run errands, etc. is a problem. Pj is in for a really rotten few days as her dc figures out the power trip is over. But I honestly think that if she holds firm - lovingly firm - that life will be better for all concerned, even the dc!
post #96 of 104
Don't have much time, but I acknowledge there is a world of difference between a 2 year old and an older child. I have a 7 year old sister, and my mom would never let her go hungry either. I just don't think letting a child go hungry is acceptable, and that there are other ways to deal with it.
post #97 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjs

As far as sensory issues around eating, I’m not inclined to think it’s a sensory thing because it seems like it is the typical thing any child does. Meat always hangs out in his mouth for awhile, which I remember doing as a child. Other times, it really seems like a procrastination or even civil disobedience, unwillingness to cooperate type of thing. It’s almost like he can’t he focus long enough to chew and swallow, he wants to be doing other things, anything other than sitting or standing at the table and eating. He doesn’t do it the majority of the time, but it is frequent enough for me to notice.
I wanted to chime in on this point to say that I DON'T think what you are describing sounds like typical child behavior. I am completely unqualified to know whether your son has any sensory issues or not (although it sounds like he could???), but I haven't experienced anything like this, from my kids or any others.

Aside from figuring out if there are indeed any other issues around food, I would also think that making dinner time (or lunch or whatever) a follow a more regimented schedule would be helpful. I would not describe either one of my kids as being highly spirited, but we have had very little problem in having them sit with us for meals. DD2 is probably doing it earlier than DD1 did, but DD2 has been easily sitting with us for meals w/o issue for the last 6 months or so. Many partly due to just the expectation that this is what we do.
post #98 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa
I just don't think letting a child go hungry is acceptable, and that there are other ways to deal with it.
I always thought that if a parent made food available and the kid decided not to eat it, the child was CHOOSING to go hungry. It's not this mom's responsibility to shoehorn food into this kid's mouth. At some point he has to take responsibility for his own hunger.

But then again, I agree with Moonshine that this kid's behavior does NOT sound like normal child behavior, which is why I suggested checking for senory issues.

Namaste!
post #99 of 104
Velochic- thanks for the support. I think my reluctance to create some boundaries in dealing with this issue has been largely due to my fear of creating food issues. I think now, as I'm suffering the consequences of inaction, the fact that I am not withholding food or using food as a reward, but simply it is what it is, food, and it is available at structured times (just like we sleep at structured times) I've been overinflating the whole food issues thing in my mind. Even when I read raising your spirited child, she said not to make them sit, to avoid creating issues later on, etc. As I reflect, I think instilling some narcissitic ideas in DS (that his needs come before everyone else's all the time when it comes to food) is probably worse than getting him acclimated to some structure around eating. I guess too I wanted DS to listen to his body for hunger cues, but clearly we have gotten to an extreme (being hungry only right after dinner is cleaned up and put away).

Kirsten- it is insanity begging/pleading/manipulating just to take another bite. I do need to let go of my control issues. It is a natural consequence, if you don't eat, you're hungry, and if you're hungry, you can finish whatever the last meal/snack was that went unfinished. I have noticed over the past 24 hours, is that I start getting worked up having to remind him to eat or to hurry and finish, or if I'm sitting at the table by myself. Just now I served breakfast and it was available for 30 minutes. I set the timer and told him breakfast is available for 30 minutes then we'll have a snack at 9. I had to stop myself from reminding him the time was going to go off. He probably ate one or two bites (although he's been demanding breakfast since he got up an hour ago) and had a sip or two of juice. This morning should be fun. One of my biggest stumbling blocks to letting him not eat breakfast, is my reluctance to have to be the one to suffer the consequences of his misery from being hungry. But I wholeheartedly agree that parenting means being doing the stuff kids don't appreciate, and I can only hope it won't be months before ds figures it out. And I do agree with you that I know ds and the rest of the family will be better for it, it has been reluctance on my part because the limits involve food, but I have had success in setting limits on other areas so food really shouldn't be any different. I am meeting his needs by providing food and that's all I can really do.

The lissa- if ds is hungry after dinner, but before bed, I have no problem giving him the dinner that he didn't eat. Things have spiralled out of control here because ds will not eat dinner (even if I gave him 50 choices of his favorite foods) and want something different. it doesn't matter what it is, as long as it is different. I'm thinking that always offering him choices has led him to always want something else when he isn't given a choice. I decide what's for dinner, so even if I put 5 foods on the table, I'm thinking he wants something different because he has not been in the driver's seat as far as determining what's for dinner (I make that decision based on a variety of factors, my energy level at that point in the day, what I have planned for the week, what our schedule is) and I feel like ds has ample opportunity to be in charge of his eating, but at some point he needs to realize he doesn't get to make all of the decisions all of the time.

yoopervegan- this isn't happening occasionally, this is happening every meal, every day. He wants cereal, the first words out of his mouth this morning were make me cereal for breakfast- now an hour later the cereal is sitting virtually untouched. Why did I have to stop what I'm doing and prepare breakfast so urgently just for it to sit uneaten? Now because he hasn't eaten (although he clearly told me he wanted breakfast) I am essentially "on-call" because he will be hungry and he'll want a snack, and knowing ds, he will be dying of starvation as soon as I sit down to nurse ds #2. So now I'll throw away his soggy cereal that he had to have but has only eaten a bite or two (and I am not interested in preparing foods in bite portions). I switched from organic cereal to cheerios, because I'm throwing it out anyway. What's the point of even preparing breakfast (and I have rotated breakfast items- bagels, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, it doesn't matter, it all sits uneaten, until I "help" him eat it the next time he is hungry)? And this happens with the snack he wants, and then lunch, and then another snack or two, and dinner, and so on. I joined this thread because I am tired of wasting this much food and I won't do it anymore.

wolfmama- I am not withholding food from ds. But as I stated above, he said he was hungry, wanted cereal, I made cereal, and now it sits uneaten and soggy. We go through this exercise everytime he's hungry. I used to let him have access to all of the snacks, but that got to an extreme, he would not eat ANY meals, just snacks. Maybe this is my problem, but I do have a problem with him only eating snacks, because in light of his dental issues it means more work for me. I have to brush his teeth after he eats every time. He is 4 and has just had 9 fillings! He hasn't been eating candy and junk, but his dentist agrees that being a constant snacker allows his teeth to bathe in the bacteria that causes tooth decay all day.

Moonshine- I'll have to do some reading about typical child behaviors, sensory issues and eating. Ds has always been a "good" eater when he actually eats, it's just recently that he's started delaying chewing and keeping meat in his mouth. I have a friend whose DS (same age as my ds) would only eat chicken nuggets, nothing else. One day I had a peach and he wanted to try it. His mom said ok so I shared (we all thought him branching out was a good thing) and 5 minutes later he had eaten my entire peach and then he threw it right back up- I think the texture (peaches are kind of stringy) overwhelmed him. This is what I think of when I think of sensory issues with food, but I guess I'll need to do some reading to see where my ds falls on the spectrum. I agree with you in thinking that having more of a schedule/regiment will help ds. I mean, it can't be much worse than what it is already, and he definitely has a tendency to enforce rules, put things in there exact place, not deviate from the standard, etc, so maybe my laissez-faire attitude is really what's causing the problem- he doesn't function well without a lot of structure and knowing what to expect.

This discussion has been very helpful- I'll let you know how my day progresses.
post #100 of 104
Pj's

Have you read "How to get you kid to eat, but not too much" by Ellyn Satter?

I think you would find it very helpful!!!!!

It believes strongly in having structured meals and snacks and a division of reponisbility in feeding.

The parent is responsible for when meals and snacks are served and what foods are offered at those meals. The child is responsible for whether he eats any food and how much of it he eats.

It is well reserached and well respected in the nutrition field. I HIGHLY reccomend it.
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