Originally Posted by ladybugchild77
I ask this question because so far I have been giving Kiera what we eat. If she likes it, great. If not, she just doesn't eat or eats the part of the meal she does enjoy. I know that sometimes she is hungry, however, and don't want to starve her! I don't want to become a short order cook like I see some of my friends doing either. My one friend told me I was "mean" becasue I didn't fix Kiera something else if she didn't like what we were eating...Thoughts?
With all due respect to anyone who DOES do this, I think it is a dreadful mistake that is setting you and the child up for some absolutely awful behavior. Obviously, not in every single case does this happen, but it's a matter of what you're communicating when you do this. You're sending several messages:1. You will be catered to.
YIKES. I don't see anything wrong with a reasonable degree of flexibility and respect for a child's tastes, just like I show a reasonable degree of flexibility and respect for my husband's tastes, and he for mine. (That is, sometimes I cook things like potato soup, which I like and he doesn't, and sometimes he grills pork chops, which he likes and I don't, but that's really only once in a while.) BUT being a short-order cook exceeds the limits of what I personally find appropriate or reasonable. It also teaches the child that they never have to just buckle down and deal with it
when life presents them something less than ideal. No, I don't believe in shoving a child into the cold, harsh world of reality, but I think that serving a child what the family is eating is hardly punitive.2. You actively encourage picky food habits
I honestly believe that the short-order cook method absolutely encourages picky eating and very possibly sets the child up in an essentially unhealthy relationship with food. Children, as far as I've seen, rarely choose to obsess on, say, broccoli and lean meat. It's more like chicken nuggets. Even if you throw a vitamin in the mixture, this is absolute cr*p for a child to eat anyway, much less as a regular meal.
4. It also teaches them to treat food and dining disrespectfully,
which sounds kind've stupid until you think about the fact that in most of the world, people don't have the luxury to be picky eaters. They'd be lucky to have the luxury to be eaters
. Encouraging a child's "icky" factor with food is, for my money anyway, a slap in the face to the people who have no food or not enough.
In short, I think children have a great deal of common sense when they're given the opportunity to exercise it. If you place healthy food in front of a healthy child, sooner or later, they will eat
because they're hungry. I don't believe in forcing a child to eat. I prefer if a child tries one bite (and one only) of an unfamiliar food, but if they don't like it after that one bite, then so be it. I've yet to hear of even one child who starved him- or herself under those conditions. Ever. Again, I'm not meaning to tread on the toes of those who do differently, nor meaning to incur the wrath of the GD flamers, but I frankly think you're being a GOOD MOTHER to your child...and your friend needs to look up the meaning of the word "indulgent" in the dictionary.
Oh, edited to add, I'm not including kids with oral or allergy or dietary issues. I'm talking about the run-of-the-mill kid.