I believe strongly on family dinners where everyone eats or at least sits together (like if they don't feel too good, etc.). We all eat at the same time because dh is diabetic and I have to spend forever making meals with my kids' food sensitivities/allergies, etc.
When I was really little, we all sat down together and it was great. We ate at the same time 90% of the time. When I got older, we just fended for ourselves and ate at different times, etc. It was horrible and I vowed to have a family meal time with my kids.
That said, I do make my kids eat at least most of their veggies/fruit to be done or get desert. I don't FORCE them to. They have the choice. If they don't-they will be hungry b/c I have 0 help and 0 time to cook 10 meals. Personally, I know my own children. They usually eat their veggies first regardless (they looove veggies
and usually beg for more), so it's not really an issue. I figure if they are too full to eat one bite of their dinner, they are too full to eat a big cookie. But I'm mean.
One of my brothers was the only one of us (he was the favorite) that got to pick exactly what he wanted to eat all the time and always had *his* food available and never had anything pushed on him. He eats:
chicken Mcnuggets only from McD with only their S&S sauce
French fries only from McD
Taco Bell tacos no l&t
Hot dogs (specific brand and specific buns & mustard(
broccoli (recent development)
pears from a can-specific brand
corn dogs-specific brand
My dh was never encouraged to eat healthy. He was raised on a diet of beef, yellow cheese, white bread, pop, and fruit rollups. He never ate a vegetable outside of a potato or fruit at all before we started dating. He was dx as a juv. diabetic at age 14. It was very out of control until we got together and he has been trying his best to eat healthy due to my influence and now has no problems (he has also had to drastically reduce his insulin
). And we both agree that healthy eating is priority over our kids' rights to decide at meals due to our experiences.
And I agree, Pandora. We do eat snacks, but limit them and eat them a time before dinner so they won't be stuffed on pretzels and such and then starving as soon as the food is cold.