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anybody else turned off by 'force feeding' - Page 2

post #21 of 81
I cannot stomach (lol) food being forced on a child. It's so unkind that I cannot get my head around it, honestly. That kind of thing is just so damaging IMO.

We sometimes eat meals together and sometimes do not. We do not all eat the same thing at our house for meals either (some of us are vegetarian, some not. Someone might not be very hungry, someone else could be extremely hungry, etc)
post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee21972 View Post
I am not a fan of the forced to eat everything -- there is a lt i don't like either

butttttttttttttttttttttttt

on the far other side

is not there some good tot he routine fo "we eat three meals a day together, at these times, you will come to the table as a memeber of this family and be polite even if you chose not to eat"

rather than a whole house of parents and kids eating what they want, when they wasnt (no matter how good what they eat is)?

isn't there a social aspect to the meal as well as a purely nutrional aspect?

Thoughts?

aimee
My approach to what and when my kids eat has always been the same...I provide healthy food, and let them pretty much eat what they want, when they want to.

When I was still with my ex, we never sat down together for a meal, except on holidays...we ate all over the house, and we were always scattered everywhere. I didn't like it, but it was too much work to try to deal with, on top of everything else.

When it was just me and ds1, we often ate together at the table, but not always. Sometimes, I'd eat at the PC, while talking to dh online...ds1 would sit at the coffee table and talk to me.

When dh moved in, he wanted family meals. We told ds1 that we were going to eat together as a family every night. He was surprised, as he'd never had that before, but he didn't have any problem with it and that's been the way we've done it ever since. DS1 was eight when dh moved in.

I guess I just feel that kids will adapt. Our family sits down together for dinner, and dd gets up more-or-less whenever she wants and wanders around. However, she's not allowed to take food from the table, and has to come back when she wants to take another bite. We find it easiest for everyone that way.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
I think that 'family time' is more important than 'family DINNER time.' But that's just me.
No, it's not just you In our family we have different schedules and not very often can sit together. When we *do* have time together, we'd rather eat something really fast and do fun stuff together.

And I agree wih Captain Crunchy's post completely - my kids actually have no idea that food can be a struggle.

One day they may want to eat a lot, the other they may not. One day they may start their food with what's considered a "dessert" and finish with a bowl of soup. They don't know it's not the "proper way"...

Another point - I am a grazer myself and I tell you, I feel kinda crappy if I do eat a whole "square meal" in one setting. I feel bloated, heavy and sleepy.

Eating is a required bodily function, so let's treat it as such... I mean nobody would try to force a kid to squeeze out "just one more poop" or to go to sleep for "just 10 more minutes". Body "knows" when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat UNLESS something (or somebody) screws it up, be it the health issues or power struggles.

We completely trust NEWBORN babies to know when to eat and how much to eat, why or why all of a sudden we deny kids that self-regulating ability after a child reaches certain age? (oh, and then, by the time they are adults we want this ability to magically appear back - how many people struggle with extra weight?)

Have healthy foods in the house, don't have junk, model healthy eating habits (and no, I am not "covering" people with health issues here, that would be a different story)
post #24 of 81
My mom used to try to make me eat my food off my plate when I was little, luckily I'm stubborn as all get out, so I usually won. She never tried to force me to eat it, mainly just "You can't leave the table until you finish what's on your plate" and I would usually sit at the table until bedtime. She'd always say, "There are kids in China starving that would LOVE to have this food," and I remember how she tried not to laugh when I told her to box up my food and mail it to them (before that I had a really odd view of what they did with trash, I said if she threw my food in the trash, they would dump it in the ocean *ok, maybe I had a correct view of what they were doing in the 80's* and it would float on the waves to China where the kids on the beach would fish it out and eat it.)

Forcing them to eat is a surefire way to give kids an eating disorder (and they blame Barbie, I guess someone has to take the blame, why not a doll?)
post #25 of 81
I guess I will be the voice of dissent. I don't "force" either of my children to eat anything, and I also believe in my children's ability to self-regulate when presented with healthy, diverse food options, but ....

DS1 (3 yo) will ask for something, take one bite, and then decide he wants something else. We've started to say that he can not have something else until he finishes his whatever. Like at lunch yesterday, he asked for a turkey sandwich (we were having cold cuts, turkey was his choice). He helped me build a beautiful sandwich w. whole grain bread, chummus, spouts, tomato and roasted turkey breast. He took 1/2 a bite and decided he didn't want it anymore. We didn't force him to eat it, but we told him that he couldn't have a yogurt or mozarella stick (his "alternatives") until he ate at least half the sandwich, b/c it was wasteful. He chose to eat the other sides from lunch -- fine with us -- and put his sandwich in the fridge. Later, when we were going to the park, he asked to bring a cheese stick with us, and we said, no, he could bring his sandwich. And he did and he ate it happily.

We also have dinner together every night. If my husband or I are not home yet, then the family is minus one (and sometimes two, if baby goes to bed early). But our child(ren) eat together with their parent(s) for all the reasons a PP stated -- socialization, modeling, etc. This doesn't take the place of other family togetherness, but it is something that we make a priority.

Oh, and we generally don't have dessert, but if we do have treats (aka sweets) in the house, I don't have any problem telling DS1 that they are for after other foods have been eaten. I.e. he isn't allowed to eat just ice cream, or just cake, for dinner.

So, yeah, I guess I have food rules. But I don't see this the same as forcing a child to sit at the table until they have cleared their plates.
post #26 of 81
I personally feel family dinning time is important. It is a wonderful time for talking and teaching. I am a SAHM, my children are homeschooled, and my husband is usually deployed. However, I still love the time my children and I get to spend together at the dinner table. Even though I stay home with my kids, I do view this as "reconnecting" time. We are often so busy that we don't get to just sit and chat like at meal times. My oldest son is autistic and eating together is vital in teaching him how to behave at a dinner table. It really isn't a struggle because we have always done this.
post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjane View Post

DS1 (3 yo) will ask for something, take one bite, and then decide he wants something else. We've started to say that he can not have something else until he finishes his whatever. Like at lunch yesterday, he asked for a turkey sandwich (we were having cold cuts, turkey was his choice). He helped me build a beautiful sandwich w. whole grain bread, chummus, spouts, tomato and roasted turkey breast. He took 1/2 a bite and decided he didn't want it anymore. .
This sounds like my 3 year old, he does the same thing. And we don't allow him to waste the food either. He doesn't HAVE To eat, but he also can't change his mind 5 times after the food is made either. Especially when he is the one choosing it to begin with.
post #28 of 81
The family dining thing is interesting to me. We do enjoy eating together often enough, but we've never felt it was a must do every day/night. We probably do it (as in eat at the table, all together, for a meal.) 2x a week. We are together pretty regularly though, with the exception of a Dh that works a lot, so I wonder if that is the difference.
post #29 of 81
I vividly remember my sil and bil actually holding down their 3 yo and forcing food into his mouth once. That to me is the ultimate force feeding, I just stood there in awe of it all, they just got so caught up in the power struggle that they didn't even realize where they were going.

The more subtle forms of you must finish everything I dish out for me makes me want to vomit. My mil is so big on this, like somehow if he eats this arbirtrary amount that she selected it is perfect. The other day we were down there and he had already ate a meal at our house, ate an entire bowlful of grapes at her house and half a bowl of stew, and she was still on him, one more bite. UGH. We provide healthy options (most of the time ), we do 3 sit down meals, but if he is hungry then we find something for him to eat. If it is right after a meal that he hardly ate I will offer that first, as sometimes he just isn't hungry right when we are, sometimes neither am I. He eats as many bites as he wants, and that is that.

I know people like my mom and mil and many others think that if you don't force a child to eat they won't. My mom has said that to me about my neice, I don't buy, barring any specific issues, I think forcing food into a child's mouth, or even the cajoling and begging just cause extra stress for everyone.
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom4emnxani View Post
When we used to visit his mother she still would tell him to "finish your food" but in the next breath, " you look like you've put on a few" (lbs). How freaking crazy is that? He grew up with that craziness. .
Oh god, my mom does that too... When I said I started showing really fast this pregnancy she said I was already pretty chubby before, which I'm not, although that's beside the point. In the next breath she chastised me for barely eating anything off my plate :

I can't believe other people have a crazy mother just like mine.
post #31 of 81
I dont care if DD eats all her food. I just want her to TRY what's on her plate, that's it...just TRY. Use her words to say she doesn't like it if that's the case and she's free to go.

I dont like the whole grazing thing, Eat at the table or not at all..my house, my rule....I dont like finding mouldy food left to rot behind the sofa cusions inviting cockroaches, ants, and mice into my house....I keep the mess contained to one room and I'm happy.

She wants to eat a snack she eats at the table, I want to eat a snack I eat at the table, DH wants to eat a snack he eats at the table. Rule for everyone.

If I let my DD graze, she'd be sitting at the table constantly. No thank you...I want my kid to be active (that and she has this problem that she forgets she has food in her mouth and can wind up choking, not a risk I wanna take) So it's a 3 meal 2 snack schedule. OFFERED, not forced. I offer food at that time and she eats it or not...

Supper though I want her to at least *try* something off her plate.

And causing food to explode and go everywhere is *not* tolerated either. That's met with immediate removal from the table and a cloth given to clean it up and stern words.

Words "DD that was NOT appropriate to do, if you are full use your words and say so, do NOT cause a mess. now help me clean it up"
post #32 of 81
We're big believers in the importance of family mealtimes -- we usually eat three meals together every day, though breakfast is sort of fluid, in that my husband and daughter start eating breakfast together when they get up, and I finish eating breakfast with her after I get up half an hour later.

We've always had our daughter with us during mealtimes, except that when she was an infant she was sometimes asleep. Even before she could eat solid food, we thought it was important for her to be at the table with us. Anyway, she's totally used to this now -- I don't think it would occur to her that one might eat meals somewhere other than at the table with one's family.

We definitely have rules. For example, we don't allow feet on the table, climbing on the table, throwing food onto the floor, or removing food from the table to eat it elsewhere. On the other hand, we never try to coerce her into eating something she doesn't want (other than sometimes asking her to try something she hasn't tasted yet -- it seems like she sometimes she forgets that there's another option on her plate), and if there's dessert, we certainly let her eat it no matter how much she did or didn't eat of the meal. Dessert isn't an everyday occurrence at our house, and it's usually a surprise if it is available. She can also get up whenever she decides she's done.

Anyway, I'm pretty turned off by the way a lot of parents try to coerce their children into eating, but I'm also not the "let them eat whatever they want" type -- I wouldn't provide alternatives to the family meal, for example.
post #33 of 81
Ds eats what he wants whenever he is hungry. I give him ongoing boundaries in the form of feedback. We have habits and general understandings regarding food. Mostly we eliminate struggles by not buying foods that are addictive. When we do buy sugary foods, we approach them with understandings like "Eat it when you want, but not on an empty stomach".

I have never fully understood the anxiety over food issues. However I do respect that people have them, and it's a big concern for others.
post #34 of 81
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.
post #35 of 81
We have proper meals rather than grazing but absolutely no "clean your plate" policy. DD eats whatever amount she wants to eat. I think the whole idea of forcing a child to eat a quantity that you have pre-determined is SICK.


Quote:
Originally Posted by simplemama View Post
ok we are going through similar struggles but i have to ask, if you child does not eat anything nutritious (crackers) all day, where do you draw the line on gently disciplining them to learn to eat nutritious food before the desert? My almost 3 yo old just gets distracted so it does help to keep her focused so she is not starving and cranky later...
Very simple answer to this: do not give your DC crackers. Do not even keep them in the house. Do not buy them at the grocery store. Crackers are processed food. Most contain hydrogenated vegetable oil (very unhealthy for adults and children) and all are empty calories.
post #36 of 81
[QUOTE=irinam]I mean nobody would try to force a kid to squeeze out "just one more poop"/[QUOTE]

My dh was at his sister's house once when she was potty training her ds, and she was literally begging him to poop, "please, J, can't you just go poop for mommy?" They're also big fans of the "three more bites" club. Even if it's a hot dog!

But we have family dinners, and we have food rules, and I'd like to think that we're not creating any food issues. Sometimes my kids are all full by the time I get dinner done, because they've been snacking, but it's a lot easier for me if we can all just eat together.

And I let them graze all they want and eat whenever they're hungry, but they have to eat either at the table or outside.

And, I rarely buy junk. Now that my dd is developing some brand recognition, she asks for things that she's had at other people's house when we're at the store, but I'm not willing to buy it. I think they're nasty and addictive and there's no room in our budget for them. So I'm definitely asserting some control there.

CaptainCrunchy, my dh gave my ds a couple of sips of beer when he was about ten months old, thinking he would hate it. Well, of course, he loved it. In fact, even though he only routinely says about 10 words, one of them is beer. He's quite a chubby little boy, and he has all these hand me down khaki pants. We have some great "frat boy in training" pictures.
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom4emnxani View Post
Any other Mammas out there struggle with different parenting styles and biting your tongue?
I am so glad you posted this because I need to vent! I was at a party the other night and this mama was praising her 13-month-old son's new daycare because they can get him to eat more than she can. She said, "They MAKE him eat it. They're like, 'You HAVE to eat it," in a really strict voice.

I said, "Oh, that's so sad!" I wasn't trying to pick a fight, I just really felt sad for the poor baby. Not only is he just getting used to a new caregiver, but he is being forced to eat. He doesn't feel safe enough to refuse. So sad.

Then literally ALL the other moms jumped on me. There were like 6 of them. They were like, "You have to be like that or your kid will have you wrapped around your little finger." I shrugged and kept on drinking my wine. I didn't feel like picking a fight but now I wish I had.

Absolutely ridiculous.
post #38 of 81
I am not big on force feeding.

BUT, I have a nephew who MUST be force fed. But he's so little. It's either this or a feeding tube. So, to avoid a feeding tube, she force feeds, bribes, cajoles. Personally I think I would rather let him have a feeding tube for a while til he gets a little bigger. The whole day is filled with tears for everybody involved. BUT, I have no idea what is involved with a feeding tube. So, I stay out of it.

Other than that, we have a saying.. "You get what you get, and you don't have a fit". If they eat it fine, if not, fine. There will be another meal in a little while, so nobody is going to starve. If they want something even though they didn't eat, they are welcome to have HEALTHY snacks. Unfortunatley these aren't my kids, so their idea of a "Healthy snack" means it comes from a foil pouch.
post #39 of 81
I was forced to eat everything on my plate (prepared by my mother) before I could even get up from the table. This continued into my middle school years and then made to feel guilty about as I grew up. I think this behavior has contributed to our nation's obesity problem because it causes the person to not be able to determine when they are full, so they eat and eat. There is scientific data proving this. So I am so very against forcing your child to eat, however, i don't believe my kids can only eat a few bites and then get dessert. And I am not going to fix 3 different meals because one child doesn't like pork chops. My kids have always been great eaters, especially of vegetables (I think because I ate lots of them while breastfeeding and continued to introduce them over and over, even when they refused to eat them!) But it is much healthier for everyone, especially children, to eat several small meals throughout the day, instead of stuffing themselves with 2 or 3 large ones. So all hail to the little grazers!! They know what their body needs. I just make sure my 2 year old has healthy items to snack on because she is always on the go, and always HUNGRY!!
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
I am not big on force feeding.

BUT, I have a nephew who MUST be force fed. But he's so little. It's either this or a feeding tube. So, to avoid a feeding tube, she force feeds, bribes, cajoles. Personally I think I would rather let him have a feeding tube for a while til he gets a little bigger. The whole day is filled with tears for everybody involved. BUT, I have no idea what is involved with a feeding tube. So, I stay out of it.

Other than that, we have a saying.. "You get what you get, and you don't have a fit". If they eat it fine, if not, fine. There will be another meal in a little while, so nobody is going to starve. If they want something even though they didn't eat, they are welcome to have HEALTHY snacks. Unfortunatley these aren't my kids, so their idea of a "Healthy snack" means it comes from a foil pouch.
Is your nephew special needs? I just find this really odd. My son is really small too. (Almost 30lbs at five years old) He was admitted in the hospital for failure to thrive several times, but I would still never force feed him. He is autistic and has issues with certain texture foods. I try to provide healthy foods that he will eat, and not sweat it if he doesn't eat.
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