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I have HAD IT!!!

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
: My child is going to starve tonight, and I do not care right now.

The only things this kid will eat are chicken strips/nuggets, pizza, and occasionally cheeseburgers. I am sick of making him different things than my hubby and I are eating.

We're in the middle of a huge blizzard at the moment, and can't order pizza or get chicken nuggets or hamburgers from anywhere. I made chicken for dinner. Just plain chicken breast with some seasonings (nothing major, a little garlic, a little black pepper), and rice, which he used to love, but hates now.

He won't eat it. Even if I cut the breast like "strips". I told him he will have to remain hungry then. He won't even eat ONE BITE.

I MUST break him of this. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but pizza, chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers ARE NOT HEALTHY and they are EXPENSIVE.

Ideas? Is it ok that he doesn't eat tonight at all? I am very frustrated.
post #2 of 102
Well, he won't starve. He may get hungry, but if he's normally a basically healthy child, missing a meal won't do more than help him have a stronger appetite at the next one. The only problem you may see is as his stomach gets very empty, he may feel nauseous. I don't envy you this battle. One of the reasons that 'junk' food gets such a hold on us is because of the extra flavor enhancers that are in them.
post #3 of 102
Been there and still doing that battle. I refuse to fix something different, but hubby will do it everytime. Oh, and mine is 12 yrs old! He is beyond picky, and has actually gone long periods of time w/out eating when I was trying to get him to eat what was on the table. I gave up on the fight, but will not fix him something special either.
post #4 of 102
Personally I would try to not feel badly about it.

It's not like you are keeping food from him. This is the food that is available, due to no fault of your own. That's life, dude.

Fair enough for him to choose not to eat. But if he is not concerned, why should you be?
post #5 of 102
I'm going through the same thing with my 5 year old. He used to love to eat fruits and veggies, etc. but now all he wants his junk. Last night I made pork chops with brown rice, cinnamon apples, and broccoli & cheese. He said it was "gross" and refused to eat any of it. He went to bed without dinner because I refuse to cater to him.
post #6 of 102
I agree with the other posters. If he is hungry he will eat something. He wont starve to death. We dont even let junk into the house anymore because we have major issues with my 2 1/2 year old. Totally missing the junk.:

BTW - hope the weather lightens up soon for you. Blizzards are crappy.
post #7 of 102
You go girl! Short Order Cook shouldn't be in your job description. The rule in my family is that if you don't like what I make, then you can have something that doesn't require ME to do anything. This is crackers and fruit pretty much. There should be no other dishes to wash (so no endless cereal eating).

I don't like to make food an issue, but your needs as a member of the household aren't being met (you're working too hard on fixing a meal). I have a nephew who does the same, and when he came to visit, at first his mom asked for separate food, but then I was like, look, we have two choices for dinner, "take it - or - leave it." (can't remember where I heard this but I love it) As a compromise to your son, you may try offering "dipping sauce" which could be anything he likes, ketchup, ranch dressing (this can be made with yoghurt!), honey mustard, 1000 Island. But that's as far as I would go.

Had to edit to say, wish I lived closer to you other posters, your dinners sound yummy!

Stay strong!

post #8 of 102
ds1 has gone to bed hungry b/c he didnt like what we were having. i barely have time to cook one real meal a day so if he says he doesnt like it, i cant help him. if its something really weird or spicy, we have something we know he likes ready.

unless dinner is still hot on his plate i let him go get something he can get himself like yogurt, crackers, carrot sticks. we dont have structured meal times except for dinner so he is free to eat whatever we have here all day w/ in reason.

one thing that helped is i took him to the health food store and encouraged him to pick out some new foods to try. he had a little shopping spree.

he has never woke up in the middle of the hungry and i know he would tell me b/c a couple of times he said he was hungry at bedtime and i let him get back up and eat his dinner. if it interfered w/ sleeping, i would probably give him an easy snack before bed.
post #9 of 102
If you have presented a variety of healthful choices (i.e. a regular meal), and he still eats little or nothing, then no big deal - he eats what he eats and discussion closed.

If you want to offer a quick and easy (and healthy) snack, fine. And if he goes to bed without a meal, fine, it's not going to harm him.
post #10 of 102
I agree with you. He has to let go of this habit of only eating junk. He won't starve after one night.

I'm currently breaking my son of his habit of eating so many sugary products. My strategy is to only have healthy foods in the house, and then let my son choose from those foods. If he doesnt want what I made for dinner, but will eat a healthy alternative from the fridge, than that's fine with me.

Anyway, good luck!

post #11 of 102
Originally Posted by nichole View Post
he has never woke up in the middle of the hungry and i know he would tell me b/c a couple of times he said he was hungry at bedtime and i let him get back up and eat his dinner. if it interfered w/ sleeping, i would probably give him an easy snack before bed.
this is exactly what we've done. if dd1 won't eat her dinner we tell her we'll save it for her. we put the plate in the fridge & if she says she's hungry later on, this is what she gets! she's usually not too happy about it but it works after a short while. we'll also give an apple snack or something similar before bed to alleviate that hungry feeling....but nothing major & nothing junky.

do you ever have your little guy help you make dinner? if i give my girls a choice of healthy menus & let them help me get it ready, they're usually more into eating it than if i throw something unknown in front of them.
post #12 of 102
Guess what DS had for dinner last night? Yep, you guessed it Chicken Nuggets

I have to keep 2 boxes on hand in the freezer.

Monday night dinner was: Salisbury Steak smothered in Gravy, Green Beans with Potoes, Macaroni and Cheese and Garlic Flavored Pillsbury Croissants.

I work full time out of the home and don't get home until 6:30pm and I was danged proud of myself for getting a hot meal on the table for DS!

Fixed his plate----Wouldn't touch it! "Mommy, I want Chicken Nuggets" he said

"DS no, I did not cook Chicken Nuggets" pause "I want Chicken Nuggeeeettttsssss!" he screamed.

Quietly, without saying a word, I removed his plate, wrapped it up and proceeded to put it up in the microwave, he had this look of utter disbelief on his face because I wasn't getting out the pan that I use to bake his chicken nuggets in. He said "Mommy, I want cooking" so I said "DS, I am not cooking chicken nuggets but you can have what I did cook for dinner"

He said "Uh huh, yeah, I want cooking" So I put his dinner back on his table and he smelled it first, then he tentatively took a bite and ate a bit here and there.

He didn't touch the green beans (which he used to love), he ate all of his Salisbury Steak and asked for seconds, I put lots of Gravy on it...he loves Gravy and he ate the Croissant.

Last night, I didn't cook a fancy dinner but Chicken Nuggets was the first thing he called out for...and I caved. So, I served it with a side of Fresh Fruit.

My point is, I felt a small piece of victory when I refused to cook him more dinner... and I saw that he ate it. It gave me the confidence to put my foot down more often with him.
post #13 of 102
Sorry you are going through this. Some shreds of wisdom from someone whose daughter also has a rather narrow range of foods that she is willing to eat:

- Never bring home from the grocery store pizza, chicken nuggets, kraft dinner or anything else in a package. Ever. Don't even go to that section of the store. Don't buy anything that comes in a box or package. These items are processed and therefore by definition unhealthy (if you make pizza from scratch at home, this is okay but I am assuming that you were not referring to homemade pizza). Your son's range of tastes will only get narrower and his diet worse by having these things in the house.

- The chicken that you prepared sounded great. If he does not want to eat it, too bad.

- Worse comes to worse, give your son boiled, pureed or baked potatoes, with salt or butter (no sour cream, as this blocks the absorption of iron). You can LIVE on potatoes.
post #14 of 102
There are times my kids have missed a meal because they won't eat. It hasn't harmed them at all. It happened more with the oldest, I think the younger 2 picked up what happens if they refuse or tend to go along with what the oldest will eat. My oldest is 8 and now will at least try something. She doesn't have to like it, but she has to try it. I try to make sure there is at least 1 thing they will eat.

If in the past you have been ordering what he wants just so he'll eat something that is definitly part of the problem. I would stop that immediatly, tell them they're closed or something like that so you can't order something.
post #15 of 102
My ds is like this too. He has missed dinner plenty of times and has been fine.
I don't cater to him anymore. I make sure there is something on the table that he likes, even if it's bread and butter and raw red peppers and carrots.
And that's all.
Don't worry about it, I think it's good for them to learn that you are not a short order cook!

I have to admit, I buy frozen chicken nuggetsand hot dogs, and that's my fall back plan if it's close to dinner and ds is hungry and cranky. But he doesn't get them evey night! Luckily he likes baked chicken and pork (as long as it's plain), that makes my life easier.
post #16 of 102
I think that was good advice about not having things in the house you don't want him to eat. I've got 4 kids, so I'm guaranteed that at least one of them won't like what we're having for dinner. My policy is not to fix something special for that kid, but to let him fix himself a sandwich, or get a yogurt and a piece of fruit, and sit at the table with us. Lots of times a sandwich sounds so dull, they end up eating what we're eating anyway.
post #17 of 102
My kids usually eat what we eat. If they absolutely won't eat anything on our plates then they are allowed to get natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread and an apple. They are SO sick of pb sandwiches that they will usually eat dinner.

I never NEVER buy crap from the freezer section so that is not an option.
post #18 of 102
These things rarely make it into my house.

I did what you are doing after they started to realize that other kids do get these things. Or they decide that they don't want dinner, but expect me to promptly get up and fetch them some yogurt and apple juice. No Way!

This is a current theme with my 2.5 year old. I simply expect that everyone sits at the table for 15 minutes. Eating or no eating.

I did this because they started to do the "I'm Done" after EVERY bite. Starting with the first one. Even if they were hungry. Because they have other things to do and thought they could make it up by immediately (and I do mean immediately) starting "snacking" out of the fridge.

If no dinner gets eaten, it gets left at the table and when I get told "I'm hungry!" they get redirected to the plate at their spot at the dinner table.

The 5 year old figured it out right quick, and she's not easily swayed. The 2.5 year old is starting to get it that I really really mean it. Yesterday she walked up to me three times, started to say, "I'm hu-" and then looking at her plate and harumphing.
post #19 of 102
I'm dealing with this now too-with my 3 yo.
I don't know how she sustains herself.
I really think she is on a different time schedule than DH and I.
EVERY night for the past 2-3 months, she will say she is not hungry, then run and stand in front of the fridge and say Ladies and Gentlemen! Then sing Barney songs (using the wrong words) and any other song she can think of, until we are done dinner.
When we leave the table, she'll go off to play. Then say about an hour later that she's hungry. Problem is, I can't feed us all later b/c DH comes home starving.
But I's like to make ONE dinner.
Eat mine while it's hot
and have the entire family together at the table.
No tantrums.
Too much to ask??
She will eat fruit, but no veg. Chicken-a few bites only if I force her. But carbs?? BRING THEM ON!!!
And this picky nonsence has been going on since she was 14 months.
DH was and still is a very picky eater. He won't even LOOK at leftovers! And I SURE as heck won't pull a MIL stunt of making a seperate meal for every family member.
post #20 of 102
DD has yet to go through a phase of disliking the food I cook, but she is great at taking two bites and being "full" (meaning she wants to have something else). When this happens, we tell her we'll save her plate for when she gets hungry again. Usually, she decides to eat right then so that she can have a regular bedtime snack (yogurt, fruit, sometimes popcorn or italian ice) in a couple hours.
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