Originally Posted by thismama
I figure if I want something to eat, I get it out of the fridge, I choose what I eat. Why shouldn't my daughter? Within reason. Most of the foods I feed her are fairly easy to make, so if she doesn't like what I make myself for supper I am happy to make her something else.
The practical issue that I run into is that I have three kids, and if each got to have what they happened to want at that day and time, I would often be making three different meals for them (not counting the meal I made for dh and myself). I think that a lot of times, what people want at a certain time is kind-of a whim, and our grocery budget and my sanity can't take that. I have tried to teach my kids that having enough food to eat is a blessing and that being fickle is not a good thing. (And by fickle I mean, "Yes, I like this meal, but it's not what I want RIGHT NOW, not "Oh, I hate this meal, why did you make it?")
For example, as I was making dinner this evening, my 4 year old wandered in and said, "What are we having for dinner?" I said, "Chickpeas and couscous." She said, "But I don't want that! I want macaroni casserole!" I'm sure that sounds good to her, but 1) that's not what I am making and 2) it wasn't on the meal plan, so I didn't buy the ingredients and 3) even if I had the stuff to make it, I wouldn't make a whole separate meal for her. The other night, when my oldest asked what was for dinner and I told her, she said, "I'd rather have lasagna." Again, not an option.
I have a meal plan with five weeks of meals on it, and with very few exceptions, the meals on the plan are things that everyone generally likes. That's why I have my "I made it, you eat it" rule.