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What to do when your dc doesn't like dinner? - Page 3

post #41 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I just don't get how taking, what? 2 minutes? less? to throw together a sandwich or put on some water for pasta is "bending to every whim."

To me, modelling flexibility and generosity are more important. Meeting my child's hunger cues are more important than teaching lessons about what I will or will not do.

And 99% of the time my kids are eating what's served, as well. (FWIW, I mostly do have to make them separate meals b/c of severe food allergies. Making one meal for all of is a luxury).

So for those rare times when they're just not feeling the dinner I've made them, I can't see not offering up something else. I'm not going to start roasting a duck or pull out the food processor, but some pasta or microwaving some chicken nuggets just doesn't seem like that big a sacrifice so my kids can feel nourished. It's an act of service given out of love, for me, in many ways. I just can not imagine telling them, "No, sorry, guys. That's it. Take it or leave it." Their mouths would hang open in disbelief and I know it would hurt their feelings. Just like it would hurt mine if someone I loved and relied on to feed me did it to me.


Yeah that. We also have food allergy issues here too. Making one meal is definitely a luxury. My husband and I like spicy food too so we don't expect the kids to eat that. We only keep a couple of pieces of candy in the house for the emergency sweet tooth craving (for me or the kids), otherwise there is no other junk food in the house.
post #42 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
Simple: We are the adults in the family. I see it as I choose what is best for my children and yes they have a voice in the house and if were up to her what we ate every night it would be spaghetti and bread. No, I am not being mean and not listening to my children, but they are 22 months and six months so I make the ground rules of the house and they will follow. In my opinion I think there should be ground rules and structure so children know what is expected and not expected of them. Yes, as they get older and mature, I am sure they will have more of an input on dinner (and hopefully help prepare it). I guess this thread is getting blown out of water for me and most of everyone is not seeing my point of view. I hope this clears it up...a little.
Got it. My parents chose pretty much everything in my life growing up...even when I did most of the cooking for my family of 9 from age 14-17.

It's a pretty efficient way to life.

My kids have been cooking since they were 18 months old in the learning towers. It's less efficient, but an incredible hoot. And we don't really have much dinner time trouble.

I love the feasts they come up with at 3 and 7. Often most unexpected.
post #43 of 109
There really is not a need to do anything. I don't make anything special but of course try to have something, or at least one item that everyone likes. If they choose not to eat then that is their business, not mine. They will eat when they are ready. If they like it and want to save it then I let them saran wrap it and save it for later. If not gone by the next morning I throw it out because I don't want old food in the fridge.

I let my children decide what and when to eat. Yes, they can eat cookies before dinner and skip dinner. This rarely happens though. Usually they will eat a cookie and still eat dinner. They can eat whatever they want between meals too when they want it.

None have eating disorders or weight problems. They all eat a wide variety of foods and are not picky about anything for the most part. They will actually fight you for the last brussel sprout.
post #44 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post
They will actually fight you for the last brussel sprout.
Yeah, what's in brussel sprouts? My 7 year old is positively enraptured with them....especially the frozen petite ones from Whole Foods....
post #45 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
I think the first thing to do is to start from a very young age (at weaning) with a healthy diet.

Not to pick on you but breastfeeding is the best way to teach healthy eating from the start and then let the child lead the way to weaning. Is that what you meant? If we wait until after weaning at age four, five or six then we will be much too late. When we breastfeed on demand we completely respect the child's choices of when, where and how long to breastfeed. If they approach food the same way and are in tune with their bodies and we respect that then hopefully they will avoid food battles and food related illnesses like obesity.
post #46 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post
Not to pick on you but breastfeeding is the best way to teach healthy eating from the start and then let the child lead the way to weaning. Is that what you meant? If we wait until after weaning at age four, five or six then we will be much too late. When we breastfeed on demand we completely respect the child's choices of when, where and how long to breastfeed. If they approach food the same way and are in tune with their bodies and we respect that then hopefully they will avoid food battles and food related illnesses like obesity.
I think she's using the word "weaning" in the British understanding of it... which is just "the beginning of solid foods."

(I remember a recent thread here complaining about a "weaning party" for six month olds, and someone explained that it didn't mean the end of breastfeeding, just the beginning of foods!)
post #47 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
Here is the rule at our house: You eat what is put on the table, as much or as little as you want. I do not cook anything special; this is not a restaurant. If you don't like it, then get down from the table and go without. That has been the rule from day one. It was the rule when I was little. I do make exceptions when they are sick (duh!) but I don't cook two different meals.


i was raised the same way but we had to stay at the table till everyone was done. i think it is a good thing to learn. what was there you had to eat you had to try everything at the table and if you took it you eat it. we were allowed to put what ever we wanted on it as long as we ate it.
i remember when i was small i wouldnt eat supper well when dinner was done i was allowed to leave but i got it for breakfast still wouldnt eat it so i got it for lunch guess what i ate it. (i still am hard headed)
post #48 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
i was raised the same way but we had to stay at the table till everyone was done. i think it is a good thing to learn. what was there you had to eat you had to try everything at the table and if you took it you eat it. we were allowed to put what ever we wanted on it as long as we ate it.
i remember when i was small i wouldnt eat supper well when dinner was done i was allowed to leave but i got it for breakfast still wouldnt eat it so i got it for lunch guess what i ate it.
Well, I assume that you did eat it, given the fact that it was the only choice you had: eat this food you cannot stand, or starve.
Sorry, but I really find that kind of sad, and disturbing.
post #49 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
Simple: We are the adults in the family. I see it as I choose what is best for my children and yes they have a voice in the house and if were up to her what we ate every night it would be spaghetti and bread.
I bet if you gave her spaghetti and bread every night, per her request, she would quickly want more variety. Spaghetti is pretty verstaile, too, you can add things to the sauce and use different types of noodles. There are certainly far worse things to ask for every night than spaghetti.
nak
post #50 of 109
I don't make a whole other meal, but if she's not into what I make I'll get her some cheerios, or a string cheese. As Ann of Loxley posted, my DD eats all day long, so missing dinner isn't that big a deal. Also, she usually drinks a cup of milk before bedtime, and I think that fills her up--I've never had her wake up hungry.

She's 3, pretty good about trying what we eat, but I don't expect her to like all of it. We eat a lot of spicy veg fare, so I'll save her some plain beans and rice if our meal is too spicy.

I think I fall somewhere in the middle (as usual) -- I'm happy to make her something easy like cereal or a sandwich but I would not appreciate being told that she wouldn't eat dinner and being expected to make her something specific each night. That sounds awful.
post #51 of 109
From about MDC:
Quote:
Mothering is both a fierce advocate of the needs and rights of the child and a gentle supporter of the parents, and we encourage decision-making that considers the needs of all family members.
I'm not able to reconcile the above with witholding food and/or serving nothing but last night's leftovers until the child finishes them.
post #52 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley
I think the first thing to do is to start from a very young age (at weaning) with a healthy diet.


Not to pick on you but breastfeeding is the best way to teach healthy eating from the start and then let the child lead the way to weaning. Is that what you meant? If we wait until after weaning at age four, five or six then we will be much too late. When we breastfeed on demand we completely respect the child's choices of when, where and how long to breastfeed. If they approach food the same way and are in tune with their bodies and we respect that then hopefully they will avoid food battles and food related illnesses like obesity.
lol...no I mean to offer healthy foods. (weaning age...you know when they start to eat). You would actually be surprised at the amount of mothers, at least that I know, whos children wont eat fruit and/or vegetables. But its no surprise if thats not always what has been offered them and their house is full of cakes and biscuits and crisps, etc. A child does not miss what a child never has had...and I only mentioned that because many children who refuse to eat what is given to them do so because they want something else...not something else healthy...simply because they want some cake instead. However the OP simply sounds like the child just doesnt want any food. If a child isnt hungry, they arnt hungry!
post #53 of 109
I am posting this reminder to everyone participating in this thread. Please read before posting:


Quote:
Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.
Discipline solutions suggested here should reflect the spirit of gentle discipline as
it is defined above.
post #54 of 109
I don't force myself to eat foods I don't like, and I treat my children the same way.
post #55 of 109
I might ask ds to try a new food, but I wouldn't insist. I have a fairly good idea of what he'd like and what he wouldn't, and if I tell him I think he'll like it, he generally will try it. But, I'm also careful to tell him when something is hot, spicy, or something that I'm VERY sure he will find disgusting.

I don't care how much he eats of dinner. The only dinner rule we have is that when dp and I are done eating, if ds isn't at the table, I'm going to clean up his plate. (that came about because ds will leave the table, but insist that he's going to finish his food. An hour later, it will still be sitting there, and at that point I'm not sure it's safe to save as leftovers, and not very appealing to eat it myself).

If I make something that I'm very sure ds likes (as in, he eats it, says he likes it, but would rather play than eat), I don't really like to fix other food for him for a while afterwards. But there's always an option to have something he chooses before bedtime.
If he really doesn't like it, which I believe him if he says he doesn't, I'd get him something else. In that case, if I make that food in the future, I will also make him something else that he will like.
post #56 of 109
With out going into details we deal with very real medical based food issues and are working with therpist on it so that does change things a bit...
Something on our DD "aproved" list in given at each meal luckily her list is small but overall healthy we encourage her to try (touch to tounge) at leeast one bit of something new.. If shes says no fine but what shes given is whats given. (note we feed often and her one approved something we give a generous amount so no ones starving) if she tries the something and descides she doesn't like it then fine and often I might offer something diffrent. (or we just leave it and have more of what shes will have). Basically we set up for success have rules on no "complaining" pointing and saying EWW thats disgusting or it will kill me : I serve healthy meals offer healthy "snacks" often and give her a certain amount of freedom within these boundries.
post #57 of 109
Another thing each meal is a new start if she decides shes doesn't want something she normally likes I'l ask if she wants to save it for latter but other than that its done over (DH eats it ) next meal a new a"day".
One rule though is she can't just look and decide I don't want it we do require she reamain at the table (she can enjoy the conversation) for a period of time (about 20 mintues or average and shes 5) because we often find she can say no quick but if given a few mintues to "consider" trying she often will.

Deanna
post #58 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumpkinSeeds View Post
Yeah that. We also have food allergy issues here too. Making one meal is definitely a luxury. My husband and I like spicy food too so we don't expect the kids to eat that. We only keep a couple of pieces of candy in the house for the emergency sweet tooth craving (for me or the kids), otherwise there is no other junk food in the house.
Here its mixed. We don't really have allergies butwe all have very real food choice diffrences. DD doesn't like things all mixed or sauces I'm not big on meat DH likes more.. SO like a simple spaghetti dinner
Me pasta with lot of veggies in the sauce no meat
DD pasta no sauce little meat alone choice veggies seperate
DH pasta miminal veggies lots of sauce
The basic meal is the same but its presented diffrently takes a little extra work but nothing horrid. I often allow family to choose say a piece of fruit what kind of sandwich ect to help custom a meal..
OTOH I've had to for financial reasons put a stop to everyone completely getting to choose whatever not for how long it takes to make but fo how much gets added to the cart when shopping.
So like
I like whole grain/wheat bread
DD likes white (thanks to MIL)
DH likes wheat but with out "stuff" as he says

I buy ezeakial sprouted grain 4:9 because it gives the best bang nurtution and still is approved by all everone compromises a but thats life

DD wants super thing pasta DH wants "white" I don't care I buy angle hair pasta plus kind because its fits budget DD need for thin and a little better bang for nutrution

DD will eat oranges bannanas apples peaches and grapes but not berries pears ect
DH likes DD list minus peaches and grapes but likes berries and pears
ETC
SO I regurally buy Apples oranges and bannanas...
GET the pattern? Its not that special things aren't gotten but I can fill the cart with all the stuff DH will eat all the stuff DD will eat and All mine things its too much spent, I know because it took me ages to realize I couldn't make everyone happy all the time.and frankly we baically but just enough to feel for X amount of meals so if I say open the pasta to make an alternitive meal or the bread to fix a sandwich then when we need it for a meal latter its not there. Of couse yes it happens and yes we consider for it on ocassion but we just can't have it happening all the time.
post #59 of 109
We've always strived to make a meal that has options everyone will like at least part of. No one is ever made to eat something they do not like/want to eat. We don't get into "take 1 more bite please" or any of that stuff.

If they don't want whatever dinner is there are almost always other options available that are easily made. Pudding, veggies and dip, a fast sandwich, fruit, tortilla wrap, etc.
post #60 of 109
One thing we are working on is her just trying there are many many many things DD will take one look at and burst into tears over but yet are simpily things shes never tried (and I include things like a diffrent kind of cake or fruit puddings chips fruits veggies ect its all stuff not just "good for you) and frankly she has gotten into the if I refuse I'll never ever have to attempt and mommy will give in a make me something else. Thats why we are working on the take one bite of something diffirent rule. Like it great no well then we can find something but yes you need to try. (just one) and not ALL meals will include something new. Were simpily after 5 years trying to expand her meals beyond bolied chicken rice raw carrots bannana oranges and cheerios. Not the worse of foods but some variety would be nice... :
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