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Dd's new friend is a super picky eater - WWYD? - Page 6

post #101 of 124
I'm coming in on page 5 and haven't read most of the responses, so this might already have been discussed.

For me, there are rules of the house, and then there are rules of the body. Rules of the house include stuff like when the lights go off, if you can jump on the couch or not, no swearing, or whatever floats your boat.

But rules of the body stay with the person, and that includes what they choose to eat. I don't surrender the right to control my own body when I walk into someone else's house. I would never expect a child or adult to eat something at my house if they didn't want to, not even a single bite. If having this girl over is a problem, just call the mom and say "Hey, I notice that your dd doesn't like most of our food, so to make sure she doesn't go hungry, would you mind sending some of her favorite food over with her." I don't see why it's that big of a deal.

I am not a picky eater - I like almost everything. But the things I don't like I really don't like, and I am not going to try even one bite. Sometimes I really don't want something that I normally do like - my stomach is feeling sensitive, or whatever. If that hurts someone's feelings, then that's too bad, but it's my body, and I will get physically ill if I eat something that my body is telling me not to. I've never understood why people get offended if someone doesn't like a particular food. I don't care how great a cook you are, I am not eating anything with goat cheese. Why is that offensive?

I would be horrified if I found out that the parents of one of ds's friends forced him to try a bite of something he didn't want. In fact, this is one of his main fears about spending the night at someone else's house - that he won't like the food they are serving. I've always told him that he can simply say "no thank you," that he never has to eat anything he doesn't want to.

Honestly, I think you're making way too big a deal out of it. If she doesn't want what you're serving, then she doesn't eat. She won't starve to death without dinner one night. Let her help herself to whatever is in the fridge or cupboard. I'm sure she can find some crackers or an apple or whatever. And if not, well, no biggie. She can eat a big breakfast when she gets home.
post #102 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
For me, there are rules of the house, and then there are rules of the body. Rules of the house include stuff like when the lights go off, if you can jump on the couch or not, no swearing, or whatever floats your boat.

But rules of the body stay with the person, and that includes what they choose to eat. I don't surrender the right to control my own body when I walk into someone else's house.
I like this division. To ME (acknowledging that food is a big hot button for me due to past abuse), *having* to put something into my mouth because of coercion feels similar to having someone touch me against my wishes. Of course it would be grossly inappropriate for me to force my fingers into a guest's mouth -- it would be just as inappropriate to force food there.

For a guest, it doesn't matter why they won't eat something (allergy, sensory, "just picky"). They deserve the body autonomy to decide. Equally obviously, you may decide that for your own children in your own home you have different rules. You may decide that its appropriate to stick your fingers in their mouths (for example, when brushing teeth for a reluctant brusher). You may decide that requiring a child to eat something in particular is appropriate. But you can't do that for a guest.

It doesn't matter why a child, or adult, is picky, unless that child is yours and you decide that its important. I have worked out a system for feeding my family and rules for meals that I am 110% comfortable with. While I love my approach and think its pretty wonderful and that everyone should have a similar approach (as I think most of us do), I also fully understand that different people have different approaches, different rules, and different comfort levels with these issues. As my children grow to an age that they are encounter other's approaches without my guidance, I can only hope they have already learned enough manners to not be insulting to their hosts. And that the hosts respect their body integrity enough to let it go at that.
post #103 of 124
I'd ask her mom what she likes.
post #104 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

My wild theory about pickiness is that it's a survival adaptation - it probably helps to have people in the tribe who will try new additions to the diet, but also good to have a "picky component" that won't all fall ill when the new food turns out to have bad consequences.
Great theory!
post #105 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
and the conflicting things I read from the AP front. No, you can't tell children that if they are hungry enough they will eat it, but god forbid you feed your children the crap they will eat.
It's a fallacy to believe that "picky" always means "crap." (Certainly not for my ds.) Generally it just means a more limited variety of (good) food than what other people would prefer.
post #106 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Even one bite is too much! If I found out another person was forcing my ds to eat something I would be LIVID and would probably seriously reconsider letting him go over there. I know that would suck for your dd, because it sounds like she likes this girl, but there you go.

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post #107 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
It's a fallacy to believe that "picky" always means "crap." (Certainly not for my ds.) Generally it just means a more limited variety of (good) food than what other people would prefer.
I think that often, although not always, parents of picky eaters seem to end up finding something fast and easy that their kid will *always* eat. And more times than not - that ends up being crap food. Like the kids who live on chicken nuggets and tater tots.

My BIL will only eat 'crap' salad. That mean iceberg lettuce with some other veggies he can pick out. Iceberg lettuce is the only kind of 'veggie' he will eat. (sometimes he'll eat baby carrots). Once his mom found that he'd eat that - she bought copious quantities of it.

My cousin was VERY picky. So she ate a HUGE amount of the same frozen fish sticks. She had them for supper maybe 4 nights a week.

One of my good friends growing up little sister was really picky. She ate plain pasta with butter on it as her ONLY food probably 80% of her lunches and supper. I would say that was crap. But her mom would cook up big post and freeze it in baggies - and then those could be microwaved in a few minutes after she decided she didn't like the fresh food.
post #108 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
I think that often, although not always, parents of picky eaters seem to end up finding something fast and easy that their kid will *always* eat. And more times than not - that ends up being crap food. Like the kids who live on chicken nuggets and tater tots.

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Yeah, for some people. But there are other versions of picky, too. My ds, for example, has vegetarian tendencies and hates most meat. That's "picky," since I can't always feed him what we're having for dinner, but he'll eat almost all vegetables and fruits.
post #109 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Yeah, for some people. But there are other versions of picky, too. My ds, for example, has vegetarian tendencies and hates most meat. That's "picky," since I can't always feed him what we're having for dinner, but he'll eat almost all vegetables and fruits.
And many parents will respond to that by buying a bunch of veggie hotdogs and feeding their kid nothing but those.

And even the good veggie dogs are still full of 'junk' stuff - that's part of why they taste good.

You may work hard to make sure that your DS gets good nutritious balanced food, even though what he eats differs from what you do. But many parents will just buy frozen quick foods to 'substitute' into their normal meal plans for picky or restricted eaters.

I mean - mushroom burgers are tasty once in a while - but they don't fill the same dietary needs as a meat patty. Rice milk doesn't actually substitute for cow milk.
post #110 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
My BIL will only eat 'crap' salad. That mean iceberg lettuce with some other veggies he can pick out. Iceberg lettuce is the only kind of 'veggie' he will eat. (sometimes he'll eat baby carrots). Once his mom found that he'd eat that - she bought copious quantities of it.
Or *maybe* BIL grew up at the same time I did. When iceberg lettuce was the ONLY sort of lettuce you could get at any price AND a very inexpensive veg to get. It's easy to call it "crap" when you have lots of other choices. 10-15-20 years ago? It was that or nothing. So it's what a lot of people grew up with and are used to. No need to judge them for it.
post #111 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Or *maybe* BIL grew up at the same time I did. When iceberg lettuce was the ONLY sort of lettuce you could get at any price AND a very inexpensive veg to get. It's easy to call it "crap" when you have lots of other choices. 10-15-20 years ago? It was that or nothing. So it's what a lot of people grew up with and are used to. No need to judge them for it.
Or maybe he ate iceberg lettuce while the rest of his family ate things like asperigus and other veggies.

And regardless of price - iceberg lettuce has virtually no nutritional value. It is water and cellulose. I happen to like it - but that doesn't make it not "crap"...
post #112 of 124
I'm not entirely sure why you're determined to make every picky eater a "crap" eater.

I'll give more specific examples. My ds likes hard-boiled eggs, but he doesn't really like them scrambled. That's picky. But eggs are still healthy (for most people.)

He wouldn't eat much chicken, but now he's decided he'll eat it if he can have pesto to dip it in. (And I certainly didn't force trying pesto--I just offered it to him one day while offering him chicken.)

So, every time we eat chicken, he has his pesto to dip it in. That's picky, but chicken and pesto is certainly a healthy meal!

He likes toast (wheat bread--we never have white bread in the house), but his toast has to be very lightly toasted. If it gets toasted too much, he won't eat it. So that's picky, but he's eating wheat bread.

I'm the same way. I eat healthy foods, but perhaps a more limited variety (or in a more limited way) than other people. Steak has to be extremely well-done for me, for example. My chicken has to basically be overcooked. My dh considers that picky.

So, my long, drawn-out point is that people can be healthy eaters and still be picky. So, I dispute the notion that there is a necessarily a conflict between catering to your child's food interests and feeding them good, healthy foods.

For those of you who have children who don't like vegetables, you may want to try a garden. Children can get involved in planting, weeding, and watering those vegetables, and they take a more personal interest in what those foods may taste like. For example, you haven't really tried peas until you've tried a fresh organic one straight out of your own garden. YUM!!
post #113 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by falconry-fan View Post
She lets him be picky? How do you know that?

Is it because he will occasionally try other foods in your home? That's pretty common for kids to at least try an unfamilar food in a home other than their own, peer pressure partly playing a part.

I wouldn't presume she was allowing him to be picky, considering the stories I've read from so many mamas here about their picky eaters and how their kids would really rather starve than eat certain foods, their parents have tried various means to get them to eat with little result so I think it's rather judgemental and unfair to accuse her of letting her kids be picky eaters.

Back to the OP for a moment. I'd have no problem with you politely telling my child that he/she is being rude, criticising your food, I agree that is rude and unacceptable.

However I would be furious if you insisted my child try a bit of everything on their plate, asking is fine, insisting is most certainly not.

I'd just stick with having one or two 'safe' foods and making sure she has some of those on her plate and not worry too much about her going hungry, she'll make up for it the next day.

I'm not a picky eater but there are some foods I couldn't and wouldn't possibly try if they were on my plate, even if my host thought I was being rude, not that I'd comment on it, just push it to one side.
Coleslaw being one of those, not even an incentive of money could make me put a forkful of it to my lips.
She lets them be picky are her words, it makes her crazy, but she feels guilty and doesn't do anything about it, they do not practice AP they are very mainstream parents. With the youngest boy she watched him start to copy the older boys and went along with it, I've seen her encourage it by saying no to foods they "don't like" and substitute a food they do.
Middle son (same age as my Ds#2) went to science camp and ate everything offered after being told, sorry we don't serve junk, it was an organic/vegetarian cook.
If children aren't encouraged to eat and try other things they'll never do it, and she never gives them the opportunity to try at home.
My oldest is picky to the point of never eating veg but they are there and if he wants to try he can, I don't cater my meals to his choices if he eats he eats, if he doesn't then he waits for me to cook the next meal, he isn't starving and is healthy. he also has other sensory issues, but even a sensory issue kid doesn't need to dictate meals. I make sure there is one item I know they like, other than that, they eat what I cook or wait till the next meal.

Oh and you couldn't pay me to eat Cole Slaw either, so there are things I like/dislike too, but I try to keep it varied.
post #114 of 124
Thread Starter 
I'm surprised how long this thread has gone on. People are really passionate about food!

There does seem to be a resistance on the part of many that some kids (I said *some*, okay?) are picky just because they can be.

I'm a firm believer that the truth usually lies in the middle rather than on either extreme. Just as it would be wrong to assume that *every* picky eater is doing it from sheer stubborness, I think the default assumption that picky eaters are *always* motivated by physical issues is also wrong.

Can we agree on that?

Gabysmom is right that if the kid is not our own, i.e. we do not know the child intimately, then more harm could be caused by assuming the child is "just being picky" than could be caused by assuming the child has physical issues.

But as far as I am concerned, I would tend to trust parent's judgements (on the assumption they know their child better than anyone else) as to what is motivating their child's pickiness and how it should be dealt with.
post #115 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Some kids really are just picky and would benefit from the “eat what I serve or go hungry” approach.
Perhaps this is true, but it wasn't your initial point. You told the child she *had* to try everything, and that is the opposite of an "eat or go hungry" philosophy. That's a "you will eat whether you like it or want it" approach. I don't have a problem with not fixing something else for the child, though I have done it for my nephews in the past. My children are much younger, so we don't have the issues with friends yet. When other kids are over, I generally try hard to see what it is they do like and then make plans around it.

One of the things I've gotten from this post is that I will be more aggressive in telling my children that they can refuse what another adult tells them to do and ask to call home immediately. I've seen quite a few instances that have enforced that idea with me, and this is one of them. If anyone ever told my children they had to eat anything, I'd prefer the kids call me to pick them up rather than sit at the table in a battle of wills with an adult. I wouldn't allow my children back there, so I wouldn't have any worries about the consequences of such a decision. Of course, it's also now added to my list of questions to ask other parents before the kids visit.

As the mom of a food allergy kid, though, I realize this problem is bigger for parents of finicky eaters. I'm very clear that my son isn't to eat anything I haven't approved because of the allergies. In fact, I generally try to keep him away from the need to eat with other people because it's such an ordeal. It may be bigger for my daughter, though, because it's not something I would necessarily address beforehand about her - ie, that I'm not supportive of telling her she's required to eat anything.
post #116 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I'm surprised how long this thread has gone on. People are really passionate about food!

There does seem to be a resistance on the part of many that some kids (I said *some*, okay?) are picky just because they can be.

I'm a firm believer that the truth usually lies in the middle rather than on either extreme. Just as it would be wrong to assume that *every* picky eater is doing it from sheer stubborness, I think the default assumption that picky eaters are *always* motivated by physical issues is also wrong.

Can we agree on that?

Gabysmom is right that if the kid is not our own, i.e. we do not know the child intimately, then more harm could be caused by assuming the child is "just being picky" than could be caused by assuming the child has physical issues.

But as far as I am concerned, I would tend to trust parent's judgements (on the assumption they know their child better than anyone else) as to what is motivating their child's pickiness and how it should be dealt with.
The thing is, I think you (and some other posters) are putting a value judgement on "being picky" with regards to food. Think of it this way - if a child were sleeping at your home and you gave them a wool blanket to sleep with, would you be upset or offended or call the child "picky" if they said "wool is scratchy, I can't sleep with that" ? Would you even consider insisting that they ue the blanket? I doubt it. I suspect you would either say "I'm so sorry - That's all we have. Maybe I can call your mom and ask her to bring your blanket from home." Or "No problem! I'll get you a different blanket!" Why are these values connected to food preference? I don't get it.
post #117 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
The thing is, I think you (and some other posters) are putting a value judgement on "being picky" with regards to food. Think of it this way - if a child were sleeping at your home and you gave them a wool blanket to sleep with, would you be upset or offended or call the child "picky" if they said "wool is scratchy, I can't sleep with that" ? Would you even consider insisting that they ue the blanket? I doubt it. I suspect you would either say "I'm so sorry - That's all we have. Maybe I can call your mom and ask her to bring your blanket from home." Or "No problem! I'll get you a different blanket!" Why are these values connected to food preference? I don't get it.
The reason why it is an issue is because food usually has to be prepared, which involves time and effort on the part of the host or parent. There aren't always quickie foods on hand that don't require preparation, at least not healthy ones. There are also issues of politeness that have been mentioned upthread. It's not really comparable to just fetching a different blanket.
post #118 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Perhaps this is true, but it wasn't your initial point. You told the child she *had* to try everything, and that is the opposite of an "eat or go hungry" philosophy. .
Okay, I should have said the "try a little of everything" approach. To be sure you understand, if you've read the entire thread you will see that I've decided I was wrong about that and have moved on to more philosophical musings since. The comment you quoted is in response to a different issue, the issue the assumptions on this thread. I do tell my child she *has* to try a little of everything. I shouldn't have done that to someone else's child, because I don't know the child or the family well enough, but I know my daughter and am comfortable in our approach to food. I'd hate to feel that I was being judged for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
One of the things I've gotten from this post is that I will be more aggressive in telling my children that they can refuse what another adult tells them to do and ask to call home immediately. I've seen quite a few instances that have enforced that idea with me, and this is one of them. If anyone ever told my children they had to eat anything, I'd prefer the kids call me to pick them up rather than sit at the table in a battle of wills with an adult. I wouldn't allow my children back there, so I wouldn't have any worries about the consequences of such a decision. Of course, it's also now added to my list of questions to ask other parents before the kids visit.
I agree, if this is an important issue for you then you absolutely should let the other parent know! If it ever happens, though, I'd hope that before you'd decided to not allow your children back to the house that you'd talk to the parent. If they are unapologetic then you shouldn't let them go back since the parent obviously won't respect your family's choices. But, as I've also said upthread, If that parent were me I'd apologize and respect your wishes in the future. I don't understand the mentality that a parent who does this is so irredeemably evil that they must be shunned rather than engaged. I can assure you that I am not evil . Just as you are, I am coming at the issue from my own set of experiences and priorities, which I have also talked about upthread. I made a decision at the time, recognized it didn't work well, sought advice and learned some new things. That learning would never take place if you simply decided I was evil and shut me out.
post #119 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post


Heaven forbid that AP parenting include taking your children's wishes seriously.


My picky eater literally throws up anything he seriously doesn't like ........including chives and any carbonated drinks.


As long as I am blessed/fortunate enough to have a wide variety of food in the house, my children (and their friends) will be given choices as to what to eat.
I think in each instance we need to define what 'picky eater' means. My picky eater gags, and would throw up if she continued to eat certain things(fwiw, so do I), both of us obviously have sensory issues with food (texture surely, sense too- potaoe chips send her into dry heaves). If my picky eater threw up every time she tried something she serisouly didn't like we'd probably have her in the hospital on an IV, thankfully our issues aren't as severe as that.

We do cater to her and meals pretty much cycle through foods we know she will eat. But, not only are the reasons for pickiness different, be it a control issue (a strong possibilty in many cases), sensory issues, allergies, etc., the foods they will eat vary from child to child. My picky eater loves tofu (but only from a specific restaurant), soba noodle soup, shrimp, pasta/pasta/pasta, pizza, home-made steamed dumplings, almost anything sweet, broccoli with shredded cheddar cheese, homemade vegetable juice (apple/carrots/zuchini only). I get bored eating the same things over and over, so I cook off her list of edible foods and we always ask her to try new things. I wouldn't say we force her, she's 7 now and knows she might like something no matter how it looks. She tried fresh raw spinach yesterday and decided she liked it enough to eat it a small handsfull worth, happy day! We do offer her an alternative, one she can get herself. She won't eat peanut butter so most days she eats cheese and egg quesadillas.

But, our DD's issues have extended beyond texture/smell and also fall into the realm of expectation issues. When our DD was younger she was at a family members house who knew her issues, they ordered cheese pizza because they did not have any of her preffered foods on hand (how nice of them!) and when she was served it she promptly refused it because it was cut into squares and not triangles.

I think it needs to be noted that there are many different degrees of picky, many different reasons, and times when no matter how much food is in the house a line needs to be drawn based on all these things. We can offer choices, but sometimes it might just come down to 'you eat the square pizza, or you eat something from the fridge' even though we already know you don't want anything in there. I believe we can be AP, offer choices and include limits while teaching appreciation for what others have done for us.

The rudeness factor is something we specifically addressed with our own picky eater. She has an appreciation for the time/work/effort/money that goes into any meal.
post #120 of 124
I guess I would be a rude host. I would not go out of my way to keep food she likes on hand just so she can eat. If she's that picky her parents know it and can send her with something or expect her not to eat. If you had a few things great but not stock up just for this child who refusing to try anything else.I guess I just wouldn't sweat it too much unless she is over a lot during meal times.
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