or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Dd's new friend is a super picky eater - WWYD?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dd's new friend is a super picky eater - WWYD? - Page 2

post #21 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post
You can insist that the child go to bed at 9pm per your 'house rules'... But you can't 'make' them go to sleep at 9pm. If a child, yours or a guest, wanted to lay in bed awake, not disturbing anyone until midnight - you couldn't stop them.

It's the same with food.

You can insist that she be polite about turning down food. You can insist that she sit at the table politely and visit while the family eats. But there is NO WAY that you should insist that she eat something.
Well I do insist that my dd eat certain foods, which I know may put me in the minority on these board. But I feel strongly that a varied diet is important. As I said before, I'm quite flexible about the particulars as long as she is getting a protein, a veggie, and a carb.

However your point is well-taken that she is not my kid and so I should be coordinating with her mother about what rules she should follow. I guess that is the next step.
post #22 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Well, if you were inviting your adult friends over to dinner, what would you do? I think you might think beyond "its adult friendly" to "what does X like to eat". At least, that's generally the way I approach cooking for friends. Of course, if they have dropped in unexpectedly, then its "we are having X, would you like to stay?" I don't do unplanned playdates, and certainly not ones that end in meals, so for me there is some planning time built in. If these are entirely, "oh, X is here and its dinner time, can she stay?" sorts of deals, I think all you can do is put a couple of safe, effortless choices out and hope for the best.

If, as you say, this is going to be an ongoing issue, I think your next step really needs to be a discussion with the child's mom about how she would like you to handle it. Basic playdate rules would dictate that you not do something that the other parent is opposed to, so I think you should go that route next. I will say that "forcing", no matter how gently and how little, my child to eat a food they didn't want would be a deal-breaker for me. In fact, my SIL did this to my son and it was the last time they have babysat him. I think you can say, "Our house rule is X, is that OK with you?" If she says no, then you can either work out an acceptible compromise or you can agree that child doesn't stay to dinner any more. But I think you are at the point where you need to involve the other parent.
Yeah, so far these have been spur-of-the-moment things where the decision to stay for dinner is made at the last minute. I'm only just now giving it a lot of thought because we are looking at the summer break and I expect (and want!) this child to be over a lot. So you are right, I'll have to figure something out with her mom.
post #23 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Well I do insist that my dd eat certain foods, which I know may put me in the minority on these board. But I feel strongly that a varied diet is important. As I said before, I'm quite flexible about the particulars as long as she is getting a protein, a veggie, and a carb.

However your point is well-taken that she is not my kid and so I should be coordinating with her mother about what rules she should follow. I guess that is the next step.
I will also choose to insist that my child 'try' things too. I'm not arguing that point.

But - I think that it isn't appropriate to make that kind of rule with someone else's kid.

Have you asked the kid what she does like to eat - and how she likes it prepared?

She's old enough that she may be able to think of a couple things that she's always willing to eat. And then I would try to incorperate those into meals when she was around.

Let's say she likes plain pasta. If you know that, instead of mixing the pasta and sauce in a pot - you can serve them separately. We had guests once who had a picky child. My parents, who were normally VERY militant about eating, made this concession Except that my dad could not wrap his head around serving 'plain' pasta and sprinkled some dried herbs on them in the serving bowl... Their kid wouldn't touch them. :roll:
post #24 of 124
Thread Starter 
Yes, I asked her what she likes the first night she was here when she told me she didn't like what we were having. It was all stuff that I don't know how to make, like chicken fried steak. To be honest at this point I don't think it would help to learn to make it because she probably won't like the way I make it, LOL. Last night (when she was spending the night unexpectedly) she asked what kind of toothpaste we have and when I told her we have a peppermint flavor she said she didn't like it. I asked what kind she likes, thinking maybe she liked the fruit kind. But no, she uses peppermint at home, she just didn't like our peppermint.

My kid can be really picky about some things, so I understand picky kids. I've just never seen one quite like this.

But hey, she does it potatoes and carrots, which are healthy foods. I'll talk to her mom, and lay in a stock of the above items.

I'm still trying to figure out how to explain this to my dd though. I do consider it bad manners to refuse to eat a token amount of food at a house where one is visiting (assuming one isn't allergic to it or has some other health problem) and quite frankly don't want her imitating her friend on this one. It is reasonable to me for a guest to put one's own preferences in second place and to eat what is served them so that the host doesn't feel bad or feel like they have to prepare something else. This is not to criticize anyone who feels differently; I get that many of you are coming at this from the perspective of children have autonomy over their own bodies. I'm coming at it from a different perspective, and from my perspective I don't know how to explain this to my daughter except to say, "look, we both love [X] but don't do what she does in this area".
post #25 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Yes, I asked her what she likes the first night she was here when she told me she didn't like what we were having. It was all stuff that I don't know how to make, like chicken fried steak. To be honest I don't see the point of learning to make it because she probably won't like the way I make it, LOL. Last night (when she was spending the night unexpectedly) she asked what kind of toothpaste we have and when I told her we have a peppermint flavor she said she didn't like it. I asked what kind she likes, thinking maybe she liked the fruit kind. But no, she uses peppermint at home, she just didn't like our peppermint.
She sounds just like my younger cousin. My grandparents once bought mini pizzas for us as a special treat. They got plain cheese because they knew that was all she ate. And still - she picked all the cheese off and wiped off the tomato sauce before replacing the cheese and eating. I was 8 or so - and I WAS HORRIFIED... I knew it was bad manners (because that's what my parents taught me). But I also learned something. My grandparents (who were not interested in raising us - but rather having a nice fun place for us to visit) were so patient and gracious. They ignored the behavior except to bring her a few more paper napkins and remove the ones covered in tomato sauce They knew they couldn't change her - so they didn't.

Quote:
My kid can be really picky about some things, so I understand picky kids. I've just never seen one quite like this.

But hey, she does it potatoes and carrots, which are healthy foods. I'll talk to her mom, and lay in a stock of the above items.
That's something. She won't starve on potatoes. You could even serve the exact kind she likes less when she's not there - so they're more of a treat for your family

Quote:
I'm still trying to figure out how to explain this to my dd though. I do consider it bad manners to refuse to eat a token amount of food at a house where one is visiting (assuming one isn't allergic to it or has some other health problem) and quite frankly don't want her imitating her friend on this one. It is reasonable to me for a guest to put one's own preferences in second place and to eat what is served them so that the host doesn't feel bad or feel like they have to prepare something else. This is not to criticize anyone who feels differently; I get that many of you are coming at this from the perspective of children have autonomy over their own bodies. I'm coming at it from a different perspective, and from my perspective I don't know how to explain this to my daughter except to say, "look, we both love [X] but don't do what she does in this area".
I personally agree with you - and on the approach I'll take with my own children.

But - your DD already knows that there are different rules in different circumstances. Think about any rule you have - not a major safety one - but one of the more minor ones. Is it the same at school? Is it the same if your DH is caring for the kids. For some things - the answer will be yes, and for others the answer will be no.

Let's take another eating related one. Let's say that you require that your DD sit properly in her chair while she's eating - so bum on the seat and feet on the floor. Let's say you were out for the evening and your DH was giving her supper. Is it possible that she might get away with curling a leg up underneath her? (My parents were BIG on the sitting properly rules...) I knew that at school no one cared less if I put my crusts in the garbage - but that would never fly at home.

But I do hear your concern... It SUCKED when we'd have a big family supper and I would have to eat "some" of everything offered and my cousin would have 1 thing on her plate. But I got through it. Although - I soon realized that my parents were actually much more relaxed about food rules when my cousin was around. I knew that it was a special 'treat' and it didn't impact how I behaved normally
post #26 of 124
I agree completely that you shouldn't try to fix what she says she likes, because no matter what you do it won't be "like mom's" and then you will end up feeling doubly resentful. Hence the suggestion of something other than the main dish that she can munch on instead. Something that takes little effort from you and that everyone can share -- not a special meal for her and not something that you don't want your child to eat as well.

Your child is old enough to understand "different families have different rules" AND "I don't like the way X handles this situation, I expect you do to Y instead when you visit X's family, or anyone else."

I think that 8 is also old enough to begin to learn the reasons for that. As I see it, the basic rule of hospitality to is make the other person as comfortable as possible, and to make them feel welcome and cherished. Thus, you are being a good host when you don't make a scene about what guest (child or adult) has or hasn't eaten. And in the reverse, you are being a good guest when you are open to new things and try something your host has prepared, even if you aren't sure you will like it. And unless you have eaten the food in question prepared by that person before, you never know if you will like it or not. And *that* is why you can have a different standard for a guest than for your own child *and* why your child needs to learn to be a good guest and try new things (or at least gracefully look like they are trying). Its a complicated peice of social nicety, but a good one for your child to learn. Of course, this leaves unsaid the fact that child guest hasn't learned this lesson. But you can certainly think it!
post #27 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
But like last night, she ended up spending the night rather unexpectedly and I didn't have "her" foods in the house. I insisted that she eat a little of everything we were having (that is the rule in our house I don't think it is fair to dd if her friend gets a different set of rules, not to mention she did need to have some food in her tummy before going to bed!) and it really didn't go over very well.

That wouldn't go over very well with my son, either, and frankly, I'd be annoyed that you tried to push your views of food on my child. I know it's incredibly frustrating, because I live with it everyday. You need to either not have her over to eat, ask her mom to send food her daughter will eat, or plan to have at least something she will like on the menu and let her eat as much or as little of what you're serving as she chooses. My picky kid is a light eater, and going to bed with just a few bites of food in his stomach probably wouldn't phase him.
post #28 of 124
I'm a notorious picky eater. I have been all my life. My mom would force me to eat lots of stuff I hated. I would have to sit at the table for hours until I cleaned my plate. (Remember the scene in Mommy Dearest?) I vowed when I grew up an control what I ate I would not eat any of that stuff ever again. And I don't. Over the years I have gotten better and do try new things from time to time.

When I was little my brother and I were babysat by a Philipino family that served very traditional foods. I would not touch any of it. They did not give me an alternative but I was happy I had control over what I ate and I didn't care that I went hungry.

I don't make my children eat anything they don't like by I sometimes try and convince them to try something. Sometimes it works, sometimes not but at least it's not forced.
post #29 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
. I insisted that she eat a little of everything we were having (that is the rule in our house I don't think it is fair to dd if her friend gets a different set of rules, not to mention she did need to have some food in her tummy before going to bed!) and it really didn't go over very well.



Oh, she and my dd are 8, they are not little ones. I wouldn't have as much of a problem if the behavior was coming from a 4 year old, YK?

Any advice?
Honestly? That was seriously GROSSLY inappropriate. How would you feel if you were a guest in someone's house and you were FORCED to eat food you didn't like?

Put the food in front of her. She's 8. If she's hungry she'll eat it. If she's not hungry enough, it really isn't your problem.

I know you didn't ask, but I wouldn't force your daughter to eat food either. It's a sure-fire way to create eating disorders later in life. (As an adult I have struggled with obesity all my life due to a similar mentality from my parents.)
post #30 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I get that many of you are coming at this from the perspective of children have autonomy over their own bodies.
I'm not coming at it from that perspective (though yes, I do think children have autonomy). For me, it's about anyone. I don't think that you're a good hostess when you expect everyone to eat some of everything - and then check to see that they do. The problem I'd have in this situation is the way the little girl is handling it. As an adult, if I don't like something (stuffed cabbage, for example), then I just don't get any on my plate. If the hostess (my MIL in cabbage example) asks, I just say, "I don't care for stuffed cabbage" and move on, ignoring all dirty looks. I would never say, "I didn't get any because it's disgusting. I'd NEVER eat cabbage" because *that* would be rude.

I think the difference is in expecting a guest to conform to house rules or bending house rules for the comfort of the guest, and I side with the latter as better manners. My MIL (all kidding aside) feels the former is more appropriate, so it's made for some uncomfortable situations over time (not just over food issues).
post #31 of 124
I am in the camp where I believe it is incredibly inappropriate to force the child to eat food. Seriously. I would be absolutely livid if someone did that with my child. House rules are one thing -- you must wipe your feet on the mat because we don't want mud tracked all over our house type things... but forcing a child to eat? I can't speak to your own child because she is yours and while I don't agree, you can parent her how you see fit within the realm of the law....

I would have foods the girl eats that take minimal effort (carrots/potatoes) like the pp suggested -- or discuss it with her mom and let her mom know you are more than happy to share your meals with her dd but since she has certain preferences, perhaps it would be easier for mom to pack something etc...

I honestly think that the idea that someone is being rude if they prefer not to eat something needs to be explored. What do I care if someone chooses not to eat something I was cooking anyway? Yes, it is a tad rude to plainly say 'I don't like it' -- but I have said to someone very nicely -- "I don't prefer peas thank you but the potatoes look wonderful!!" or whatever -- I don't believe someone should feel pressured/shamed into eating for the sake of niceties. It is their body, and if a host or hostess would prefer someone shove down something they don't want to eat just to appear polite, that is more rude (imo) than the person passing on a dish.

Just my opinion.

If the friendship is important to your dd and to you for her (and it clearly is!) I would drop this whole matter and keep some carrots in the crisper.
post #32 of 124
Oh, i should add, if I found out someone FORCED my child to eat something he didn't want, not only would that parent be getting an earful from me, I would be making sure to let everyone else in the community know about it...
post #33 of 124
I would not buy special food for this child. Let her know what is being served, if she decides to stay, then she can eat it or go hungry. I'd also discuss it with her parents so they are aware of the situation.
post #34 of 124
I don't force my child to eat anything. I never offer them so much as a substitution if they refuse to eat, but what they put in their mouth is their choice. I do encourage them to taste stuff. They are pretty good about this since I never force them to eat anything and they know if they don't like it that is that.

So i would be mad if you forced my kid to eat. I would not be mad if you sent her to bed without supper. (in a non punitive way. my point is don't worry about her being hungry.) although she will probably eat you out of house and home in the morning. i don't expect you to offer her a substitution but I do appreciate it (pb and j or cereal would be more then sufficient).

If this little girl is going to be over at your house a lot ask her mom how she would like you to handle it.

also my children are not forced to go over to anyones house for a play date. if they were forced to eat they would probably not ask to come over any more.

as for explaining things to your dd . . . .my kids know that as a good hostess you cater to your guests. and that their rules might be different than their rules. i do expect them to be gracious and try food at other peoples homes even if we don't have the rule for guests at our home. they get it.

I was by no means a picky eater as a kid but dinner at other peoples homes was just weird for me. I really had a hard time eating someone else's food even though they had invited me over. It was weird. but maybe there is more at play here pickiness.
post #35 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
I definitely would not do that. It's sort of mean. I cannot imagine telling a guest in my house, "You have to eat a bit of everything that I'm serving!" I wouldn't do it to an adult, and I wouldn't do it to a kid.

My dd (5) has real sensory issues that make her an incredibly picky eater. She honestly can't help it (though we're getting OT and they'll work with her on this). You don't know why this girl doesn't eat a lot of different things, or why she won't try them. And even if it's simply that she doesn't want to, well, she doesn't want to! Don't force the issue.

I think you need to get over this feeling you have and just make it easy for everyone by, like the previous poster suggested, having her come up with a list of things she likes, especially no-cook things, and have those readily available with meals/snacks when she's visiting.

Then you simply serve the meal, have the "safe" food she likes available, and don't mention the issue. Everyone can sit down, eat what she wants and not eat what she doesn't want, and just enjoy each other's company.
:
post #36 of 124
I'm also the mother of a child who has sensory issues when it comes to eating. He's extraordinarily picky. I was also picky when I was young.

My mom tried to graciously handle visits by allowing me to take food with me.

Personally, I can't imagine this 8 year old's mom not knowing her child is a picky eater.

And I think it is rude that the mother, IF she is aware of her child's picky eating, has not taken the initiative to come up with some sort of arrangement to help you out preterm, like allowing her to bring over something microwavable or something non-cook that she likes so you won't have to deal with it. I would not dream of sending my extra-picky eater to visit some one and not sending food along with him knowing how he is; I'd be doing it out of consideration to the person who's looking after him, because otherwise I KNOW that person would have a hard time with him, and I'd also be doing it out of making sure that the child is adequately nourished in my absence and not forced to eat something he don't want to (he'll throw it up if you make him) and would not have to go through the drama of having some one force food on him to get him to eat or sit there hungry while the person would be at a loss as to what to feed him.

Also, where I stand on the issue with making her eat a little bit of everything on the plate. I'm not comfortable with that.

BUT. If I was her mom, I couldn't sit and be mad about it because, it sounds like to me this mom never bothered to touch bases with you before about her eating situation, and hasn't bothered to send food with her to take that burden off of you. So you did the only thing you knew how to do to get adequate nutrition into this child while she was in your care, which was, treat this young girl the same way you would treat your own daughter. So while I'd be bothered with the methods, I couldn't get too bent out of shape about it because I'd feel like I hadn't done my job by putting forth the effort to adequately communicate with you on how to deal with and how not to deal with her eating issues.

That's just me though. I definetly think that you should talk to the mom. And if she is that picky, I wouldn't expect you to keep food in the house specifically for her, I'd be compelled to send her foods with her when she visited. And I say that as a mom of a sensory pickey eater.

Just my $.02
post #37 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I insisted that she eat a little of everything we were having (that is the rule in our house I don't think it is fair to dd if her friend gets a different set of rules, not to mention she did need to have some food in her tummy before going to bed!) and it really didn't go over very well.
It is not your place to make someone else's child do this. I'm not at all surprised it didn't go over well. And guests can have different rules than family.

I remember being younger than her being babysat at my mom's friend's house. She insisted I eat semolina pudding (yes, I was forced to eat dessert) even though I told her I didn't like it. I dislike it so much, that as soon as it went down, everything came back up again, all over. And to add insult to injury, she sent me to bed for the afternoon. A freaking neighbour did this.

That was over 30 years ago, and my blood still boils to think about it, and I still won't touch semolina.
post #38 of 124
I think there are four distinct issues here.

1. Do "house rules" include trying food? Personally, I don't think so. The reason is that it's not good hospitality/etiquette to force things on people. You can say that adults would know it's polite to try things but... I have met many adults who don't, and I would never badger them to eat. The host's role is not to broaden the palates of the guests, just to offer refreshment.

2. Will the lack of consistency about trying a bite impact on your daughter? Well I think if you present it to her as #1, good hosts don't force food on people, it's actually an opportunity for her to learn a new life lesson, and it won't weaken the first.

3. As for the visiting child's manners, I do think it would be fine to talk to her about not making it unpleasant for you. In an upbeat way I'd say "hey, it's fine not to eat, but we don't make comments about it - it makes the meal unpleasant." I speak from experience - I have a nephew who is not just picky, but whose mouth absolutely runs away with him. He doesn't like "sink water" (water from the tap), and once we ordered him his own special cheese-only pizza and he wiped the sauce off because it wasn't the right kind while telling us we didn't order it right. He's 8 too and he just is That Kid Without The Social Filters. He is working on it, but it will be more of a struggle for him I think. So I do mention it, but nicely - information for him about me, more than anything.

4. I guess myself I wouldn't worry about stocking special food for her. I might ask her mother if she would mind sending a snack along 'just in case," and I certainly would offer something like toast. But I wouldn't short-order cook, no, unless it were a sleepover or an extended period of time.
post #39 of 124
I would fix dinner for your family. It's her choice to eat or not eat. If she's hungry before bed time, she can have a bowl of cereal for a snack.

Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. Her parents aren't that concerned, or they wouldn't allow her to stay for dinner (knowing that she won't eat it)

Kids need to be exposed to new food choices, and eventually they learn that they actually DO like it. Many parents just assume she won't like anything but her usual, and they don't give many new choices.
post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Oh, i should add, if I found out someone FORCED my child to eat something he didn't want, not only would that parent be getting an earful from me, I would be making sure to let everyone else in the community know about it...
You would go door to door telling everybody that the new neighbor made your daughter take one bite of corn?????

Seriously?

FORCED to eat food, would be to say "You can't leave the table until you eat this". That's hardly what the OP did.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Dd's new friend is a super picky eater - WWYD?