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s/o of "picky eaters": how do you handle "i'm hungry!" when they didn't eat what you made for...

post #1 of 205
Thread Starter 
My ds (who USED to be the kid who thought raisins were candy and the best thing at mcdonald's was an unsweetened iced tea and bag of apples WITHOUT the caramel dip) has a thing of refusing dinner with "i'm not hungry" or "it's yucky" and then being starving about an hour later when he goes to bed and he demands a snack.
if you have whatever you would deem a "picky eater" how do you handle when they don't eat what you've prepared? giving in and making a snack seems to be a green light for getting out of eating a "yucky" dinner that he wouldn't even taste, but as a mama, i hate to 'send him to bed hungry'.
btw, he's 3.75 years old.
post #2 of 205
My boy is the same age, and does the same thing. He's non-verbal, so I don't hear 'yuck', but he refuse to eat some of the meals I make. Even though he loved them previously. Sigh. I just make him a sandwich, or cut up fruit for him.

For DS, I think it's a power struggle, and I hate the idea of fighting about food. Overall, DS eats quite well, and always better if I'm not stressing about it.
post #3 of 205
Mine is older than yours. With her it's not that she doesn't like the food, it's that she's gotten used to eating out at restaurants all the time so she doesn't enjoy eating what I've made for dinner (it's not me taking her out to eat, btw..I wouldn't do that to myself!)

If she doesn't eat dinner and ends up "staving" later on, she can have a bowl of oatmeal before bed or go without. I'm not into doing the short order cook thing.
post #4 of 205
Well, we don't do "it's yucky". I don't serve "yucky" foods to my family, and DS knows that it's rude say that a dish is yucky or gross. It may not be his favorite , he might not be in the mood for it, but it's not fried worms and mud. If he doesn't want to eat a particular protein or veggie, he fills up on the other dishes on the table (usually a salad, two veggies and a protein).
post #5 of 205
I offer a snack since I really don't want dd going to bed on an empty stomach, she rarealy eats much of the dinners I cook, and with a 16 yo and a 3 yo, plus my own finicky ways finding meals we will all eat is a chore. So I cook it, offer and generally don't have a issue making something else available.

Shay
post #6 of 205
I never deny a hungry child. If they don't want dinner at dinner- then they can have another (simple) option- yogurt, etc.

If they didn't eat dinner and are hungry later- then they get food then.

-Angela
post #7 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I never deny a hungry child. If they don't want dinner at dinner- then they can have another (simple) option- yogurt, etc.

If they didn't eat dinner and are hungry later- then they get food then.

-Angela

ditto.
post #8 of 205
If ds doesn't eat his dinner he can have "dessert" (after everyone else is finished) which is normally a yogurt of fruit.

Later (at least an hour later!) if he asks for something I will make it - normally a cheese sandwich or toast.

I have given up arguments about food. Ds doesn't eat a lot (3-4 bites at most per sitting, even if it is his "favourite"). I just keep healthy stuff in the house now because he likes to graze all day and never eats a substantial meal. I think it is just a stage. Hopefully he will grow out of it soon! I really don't stress now if ds doesn't try his dinner - I serve it, encourage him, but it is up to him. Sometimes bribing him works to try a new thing, (which sometimes he actually likes!) :
post #9 of 205
We just make sure there are other things available that they like. Mostly snacky things like cereal, breads, cheese, fruit, crackers, peanut butter, etc.
post #10 of 205
I ask ds what, of the things we have in stock, he wants for dinner.

The foods he likes are all easy things. The end of the day, when he is tired, is not the time I prioritize trying new foods or eating what I made simply because I made it. I give him fruit and vegetables earlier in the day and don't sweat a balanced meal at dinner time.
post #11 of 205
What do I do? I feed them. Something healthy that they will eat.

And while I'm feeding them, I feel grateful and blessed to have such a wide abundance of food in my house that feeding them something else is possible.
post #12 of 205
I definitely do not feel that I have a picky eater. However all of us in the family have had a night where one of us wasn't really keen on what was for dinner. The same rule applies to all of us... we're allowed to eat as much raw fruit and vegetables as we want... and we have to get it ourselves. If we don't fill our bellies at dinner, fruit and veggies.
post #13 of 205
We keep plenty of healthy foods around, and although I don't cook separate meals, anyone who isn't in the mood for what's cooked (DD or DH ) has something else. Some days DD wants everything I'm eating with lots of variety, other days she wants six bowls of plain oats or unsweetened applesauce. I think kids should be allowed food preferences among things that are good choices like anyone else, and it's not worth turning into a power struggle.
post #14 of 205
My kids are older now (11 and 10), but we have the same rules now as when they were little. If they are hungry after dinner - whether or not they ate dinner - they can eat anything they can make and clean up themselves.

I think we started that practice somewhere between age 2 and 3, and they were probably closer to 4 or 5 before they could snack without any help from me.

We had snacks and dishes on a low shelf just for them to use, and they could get in the pantry and the fridge. At that age, I think they usually had fruit (mainly banana), a fruit cup, bread, crackers, sliced cheese, etc. They could bring a fruit cup to me to open or something, but I didn't do any prep work other than that - and they had to put the trash away.

There were always some exceptions though. For example, if we tried something new for dinner, and they *did* try it but didn't like it, I would make a sandwich or bowl of soup for them to eat.
post #15 of 205
Depends on the age of the child. A growing two or three year old with a very little tummy I cater to. My 8 year old? As he once said to his sister, "Just have carrots and milk if you don't want that! Mom always lets you have carrots and milk!"

There are times that plain fruit or veggies doesn't do it for me, but a glass of milk adds a little "comfort and protein," (and goes surprisingly well with carrots - tastes kind of like coconut if you have them in your mouth at the same time, )
post #16 of 205
If my kids don't want what's for dinner, they get themselves something else. The only "rule" I have is that they do need to eat a fruit and/or vegetable. If they don't like what I made, they can get some baby carrots, an apple, whatever.

I definitely need to add the "and clean up after themselves" part to that though! Thanks reece19!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
And while I'm feeding them, I feel grateful and blessed to have such a wide abundance of food in my house that feeding them something else is possible.
A & A - This is how I feel too! I've people say that kids should eat what is in front of them because kids in other countries don't have the luxury of being picky. Well, kids in other countries also don't have the luxury of having indoor plumbing but I don't make my kids go outside to go to the toilet or shower off outside with the hose.
post #17 of 205
pbj, cereal with fruit and milk, yoghurt.....
post #18 of 205
I must be the meanest mom ever then.
If Dd doesn't eat her dinner, I put it up on the counter for her, if she asks for food cause she's hungry I give it back to her. She's 3.5 years. She's only done it a few times, she's not a picky eater and will normally eat whatever I put in front of her.
I did the same with both the boys, no arguments no trying to persuade anyone they like anything or the must take bites, the food is there, they can eat if they want it, no battles needed. I don't make alternative meals for anyone. Theres always something that they like included, even if it's just the mashed potatoes or something.
I'm not a short order cook, I do one meal at dinner.
post #19 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
I must be the meanest mom ever then.
If Dd doesn't eat her dinner, I put it up on the counter for her, if she asks for food cause she's hungry I give it back to her. She's 3.5 years. She's only done it a few times, she's not a picky eater and will normally eat whatever I put in front of her.
I did the same with both the boys, no arguments no trying to persuade anyone they like anything or the must take bites, the food is there, they can eat if they want it, no battles needed. I don't make alternative meals for anyone. Theres always something that they like included, even if it's just the mashed potatoes or something.
I'm not a short order cook, I do one meal at dinner.
Actually, this is what I used to do. In fact, I don't even know when the heck I changed from that to oatmeal. I must be getting soft in my old age!

Thanks for reminding me..mean moms unite.
post #20 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
I must be the meanest mom ever then.
If Dd doesn't eat her dinner, I put it up on the counter for her, if she asks for food cause she's hungry I give it back to her. She's 3.5 years. She's only done it a few times, she's not a picky eater and will normally eat whatever I put in front of her.
I did the same with both the boys, no arguments no trying to persuade anyone they like anything or the must take bites, the food is there, they can eat if they want it, no battles needed. I don't make alternative meals for anyone. Theres always something that they like included, even if it's just the mashed potatoes or something.
I'm not a short order cook, I do one meal at dinner.
I do this too, and don't think I am mean for it. I never make anyone clean their plate, and there is always lots of options (2-3 veggies, fruit, protein, and grain/starch). Something in there is always a hit, and we just go with that. If it became an issue, I would probably offer something quick and healthy as a backup: oatmeal, ceral, veggies, other leftovers, etc.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › s/o of "picky eaters": how do you handle "i'm hungry!" when they didn't eat what you made for dinner?