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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... - Page 2

post #21 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.
And I'm sure that works for some kids. For my dd she would be hungry and melt down from low blood sugar and make everyone's life miserable.

Also, if *I* don't like something for dinner or my dh doesn't like it, we can always get something else. Why should my kids not have the same right?

-Angela
post #22 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by reece19 View Post
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.
This is about how we approach it. We do model eating new things and a wide variety of food, and we gently correct anything like "yucky" as not a kind or respectful thing to say.
post #23 of 205
When we make a meal, we make the meal. If our kids choose not to eat, then they are making that choice. Not us. If its dinner and they say they are starving before they go to bed, we'll either make them a meal replacement drink, just so they get the vitamins and proteins or they can have A piece of fruit. Cereal is not an option, neither are sandwiches. We prepared the meal, they chose not to eat.
post #24 of 205
Everybody in my family has the option of not eating dinner (or breakfast, or lunch). If they don't eat dinner/breakfast/lunch, they always can have bread, cheese, raw fruits, or raw veggies. We all follow the same rule.
post #25 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.
That's basically what we do with DD, 21 months. We used to do the "other healthy choices" thing, but that quickly devolved into her subsisting on cheerios and bananas - healthy enough foods, but not enough variety. We've found that while she may not be in the mood for the food for whatever reason during dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) time, she may be perfectly happy to eat it later, so I don't think it's a "mean" thing necessarily. Also, sometimes she just needs to see the same food a few times before she'll eat it, especially if it's new.

DH is incredibly picky (really, it's extreme, he only ate about 10 different foods when I met him), so we are trying very hard to avoid this with our children. His father was a picky eater himself, and his mom did the short-order cook thing (and still does, for DH's even pickier 25-year-old brother that still lives at home). So, aside from not wanting to cook separate meals, I also don't want to do it because I'm concerned about long term effects. Of course, DH and I are both modeling eating every food put on the table (DH acts like he likes it in front of DD, whether he really does or not), and we hope that over time, that will do a lot to help.
post #26 of 205
If it happens a lot, is there something you can work into your routine that will stop him going hungry, but not be seen as giving in?

As part of our bedtime routine my daughter has a big glass of cow's milk while she's read a story. It fills her up if I misjudged dinner, and if she's full from dinner she doesn't drink much of it. But there's no bargaining involved and it's not a reward.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
And I'm sure that works for some kids. For my dd she would be hungry and melt down from low blood sugar and make everyone's life miserable.

Also, if *I* don't like something for dinner or my dh doesn't like it, we can always get something else. Why should my kids not have the same right?

-Angela
That's why she said
Quote:
Theres always something that they like included, even if it's just the mashed potatoes or something.
post #27 of 205
I with MCR, or maybe I am the wicked witch of the north. DS and DD can eat dinner, or not. That's it. I make sure that we have 3 or 4 items at dinner, and they like at least 1 or 2 of the items. I don't make myself eat things I don't like; I don't make them eat it either. There are choices. They can have as much, or as little, as they want. If they chose not to eat, and are hungry at bedtime (1 hour later), then they can eat the leftovers. Or not.
post #28 of 205
My stepdaughter went to bed hungry the other night. Why?

She refused dinner because it wasn't McDonalds. She got it in her head that she really, really wanted McDonalds, and nothing else would do. (We don't do McDonalds, period.) This also meant she refused to get anything else for herself (which is the normal remedy for a refusal to eat a prepared dinner), refused the rice that was served...

She refused a bedtime snack because it wasn't a banana. We had run out of bananas earlier that day (she ate the last one), and no, we weren't going to run out to the store after her bedtime to get her one when there were tons of other reasonable options. (I get that a banana and McDonalds are two different things, but if we don't have bananas, we don't have bananas, and unless it's medicine or something, nobody gets a special trip to the store.)

This meant she spent several minutes rolling around her bed, going "hungry...so very hungry..." and clutching her stomach dramatically. But she was refusing to eat simply to be contrary (or to see just how much she could get away with before we give in), and she was making the choice to go to bed hungry.
post #29 of 205
My 3.25-year-old can have bread and butter or a slice of deli meat or cheese if she doesn't want her dinner, and she can have all the milk she wants.

I know that kids this age often need many, many presentations of a food before they're willing to eat it. So I don't want to get into the habit of separate dinners for her - I want to keep offering the foods we eat so that they at least remain food possibilities in her mind. But I won't let her go hungry either.
post #30 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
If it happens a lot, is there something you can work into your routine that will stop him going hungry, but not be seen as giving in?

As part of our bedtime routine my daughter has a big glass of cow's milk while she's read a story. It fills her up if I misjudged dinner, and if she's full from dinner she doesn't drink much of it. But there's no bargaining involved and it's not a reward.

That's why she said
And if my dd just eats one thing like that (especially if it's not high in protein) she's going to be a bear later. It's not a balanced meal.

-Angela
post #31 of 205
DD1 (just turned 6 today!) is very picky!! If she doesn't eat supper, she does get something for a snack after. A bedtime snack is part of our nighttime routine regardless of how much they ate for supper, so dd would get something to eat. Our evening snacks are usually yogurt, fruit, cheese and crackers or similar. Every once in a while dd wants toast or a sandwich.

I do admit to being somewhat of a short order cook, but only to a point. I try to make our meals include something she likes - even if it's only rice, but if we are eating something where I know she won't touch any of it, then I will cook some pasta.
post #32 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
My stepdaughter went to bed hungry the other night. Why?

She refused dinner because it wasn't McDonalds. She got it in her head that she really, really wanted McDonalds, and nothing else would do. (We don't do McDonalds, period.) This also meant she refused to get anything else for herself (which is the normal remedy for a refusal to eat a prepared dinner), refused the rice that was served...

She refused a bedtime snack because it wasn't a banana. We had run out of bananas earlier that day (she ate the last one), and no, we weren't going to run out to the store after her bedtime to get her one when there were tons of other reasonable options. (I get that a banana and McDonalds are two different things, but if we don't have bananas, we don't have bananas, and unless it's medicine or something, nobody gets a special trip to the store.)

This meant she spent several minutes rolling around her bed, going "hungry...so very hungry..." and clutching her stomach dramatically. But she was refusing to eat simply to be contrary (or to see just how much she could get away with before we give in), and she was making the choice to go to bed hungry.
Yeah, and in that case I would have let dd go to bed "hungry" too.

-Angela
post #33 of 205
My girls are older, but here's what we do. If they don't like what i make, they can make themselves something simple like a bagel or cereal or an egg. They usually have an evening snack of cheese or fruit or something else healthy and easy.
post #34 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.
This is what I would do.

I'm not a short order cook - and I don't cater to picky kids or husbands... Food is food - just because it's not your favorite doesn't make it inedible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
And I'm sure that works for some kids. For my dd she would be hungry and melt down from low blood sugar and make everyone's life miserable.

Also, if *I* don't like something for dinner or my dh doesn't like it, we can always get something else. Why should my kids not have the same right?

-Angela
In my house - DH and I eat what's for supper.

I CAN'T imagine how offended I would be if DH looked at what's for supper and made himself something else. THAT'S SOOOOO RUDE!!!!

Ugggggg - that whole idea of that puts a bad taste in my mouth. What a HORRIBLE way to model food to your kids. What a waste! I don't want my child to learn that she can turn down perfectly good food just because she'd rather have something else.
post #35 of 205
I have no problem offering one simple alternative.
Same with being hungry before bedtime; it is no hardship to help him open a yogurt container.

In general, food is not something I will battle about. I hope not ever. Until he wants to go to McD's. Then we'll have some troubles.
post #36 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kessed View Post

I'm not a short order cook - and I don't cater to picky kids or husbands... Food is food - just because it's not your favorite doesn't make it inedible.

In my house - DH and I eat what's for supper.

I CAN'T imagine how offended I would be if DH looked at what's for supper and made himself something else. THAT'S SOOOOO RUDE!!!!

Ugggggg - that whole idea of that puts a bad taste in my mouth. What a HORRIBLE way to model food to your kids. What a waste! I don't want my child to learn that she can turn down perfectly good food just because she'd rather have something else.

I guess it really depends on how things run in your household.

Dh and I don't have the exact same tastes and the same eating schedule. If he doesn't wish to eat my tofu dish, I take absolutely no offense whatsoever. I would never consider it rude if he passed it up. I've done the same for his meals because he simply chooses to eat more meat than I am comfortable with.

We often eat such simple meals that no one is slaving over a hot stove for hours. If I am planning on cooking a more elaborate meal, then I usually make sure it's something ds will like, or if it 's too spicy I will have something simpler for him.

And it's not wasteful here -- we eat leftovers.
post #37 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.
Oh gosh - I don't think you're mean AT. ALL.

This is exactly what do/did.

Now my kids are 11, 12 and 14 and they literally will eat anything. I have wonderful healthy eaters who prefer fruit to candy. Even at 14.

Which really sucks when I think about it. Have you ever seen a 14 year old boy polish off strawberries? Sheesh He's expensive!
post #38 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
I guess it really depends on how things run in your household.

Dh and I don't have the exact same tastes and the same eating schedule. If he doesn't wish to eat my tofu dish, I take absolutely no offense whatsoever. I would never consider it rude if he passed it up. I've done the same for his meals because he simply chooses to eat more meat than I am comfortable with.

We often eat such simple meals that no one is slaving over a hot stove for hours. If I am planning on cooking a more elaborate meal, then I usually make sure it's something ds will like, or if it 's too spicy I will have something simpler for him.

And it's not wasteful here -- we eat leftovers.
For us supper is a family meal. We make something from scratch - then we sit down and eat.

I eat what he makes, and he eats what I make - that's common courtesy. I cannot believe that so many people think it's OK to make new food.

I cannot imagine not eating what was made for supper. That's just plain ridiculous.

We respect the other person when we cook - so I don't use mushrooms and he doesn't use ground beef. If DD has a like/dislike we'll respect that.

Maybe money's a factor. We don't have the money to make more than one thing - even if we used the leftovers. Well - I guess we could use them for supper the next night, but neither of us like to eat the same thing 2 suppers in a row. But our lunches tend to cost alot less than suppers. So - there's no way we could afford to make 2 suppers and then take leftovers for lunch. That would double our supper budget - and drastically increase our food budget.
post #39 of 205
dd1 is 2.5 and she rarely eats supper at supper time. I always give her a plate of food and if she doesn't eat it, I either leave it on the table for her to go back to or it goes in the fridge until she's hungry and requesting food.

if she doesn't like what we are having i have no problem providing her with something else; yogurt, fruit, raw vegs, basically something that requires no prep.
post #40 of 205
I should probably add - that we will start being strict about supper when our kids are old enough to have some level of self control.

So probably 4 or 5 - then they will participate in supper with us.

Before that - I will be much more lenient.

But - I have no desire to make multiple meals. I will not make a hot snack before bed just because my child refused to eat supper. It isn't a power struggle - that's just the way it is. Just like we don't have juice in the house, or we don't play with knives.
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