Food problems...bribing is bad, yes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so frustrated.
Andrew has been slowly dropping foods he used to eat.
So family meals now (we had 6 dinner meals he would eat) he now eats 3 things from all those meals. I mean things like he'll lick the sauce off the pizza but won't eat the toppings or crust anymore. That counts as one of three things left.

Earlier this week hubby told him if he ate his jambalaya he could watch a video. The kid ate it all. But bribing him is bad, right?

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#2 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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Not really. The boys are 4 1/2, right? I had MAJOR food issues with my picky eater around age 5. HUGE. I used bribery as the primary means of getting calories and nutrition into his skinny little body. I bribed him with things that he normally had to "earn" anyway, like computer or tv time.
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#3 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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we use alot of deal-making with jet and food sometimes. i don't have a problem with negotiations. he is always free to decline.

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#4 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well that could take a lot of stress off me (he's really, really small).

How do I do this without messing up my great eater? His brother will eat basically anything (vegetables included) and lots of it.

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#5 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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We also do "negotiations" with Ian (who is a good eater, but sometimes has attacks of being a three year old!) I think that being able to negotiate is a great skill that will serve him well when he's older, as long as he still understands that sometimes I still say no!

As for how to not let it effect Caleb...I don't know! We do a lot of talking about food during non-food times, I talk about how eating fruits and veggies is what makes us all healthy; talk about how junk food tastes so good and is a good treat, but it's bad for our tummies; I guess the hope being that I'm ingraining good habits for later in life?? That's the hope anyway!

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#6 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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As a SN mom you have to do what you have to do. I have been known to negotiate with DD over food. If she eats such and such, she gets to watch her Sesame Street DVD. It works well. It gets nutritous food into her stomach so I'm happy and she's happy because she gets to see Ernie and Bert. And she isn't dependent on the DVD to eat food. We use it only sometimes.

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#7 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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Mom of a really picky eater here too DS has been in feeding therapy for over a year and is doing pretty good, considering where he was. But he still has a LONG way to go. Anyway, IMO (and that of his therapist), bribery with another food is BAD. We never ever say "if you eat your carrots (insert whatever food) then you get some ice cream (or whatever treat)". That raises the ice cream to be a more desired food than the carrots. We want ds to learn to eat and ENJOY eating lots of different foods. Yes, ice cream tastes good. Yes, we let him have a scoop before dinner if he wants it. But we need to eat lots of different foods so we can have healthy bodies.

Bribery with a non-food item is a trickier situation. I say if it works, go for it

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#8 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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we bribed our youngest to eat as well. he has GERD which led to lots of feeding issues. some days he will devour everything and others, it's a battle to get him to eat anything. if it works, we'd go with it. he is so small that at this point, his feeding clinic doc said to "do whatever works"

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#9 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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WRT the other child, I think that a child with healthy, solid eating habits isn't going to be negatively influenced by what you do with the other child(ren). Mine aren't.
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#10 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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for us we just have to watch jet and go with our gut. we don't wanna push him to eat something that he seems grossed out by or whatever, but we also don't want him to go to bed hungry (and wake up crying at 3am cause he feels like crap and is starving). for the most part if jet isn't gonna eat something he just isn't. sometimes a little nudging or negotiating will work if it's not that big a deal to him. alot of times we do talk him into added ingredients (like howabout we have some pasta with sauce instead of the plain pasta you asked for) or talking him into a yogurt popsicle (gogurt) instead of the juice popsicle he saw in the freezer. he is a good negotiator though so that helps. then everyone feels like it's a win.

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#11 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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I haven't read all the posts, but even in my job, bribery is my best friend. (working with special needs kids). I use food as their motivator, but if the problem is food, then something else that is a motivator is reasonable.

It is positive reinforcment. After a while, you can whine out the reinforcers, but for now, food is critical and making your life easier is critical too. If the kid says NO, well then he doesn't get what you offered as the motivator and that is the most important part of it all.
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#12 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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My son will eat more if he is distracted by tv. So I will let him eat while watching... I don't consider that a bribe.
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#13 of 18 Old 01-04-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaverdi View Post
My son will eat more if he is distracted by tv. So I will let him eat while watching... I don't consider that a bribe.
we use this tactic all the time! either while watching tv or while in the car. a ziplock baggie of cheese cubes and pasta is our friend. lol

sadly, peter and i eat alot more in front of the tv too....

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#14 of 18 Old 01-06-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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HA HA! I call it highly motivating them to try a bite or if you do this then you can do your prefered activity.

My ds has severe sensory issues with food and barely eats anything. Any way I can get him to try something new I will!

As he gets older I will make the motivator harder to earn and delay gratification.

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#15 of 18 Old 01-06-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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There's a difference between a bribe and a reward. A bribe would be giving something BEFORE the activity is completed, a reward is something that is given AFTER the activity is completed. Nothing wrong with rewards IMHO, I have a 3 bite rule to get the preferred food or a toy and it has completely changed the amount of foods he will eat. I don't make him eat more than he is hungry for, I just insist on trying new foods. Usually after he's had something three or four times he's fine eating it on his own without the reward.
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#16 of 18 Old 01-06-2009, 11:34 PM
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A bribe by any other name is an encouragement to do whats right

4-5yos in my house often drop food they used to like and get more self-determined. My current 4.5yo (ASD) is so into the word "no" he'll give it as an answer to any question. Then he'll put a funny look on his face and realize "gee, I actually want to do that" and he'll change his answer to yes.

Current 4.5yo has dropped some foods he used to be very good about eating too. I try to think in terms of the "month" and not just intake for the day or week.

Are you worried that something else is behind the food dropping or could it just be independence behavior (ie saying "no" to prove he can)?
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#17 of 18 Old 01-07-2009, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone! I'm reassured maybe I can make this less stressful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ok View Post
Current 4.5yo has dropped some foods he used to be very good about eating too. I try to think in terms of the "month" and not just intake for the day or week.

Are you worried that something else is behind the food dropping or could it just be independence behavior (ie saying "no" to prove he can)?
I admit I've only tracked for a few days at a time but I'd put money on his "month" being way below calorie wise. I'm sure his geneticist is going to have us track again soon so I'll see. But he's not growing/losing percentiles and that alone stresses me out.

On the something else behind. I don't know. He's always been a bad eater. He's picky, he's extremely distractible, he's one of those kids who really doesn't eat enough. He has a metabolic condition so that could be playing into his appetite and preferences. But we make all our family food with his metabolic stuff and tastes in mind. It's still possible the metabolic stuff plays in there somehow.

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#18 of 18 Old 01-07-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja-belly View Post
we use alot of deal-making with jet and food sometimes. i don't have a problem with negotiations. he is always free to decline.
Amen. It's 5yo DD we have this issue with, DS eats pretty well (comparatively, anyhow!, and he's still nursing, so I don't worry too much). I tend to put things I know she won't eat on the table so she can "trade" them for stuff on the table she does want to eat. We also let her give us food choices - we've talked about how fruits and veggies and protein etc are all good for you in different ways, so I'll say something like "I feel really tired right now, I need energy. What do you think I could eat?" She picks me some choices, I pick a couple, then I ask her how she feels and what food she thinks her body needs.

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel
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