"Would you like X?" "NO!" "Y?" NO!" "Z?" "NO!" - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What do you do when your kid refuses everything you offer?
Keep offering different things until I get a "yes." 0 0%
Make X, Y, or Z, and that's lunch, and if it goes uneaten, oh well. 15 35.71%
Not make anything and let the kid go hungry. 4 9.52%
Make the eleventybillionth PB&J. 7 16.67%
That would never happen because I don't offer, I just make. 15 35.71%
Other (specify) 1 2.38%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Assuming X, Y, and Z are reasonable choices your kid has eaten, and not deer brains or something.

How do you respond?

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#2 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Assuming X, Y, and Z are reasonable choices your kid has eaten, and not deer brains or something.

How do you respond?
"Fine. Let me know when you are hungry."
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#3 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Rather than offering like that, I think offering: "would you like X or Y or Z?" Make them the only choices. Rather than letting him turn down each one, it's making him choose. If he says none of those, then I'd go with either making one of those for yourself and let him eat or not. Or tell him to let you know when he's hungry.

But it also depends on the age.

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#4 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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We all eat the same food. I might sub a more palatable veggie for my son, but that's it. He eats or he doesn't; we don't make meal time a battle. He has 3 or 4 items on his plate (protein, a few different veggies or fruit, a grain) so "something" usually appeals to him.
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#5 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
Rather than offering like that, I think offering: "would you like X or Y or Z?" Make them the only choices. Rather than letting him turn down each one, it's making him choose. If he says none of those, then I'd go with either making one of those for yourself and let him eat or not. Or tell him to let you know when he's hungry.

But it also depends on the age.
I agree. I'm assuming the age is your 7yo stepdaughter, OP. I would say, "This is what we have available for lunch today. X, Y, or Z. Which do you want."
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#6 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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That scenario would only happen around here at snack time.

"Are you hungry?"
"Yes."
"Which of those (XYZ) sounds the best?"
"None."
"Is there something specific you would like?"
"Yes.... (A)."
[If A is a reasonable alternative] "Okay."

(As someone else pointed out, I also would present the options as X or Y or Z upfront. However, in the above conversation, I am continuing the presented options as the poll was stated.)

If she is not hungry, then I let it go.
If she wants something that is not reasonable, then we discuss the reasonable alternatives.

DD is 8 and knows she eats certain categories of foods each day (protein, fruit, veggie, dairy, etc). If she wants to decide when something should be eaten versus my idea, that's fine by me. She is used to making her own school snacks/lunches. When she is home, she wants to same control and that's okay as long as it doesn't interfere with our meal plan for the day. It is a discussion. Meals are preplanned by the entire family and we discuss those once a week or so in the planning process.

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#7 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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That's one that's definitely going to change with age, but I voted "never happen, I don't offer" because if I do offer DS something it'll automatically be "No" but if I make it and we eat together he will usually eat it. If he asks for something though I will usually give it to him if I can (ie, this morning he asked for cheesy broccoli for breakfast, we didn't have any broccoli otherwise I'd have happily made it for him!).
...not real sure about an older kid, but maybe like PP suggested, I'd let her know the options and if she doesn't want any of them then make whichever of them you want and hope she'll eat with you. A pb sandwhich isn't a bad alternative if she won't...maybe pb & banana or raisins or something instead of jelly. Baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, or orange on the side.

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#8 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I agree. I'm assuming the age is your 7yo stepdaughter, OP. I would say, "This is what we have available for lunch today. X, Y, or Z. Which do you want."
Heh...oddly enough, it's not this time. I watched this at a friend's house a couple of days ago (with a 4 year old) and just wondered.

Around here, it's "I'm hungry." "Have some X." "No." Well, we have Y and Z too." "NO!" "Well, that's what's available." "I'm going to Mom's and I'm going to tell her you guys are mean because you never have anything I like."

(We've long given up on choices because she's super picky and of the foods she'll eat, she's not in the mood for a random 70% of them at any given time--we make something, if she doesn't want it, she can make herself a PB&J or get some yogurt or whatever.)

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#9 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Oh, I am so sick of dealing with this! And she'll say no to every choice, and then want to snack her way through the afternoon. I don't mind so much making pb&j, but she'll usually refuse that, too.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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For lunches, I offer 2 choices and if they say no, I make what I want out of those 2 choices and they can eat it or not, but that's lunch.

With snacks, I usually just offer a couple things and if they all get a no (I have a 2 year old, this happens every day at least twice!) I'll ask him what he wants and he'll look around the pantry until he finds something. If it's acceptable (an apple for instance) then he gets it, if it's not (like M&M's) then I tell him to keep looking. Eventually he either picks something I approve of or he gives up. When he gives up, I take it to mean he wasn't truly hungry anyway.

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#11 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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For breakfast, I put four or five choices on the table-- usually yogurt, eggs, cereal or bread of some kind, fruit, and sometimes a second fruit choice, plus milk and juice. They take what they want from those choices, but the choices are nearly always the same, so there's no room for arguments.

For dinner, I make what I've planned. I plan meals that generally include at least one thing that everybody likes. Take it or leave it, although if asked nicely I'll get some yogurt and fruit for somebody who's really not happy with the choices on the table.

The only time I offer choices ahead of time is for snacks, when I offer a choice of two selections, or for lunch WHEN it's just me and the little ones at home. When everybody's home for lunch, I handle it like dinner. But with just me and my toddlers (I have two year old twins still at home during the day), we'll talk over the choices before I prepare anything, because that seems to go well, and I think they learn about nutrition and meal planning from participating in that process. But if I meet with a balky kid, who doesn't like the choices and won't compromise, I just make what sounds good to me, and they can eat it or not.

I go through this with other issues, though, and my usual response is either to just go ahead and make the choice myself, or to say, "okay, you let me know when you decide," and then I go and do something else.

Like clothes:

Do you want to wear the blue shirt?
No.
What about the red shirt?
No.
Okay, well here are the shirts that are clean. You let me know when you've picked one.
(And then I walk away, and do something else, and feign indifference.)

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#12 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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Actually, I want to change my answer - I said, if it goes uneaten, oh well, but the truth is that I really don't offer if I'm preparing a meal. When it's a a kind of "help yourself" meal - lunch when people can pick leftovers, or their own sandwich filling, for instance - they can choose among a couple of options.

A healthy child will not starve himself.
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#13 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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I offer two entree choices at breakfast, lunch and snacktime, and if DS1 doesn't like either option, I remind him that the next meal or snack will be served in 2 hours, and the kitchen will be closed until that time. Then I prepare one of the two options for the rest of us to eat. If DS refuses to eat, I figure he's not really hungry. He may whine for two hours about how he is starving, but I'm pretty confident that he isn't going to actually starve to death if I don't let him have ice cream for breakfast.

Dinner is one meal served to the whole family, take it or leave it - because there are usually several different foods offered, everyone should be able to find something they are able to eat.

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#14 of 16 Old 01-03-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Usually I would ask ds what he does want instead. If he actually picks something (rare) and it's reasonable- he gets it. If he doesn't pick something ("I don't know....") then I'll prepare something for him that I know he likes. He can eat it or not. Usually he'll choose to eat it

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#15 of 16 Old 01-04-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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I usually just make lunch. But on the occasions when I cant decide or am feeling otherwise generous, I let DS1 pick from the options (usually some combo of mac'n cheese, leftovers, pb & j, pizza, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, soup...). I just ask a couple times, and if he doesn't take the oppertunity to pick then I pick. He knows this, and thus rarely refuses to pick
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#16 of 16 Old 01-04-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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I usually just make a meal, and if the rest of the family doesn't like it, then they can go hungry. This has almost never happened, though. I am lucky to not have a picky eater, but then I think maybe she's not picky because I don't enable it?

I do give choices, do you want oatmeal or cold cereal for breakfast (always oatmeal). And if she can't decide, then I just say, let's have X. I do give lots of choices for what is already made--do you want honey or jelly on you pb sammich? Do you want salsa for your quesadilla? But the decision to make a sammich or quesadilla is mine. I'm the menu planner and cook most meals, but I'm not a short-order cook with an open menu.

Happy and in love with my family!
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