Different "diets" and "rules" about food, how do you deal with it? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My boyfriend and I are both open minded and chill, but have different ideas about food and rules surrounding them. For example, if my son doesn't eat his lunch, he isn't allowed to have a snack in the afternoon (to prevent him from getting the idea that he can eat whenever he feels like it), and if he does eat his lunch, he can have a snack latyer on, but no less than 2 hours before dinnertime, and he isn't allowed to have sweets past about 6pm. My bf let's his daughter snack quite frequently, even if then she wont eat a "real" meal, and let's her have sweets later than I let my son. My son has to eat all of his medium sized salad, while she gets a tiny salad and doesn't always have to finish it to move on to the rest of the meal.

I don't want to isolate my son, but I also don't want to tell my sweetie how to raise his child. He only has her on week-ends, so having him change his "rules" when both kids are around isn't much of an option I think.

What would you do?

"That boy, Frank, he lives inside his own heart. That's a real big place to live." ~ Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) in Sling Blade
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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This caused an extreme amount of fighting when DH and I first started out (and we didn't even have DS yet - he was on the way). Five years in, I can say this: I wish we would have figured things out sooner. His rules for dinner/snacks always seemed very arbitrary, and I wanted something concrete.

We had to comprise. I had to give up my wish for rigid rules in exchange for loose standards (make a good effort on your dinner vs. clean your small plate). He had to set some general policies (make a good effort on your dinner, or you will have to finish dinner later at some point before getting a snack, no snacks immediately following dinner - have more dinner, no short-order cooking).

At this point, we rarely (if ever) fight about food.

Something that might work for you is to have weekend policies and weekday policies. You might have to allow things to be a little more lax on the weekend and allow a treat after dinner, he might have to reduce the snacks a bit before dinner to encourage his DD to participate in the meal. I know that in our house, we tend to have more sweets/snacks on weekends because things aren't as scheduled, but we try to curb them before meals so everyone is hungry for the meal.

Whatever you do, agree to the policy and stick with it.

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Old 05-24-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I agree that switching to a weekend/weekday model for eating rules would probably ease the situation. Whatever you do, do NOT impose a double standard on the two kids when they are sitting at the same table.

My biggest struggles with the eating rules (internal, between me and the kids, between DH and the kids) occur as a simple consequence of me stupidly buying junk food and bringing it home. When I have no cookies or crackers or other assorted garbage in my pantry, darned if they don't eat apples.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the support
I think that's what I'll do, relax on my "rules" on week-ends, and ask my partner to perhaps be a little stricter on the snacks between meals. Meet me halfway It sounds reasonable.

"That boy, Frank, he lives inside his own heart. That's a real big place to live." ~ Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) in Sling Blade
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffRose View Post
My boyfriend and I are both open minded and chill, but have different ideas about food and rules surrounding them. For example, if my son doesn't eat his lunch, he isn't allowed to have a snack in the afternoon (to prevent him from getting the idea that he can eat whenever he feels like it), and if he does eat his lunch, he can have a snack latyer on, but no less than 2 hours before dinnertime, and he isn't allowed to have sweets past about 6pm. My bf let's his daughter snack quite frequently, even if then she wont eat a "real" meal, and let's her have sweets later than I let my son. My son has to eat all of his medium sized salad, while she gets a tiny salad and doesn't always have to finish it to move on to the rest of the meal.

I don't want to isolate my son, but I also don't want to tell my sweetie how to raise his child. He only has her on week-ends, so having him change his "rules" when both kids are around isn't much of an option I think.

What would you do?
Is there a reason you've decided to make food a behavioral issue? Humans naturally know how much food they need and when they need to eat it. When you have rule about food and 'make' your children eat or don't let them eat they learn to ignore their body and eat for social reasons. Eating out of habit instead of actual hunger can cause obesity. Your DS should be eating only whenever he feels like it.

Can you tell I agree with your boyfriend? We influence my DDs diet by only buying stuff we want her to eat and she eats when and how much she wants. So by age 4.5, she usually does eat food at mealtimes. But we never try to influence her to eat more of anything. The food is just offered.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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I'm all for keeping the house full of healthy food, but being required to eat with the family at mealtimes does not cause obesity, and being required to eat real food prior to having ice cream does not cause obesity. Eating is BOTH a biological AND a social function. Emphasizing either aspect to the exclusion of the other is a disservice to the healthy, socially adept creatures we're attempting to raise
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
We had to comprise. I had to give up my wish for rigid rules in exchange for loose standards (make a good effort on your dinner vs. clean your small plate). He had to set some general policies (make a good effort on your dinner, or you will have to finish dinner later at some point before getting a snack, no snacks immediately following dinner - have more dinner, no short-order cooking).
This is what we do, except it's "Take a mouthful and chew it (if you don't like it you can spit it out) and if you really don't like it, then you can make yourself a peanut butter sandwich." My daughter is what some would call a picky eater... I think it's just sensitivity to strong flavours or different textures. Before we came up with this, I was letting her decide she doesn't like things before she tried them SO was of the mind that you take what you get, clean your plate and be thankful for it... it's an insult to the cook if you do any less. I had to ask that we keep my ego out of it!

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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