Do Your Kids Ever Go to Bed Hungry? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 303 Old 06-24-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Absolutely not. It's a basic right to be fed.

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#182 of 303 Old 06-24-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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It seems like there are a couple of issues that seem independant and not really related to me, but it sounds like other people see them as being related? I guess I'm interested in how the following two issues are related if you see them as related. That could clear this whole issue up for me.

1. If your kids don't want what you have for dinner, is there another option? We have a small number of other things on hand available to eat if someone doesn't like dinner, but none are terribly exciting. PB&J, we usually have a few hard boiled eggs on hand, carrot sticks, maybe apples, maybe some kind of nuts, cheese, other fruit or veggies if they're in season. Oh, and we sometimes have leftovers, which are always available if they're there and someone is hungry, and which are popular in my house. I know we are lucky financially and cheese and nuts (and sometimes apples) are expensive, but it seems like I'd just get less expensive options otherwise. I don't know. But I certainly wouldn't make waffles and ice cream for dinner. Partially just because I'm not that hard a worker, honestly. LOL. Has anyone said that's an option in their home?

2. If your children are hungry at some time other than dinner or pre-planned snack times, do they get a snack whenever they are hungry? This seems like a completely separate issue to me. In my house, the snack options are the same as the alternative-to-dinner options, so I don't personally see a difference if they eat it during dinner or an hour later. If they eat it an hour later, they're just having dinner an hour later. Although this hasn't been an issue in my house so maybe I'm not understanding all the implications?

The biggest issue I have with limiting snacks is that my kids are sometimes not that hungry, and then go through growth spurts where they eat maybe even twice as much food or more, and get hungry much more often. I would feel funny withholding a snack if a child were hungry and there were a growth spurt going on, and I have no way of feeling what she's feeling so I take her word for it if she says she's hungry. I can see that if there had been problems at some point, like serious overeating or something, I'd have to rethink that, though. Although even then I think I'd try to have healthier yet options and try to encourage more outside physical play rather than limit snacking, but as this hasn't been an issue for us I can't say that for sure. So, if you limit snacking, or food in general, how do you handle these periods of growth where they eat so much more? How can you tell that they aren't honestly hungry and just need more food due to a growth spurt? That's the part that I can't wrap my head around. If they ate well at dinner so you could tell they were really just very hungry that day, THEN would they get an extra snack if they wanted? Do they get as much snack as they're hungry for when it is snack time? Not anything they can think of that sounds good, but whatever is on hand for snack.
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#183 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I don't really see how we can expect children to not have individualized eating habits. Every person is different.

We allow grazing all day. We also have 1 set snack time every week day and we sit down to a family meal 6 nights a week. It's not impossible to have that without controlling your child's food so much that they would go to bed hungry.
See bolded quote above. If that's the case, then your family's eating habits and times are not as individualized as what I was talking about.

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#184 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I can't speak for anyone else, but sometimes I say no to a snack because it's just ridiculous how much he has been eating and I ask him to have a glass of water and if he is still hungry then he can have XYZ. Just because sometimes he will come home from school and plow through half the fruit bowl, and then start reaching for a fourth apple and I'm like; DUDE! Try something else, please. Those six apples were meant to last at least four days...now we have three left for the week and three people who like apples in the house. BTW apples are pretty pricey here in Costa Rica. I have no real problem when he plows through mangos and bananas apart from fears of intestinal issues since too much fruit can make him sick.

For me, my only other concern, apart from too much fruit, is when he doesn't get enough protein, or enough whole grains, he gets truly cranky and is such a PITA. I KNOW if he ate an egg or had a handful of peanuts he'd feel better and be happier but he just won't even discuss the matter. That is when I get truly frustrated, Ya know?

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#185 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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Here everyone gets the same meal, but sometimes ds will get a modification of it b/c of his allergies (i.e. rice cheese instead of regular on his portion of something).

Breakfast is usually fruit/coconut yogart. Sometimes something different but not often.

Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, or some sort of salad or sandwitch.

Ds usually helps cook and can seat a little of his meal while we do that (I usually let him snack on whatever veggies are going into the meal). Food goes out when its ready and we eat it.

If ds doesnt want something he takes a 'no thank you bite' (which sometimes leads to him liking whatever it is and eating it all!). If he doesnt eat, we put his food away when dinner is over. If he complains he is hungry, he can have the rest of his dinner OR any veggie he wants.

Durring the day he has access to his cupboard which has all of his dishes/untensils and healthy snacks (or pictures of snacks he can have but need to stay in the fridge).

So no, he doesnt go to bed hungry unless he chooses to. He is welcome to have his dinner at any point up until its time to brush his teeth and get in bed.
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#186 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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No my kids don't go to bed hungry.

My favorite food "tricks" are a veggie tray before supper- they really chow down on the veggies at this time and giving them a veggie for a bedtime snack (they think food in the bed is really fun so they welcome whatever it may be)
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#187 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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That is what I do with my 3 1/2yo. He will refuse to eat saying he isn't hungry and so he knows that once I clear the table that is that till the next meal/morning. He will still do it at times but it just depends on his mood. I think he is old enough and smart enough and he totally understands what I mean and that I will follow through. So no I don't think that is harsh, I am not a all night diner.

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#188 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Going back to what (I think) was the main point of the OP and a few other poster....From how I'm reading the OP, she is talking more about a behavior issue than a food issue, since there is no talk of there not being enough food in the house or of the child not ever getting to eat what she likes. (Food actually is a part of this discussion, of course, but most of the thread is already dealing with that. )

Consider this scenario: You have a 3-year old daughter. You sit down to dinner one night and your child decides that she doesn't want what you've prepared. She says she wants a bowl of cherries instead. But...you're out of cherries. There are none in the house. There are lots of things on the table, but she resists each one. You offer some alternatives (pb&j sandwich, any other fruit that you do have available in the fridge, basically any other food you have available period) and she says no to every one. Well, you can't force her to eat, right? Bedtime comes, and she's still refused to eat anything- meal or snack- all night. In addition to being tired, at this point she will probably be cranky and tantrum-y about it the food issue as well. This whole time you're still making it clear that there is other food available if she wants it. She only wants the cherries. (Before anyone says this kind of holding out is unrealistic-- it's not, I've seen it.)

So, how do you handle this? Do you go out to the all-night grocery store and buy some cherries for her? Or do you let her go to bed "hungry", so to speak?

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#189 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 01:38 AM
 
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I don't think it is harsh to expect that what is served will be what dinner is...
In our home, breakfast adn lunch tend to be fairly kid centered. Snacks are fruit, cheese, veggies, hummus, crackers, granola bars, etc.
However, at dinner, I do try to make sure there is one thing the children will eat, and they are always given a glass of milk and then water if they want that. If they say they are hungry later, they can have apples or carrots. If I notice the kids havne't eaten anything, I will often impromptu decided that we're having bananas or yogurt or something for dessert.

Most children truly will not eat what they fear/dislike/don't want to. I try to avoid the power struggle...make sure there is something they like and can fill up a little on.

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#190 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post

and i hate the line about kids around the world going without. that reminds of the stuff my mom use to say... didn't make the food taste better. and i agree with a pp that it seems almost sinful to make a child go to bed hungry when so many parents have to, but would choose otherwise.


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I actually *remember* finishing food when I was full *because of* that line. Needless to say, it is NOT one I use on my children today, as I battle weight issues likely induced by growing up with that line, nearly *all* processed foods, really *no* restrictions on junk and no family home-cooked meals (eat at home was typically eat frozen pizza or TV dinner---not to rag on my mom, she had *one* child, which makes you less motivated (ETA here--less motivated to do what I do with three children and insist on one meal!) , and she worked all day and then came home to my dad--who was HOME--saying "what's for supper?"

And yes, whoever originally brought up parents who DON'T want to send children to bed hungry but have no other option because there is NOTHING--that gave me a whole different perspective on offering/giving HEALTHY snacks--in general--but especially at bedtime.

It's a pet peeve of mine when they come begging after leaving the table without eating much. Now, I'll *try* probably not always succeed but *try anyway* to remember to be thankful that I DO have *something* to offer them and do it.

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#191 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
Going back to what (I think) was the main point of the OP and a few other poster....From how I'm reading the OP, she is talking more about a behavior issue than a food issue, since there is no talk of there not being enough food in the house or of the child not ever getting to eat what she likes. (Food actually is a part of this discussion, of course, but most of the thread is already dealing with that. )

Consider this scenario: You have a 3-year old daughter. You sit down to dinner one night and your child decides that she doesn't want what you've prepared. She says she wants a bowl of cherries instead. But...you're out of cherries. There are none in the house. There are lots of things on the table, but she resists each one. You offer some alternatives (pb&j sandwich, any other fruit that you do have available in the fridge, basically any other food you have available period) and she says no to every one. Well, you can't force her to eat, right? Bedtime comes, and she's still refused to eat anything- meal or snack- all night. In addition to being tired, at this point she will probably be cranky and tantrum-y about it the food issue as well. This whole time you're still making it clear that there is other food available if she wants it. She only wants the cherries. (Before anyone says this kind of holding out is unrealistic-- it's not, I've seen it.)

So, how do you handle this? Do you go out to the all-night grocery store and buy some cherries for her? Or do you let her go to bed "hungry", so to speak?

"Hungry"...In my mind, a child who is truly "hungry" and is offered something that they usually like, even if it is not the food item they are requesting, will--begrudingly--accept an alternative.

The child who is holding out for the cherries wants to see if you will give in and will, in my house, go to bed without cherries. (though in my house, the truly hungry child would then realize I was absolutely serious and ask to get out of bed to accept another option...which I would most likely honor.)

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#192 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 02:44 AM
 
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So, how do you handle this? Do you go out to the all-night grocery store and buy some cherries for her? Or do you let her go to bed "hungry", so to speak?
In that situation, there is absolutely no way I'd be driving anywhere specifically to get a particular food. If we don't have something, we just don't have it. If there isn't anything prepared, I'm not going to go out of my way to prepare it. Also, we only have a limited amount of 'junk'; after it's all eaten, well, then it's gone and there won't be anymore for awhile.

What I disagree with is artificially limiting or controlling what and when my kids eat. "It's after dinner, you may only eat x", or "you already had cheese today, you may not have any more", or "you already had one apple, eat a pear instead", or "you just had breakfast, snacktime isn't for another two hours", etc. etc. I just can't imagine (assuming that we can afford cheese or got some from WIC) saying to my three year old "No honey, you can't have any cheese, it's after 7pm. It's bread or nothing."
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#193 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post
Going back to what (I think) was the main point of the OP and a few other poster....From how I'm reading the OP, she is talking more about a behavior issue than a food issue, since there is no talk of there not being enough food in the house or of the child not ever getting to eat what she likes. (Food actually is a part of this discussion, of course, but most of the thread is already dealing with that. )

Consider this scenario: You have a 3-year old daughter. You sit down to dinner one night and your child decides that she doesn't want what you've prepared. She says she wants a bowl of cherries instead. But...you're out of cherries. There are none in the house. There are lots of things on the table, but she resists each one. You offer some alternatives (pb&j sandwich, any other fruit that you do have available in the fridge, basically any other food you have available period) and she says no to every one. Well, you can't force her to eat, right? Bedtime comes, and she's still refused to eat anything- meal or snack- all night. In addition to being tired, at this point she will probably be cranky and tantrum-y about it the food issue as well. This whole time you're still making it clear that there is other food available if she wants it. She only wants the cherries. (Before anyone says this kind of holding out is unrealistic-- it's not, I've seen it.)

So, how do you handle this? Do you go out to the all-night grocery store and buy some cherries for her? Or do you let her go to bed "hungry", so to speak?
This would be the type of situation that my oldest had occasionally gone to bed hungry. There was always plenty of stuff available for her to choose from-fruit, cheese, yogurt, bread, pb&j, cereal,e tc etc. The basic premise was if you didn't want what I had prepared (and yes, usually prepared with her wants and mine in mind, I never made something she absolutely hated and as she grew older and I planned meals more in advance, often asked for her input) then you can prepare something yourself. Everything available is able to be prepared by the child or requires no prep. And yeah, I know that type of holding out is realisitc because she did do it a few times.

And honestly, it didn't take long before it stopped happening really. There were times that she genuinely didn't want what was prepared, and she munched on fruit all night.
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#194 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 04:22 AM
 
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Who said this??? I certainly didn't. Are you even reading what I'm writing or just responding to what you THINK I'm saying?

IF my kids don't like dinner, they do NOT go to bed hungry. They have NEVER gone to bed hungry.
Since it's late, this is all I'm responding too tonight at least. But if you read back through the thread you will see that there are people in this thread, including the OP who think it is perfectly fine for a child to go to bed hungry if don't want what is served for dinner. And yes, I do have a problem with the idea that a child, who is in a home with food in the cupboard would go to bed hungry at all.

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#195 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 08:29 AM
 
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I tried to read the whole thread before replying, but that just ISN'T going to happen.

I have to say that am astounded at the number of people saying that if their kids don't want to eat a meal, they are welcome to eat pb&j or yogurt. I consider those to be EXTREMELY unhealthy foods and yogurt is considered a dessert here. Even the organic yogurts that dd eats are chock-full of sugar. If they're not organic, they are full of artificial colors, flavors and HFCS, too. Same goes for peanut butter. It's full of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils, again unless organic. Even my homemade jam has more sugar than I'm going to give her of an evening. No way in hell would I let her pass up a healthy meal for those alternatives. She would go to bed hungry if those were the only things she'd choose instead.

Luckily, though, food has never been a struggle with her. She doesn't eat processed or fast food. Her taste buds are not accustomed to the high sugar, high fat, high salt, processed chemical taste (which I believe to be addictive) so eating real food *is* what she wants. Only in the US (and I've traveled and lived all over the world) have I seen parents cater to their children around food. Most of the world can't afford variety and processed crap and the rest don't have access to it. If all a kid will eat is chicken nuggets (or spaghetti-o's) or go hungry (and they don't have a special need), then it's the parents' fault.
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#196 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 08:50 AM
 
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See bolded quote above. If that's the case, then your family's eating habits and times are not as individualized as what I was talking about.
Well we sit down to a "family dinner" around 6 nights a week - BUT often it's not all of us eating. Sometimes it's all of us, sometimes we all are eating the same thing, other times, we all have different stuff. Regardless of who is eating what, we all sit down and chat together, and call it "family dinner". It's an enjoyable time but has nothing to do with us all eating the same thing at the same time.

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#197 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Velochic I think *most* people around MDC are food saavy enough that when they talk about pb&j they are NOT talking about Skippy PB on white bread with jam.

Pb&j is an acceptable dinner option for my child - that is on homemade ww bread (no sugar - sometimes a little honey in it), fresh ground pb (again, no sugar) and 100% fruit organic jam or local honey. That's not a bad option with a fruit or veggie on the side and I'm pretty sure that's what most of us are talking about around here.

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#198 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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Velochic I think *most* people around MDC are food saavy enough that when they talk about pb&j they are NOT talking about Skippy PB on white bread with jam.

Pb&j is an acceptable dinner option for my child - that is on homemade ww bread (no sugar - sometimes a little honey in it), fresh ground pb (again, no sugar) and 100% fruit organic jam or local honey. That's not a bad option with a fruit or veggie on the side and I'm pretty sure that's what most of us are talking about around here.
Great, if so. I'm getting the distinct impression that if a child is passing up something like grilled chicken, beans and vegetables that they are not going to opt for something like saltless/sugarless pb and sugarless jam, so I *am* making the assumption that a lot of what is being referred to is skippy and yoplait. Even in homemade, there is still more sugar than I would personally accept as an alternative to a healthy meal. I make my own pb, too, but it's still not a healthy alternative to a well-balanced meal, IME. Particularly not day-in and day-out. Likewise, we consume a lot of plain organic yogurt, but we drink it (we call it Ayran, but in Indian cuisine it's called salty lassi - yogurt, dash of salt, and water). The homemade yogurt we eat for a treat still has sugar in it from the homecanned jam that is mixed in. My point is that I don't consider even homemade yogurt and pb&j healthy alternatives to well-balanced hot meals (or cold meals) that include vegetables and other whole foods.
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#199 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 09:21 AM
 
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PB&J here is whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and low sugar homemade jam, and yogurt is homemade yogurt, probably with a little of the aforementioned jam in it. No HFCS or trans fats.

And she only chooses that over dinner occasionally, and usually would have something like yogurt, some nuts, and some carrot and celery sticks, not just yogurt.
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#200 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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Well, I make supper and that's supper. And my kids eat it.

It seems like this doesn't have to be a long term thing. I mean, my kids know that when we sit down to eat, it's time to eat. The only time we've ever had eating issues is when we've spent extended time with other families where the kids complain about every bite. My kids are BIG eaters, too. (And no...I don't force it. Dh and I are, too. Usually my 1yo are eating adult servings, sometimes two helpings.)

They also have a taste for good food. When we take them out and say, buy ice cream and strawberries, they will eat the strawberries and then start their ice cream. Usually they don't finish it.

Carhootel-15 months is to young to worry about it. My babies snack all the time. They just about always have something in their hands, or are nursing.

Anyway, I just don't see why this has to be such a big issue. If my children don't eat well, I, like a previous pp, have an impromptu snack/dessert later (homemade no sugar applesauce? couple of almonds?). I might throw a bag of raisins in the diaper bag to hand back in the car on the way to the park. I don't want them to be hungry and cranky, but they way that I offer food later is not contingent upon eating. Honestly, I offer food a lot, so they don't see it as strange.

I dunno. I think I am sounding confusing. My kids just eat.

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#201 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I tried to read the whole thread before replying, but that just ISN'T going to happen.

I have to say that am astounded at the number of people saying that if their kids don't want to eat a meal, they are welcome to eat pb&j or yogurt. I consider those to be EXTREMELY unhealthy foods and yogurt is considered a dessert here. Even the organic yogurts that dd eats are chock-full of sugar. If they're not organic, they are full of artificial colors, flavors and HFCS, too. Same goes for peanut butter. It's full of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils, again unless organic. Even my homemade jam has more sugar than I'm going to give her of an evening. No way in hell would I let her pass up a healthy meal for those alternatives. She would go to bed hungry if those were the only things she'd choose instead.
We buy organic plain yogurt with no added sugar (DD is free to dump in some unsweetened homemade applesauce or fresh fruit or spices) and our pb only has peanuts and salt so I don't see how those are unhealthy at all. I see those are completely healthy alternatives to a dinner she doesn't' want to eat.

Last night we had quesadillas and salsa for dinner. DD only wanted to eat the salsa and took maybe 2 bites of quesadilla. I told she was going to be hungry later, but she didn't care. An hour later she ate a huge bowl of yogurt and applesauce. I didn't care b/c she'd already had plenty of whole grains today and it doesn't matter to me if she gets dairy/protein in my having the cheese from dinner or yogurt an hour later. All I had to do was put the food in her bowl and she fed and cleaned up herself (she's only 20 months so there was no way I was going to let her spoon out her own yogurt).

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#202 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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Velochic - I guess we are just assuming different things based on our personal experiences. There is no way my son would eat grilled chicken, beans and cooked veggies (and yes, he does have sensory issues that make him more sensitive to textures than most kids) but he WOULD eat raw veggies, fruit and maybe a grilled chicken sandwich (if the meat was shredded or sliced thinly).

And I think people here on MDC are more health aware than you are giving them credit for - JMO, of course. I make my own breads, jams, etc for the specific reason that I can make them taste good WITHOUT sugar - or with very, very little. We don't do yogurt or really much dairy at all aside from cheese - and I do agree it's not the healthiest option. But I do believe a homemade, sugar free pb&j sandwich with a side of carrots or sliced apples is a perfectly find substitute for a meal. All day, everyday? No, of course not. But as the occasional dinner in an overall day of eating a variety of foods - I think it's just fine.

Guess it's just a difference in experience and opinion!

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#203 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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Perhaps what I said could have been taken as a sweeping generalization, and I didn't mean that, however, hanging out in the Nutrition forum, I've seen far too many posts about processed and fast food to over-generalize in the other direction and assume that for all MDC members, "pb" = home ground peanuts only and "j" = sugarless homecanned jam (on homemade ww bread) and "yogurt" = homemade organic yogurt and unsweetened fruit. Even if it did mean that, such a limited diet to be the staples of a child's nutrition is still not healthy. And I'm not saying anyone has said that's *all* their child will eat.
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#204 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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I tried to read the whole thread before replying, but that just ISN'T going to happen.

I have to say that am astounded at the number of people saying that if their kids don't want to eat a meal, they are welcome to eat pb&j or yogurt. I consider those to be EXTREMELY unhealthy foods and yogurt is considered a dessert here. Even the organic yogurts that dd eats are chock-full of sugar. If they're not organic, they are full of artificial colors, flavors and HFCS, too. Same goes for peanut butter. It's full of sugar and partially hydrogenated oils, again unless organic. Even my homemade jam has more sugar than I'm going to give her of an evening. No way in hell would I let her pass up a healthy meal for those alternatives. She would go to bed hungry if those were the only things she'd choose instead.

Luckily, though, food has never been a struggle with her. She doesn't eat processed or fast food. Her taste buds are not accustomed to the high sugar, high fat, high salt, processed chemical taste (which I believe to be addictive) so eating real food *is* what she wants. Only in the US (and I've traveled and lived all over the world) have I seen parents cater to their children around food. Most of the world can't afford variety and processed crap and the rest don't have access to it. If all a kid will eat is chicken nuggets (or spaghetti-o's) or go hungry (and they don't have a special need), then it's the parents' fault.
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Great, if so. I'm getting the distinct impression that if a child is passing up something like grilled chicken, beans and vegetables that they are not going to opt for something like saltless/sugarless pb and sugarless jam, so I *am* making the assumption that a lot of what is being referred to is skippy and yoplait. Even in homemade, there is still more sugar than I would personally accept as an alternative to a healthy meal. I make my own pb, too, but it's still not a healthy alternative to a well-balanced meal, IME. Particularly not day-in and day-out. Likewise, we consume a lot of plain organic yogurt, but we drink it (we call it Ayran, but in Indian cuisine it's called salty lassi - yogurt, dash of salt, and water). The homemade yogurt we eat for a treat still has sugar in it from the homecanned jam that is mixed in. My point is that I don't consider even homemade yogurt and pb&j healthy alternatives to well-balanced hot meals (or cold meals) that include vegetables and other whole foods.
The thing is though, if that's what you consider junk, then that wouldn't be an option for your "healthy snack drawer/shelf." To me, it wasn't so much about WHAT else they ate, it was about having other options available. It wasn't as if I only provided yogurt and pb&j (and I am not going to try to attempt to justify what I consider healthy to someone else's standards) all the time and those were her only other options. Yeah, if she decided she didn't want fried chicken and green beans when I made that, she could make a pb&j, or a turkey sandwich, or an apple and a banana, or cheese cubes and the green beans or really whatever else I had available. Various things were available at various times, depending on what was on sale, on what I felt like buying that week at the store, on what we hadn't run out of yet.

It was about saying to her, here are all of your acceptable options in this house, here's what I have prepared, if you don't want what I prepared, you have other options. If NONE of those options are acceptable to you (the child), despite the variety available, well too bad, that becomes your problem.
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#205 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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It was about saying to her, here are all of your acceptable options in this house, here's what I have prepared, if you don't want what I prepared, you have other options. If NONE of those options are acceptable to you (the child), despite the variety available, well too bad, that becomes your problem.
This is exactly what we do. You just said it much better than I could!

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#206 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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Consider this scenario: You have a 3-year old daughter. You sit down to dinner one night and your child decides that she doesn't want what you've prepared. She says she wants a bowl of cherries instead. But...you're out of cherries. There are none in the house. There are lots of things on the table, but she resists each one. You offer some alternatives (pb&j sandwich, any other fruit that you do have available in the fridge, basically any other food you have available period) and she says no to every one. Well, you can't force her to eat, right? Bedtime comes, and she's still refused to eat anything- meal or snack- all night. In addition to being tired, at this point she will probably be cranky and tantrum-y about it the food issue as well. This whole time you're still making it clear that there is other food available if she wants it. She only wants the cherries. (Before anyone says this kind of holding out is unrealistic-- it's not, I've seen it.)

So, how do you handle this? Do you go out to the all-night grocery store and buy some cherries for her? Or do you let her go to bed "hungry", so to speak?
In this case, my DD would be going to bed "hungry". Dinner at our house is take-it-or-leave-it. There is always something that everyone likes and I see it as her job to pick out which parts she wants and how much. If she doesn't want it, that's fine. There is always fresh fruit for snack before bed--she can have whatever fruit is in the house (except she has a 1 banana per day limit due to digestion issues). Last night she had about 3 bites of her salmon burger, ate her piece of GF bread and about 3 bites of sauteed spinach. She declared she was done and wanted other snacks (crackers, etc). We don't let her have those for dinner, but she ate a plum and a nectarine before bed and wasn't hungry when she went to bed--just full of fruit. But there is no way that I'd be heading to the store for anything in particular at that time just because she wanted that one thing. It can go on the list for the next time we go shopping.

Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#207 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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ack! double-post!
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#208 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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happysmileylady - I wasn't talking about anyone in particular nor did I suggest that anyone need to justify "healthy" to others. I'm sorry if you took it that way.
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#209 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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happysmileylady - I wasn't talking about anyone in particular nor did I suggest that anyone need to justify "healthy" to others. I'm sorry if you took it that way.
Oh I know it was just that lots of people were responding with how they make their own jam or only buy the organic plain yogurt with no sugar added and so on, I just was trying to point out that that wasn't really the point. No worries
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#210 of 303 Old 06-25-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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It was about saying to her, here are all of your acceptable options in this house, here's what I have prepared, if you don't want what I prepared, you have other options. If NONE of those options are acceptable to you (the child), despite the variety available, well too bad, that becomes your problem.
The funny thing is I think this is what everyone here is saying ultimately (and this is how these food threads in GD often go), just that some people here may have budget constraints, or population issues that do not allow unlimited amounts of certain foods to be eaten in a given day, and other people had major control issues with food growing up and perhaps rile against any idea of any control whatsoever, but upon closer inspection, likely also would not allow their child to poison themselves with fruit for example or eat nothing but string cheese for three weeks.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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