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Old 06-27-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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I have to say I just thought of this thread when I was making lunch today and I thought of an exception to you get what everyone is getting. My girls were playing in the hallway and my oldest slipped on a book and went face first into the doorway causing her to almost bite all the way through her lounge. After we mopped up the blood (and both of us stopped crying, gosh tears are so close to the surface with my when Im pregnant it doesn't take much to make me cry) my girls were both hungry. I made sandwiches for lunch but with her tongue swollen my oldest couldn't eat hers, it was to painful. So, I asked what she would like and she wanted the chili Im making for dinner that was a no go. Sorry but its dinner and if I give some to her now dinner is going to be a fight of her wanting something different. However, I had a can of soup in the cupboard I offered her and she said yes to. Yea, I made two different meals but that was because she was injured and couldn't eat what we ate.

I guess I do have an exception to them having to eat what everyone else is eating, if they are injured or sick then I make allowances for that. I figure they know what they can handle better than I can when they don't feel well or are hurting and I'm not going to allow them to be sick/hurt and hungry. To me that would be just wrong, its not them holding out for something they can't have its them hurting/sick and wanting what they know will work for them.

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Old 06-27-2010, 02:34 AM
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And I honestly have to say that in 14 years my son has had little problem understanding these simple rules. I am one who said up front my son can eat when he is hungry, whatever the time of day, and for the most part he can eat what he likes, since we don't keep junk food in the house. I never ended up with a child demanding a slice of grandmothers birthday cake a day early, or else--perhaps I am just lucky, but I think we are very reasonable and grounded in common sense on this issue, while allowing ds a lot of freedom, and for the most part, he has been reasonable about food in response. The majority of the food here is always available to him, and he has always cooperated with the few limits in place due to finances or future plans for certain items. These few limits have never led to any ongoing problems at all.

Us, too.

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:47 AM
 
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didn't read all 13 pages. My dd (3) has gone through phases. Just a couple months ago, she would freak out and go into full on tantrum mode at the mere suggestion of eating anything..well.. cooked from scratch. She'd pretty much only willingly eat 1 ingredient foods. Unless its junk, course! lol. So she'd eat a carrot plain by itself. Or beets. Or cherry tomatoes. Nearly any fruit. Yogurt (sometimes) cheese (constantly) a sandwich or toast occasionally. Steamed broccoli is fine, but season it with visible herbs? "NOOO!!! ITS DIRTY! EW!!! YUCKY!!" At best, "No. Its too yucky" in a casual voice. I would try looking for super kid friendly recipes.. like a cheesy chicken casserole with noodles or things like that. Would. Not. Touch. I could give her plain chicken, but roll that same piece of chicken up in a tortilla? I would feel her wrath. One of the only mixed/cooked together foods she would eat was canned soup. Even then.. it had to look right to her.

I wouldn't say we cooked separate meals but we pretty much let her graze whenever. We just decided not to care if she didn't want dinner. If its particularly good..more for dh and I! but really.. who cares if she eats a banana or hard boiled egg instead of whatever I cooked? Healthy food is healthy food is healthy food.

Miraculously.. within the last several weeks she's gotten more accepting! I remember the meal that seemed to be a kind of turning point. Made a chicken vegetable soup. She saw it and said "no broccoli" and that she wanted cheese in it. I gave her a small bowl that had only chicken and broth in it. then she saw dh and i eating ours and decided she DID want broccoli. Then she saw the asparagus on one of our spoons "whats that?...I want some!" and she ate it. And asked for more. Then ate every piece out of both our bowls and the pot. Then she ate all the broccoli. Then all the carrots. Then I had to go to the fridge to cut up raw veggies to toss into her bowl because she wanted more.

Since then, she's been eating, or at least tasting just about anything we make. Some of the stuff is kinda blowing my mind, really. She's eaten stuff that would have made her scream bloody murder if the serving spoon had dared hover over her plate a couple months ago. And she seems to have a love for asparagus even stuff she didn't seem crazy about she tasted and ate a few bites of before walking away. And she got to this point all by herself.

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to say I just thought of this thread when I was making lunch today and I thought of an exception to you get what everyone is getting. My girls were playing in the hallway and my oldest slipped on a book and went face first into the doorway causing her to almost bite all the way through her lounge. After we mopped up the blood (and both of us stopped crying, gosh tears are so close to the surface with my when Im pregnant it doesn't take much to make me cry) my girls were both hungry. I made sandwiches for lunch but with her tongue swollen my oldest couldn't eat hers, it was to painful. So, I asked what she would like and she wanted the chili Im making for dinner that was a no go. Sorry but its dinner and if I give some to her now dinner is going to be a fight of her wanting something different. However, I had a can of soup in the cupboard I offered her and she said yes to. Yea, I made two different meals but that was because she was injured and couldn't eat what we ate.

I guess I do have an exception to them having to eat what everyone else is eating, if they are injured or sick then I make allowances for that. I figure they know what they can handle better than I can when they don't feel well or are hurting and I'm not going to allow them to be sick/hurt and hungry. To me that would be just wrong, its not them holding out for something they can't have its them hurting/sick and wanting what they know will work for them.
I'm so sorry about your daughter! Of course, if someone could not physically eat something, they would get special food. Just like if my child were, say, super-sensitive, to the point of it being a medical issue, we would work around it.

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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I mean this happens all the time and I do know people who can't compromise--it HAS to be Thai, they feel like Thai, blah blah--and they don't get called up often after that. Like, if I don't want Thai, I'm not going out with that friend.
LOL. We have a friend like that. We don't go out with her anymore. There are 2 restaurants where she will eat. The thing is that she doesn't understand why she's never invited to lunch anymore.

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Old 06-27-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Calm,

Do you not find that your kids can over do it on the fruit?

I generally let Benjamin graze on fruit all day as he wants it. Mangos, pineapple, bananas, are all very cheap, but now and then he has grazed to the point of giving himself terrible diarreah. I try to keep an eye on that. Have you not seen a problem with fruit overdosing in your house?

I also really find that DS behaves more calmly and focused with higher protein content food, so apart from making sure his grains are all whole grains and he gets a healthy dose of nuts and and seeds, he does much better with eggs and meat. He also scoffs them down greedily as opposed to nuts and seeds which have so far presented very little interest to him. In fact at one point the only thing he would eat for what felt like months was chicken. He wouldn't entertain the notion of anything but chicken and the occassional banana. If kids don't need as much protein as that, why do you think he was craving chicken?

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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Old 06-27-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I'm not entirely sure I buy into the less protein thing myself. For one, my own anecdotal experience tells me that I will get very, very ill-- think dizziness, fainting and vomiting-- if I don't eat protein every few hours. I have been like this my entire life. My own family was vegetarian my entire childhood, but they weren't concerned when I ate lots of dairy, cheese, beans, and nuts. They just let me do my thing. When I tried to not eat like that, eating more fruit and ignoring protein, is when I started to get sick.

I trust my body to tell me what I need. I can easily tell when I need protein or when I need veggies, or when I need carbs of some sort. Kids' bodies are the same way, in my experience.

Further, think about the term "hunter/gatherers." Yes, there was a period of time when we didn't eat refined food of any sort and it was much healthier for our bodies-- but ignoring the "hunter" side of that is illogical! Before domestication of crops, humans ate meat, vegetables, and fruits. That seems to me to be the more accurate primitive diet, and unsurprisingly, the diet that makes my body feel best.

I have no issues with vegetarianism, and in fact rarely eat meats other than fish myself. But I do think that the human body was made to handle protein as readily as fruits and vegetables.

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Old 06-27-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Calm,

Do you not find that your kids can over do it on the fruit?

I generally let Benjamin graze on fruit all day as he wants it. Mangos, pineapple, bananas, are all very cheap, but now and then he has grazed to the point of giving himself terrible diarreah.
Likewise here. We have serious issues with two of ours when they get too much fruit....diarrhea accidents everwhere, and lots of tummy cramping.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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Calm,

Do you not find that your kids can over do it on the fruit?

I generally let Benjamin graze on fruit all day as he wants it. Mangos, pineapple, bananas, are all very cheap, but now and then he has grazed to the point of giving himself terrible diarreah. I try to keep an eye on that. Have you not seen a problem with fruit overdosing in your house?
My DD eats obscene amounts of fruit, I'm talking 1-2lbs of grapes a day, 2-3 bowls of watermelon and then a random piece or two of whatever else we have. We've never had diarrhea issues. I think it just depends on the kid.

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Old 06-27-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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My DD eats obscene amounts of fruit, I'm talking 1-2lbs of grapes a day, 2-3 bowls of watermelon and then a random piece or two of whatever else we have. We've never had diarrhea issues. I think it just depends on the kid.
If grapes weren't 7 dollars a pound here, and I didn't ration them like they were belgian chocolates, he would eat that many grapes for sure, as it is, he ate three fist sized mangos just the other day from my friend's tree...that's three that I knew of, I am pretty sure he was fibbing on the numbers. Not long after, he was in the toilet for about 30 minutes. Once, I forgot to tell the babysitter that we were having a party the next day and not to let him eat the foods for the party, and she let him have 3 pounds of cherries. He was not yet 3 years old. He was so sick (think Witches of Eastwick all over my kitchen). Luckily they were in season and I had only paid about 3 dollars and could run down to the grocers to get more before the party, but...WOW what a mess. And he was fine once it was all out of his system.

DS has always been a bit of a fruit bat, and I have no problem with that, but for sure it's been known to take its toll. It's worse with certain fruits, like cherries and mangos and peaches. I'm not sure why.

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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Old 06-27-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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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?
I had something like this happen with my older two boys just a few days ago. They suddenly decided they didn't want the meal they had partially requested (noodles with only oil on them) and meatballs for dinner. I offered them an alternative of fruit, but they would only accept apples, and we just happened to be out of apples. After that they only other alternative they would accept for dinner was ice cream. After going back and forth with them for 15 minutes or so I finally told them the discussion was closed, they could either eat the dinner in front of them or have fruit (I believe either grapes or bananas were available.)

The boys dug their heels in and absolutely refused to compromise on anything less than ice cream, and they eventually went to bed without anything else to eat because I refused to give in and let them have ice cream for dinner. They carried on and on tantruming for a good 30 minutes or so but I refused to engage in any further debate with them as to whether or not ice cream was dinner or dessert for special occasions only. Maybe this makes me winner of the Meanest Mommy of the Year Award, but I do think that my kids insistence on ice cream was in no way a reflection of a genuine need on their part for ice cream, and their want of it did not equal an actual need in any way, shape or form. Btw, the whole thing was happily forgotten the next day and they ate their dinner without a quarrel the following night.

As far as I'm concerned, if my kids had genuinely been hungry they would have eaten the food they were offered, including one of the alternatives they were offered. The fact that they were willing to forego dinner altogether if it wasn't ice cream indicated to me that it just wasn't that big of a deal to let them go to dinner without something else to eat. I certainly wasn't going to pack up the whole family and go to the store to buy their other requested item, apples, because it just isn't realistic to expect me to go out of my way like that to meet their wishes (and especially since I had already tried to make them something they requested for dinner and they had subsequently turned their noses up at it.) I don't think it's good to teach my kids that I will jump through any and all hoops they put in front of my to make them happy every time. I also think that I have a responsibility as a parent to teach my kids that eating ice cream for dinner is just not healthy and is therefore not an acceptable alternative to a healthy meal.

YMMV.

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Old 06-27-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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It seems like there might be some strawmen being constructed in this thread. Has anyone said they'd feed their kids ice cream for dinner or go to the store to get something if the kids didn't like any alternatives in the home? I thought the two sides were a) what I serve for dinner or nothing; or b) what I serve for dinner or one or one of a few healthy (though apparently there's debate on that point) alternatives that are already on hand. Have I misread this thread or is someone suggesting going to the store to get something else if the child doesn't like what's in the house? Or feeding just dessert in lieu of dinner? I'm wondering if we're all doing the same thing and just focusing on different aspects of what we're doing.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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My kids wouldn't refuse to eat anything other than ice cream b/c it's a rare occasion that we even buy any. Same for junk foods, which of course I wouldn't want them eating in place of dinner. Maybe that's part of the difference - whatever comes into the house, they are welcome to eat - whenever (for the most part, I won't let them have any beer ).

I love Nina Planck's view on food and children (she wrote Real Food, and Real Food for mother and baby) because she talks about our job as adults is to supply healthy, nutritious foods, and to trust that our children will take what they need to grow.

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Old 06-28-2010, 02:55 AM
 
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I'm wondering if we're all doing the same thing and just focusing on different aspects of what we're doing.
me too.

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Old 06-28-2010, 04:56 AM
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It seems like there might be some strawmen being constructed in this thread. Has anyone said they'd feed their kids ice cream for dinner or go to the store to get something if the kids didn't like any alternatives in the home? I thought the two sides were a) what I serve for dinner or nothing; or b) what I serve for dinner or one or one of a few healthy (though apparently there's debate on that point) alternatives that are already on hand. Have I misread this thread or is someone suggesting going to the store to get something else if the child doesn't like what's in the house? Or feeding just dessert in lieu of dinner?
Yeah, it seems the only people talking about kids screaming for ice cream and being demanding are the ones whose children aren't free to eat what and when they want. My DD self regulates her food intake and she usually eats dinner and we've never had any unpleasant behavior about food at all. Most of the people who let their children eat whenever they are hungry have said they don't have any conflicts or issues about food.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:58 AM
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My kids wouldn't refuse to eat anything other than ice cream b/c it's a rare occasion that we even buy any. Same for junk foods, which of course I wouldn't want them eating in place of dinner. Maybe that's part of the difference - whatever comes into the house, they are welcome to eat - whenever (for the most part, I won't let them have any beer ).

I love Nina Planck's view on food and children (she wrote Real Food, and Real Food for mother and baby) because she talks about our job as adults is to supply healthy, nutritious foods, and to trust that our children will take what they need to grow.
I agree with this too.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Yeah, it seems the only people talking about kids screaming for ice cream and being demanding are the ones whose children aren't free to eat what and when they want. My DD self regulates her food intake and she usually eats dinner and we've never had any unpleasant behavior about food at all. Most of the people who let their children eat whenever they are hungry have said they don't have any conflicts or issues about food.
Exactly. I think it appears everyone is happy with what they are doing and it's working for them - so great! I could care less how anyone else feeds their child, I just do what works well for us. In all of my 7 going on 8 years with an extremely picky eater with sensory issues (who loves ice cream!) we've never once had a battle over food, or demands for ice cream for dinner. If that was the case, we'd be changing something - fast!

Drummer - thanks for the link to Real Food - I'm going to pick up a copy & read it. It's always been my belief that it's our job to provide healthy food, and our child's job to listen to their body and eat what they need, when they need it. Sounds like a good read. Thanks!

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Old 06-28-2010, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, it seems the only people talking about kids screaming for ice cream and being demanding are the ones whose children aren't free to eat what and when they want. My DD self regulates her food intake and she usually eats dinner and we've never had any unpleasant behavior about food at all. Most of the people who let their children eat whenever they are hungry have said they don't have any conflicts or issues about food.
Quote:
It seems like there might be some strawmen being constructed in this thread. Has anyone said they'd feed their kids ice cream for dinner or go to the store to get something if the kids didn't like any alternatives in the home?
I started this thread because I *do* know children who throw fits over dessert and junk foods.

They aren't mine.

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Old 06-28-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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Yeah, it seems the only people talking about kids screaming for ice cream and being demanding are the ones whose children aren't free to eat what and when they want. My DD self regulates her food intake and she usually eats dinner and we've never had any unpleasant behavior about food at all. Most of the people who let their children eat whenever they are hungry have said they don't have any conflicts or issues about food.
I think what some of us here on this thread are trying to point out is that sometimes kids (especially those who are hitting pre-adolescence) will engage in power struggles with their parents simply for the sake of having a power struggle. I don't actually think the whole confrontation I had my with my kids as explained above had anything to do with food at all, they wanted to see how hard they could push me in order to get me to cave in to their demands. That's the whole point, while one's child may dig in her heels and throw a fit over food, that fit is actually about testing their parent's boundaries. I think this even more likely to be true of more high spirited, high energy kids like mine, even if you do everything right and are as GD as one can be our kids may still engage in boundary testing from time to time.

I simply chimed in here because the whole side discussion about the cherry scenario was being discounted as a strawman. I'm pointing that it isn't that easy.

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Old 06-28-2010, 03:21 PM
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Children should not drink more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day. If they do drink more juice, this fills them up without giving them the variety of nutrients that they need. And juice does not include the full spectrum of nutrients that you will find if you feed them fresh fruit.

Water is as important for your children as it is for you. If they don't like the taste of water, and don't acquire a taste in a matter of days with water as their main option when thirsty, you probably need a water purifier. This will improve the taste and make it easier to persuade your children to drink water.
I assume you are talking about fruit juice not veggie juice. Veggie juices are low in sugars and very high in nutrients. My DD is more likely to drink spinach if it's mixed with tomato and carrot in a juice than eat it at all. Also she likes water much better if it has ice in it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:35 PM
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I think what some of us here on this thread are trying to point out is that sometimes kids (especially those who are hitting pre-adolescence) will engage in power struggles with their parents simply for the sake of having a power struggle. I don't actually think the whole confrontation I had my with my kids as explained above had anything to do with food at all, they wanted to see how hard they could push me in order to get me to cave in to their demands. That's the whole point, while one's child may dig in her heels and throw a fit over food, that fit is actually about testing their parent's boundaries. I think this even more likely to be true of more high spirited, high energy kids like mine, even if you do everything right and are as GD as one can be our kids may still engage in boundary testing from time to time.

I simply chimed in here because the whole side discussion about the cherry scenario was being discounted as a strawman. I'm pointing that it isn't that easy.

Well that would explain why those people whose children can eat when and what they want have no behavior over food. You can't have a power struggle with someone who's saying yes. We also don't have much "digging in her heals about something to test a boundary" because our boundaries involve avoiding danger and treating each other with respect. Our rules for our DDs behavior are family rules that we follow also. Maybe seeing the adults following the same rule makes it less tempting to test. I'm not saying that my 4.5 year old doesn't have her rude moments but a calm reminder of the polite behavior doesn't make her "dig her heals in".
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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My oldest is 9, and I definitely have many a power struggle with that girl. However, none of it involves food - and she does like to eat, and sweets/junk at that! We can go rounds over all sorts of other things (even silly things, that make me ) but eating is not one of them. It's just food...what she needs for her growing body (apparently a lot as she is about to start puberty and has had several growth spurts recently). If she wants to open a can of tuna at 11 pm after she's already had dinner and two other snacks, who am I to say no?

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Old 06-28-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Well that would explain why those people whose children can eat when and what they want have no behavior over food. You can't have a power struggle with someone who's saying yes. We also don't have much "digging in her heals about something to test a boundary" because our boundaries involve avoiding danger and treating each other with respect. Our rules for our DDs behavior are family rules that we follow also. Maybe seeing the adults following the same rule makes it less tempting to test. I'm not saying that my 4.5 year old doesn't have her rude moments but a calm reminder of the polite behavior doesn't make her "dig her heals in".
I don't know if this is always true. There's a child in my family who doesn't have any restrictions on when/what he can eat (beyond eating limitless sweets), but he's the one I was thinking of when I posted the cherry example earlier. Sometimes they're still gonna engage in the same power struggles.

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Old 06-28-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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After reading my reply about not buying ice cream regularly and something velochic said way upthread, I feel like I should mention that my family doesn't eat 100% healthy all the time. No way. We aren't super strict regarding nutrition, except that I am careful about what I grocery shop for. We eat out 1-2 times a week, on average, and my kids are free to order whatever they want - including soda. Sometimes it's a local restaurant that cooks from scratch, sometimes it's a chain restaurant, often it's a fast food joint. My kids can also eat as much birthday cake as they want at parties, and when we travel I might even take them inside the gas station to pick out junk for the road trip. We order pizza more than the average public - so surely much more frequently than your average MDC family.

I guess my point is that my kids aren't deprived of junk food - and our diet it no where near perfect. But we don't have power struggles over food. When we eat out or unhealthy - it's a choice we are making as a family. The kids don't refuse to eat my roasted chicken at home whining for McDonald's, or anything. They know when we go it's like a special treat - as frequent as it may be compared to many people here who go out to eat once a month or once a year and avoid fast food like the plague. I'm not saying I'm proud of allowing them to have sugar or crappy hamburger meat at times (it's something we need to work on), but that by not including this stuff as a staple in our home, there is no battle at mealtimes or snack times. If they want something to eat, they are welcome to it.

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Old 06-28-2010, 07:05 PM
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I don't know if this is always true. There's a child in my family who doesn't have any restrictions on when/what he can eat (beyond eating limitless sweets), but he's the one I was thinking of when I posted the cherry example earlier. Sometimes they're still gonna engage in the same power struggles.
You can't have a power struggle or even a conflict if one side is saying yes. It takes opposition on at least two sides for a power struggle.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I don't know that there are a lot of kids that would throw a fit or refuse to eat something besides cherries that are not available. At least my kids wouldn't. They probably know I have a hard enough time getting DH to go out and get Krispy Kreme when I'm pregnant , so demanding something from the store late at night wouldn't even be on their radar.

I guess it totally depends on the kid, though.

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Old 06-28-2010, 07:39 PM
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I don't know that there are a lot of kids that would throw a fit or refuse to eat something besides cherries that are not available. At least my kids wouldn't. They probably know I have a hard enough time getting DH to go out and get Krispy Kreme when I'm pregnant , so demanding something from the store late at night wouldn't even be on their radar.

I guess it totally depends on the kid, though.
I didn't mean we make special trips to the store when my DD wants something. "We don't have any right now." has always satisfied her. Pregnant people or sick people needing special food are the only 'real life' times I've known people to make special trips for food.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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I didn't mean we make special trips to the store when my DD wants something. "We don't have any right now." has always satisfied her. Pregnant people or sick people needing special food are the only 'real life' times I've known people to make special trips for food.

oh, I know. Same here. that's why I have a hard time imagining a power struggle over cherries that don't exist just because food is not something that is controlled in your home.

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Old 06-28-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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I think I'd probably say something like "I wish we had cherries too. I love cherries." And disengage and let her get what she wanted to eat that we actually had in the house. I wouldn't get into a fight with her about it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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I'm not sure why you'd consider food a "want" or "desire." It's a need.
Food is a need-wanting tacos over pizza, apples, yogurt, cheese cubes, ham sandwich or whatever else we have available is a want or desire. I provide plenty of food to fulfill the need of food in the belly. Their wants and desires determine which of those foods they eat.
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