Do you think it's cruel not to make children extra food if they don't like what you made? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 103 Old 01-23-2013, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I guess it depends on how you handle the situation. Forcing your child to sit at the table until they eat the food you made or refusing to let them eat any other food until that particular plate of food was eaten would be cruel, IMO. Trying to make them feel bad or punishing them would be cruel.

Teaching the kids to not make a fuss and just go get a sandwich, fruit or a bowl of cereal occasionally if they don't want the meal made sounds healthy and reasonable to me. 

 

In my home, I ask everyone for input when I plan meals. I take dd's suggestions for a few nights each week.

This.


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#92 of 103 Old 01-24-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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The question, when deciding if it's ok for the child to get him/herself something instead of eating the prepared dinner, really is 'how often is "on occasion"?' If it's more than once a week, I think the cook has to do more to provide for the child. I don't think anyone is saying the cook has to completely cater to a child. But catering only to the adults, or only the cook, is what is unacceptable.

So, how often is "occasionally"?
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#93 of 103 Old 01-24-2013, 10:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

The question, when deciding if it's ok for the child to get him/herself something instead of eating the prepared dinner, really is 'how often is "on occasion"?' If it's more than once a week, I think the cook has to do more to provide for the child. I don't think anyone is saying the cook has to completely cater to a child. But catering only to the adults, or only the cook, is what is unacceptable.

So, how often is "occasionally"?

Maybe twice a month.

I plan meals with my kids most of the time. I'm also careful to leave certain meals "deconstructed" so they can eat it the way they like. For example, beef stroganoff. My daughter loves the steak bits, the egg noodle pasta and the mushrooms. She despises the gravy that is made with sour cream. I make this meal and everyone mixes it on their own plate by serving themselves from separate bowls. You can do tacos and Mexican salads this way, too.

Between my policy of "eat this or make your own dinner" and my policy of "no late afternoon snacking"... our mealtimes are peaceful and pleasant times to re-connect at the end of the day. My oldest was just home from college over the holidays and she said one of things she missed most about being away was our dinners as a family.happytears.gif

Now pek, on the flip side of this issue ......I know a mom who made a "grown ups meal" and "kid's meal" every night for 15 years and her kids have a very poor diet of typical American fare. Chicken nuggets, macaroni, pizza and such. All the while, she and her hubby ate a real meal each evening with lovely veggies and variety. I don't think she did her kids any favors by this and she was always complaining what a chore it was to cater to the kids but "they don't eat anything else".
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#94 of 103 Old 01-24-2013, 10:26 PM
 
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Again, there is a difference between being considerate and serving kids junk food. Please don't misinterpret my posts. I do not, never have, never will, feed my son anything I felt had no value, just so he would eat. If I were going to do that, why worry about him eating only cereal for dinner every night? I gave him healthy and familiar meals for years, until he wanted more variety. And I always kept his food issues in mind. He gets migraines from sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors, so I keep things natural, and make fron scratch. It's more effort on my part, but I've benefitted, too!!

I don't know if we're really that far apart on the issue in practice, just in words.
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#95 of 103 Old 01-25-2013, 12:15 PM
 
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I have 3 kids.  One is not picky, one moderately picky and one very picky.  I do not think how kids are raised always relates to how picky they are.  

 

They are responsible for getting their own breakfast, lunch, snacks.  I try to keep healthy, yummy food present, and junky ones to a minimum, but that is it.  

 

I make one supper, but am open to leaving things out if people really hate them and it will ruin the meal for them.  I like peppers, the 3 kids do not.  It is no skin off my back to add peppers to my salad and leave the main bowl of salad pepper free.  I do try to make meals that most people like a couple of times a week, but I am not extreme about it.  

 

The two kids who are picky can fend for themselves (which includes clean-up) if they want a different supper.   They are old enough to.  When they were not old enough to, I would get them yoghurt, fruit, hummus and crackers, carrot sticks - whatever was healthy and simple.  

 

All 3 of my kids have a fairly healthy attitudes towards food and their bodies.  Yeah, I wish 2 were less picky - oh, well.  They are not over or under weight, they do not use food inappropriately (say out of boredom or emotional eating), they are not addicted to junk food,  there is not even a hint of eating disorders….we are good.  

 

I am not convinced picky kids grow into picky adults, either.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#96 of 103 Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post


Between my policy of "eat this or make your own dinner" and my policy of "no late afternoon snacking"... our mealtimes are peaceful and pleasant times to re-connect at the end of the day. My oldest was just home from college over the holidays and she said one of things she missed most about being away was our dinners as a family.happytears.gif

 

Sweet.

 

When I was 18 my family left for a cottage for a summer.  I was fending for myself, food wise, for the first time in my life.

 

I ate nothing but hamburger and KD for 6 weeks.

 

I was so thrilled when my family came home and made real meals.  I literally pounced on the veggies and stuff I once semi-spurned.  

 

It was a bit of turning point for me, actually.


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

Book and herb loving mama to 1 preteen and 2 teens (when did that happen?).  We travel, go to school, homeschool, live rurally, eat our veggies, spend too much time...

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#97 of 103 Old 01-25-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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I was a horribly picky child. Now I eat vegetables daily. It's hecka weird.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#98 of 103 Old 02-04-2013, 04:50 PM
 
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I am blessed with good eaters. My dds are 11, 8, and 4. Well, when I say "good eaters", I mean, they will eat any fancy-pants, ethnic food I prepare, but balk at the simple stuff. It's like a reverse blessing. That being said, I lovelovelove beans, and none of my kids have ever been fans. It took years and years of me preparing and serving beans for them to FINALLY eat them at a meal without grousing. I consider it an accomplishment on my part. I never forced them to eat beans. We have an "adventure bite" rule and they have seen me enjoying beans. On the nights that I'd serve beans, they had to sit at the table and could have something else after their adventure bite and after dinner. Usually a PB sandwich, but they aren't huge PB fans either, so it was more a question of having a full belly than it was about having a dinner they enjoyed (Cereal is NEVER an option bcs two of the three eat that stuff like dessert, and could go through a box without thinking about it...and that's the low sugar healthy stuff!). The girls still don't LOVE beans, but they will eat them (I don't make them very often, and never really did...maybe once or twice a month).  What I think is wonderful is that they have learned to be polite about it - which I think will serve them well when they are eating at a friend's house or are out at a restaurant and I am not there to mediate. I'm also thrilled that they are eating chia seeds.  That was always just an add-in option, never a do or die situation, but I love the blasted things, and they now ask for them in their yogurt. I think sometimes foods have to be presented several times for the foods to be appreciated.

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#99 of 103 Old 02-04-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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So, how do parents enforce this "adventure bite", "one bite/ two bite" rule?  One easy answer would be, state the rule and then the child complies, perhaps after some complaining and hearing the rule restated.  

 

But what happens when a child really digs his heels in?  

 

I ask because I think many parents have children who comply relatively easily regarding food and family meals.  Or perhaps they are motivated somewhat by hunger, at least compared to many posters' children who I know are unmotivated by hunger at all and will dig their heels in, regardless of how empty their bellies are.  


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#100 of 103 Old 02-04-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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We used to play an m&m game. Three m&ms per child at dinner. The m&ms were earned for different things.Napkin on the lap, staying seated the entire meal, the adventure bite. When the behavior stuck, we'd rotate in a different one. Amazing what a kid will do for an m&m. LOL. We haven't done that game in a long, long time, and actually, I think we tried it once with my now 4 year old (because it had worked so beautifully with the older two) - but she quickly realized she didn't like m&ms all that much and they weren't worth the effort. I feel a bit conflicted about using candy as a reward - our potty training efforts ("potty training in less than a day") had a similar reward system and honestly, it bothered me.  But it worked. So, I guess...I don't know.  We aren't a dessert eating family, so three m&ms seem harmless. And I don't see any food-issues rearing their heads with my older kids bcs I used food as a reward...yeah, can you tell I'm a little conflicted about it? But I'll tell you, family mealtimes used to run a lot more smoothly when that game was in effect!

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#101 of 103 Old 02-04-2013, 07:29 PM
 
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Your eight-year-old is definitely old enough to make dinner with you. She can choose a meal she'd like to eat, and she can cook it herself for everyone (with your supervision). You can do this at least once a week, especially since you say they don't have any homework. That way she'll be learning to make food for herself as well as being involved with some menu planning.

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#102 of 103 Old 02-04-2013, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristina47454 View Post

We used to play an m&m game. Three m&ms per child at dinner. The m&ms were earned for different things.Napkin on the lap, staying seated the entire meal, the adventure bite. When the behavior stuck, we'd rotate in a different one. Amazing what a kid will do for an m&m. LOL. We haven't done that game in a long, long time, and actually, I think we tried it once with my now 4 year old (because it had worked so beautifully with the older two) - but she quickly realized she didn't like m&ms all that much and they weren't worth the effort. I feel a bit conflicted about using candy as a reward - our potty training efforts ("potty training in less than a day") had a similar reward system and honestly, it bothered me.  But it worked. So, I guess...I don't know.  We aren't a dessert eating family, so three m&ms seem harmless. And I don't see any food-issues rearing their heads with my older kids bcs I used food as a reward...yeah, can you tell I'm a little conflicted about it? But I'll tell you, family mealtimes used to run a lot more smoothly when that game was in effect!

M&Ms don't exist in our house, due to food allergies/intolerances, so this approach wouldn't work. I know of families that use M&Ms as reward for schoolwork, too. Oh, well. Next idea?
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#103 of 103 Old 02-05-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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If you want to do a positive reinforcement type thing, we've also used plastic coins they could turn in for rewards. Haven't used that for meal time, but it's worked on long car rides. Keep meaning to try the "caught you being good" coupons around the house, but haven't gotten my act together. 

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