What do you do when they don't want to eat their dinner? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is totally hypothetical as my baby is only 11 months, but DH and I watched that show Nanny 911 tonight and the family in it's kids didnt want to eat their dinner, but they never showed how they thought you should deal with that.
Like if you made stirfry for dinner and they scream and want mac and cheese, do you make them mac and cheese? Tell them it's stirfry or nothing? Or some other thing Im not thinking of. I remember as a little one my mom saying "eat 4 pieces of brocolli and you're done" and my dad saying I should eat all of my brocolli.
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#2 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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Well my guy is only 23 months, and there is only one of him, so maybe I'm not the best to say. We have a bunch of foods that we know he likes to eat, and they are ready to go. If he doesn't like dinner (and he doesn't talk much, so it's not so easy to know why he isn't eating) we give him some of those. I guess when he gets older I'll make sure to have some bread or something else that he can get himself.

Usually he does like what we eat, and if he isn't eating then he's not hungry.

I also don't make a big deal about whether he plays with his food. I know that eventually i will have to be the enforcer of manners. For now, I think we can deal with him messing around in his high chair, checking to see whether he can transfer food from one container to another, etc. But he's little. He gets excited sometimes just to eat the same thing from my plate as what's on his plate!

I figure at some point he will develop enough language to say why he isn't eating and I will be able to respond better to that. For example, "I don't like this food" or "I'm not hungry" or "my tummy hurts right now." I'm also involving him in food preparation even now, and I guess that will help. You know, at least he'll be able to say "Yuck, broccoli" while we are chopping it instead of once it's on the table?

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#3 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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If my dd doesn't want to eat her dinner, she doesn't have to eat her dinner.

If I make her something and she doesn't want it, I offer her an easy alternative (sandwich, yogurt, etc.) and she can have it.

I am blessed - my dd is extremely easy about eating. When she doesn't want to eat something, I take it seriously and offer her an alternative. I wouldn't cook her a separate meal but I don't have a problem offering her an alternative.

Oh, and I never urge her to eat one more bite. How does anyone determine when someone else is full?
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#4 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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I hate it but I bribe dd if it gets to that. Sometimes she will consent to feed the Harry Potter characters who she happens to store in her belly button, but if they aren't hungry I will sometimes hold out the sugar carrot.

I hate doing it, I hate feeling so anxious when she doesn't eat. I can't belive my reaction, I know she isn't going to starve if she doesn't finish her food but I also know she's going to want to be nursing throughout the night and once I wake up in the night these days, I just never fall back to sleep. I also know that inevitably after everyone else is done, the kitchen is clean and everything put away she will say she's starving, and that drives me bonkers.

Dh thinks I'm setting her up for an eating disorder but I think the same of him since he takes her food if she doesn't eat it fast enough (as fast as he eats in other words) and I remember my dad doing that and hating it. Okay, sorry, didn't mean to hijack your thread, I look forward to other answers too.

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#5 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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If I know ahead of time that I am making something one of them does not like, then I prepare something on the side for the person who doesn't like the main dish. I do this for DH too.

If I prepare something that I was under the impression everyone was cool with, and then someone decides at the last minute that they are no longer cool with it, then I encourage them to take one bite to make sure, and then they can go fix a bagel or a bowl of cereal. But they have to fix it themselves.
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#6 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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I would never force a child to eat something they didn't want to nor would I let my child go hungry. Food is about nutrition, not power, not love, not reward.

What works for us is to make sure we have on hand a food that we know she likes so if the dinner isn't satisfactory to her tastes, we have something we know she most likely will eat. Sometimes it's yogurt, sometimes cheese and crackers, sometimes (like today) it's an avocado.

Children are so full of honesty at these young ages. Why is it that adults don't respect it when kids say "I don't like peas" We wouldn't insist an adult guest sit at the table until they finished their peas. We wouldn't insist that an adult guest just try one bite before they could leave the table. I think we disrespect children when we plow over their simple honest feedback about food and try to power struggle with them.

I also think we need to consider a child's food intake on a week by week basis instead of a day by day basis. I know there have been days in my young toddler's life where she was an eating machine, where every hour I was getting her snacks it seemed. (and I won't forget the nights she was waking at 18 months in the middle of the night requesting a sandwich and eating the WHOLE thing! Growth spurt indeed!) Now there are some days she hardly eats at all. I don't freak about the day to day. I look at her nutritional input over many days and make sure that I am offering her healthy varieties over a span of days instead of worrying about what she ate today.

I hope that helps.

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#7 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:52 AM
 
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Our family feeding is based on Ellyn Satter's books. She is a well known and very respected nutritionist.

We have a "division of responsibility"

We decide WHEN meals and snacks are served (after infancy when feeding on demand is what occurs)

We decide WHAT is served

Our kids decide IF and how much they will eat.


So if you dont' want stir fry you don't have to eat it. BUT we don't make something else. Now we always serve something that is liked by all (maybe the plain rice served with the stir fry, as an example)

If you don't eat dinner, that's your business. A treat is always served after the main meal and you don't have to eat any dinner to get it.

A healthy snack is also served right before bed (or was when they were little and there was alot of time between dinner and bed).

Our kids are really good adventerous eaters. We do think this is why.
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#8 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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First, I let ds know when I start cooking dinner what we're having. If it's not something he usually eats I will cook him something easy like mac & cheese. Then I can save the leftovers for his lunch the next day.

I don't bribe or force him to eat. If he's hungry, he'll eat.

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#9 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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I make what we have and if they don't like it they can choose not to eat it but they don't get something else. occaisionally something goes terribly wrong while cooking and I make a second meal for everyone because what I made is truely disgusting by all standards but that is rare. I can't afford to make one thing and then thow it out in favor of somehting else. our food budget is tight so I am sure to buy food that I know people like only occaisioally trying a new recipie. So generally I know they like it, don't have texture issues with it etc. . . If they are hungry enough they will eat it. if not they go to bed and rarely complain (becuase they know complaints will be met with "well I can heat it up for you " which occaisionally they take me up on )

so in short hehehe they happily eat what is served or happily go without but I really try to serve food people like. I never make a big deal out of "take 4 bites" or anything. what is the point. they will eat it if they are hungry enough.

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#10 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 01:26 AM
 
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I think it is absolutely wrong to fix a meal and tell a child they have no choice but to eat it or go hungry. It is not gentle parenting.

If it's really and truly the only food you have, chances are, your child will be glad to eat it.

If they'd rather have peanut butter sandwich than lasanga, and you have bread and peanut butter in the house, let them make a sandwich! As long as it's whole wheat and natural peanut butter, it's good eats. It's better than most kids in the world will EVER eat.

We have been flat broke and I have never understood that as a reason to refuse a simple cheap alternative to a child. It's not like *I* won't eat his portion of the lasangna. If he won't eat it, that's just more leftovers for the rest of us. Not a problem here!

The only control I maintain is what I bring home.

Once the food is here I am:

Not the pantry sentry

Not a short order cook

Which means that people are free to eat what and when they like, but they have to do it themselves if it isn't what I cooked.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#11 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 01:39 AM
 
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Sorry to highjack the the post but my dd will refuse to eat almost ANYTHING for the evening meal - even things that she LOVES - instead she only wants to nurse about every 15 minutes for the rest of the evening and we/she satys up late so like every 15 minutes for 4 hours. She just turned 2. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to deny her nursing but I'm just about to loose my mind over the evening marathon nursing. I offer snacks and drinks all evening but she only wants the "Num Nums" Any advice greatly appreciate.
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#12 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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Great question! my dd is 4 and is an extremely picky eater (mostly my doing I'm sure). It gets frustrating but like others have said, I know she won't go hungry. THe most frustrating thing really is the tantrum that often goes along with it. I don't want to be a short order cook, but I also don't force her to eat anything. we do encourage her to try things, and there is always a fruit and/or veggie with dinner that she likes and will eat. she eats a lot of toast and cereal, plain spaghettie and annie's shells, though. puppyfluffer, I agree with what you said, but I do think that sometimes my dd tells us she doesn't like something just because that's what pops into her head. I KNOW she does like peas (but only frozen i've discovered) and when she says she doens't like them what she really means is I don't feel like eating them today. in that case, I do encourage her to just have a bite or two (but it's not a "eat two bites or else" kind of thing). I was forced to eat foods as a child that would gag me -- campbell's cream of mushroom soup comes to mind. to this day I cannot stand mushrooms.
maya, i need to check out that author. that sounds like what I am striving to follow!
luckily for my dinnertime sanity, my 2.5 yo son eats just about anything, and the baby is very adventurous so far too.

(sorry for the typos it's late and i'm tired!)

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#13 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Like if you made stirfry for dinner and they scream and want mac and cheese, do you make them mac and cheese?
Yes.

There are nights when dh, dd and I all have something different for dinner. We all eat what we want. Usually we are happy to have the same thing but sometimes one or more of us will have our hearts set on something else.

When she is older she can cook her own food if she wants something different, but now I'm happy to do it for her. I love cooking.

If she wants nothing for dinner, that's fine too. If she wants to eat before everyone else, or after everyone else, fine. I only insist she eat at the table, otherwise she makes a mess.

I also don't make dessert contingent upon eating dinner.
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#14 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 02:44 AM
 
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back before dd got crafty and too smart for me- I used to mix things and disguise quite well
Like, mash up some meat in applesauce, or put her veggies in applesauce or yogurt. I swear, she would eat ANYTHING(usually)if it was in yogurt or applesauce.
But now shes an independant growing toddler and is picky, so I also have healthy yes foods on hand. But I am trixy and like to add green food and brewers yeast and carob and nut butters to things.Like-oh, ok you can have some yo-baby yopgurt-hehe, with some peanut butter and greenfood-shhhhh!
Oh, and a health drink I used to make dd drink everyday when she weaned while I was pregnant was goat and rice milk with brewers yeast and carob powder. It was my nutrition cure all.:LOL

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#15 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 02:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
I think it is absolutely wrong to fix a meal and tell a child they have no choice but to eat it or go hungry. It is not gentle parenting.

I

I disagree. If this is what you want to do fine, but to me say its not "gentle parenting is to me just plain wrong.

Children are naturally neophobic about food. If given a choice a large percentage will not try new things. They will stick with the pb and j or whatever food they are "comfortable with" . (not all fit this pattern of course, but a large ennough percentage to be statistically very significant. Take a look at the underlying studies done by Satter and other nutritional researchers on this topic.) Satter has proven that the best way to deal with the neo-phobia is to give a chioce about whether to eat it but not to offer a 'safe' food instead.

Her studies also show that people who are not given a chance to let go of "safe foods" in childhood often become people who are afraid of new foods as adults (Interetingly the same thing happens when children are forced to eat a food, rather than being told that it is their choice.)
I believe it it my job as a parent to help my kids expand their palate.
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#16 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:00 AM
 
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My dd just turned three and this is the first age I can honestly say she is looking for actual meals three to four times a day.

Up to this point she would graze and pick and sometimes sit at the table with us. We have never been 'strict' on making her stay at the table and now she is staying to eat on her own.

I include her in meal prep alot. We talk alot about what foods we will have and if she expresses that she doesn't want a meal (before its prepared) then we talk until she and I find something we agree on.

From that point I am careful to keep some of the veg raw and seperate, plain rice etc so she can prepare the bowl of food to her liking. I keep her really involved.

If she just doesn't want to eat, then thats okay. She will eat when she is hungry and I will offer her options, within reason, with limits.

We never have junk food or empty calorie food around so she is developing a palate for food without additives or sugar. Such as homemade youghurt, baking and stews and soups.

Hope this has helped you out. Enjoy your baby!
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#17 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:07 AM
 
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If I made a stirfry for dinner and they asked for something else that required cooking, I would tell them that we dont' have any of that cooked and they can try the stirfry. We eat dinner as a family and if they don't want to eat what's in front of them, they can always excuse themselves from the table. But I don't jump up and make them something else. I suggest that they taste it and try to make it sound appealing..."Ooooh look at the baby trees in this thai curry!"
And of course, if they don't eat dinner, they end up hungry later. I let them have a snack like some kefir or a piece of cheese and half an apple or something like that. If that doesn't satisfy them, I offer to heat up their dinner plate in the microwave. Sometimes that works. It's not a big deal to me if they don't eat a whole lot before bed. Digestion slows down when we sleep so eating light before bed is actually better.
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#18 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun-shine01
Sorry to highjack the the post but my dd will refuse to eat almost ANYTHING for the evening meal - even things that she LOVES - instead she only wants to nurse about every 15 minutes for the rest of the evening and we/she satys up late so like every 15 minutes for 4 hours. She just turned 2. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to deny her nursing but I'm just about to loose my mind over the evening marathon nursing. I offer snacks and drinks all evening but she only wants the "Num Nums" Any advice greatly appreciate.
If she is nursing every 15 minutes for 4 hours, how long is she nursing at each session? Does she nurse at all during the night? I might encourage her to either nurse longer at a stretch or wait a bit before nursing again. And maybe, after she has nursed a time or two, offer her something to eat.
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#19 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maya43
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
"I think it is absolutely wrong to fix a meal and tell a child they have no choice but to eat it or go hungry. It is not gentle parenting."

I disagree. If this is what you want to do fine, but to me say its not "gentle parenting is to me just plain wrong.

Children are naturally neophobic about food. If given a choice a large percentage will not try new things. They will stick with the pb and j or whatever food they are "comfortable with" . (not all fit this pattern of course, but a large ennough percentage to be statistically very significant. Take a look at the underlying studies done by Satter and other nutritional researchers on this topic.) Satter has proven that the best way to deal with the neo-phobia is to give a chioce about whether to eat it but not to offer a 'safe' food instead.

Her studies also show that people who are not given a chance to let go of "safe foods" in childhood often become people who are afraid of new foods as adults (Interetingly the same thing happens when children are forced to eat a food, rather than being told that it is their choice.)
I believe it it my job as a parent to help my kids expand their palate.
I see telling a child they have no choice but to eat what you served them or go hungry to be forcing them to eat what you served. Choosing between eating something you don't like or going hungry is not a choice, it's a threat. That is not gentle discipline. There are other ways. Simply saying that the child can choose to eat the food or not is different than saying "Eat it or starve".
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#20 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:25 AM
 
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If you don't like what is served or what mom is eating (I can't eat what the family is eating sometimes due to my restricted diet..gastric bypass) then you may have a PB&J or a bowl of cereal. No one goes hungry. I don't make a big deal out of food. I have enough food issues to cover their lives. I often leave their food (as long as it doesn't have things in it that can spoil quickly) out for at least an hour after the dinner hour. They can come pick if they want to. I especially have to do this for dd#2 as she is only 23lbs and 3ft at 2.5. In my house, if there is something that is in the fridge that is already prepared (ie yesterdays leftovers etc.) and you want it, it's all yours. Leftovers are not served as dinner again. They go in dh's lunch, or I snack on them if possible, or they get eaten at other times. My kids know that they can get an apple, carrot, etc out of the fridge whenever they want to. Dry cereal eaten right out of a snack dish is cool with me too. They will do this while they are coloring or doing some other activity.
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#21 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:28 AM
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I'm with Greaseball. I'll make something else. Nothing elaborate, but certainly mac and cheese. I would hope she wouldn't need to scream to get some food she likes.

When Rain was 5 and 6 she literally ate about 6 main dish-type things - bean burritos; peanut butter, wheat germ, and honey sandwiches; veggie potstickers, and I guess a few more. She did not eat mac and cheese.

I read somewhere about how it was biologically wise for children to stick to the same, safe foods, and that was why they did it. Small children's immune systems are complete until 6 or so, so while they're weaning (or weaned) but not immunologically mature, it makes perfect sense to stick with the tried and true.

Between 6 and 8 Rain's palate expanded at a slow, steady rate, just by having things available and offering them, no pressure. Now she eats a pretty wide range of foods. She doesn't eat red meat, fish, or shellfish, and she only occasionally eats fowl or pig, but that's more of an ethical thing with her (she was a complete vegetarian between ages 6 and 8). She does make a mean homemade hummus, and tonight for dinner we had a salad with veggie lasagna, none of which she would have eaten at 6. She also can't believe she ever disliked mac and cheese.

Neither Rain nor I eat much fruit, but I have a theory that we can't physiologically handle fruit esters, like an allergy.

Eating food you don't like feels cruddy. So does being hungry and not being allowed to eat anything you like. I try not to create issues about food. Food and eating should have pleasant associations, IMO...

For those of you who expect your children to eat what's served or nothing, would you feel differently if they decided not to eat a certain food for moral or ethical reasons, like vegetarianism or boycotting Ne$tle?

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#22 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 04:13 AM
 
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For me it is not a black and white issue.

I have heard plenty of kids say “I don’t like peas” when the truth was they didn’t want peas. It is our job to help their clarify the difference.

I have seen plenty of kids take a bit or two of food and go “I am full”. Then ten minutes later ask for a different food. I don’t think it is wrong to tell your child you said you were full so you have to wait or to make them finish the food they have started eating.

I include my kids on food/diner choices but at times I have said this is it :“Eat it or go with out.”

There has been times I have been so broke that box of mac and cheese was tomorrow nights dinner. Eat what was put in front of you because there was no other food. Fixing separate meals can be expensive. Some homes have no other options.

I have watched children that has told me they were not going to eat XYZ food. They have told me to take them to MCD or they would starve. They did this twice at my house and found out I was not going to do play that game. They started eating what was served, after a while I would let them substitute a little but not much. These parents would fix three of four different meals at night for the entire family to eat something. These kids were fat because they could manipulate and ask for the easy to make foods. These kids did loose wait when the parent got divorced and they started having to do the eat what you served or do without (parents could no longer afford the separate meals). So their can be a child to adult manipulation. We do not know the dynamics of the family. It could have been the that these kids were being “manipulative”.

My middle child (6) has reflux. She will refuse foods. I know it can hurt her to eat but I have to use some judgment. Ask her if she wants to wait and eat it later. I know the hurt foods. So if I make them I will make her something else.

So I do think there is a time and place for the “eat or starve” and then there is time you let them grab something else.
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#23 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 04:29 AM
 
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I haven't read all the posts yet, but with dd (she's 22 months now) I'd do the following:

step 1: try to see if she'd eat some of it by making it a game? Lately she loves to taste food, or dedicate every bite of the food to some people she knows. Although this works when she starts to get bored feeding herself, it usually doesn't work with new food.

step 2: if gaming doesn't work, I'll suggest a plain and boring alternative: you want some bread? you want some milk? And she'll be happy with those...

I wouldn't make a big fuss out of it though... if she doesn't like the dinner, somewhere I consider that that is her own right. Even my husband sometimes replaces the dinner I made with a simple piece of bread.

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#24 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 11:02 AM
 
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I think that you have to find a middle ground between respecting your child's tastes and appetite and letting them turn you into a short order cook.

If you start with the assumption that your child has no reason not to eat what you prepare, you'll have a much easier time. I see lots of parents who seem to think that children need extra incentives to simply eat food, which is ridiculous if you think about it. Humans get hungry and they need to eat. Starting out a child's experience with food by making them special meals probably results in a child who is much pickier than she would be naturally (because some children are naturally picky) and expects every meal to be comprised of only her very favorite foods. I really think too many people have been brainwashed by the media and think children will not like anything other than mac and cheese, pizza, hot dogs, and pbj sandwiches. Look at any school lunch menu and see how true this is...

I often tell my daughter that the foods available for dinner may not be her favorites, but that is not the same as truly disliking them. She understands, and I trust that when she says she really doesn't like something, she means it. I try to make meals that will please all three members of our family, and when I want to make something that DH and I llike but she does not, I will make her something else - for example, she dislikes zucchini, so I might make a small dish of another veggie just for her. And of course, at least once a week I make one her very favorite dinners - none of which are "kiddie food," by the way.

As far as how much she eats? That's pretty much up to her, but when she eats two bites of dinner and says she's done, she knows she won't be getting something different twenty minutes later. I do try to make sure she is hungry at dinnertime, though, so I tend to not give a lot of afternoon snacks. If she's really hungry at, say, 5 p.m., I might give her some raw bits of veggies to munch as I cut up the rest for dinner.

I don't know if people would criticze the way I do things, but here's my proof that it works - my daughter has a healthier diet than 99% of the kids I know. Part of that might be luck, but not all!
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#25 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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kava wrote:

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I see telling a child they have no choice but to eat what you served them or go hungry to be forcing them to eat what you served. Choosing between eating something you don't like or going hungry is not a choice, it's a threat. That is not gentle discipline.
Thank you, very well put.

maya wrote:



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Her studies also show that people who are not given a chance to let go of "safe foods" in childhood often become people who are afraid of new foods as adults (Interetingly the same thing happens when children are forced to eat a food, rather than being told that it is their choice.)
Maya this approach is completely subjective, and it borders on food control issues that are IMO about the parent, not the child. There are also known connections between obesity and an inability to listen to your own body signals with food.

To say that it is a good idea to withhold "safe" foods on principle, defys justification as gentle parenting, or even good long term planning.

I disagree that it is the "job" of the parent to make their child the sort who happily eats whatever the parent wants them to eat.

Children in simpler societies ate one thing for the better part of 2 years. Breastmilk.

The foods eaten by indigineous people are limited to the region in which they live.

It is not at ALL unusual for children the world over the eat the same thing for dinner, ever day, their entire childhood.

An american child with a personal preference for, say, 5 or 6 basic meals is IMO absolutely normal.

You CAN deal with problem area's respectfully. My son has a cardiac condition, and stopping gaining weight altogether two years ago. We talked about it and came up with some foods he liked that were high fat, high protein, and he agreed to eat at least 5 times a day (3 meals plus snacks). After six months this worked and he gained several pounds. There were a few items I thought would help him gain, and he was iffy about them. I told him I really felt it was important he try, and he said he would agree to try. He wound up adding a few things to his regular diet as a result. Some, he tried, hated and didn't have again.

No need to work against him, but just to work together.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#26 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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An american child with a personal preference for, say, 5 or 6 basic meals is IMO absolutely normal.
Don't some of us have just a few favorite meals they eat regularly? Dinner in our house is usually one of these: meat/potatoes or rice/veggies, pasta/meat/salad, soup/salad/bread, or hamburgers. What's wrong with that? I don't feel the need to deprive myself of all these foods and just eat some other kind of food that I would not automatically choose, all in the name of exploration. I have found what works for me and will stick with it until I change my mind. Why is it not OK for children to do the same?

We talk about letting children have access to breastmilk until they are ready to let it go, but then we're supposed to deny them macaroni and cheese before they want to let that go?
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#27 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:42 PM
 
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ITA with maya. I cook dinner and the kids can either eat it or not eat it. But an alternative isn't offered, unless I'm making something that I know they don't like. With our dinners, there is always a side dish, like rice or pasta, that I know the kids like to eat. If they aren't hungry, I'll put the food in the fridge and they can eat it later. There is also fruit, which we serve after dinner.

We all eat the same meal. If dh has cooked a meal that I'm not wild about, I eat it anyway. I don't make myself something different. The same goes for my cooking.

My kids are pretty good about trying new things. I have seen with my older daughter many times that it really is true that in order to develop a liking for a new food, you need to taste it a few times. There are many foods that she didn't like initially (before she'd really ever tried them) that she will now ask for.
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#28 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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We are struggling with this in our house- dh says he (ds1-age 6) needs to eat something other than just carbos ie- he will eat an almond butter sandwich or homemade muffin but the problem is he says NO to his supper- ususally without even trying it.
So what I am asking here is-
how do you handle the 'I dont want it' when the dc has not even tried it?
And is almond butter and bread really sound nutrition? (he recently quit eating all fruit and he never has liked veggies)
I mean what about the need for some of these vitamans and minerals that are only in fruit or veggies?

And yes we have tried smoothies/vitamans/making food fun etc and he still won't eat. DH and I fight about this more than anything else in our whole 16 years together....
help!!!!!!!!!
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#29 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 04:10 PM
 
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Well here is what I do with 2 picky eaters.
Usually before begin cooking I ask "What do we want for dinner" and give at least 2 choices and go from there. I will usually make 2 sides and they have to eat all of one and a bite from the other. If I know dinner will be huge deal because it is something they hate they both know how to make a sandwich because I already cooked once. That usually only happens when we are low on groceries and there are not many choices. But every often I do make them eat even if they don't like it, and I always make them them take at least a bite or two from a new food. I do not think it is a good idea to raise children who are scared to try new things.

jennifer

Super Crunchy natural birthing, extended breastfeeding, non-Circing, non vaxxing cloth diapering, Student midwife and Mama to Hannah 14 Abby 9 and Liam 1
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#30 of 267 Old 01-06-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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my 21mo DS has tons and tons of food issues and mealtime used to be an enormous stress for me. he doesn't try new foods, he gags and then pukes on most foods that he doesn't know very well, and has only demonstrated real hunger for food a few times in his life (other than for nursing)...it used to stress me out so much that i'd be in a horrible mood most days bc he wasn't eating. but i've slowly learned to chill the heck out. he's getting my breastmilk, the only "unhealthy" food he's ever given is french fries and that's once a month, if that...he almost never eats what we're eating because he won't try it. i usually put a little bit of our food on his tray anyway, but 99.99999% of the time he won't touch it. so what? he's eating his own healthy foods and i'm content with that. when he's older we'll try some new strategies but for now, i'm ok with it for the most part. don't get me wrong, i'll never stop trying to gently encourage him to try new things but i'm not gonna get bent out of shape about it.

oh, the most recent strategy we've tried to get him to taste a new food is that we told him to give the food a kiss. he did and some of it got on his lips, so he licked it off and found out that he liked it. SCORE!!!!!!
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