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#61 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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I think the OP's son is old enough to make simple meals for himself. If he doesn't like the food on the table, he could make a sandwich, or some cereal, or get some cheese and crackers. Having to take the time to make his own meal, and be limited to the choices he can make himself should be "punishment" enough for not eating the family meal.

PS - I'm an adult, and the idea of eating risotto makes me feel a little gaggy. Ugh. That's coloring my answer here, for sure.

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#62 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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If I have choices available to me as to what I want to eat and when I want to eat, why shouldn't my child have that same right?

Meal times are quite flexible in my house, we don't have meal times at set times everyday, we eat when we're hungry. I ask my son if there is anything specific that he may like, and you can bet he will say 'pasta bake' every time

Obviously, he needs nourishment and a wide range of foods, so I make suggestions and more often than not, he is happy with that. If not, then we negotiate a little more

I want him to have a healthy balanced diet, but I also want to respect his choices too. No one forces me to eat, so I wouldn't force my son to eat. So if there are any evenings when he doesn't want to eat his dinner, it isn't the end of the world. I will just prepare something for him at a later time, be it a sandwich, banana/apple and yogurt.

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#63 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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we don't require anyone to eat as we do. my husband grew up in a family like that & every one of them have an inability to self regulate in many areas of their lives. of course the enforced chow-down isn't the only reason, but it is the most vivd in all 5 of their minds.

my oldest is 8. she learned how to make small things at about age 5 & she is free to make whatever she wants if she doesn't like what we are having. i would be terribly upset if i had to eat something that i wasnt in the mood for. why my children dont deserve the same respect for individual tastes boggles my jmind. i have seen this same dd change her mind about foods she likes about a bazillion times. one day she likes peppers, then a month later she hates them. i think of it as her learning about her preferences.

another thing i dont get is we all encourage nursing on demand and trust our babies instincts as far as responding to their bodies needs, but for some reason we lose that faith in their ability to self-regulate as they grow. why?

usually before me or dh goes grocery shopping we all sit down at the table & make family decisions about meals we'll be having for the week. everyone gets to pick a couple main dishes, a couple sides & there's a list of "alternates" should someone change their mind about what they want. when it's the day of something dd1 picked out for dinner, she gets to help one of the adults with prep work & plating. it helps to make the child feel like they have an active role in deciding the family's nutrition & they really do enjoy helping prepare meals.

FWIW, she also went through a phase of "Only spaghetti" that lasted about a month. no biggie, i'd throw some different veggies in the food processor to blend in with the sauce & she was definatley having her nutritional needs met & her dietary requests respected as well.
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#64 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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FWIW, she also went through a phase of "Only spaghetti" that lasted about a month. no biggie, i'd throw some different veggies in the food processor to blend in with the sauce & she was definatley having her nutritional needs met & her dietary requests respected as well.
Mines been in the "spaghetti only"" stage for umm five years and she wont touch sauce so no hiding veggies.

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#65 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by davi View Post
FWIW, she also went through a phase of "Only spaghetti" that lasted about a month. no biggie, i'd throw some different veggies in the food processor to blend in with the sauce & she was definatley having her nutritional needs met & her dietary requests respected as well.
Yeah, it seems really common and normal to me that kids get *very* into a few or one thing at a time. It just runs it course, I've found.


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Mines been in the "spaghetti only"" stage for umm five years and she wont touch sauce so no hiding veggies.
That sounds hard.

But, like you said, you guys have some other stuff going on.

eta: Just to say, that 5 yrs. of one food does not sound like something most kids would do.

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With out going into details we deal with very real medical based food issues and are working with therpist on it so that does change things a bit...
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#66 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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Well, I assume that you did eat it, given the fact that it was the only choice you had: eat this food you cannot stand, or starve.
Sorry, but I really find that kind of sad, and disturbing.
i was not forced to eat things i didnt like we were to try them. as for the meal i was speaking of i liked it i was like that tho i would go long without eating then sneek and take the samething when no one was looking. didnt think it would of got out of hand but should of known the site i was speaking in and like always mind my words....
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#67 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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littlemizflava: Right on about the dinner thing. Thank you for agreeing with me. I knew I wasn't the ONLY one raised like that. I guess I won't fix what is not broken in my family. The way we do dinner time in our household works for US, it may not work for everyone, but it does just fine for us and that is all I really need. :
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#68 of 109 Old 01-27-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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No, it doesn't take me very long to make a sandwich but the point I am trying to make here is SHE needs to learn mommy and daddy decide what is for dinner, not her. I just see it as special treatment that doesn't need to happen. Why should she have something different? We eat as a family, not having separate meals. It is the way I grew up I guess. We all sat around the table and ATE THE SAME THING. Like I said above, she does get a snack before bedtime if she wants one, most of the time she doesn't because she eats her dinner. It is just a matter of how I raise my child is different than others...no big deal, just how it is done at my house.
We eat as a family, but if my son doesn't like it (rare, as we encorporate things he likes at the table) he can have one other option. (He is 2.5 which is why we have to limit the options, he's testing a lot of that out. )

I look at it like this - right now, while he is little, we limit the food that comes into the house to healthy things. That's more than enough control for me. If he wants to eat cheese instead of chicken, that's ok. I won't cook a whole separate meal because that would probably make me a bit crazy. But it is no big deal to get him some cheese and peas and a bun.

For the special treatment... I don't know. Maybe my family is weird, but part of our joy in eating together is actually to give each other special treatment. We try to cook things we all enjoy as a gift to each other, and to share it together. Obviously sometimes we have different tastes over overall, I would say that is the focus of our meals - special treatment.

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#69 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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I have 3 kiddos - ages 12, 9, and 2. The 2 y/o eats like a horse, while the two oldest are picky as heck. I find it very frustrating, simply because I hate spending time cooking dinner only to have them not eat it. (as typical picky kids, they only really like about 3 meals!) We adopted the "try it/if you don't like it/fix yourself something healthy" routine several years ago as a way to preserve sanity and fill tummies.

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#70 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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eta: Just to say, that 5 yrs. of one food does not sound like something most kids would do.
I agree thats why I also said some posts back we deal with REAL eatting food texture ect issues. I have the child that will truly starve herself than eat, when she was a baby nursing I HAD to put her on a schedule because if not she never /rarely indicated shes needed to feed and was FTT. We work with therpist. I still do all I can to respect her needs to provide as healthy I can to be patient and understanding rules are a little diffrent for us.

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#71 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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ideas to do with your ds to get him intrested in food...
buy and decorate a apron or make one his favorite fabirc. talk to him make a list or even his own cookbook of recipes that he likes aslo look at cookbooks, mag's or online ones with pictures. find ones that intrest him. when you go shopping have a list what is needed to buy and when it comes time have him help make it. yes it will take longer but the key is to try to get him intrested and if he helps he will feel more of a part. who dont want to taste what they made
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#72 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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another thing i dont get is we all encourage nursing on demand and trust our babies instincts as far as responding to their bodies needs, but for some reason we lose that faith in their ability to self-regulate as they grow. why?
BINGO!

This is what I don't understand, either.

Trusting my kids has been one of the most humbling, eye-opening experiences of my life. And they have CONSISTENTLY proved the, "If you don't do xyz, you'll end up with kids who blah, blah, blah...." traditional parenting predictions dead wrong.
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#73 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Well, I assume that you did eat it, given the fact that it was the only choice you had: eat this food you cannot stand, or starve.
Sorry, but I really find that kind of sad, and disturbing.
Absolutely! I think that's absolutely horrible.

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#74 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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I also don't make special meals just for the kids. The exception is if we are making something that I truly know the kids won't like (steak comes to mind).

Things we do:
-make sure there is at least one healthy option at every meal that the kids like

-ask what they want for dinner, we don't do this every night but they make surprisingly good choices and it gives them a chance to contribute to family meals

-they help "cook" - they are only 3 and 4.5 so they don't really cook, but they'll add ingredients, help get stuff out the fridge, etc - again, I think this helps them feel like contributors

-we encourage, but don't force, them to try things they think are yucky, especially if it is a new food...they'll often decide that it isn't yucky afterall. if they decide it still IS yucky, they don't have to eat it. (we're also working on table manners, i.e. "please don't call it yucky, just say 'no thank you.'")

I can't think of a meal where they flatout refused to eat anything. If they did, I'd offer up PB and crackers or something similar but easy.

Sometimes they don't eat much but that's okay, their stomachs are small and I've found that my kids are really good about self-regulating. If one goes through a phase where they aren't eating much, I just assume they don't need the food. Besides, they tend to make up for it in a few days but totally eating everything in sight
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#75 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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I haven't read all the responses.

We sort of shamelessly hold dessert out as a brass ring. Basically, she has to eat something if she wants to have dessert (which is like a pumpkin muffin or sugar-free pudding or yogurt). If she wants to absolutely not eat dinner and consequently not have dessert, that's her choice and it's totally fine--no berating or eye-rolling or disappointed sighs.

In terms of what, specifically, she has to eat in order to get dessert--we mostly want to be sure she gets some protein and some veggies (not generally a problem to get her to eat carbs). So it's usually a matter of having a few bites of whatever the main dish is, and whatever the accompanying vegetable is. If she's clearly freaking out because of the horribleness of either of those things, we'll substitute with lunch meat or string cheese or baby carrots or fruit or something. We don't ever expect her to clean her plate or eat everything she's been given--for us, at this point, it's not about politeness, it's about basic nutrition and fostering a healthy attitude (physical and emotional) about food.

I will add that this is all made easier by the fact that she will always drink milk until the cows come home (if you will), so even if she refuses dinner we know she's not going to faint from hunger.
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#76 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Mine will do the same thing, as long as she TRIES to eat what we are eating that is all that matters to me. I have got a good thing going because she is our little "garbage disposal" as we call her because she will eat anything. Right now she really really really likes raw potatoes for some reason? And rice...anything with rice in it she will gobble. She doesn't even LOOK at her food really, she just grabs and eats.
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#77 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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Well, I assume that you did eat it, given the fact that it was the only choice you had: eat this food you cannot stand, or starve.
Sorry, but I really find that kind of sad, and disturbing.
I have to assume the folks who judge this have never been in a situation where it's a financial reality.
I hjave been, both as a kid and a mom. It doesn't happen nearly as often now as it did when I was between jobs but sometimes, on a bad month, when it gets down to shopping day no one's happy at lunchtime but we truly have no other choices.
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#78 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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Thanks warriorprincess, because I have been there, and I was there as a child every now and then too. Sometimes that is all we have...no other groceries or other options to eat, I don't see it as others do I guess????
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#79 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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I grew up in a large family with 6 closely-spaced children and one income. The rule: eat it or leave it but don't talk about it. Nobody wants a running commentary on your love-hate relationship with green beans.

My parents economized at every turn. Snacks were rare. But dessert every night is cheap and keeps the family at the table until the end. Dinner was simple and filling. There was always something on the table that each person liked.

But nobody had to eat anything. If you didn't eat it fairly quickly, someone else would say, "You gonna eat your....?" Kind of a pain for my slower eating sister. If you didn't want it someone else did.

In fact, to this day, when someone in my family says, "I don't really like....." about a food, someone will chime in (in jest), "Good, more for me."

No need to follow someone around with leftovers until they ate 'em. That's not saving money. That's something else entirely.
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#80 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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I have to assume the folks who judge this have never been in a situation where it's a financial reality.
I hjave been, both as a kid and a mom. It doesn't happen nearly as often now as it did when I was between jobs but sometimes, on a bad month, when it gets down to shopping day no one's happy at lunchtime but we truly have no other choices.
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Thanks warriorprincess, because I have been there, and I was there as a child every now and then too. Sometimes that is all we have...no other groceries or other options to eat, I don't see it as others do I guess????
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funny how some just never get it but then it might be a blessing but i think it is not it is better to know the hard times make you love the good ones even more
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#81 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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Explaining gently and apologizing to your child for legitimately not having another option is not the same as making a RULE that if you don't eat this you get nothing else.

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#82 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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That is what my mom said to us girls growing up littlemizflava. We appreciated food A LOT more because we knew how hard it was for my folks to get it at times. My dad is a small farmer who doesn't work for a corporation and my mom stayed home with us kids. Trust me, we did have plenty of corn to eat, but other times we had very little other options. We ate as a family, said grace, and no one got a "special" meal. We learned to like what mom cooked and no one complained about it either.
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#83 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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I grew up in a large family with 6 closely-spaced children and one income. The rule: eat it or leave it but don't talk about it. Nobody wants a running commentary on your love-hate relationship with green beans.

My parents economized at every turn. Snacks were rare. But dessert every night is cheap and keeps the family at the table until the end. Dinner was simple and filling. There was always something on the table that each person liked.

But nobody had to eat anything. If you didn't eat it fairly quickly, someone else would say, "You gonna eat your....?" Kind of a pain for my slower eating sister. If you didn't want it someone else did.

In fact, to this day, when someone in my family says, "I don't really like....." about a food, someone will chime in (in jest), "Good, more for me."

No need to follow someone around with leftovers until they ate 'em. That's not saving money. That's something else entirely.
I love this post. I feel like I can picture your whole family at the table.
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#84 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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Yes, I do make a rule, but it is based on how I grew up. I think it worked wonders for us as children so I use it today with my kids...and guess what?? It works for us. It might not work for you or your family, but for us it does and my kids are happy with it.
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#85 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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Yes, I do make a rule, but it is based on how I grew up. I think it worked wonders for us as children so I use it today with my kids...and guess what?? It works for us. It might not work for you or your family, but for us it does and my kids are happy with it.
Except it's not a rule that's in keeping with this site and this forum. And a mod has already asked that we keep our responses aligned with both.
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#86 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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I grew up in a large family with 6 closely-spaced children and one income. The rule: eat it or leave it but don't talk about it. Nobody wants a running commentary on your love-hate relationship with green beans.

My parents economized at every turn. Snacks were rare. But dessert every night is cheap and keeps the family at the table until the end. Dinner was simple and filling. There was always something on the table that each person liked.

But nobody had to eat anything. If you didn't eat it fairly quickly, someone else would say, "You gonna eat your....?" Kind of a pain for my slower eating sister. If you didn't want it someone else did.

In fact, to this day, when someone in my family says, "I don't really like....." about a food, someone will chime in (in jest), "Good, more for me."

No need to follow someone around with leftovers until they ate 'em. That's not saving money. That's something else entirely.
I grew up in that family except we had twelve kids and dad made $1.25 an hour back in the sixties. I have that family today too because I have eight kids, dad living here now and two parents. I economize but we always have plenty of good food to eat then and now. We don't waste anything and children that are known to be picky at certain meals are given tiny teaspoon size servings and then can ask for more.
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#87 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
:twot humbs:twot humbs
funny how some just never get it but then it might be a blessing but i think it is not it is better to know the hard times make you love the good ones even more
My point is that this has nothing to do with economics or family dinners.

It has no more to do with learning to get through hard times together than forced marches have to do with long family hikes together.
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#88 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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I think sitting up strict rules just sets you up for confrontation and heartache. I don't want meals to be battles.
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#89 of 109 Old 01-28-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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This has been such an interesting thread. My son is only 17 months old, nad already he's showing that he doesn't like many foods (with the full body shudder if they cross his lips). So far, it doesn't matter much--he eats more of the items he likes, and it's all rounded out by breastfeeding.

Dh and I each have one food we don't like (him-mayo, me-fennel), and so we look at this picky child in complete wonder. This thread has given me alot of ideas on how to best handle it, though.
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#90 of 109 Old 01-29-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I don't force myself to eat foods I don't like, and I treat my children the same way.
Exactly what I was thinking. And just so you know, I WAS also raised to either eat what mom cooked, or do without. Do I think that makes it ok? Absolutely not! They made mistakes too, and will readily admit it today. Children deserve the same respect that adults always demand. If they don't like something, no amount of force feeding will make them like it. I speak from experience here, because I was forced to eat tuna as a child and I absolutely HATE it now. (just one example) I have never forced my dc to either eat what I cook or do without. Not only because I don't eat what I don't like, but also because even tho I might like something, that doesn't mean that I am in the mood for it on that particular day. So why can't my child feel the same? What I always did when they were little was to offer them something simple that required no or very little additional cooking, such as cereal, pbj sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches......
And when they got old enough to cook, if they didn't want what I made, they were free to make their own. And often did. I think that this also partly boils down to an issue of respect. How can one "demand" (as so many do) the respect of your children, yet treat them with none? They live what they learn from us, their parents.

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