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I'm wondering how you folks manage mealtimes. Do you offer a slate of options, and then let the child "go hungry" (so to speak) if he/she isn't interested in any of the available choices? Or do you find yourself jumping out of your seat every couple of minutes to get your child whatever he/she seems to be asking for at that moment? Or something else?<br><br>
Recently mealtimes have become a bit chaotic with DD, almost 18 months. Half the time she doesn't want to sit in her booster seat any more, and wants to stand by the table and be fed food like a begging doggie.<br><br>
More difficult still is the fact that she can kinda communicate what she wants, but not always, and even more important, she doesn't seem to know her own mind or is very fickle, refusing food she said Yeah to, and grabbing for food she said No to.<br><br>
Typical mealtime might go something like this:<br>
Mommy sits DD in her booster seat and sits down at the table with a plate of pasta for herself (and to share with DD), and a bag of frozen peas (which normally DD loves). DD refuses the peas, the pasta, and all savory tidbits that accompany the pasta (tomatoes and olives, which she has eaten happily in the past). Mommy asks DD what she wants and can't understand the GooGooGaaGaa response. Mommy asks DD to point to what she wants. DD points to the freezer. "You want a popsicle?" Mommy asks? "Yeah" says DD. So Mommy gets up and gets a popsicle (which is really just frozen baby food mush) and sits down again. She hands DD popsicle and DD hands it back... "You want Mommy to cut it up?" "Yeah" Mommy gets out a knife and starts to cut into it, whereby DD melts down. Mommy attempts to hand the whole popsicle back to DD, she takes one bite, then starts asking for "Go Ga" which Mommy knows means Goldfish crackers, but sometimes can mean cracker in general. Now DD wants Goldfish and only goldfish will do, so Mommy jumps up from her seat again and starts feeding DD goldfish crackers.<br><br>
The whole reason I go through all this craziness is because I have learned that often, once I feed DD the thing she REALLY wants, she is more receptive to actually eating the food I want her to eat.<br><br>
The booster seat issue is a whole nother can of worms. I have realized recently that she was throwing food on the floor as a ploy to get out of her seat, because I assumed she was done eating when she threw food, and would take her out of her seat. In fact, she was still hungry but wanted to eat standing up.<br><br>
The reason I'm asking for others' feedback is because I am anticipating some flak from my parents when they visit in a few weeks, and want to know I'm not alone, AND/OR if anyone has any advice for helping me at least SEEM like I have a little CONTROL in this situation and am not being pushed around by my toddler, I'd appreciate it!
 

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I serve meals that include something that I'm pretty sure ds will like. Usually carrots or bread. lol<br>
He never (well, maybe once or twice) asks for anything different during meals, but if he would ask for something simple, I'd get it (same as I'll get up if he asks for something to drink). I'd not make a new meal after I sat down to eat, and I'd not get up 3 times to get him something else. But after I was done eating, I'd try very hard to help him find something that he wanted.<br><br>
If he asks for something to eat, even right before dinner, I fix it for him. I fix him food pretty much any time during the day (again, simple to prepare foods). The only time I wouldn't is if I were in the middle of eating a nice hot meal, and I'd already spent some time trying to help ds get something he likes.<br><br>
Ds sits in a booster to eat at the table, but we eat in the living room a lot, and he just stands at the coffee table when we do that. When he says he's done, he gets up and does whatever he wants. But dp and I won't interupt our meals to play with him. We wait until we are done, then play with him or read or whatever.
 

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I do try to cater to their appetite. If I am in the mood for something, or DH, and I know some/one of us doesn't like it so much, I'll make a couple other simple things to go with it. I don't/won't make battles out of food.<br><br>
We don't alwasy eat together as DS sometimes gets home too late. Now my son is old enough to ask for certain things though, and I always make it for him<br><br>
I think the idea is that you want to create a healthy feeling about food. I make special things if DS doesn't like something, because sometimes i may try something new, or he isn't in the mood, etc. Now if I see a trend coming, like I fix 2 more things and they are all "too sour" (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> that's the new one around here from my 2.5 year old), then I will remind him that maybe he should listen to his body and find out if he is hungry or not, and maybe try to eat later. Or if he is hungry before dinner, I make a snack.<br><br>
I do a LOT of veggie chopping, meal preparing, freezing and such ahead of time. I usually vaccum seal tons of chopped onion and garlic and have everything ready so dinner is in no time.<br><br>
It's my responsiblity to have healthy food, his to eat it!
 

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I do try to include something ds will like, but he usually likes pretty well everything.<br><br>
If he's refusing the meal, that's fine he can go play. I don't get up away from my meal to make him something to eat at that time. I will not get into the habit of being a short order cook. When I'm done my meal, I'll offer him a healthy snack or keep his meal wrapped up and offer it to him later.<br><br>
I let him eat wherever he wants. We still use a highchair and he's usually fine with that. Sometimes he wants to sit at one of the big chairs (I dont' have a booster but I put him on the phonebooks) or at his own toddler table.<br><br>
Sounds pretty typical, same as the PPs.
 

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I give her some of everything we're having for dinner. If she doesn't seem to want to eat any of it, I'll grab her a slice of cheese or a piece of fruit. If she hardly eats anything at dinnertime, I'll try again after her bath - usually something easy and filling, like cereal with milk.<br><br>
I don't jump up and down trying to figure out what she might be willing to eat, at meals. I'm a little more inclined to do it at lunch, because when she has lunch I'm not usually eating myself, but in general I don't want to make food refusals and requests into a game. I never let her go hungry - I'm perfectly happy to give her a substantial snack right after a meal that she didn't eat well. But during mealtimes, I want to sit down, eat, and talk - not play waitress and short-order cook.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rivka5</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6498884"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I give her some of everything we're having for dinner. If she doesn't seem to want to eat any of it, I'll grab her a slice of cheese or a piece of fruit.</div>
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That's what I do too. He still gets a lot of nutrition (at 19mo) from bm anyway. Some days he hardly eats real food at all. But he doesn't mind sitting in his high-chair at the table with us until we're done with dinner.
 

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Since dd was around that age she's eaten most of her meals at her little table. That way she can eat a bit, get up and play, come back for more, etc. Interestingly enough at restaurants she'll happily sit at a table with us on a regular chair (no booster) for like an hour at a time but at home she has to be constantly on the move.<br><br>
As for what we feed her - well, I either cook something that I know she'll like, or I know she'll like some of the meal and I might substitute one item (the veg, the meat, etc) with something I know she likes, or if dh and I want something she really doesn't like (spicy Thai food for example) then I'll make her a separate meal. When I do make something just for her it's always something really quick and easy.
 

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I don't cater to dd she sits in her high chair for her meals. I give her the entire meal at once (which is what im eating)...she eats it or she doesn't. The only time I get up is to get her more water or myself a drink. I have always given her what we eat ...she really hasnt complained yet. She will sometimes not eat everything but she will eat something.
 

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My daughter's a pretty picky eater. She has the same things everyday and I try to introduce new foods to her several times a week. She's just started eating chicken and corn.<br><br>
We have a three-strikes-and-your-out philosophy towards mealtime. We offer her three foods she normally likes. If she doesn't want any of them then I just figure she's not hungry at the moment. I usually try again later.
 

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It depends on the meal time here. Breakfast is a given (cereal) and dinner is whatever I'm making. I always include something I know she likes.<br><br>
Lunch is kind of a free for all. Except, if she asks for something, then I won't get her something else if she changes her mind.
 

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Luckily DD isn't really picky. There are only two things I know she won't eat. Usually when I start cooking dinner I put her in her high chair and offer her a healthy snack to eat while I cook. I find she is more likely to eat veggies if i give them to her first versus veggies on the tray with other choices. Once food is ready we all eat at the table and I put a variety of choices on her tray in seperate areas so I can see how much she is eating. Occasionaly she may eat all of something right away and point and want more and I will give her a tiny bit more but she still will eat the other foods. Even the foods I know she doesn't like, mashed potatoes, I will put it on her tray just to see if she may grow to like it but am perfectly fine with her not eating it too. She usually stays there until we are done eating, she plays and jabbers away, and then we clean her up.
 
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