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mccaroline July 5th, 2013 07:12 AM

I've gotten myself into a big debate on meals with kids and whether or not you should force your kids to eat only what is served and if it's acceptable to send the kid to bed without supper if they refuse to eat what is served.

I'll be back with my answer I want to see what others say first.

Countrymom4 July 5th, 2013 08:10 AM

Re: Meals
I agree on some. I want everyone to try the meal. If you really don't like mushrooms I am not going to force them to eat mushrooms. I try to make meals that have a compromise or they can pick out the food they don't like and still be able to eat.

So I do agree, but I think it all depend on what is cooked. I can not make a meal full of mushrooms knowing they hate them and make them eat it or got to bed hungry. If they would just rather just have something else then than what I cooked then no.

Jessimaaka July 5th, 2013 09:37 AM

Re: Meals
Its hard for me to say as Cam is only 10 months old, so I don't know what I would do in that position.

When we were younger, my mom gave us small portions and if we wanted more that was fine. If we hated what she made, we had to at least try some. But no requirements to finish. If we were hungry, dinner was there, no special snacks. But if there was something someone didn't like, she would usually offer some type of alternative (basically all I can think of is my sister disliking pork so she would get leftovers from the night before - we all loved broccoli, green beans, etc. all the usual culprits).

I'd like to follow something similar. Only because every summer we watched my aunt load up my cousins' plates similar to an adult and make them finish it. They both ended up overweight, and then in their early 20s with eating disorders (I'm sure there's more to it than that, but I bet it contributed). My one cousin you could barely tell she was pregnant at 7.5 months as she was terrified of gaining weight, and her daughter was born 6 weeks early.

But in terms of sending to bed without dinner...its hard to say if I could do that once in the position, especially if he ends up on the lean side.

GamerMom July 5th, 2013 11:05 AM

Re: Meals
I don't have much experience in this myself because I'm expecting my first born in 11 days time (if she decides to come out on time). However, I can tell you what my parents did for my brother and I.

My Dad was a picky eater growing up as a boy while my mother loved just about anything and everything. So obviously I took after my mother while my brother took after my father. So for the most part my mother would make meals trying to accommodate all four of us which was difficult thanks to my brother. (My Dad would suck it up and eat what was given to him). How my mom dealt with this was by making something else for my brother that went with some of the stuff he liked.

For instance my Mom would make Sunday supper (cooked dinner) and my brother hated all of it besides the potatoes and carrots. So instead of forcing him to eat the chicken/turkey or other vegetables, she put on some bologna to go with his vegetables. She would do the same for me if she made something I didn't like. So I guess it's like making something different but more so she just added on more food to what was already being made. She didn't mind as long as we ate a good size meal and didn't go hungry.

mccaroline July 5th, 2013 11:39 AM

Re: Meals
Ok, so here's the situation that got me into this debate in the first place. A friends little guy, just over 2, only wanted toast or crackers and a glass of milk for supper last night. His mom refused, served him a plate of what she and her DH were eating and told him to eat it or go to bed hungry.

My thought is that as long as the kid is wanting something reasonably healthy and not candy then why not? Bread and butter, a piece of fruit or cheese and crackers is always available here. I do encourage my kids to eat what is being served but if they really don't want it they are welcome to one of the alternatives. My older two will get it for themselves, DS I still have to get it for him. It doesn't happen often, usually only once every 2 or 3 months I'll end up making something that a kid doesn't like, or sometimes they just don't feel like a hot meal.

I guess I figure as long as it's reasonably healthy, and they aren't wasting food it's better than being hungry and tired which just makes the grumpy and that's no fun for anyone.

Irish_Wristwatch July 5th, 2013 01:45 PM

Re: Meals
For my kids, yes i will make them something they like if they dont like what im making, but my kids are still very young. When they are a bit older they will be required to sit at the table and try what ive made, if they dont like it i wont make them eat it, but i also wont cook another meal for them either. I dont have a problem with them opting to have something they can make on their own instead though, so if my kid wants buttered toast and an apple for dinner they can go for it

Jessimaaka July 5th, 2013 02:54 PM

Re: Meals
I totally agree with that...although I hope that I wouldn't be making an entire meal that the kids don't like. But I agree with something relatively healthy and they don't want to eat a bowl of chips or something silly instead.

For times like that, I would feed the kids earlier and have an adult meal later :p

2pinks&ablue July 6th, 2013 09:01 AM

Re: Meals
My kids eat what is cooked, or don't eat until the next meal time. That being said, I don't purposely cook things that they don't like or anything lol. But if it's something that they loved the week before and now they're telling me they don't like it, oh well.

They are never forced to clean their plates, but if it's a night where we do have dessert, they have to eat their food before dessert (if you have room for dessert, you're still hungry), but if they pass on dessert they don't have to finish.

With this all being said, these rules aren't set in stone and my kids rarely fight with me about food!

magz88 July 7th, 2013 08:24 PM

Re: Meals
I am not going to be making 2 meals. It's OK if he doesn't like certain foods - he can leave them or pick them out. If he ends up being allergic then we'll have to see.

Kelz88 July 8th, 2013 08:51 AM

Re: Meals
Im the mean one here. But I am not a waitress and I am very far from a chef lol.

I make one meal and if you dont like it, tough cookies, I have found if they are hungry they will eat. It doesnt have to be all of it but you HAVE to try it. I dont go about trying to make meals they hate though.

crunchywannabe July 8th, 2013 05:04 PM

Re: Meals
Yeah, personally I am pretty strict about kids trying what is made and if you don't want to eat it fine, but I'm not and never plan on being a short order cook. I personally see so many parents running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to accommodate their picky toddlers who refuse to eat what is infront of them.
As a kid I was occasionally forced to finish my plate and I hated that, I won't be doing that with my kids, but I also am very nervous about creating picky eaters... The book Bringing up Bebe touched on training children to eat like the French and I really liked that approach when it comes to food.

mccaroline July 8th, 2013 08:19 PM

Re: Meals
See I don't think that allowing them to go get an alternative as being a short order cook. They go get it and I make them clean up after themselves, all but DS of course.

I also don't mind doing things like when I make pasta I set some aside without sauce for DD2 who doesn't like sauce and just wants butter on hers or when I'm making fish sticks or chicken strips, one kid won't eat fish no matter how hard I try to convince her it's good and one prefers it over chicken, so I throw a few of each on the pan, the bake at the same temp for the same amount of time anyways.

Maybe if it were happening all the time I'd feel differently, but my kids are generally so good about eating what I serve that when it does happen I don't think twice about letting them eat something else.

Jessimaaka July 9th, 2013 08:18 AM

Re: Meals
I think that's a great attitude Caroline! You're not cooking 5 different meals every day!

I also agree Kalynn about not being a short-order cook.

Caroline, what did the other person disagree with?

mccaroline July 9th, 2013 11:48 AM

Re: Meals
This is the first time it happened to her and she viewed it as a power struggle and her thought was if she gave in this one time she'd set a precedence and be doing it all the time. Her comment was something about how she's seen kids who's parents give in to them and now all they eat is junk.

Jessimaaka July 9th, 2013 01:48 PM

Re: Meals
I can see that some kids might want to manipulate things that way, but if they truly hate what is for dinner, that's not fair. And give them a healthy alternative :)

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