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Refusing to eat

Forum: Attachment Parenting


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  • 1 Post By joonzgurl

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July 8th, 2013, 12:34 PM
ratladee's Avatar Madison Marie, My Sweet P
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 3,387
Hubby's son is staying with us for the summer and his mother feeds him junk food like mc donalds and microwave stuff. Well at our house I actually cook dinner, we eat real food. So now we're dealing with refusing to eat. So far what we do is offer desert if he finishes his food, if he doesn't eat it goes back into the fridge for later, if that doesn't work then he waits til next meal time. He is 7 years old. I don't think we should have to cook different meals just to appeal to him. The food isn't disgusting by any means. Madison eats it just fine.

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July 8th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Eowyn's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,400
How does your hubby feel about it?
On the one hand, making him eat whats in front of him won't be a lesson that sticks if he always gets whatever he wants when he's with his mom.

On the other hand, at your house it makes sense that he would eat what you are having as a family.

If he's with you all summer then I would suggest letting him help with meal ideas that everyone can agree on.
include him in preparing it if he's interested in that and if not- maybe compromise and if he can eat without issue that on the weekend he can have a meal of his choosing-even if its frozen pizza or mcdonalds.
My daughter is almost seven and I always ask her what she feels like for dinners that week when we go shopping together.
But she's been raised on healthier food choices- but I do feel like its good for them to have options at that age.
I can't imagine having to eat someone else's food choices ALL THE TIME.
I don't see why kids shouldn't have choices-they should be healthy choices but maybe just giving him different choices and including him in the planning might help?
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July 8th, 2013, 01:40 PM
ratladee's Avatar Madison Marie, My Sweet P
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 3,387
That's a good idea, but I have a feeling it will be "I don't know" or "grilled cheese"

And hubby is the one making all these choices so he's fine with it.

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July 8th, 2013, 03:50 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
That really sucks. That food is really not good for him. I hope he starts to eat soon.

Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy

When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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July 8th, 2013, 03:56 PM
angelsailor288's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Kingston, NY
Posts: 5,057
Id stick with what you are doing. Your house, your rules. Plus you dont want your kiddo to start picking up his eating habits.

I was also going to suggest having him help prepare. Even shopping, have him pick everything you need and put it in the cart for you. Have him help making it when you can so he sees what goes into it.

Also, maybe one night, "if you eat your dinner, you can help me make cookies"! Or something of the sort. May appeal to him.

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July 9th, 2013, 05:58 AM
sareymac's Avatar Mommy to Gary & Adalyn
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: OCNY
Posts: 6,445
Thats definitely a crap situation. I had to eat what my mom cooked when I was 7 if I didnt i knew the consequences and there was no choices. I mean sometimes she would say this or this but it was what it was I hated squash but if that was the vegetable that night I had to eat it. . . blegh. lol Anyway I dunno I feel like your hubs should have a talk with him. Good luck girlie!

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July 9th, 2013, 09:09 AM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,473
I wonder if someone at your local health department would talk to him? They usually have nutrition programs to teach kids about healthy eating. It might be another way to encourage him to try the things you guys offer him.

One thing that new siblings bring out in some kids is a sense of losing control over their lives, their parents, etc. Maybe not feeling important anymore. Sometimes even resentment. He may be feeling these things towards your son and his father. Helping him regain a sense of control might help. Letting him have a hand in meal planning can be a way to do that. I definitely agree with keeping the food for later if he doesn't want it now, so he doesn't think he can just say no and it is gone.

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July 9th, 2013, 07:57 PM
ratladee's Avatar Madison Marie, My Sweet P
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 3,387
Well we tried asking him what he wanted for dinner. He said green beans, so I made him greenbeans with carrots mixed, pork chops and macaroni and cheese. Well He ate a little bit of everything, ate all of the carrots left a majority of the green beans and then hubby caught him throwing it away when we both went upstairs. So he got in trouble for that. :-/ I am not home tonight to make dinner.

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July 12th, 2013, 12:55 AM
ComfortablyMum's Avatar <3 Mummy 2 Eve <3
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,302
no advice sorry! But I do like everyone advice above.

I see he has improved a little (minus the throwing it away!), so hopefully sticking at it will eventually work!

Eve Alexandra Mae | 18 Months

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July 22nd, 2013, 07:42 AM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5,639
I am late here, but I just wanted to say I wouldn't make him eat what is on his place, as long as he tries it, that is ok! Let him regulate how much he eats, you know? It sounds like he tried everything the other night, and that is good. Maybe he just wasn't hungry anymore. He eats a bit, and that is it for the night? I wouldn't make dessert every night, maybe just sundays or something?
ratladee likes this.

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July 22nd, 2013, 09:11 PM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,905
Short Version:
As a parent, it's your job to serve the food. You CAN NOT force a child to eat so don't feel bad if they don't. You serve the food, they eat it (or don't) their choice

Long Version:
Here is what my friend posted to another friend recently going through the same thing:

"Our therapist said you can't make them eat, can't make them sleep, and can't make them use the bathroom - all things we worry about endlessly but can't force! It's not easy being a parent.
Fortunately, for you, a hunger strike is self limiting. She will NOT starve, and even if you aren't okay with her not eating anything all day, she is! Our feeding therapist told me that I was actually making things worse by following my daughter around trying to get her to have a nibble of this or that. What's a mom to do?!?
I will tell you what our therapist had me do.
#1 - no nibble tray. Stop all grazing. Have set snack and meal times. Try to have them at least 2.5 hours apart.
#2 - at meal times, offer a plate with 3 bites of food on it. No more, no less. Sometimes children get overwhelmed by too much.
#3 - put the plate in front of her saying, "here's your snack (lunch, dinner, whatever)" and then TURN AWAY. Be completely unconcerned about it. Act as if you don't really care if she eats it or not. If you are in the kitchen, go do something like wipe the cabinets or put dishes away. IGNORE.
#4 - if she eats the food, say, "Oh you ate it all. Do you want some more?" Do not say it happy or sad. Be completely matter of fact. Give 3 more bites as before.
#5 - if she doesn't eat the food, say, "Oh you must not be hungry. Okay then." AGAIN, not happy or sad. Completely matter of fact. Take it up. Do not offer anything else to eat until the next meal time.
#6 - Leave a cup of water in her reach at all times. Don't remark on it, just have it there. Reserve any other beverages for meal times.
#7 - Do not stress. Stay matter of fact. Don't tie emotional reactions into her eating or not. Food is fuel for her body. She will not starve. Repeat that to yourself if you need to."
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July 25th, 2013, 09:06 PM
ratladee's Avatar Madison Marie, My Sweet P
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Fort Leavenworth, KS
Posts: 3,387
LOVE IT. Thank you! As a matter of fact I tried ignoring my daughter while she ate, by the time I was done washing bottles her plate was clean! And so was the floor!

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