To think this isn't a cafe and hence now both children are in bed in tears!!

(92 Posts)
altinkum Tue 20-Nov-12 17:43:50

Friday, I made wedges, chicken drumsticks with garlic and herbs, corn on the cobs and salad. They didn't like that, althrought the previous week it was the best meal ever.

Sat, was feta, spinach and tomatoe tart, with roasted medetarrian veg, hated that and refused, even tho both love the meal.

Sunday, Sunday dinner, stuffed chicken, carrot and swede mash, roasties, cabbage, broccoli, and Yorkies. They ate the puds and that was it.

Yesterday I made tuna pasta bake with rosemary bread and they ate the dry pasta.

Today I made scots broth with homemade tiger bread and they have refused to eat it.

Normally it would make them toast or cereal etc... But today I've simply had enough of cooking meals I know they would like, and then refusing them.

They won't eat "yellow" food, nor and prefer home made food, like roasted chicken, mixed rice etc... But they then complain that its what they always have.

They are 6 and 3, AIBU not to be a cafe no more (its just a phrase I think as normally they eat everything I make) and leave them in bed until they eat the tea I've provided which incidentally they love.

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 17:45:27

How do you do the tiger bit for tiger bread?

And, can I move in!
?

RedHelenB Tue 20-Nov-12 17:46:14

YANBU - if they are hungry they will eat!

RedHelenB Tue 20-Nov-12 17:46:36

YANBU - if they are hungry they will eat!

your meals sound amazing

suburbandream Tue 20-Nov-12 17:47:52

If they won't eat it, can I have it - sounds delish!

Mumsyblouse Tue 20-Nov-12 17:47:54

Not unreasonable to present the food, I wouldn't personally make the children go to bed over it. I'd just say 'that's the tea' and then leave it, although I always give bread and cheese as an alternative. At some point they get hungry enough and come back to it, which cures any protests for quite a while.

Having said that, if they are eating only Yorkshire puddings, or even nothing, it makes me wonder if they are ill as mine are like that when they had this stomach bug that is going around. Strange of children to both eat almost nothing. If they are eating normal amounts, and it's just fussiness, then keep going.

MyLastDuchess Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:14

YANBU, and please feel free to come to my house to cook any time. Sounds delicious!

yanbu, I stopped cooking nice food for so long and then realised that dh and I dont want to eat kid food so now they like it or they go hungry (taken a lot longer to get to this point due to various weight issues where I didnt dare refuse dd1 food)

NewNames Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:31

YANBU

PolkadotCircus Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:54

YANBU

I could have written your post.

I spend a lot of time cooking home made meals I think all will like.

If they don't eat them they go hungry.

Not got the time,money or inclination to run a cafe.

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:55

YANBU
My home is run like a bad b&b. Meals only at set times, if you are in the dining room, & you get what the chef has decided to cook.
I may start putting a small glass of orange juice on a doily.

Will you be my Mummy???!

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 20-Nov-12 17:49:48

Will you adopt me OP? I'll eat it all.

YANBU by the way.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Tue 20-Nov-12 17:49:57

I wish I lived with you smile

YANBU, and when can I come for dinner? Your meals sound wonderful grin

YABU. Clearly you should be a cafe. It sounds like a great menu.

And a cafe wouldn't feel obliged to give customers something else if they didn't fancy what they ordered when it arrived.

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 17:50:40

I couldn't offer bread and cheese as an alternative, my ds you quite happily live on cheese pieces alone.

lisad123 Tue 20-Nov-12 17:50:59

Yanbu at all, I refuse to cook more than one meal a night.

helpyourself Tue 20-Nov-12 17:52:07

They don't deserve you! thanks
Perhaps they're coming down with something.

NoWayNoHow Tue 20-Nov-12 17:53:14

YANBU. They eat what they're given (especially if you know they like it) or they go hungry.

This isn't about food, it's about a power play and pushing the boundaries. It won't take long before they realised that there's only one thing on offer and eat it.

altinkum Tue 20-Nov-12 17:55:14

For the tiger bread, its just cornflour and while fat milk with normal bread ingredients (Tiger paste)

I don't think they are ill, I hope not they seem to feed of each other and have --I've- just took it out of control.

Meals are cheap if made homemade, and dh won't eat eggs and chips which for me is food of the gods

Viviennemary Tue 20-Nov-12 17:55:23

YANBU. How ungrateful. One meal is quite enough for you to cook per night but alternative like dry bread and water cereal or bread and cheese could be an option if you were feeling generous.

fuzzpig Tue 20-Nov-12 17:59:42

YANBU, it is really frustrating. As they are both suddenly refusing the same thing it sounds like it is just a game to them and maybe they are egging each other on?

Do you think letting them get involved in the planning/cooking might help? (Maybe just on weekends)

My mum used to say 'there are no fussy eaters in Africa'. She's right, kids eat what's on offer when that is all there is. Don't give them anything else if they are hungry later. It isn't cruel, it is a lesson - and they'll make up for it next day by eating everything you dish up without complaint.

Obviously this is not the approach for kids with allergies, SNs and genuine issues around food, but it works on the fussy ones.

Forgot to say, if they don't eat it don't make a fuss and stress them out. Just take it away and say they can get down as they aren't hungry.

Well u can come and cook for me grin

Yanbu by the way. I hate this, making all the effort to make a nice meal and kids just whine and moan and claim they don't like having not even tried. It's ungrateful. Sadly going without still doesn't make my dd realize just how lucky she is to get a decent meal when so many others have to go without.

Hope they enjoy it tomorrow for breakfast instead (cold) grin

MoreBeta Tue 20-Nov-12 18:11:57

YANBU and I have probably uttered the words "This is not a cafe" on several occassions. Your food sounds lovely.

TBH though it sounds quite like it has complicated and adult flavours for a 3 and 6 yr old. I suggest from bitter experience to simplify and I do mean open a tin of beans and put it on toast if that is what they want. As much as it pains me to do it - that really is the solution sometimes.

For example, organic spelt loaf hand baked is a recent offering. No Dad we want 'white supermerket bread'. Would you like hand cut triple fried chips and cod in breadcrumbs? No Dad can't we just go to the fish n chip shop. Would you like slow cooked beef bourginione, no Dad we want a burger.

They are 10 and 12 - so this phase goes on a loooong time. hmm

Kalisi Tue 20-Nov-12 18:12:30

They sound like great meals! As everyone else has said yanbu to refuse to give them anything else. Especially as you know they like it.
I personally wouldn't have sent them to bed until they eat it though. I understand your frustration but think you are setting yourself up for a massive power struggle. Just ignore them, they won't starve themselves.

leftalonehere Tue 20-Nov-12 18:13:01

Use my mothers phrase - like it or lump it, this is your dinner and there is nowt else but the brew in the pot.

Yanbu your children are!!!

Tinuviel Tue 20-Nov-12 18:13:07

Always 2 choices in this house - take it or leave it! And that applies to adults as well! DH manages to eat liver and I eat chickpeas even though we are not keen as everyone else likes those things. If it's an accompaniment, I may occasionally do an alternative provided it doesn't mean extra work (so if we're having roast sweet potatoes, I'll do DS2 an ordinary potato as he really hates them). DD does tend to pick some things out of her meals (like leeks) but that's her time she's wasting if it's in a stew/pasta sauce.

JustFabulous Tue 20-Nov-12 18:13:13

I have a daughter who loves X but when I make it again a few weeks later doesn't like it hmm.

Tinuviel Tue 20-Nov-12 18:16:13

But MoreBeta, OP said that these are meals that they generally enjoy. So that would indicate pickiness (or possibly they are coming down with something).

rumbelina Tue 20-Nov-12 18:19:49

If you ever want to swap either of your children for eg ME this can be arranged.

amck5700 Tue 20-Nov-12 18:21:00

I'm a sap, I run a cafe and have done for years

I can't face to see my kids or anyone elses go hungry

Mine are 12 and 11 now but are getting better in terms of the variety they eat all the time. I stress that they do eat a healthy diet mainly but just not necessarily the same as my OH and I are having....or sometimes not even the same as each other!!

But as I say, I'm a sap! and I already have a full time job

MoreBeta Tue 20-Nov-12 18:24:54

Tinuviel - I know. These are all things mine eat too but then for some unknown reason - suddenly they won't.

Honestly it reminds me of one of my absolute favourite poems 'Grats for Tea' written and read by Ivor Cutler in ths youtube video. The poem starts 43 seconds into the video.

"I dont want Grats for tea Daddy"

BitOutOfPractice Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:07

Stealth boast? wink

YANBU - I'll be round at 8

OwlLady Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:07

do them something from the freezer with baked beans
or tinned ravioli

they will eat the lot hmm

I feel your pain btwgrin

DS2 (aged 5) will eat a tiny bit of dinner then claim he is full. At bedtime he will then complain he is hungry and want cereal. Yesterday he got the rest of his dinner back at bedtime - he ate the whole lot. I might be on to something here.

I do have memories of DS1 sitting up in bed eating his cold spag bol left over from dinner because he used to play the same game.

strictlovingmum Tue 20-Nov-12 18:45:42

YANBU, Your cooking sounds wonderful, if anything your DC's are little bit spoilt, nip it in the bud and let them go without.
Can we come over to yours for tea?thanks

Badgersnatch Tue 20-Nov-12 18:48:23

Do you brush the cornflour/milk mix on top before proving?

How do you make the spinach, feta and tomato tart?

No, YANBU. My five year old frequently goes to bed after two mouthfuls of something horrible that he's eaten happily a hundred times before.

ISeeSmall
make you you do one part orange juice to two parts water
and reuse the doilies so you get the enigmatic murky stains around the edges

maddening Tue 20-Nov-12 18:57:42

Maybe when you plan next week's meals sit them down and give them a choice for each day? If they feel part of the process they might eat it on the day?

Yanbu though - we trust our ds's appetite and if he doesn't eat just move on no fuss - he's 21 mths and you can't reason with himsmile

ISeeSmallPeople Tue 20-Nov-12 18:58:03

Orange juice? Do you think I'm made of money??
It's frozen juice concentrate mixed with finest tap water.
Of course the doilies should be reused.

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 20-Nov-12 19:00:13

YANBU, You meals sound wonderful.
I make one meal, everyone gets it and if they don't eat it's tough luck.
Ds1 never appreciated my cooking till he went to college, every dinner was "Awww I don't want/like that" then after being away a while, he scoffed down anything I made and told his younger brother to stop moaning the food was wonderful grin I've offered Dd to go to bed if she didn't stop moaning about dinner a few times.

freddiefrog Tue 20-Nov-12 19:01:30

YANBU

If I've uttered the words 'I'm not running a cafe' once, I've muttered it a million times

I don't mind catering to genuine dislikes or adapting things if its easy ( DD1 doesn't like mashed potatoes so has them plain - easy enough to take a few spuds out of the saucepan before I mash the rest) but I'm not dicking around with refusing to try stuff or refusing to eat stuff they've always likes

LaCiccolina Tue 20-Nov-12 19:05:59

Not bu at all. My house, I'm chef, my rules. I also don't think cruel or anything. I think as been mentioned its good for kids to know that other kids don't get what they are. And by heavens urs are getting fantastic cooking!

Please b my mummy too? I'd love tiger bread, ill eat seconds too?

Could u post recipe please.....?

Strawhatpirate Tue 20-Nov-12 19:17:28

Wow! I'm in awe of your meals. What would the dcs choose to eat if given free rein?

3b1g Tue 20-Nov-12 19:19:09

If my house were a cafe then it would get terrible reviews and I would have gone out of business by now!

ImperialStateKnickers Tue 20-Nov-12 19:24:23

I've got another very late eater, she frequently finishes dinner off after her shower and before teeth and bed. I suspect but cannot prove that she is stuffing sweeties on the way home from school. One Stop is on her route...

Iggly Tue 20-Nov-12 19:25:37

Seems a bit fancy for kids IMO. Don't make such an effort and you won't be so disappointed.

I bet you they're tired at the end of the day a d just want easy plain meals. I'm like this and I'm 31! If DH makes anything elaborate when I'm tired after a day at work, I get annoyed as just want chips. Odd but true.

recall Tue 20-Nov-12 19:30:01

I have found that the plainer the food the better for my three, and have stopped cooking more elaborate stuff. They just like meat + veg, or bread and butter and a piece of cheese, rather than a cheese sandwich. I gave up cooking them delicious meals, because they just don't get it. My oldest who is 5, is becoming more adventurous and will have curries and casseroles. That might be because she has school dinners, and sees what her peers eat.

Mine would refuse scotch broth, I'm certain, and the feta tarts too, although would probably eat the spinach and feta if served up plainly on a plate.

Also, i find that if one acts suspiciously about a new dish, it is infectious and none of them will eat it. They are ages 2,3 and 5. Sometimes i leave the food on the table and ignore them, and when they think I'm not watching will try it.

To me though, your food sounds scrummy !! I think when they are a bit older they will love it.

ontheedgeofwhatever Tue 20-Nov-12 19:31:09

YANBU - please come and cook for me for a week or two. I might even pay you. Don't put yourself down though you sound like a good quality resturant rather than a cafe

RarelyUnreasonable Tue 20-Nov-12 19:31:25

DD is nearly 2 and has just entered a fussy phase. She will not eat anything warm or anything in the highchair. I let her leave the table and she usually eats her food an hour later, stone cold in front of beebies blush. Today she refused to eat anything, but I know she had a hearty nursery lunch and a chocolate polar bear so felt less bad about her going to bed hungry. I need to get her back to the table and highchair, but am 39weeks pg and too tired.

altinkum Tue 20-Nov-12 19:32:31

They helped me make the broth, ds2, grated the carrots and ds1, helped cut the leeks and tatties, and they also this morning put it all in the slow cooker.

For lunch they get sandwiches, toast and beans, omelette (ds1, not ds2 as he can't digest the protein in eggs) picnic lunch, soup etc...

They love all the food I make, ds2 fab meal is pasta of any sort, ds1 is stew, casseroles, broth, meat dishes etc... They both like the meals.

The tart is simply just feta cheese, spinach, and tomatoes roasted in balsamic vinagar ( for the adults not the kids) with garlic and mixed herb olive oil (normly make my own short crust pastry, but the others day was just shop brought.

Your all welcome, but please bring table settings and wine grin

PickledFanjoCat Tue 20-Nov-12 19:33:23

I will move in and eat all the food!

Yanbu.

PictureThis Tue 20-Nov-12 19:36:46

I could have written your post altinkum. DD would quite happily live off Fish Fingers or Ravioli (tinned) every day if she could. Needless to say she isn't given the option of having it every day and if she doesn't like what I've made there's no alternative - take it or leave it. So, YANBU.

littlemissnormal Tue 20-Nov-12 19:36:49

YANBU, this is a frequent occurrence in my house too.

I've found that not letting them have more than a single piece of fruit as an after school snack and giving no pudding or alternative often helps encourage them.

I think with mine though that they are sooo lazy they can't be arsed to sit at the table and eat it!

PessimisticMissPiggy Tue 20-Nov-12 19:37:50

Too fancy? Kids only like plain food?hmm

altinkum Tue 20-Nov-12 19:42:39

See if unthought they wouldn't eat it/don't like it, I'd understand.

For instance, ds2 loves veg chunky pasta sauce, (courgette, tomatoes, abergine, peppers, and mushrooms and onion) ds1 dosen't like this so I blend it all and to him its just tom sauce.

So I do cater to their needs, both boys fell asleep, so I'm expecting ravounous children in the morning.

I think I did go about it the wrong way, as I don't like/want to make a issue out of food, but its just so frustrating, not to mention a waste.

DC don't like simple food, I wish they did, I blame the annabel karmel baby books.

racingheart Tue 20-Nov-12 19:46:23

YANBU and it doesn't hurt them to go to bed a little peckish just once, or to understand that you are not their servant.

It's possible they're ailing for something as it seems they won't eat anything all week. Have you checked their temperatures or their throats for redness?

Otherwise, stick to your guns. They have us run ragged with cafe orders if we're not careful.

PickledFanjoCat Tue 20-Nov-12 19:47:30

The more effort I put in to cooking for ds the quicker he throws it on the floor < toddler>

He has broken me.

Inaflap Tue 20-Nov-12 19:47:36

I'm moving in! It sounds yummy. Mine went through a fussy stage and as a result our meals are a bit boring. Reading your I've just realised how boring. The eldest will now eat most things but is very thin so I have to keep him stoked up and the youngest is quite picky but has to eat due to being diabetic and everything is carb counted. Hence we can't do 'eat it or leave it' so consequently things are a bit samey. He'd never ear feta and spinach and i have never got either of them to eat a recognisable tomato.

strictlovingmum Tue 20-Nov-12 19:52:44

As someone already mentioned up the thread, OP you just wait few more years till your DC's about to/ enter adolescence stage, they will eat you out of your home, they will appreciate you and everything on that table made by youwink
It is very satisfying to watch them eat, with age their palette sharpens, eating habits change, they usually hoover the food and politely ask
"Is there more?smile

altinkum Tue 20-Nov-12 19:53:42

When ds2 was a baby he couldn't eat anything containing citrus acid, lactose or any dairy produce, he lived off, rice flakes and root veg, for the first year and a half until he started food trials and now be can pretty much eat most foods, ds1 also has a high metabolism, (treated with food controlled diabeties) so hence why his food is sometimes low carb or high carb depending on his suger level. He's also tiny age 6 but half the size f his school peers, but ds2 is only 3 and towers over him, however he is a big 3 (total opposite kids)

I don't think they are poorly, its only at meal times they act up.

3b1g Tue 20-Nov-12 19:58:07

Today: pizza for 6 children, what could possibly go wrong? I managed to drop a pizza in the lap of a visiting child (cheesy side down of course) then while I was trying to clear it up, DD dropped some melted cheese on her hand and burnt it. DS1 went to help her but slipped and dropped a second pizza on her bare foot. I put her hand under cold water and told her to stay there while I rescued the remaining pizzas from the oven - and managed to burn my arm. It was like a scene from a terrible slapstick comedy.

messtins Tue 20-Nov-12 19:59:27

YANBU. I make one meal and if they don't eat the majority of it there is no pudding and nothing else. I wouldn't purposefully include a lot of stuff they don't like, but I don't pander to tastes too much either. DS1 doesn't like mushrooms and will pick them out, that's not a big deal if he doesn't fuss about it. DS2 has days where he decides he's not eating entirely inoffensive ingredients like rice, and he goes to bed hungry.

JustFabulous Tue 20-Nov-12 19:59:49

Iggly - why should it be too fancy for kids? They are small people, not a different species why wouldn't they enjoy what the OP has made. And as for being annoyed because your dh has made you something more elaborate than chips, I would tell you to bog off and refuse to cook for you anymore.

RainbowsFriend Tue 20-Nov-12 20:29:13

I would say it's not about the food but about control. Small children often feel powerless and if mealtimes are emotive (ie you have put a lot of effort in or really want them to eat this time etc) then that is where they will try to exercise some control. Because they can.

porridgewithalmondmilk Tue 20-Nov-12 20:34:52

I think the meals sound delicious smile but I'm a bit confused by someone on page 1 who said the children are being ungrateful - I wouldn't have thought so, surely? Just fussy faffy annoying kids! grin

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 20-Nov-12 20:40:11

YANBU and this is one of the reasons that we only eat with the DC on a Sunday. It's too stressful otherwise.

Iggly Tue 20-Nov-12 21:24:18

Well that's just me JustFabulous. I'll eat it but DH knows better. Just as he doesn't like to talk over dinner after a stressful day, I like a nice meal which is more comforting. He understands - I don't have a hissy fit about it. I explain afterwards.

When you're tired, you want something comforting not something fancy. My 3 year old is a demon when hungry and tired. He just wants meatballs, his favourite. He's more amenable to something a bit different when he's less tired.

JustFabulous Wed 21-Nov-12 11:27:42

I still think you sound precious. Your "DH knows better." You really make it sound how dare he make me a nice meal when he knows I want chips.

KenLeeeeeee Wed 21-Nov-12 11:52:31

YANBU. That food all sounds amazing!

I have also found that the more effort I make to prepare delicious, nutritionally balanced food for my feral children, the less likely they are to eat it. I look forward to the days where they actually appreciate proper food and the effort that goes into it!

Iggly Wed 21-Nov-12 13:33:36

<shrugs>
I'm not explaining myself very well! DH doesn't do it because he knows it's wasted effort. I appreciate the efforts he goes to but when I'm knackered, I want something I know and love. The annoyance is internalised - I don't have a go at DH for it.

Just as a different view to this, DS has spent the last 5 nights turning down all food he's offered for his evening meal, even things like roast chicken dinners that he usually loves. He was sent home from nursery this morning with chickenpox.

Are you sure there aren't any underlying factors which may explain them turning their noses up? Dh has been grousing about DS not eating "as usual" and trying to fill him up with weetabix before he want to bed, but it looks like there is an underlying cause.

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 14:04:40

My youngest son seems to live on air. hmm It doesn't matter what I give him, he will always turn his nose up or pick at it for a while and then announce that he's done. He's been like this since I first tried to wean him and I still have no idea how to get food inside him. I'm past caring now - he seems to be doing OK on air for now. I am looking forward to the legendary teenage boy appetite, when I might actually witness the miracle of food passing his lips. Only another nine years of gruelling, wasted effort in the kitchen to go... angry grin

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 14:05:20

Obviously I don't mean he's picking at his nose... blush

NameGotLostInCyberspace Wed 21-Nov-12 14:47:51

I hear you Anon. DD(5) lives on air too. sad I can not even think of sending her to bed without food as I fear she is permanantly hungry. She must be.

lovelyladuree Wed 21-Nov-12 16:34:44

Instead of spending 3 hours in the kitchen making tiger bread wtf, chuck some chicken nuggets in the oven and spend the spare time playing with the kids instead. They might work up an appetite.

pingu2209 Wed 21-Nov-12 18:00:46

Not eating is a form of control, often. I would be relaxed over it, cook them a meal and give them a small portion so there is less waste. If they eat the main meal (or a give it a fair crack) then they get a pudding. If they don't eat, they get no pudding and will not have anything else until the next meal time. No snacks like cakes or biscuits or crisps etc.

aamia Wed 21-Nov-12 18:45:56

I grew up eating adult food. I didn't experience other choices and if I didn't eat dinner then there was no pudding and no other food until breakfast. I learnt to eat things that would make me gag if necessary.

altinkum Wed 21-Nov-12 19:07:41

Lovelyladuree... Have you even read the thread all, eveidently not!! The food was made in the morning in the slow cooker!!!

The bread was made on Tuesday night (which I haven't mentioned tbh) which in part baked and dh cooked the rest!!! And if you choose to read the thread none of my ds like "golden food" -- as they call it--

Well putting them to bed seems to have worked, today they had beef and onion pie with carrot and swede mash both devoured the lot and asked for seconds plus they had shop brought cheesecake. vile but dh and ds love it

In having wine... As I've been playing on the family wii getting my arse kicked on bowling!! As ds1 had a friend over for tea.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 21-Nov-12 19:10:48

Ommm nom nom. Can I move in?

Anonymumous Wed 21-Nov-12 19:11:19

We don't have puddings in our house - no-one ever eats enough of their main course to make it necessary. And the children go to bed soon after dinner, so there is never any more food until breakfast... and more often than not they don't eat much of that either. This is what I mean - some kids seem to live on air!

Mind you, as a child I used to secretly feed my dinners to the dog in order to get pudding. My Mum used to fret over my appetite, but I never felt hungry. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

NettoSpookerstar Wed 21-Nov-12 19:14:58

I always offer a choice, eat it or go hungry!
DD will try anything, eat most things and knows if she's rude about food will incur my wrathgrin
YANBU, and your food sounds lovely, can we come for dinner please?

MORCAPS Wed 21-Nov-12 19:26:15

Just don't enter into the game.

Dinner is dinner in our house. Kids can eat or not eat, up to them, no alternatives offered, no forcing, no arguing.

Sometimes there is dessert, it isn't dependant on eating the meal.

Theas18 Mon 26-Nov-12 22:47:05

Lovely menu! In our house " there's always weetabix"

Rudolphstolemycarrots Mon 26-Nov-12 23:02:19

I cook a similar range of meals to you. Sometimes they do try to be picky but I tell them 'that's all the food there is' and I offer no alternatives what so ever. No toast, nothing. They can choose to eat or not eat, it's up to them. The only thing I ask is that they have just one mouthful of each thing. I don't fuss about eating and I don't give my attention to non eating. It means that mostly they eat and occasionally they don't. They do quite well with adult food generally.

Sounds lovely OP. i dont make extra food unless theres an ill person to be catered for on which case they get their pick.

Normally i give them the food, at the end lf the mealtime i take away the plate f theres still food on it thats fine , but there is no more food until the next set time. No extra meals/snacking. I wont beg or force them to eat and i wont punsh them for not eating but neither will i allow them to dictate meals or snack randomly.

handsandknees Tue 27-Nov-12 08:47:02

I think if they normally eat well then this is a phase and you're doing the right thing by nipping it in the bud.

I have pretty much the same approach to you - I love cooking and would hate to serve up simple food all the time. My dcs are older than yours and I recently realised that I couldn't remember when one of them last refused a meal. So just keeping going with what you're doing.

My other bugbear is asking for food the minute I mention bedtime, to which my reply is always "the cafe is now closed!" I'm thinking of getting an apron and taking it off after dinner as an extra visual cue. Maybe I could even have a blackboard with specials....

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 13:43:15

YANBU.

I don't think it hurts children to occasionally feel what hunger is- that empty tummy feeling. It doesn't hurt a well nourished, well cared for child to learn that feeling in order to learn that the solution to it is - EAT YOUR BLOODY DINNER!

OP- I can totally sympathise. Cooking for a family is so bloody hard to get right. You have to try and do the 5 a day thing, expand their gastronomic repertoire, nourish them, cook something everyone likes AND stay within budget whilst eating things within their sell by date.

When I was growing up we had two rules- eat or go hungry and no pudding unless you'd eaten dinner. My parents stuck to that and we therefore had to stick to it.

However, I think back in the 70s when I grew up (old gimmer), there was a lot less pressure on parents, and schools weren't policing packed lunches and weighing children. There wasn't the same media pressure on healthy kids and you could grow up without ever knowing what a butternut squash even looked like.

These days kids eat more healthily, which is a good thing, but it's about 10 times harder for a parent to get that right and tick all the boxes.

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