to think its ok for a child to not like something

(66 Posts)
mamamibbo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:00:28

i was telling my mum, what i thought was a funny story about ds2 (2 and a half ) having his first taste of a soft boiled egg and 'soldiers' for his dinner he dipped it, lcked it and pulled a face like it was a lemon and then said "no thankyou" so i made him a sandwich instead

my mum told me i shouldnt have given him anything else and he would have to eat it if he was hungry and i was too soft on him

is she mean unreasonable or am i being soft?

katiecubs Thu 10-Jan-13 21:05:38

She is - I don't think you have to like everything either especially on the first try!

laughinglikeadrain Thu 10-Jan-13 21:06:37

she is... they reckon it takes 20 tastes to like something.... keep trying!

I would never force ds to eat something he didn't like. He tried it that good enough for me. He may well like it next time he tries.

kaiserfootmuff Thu 10-Jan-13 21:09:08

i try a bit then don't usually push it. i remember my mum giving me cabbage for years and i didn't 'get' it ever!

wouldn't like to put my kids through that really wink

KenLeeeeeee Thu 10-Jan-13 21:09:08

It took me twenty years to learn to like eggs! On the first try I (apparently) threw up and cried hysterically any time an egg was within 4 feet of me thereafter.

There's a difference between being 'difficult' about a perfectly reasonable meal, and genuinely not liking something. I would have abandoned the egg and made a sandwich too. YANBU.

DrCoconut Thu 10-Jan-13 21:10:26

Soft boiled eggs are always unreasonable <shudder> grin But no, offering an alternative is not so bad as long as it doesn't develop into a routine where DS refuses dinner and gets sweets or something! Our DS2 is having a bit of a faddy phase too.

JessicaMLH Thu 10-Jan-13 21:10:49

She is BU, I wouldn't make DD eat anything she didn't like. She's not a fussy eater, loves fruit and veg etc so if she doesn't like something there's obviously a reason for it! However if it was something she had eaten before I wouldn't have offered anything else.

freddiefrog Thu 10-Jan-13 21:12:01

There are things I don't like and don't force myself to eat, so I extend that same courtesy to my kids.

My only rule is that they have to have a reasonable stab at trying something new and if they really don't like it, fair enough

LaCiccolina Thu 10-Jan-13 21:12:42

I'm with u here. I prefer at this point not to make much fuss. If dd also 2 tries it and says no mummy then I may well swop it if its dinner. I'm less fussed if dinner as by then I figure I know what else she's had that day to be a bit fussy iykwim.

I do have to show a food about 20 times though before its accepted. Potato has taken 8 mths something in consistency of mash before she didn't like, now tho its being eaten. Potato waffles similar. Carrot too.

U know ur son. Doing it once is no harm. Every day then yes something's wrong.

Fairenuff Thu 10-Jan-13 21:14:39

He tried it. That's great. He may try it again sometime in his life. However, if it's forced on him he will hate it forever.

I'm always happy if my dcs are willing to try a new taste. Of course it's ok if they don't like it but I prefer them to at least try.

Now they are teenagers and they both eat anything! Don't set yourself up for a lifetime of food battles.

PrincessMononoke Thu 10-Jan-13 21:15:10

It's fine not to like things, bet your dm doesn't like all food.
Anyway, at least he was polite about it smile

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 21:18:21

My daughter has a thing about sausages, shes 5 and adamant she doesnt like them, so i dont give them too her, children know what they like.

Just be careful about offering another option, because that might turn into a food battle, if my DD is having a picky day, i dont offer another option.

mamamibbo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:20:06

i love the no thankyou, it sounds like "noo tankoo" hes very polite, says "yes peeeease!" aswell smile

AmandaLF Thu 10-Jan-13 21:21:22

I tried my 6.5 month old with scrambled egg. He kept pulling faces when I was feeding him it but kept eating it. He ended up crying! It must be an egg thing.

DewDr0p Thu 10-Jan-13 21:21:56

Genuine dislikes are totally fine in this house.

Deciding you don't like something before even tasting it or refusing to eat something you wolfed down the week before is less well-received!

I think egg yolk is quite a challenging texture for a toddler tbh

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 21:24:16

my dd went 16 years refusing cheese id never force her 2 years ago the little bugger had a cheese toasty shock and liked it, I wouldn't force a toddler to eat anything and bless him he did try it and say no thank you which is sweet smile try him again though you never know when he is 17 h e might like them

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 21:25:19

DH was forced food as a youngster his mum said they couldn't afford waste which is fair enough but he is the fussiest eater going he drives me insane, whereas my mum would say try it if not leave it,

Pseudo341 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:01

Everyone has food they don't like, I don't like cauliflower. I have the rule that if my 2yo DD refuses her meal she gets plain bread and butter instead. I don't make a fuss about it, I wouldn't leave her hungry but I'm a bit wary of letting her think that she can turn something down and get something nicer instead. When I cock up the cooking with both have bread and butter!

BonfireBaby Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:23

YANBU my Mum says this and it does my head in. As others say, as long as they try things and are generally good eaters, they don't have to like everything! This causes a few issues when my Mum has my kids so I feel your pain!

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 21:31:24

I wouldnt be pandering to fussy eating though I do think there is a difference between not liking something and just not wanting to eat ,

veryworried29 Thu 10-Jan-13 21:34:04

Yanbu. I don't imagine there are many people in the world who like all foods without exception.

My ds has never liked potatoes from the very first time he tried them. He is now 9 and still doesn't like them and I don't see why he should force himself to keep trying just to please his grandparents!

janelikesjam Thu 10-Jan-13 21:34:09

Agree. Keep putting different kinds of food in front of him to try, but don't force, its just pointless and counter-productive. More than likely, one day that hated tomato will suddenly be tried and loved.

As a child I hated bacon, blue cheese, olives, brown sauce, for starters. Now I love them all. No one commented on what I liked or disliked, so I just got on with it and ate what I wanted.

But it can be emotional I know, if you've gone to some trouble to prepare something for your child/ren, its hard not to take it personally!!!

DontmindifIdo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:35:00

You have to remember in our parents generation (and definately when they were DCs) having enough food/money for food to just throw something out and replace it with something else if DC didn't like was probably rare. We tend to forget that food is relatively cheap now (even with recent rises), so rules like "forcing children to clear their plates" don't need to apply anymore. It's better to keep happy associations with food, we insist that DS tries something,then after that he's free to turn it down.

What annoys me is when DH gives him honey on toast when DS refuses food, not replacing things with 'treats'.

janelikesjam Thu 10-Jan-13 21:35:10

My son does not like potatos also from the first day he tried them <except chips>

Jamdoughnutfiend Thu 10-Jan-13 21:36:29

I don't mind as long as they try food before saying they don't like it.

imogengladhart Thu 10-Jan-13 21:37:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DontmindifIdo Thu 10-Jan-13 21:39:02

BTW - my mum is the same on 'you must eat it if prepared' - to the extent she was most cats bum mouthed at the Christmas dinner table when my 36 year old DB wouldn't have any sprouts and as the cook I just said 'ok, DH can you pass DB the carrots?' when I apparently should have just plated him up some and then she could have nagged him to eat them... However as it was my food he was rejecting, it should have been me to make a fuss. <sigh>

SoldeInvierno Thu 10-Jan-13 21:41:27

I was forced to eat everything as a child. Nowadays, I am quite fussy. I've had my fair share of eating food I didn't like.

If I had been allowed to reject certain foods, I would have probably tried them on my own time and liked them. As it was, I just developed a total hate for them.

I think you did the right thing.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 10-Jan-13 21:45:08

Dontmind you mum is aware that your DB is now a free thinking adult right, how bizarre to think she could nag him, and sprouts of all things, bleugh!!!!!!

UniS Thu 10-Jan-13 22:48:13

I accept DS's dislikes of certain flavours, as he can spot them with out "knowing " he is being given them. Other things I ignore as he has happily eaten them on many occasions and is being faddy or has wolfed too many sweets before dinner ( christmas period just gone).

SO I have a child who really does not like banana, any citrus fruit or the flavours of these, also dislikes baked beans and other tinned in tomato sauce things, jelly and yogurt... makes it slightly tricky when he goes to tea at friends houses. Thankfully he has stopped crying at the sight of jelly and now just says "no thank you".

ithaka Thu 10-Jan-13 22:57:11

I think as long as they have tried it, that is fine.

My DD became incredibly fussy through the toddler and younger years, but I never let it become a battle, I never made her eat anything she didn't want.

Suddenly, at around age 14 she started wanting to try all the things she had previously turned her nose up at. Now at 15, she pretty much eats anything. So I am sticking to the same strategy for her wee sis.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 10-Jan-13 23:04:17

Crikey! He is only little, Yanbu. It is great that he is trying different foods and you are being positive about his efforts

LuluMai Thu 10-Jan-13 23:24:41

She is being unreasonable. As an adult I'm not forced to eat anything I don't like, so I don't why children should be. Hate the "eat it or starve" mentality.

PurpleStorm Thu 10-Jan-13 23:40:57

I think your mum is being unreasonable. It's unrealistic to expect a child - or an adult for that matter - to like a food the first time they try it.

As far as I'm concerned, with my DS, the important thing is that he's given it a go and tasted it. He might not like it the first time he tries it, but a lot of foods are acquired tastes and it can take lots of tastings at separate meals to acquire them.

I also think that forcing children to eat food that they don't like can backfire. DH and I both have hatreds of certain foods after being forced to eat them when we were children.

Cabrinha Thu 10-Jan-13 23:43:58

There are genuine dislikes. When my baby was 6 months old I put a chunk of banana in front of her and she looked at it like I'd put a lump of coal down and flicked it off with disdain. Sadly - as it's a fab food, cheap, prepackaged, healthy, big - she still, 4 years on, will not touch them!

Sometimes she's just being fussy - so the rule here is if you turn something down, you're on bread and butter.

This is the reason toast was invented, surely grin

If I make somethinf new and dd doesnt like it, I just make her some toast.

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 23:49:35

Far from every body likes boiled eggs. I don't and the DDs don't.

And I've tried the keep trying a little bit thing with cucumber, because it feels so childish to pick it out of my sandwiches.

DD1 loves it so I've tried lots of little bits. I still hate it!

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 10-Jan-13 23:49:55

Maybe would have encouraged a proper bite rather than just a lick but no,I don't think there is much to be gained from forcing a toddler to eat something they don't want.

Especially after they were so sweet about it too!

Smellslikecatspee Thu 10-Jan-13 23:54:37

He tried it, he didn't like it, and he very politely refused any more. (Very cutely too)

How would your Mum like it if you made…kangaroo testicles for dinner? She tried one didn't like it would she have to eat the other one?

You aren't being soft, just keep introducing it and never make a big deal about it.

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 23:54:52

I would have been really pleased if my 2.5 year old actually tried a new food grin

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 11-Jan-13 00:00:51

I pick tomatos out of my sandwiches, i tried them and i cant stand them, my mum never forced food on us, its a battle not worth having.

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 00:03:35

Maybe your mum isn't quite of the 'rationing' generation, but post-WWII rationing only stooped when I was 6, so I'm told, so if you didn't like what you were given , there really wasn't anything else to eat.

I think that's where a lot of these remarks come from.

Don't be too hard on the older generations. As grandparents DW and I periodically get a justified YABU look or comment from our DCs now. And we taught them the principles of childcare!

Contrast today's TV News report that nowadays up to 50% of edible food never makes it to the dinner table. Not good.

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 00:04:31

stopped not stooped - sorry

ripsishere Fri 11-Jan-13 00:53:09

YANBU. My DD has a pretty limited diet. She will eat odd things - squid, octopus, sushi etc, but will not eat potatoes apart from chips, she'll only eat raw carrot, tolerate cucumber, tomatoes are a total no no.
My parents, nice as they are get a bit cross with her and her picky ways. I'd rather she ate than insist she eats certain stuff. Especially as she is pretty skinny anyway.
She does love a shekel dippy though. It must be undercooked, she's been known to drink shekels from the shell <can't cook eggs>

Pandemoniaa Fri 11-Jan-13 00:56:28

I'm never sure whether these determined attempts to tell you that children must eat what they are given and can't be allowed to have dislikes is genuinely because grandparents suffered from a lack of choice in the past or whether it is actually a handy opportunity to dig at contemporary attitudes! parenting!

Because I was born in the 50s and we weren't short of anything. Admittedly, we were comfortably off but actually, my mother said she ate remarkably well during the war although you had to be a very creative cook.

However, my former MIL who'd been a Land Girl and enjoyed plenty of food during the war always took great pleasure in muttering on about people (i.e. me) making "rods for their own backs" because they insisted "pandering to fussy eaters".

In truth, children are as entitled to have genuine dislikes. So while I expected my dcs to try new food, if it became clear that they really didn't like a particular thing - mushrooms for ds2, jam for ds1 being particular hatreds - I couldn't see any reason at all to force them to try and eat it. And no, they didn't grow up to be fussy either, quite the opposite!


anonymosity Fri 11-Jan-13 02:38:48

Its a generational divide thing. If my kids don't like food, I don't give it to them. I try to introduce new things along with other foods - and if they try it and don't like it there are other things already on the plate. My mum would agree with OPs mum and "making work for yourself" etc etc.

MammaTJ Fri 11-Jan-13 04:43:52

No, YANBU. I give my DC food they don't like, but it is on a plate with food they do like.

Lavenderhoney Fri 11-Jan-13 05:04:49

She is bu. it's great he tried it and didn't like it, so you were reasonable back and said ok have something else, as I am sure we would all like to be treated.
Mine always try, or lick it then recoilsmile but they always try before saying no thank you, it's not to my taste. It's a good thing to teach, shouting " yuck" is not on IMO, other people might like it!

I try new things at lunchtime, then if they don't eat it's fine, but always with something they like. If its curry or something I have it for me and they try a bit on a normal lunch. We are not hostile and controlling round food

My mum, otoh, once refused to let me have anything other than toad in the hole Thursday's. It really made me feel sick. She said no, you'll eat if youre hungry with a superior controlling smile I still remember today. I didn't have tea on Thursday's for 2 months before she relented and let me have a cheese sandwich instead. I would not treat my dc like that.

YorkshireDeb Fri 11-Jan-13 05:24:22

Not read the whole thread but YANBU & just wanted to say you should be proud of yourself for teaching your boy such beautiful manners. X

LovesBeingAtHomeForChristmas Fri 11-Jan-13 05:30:30

I agree, for my dd I've always had the rule that as long as she tries everything on her plate it's ok to leave something if she doesn't like it. It very rarely happens. What does happen is sometimes things she has privously disliked is now yummy. I reinforce every time that trying something because you might like it now is important. Sometimes I have to really convince her to try it but it's great then when she likes it because it proves what I said. She loves fruit, veg, salad and her favourite dinner is scrambled egg and beans. She rarely eats all her chips if given but will ask for more carrots every time.

(just realized that sounds a bit well you know, she also loves squash and choc)

sleepywombat Fri 11-Jan-13 05:46:58

I was a ridiculously fussy eater as a child. I did have a fair amount of dinner ladies/my mum standing over me making me eat, but it hasn't scarred me too much - I eat anything & everything now (within reason, obviously - e.g. not too keen on kidneys)!

sleepywombat Fri 11-Jan-13 05:52:35

I think that my parents making me eat was more about wastage. My mum was pretty poor & wouldn't have been able to make me something else, a lot of the time, so it was that [disliked] food or nothing. I remember my dad getting soooo angry when I said I didn't like the porridge he made me as he didn't have any more milk or food.

Lavenderhoney Fri 11-Jan-13 05:55:44

Just remembered at primary school there was scrambled eggs made with water/ milk and all runny for lunch. A group of us kids( not sitting together) wouldn't eat it. We were kept back fom afternoon lessons and sat at a table together and told to eat up or we would be there til home time. Dinner ladies all stood in circle with teacher glaring at us. One girl, sobbing her heart out, started forcing it down. She bought the whole lot up in projectile vomit over the table and us.

Hysterical crying from all the kids, and we were all punished with no playtime rest of the week.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 11-Jan-13 05:56:25


He sounds lovely smile and your Mum sounds a bit mean. It was something new, he tried it, he didn't like it, he said so nicely... what's the problem?

sleepywombat Fri 11-Jan-13 05:59:49

Lavenderhoney, how horrible! School was so different 20-30 years ago, wasn't it? I remember being punished with no playtime for refusing to eat my compulsory weekly dosage of badly cooked liver & onions. Also 'no playtime' meant sitting in the hall, on my own, completely unsupervised aged 6!

googietheegg Fri 11-Jan-13 06:16:35

Lavenderhoney, that's awful. hmm And it's those crappy teachers we're paying generous pensions for (soapbox)

Lavenderhoney Fri 11-Jan-13 07:34:33

Sleepy wombat, did you go to my school? Surrey? We had that stuff too.

Op, rustle up something your mum won't like and when she turns up her nose and doesnt clear the plate, say well, you'll get it for tea thensmile

Sirzy Fri 11-Jan-13 07:59:09

If its something new (or I know he isn't keen on) I will do something else as long as he tries it. If he is just been awkward then I don't give anything else.

He is 3 and thankfully a pretty good eater most of the time

YANBU, he tried it ad didn't like it, fair enough imo. I don't understand people who force food on their children, I certainly don't eat anything I genuinely don't like the taste of.

DD is 4 and hates banana, has ever since weaning stage, she tried it again every six months or so because I think she likes the idea of banana's (she loves monkeys!) but actually hates the taste. I don't ever try to make her eat banana as that would be mean.

She has previously been a fussy eater and had a limited selection of foods she would eat, I am so happy as since turning 4 she seems to have turned a corner and recently ate (and liked!) mushroom, onion and parsnip, things she'd never have touched before grin

curiousuze Fri 11-Jan-13 09:44:17

What a polite little guy! YANBU

cory Fri 11-Jan-13 11:01:23

It is ok not to like something: it is not ok to refuse to try more than once, to express your dislike rudely (though I would make allowances for young children) or to expect people to provide alternatives. A 'no thank you' should be accepted (with some pride!) but without any obligation to provide something else. Relaxed is good at mealtimes imo. Saving yourself for the next meal does no harm.

sleepywombat Sat 12-Jan-13 04:48:35

Lavenderhoney, nope, mine in Bristol!

MrsMelons Sat 12-Jan-13 09:43:38

If he genuinely did not like it then she is BU. If his way of trying things he doesn't necessarily want to eat is licking them then saying no then YABU as he is playing you. If he is good at eating stuff then it really doesn't matter if he doesn't like eggs etc, my DCs are good eaters but there are lots of things they don't like, although I find their tastes change a lot over the years and they become used to things.

My niece decided she doesn't want to eat ANY fruit (after liking all of it), if SIL asks her to try it she literally places it in her mouth then makes herself gag. SIL thinks its ok as she has 'tried' it.

MrsMelons Sat 12-Jan-13 09:54:18

I do think that children may get away with being too picky these days though. It does seem they will only eat stuff they really really love.

DS1 tries it on with veg quite a bit in spite having loved it till he went to school but I just say that we can't always have just our favourite things all the time and that he loves the other stuff on his plate so he will usually eat it albeit reluctantly. I wouldn't 'force' it on him i he really really disliked it of course as that is just cruel.

I have learnt my lesson as when he was 2 he refused to eat his weetabix which was his favourite, I made him wait until lunch time to have anything else even though he was starving. That evening I gave him his milk which he also loved and he refused to drink it and kept making faces. I tasted it and it was off (a bottle opened that morning fresh and in date). I felt so awful!

digerd Sat 12-Jan-13 17:16:30

When young loved everything my DM cooked for us, but remember always being hungry and wanting more, which she didn't have. But I hated the school dinners we had at secondary school and couldn't eat the lumpy mashed spuds and custard, or the stew as made me wretch. Never chips in my day. Started at 12 to make my own meals at home and bake cakes.

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