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to use naughty step for meal time issues

(39 Posts)
mrsunreasonable Tue 30-Nov-10 17:35:52

I really don't know if I am or not DH thinks I am being a bit unreasonable so thought I'd see what you all thought.

DS1 (3 1/2) is a good eater usually but recently if there is food on his plate he is not so keen on he chews it FOR EVER!

Recent example he had yorkshire pudding, mince and gravy and carrots. He ate all Yorkshire pud up straight away then with a bit of nudging all his carrots then said he was full. I said if you are full you won't have room for pudding he said he still wanted pudding so I said well you will have to finish your tea off first. So he takes one mouthful of mince and is chewing it for literally 5 minutes! I say come on eat up your mince he says he still has some in his mouth so I say well you've been chewing that for ages eat it up. Another few minutes of chewing elapse so I say right swallow that mouthful or you will be on naughty step he continues chewing makes no efffort to actually eat food so I put him on naughty step. After every three mins I go to him and say has that food gone he smiles opens his mouth it's still there so I say ok you can stay there for another three mins this goes on for about half an hour!

DH says not OK to punish him for not liking food but it is not food he doesn't like he has eaten it before just less keen on it that all other elements of tea and of course pudding. Is naughty step ok or should I be doing something else?

tinierclanger Tue 30-Nov-10 17:37:43

Hmm. I don't think it's a good idea to make too much drama about food really.

DrSpechemin Tue 30-Nov-10 17:38:16

YABU - don't make mealtimes into a battleground.

If he doesn't eat his main course then don't give him pudding - simple as that.

moondog Tue 30-Nov-10 17:39:09

God, leave him be.If you punish him for not eating, you will really mess with his head.
He won't starve, give him something ,if he doesn't eat it, don't offer anything else.
Just ignore any whingeing snd don't fill him with snacks or strke deals.

SalFresco Tue 30-Nov-10 17:40:53

Yabu. Ignore as much as possible, when it comes to mucking around with food.

Goingspare Tue 30-Nov-10 17:41:04

No, what the others have said. Give him less Yorkshire pud next time so he doesn't get full before he's eaten a balanced meal.

ICouldHaveWrittenThis Tue 30-Nov-10 17:43:39

Yorkshire pud is almost pudding in this house- DS only gets it when he's eaten the rest of his meal.

piscesmoon Tue 30-Nov-10 17:44:09

Do not get into a battle over food-you will not win. You do not want to give any attention over it.
Serve the meal and let him eat what he wants without comment. If he gets down and he hasn't eaten much don't fuss.
DO NOT give alternatives or snacks. If he moans just say in a conversational tone-'you should have eaten more at dinner' and change the subject. Do not get drawn.
Do the same at all meals-he will not starve, he will work out it is sensible to eat and he isn't getting any attention from it.

Blu Tue 30-Nov-10 17:44:29

Definitely don't make food into a battle! Also, you are being very cinfusing - firstly the 'eat or no oud' ultimatum and then introducing the naughty step when he is eating, albeit slowly.

No snacks before dinner, offer smaller portions, then offer pudding, and don't withold it unless he has eaten none of his main course. Personally I don't agree with setting pudding up as the 'reward' for eating savoury food - just offer both as equally vaild, equally desireable parts of the same meal. If you make a big deal out of pudding, you have created the first step towards a battle.

BerylStreep Tue 30-Nov-10 17:45:28

I think there is a lot of potential to create hang ups around food with this sort of approach - not to mention a drama and a lot of attention. Not eating a particular food isn't 'naughty', it's a matter of taste and preference.

I try to adopt a carrot approach ('scuse the pun) rather than stick. For example, 'one more mouthful of peas, then we'll get a yummy pudding'. If they don't eat the peas, it's not a biggy - there will be lots more opportunities to get them to eat veggies tomorrow.

I also know that I was raised to always clear my plate, and even as an adult I can't bear to leave food behind, which may be part of the reason I am a bit chubby curvacious. I try really hard not to drill this into my DC.

BerylStreep Tue 30-Nov-10 17:48:05

Oh, and another thing. I always say that I don't mind if someone doesn't eat something, so long as they have tried a mouthful. If they don't like it, that's ok.

pjmama Tue 30-Nov-10 17:48:12

My 4yo DS is exactly the same, will chew and chew and chew if it's something he doesn't really want to eat. He also eats the best bits first and then pokes the rest around his plate. He is improving slowly thankfully, but it's been a total pita to get here and some days are worse than others.

I take the approach that if he hasn't finished eating a reasonable amount of his food by the time everyone else has finished their food and their dessert, then I throw it in the bin and he doesn't get anything else. Often results in a screaming tantrum, but now he knows I mean it we rarely get that far.

ChippingIn Tue 30-Nov-10 18:52:55

I can see why you have done it (been there - got the t-shirt and the frayed nerves!) but honestly - let it go.

Just tell him that he needs to eat dinner before the big hand gets to (or the digital clock gets to) xyz or there wont be time for pudding and leave him to it.

However, also look at what you are making him eat. I hated certain meat when I was a child and remember chewing it until it went 'horrible'. It gets to a weird texture where it's almost impossible to swallow it. If he doesn't like the mince why not give him another yorkshire and more veggies?

It is hard when you are in the middle of it and you want them to eat properly, without a fuss etc - but at the end of the day it just stresses you out and it's not worth it.


flingingflangin Tue 30-Nov-10 19:01:39

I'm with you. But don't bite. Initially we just said ok if you're done then that's it. But stay and join in the convo at the table. Then I went smaller portions, that worked for a while. But the most effective thing I've encountered is cutting out ALL snacks, and getting DS involved in the prep. He's so chuffed he cut the veg etc, or served dinner he eats it. Find a button and press it!

mrsunreasonable Tue 30-Nov-10 19:02:13

Thanks. I think i knew deep down I was being unreasonable but messing about with food is the one thing that REALLY pushes my buttons I am also currently being very unreasonable with my 7 month old for not eating much! I think I need to just chill out (easier said than done!)

happycamel Tue 30-Nov-10 19:02:32

What's making me smile is the comments about little boys eating favourite foods first and then leaving other food and wanting pudding.

My HUSBAND does this! He lines the food up in a circle around the plate in order of preference then eats each type one at a time, rotating his plate. I'd love to know what his mum was doing when he was a kid (sadly she passed away so I can't ask). I'm dreading our dc learning from him.

I won't let him have pudding if he doesn't finish his main course. I hide the spoons and another of his little foibles is he has to eat pudding with a spoon so a drawer full of forks and knives leaves him totally stuck!

TrinityMotherOfRhinos Tue 30-Nov-10 19:03:52

please just chill out

and for gods sake dont get hung up on what a 7 month eats

TrappedinSuburbia Tue 30-Nov-10 19:04:26


ds (5) tried that last night, ate all his veg (strange child) and left all meat then asked for pudding.
I said nope, you've not finished your dinner, so he ate the rest of his dinner, because he knows I mean that they're will be no pudding.

I don't make a big fuss, its no big deal in this house, not eating majority of dinner = no treats after.

ds doesn't get in a strop about it because i've never made a fuss, its just the way it is.

MadameCastafiore Tue 30-Nov-10 19:07:00

Pick your battles - food really shouldn't be one of them - we are very very strict about table manners and eating properly but would never force our kids to eat something - I remember sitting at the table for hours on a sunday being made to eat meat - which I wasn't fond of, watching the fat in the gravey turn into little white globs or chewing and chewing until I started gagging - couldn't imagine anything I would rather not put my kids through more.

I would have just taken his food away.

ArfurSleep Tue 30-Nov-10 19:08:16

disassociating food and love can be tricky

rejecting food is not rejecting you

RealityVom Tue 30-Nov-10 19:08:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 30-Nov-10 19:18:11

dont make issues with food

give an alloted time, i do 30mins and after that they get a 10min buzzer, if they havent finished when buzzer goes they dont get anything else to next meal

i also will never force a child to eat and if they dont want it then fine, but they must sit at the table till everyone has finished

there have been times when didnt eat much tea at 5ish and then nothing till 7.30ish breakie

same as babs 2.5 keeps not eating breakie, and it goes in the bin (well actually dog lol) and nothing till lunch time

she says im hungary, tummy hurts and i and mb simply say, then you should have eaten brekafst, you are hungary

we do give lunch a bit earlier and she almost eats it without swallowing

midori1999 Tue 30-Nov-10 19:20:31

I would never make an issue out of food, it can be very damaging. I can remember being sat at the dinner table in tears as a child whilst being made to sit until my plate was clear and being threatened I'd get it for breakfast if I left any. I still struggle to leave any food on a plate now, even if I'm really full.

I have never made an issue out of my children eating. I like them to try things, but if they don't like it, they can leave it. However, I have always just put a small portion of whatever it is on their plate each time we have it, and ask them to eat it, but don't make a fuss if they don't. They eventually eat pretty much anything.

I don't make them clear their plate and as long as they've made a good effort to eat what they have, they can have something after, although we don't really have puddings.

NoelEdmondshair Tue 30-Nov-10 19:41:57

Blondes - you say don't make issues, then tell us you have a buzzer at the table! So they're forced to sit at the table for 40 minutes and if they haven't eaten everything they don't get pud??

MemooMerrilyOnHigh Tue 30-Nov-10 19:46:16

Blondes, you let your 2 year old get so hungry her tummy is hurting?

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