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AIBU to think this utter bullshit?

(86 Posts)
YoungStepMum Sun 11-Sep-11 11:08:50

When talking about family meal times, a friend told me that I shouldn?t ?force? children to eat anything they don?t want to eat as it will leave them with a phobia about those foods. By ?force? I think she means the ?you have to eat at least two spoonfuls of peas/sweetcorn/broccoli? ect. line. There is less veg on their plate than I would like them to eat anyway so I don?t think there is anything wrong in expecting them to have two mouthfuls??? They moan for about a minute then just get on with it...hardly a traumatic experience.

She then went on to say that on numerous occasions she has given her children oatcakes, cheese and Ice cream after they have refused to eat whatever she has cooked for them and looked astounded when I said if my DSC don?t eat what everyone else is eating then they would certainly not get ice cream (more like bread and butter).

AIBU or are my DSC going to have a life long fear of peas? grin

squeakytoy Sun 11-Sep-11 11:12:45

It is utter bullshit. Unless there is a very good reason for a child not to eat something on their plate, ie allergy.. then they should eat what is put in front of them.

DecapitatedLegoman Sun 11-Sep-11 11:13:27

My rule is that they must try something. They don't have to eat anything but they're not allowed to refuse something they haven't tried.

I don't like parsnips. I wouldn't like to be made to eat parsnips by someone bigger than me. I therefore don't make my children eat things they don't like.

So far I am pretty happy with their intake of nutritious foods. And no phobias.

FabbyChic Sun 11-Sep-11 11:17:06

Mine are 23 and 18, the eldest has never eaten vegetables, and the youngest only eats peas.

When I lived at home I remember my mother making me eat stew with lentils in and it used to make me choke every time, I swore I'd never give my children anything they didn;t like to eat and never have.

So they eat everything on their plate because they like it all.

Kayano Sun 11-Sep-11 11:17:10

My mum didn't make me eat anything I didn't want or that she didn't like...

Worst thing she ever did, it made me MORE fussy (like her) when in actual fact I did like the things!

Of course it has led to a culinary explosion of amazing tastes since I moved out grin
Things I never ate til I was married:
Curry etc

Make your kids eat their mouthfuls!

TrillianAstra Sun 11-Sep-11 11:18:23

Depends what you mean by "force".

You'll sit there til you've eaten it could very easily put someone off a certain kind of food.

Beamur Sun 11-Sep-11 11:19:40

Not so much bullshit as a different opinion. Like the previous poster, I ask my DD to try something but won't expect her to eat more of it if she doesn't like it, but agree with you that often kids will often moan but then quite happily eat it anyway. My DSS always says he doesn't like broccolli, but usually eats it!
I would also give my DD a pudding if she hadn't eaten all her dinner, but my philosophy is that I don't want her to overeat her mains simply to get pudding and I don't want pudding to be overly considered a treat, but a part of the meal. She doesn't always get something like ice cream, sometimes it is fruit or even cheese. She will often refuse a pudding if she is full, so in that respect I think it has worked for us.

eaglewings Sun 11-Sep-11 11:19:46

Dd1 has a phobia of milk as she was made to drink a whole glass before she was allowed to leave the table
DS has a phobia of peas after he vomited after trying a tea spoon of them
Dd2 as yet has no phobia, would love it to stay that way.
Don't agree with forcing but do agree that they need to try one mouthful once
Would replace with bland but healthy food if necessary
In a restaurant I encourage them if they order something they have never tried but if after eating some they hate it will let them swap or stop. Otherwise they would never order anything but the routine foods
But force - no way

Itsjustafleshwound Sun 11-Sep-11 11:20:34

My rule in the house is that I just continue to serve up the food - the choice is eat it or don't - I don't make exceptions and there is no talk of pudding unless a GOOD attempt has been made on the food on the plate.

The whole notion of a food-phobia sounds like utter crap - surely making a big deal/issue of the food in the first place is even more damaging??

eaglewings Sun 11-Sep-11 11:21:40

Agree with beamur about pudding, I don't eat all my main in a restaurant if I want to try a pudding. Unless kids have served their own portions who are we to tell them how much they need and want

TenMinutesLate Sun 11-Sep-11 11:22:40

On the whole my 2 are ok with their eating although we go through various stages of uuuuurrrgh and yuck! If they do not eat their dinner I will not cook them anything else (unless it is a new dish, they've given it a go and they really dont like it.....think this has happened twice in 4 years - and ive whizzed up scrambled eggs...) but on the whole if they push their plates away I'll give them another chance to eat up, if not it goes to the dog. Meal times can be sooooo bloody stressful I need to keep them on a short leash or they'll run rings round me.

I always offer fruit after a meal (if they've eaten it or not) - If theyve eaten their dinner I hide a few chocolate buttons in the fruit salad. No dinner, no chocolate.

My Mum always ensured I ate my veg and I promise I'm not traumatised by a bit of brocoli :-) Sprouts on the other hand......well thats a whole new thread!

Ealingkate Sun 11-Sep-11 11:23:25

I am definitely somewhere in the middle - I don't make my kids eat everything on their plate in order to earn pudding, as I think that just makes them value sweet things more highly. But, I do encourage My DD2 to eat some vegetables if she has left all of them untouched.
And our house rule is that they must try everything, at least one proper chewed up and swallowed mouthful, if they really don't like it then they can have a bowl of rice krispies once we have all finished eating.

fatlazymummy Sun 11-Sep-11 11:25:53

It's a balance isn't it. Of course children shouldn't be forced to eat food that makes them feel sick but neither should they be given ice cream as a substitute for vegetables either. I grew up in a house where you ate what you were given or went hungry [through economic circumstances] and it didn't make me less fussy. I spent half of my childhood feeling hungry and nauseous and now I'm an adult I just eat what I like [no meat for starters]. I try and encourage my children to eat a healthy variety of food but I do recognise that they also have some food dislikes.

4madboys Sun 11-Sep-11 11:26:52

we simply offer food and if they eat it they eat it, if they dont then thats fine but they dont get anything else until the next meal time.

flack Sun 11-Sep-11 11:26:59

DS1 developed a phobia of the afterschool club because they made him eat apple once...
So although I more or less make mine eat most of their veg, certainly they have to eat their veg to get a full pudding, but I am kind of in the middle, too.

diddl Sun 11-Sep-11 11:27:03

Mine have to try something, but don´t have to eat what they don´t like-not even a couple of spoons.

I don´t eat what I don´t like.

hairylights Sun 11-Sep-11 11:28:32

I think forcing children to eat stuff they genuinely don't like is barbaric.

Giving ice cream as an alternative to veg is stupid.

hairylights Sun 11-Sep-11 11:29:57

Ps: do people really have pudding every day?

Linnet Sun 11-Sep-11 11:30:55

I don't believe in forcing children to eat something but I do encourage them to try new foods, if they don't like it fine, it can always be tried again another time and they may like it if their tastes have changed.

I was recently at a wedding where the first three courses were all fish. I don't eat fish as I don't like it so I didn't eat any of it,I gave it to my husband though so it didn't go to waste. The girl sitting next to me kept saying "just try it, go on you might like it, you'd force your children to eat it." I told her that no I wouldn't force my children to eat something if I knew they didn't like it and I wasn't going to eat the fish as I don't like fish never have never will.

4madboys Sun 11-Sep-11 11:31:30

well we dont hairy, we rarely have pudding (fruit is always on offer after a meal) tbh we only have puddings when we have visitors, friends or family etc.

and occasionally if we have bananas to use up we will have them with custard grin

Claw3 Sun 11-Sep-11 11:34:16

I would say asking a child to eat a couple of mouthfuls of something, is encouraging them, not forcing. Insisting they eat it otherwise x will happen is forcing.

"She then went on to say that on numerous occasions she has given her children oatcakes, cheese and Ice cream after they have refused to eat whatever she has cooked for them and looked astounded when I said if my DSC don?t eat what everyone else is eating then they would certainly not get ice cream (more like bread and butter)"

I dont get that, you are still offering an alternative?

cornsylk Sun 11-Sep-11 11:36:42

my kids quite like bread and butter

Talker2010 Sun 11-Sep-11 11:37:07

I always did a range of veg so that they could chose the 2 they liked

Eldest will eat anything ... younger does not like peas so never eats them

Sweetcorn and broccoli are the favourites

TheFlyingOnion Sun 11-Sep-11 11:37:34

since when has not liking something been a "phobia"?

Surely its "my DS doesn't like peas" rather than "my DS has a phobia of peas"

Seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill.

FWIW I ask the children in my class to try mouthfuls of their food during lunchtimes at school, but if they really don't want to I don't make them... seems daft to create a conflict where it's not necessary. If they're hungry during the afternoon, that's their lookout...

HerHissyness Sun 11-Sep-11 11:41:33

I'm lucky, I often joke DS would pretty much eat a chair if you put a bit of salt and pepper on it, he'll try anything. But there are a couple of thing (usually bland flavours) that he doesn't like.

When he started school I was worried by stuff like macaroni cheese, cos it the one thing as a little one he never liked.

I asked him to have 2 bites of everything, as the first bite might be not as you expect, so the 2nd bite is the one that will tell you if you like it or not.

He did, and even likes macaroni cheese now! I've only ever fed him what we were having once we were past early stage weaning. I don't give him "kids food" if I wouldn't eat myself.

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