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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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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


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.

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....

5dcsinneedofacleaner Tue 27-Nov-12 03:27:09

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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...

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

Ommm nom nom. Can I move in?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

FireOverBabylon Wed 21-Nov-12 13:43:21

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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