AIBU to stick to my guns on this?(25 Posts)
Hello, this is my first proper post, I've been told MN is a great place for decent support from others so here goes.
I've two DC aged 8 and 3. When it comes to food my eldest can sometimes be fussy, and we have a rule that says that meals made must at least be tried before being dismissed as "disgusting" and that no alternative will be offered if the above is not done.
Made a cottage pie today, vegetarian quorn as my eldest doesn't like mince. Flatly refused to try it, and refused to eat the peas or potatoes either, and demanded something else for lunch. I said no, cue screaming and tears etc.
AIBU to stick to our rule? My husband is in full support of trying things first before dismissing them, and we enforce our rules together as a unit. We do not have the money to continue to supplement extra meals incase they don't fancy what they are given. This is not a case of food punishment, this is trying to get our children to understand that food costs money and that they must at least try it before it's cast aside.
If anyone has any advice or thoughts I'd really love to hear them. Thank you
This is ridiculous behaviour from an 8 year old.
Your rule sounds very sensible and YANBU to stick to it. You're not forcing them to clear a plate of food they don't want (which I heartily disagree with) but to try a mouthful before dismissing it.
I agree with not making food a battle, but there have to be SOME boundaries. Your approach sounds very measured.
YANBU at all OP
I was the youngest of 5, which meant my parents had 7 mouths to feed at the dinner table.
There was no way they could have managed to offer a load of individual alternatives, to fussy children.
If we really couldn't eat something (for me it was liver), then we'd just eat the potatoes/veg/other stuff and have some toast or fruit in the evening.
If there is no SN involved then you are being entirely reasonable to expect new foods to at least be tried before being dismissed. I wouldn’t give an alternative other than toast or similar either. You shouldn’t have to pay a fortune for alternative dinners if they won’t eat the perfectly fine one you don’t already made.
It is a perfectly reasonable rule. He can't say for sure that he doesn't like it until he has tried it, so no you are not being unreasonable.
One thing that made a big difference with my dd when she was going through a phase like this was to let her choose meals sometimes. We set up a rota where each of us got to choose dinner on different days. The dinner has to be reasonable (so not cake and ice-cream or something I didn't have in the house) and something that the other people in the family can eat (so if someone has allergies or intolerances they can't choose that). On her day we promised to not complain about her choice and on our day she has to not complain about our choice.
Admittedly we did go through a phase of having ham sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner twice a week, but it was worth it as she started eating our choices on the other days.
I know it sounds a bit mad, but giving her some control and input into the meals made a huge difference, so maybe worth a try with your ds.
Yanbu. Let him moan. Your rule is reasonable - my parents enforced such a rule with us when we were young too which resulted in us actually trying more foods than I think we otherwise would have. I think that's one of the reasons why I probably can eat most things today.
Yep stick to your guns. No food eaten means no pudding, no snacks and no alternative. Hopefully he will soon cotton on when he’s hungry.
We are similar to @BiglyBadgers and meal plan with the kids. As long as pizza doesn’t feature too heavily I am happy with ideas!
Yanbu I would expect at least a mouthful to be tired, then I’d give something else as I don’t think it’s good to make a big deal out of being fussy and most dc do grow out of it in there own time.
However I wouldn’t of served cottage pie to someone that doesn’t like mince, it might of been quorn mince but well it still looked like meat mince
I'm with you, op.
My 6 year old often tries the "I don't like it!" routine and my response is always "How do you know if you don't try?"
I don't insist on clearing plates and I don't persist in making him carry on eating when it's clear he really doesn't like it.
I do insist he gives it a good try.
Absolutely and I’d go further. You don’t have to like it but there is no alternative.
Someone i know had a really good idea for getting the DCs to try new foods. One day a week they chose a new recipe together, cooked it together and they each had to have a few mouthfuls to try it. If it was a a success it was a meal the family could use regularly. They had some unsuccessful ones but it at least got the children trying new foods and added a few new dishes to the mix.
My DS is very fussy and i keep meaning to try this as there are only a handful of different meal alternatives he will try and he is exactly like yours turning his nose up at food without even trying it. I am sure it is not unusual and your policy sounds reasonable.
If he doesn’t like mince why would he like quorn mince it’s a similar texture
I wouldn’t let a child go hungry and not force a child to try something they really don’t like as it just becomes a much bigger issue than it is
I would give him toast not cook a completely separate meal if he isn’t willing to try it
There are things I don’t want to try as I don’t like other things tht are similar in texture
But you knew he didn't like mince? Even if it was quorn, it looks the same, especially to a child.
I get why you want to stick to your rules, and getting them to try isn't unreasonable but no other option if they don't, IMO gives the child an understanding that it's okay not to eat or skip meals.
I would try involving them in weekly meal plans, ask them what they would like for tea, introducing new foods in with meals you know they like so they are still trying new things, eating and there's little waste.
I think your rule is reasonable. Presumably the child likes peas and potatoes.
Maybe try having the kids involved in meal planning, as PP have said.
That was probably my mistake. He would have assumed the mince was regular meat mince, as it looks the same. I didn't think of that. Thank you all I really appreciate the replies.
I was probably the most fussy eater ever when a child - my mam got round this by only giving me food I liked. It wasn't difficult for her to do this. I am now very adventurous - had ox cheek soup and rabbit pie for lunch - but I would have turned my nose up at cottage pie made with quorn
YANBU - he had potatoes and peas to eat if he didn't want to eat the rest. (Does he normally like potatoes and peas?)
Wish I could stick to this. I always feel too bad when DD won't eat something (shes very fussy where DS eats everything) and end up giving her fruit, or toast, or something (easy) that she likes. I don't cook a totally different meal for her though like some do.
Always feel guilty about her being hungry. Though my mother always says, if she was hungry, she would eat whatever you gave her. Thats the rules I had growing up and I often went without meals, sometimes for a full day or more
Yes he loves peas and potatoes. That was quite annoying. Thank you all for writing. I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the evil I mother I feel like
YANBU. We have the same rule with our 3 year old. It seems to be working as the episodes are become less and less frequent. 8 is far too old to behave that way. You are right to try to resolve it.
I wouldn't ever offer an alternative.
When I was young you got what you were given and that was it. No choice no ifs no buts.
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