Advanced search

AIBU to ask your ‘food rules’ for your DC?

(166 Posts)
firstworldproblems2018 Tue 24-Apr-18 22:43:22

Not a TAAT, but the sleepover one did get me thinking. Do you have any ‘rules’ for food/eating in your house? Are your kids allowed snacks whenever they want for example? Do you have any specific rules around food?

Genuinely curious. I’m aware of the way these type of threads sometimes always go though....

For us, (DC 9 and 5) the only rules are only 1 snack between after school and dinner as otherwise they don’t eat properly at dinner. I’ve started making dinner earlier and this means they eat better. After their main course at dinner they always Have a ‘fruit course’ ie fresh fruit of some kind. They may or may not have pudding after that, but always fruit after their evening meal.

Otherwise I’d say we were fairly relaxed. Both kids healthy weight and very very active. Little one doesn’t really have free access to food but I offer him choices for breakfast and snacks, and he has a treat box where all party bag sweets/choc/Easter/Christmas chocolate etc goes and he can have something from that most days after dinner (and fruit!!) but doesn’t always.

DD has a bit more free rein and is allowed to get snacks herself in the evening when I put her brother to bed but she’s pretty good at self regulating.

Jeffjefftyjeff Tue 24-Apr-18 22:47:12

One drink that isn’t water or milk a day. Can ‘veto’ one vegetable at a meal where there are lots (eg roast dinner), but has to eat some of everything else. No pudding unless eaten all main course

hibbledibble Tue 24-Apr-18 22:47:15

Food rules for us:
Always eat at the table and no screen time during meals (it sounds basic, but so many families don't do this nowadays)
Snacking is limited to fruit, other than the after school snack as they are famished then.
If they don't eat their meal, the tough, I'm not providing an alternative. They are always encouraged to at least try it. I don't tolerate fussiness.

Shinygoldbauble Tue 24-Apr-18 22:48:02

One main rule - it's fine not to like a particular food or meal but absolutely not allowed to say 'that's disgusting ' or other negative overly dramatic comments on what I serve up.

tellybear Tue 24-Apr-18 22:49:10

DD (10yo) can help herself to fruit whenever she wants, but the rule is that she needs to vary it.

A snack after school and one in the mid-morn - granola, oat cake, rice cake kind of thing.

Very rarely have a pudding. Might occasionally have ice cream or yogurt.

No eating upstairs.

minipie Tue 24-Apr-18 22:59:50

No helping themselves to food (even fruit, as otherwise Dc2 would live off it and eat nothing else).

No snack if mealtime is coming up soon

Not allowed to stop liking things you've always liked up till now!

Food is eaten at the table or sitting on the kitchen step if non messy.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Tue 24-Apr-18 23:01:49

Eat round the table as a family with no screens, mouth closed and no drama llamas - don't like it leave it!

Sonotcivil Tue 24-Apr-18 23:02:33

Minipie. Hat is a bit strict surely...
Not allowed to go off food? Wow shockhmm.
For example would I have been in trouble after seeing a friends dead chicken to have gone off chicken for ages as a kid?

angelikacpickles Tue 24-Apr-18 23:05:46

Nobody has to eat anything they don't want but no whinging allowed.

There is one choice for dinner and you can eat however much or little of it as you want. I always include something that everyone likes.

They can have a yogurt after dinner as dessert. This is not conditional on having eaten dinner.

minipie Tue 24-Apr-18 23:10:27

To be honest sonotcivil it's a "rule" because at the moment my 5 year old is declaring she no longer likes everything that isn't her absolute favourite. Including most vegetables.

If it was just one thing and there was a reason for it I'd probably feel differently.

poopsqueak Tue 24-Apr-18 23:21:14

Have to eat your veg. No salt on the table. Only water offered as a drink unless a special occasion. DD does always have puddles by though.

poopsqueak Tue 24-Apr-18 23:21:44


KriticalSoul Tue 24-Apr-18 23:41:12

my only rule is not near to dinner.

I tend to limit them to one snack between meals, so they're allowed one mid morning and one mid afternoon, but if they ask any other time, I don't mind them having a little something (usually biscuits in our house, neither eat fruit >.<)

We don't have fizzy drinks in the house (unless you count my lemonade for my wine XD)

Nitpickpicnic Tue 24-Apr-18 23:41:35

Thinking about it, I have lots of rules. But compared to my childhood rules, I’m fairly laid back!

My grandparents and mother made us take our plate into the grimy dark garage to eat if we contravened the rules. Still had to finish it. The message was that if you couldn’t eat properly in human company, you could go and eat with the pets. If bedtime loomed and there was still food on the plate, it was covered, put in the fridge and brought out to be eaten (cold) at every mealtime until it was finished. I guess that was considered ‘natural consequences’ in the 1980’s!!!

My DD gets off relatively lightly. I am consistent in enforcing the rules of sitting properly at the table to eat, using cutlery, no talking while chewing. She is allowed to have 2 things on our meals rotation that she can elect not to eat all of, but she has to try it (to show her that her tastes will change). At the moment there’s only one- pumpkin. If we are someone’s guests, we eat what’s in front of us, out of respect for their work. Even pumpkin.

So I’m probably on the ‘hard’ end of the spectrum, but it works for us. She eats very widely, is complimented on her manners (which she loves) and I’m not forever hustling like some parents I know, to find a 3rd or 4th option that the kid will eat.

I’m fairly strict on sugar, I believe there’s just no need to set up cravings/reward systems in her brain (but I know many think differently, and each to their own).

OreoMini Tue 24-Apr-18 23:50:25

Kids are allowed a small snack after school of any type really that’s in the cupboard/fruit bowl/fridge..

She must eat all her tea to get pudding though unless I put something on there I’m unsure she will like but she has to try one mouthful. If she doesn’t like it she doesn’t eat it.

She has a pudding after tea of her choice. Pudding is not fruit, it’s nornally something sweet.

She can help herself to any fruit whenever she likes, no one has to ask to eat fruit but she’s not a lover of fruit so only has it occasionally.

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 24-Apr-18 23:54:51

I don’t have many rules. Everyone helps themselves to snacks.
My main rules are that they eat whatever I make for dinner (meals don’t usually contain anything that someone genuinely doesn’t like)
We sit at the table for meals.
No food upstairs.
The kids understand which foods are unhealthy and they’re encouraged to eat lots of veg and fruit and less of the crap.

all90sgrungesoundsthesame Tue 24-Apr-18 23:59:52

I serve meat and veg (incl potatoes or rice/couscous) at every meal. 75% of all food groups have to be eaten in order to get a “treat” after the meal. Treat usually means two sweets (like two dolly mixtures, different colours, or two jelly babies.)

If they are “still hungry” after that (ie they are gunning for more sweets) I offer them bread or a yoghurt or a piece of fruit until the next meal.)

All meals on the dining table unless they are properly ill then they can sit on the sofa in the living room.

hopefullhelpful Wed 25-Apr-18 08:29:09

Don't have to finish any food on their plate except veggies. Those must always be eaten.
Proper pudding on Sundays otherwise fruit and yogurt if they want.

Jessikita Wed 25-Apr-18 08:53:31

No snack between breakfast and lunch. I find the time period too short and if they have a snack they never eat properly at lunch time.
An afternoon snack only if they’ve eaten their lunch. Any sweets or chocolate twice a week if they’ve eaten their dinner.

One small glass of lemonade with their dinner. Water or milk otherwise.

Jessikita Wed 25-Apr-18 08:54:05

Yes and meals at the table with no screens. Except after swimming lessons on a Monday when they have a “carpet picnic”

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Wed 25-Apr-18 09:02:31

She must eat all her tea to get pudding

OreoMini - the difficulty with this approach is that it reinforces the notion that the main course is something horrible to be tolerated in order to gain the lovely reward (pudding)

I read somewhere that instead of "If you don't eat your carrots you can't have a biscuit", it's better to say "Oh, I see you don't want your carrots, lucky me – please can I have them?" This encourages the child to think that carrots are tasty

(I realise if a child really hates carrots, that wouldn't work, but this approach worked v well for my DD)

DownInTheDumps1 Wed 25-Apr-18 09:25:31

No rules, however we do eat at the table or breakfast bar.

Help themselves to anything.

They don't overload or binge and know not to close to meals.

Mine have learnt self control.

Babybearsporij Wed 25-Apr-18 09:30:09

No food upstairs
Free access to the fruit bowl but other snacks have to be asked for. Depends on what time it is / what's being asked for whether they get it though.
If they don't eat their meal then it's only toast or crackers or nothing.
Chew with mouths closed and use knives & forks properly - cut your food and no shovelling!!

IHaveACuntingPlan Wed 25-Apr-18 09:43:28

2 dc, 7&5. They must at least try the food before writing it off and if they choose not to eat what's on offer there's nothing else.

They have to eat meals at the table and any other snacks have to be eaten in the kitchen/dining room or the garden if they're playing outside. This is so that any mess is contained to one room - we have a problem with ants. It's bad enough having them in the kitchen/dining areas; we don't want them all over the rest of the house looking for crumbs and spills as well.

They generally have a pudding (yoghurt, fruit, sweets or chocolate) after a meal and, if it's available, have other snacks randomly through the day when they're here.

They eat with appropriate cutlery (though ds, 7, still hasn't quite got the hang of using his knife to push things onto his fork) and have to be sensible at the table. They clean up their own mess and wash their own dishes.

implantsandaDyson Wed 25-Apr-18 09:43:37

I don't really have many rules. I make dinners the kids like/ will eat, they tend to try things if they see me eating it. They eat at the table. Due to shift work etc we don't tend to eat together but I sit with them when they eat. They can have snacks if they want but they ask and don't huff if it's too near dinner and they're told no.
We don't really do desserts except for Sundays where we all have a big meal at my mum's with extended family.
No screens, phones, books, teddies, toys at the table when they're eating.
Not making a fuss over what and when they eat was always something I promised myself I'd try and stick to when I had kids - my mum used to make a big deal about food when I was a kid. So if one of mine says she doesn't fancy dinner, isn't in the mood for it, then they dont have to have it - they can have a sandwich, bread, cheese, toast etc. Mine wouldn't have a hot meal every day if they don't want to. They're great self regulators, they eat when they're hungry and not just because it's there.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: