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Do you withold dessert if they don't eat all their main meal?

(8 Posts)
nappyaddict Thu 13-Oct-11 17:40:07

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't like the idea of good/bad food, witholding dessert as a punishment or using food as a reward. If the reason for not finishing his dinner was because he didn't like it that wouldn't bother me. However, if DS claims to be too full to finish his dinner, surely he must also be too full for dessert?

lostlady Thu 13-Oct-11 17:44:29

If they have a good stab at it, don't moan and sit nicely (ish), then they get pudding. I agree with you about the good food/bad food thing. And I don't make them clear plates.

But if they push it round, comment, moan, indicate strong disapproval of meal, and say too full, etc,etc, then no pudding.

nappyaddict Thu 13-Oct-11 19:05:58

What about people who say things like "you don't have to finish it but one more bite and you can have a pudding" or "eat 3 of those peas and you can watch Charlie & Lola on TV" or "just eat a little bit more then you can get down and play"

I hear a lot of this sort of stuff from friends who reckon it's just a bit of gentle encouragement.

bigTillyMint Thu 13-Oct-11 19:11:13

I used to say that if they weren't hungry enough to eat their dinner (and that meant the veg toowink), then they obviously weren't hungry enough for afters. But I always made sure they had fairly small portions (and they could have a bit more if they wanted), so it wasn't too onerous a task.

They are now very amenable to eating just about anything put on their plates both at home and when out.

I'm not keen on the "just eat a little bit more then you can get down and play" type persuading - if they are full then that's fine - they can finish. But there would also be no giving them something else just an hour or two later!

MurderBloodstabsandgore Thu 13-Oct-11 19:16:03

exactly what lostlady said.

There is a strong contingent on here who think that you are demonising the veg, but it works in this house.

Everyone knows that you have two separate stomachs, one for savoury, one for sweet. You can be full as an egg and still fit in a restaurant dessert, so I'm sure my DS will squeeze in a yoghurt grin

I don't stack the plate, I don't insist they finish, and no one has to eat anything they genuinely dislike. But you have to have a bit of a go of everything, and there is nothing else after dinner and pudding.

nappyaddict Thu 13-Oct-11 19:24:13

Murder If I eat dessert after I am full, yes I can squeeze it in without being sick but I am ignoring my body telling my I am full. I will do this on occasion if we go to a really nice restaurant as a special treat, but not regularly. If I am full, then I am full. If after my dinner goes down I am hungry a couple of hours later, then I may have a pudding.

itsatiggerday Thu 13-Oct-11 19:24:51

I do, on the basis of appetite. I don't give huge first plates so it should be an achievable meal, but if they're not hungry enough to finish it, they don't get anything else. I actually find it easier on this basis not to talk in terms of 'good/bad' food as I'm generally talking about 'hungry or full up'. Goes for snack too, if they have a lower appetite day - and we seem to have phases of a few days in a row - and don't eat their lunch then there's no snack, just wait for dinner. Again, it's in terms of "you weren't very hungry at lunchtime so you didn't eat as much as normal, so let's make sure you're nice and hungry at supper so you eat enough to get you till breakfast".

That said, I have DCs who will generally eat, aren't particularly fussy (the one thing my younger one really dislikes is tuna so I tend not to serve it, prob partly because DH hates it too!) and are more likely to stop part way through a meal through boredom / distraction than lack of appetite so I have had to be quite firm to make sure they don't end up grazing all day which I personally think is an unhealthy food pattern and difficult to sustain once they're at school. Not sure what I'd have done if I'd had a genuine non-eater that I started to be worried about in terms of insufficient calorie intake.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Thu 13-Oct-11 20:07:50

I was being facetious smile

I don't have experience of a fussy eater. Mine just doesn't like peas smile

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