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If somebody won't eat dinner in your house

(21 Posts)
Flumberrysauce Tue 04-Jan-05 16:49:28

do they get an alternative?

I like to think I wouldn't but must be hard to send a kid to bed hungry.

I only have one dd aged 11 months. She will eat most things. On the few occasions when she has balked at something I have not offered an alternative. Instead just went straight to dessert - same amount as normal - only fruit anyway (how mean) and let her fill up on bed time milk.

What do you do. Its just I saw a TV programme where a Dad made a different meal for all the kids - it was crazy.

And when I used to be a holiday rep the mums and dads were always whinging on about the kids won't eat this and won't eat that. i couldn't understand it (no kids of my own then of course) because as a child we just go what was on offer and if we didn't want it then we just skipped a meal.

woodpops Tue 04-Jan-05 16:53:33

Thgey get what's put in front of them or go hungry and if they don't eat their dinner they don't get any sweets or treats for the rest of the day. Call me harsh but my mil used to make whatever dh wanted for his dinner and he was a fussy git. Bear in mind when we started going out he'd never eaten chinease, Indian or even pizza and it was only 11 years ago!!!! Now all he ever wants is curry.

Mum2girls Tue 04-Jan-05 16:53:37

I take the same attitude as you (apart from 2 occassions when I knocked up a crap dinner and no-one would eat it!!).

The reason (apart from health-related ones) why we as a generation have so many fussy eaters is imo, that we pander to their likes and dislikes.

wild Tue 04-Jan-05 16:55:21

One ds aged 21/4. Will eat anything inc curry and olives. However he does draw the line at tinned macaroni cheese and I can't blame him for that. On the other hand his half-brother is a fussy eater with very specific and numerous dislikes and when he comes to stay at weekends I find myself accomodating him as he's been brought up that way --- difficult one. I know which appetite I'd rather have.

MarsLady Tue 04-Jan-05 16:59:14

I put it in front of them, they don't like it, they don't eat it. Have fulfilled my good mother bit by cooking it (lol).

If you worry about them going to bed hungry you can always allow them a bit of fruit, but NO treats and definitely NO cooking anything different.

Works in our house (even when they mutter that I am the worse mother in the world. Hey, they could be right!)

Flumberrysauce Tue 04-Jan-05 17:17:24

Oh well you all sound a bit like me then. Don't feel so bad now.

When my mum was little if they didn't eat something at one meal it kept being put in front of them for everymeal until they ate it. Now that is rotten I think.

mistletoe Tue 04-Jan-05 17:29:05

I wouldn't make anyone eat food they really don't like. If I give ds something new and he properly tries it, but doesn't like it, then I'd give him something else. If it's something he's happily eaten befor, and he rejected it, then I probably wouldn't.

Couldn't send him to bed hungry tho', would find a way of filling him up (otherwise he'd just wake up too early and ratty in the morning)

Clayhead Tue 04-Jan-05 17:39:35

Exactly as Marslady.

If they eat nothing then maybe a bit of fruit but would never get another meal for them.

lulupop Tue 04-Jan-05 17:53:16

wouldn't cook a second meal for my own 3 yr old, but if he has a friend round and the friend won't eat what's on offer, I might give them a bit of toast instead. But no pudding. Only fruit.

That said, I do try and cook "proper" meals myself, on the basis that since I don't like smiley faces and fishfingers, why should I expect my kids to eat them? Occasionally we'll be at someone else's for tea and if "freezer food" (eg chips, sausages, fish fingers etc) is served up, sometimes DS won't eat it. I feel sorry for him on these occasions as I never liked junk food myself as a child either, but I still wouldn't expect the host to cook him something different.

I suppose what I'm saying is, I wouldn't cook lots of different meals and pander to fussiness, but I'd aim to serve up something half decent in the first place.

JulieF Tue 04-Jan-05 20:56:57

I am a very fussy eater to the extent that I rarely accept dinner invites as I worry about what I may be asked to eat. I am determined that my own children won't end up like me.

I would never force a child to eat something they don't like. If a food is being offered for the first time and it is refused then I would offer something else. I usually make sure there are 2 or 3 things on the plate anyway so dd might for example leave one of her veg but eat the rest.

If she is being picky about something she normally eats then I would assume she isn't hungry and take the plate away with no fuss. I would not offer a pudding. The exception to this would be if I felt she was offside and coming down with something then I would maybe offer something very plain like toast, after all we all have days when we just don't fancy certain things.

SofiaAmes Tue 04-Jan-05 22:58:22

My children (2 and 4) eat what's put in front of them, or there's no dinner. However, I do try to make allowances for what they might be in the mood for that day. If possible I ask them what they might want for dinner (I do actually get fairly reasonable and varied responses) and I also try to check with them as to how much they want of each item before serving makes it easier to expect them to finish what's on their plate. For example this evening we had pork chops, broccolli, asparagus and rice. For some reason ds decided that he didn't want the asparagus tonight (normally it's one of his favorites) and only asked for one. Dd on the other hand normally loves lots of meat and tonight decided to only have a little meat and about 10 asparagus. Then again, (or maybe as a result of this) both my children will eat just about everything.

hattynewyear Tue 04-Jan-05 23:02:02

they can eat it in the garden if they like

Dannie Tue 04-Jan-05 23:06:40

On Boxing Day my SIL, who was staying with us, went out to get chips for her DD. Our food (normal cold turkey, cheese, salad & stuff) wasn't bad enough for her or something. Stunning.

kinderbob Tue 04-Jan-05 23:38:33

I read in a book

"it's your responsibility to provide food they more or less like 5 times a day. What they do with that opportunity is up to them."

I like that.

milge Tue 04-Jan-05 23:51:57

I like that too, kinderbob. I shall remember that and reuse at every opportunity. My twins don't get pudding( not even fruit) unless they have eaten at least 2/3rds of their main course. I'm a decent cook, and don't serve them rubbish, so i don't expect it to be rejected. I think if you are nervous of your kids eating stuff/expect them to not eat it then they pick up on it, and prod the food dubiously!. I actually don't regard fishfingers as bad food - my two get birds eye, and wolf them down at least once a week, but maybe i'm a bad mum!

SPARKLER1 Tue 04-Jan-05 23:56:26

My kids have to eat what they are given otherwise they go without. For the evening meal they have the chance to eat it if not I ask them to leave the table (have found there is no point in forcing them to eat it - has only led to both kids gagging and even being sick at times!!) I always keep their dinner covered up in the kitchen until I know they are fast alseep in bed. That way if they complain they are hungry before they sleep there is food there for them. Aren't I wicked?

mummytojames Wed 05-Jan-05 01:42:16

my house they got a few opions
1 eat what i cook
2 make a sandwhich (except ds hes only 16 months so i would make it)
3 starve
im not there slave and i got enough to do with out faffing about making diferent meals

fairyfly Wed 05-Jan-05 01:52:02

Theres always pot noodles and cans that don't need a tin opener with a spoon stuck in

LunarSea Wed 05-Jan-05 10:08:46

It's eat it or leave it in our house. Though we do try to give ds things we know he likes, and leave out the few things he's consistently turned down (will try again with those when he's older). But there's always fruit available for anyone in the house to help themselves to, so ds wouldn't ever need to go hungry.

We deliberately don't ever make a fuss about whether ds eats something or not. Which is in total contrast to my childhood, where if I didn't eat something I would either be forced to eat it (even if it made me physically sick to be forced to swallow it) or not be allowed to get down from the table for the rest of the day. And then the same food would be served up over and over again until it was eaten (this usually ended up in my father throwing it out once it went mouldy and telling my mother I'd eaten it!).

I've got a lot of issues with food as a result of this. I can't get away from the expectation of punishment if I leave anything on my plate, so I end up eating more than I really need to in order to finish it, and there are some things which have such strong memories associated with them that just the sight or smell of them still make me gag.

I'm determined that ds's relationship with food will not be like that, so I'll provide him with good food, but if he chooses not to eat it, then that's fine with me, as long as overall he's eating enough. He is actually pretty good and will eat almost anything so hopefully it's working.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 05-Jan-05 21:01:17

I sometimes find that DS1 will reject meals for a few days, then have a tummy bug, so it's always best to let his appetite lead a bit.

He can have toast, after he's tried the offered food. Maybe fruit. Nothing sweet. We don't generally do snacks between meals. He does fill up on milk a bit much at times, though.

morningpaper Wed 05-Jan-05 21:31:39

Hmm I am obviously a BIG SOFTIE because although my dd is offered whatever we are eating I know she won't eat it (unless it is one of the 3 things she is currently favourable towards eating) then I also make her something she will eat.

This is usually an egg or a hunk of bread.

I don't rustle up some separate cod in bechamel sauce or anything.

I tried just giving her what we were eating and nothing else (basically she wants to live on bread) but she didn't eat for 2 days and then I thought that this is a battle I don't want to start fighting with her.

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