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Do you coax your DC to eat or insist they eat a certain amount?

(9 Posts)
solidgoldbrass Mon 18-Aug-08 14:31:46

Because there's all this stuff about never forcing DC to eat because it will make them obese or anorexic or whatever, and yet there are times when you know that the food is being refused because the DC want to go and watch telly or play or they just feel like acting up - or they want something other than the meal that's on offer.
DSis generally a good eater but now and again he starts playing up: I turn the telly off and tell him he's got to eat 3 bites, then coax a little more - usually he will then clear most of his plate. I don't allow him to refuse one meal in favour of another ie if he doesn;t like his dinner he goes without till the next meal. What does everyone else do?

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Aug-08 14:39:10

I used to coax a lot but recently if I think they have generally eaten enough and everyone else has finished, then I just say they can get down from the table - no desert or snacks then allowed. If they have taken against a meal without trying it, it reappears at the next meal time.

I do not allow anyone down from the table until everyone has finished unless someone is playing up in which case no one has to wait for them. There is no option of going to do something more fun and there would never be any television on whilst eating as they are too easily distracted.

norksinmywaistband Mon 18-Aug-08 14:41:34

I like to look more at what they have eaten over a period of a couple of days tbh, and only coax if their general intake has been very low.

IME my 2 will eat a lot one day and like a mouse the next, often due to mood etc but it just means they eat more the next day

muggglewump Mon 18-Aug-08 14:49:32

I insist DD finishes her meal.
I say insist but she can leave it all with no repercussions. I will never force her to eat anything.
Thing is she has a big appetite and loves her pudding so she knows if she hasn't finished her meal, there'll be nothing else untill the next one.
I serve food she likes, I know the right portion size for her with enough room left for pudding so no overeating just to get the sweet stuff.
If it's a new meal/food, she has to have one forkful and then can have something else if she hates it. I'll ask what she hates about it so I don't repeat it accidently another time.
My reckoning has always been "If you're not hungry enough for your first course, you can't manage the second"
We prepare the meal together most nights too, she loves to help and is getting better at making simple things herself.
It's worked for us and I've never had any food issues with her.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 18-Aug-08 14:52:46

i do with dd1 because she is underweight. i had been advised by a doctor just out her meal in front of her leave it there for a set amount of time and take it away, even if she hadnt eaten it. he reckoned she would get hungry and eat. she didnt eat for three days. not one single bite.

after that we were refered to a peadeatric (sp?) nutritionist who told me to feed her what she will eat and encourage her to eat with reward charts and also to leave snacks where she can reach them and let her help herself.

dd2 requires no coaxing she loves her food.

muggglewump Mon 18-Aug-08 14:53:13

Oh and we eat in front of the TV.
I'm a single SAHM so the disscussing the day over the dinner table with the whole family has never been relevant to us.
I don't find the TV distracts her either, besides, I'd miss Home and Away if I had to turn it off!

Shoegazer Mon 18-Aug-08 16:45:35

No coaxing here, I provide the food she eats it or doesn't and will still be given her fruit or yogurt afterwards. However, 9/10 she will eat a good amount so I would probably have a different approach if she didn't. She is given what everyone else is given and if she doesn't want it she is not given something else.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 18-Aug-08 16:55:50

Message withdrawn

MrsTittleMouse Mon 18-Aug-08 17:01:22

DD is only 22 months, so this might not be relevant. She has to have a try of what's on her plate, and if it's something that we know she likes then we up that to a couple of spoonfuls. If she is umming and ahhing and being a bit reluctant, then we take off a small amount onto another plate and leave it in front of her and then ignore her and talk amongst ourselves (so that there is no pressure). That often works to get her to try the food, and usually she's then in the mood to eat it all.
She gets a standard amount of "pudding" (fruit or yoghurt) no matter how much she's eaten - so less dinner doesn't mean more fun stuff. Her appetite does tend to vary a lot though, so we don't worry too much about her going hungry (plus, she's not wasting away - perhaps if she was skinny it would be harder to be so casual about it).

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