what are your food rules at home?(24 Posts)
My middle child is fussy, and I'm fed up of 'what can I have to eat?' all the time. Our food rules seem chaotic!
Do you serve separate meals for children to adults? Dessert every night? Specific snack times? I'm very curious to hear from parents who let their children help themselves to food and whether or not there are limits, sweets, times etc. I worry they will never eat their dinner.
I'm fed up with my 6 year old who doesn't like dinner even when I serve him what he's asked for. And constantly wanting snacks and sweets
Snack -4pm ( fruit only)
They never ask for food as assume not hungry, and know when next meal etc is. We all eat together as a family at meal times
One meal cooked for the family. I expect dd to try everything on her plate, and at three her likes and dislikes change daily so I dont make a point of not putting certain things on her plate.
If she has cleared her plate (through hunger - we dont co-erce) then I will offer seconds, yoghurt, fruit etc. If she has tried everything but isnt keen on it, then I will offer toast, yoghurt and fruit.
If she misbehaves or refuses to eat or try her meal, down she gets and thats that. Toast at suppertime is all she would have (she eats dinner quite early).
I dont allow any snacks for at least an hour and a half before her meal.
We dont offer dessert every night (even when we do its a yoghurt or an apple).
She does have biscuits or chocolate but these are at snacktime, not associated with dinner.
Oh we rarely have desert , and don't really keep sweets/ biscuits/ anything at home. They would have at a party or similar.
Today we had a breakdown from DD as she wanted chocolate coins for lunch. Again. She did actually eat soup and bread though!!
We all get the same and if you don't eat it (or at least half) you dont get something nice at the end
DC get dinner at school so have sandwiches/crisps or similar at tea time. Pudding at the moment is the chocolate from advent calendars but normall is a biscuit ot small cake. Fruit for an after school snack
During the weekends we tend to stick to three meals a day with fruit being offered as a snack, we eat the same as DC at the weekends so try and cook meals we all like
We have a lot of "What can I have to eat" here too. DS is pretty much allowed to snack whenever he wants on fruit or veg. I only usually say no if the next meal is within an hour or so. Dinner is the same for all of us, he can choose to eat it or not. If not he doesn't get anything else. If its eaten he is allowed something else after, of his choice. It seems to work fairly well for us.
Usually breakfast at 7.30/8, lunch at 11.30/12, snack 2.30/3 and dinner at about 5.30.
I eat with 2.6yo DD unless she's at nursery and DH joins us for dinner if he's home (a couple of times a week plus weekends). We rarely have pudding at home.
We don't really have any rules about what or how much she should eat but there's nothing else. (Apart from on the rare occasions when I can tell she's really hungry and really doesn't like what's on offer. Then I might take pity and make some toast!)
My rules are
No pudding if not finished main meal first.
Eat what you are given, I don't cook what people don't like.
If you don't eat it at the meal time, you eat it later.
I have been known to put it in the fridge for the next day.
I don't do fussy eaters here.
My youngest is hard work with food, what I have learned over the last year is this: it does not matter whether or not she snacks, or how strict I am, or whether there is the promise of a pudding or not, or if I use a carrot or a stick - she will either eat her dinner or she won't, she is inconsistent and makes up her own mind as to what she likes/dislikes daily.
So, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the odd snack. Sometimes a glass of milk and a biscuit after school - sometimes fruit - sometimes nothing before dinner.
I encourage her to eat so she won't feel hungry later but I do my best to be unemotional about it.
Breakfast - 6.45am for DD (12yo), 7.30am for DS
Both have cooked school lunches during the week, during the holidays we tend to have sandwiches/soup/beans on toast etc. Lunchtime at home is around 1pm so mid morning they'll probably have a fruit snack or a biscuit/piece of homebaking.
On school days DS is home for 3.45pm so he'll have a fruit/veg/sandwich snack.
Dinner we all eat together and is generally 7-7.30pm. We always have a cooked dinner, then fruit/yoghurt and occasionally a treat or ice cream for dessert.
They've never helped themselves to food without asking though this isn't something i've consciously taught them. We don't normally have sweets in the house, just tend to get them in for parties/sleepovers.
DS has always been harder work when it comes to eating (tiny appetitie) but had still ended up eating the same as us, just smaller portions.
Breakfast (everyone eats or doesn't when they want to)
Lunch (kids have pack lunch, baby dd has cooked lunch (no pudding)
Dinner - we eat together at weekends (and Thursdays) due to clubs but in the week the kids all eat together early. Eldest DCs eat the same thing, I will make sure that I cook something that they will eat, even if they don't particularly like it.
Kids have a pudding most nights but it is just yogurt and tinned fruit mostly, once a week maybe ice cream or cake. I don"t buy crisps or chocolate.
We rarely snack and if we do it is fruit or dried fruit and nuts. (DH and I have a cookie at night with our cup of tea before bed)
I have just realised the above sentance makes us sound like we are pensioners. We are 40 FGS!!
My rules are
-If your not hungry for proper food your not hungry for snacks
-Ask before you take anything (even good stuff)
-You don't have to finish but you need to eat enough to fill you
-Puddings are for kids who sit nice eat nice and try their best.
I don't do finish everything since I don't always fancy eating everything I don't expect kids to but they know not to leave their food then come begging for more for at least an hour. I have an over eater and a non eater so it's a balance for me.
I have three children and the middle one is not only fussy but a real drama-king! So every day (thank god for school dinners!) there is a tantrum, tears, sulking and emotional blackmailing (i will not invite you to my bday party mummy... why are you so mean to me, i wanted carrots today...waaahhhh). But I ignore all that (im used to it now) and i feed him myself (he is 4.5). Somehow as soon as i spoon feed him he will happily eat.
I am cooking once a dish that will please more or less evrybody. If they dont like it, tough, still have to eat it and maybe tomorrow i'll make something they prefer. If the plate is not finished then no dessert (which is either cheese/yogurt and/or fruit - never pudding).
We always eat as a family, at the kitchen table. Apart from anything else, this keeps the rest of the house a bit cleaner!
Child drinks water (occasionally milk or a taste of roibos tea) but no other drinks. She eats same foods as us. We don’t usually eat between meals but daughter sometimes asks for an apple,other fruit or a bit of cheese as a snack which is fine if it's not too close to a mealtime. Weekdays it is family breakfast and evening meal only though, as child is at day-care nursery for mostly awful processed food at lunchtimes (high fat content, high white refined carbohydrate content, low on lean, good quality protein and very low in vegetables/fruit). They eat far too much processed meat which we don't have at home (for health reasons) but there is no option to take own lunch so we have to put up with it. Child does not have the nursery "snack" in the afternoons anymore, as it is always stodge, sometimes poor quality sandwiches but often just biscuits, which we don't have at home, and she simply doesn’t need a big meal mid-afternoon if she has eaten lunch. It was preventing her from eating her evening meal with us, and as we value balanced meals, as well as family mealtimes, having not seen her all day, we requested that she doesn't have the stodgy snack so she now has fruit instead (I didn’t want her to be the only one not eating) and this doesn’t seem to fill her up too much to eat her tea. We don’t have juice or sweets. Sweet biscuits/deserts or chocolates (Xmas/birthdays/Easter etc) are only ever eaten after a meal and only at weekends or Xmas/Easter holidays. On weekdays it's fruit or plain yogurt after a meal if still hungry. Basically we all eat well at mealtimes and she can have extra helpings if she asks, but we don’t allow her things that we don’t have ourselves (fizzy drinks, sweets, processed meat etc).
I believe in the theory that 'nothing is banned'. Therefore teaching better food choices / associations.
I don't buy into the whole 'we don't eat that' or 'finish everything on your plate' thing. It teaches kids to ignore their feelings of fullness. To that end I won't give anything extra an hour after a meal if they haven't eaten due to fullness, they can simply finish dinner.
I do know what its like to grow bored of meal . Think carbonara. Dull after about the 5th mouthful! So I am happy with dd saying I've had enough of this and have a yoghurt or fruit for dessert. But if she is hungry later she can eat the rest!
I will never hold my child back in social situations by encouraging a 'I'm not allowed that' mentality. (Which I grew up with & is crazy!)
Everything in moderation is key!
WiggleGinger I do agree with what you say. Do you cook meals that your child would like? Has asked for? Or what everyone else is having? What do you do when she doesn't like what's served?
There are only a few meals she doesn't like ( curry or burgers & chips) both of which we only eat occasionally so if I know I'm cooking those she gets her 'favourite' Which is pasta peas & sweetcorn or tuna & sweetcorn wrap.
Everything else she will eat with us.
Also, I often plan to have those meals on night when I know we won't be able to eat together as a family (DH working late) therefore making it easy to cook just for her & I'll sit with her whilst she eats.
Generally she likes what is being served. I plan meals around all of us. Hope that helps?
They help themselves to breakfast, usually toast, cereal etc. Lunch is either eaten at school or sandwiches etc if at home. Dinner is usually something we will all eat though the youngest doesn't like anything spicy so he will then have an alternative to whatever we're having. In between meals they sometimes ask for snacks - either fruit or something from the 'goody box' which has small cakes etc in. They aren't allowed to help themselves without asking and aren't allowed to snack if they haven't eaten well at the previous meal.
DD is only 18mo so if she doesn't eat tea I will give her Weetabix to make sure she sleeps all night. Tbh, I don't think I will change that for quite a few years.
We have puddings occasionally, mainly at grandparents - I don't see a problem with homemade jam sponge and custard, much rather she ate that than chocolate!
I provide the food, they decide to eat it or not. End of! Take the emotion out of it. At six they understand they can eat or go hungry. If my 6yo tries something and genuinely doesn't like it then I'll let him have some toast or something.
I do generally try to serve up stuff that they like. It would be mean to keep serving stuff you know they hate, IMO. I've found with age some of the fussiness has gone so if I make something new I think about whether he's likely to like it based on what other flavours he does/doesn't like, if he really wouldn't, I just make it for me and DH.
Everyone gets the same meal. Eat what you like, leave what you don't and don't make a fuss.
Squash with Sunday lunch, water the rest of the time.
You can have milk, yoghurt, bread or fruit if you're hungry.
The kitchen is closed from about 6:30 - you don't suddenly decide you're hungry to try and delay bedtime.
I'm so mean!
We always eat as a family. DD gets the same food as us. She doesn't have to eat it, but has to sit up for meals, and we don't offer alternatives. We have dessert maybe once or twice a month.
There are no 'forbidden' foods in our house, but we also don't keep crisps, ice cream, sweet biscuits, cake, sugary drinks, etc. DD is allowed them when out, but we try not to phrase it as being an exciting treat or make a big deal out of it- we just eat different types foods in different places.
She's allowed snacks whenever she wants, as long as its not too close to meal times.
Same meal for everyone
Not necessary to finish one's plate, but must try everything
No food or drink outside the kitchen
No limit on snacking, but it is not encouraged either
Everything is allowed in moderation
Puddings ad hoc - usually on weekends, occasionally on weekdays
meals at table and as a family
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