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Eating dinner(6 Posts)
My dc approaching teenage years have been fine up to now eating a family meal in the evening. Varied selection of meals.
Recently they started to hate anything I cook and want pizza every night. To which I said no.
They have pizza once a week and curry or chilli once a week. Which are their current favourites but all hell breaks loose if I cook meatballs and pasta or spaghetti bolognese or shepherds pie or chicken pie or any type of casserole.
Is this normal?
Mine can turn their nose up a bit sometimes, one more than the other.
I do a good plan each week and get them to choose a meal each. If they pick one of the ones you already usually have, like pizza, I just say "we are already having that on Friday, why don't you choose something else you'd like to eat?"
Have you though of getting them to cook with you one night each too? Maybe something they've chosen?
To be honest, no I don't think it is normal.
I don't know if this can help you, when I was a preteen I started to get periods where I would eat only very "enjoyable" food, like pizza and junk food. As an adult, in hindsight, I can say my mom manged it well.
Eating is not a simple issue, it concerns many personal sides of ourselves, so I try to explain my point of view.
IMO "forcing" children to eat is mainly a wrong thing, but...
I would sorting food in three categories:
food you really like (not always healthy);
food you don't really like, you don't love it but you don't hate it too and you usually have eaten previously (usually healthy food, like some vegetables);
food you hate, disgust you or make you sick (you tried them with always the same result);
Pushing or even forcing someone to eat the last category is really wrong, even really dangerous in many cases, my mom never did it with me and I would never do it to my children. But if a kid or preteen, or even a teen as in my case, is choosing to have a very unhealthy diet, probably because all that he/she wants is only enjoyable stuff (and probably not only about food, but as a general feeling that is shown in food too), maybe just only for a tantrum, power struggle, or just to complain, well, a parent taking the reins of the situation pushing the kid to eat something of the first two categories (to be clear... NOT the third one) is totally right, in my opinion. The preteen/teen is really acting as a young kid, not showing a bit of maturity to care for him/herself, so the parents should take action, it could means set some ground eating rules, temporarily stepping back to parents choosing what and how much kids have to eat, even the "clean your plate" rule and consequent punishments could be appropriate in some case.
Only the parent knows which actually are these cases, only you know the reasons of their behavior, follow your maternal instinct. That was my case and the way my mom managed it, as result I had a really good diet as a preteen, teen and I still eat a lot of vegetables and food I don't really like just for my healthy living, food that otherwise probably today I would never eat.
In short, if you think it's just a power struggle, a step back to childish behavior, or similar things, try to correct that as soon as you can until they show consistently a little more sense of responsibility.
Thank you all @Mary8076 your post was very helpful. 🤗
I can see that hormones make a difference especially at certain times of the month.
Today was the curry which was eaten with no moaning which I cant eat as intolerant to more than one ingredient so had to do different for me.
Tomorrow I will do a variation on ratatouille. Which is moaned at a bit but eaten eventually. However it will feed me a further two nights as well when the kids have pizza and out with their dad.
I am running out of ideas I have tried a few new things to see if that makes a difference but no it doesn't.
My DD is almost 10. Her willingness to eat a varied diet has varied over the years but has now absolutely tanked. She doesn't eat meat, she'll only barely tolerate the most processed fish. I'm veggie, no issue with cooking veggie but she won't eat that either! Eggs and cheese and white carbs with some yellow veg is really all she's happy with.
I'm trying to gradually eke out the boundaries without making an issue of it. Big praise for trying new things, no fuss about not liking it. I've given up trying to cook one meal for all 3 of us every day because I refuse to eat her way and DH certainly won't! I do it a couple of times a week (usually with subtle variations between plates) but otherwise I just cook 2 meals and have done.
I worry about her developing an eating disorder, she's slim but obsessed with how she looks and worried about being fat. I'm less worried about nutritional content right now because although it's not varied, I think she's pretty much getting what she needs. It's the pattern for the future, and the habits she's creating, that worry me more. So I'm trying to prevent it becoming an issue, by not letting it be one. I won't let her control us with it. I just have to keep hoping that it's a phase... if I keep her alive through it, keep showing her all the exciting food out there and don't make it a big thing, when she's ready she'll move out if the phase. Maybe.