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Becoming Independent re. feeding themselves

(12 Posts)
fessmess Mon 16-Feb-15 17:05:56

I feel so unreasonable because I've got the rage about my dd(14.) She has decided, at 5pm, to cook pasta and pesto "as a snack" when I have told her dinner is at 7pm. She didn't ask if ok, and to make matters worse we were going to have pasta tomorrow. Now there's not enough. GRRR. It makes me so cross, it upsets my plans. She also has a habit of ploughing through all the packed lunch snacks in the cupboard and is starting to gain weight.

I suppose my issue is I don't want to be too controlling about food but I feel it's disrespectful to just stick to your own agenda and not consult me.

What do you think? How do you mange this? I am finding this stage extremely difficult tbh.

norightanswer Mon 16-Feb-15 17:23:24

It's so frustrating isn't it? I had a giggle when you said you haven't got enough pasta for tomorrow, but I know I'd react in exactly the same way. My dd (also 14) usually asks before she cooks, however, during half terms and school holidays we tend to do our own thing a lot more. I'd just cook dinner as usual tonight and probably dish out slightly less for her. My kids are eating loads at the moment...think it's the cold weather. It is nice to know that she is independent and not relying on you to do everything!!

rainbowjoy Mon 16-Feb-15 17:31:08

At least she actually cooked something rather than just snack on rubbish, try to explain why you are annoyed and send her to the shop tomorrow to replace the pasta. I wouldn't get too worked up they don't think about others at this age she was hungry so cooked herself something in her eyes.

CoffeeBeanie Mon 16-Feb-15 17:39:51

We had to start rationing the packed lunch treats for all 3 children. They have a tin box each and it gets filled on Saturdays for the week to come.

Otherwise half of all the muesli bars/biscuits/etc would be gone by Sunday night.

There is no cooking allowed here which is not confirmed with me. There is an endless supply of joghurt/fruit and normally a 100g bar of choc each per week.

My teenage daughter has started eating in completely different time zones to the rest of us. OK by me, she still has to eat it at the dining table and sit at the table when we eat. She'll grow out of it.

SecretSquirrels Mon 16-Feb-15 18:08:10

Mine have been expected to get their own breakfasts from being quite young and lunches from about age 11 (now 16 and 19).
They know we eat about 7pm and I expect them to time their meals around that. We do still get the big pasta "lunch" at 3pm because they had breakfast when they got up at 1130 though.
I don't cook pasta as a family meal because I know they will have eaten it at some point most days wink. Plus I bulk buy pasta.
What annoys me is that there will be a fridge full of stuff that needs eating, such as cheese, ham, left overs and lots of fresh bread....but they still cook pasta.

ggirl Mon 16-Feb-15 18:08:36

does she need to have dinner if she's had pasta at 5pm , isn't that her dinner?

SecretSquirrels Mon 16-Feb-15 18:27:39

I insist on family meals. If they don't need it because they had lunch at 5pm it's the slippery slope to everyone eating separately.
Muesli bars would be safe in this house grin. I bought some once.
<goes to look in cupboard to see if out of date then I can throw them out>

azA99 Mon 16-Feb-15 19:57:30

My kids have always fed themselves, even when (and perhaps even more when) they were very small. Their eating preferences always clashed, and if I wanted a meal that we had to share for reasons of planning and finances I'd say so and discuss it first.

I don't know what I'd do if my kids weren't always making their own meals at peculiar times. It's all I've ever known! And it can play havoc with budgeting, but I did refuse to buy packed lunch foods when they both turned 15 because the packed lunch foods got raided. I think they have a complex relationship with food at this age and they have to experiment with how they want to eat, but the way I see it is that everyone is pretty weird about food! I've never met anyone who wasn't. I really like family meals and I do insist on them but they aren't really what my kids want to do anymore but I do, so. I think we have to try and make both possible. But shopping does my head in.

CoffeeBeanie Mon 16-Feb-15 20:04:55

squirrel, I made some last week, thinking they cost a fortune and I can make them cheaper. Bought oats, nuts, dates, sesame seeds and baked a tray. I cut them before they had cooled and when I came back into the kitchen at 10pm half of them were gone shock

The teens pretended to be asleep under their duvets (as if, at 10 pm) so I tickled one until he screamed and the other one quickly locked her door grin

SecretSquirrels Tue 17-Feb-15 16:00:43

azA99 We had periods of faddiness when they were younger but I never gave in and made different meals for different people. If you offer two children a choice in anything you can guarantee they will each choose differently. I found family meals that everyone liked and never knowingly served something I knew they hated but I didn't offer a menu to pick from. Thankfully as they got to 11/12 they grew out of most of their dislikes and became much more adventurous.
I don't think it's usual for teenagers to have "a complex relationship with food" that sounds worrying. I have come across a few fussy eaters who won't eat a range of fruit or veg, but mostly DS1 and DS2 and their friends just eat huge quantities of whatever's availablegrin

azA99 Tue 17-Feb-15 16:47:47

SecretSquirrels, I think it's okay to have a complex relationship with food. I think it shows a respect for food and where it comes from and its cost and taking control of your own meals is part of taking control of your own life. My kids were very adventurous when they were small and ate everything, and still eat family meals, but they've always had the option to make their own meals when funds & provisions permit. It doesn't make them faddy, in my experience: it makes them feel in control of their own bodies, and I thought fessmess might weigh up the value of both shared mealtimes and autonomy. I think there's a lot to be said for both!

fessmess Tue 17-Feb-15 17:57:54

Thanks guys, I am happy that she's prepared to sort herself out but I'm strict about us having a family meal every day. I'm not going to cook dinner, as usual, and then find my children have already eaten. To me it's rude, I'd never be able to refuse my mum's dinners at this age. When older (16-19) I'd let my mum know in plenty of time if I wasn't eating with her and dad.

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