Friday, August 26, 2011

Picky eaters

As I begin to type this entry, my dauughters are on their second helping of pasta with meat sauce.  15 minutes ago, they were almost in tears because they DID NOT want pasta for lunch.  Vivienne told me she wanted ANYTHING but pasta.  She didn't like pasta.  She wanted a sandwich.  What about .... the list went on & on.

I have read that you should always offer a choice if possible.  Sometimes, there is no choice.   It is what it is.  I could have made a sandwich, but we had pasta from last night that needed to be eaten.  They liked it then.   I was almost tempted to give in to the request for an alternative until the request became a demand.  Then I decided no way.  I do let them pick dinner sometimes, and because of this home made mac-n-cheese is on the menu at least once a week.

My philosophy for my kids is this:  Though I believe that kids really don't like some things,  there are very few foods that my kids always refuse.  "I don't like that" most likely means "I don't want it." Kids, if hungry, will eat.  So, if a meal is placed in front of them & I know they have eaten it before ... that's the meal.  Don't want to eat?  Too bad.  I am not going to "make" them eat a certain number of bites.  We have dessert a few nights a week & it is usually quite small.  An ice cream cone with 1T of ice cream is perfectly fine.   I do not like to "battle" over food.  If you don't eat any dinner you don't get dessert.  My kids don't eat a lot of junk food, we just don't have it in our house.  They don't eat fast food often ... I would lie if I said never.  The drive through has saved my bacon more than once ... maybe 4x a year?  We just don't go.   So, I figure if I keep putting healthy food in front of my kids, they'll eat healthy food ... eventually.

What stratagies have you adopted?  Do you "give in" to the meal requests?   What are your rules?  Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. There are two non-negotiables at my house. One is mealtime and one is bedtime. We've already discussed napping so here's how my mealtimes go. I sort of go by the philosophy that I am in charge of what is served and when it is served. They are in charge of whether or not they choose to eat. I can count on my hand the number of times we've battled because they both (and all my daycare kids) have learned that resistance is futile. Even with the infants. With my kids, when the meal is an issue and they choose to not eat...Guess what? There is no more food choices later (late night snacks are pretty regular at my house). So E has gone to bed hungry maybe 3 times. D maybe once or twice. I honor their tastebuds and try to serve kid- friendly foods often but we also try new foods every month. We are BIG veggie and fruit eaters. E hates McDonalds and almost all sweets for that matter. She'd much rather have water and milk vs. juice. D is a little more "picky", in that once he got off the boob, milk was NOT an option. So we give him special OJ every morning. But we are lucky in that he eats EVERYTHING- even salad, sandwiches, etc. that E isn't too fond of. With the daycare kids, we follow a food program, which just means that we follow guidelines of food groups to serve at each meal. My kids have grown up that way- used to a whole grain+fruit+milk at breakfast, whole grain+fruit or protein at snack times, and all food groups at lunch and dinner. When on vacation, when veggies aren't really part of restaurant choices, they get a little spun out after a few days and we have to make up for it when we return. I am pretty proud of the meal standards I have set and guess what? It is pretty much a non-issue now because they've grown up with this philosophy.
    Michelle Dibb