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!