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Old 08-14-2010, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,753,719 times
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One of my nieces was allowed to be a ridiculously picky eater growing up. The two examples that come to mind...

My family goes over to my SIL's place for a lasagna dinner (lasagna, french bread, salad)... we're all sat down at the table, and I notice that my niece doesn't even have a plate in front of her. As soon as everyone starts dishing up, my SIL tells her daughter "go ahead and go make your dinner"... my niece gets up, goes into the kitchen, microwaves a hotdog and gets a container of yogurt and brings it back to the table. I've gotta say that my kids aren't big lasagna fans, but there is bread and salad you can have also... you are NOT going to get something totally different made for you (or by you) when a full meal has been cooked.

Fast forward several years (my niece was about 12 or so when this took place) and this same niece is going to house-sit for another relative for the weekend (she's in her late teens now). The relative who is leaving town (another SIL) calls to to tell me that the teenagers mother has given her a list of "approved" foods to stock in the house for the weekend that the niece will eat (certain types of pizza, specific brand of corndogs, Eggo waffles of a particular flavor, etc - I'm sure you get the picture).

Am I being too judgemental here when I get disgusted by this? I was raised in the "clean your plate" era where I ended up sitting at the table infront of a plate of cold peas while everyone else had already left the table. I am not that strict with my kids, but I cook a single meal at meal-time, and you can eat that or go hungry. I never cater to a certain person, but I try to make meals that everyone will enjoy. It's too late for me to change my thinking now, but I do wonder if there are alot of people out there with my SIL's theory about feeding kids?
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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I live by the law of: you get what you get and thats it.

If the kid does not have allergies is absolutely unhealthy and ridiculous to cater to them like that. In watching others' picky eaters....It really is a power game. I have made kids eat things they would not try just being persistent. I would not force someone so young to eat something they did not want if they lacked the ability to communicate it made them feel ill. I think kids over 6 can tell you if it makes them ill.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:35 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,636,559 times
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My mom did a hybrid version, and it worked out well. If she discovered that one of us just couldn't stand to eat a certain food, and she really wanted the rest of us to enjoy it for a meal, she would offer that food as a side dish and provide something different as a main dish. That way, we'd all have the same main dish, and everyone who wanted it, would still be able to have the other thing. No one ever went hungry, and no one had a meal prepared exclusively for them.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
1,344 posts, read 2,578,221 times
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I, too, am disgusted by this practice. Kids should eat the family meal, and that's that. All this catering to what they want is just exacerbating (sp?) this whole entitlement problem we have in our country.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:46 AM
 
Location: here
24,469 posts, read 28,744,558 times
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I also have a SIL and a niece with eating issues! My niece, who is 12 now, doesn't eat much. There can be a group of 10 of us family members together having a meal, and she won't eat. An hour or 2 later she's "starving" and we all have to stop and get her something to eat. Drives me nuts! Her mom says she's "just happy to see her eat anything." During our visit this summer she had ice cream for lunch and a cinnamon roll for dessert!

I'm with the OP. You eat the meal that is served, when it is served, or you don't eat.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:59 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,938,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
Am I being too judgemental here when I get disgusted by this? I was raised in the "clean your plate" era where I ended up sitting at the table infront of a plate of cold peas while everyone else had already left the table. I am not that strict with my kids, but I cook a single meal at meal-time, and you can eat that or go hungry. I never cater to a certain person, but I try to make meals that everyone will enjoy. It's too late for me to change my thinking now, but I do wonder if there are alot of people out there with my SIL's theory about feeding kids?
Funny, I don't recall a third person at our table when my sister and I sat in front of our cold peas after everyone else was outside or doing other things.

I DO recall pushing each pea over the edge of the plate and under the rim so as not to be noticed by Mother but not to be eaten either, or covering them one by one with what little scraps were left on the plate, or dropping a few on the floor when she wasn't looking. HOW I HATED PEAS.

Seriously, as long as it isn't YOUR child. If the mother chooses to raise her child who is all that more special than others therefore deserves her own special food, she really should keep it in her own home.

The mother was way out of line to give the sister a list of what she should stock in her house. If the mother wants to cater, then let the mother do the shopping.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:04 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,938,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
I also have a SIL and a niece with eating issues! My niece, who is 12 now, doesn't eat much. There can be a group of 10 of us family members together having a meal, and she won't eat. An hour or 2 later she's "starving" and we all have to stop and get her something to eat. Drives me nuts! Her mom says she's "just happy to see her eat anything." During our visit this summer she had ice cream for lunch and a cinnamon roll for dessert!

I'm with the OP. You eat the meal that is served, when it is served, or you don't eat.
I had a neighbor years ago who had a 4 year old son who would only eat peanutbutter sandwiches. She tried everything she could think of to get him to eat something else, but he knew that if he held out long enough, she would make his sandwich.

Kids are master manipulators.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,224,866 times
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Just look at what they are eating! JUNK! My kids only got junk AFTER they ate what was on the table! They are teaching kids like that BAD eating habits.. You have to wonder what those parents are thinking!

I have a daughter that has always been a real picky eater... from baby food to adult she was always very picky but I never catered to her and never gave in. I refused to have her eat only what she WANTED or to fix her something else. I promise you, she didn't starve. She is still picky but she has good eating habits and does not eat only pizza's or hot dogs..

Children learn their eating habit from their parents and they carry that habit throughout life.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:11 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 9,143,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabinerose View Post
I am not that strict with my kids, but I cook a single meal at meal-time, and you can eat that or go hungry. I never cater to a certain person, but I try to make meals that everyone will enjoy.
This is what I did also. There was always at least one food on the table that everyone enjoyed.

A few of my grandchildren eat a limited range of foods, but that usually improves with maturity. I provide healthy balanced meals, never junk food. And dessert is offered only upon a finished meal.

There is never a battle over food in my home. There are lots of good foods to choose from, so no one goes hungry. Even the picky eaters seem to do well and thrive. I never had to make a separate meal, ever, and I wouldn't.

Kids will eat when they are hungry. I've never had to worry. Battles over food are control issues which can turn into eating disorders IMO. The dining room table is no place for arguments. It should be an enjoyable experience with your family and friends.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Northern California
970 posts, read 1,745,281 times
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Most of the time my parents made me eat what everyone else was eating. I was not forced to clear my plate (my mom was forced to do this as a child and frequently threw up afterwards from eating too much!) but if I wanted dessert I was certainly expected to eat what was in front of me.

As I got older my parents gave me a little more freedom. My sister and I were never very picky, but we each had a couple foods that we tried several times and just absolutely hated. I refused to eat meatloaf; my sister refused to eat chili. Since we both had tried them several times and weren't avoiding the foods just to be picky we were allowed to make something else for ourselves when those foods were served.

If I went to another person's house I was told to eat whatever was served no matter how much I disliked it since I was a guest. The only exception was for foods that would make me sick (couldn't consume dairy).

I think the mother is letting her daughter be too picky, but its not anyone's problem but hers. I don't believe in allowing kids to eat only junk food but I also don't have the right to tell anyone else that they are letting their kids manipulate them.
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