Post # 1
I am intrested to know what your attitude is or will be for your own children. Do you think you will require them to eat what the adults are eating or will you make them something separate (macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets etc). I am very much a You-will-eat-what-we-all-eat mom, but I am looking for different perspectives. and trying to figure out why a parent would do this.
My question stems from this: yesterday we went to a cookout at my DH’s sister’s house. Normal cookout food- hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, fruit salad etc. She cooked her children (ages 4 and 7) macaroni and cheese because “they don’t like cookout food”. Now of course I would never say ANYTHING, but I am so appalled. Its not like we were all eating something wierd or spicy etc. Beyond the ridiculousness of catering to them like its a restaurant, I worry about their nutritional health if all they are eating is macaroni and cheese. This is a common occurance and happens at most family functions/parties. On Easter their mom brought them “Kid Cusine” microwavable dinners! I almost DIED.
I doubt many parents set out to have this be the scenario in their household- so how do you think this happens?
Post # 3
I was a very very picky eater as a kid, I still am but am much better. My nephew is also very picky. I don’t think you can force your child to eat what you’re eating if they don’t want it. I also don’t think they should get to eat whatever they want. It’s a balance of the two, my nephew is working his way into eating what the family eats. He picks his main dish but he has to eat the vegetable and whatever side they are eating. My mom let me eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I ended up eating terribly when I was in highschool.
Post # 4
Growing up I was always given an option if my family was eating something I didn’t like (lobster, blackened fish, scallops, etc.). It was usually something somewhat simple but not horrible like spaghetti, orzo, leftovers, etc. There was also always a salad and side dish/veggies to go along with the meal that I usually ate.
I am seriously against making a child eat something they don’t want to. However, I don’t think you automatically have to go to unhealthy options either.
Despite this fact, I am not a picky eater now. I am willing to try anything and like most of the foods I didn’t like as a child. And I really appreciate that my parents made an effort to keep me feed and happy.
Post # 5
Some parents are pushovers and just give their kids what they want in an attempt to not have to deal with them. I know quite a few parents like this. No joke, their children eat fish sticks and mac and cheese for almost every meal. For starters, talk about unhealthy but beyond just that, those kids are going to have a bitch of a time when they get older and are forced into an environment where you don’t get to pick and choose.
As for my future kids, we will be a “eat it or starve” household with some exceptions. Growing up, I HATED shrimp (and pretty much all other seafoods) but my parents loved it. When they’d have something like that, I’d have chicken. Obviously this wasn’t every meal and they didn’t eat outside of my comfort zone very often but when they did, my mom would make something that I liked. There were other meals that she made that I didn’t particularly care for (like stuffed peppers) but I didn’t have an extreme aversion to them so I was still forced to choke them down. I’ll probably follow suit with my own kids.
Post # 6
At this point (no kids, newly pregnant), my goal is to have them eat what we eat. I’ve heard this is a pretty lofty goal though. I’d imagine that if you only exposed them to things you ate and they weren’t influenced by day cares feeding them vanilla wafers and concentrated fruit punch, it might be slightly easier. I grew up a semi-adventurous eater, but I know I really despised my parents for awhile when they wouldn’t let me leave the table until I ate all my lima beans (lol).
My aunt is a physician and her 2 kids ate (and still predominantly only eat) easy mac, strawberries, and hot dogs. They’re now 11 and 13. I don’t get it.
Post # 7
UpstateCait Eat or starve pretty much sums up our household as well. I will budge on vegetables and let my daughter eat them raw instead of cooked because she prefers them that way, but that is about it. I never force her to eat something, but you don’t get something else instead… because then she would always choose something else.
Post # 9
I also want to say that the things I didn’t like were usually things that I had tried and said I didn’t like. If I tried something and didn’t like it I would always get an option if my mom or dad wanted to cook it again. It wasn’t just me saying that looks gross, I want something else.
Post # 10
I think that is ridiculous, too. Out of so many foods, they don’t like any? I wouldn’t make something seperate in that case or in many cases. However, I don’t believe in forcing children to eat foods they really just don’t like. So if my future child doesn’t like one vegetable, but likes others, then I won’t cook or won’t make him eat the one he doesn’t like. But if he doesn’t like any vegetables, well, then there is a problem, because he’s going to have to learn to like them or at least eat them anyway. And I agree that macaroni and cheese is not a decent substitue at any time for a balanced meal. I really hope they aren’t doing that a lot. 🙁
Post # 11
Shit no, my kids will eat what I eat. (Unless we’re having steak and it’s easy to throw a hot dog on the grill, etc.)
I’m not talking about like babies here, but as a child (5-10), YES they will eat what I eat. My mother always made me something diffrent “because I don’t like that!”. So I had never even TRIED chili until I was 18, still to this day have never put a bite of fish in my mouth, and I will not touch an egg, or like 90% of cheeses, I just tried Mac-n-Cheese this year.
Why? Because my mom made me black-eyed peas and a hot dog if thats what I wanted. Had she made me eat dinner with the family I would have tried so many more things and probably liked a whole lot more things. I stongly believe my mom influenced my “pickyness”, luckily DH doesn’t approve and i’m now trying at least 3 new things a week. Most of them are “normal” foods, that I never ate growing up or liked growing up because my mom would cook me my own dinner.
Post # 12
I really dislike this type of parent. I am sorry I am not a restaurant and will not be making extra, different food for my son. He will be (once he is on regular food, and not baby food) food that DH and I eat. It will be the 3 bite rule and this mommy will be satisfied!
Post # 13
Growing up we had to at least try a bite of whatever it was. For the most part, my sister and I ate whatever my mom cooked. There were a few exceptions of food I hated (and still hate), and my mom wouldn’t force me to eat it. My brother on the other hand is the youngest and I think my mom was burnt out and didn’t have the energy to fight with him. To this day he is still picky and I think if my mom had not catered to him it wouldn’t be so bad.
Post # 14
@UpstateCait: yep, all of that- you beat me to it haha.
Post # 15
My stepson can be really picky, and let me tell you, it makes mealtimes SO stressful for me. For a little while, we played the game and would make him something else if he didn’t like what we were having, but then when he started the “I don’t like that” with his option B meal, we drew a line in the sand real fast! Now we eat what we eat and if you don’t like it, too bad. Sometimes I think he puts up a stink just to put up a stink. I will admit though, since we just have him every other weekend, we do cook the meals that we know he won’t have an issue with and avoid the arguments. But it’s chicken and veggies, spaghetti, etc. He’s not a kid that only insists on chicken nuggets or whatnot, so we’re lucky there.
Our rule is that he has to try something, take at least one bite and if he doesn’t like it, fine, but you still have to eat everything else on the plate. I’ve found he’s also big on textures, so he doesn’t like mashed potatoes for instance, and he had a bite of some toasted ravioli I got yesterday and he didn’t like that because he thought it was potatoes rather than cheese inside 😉
When we have our own kids, they will definitely eat what we eat, and chances are we’ll have less issues because it’s not two houses with two different cooking styles, etc (I think my stepson’s mom is a bit more traditional in her cooking than we are).
Post # 16
My parents raised my siblings and I to eat what they served or don’t eat (but stay at the table until everyone else finishes). I will be the same way with my future children.
Of course as we got a little older and we developed certain tastes, my parents would make exceptions. Like I cannot stand boiled meat (corned beef, boiled ham dinner). I have never liked it. So as I got older my Mom would make me a little pasta or heat up some leftovers for me if she was serving boiled meat dinners. Or my little brother who hated rice, he would get to either not eat the rice or have something else if the whole meal contained rice. But those were the exceptions that we were allowed only after a few years of refusing to eat those foods. I guess my parents had to make sure it wasn’t a “picky phase” or something.