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Do you allow your kids to choose what they eat and don't eat?

I have at least 2 white friends who let their kids eat whatever they want. This means they generally only eat chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, and spaghetti. This is not at all a complete nutritious diet and i think its wrong to assume your kid knows what he/she needs. Is this a cultural thing or just a not a wise mother thing?


Asked by MamaChamp at 7:49 PM on Feb. 22, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (11)
  • I used to be like this with my kids. I did it because it was easier for me NOT to cook. I didn't know any better but after reading the affects this kind of eating has on a child I stopped. I mean I felt bad after that and started feeding them what they needed instead of what they wanted.

    Answer by mommatime78 at 9:04 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Yikes. I'm thinking if you want some answers you might need to rephase the question.

    Firstly, it sounded a little racist, because ALL different races can feed their children a poor diet.
    And secondly, lots of people here cook good nutritious spghetti dishes and maceroni and cheese.

    I'm sure you did not mean this question to sound discriminatory, but it truly does.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:52 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • My kids eat what I put before them or they don't eat. They have the things you mentioned once in a while, but not all the time.

    They help chose the menus for suppers...they know they have to chose a meat, a side dish and a vegetable.....and they think dessert is great when it's green grapes, an apple or some applesauce!

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:52 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Well, hell. I'm white and I let my kids eat chicken nuggets, mac 'n' cheese, and spaghetti! They also eat a bunch of other stuff. It's NOT a cultural thing. It's also not necessarily a "not a wise mother thing" but most likely a picky eater thing.

    Answer by Pnukey at 7:53 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I'm white and i most certianly do not let my 3yo choose whatever he wants to eat. I let him make a choice. Meaning i give him things to choose from, but i dont just let him open the fridge and hand me whatever he wants made. lol. but that is pretty much how i was raised. Also, it does depend on how old the children are. i said my son is 3yo. but in 10 years we might have many more days where he is responsible for making the choice on his own. By that time you just have to hope that you've taught them how to eat well and keep tabs on the kind of food that you put in your house. If chips arnt a option ...then he cant very well choose them.
    anyways, to answer your question ...i think its a lazy mom thing, or a not wise mother thing. my mom was a single mother of 4 so she didnt have time to make us food to eat. But it sounds like to me that your friends have the time.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 7:54 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Well thanks to the moms who didnt call me a racist. I consider CM to be a place where I can ask these types of questions.
    Honestly I have more white friends than my own race so this truly is just what I see. When you're around something like this you dont know if its cultural or not because you dont have other sources. You guys are my source.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 8:03 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I think this is more a cultural thing - you could probably go to other countries and such a thing wouldn't be considered at all. Also consider that a lot of parents don't want to make eating an "issue" or "battle" because of the connection between early food associations that can lead to obesity and other poor eating habits as adults. Also, a diet needs to be considered as the cumulative foods eaten throughout the day, not just at one meal. Yes, for dinner, my son eats mac'n'cheese about 4 times a week - but he also eats healthy snacks, fruits, vegetables, almost no candy, whole grains, and a large variety of other nutritious foods. There's also financial reasons - let's face it, mac'n'cheese and spaghetti are cheap foods. So, no, I don't think it's race, but it is cultural - and America has a lot of different cultures blended together.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:00 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • First- you can't force a child to eat somethiing they do NOT want to eat. Kids don't know what they need, but they still won;t eat what they don;t want usually.

    Second- kids always seem to do better with choices

    Third- I often let my kids choose their foods as long as they meed some requirements. like 1 Protein food, 1 Fruit, 1 Veg, 1 Grain, (they have mild allergies, so I don't add dairy to the list). And I try to include a couple foods I know they like in most meals, even if it's just apple slices .


    Answer by Kiter at 9:35 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Our kids love everything I cook...They eat a huge variety of foods... We don't eat any fried foods, no enriched breads, etc.. Lots of fruit, veggies, they love seafood, spinach, onions etc.... I feel that if you don't restrict anything they will try anything.. I also ate anything and everything while I breastfed, Dr. said it would help them develope a taste for different foods... It must have they love all the different spices, herbs, etc.. We have a no junk rule, if its junk it won't help them stay healthy and won't grow up strong.. They are boys, they wanna be "big and strong" but I make sure they know junk will make them "fat and unhealthy"... Don't bash, they know not to put anyone down because of their size, they just know to make healthy choices..... Oh and I'm white if it matters.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • wow first off the whole "white" thing was that really needed at the begining of that question? 2nd my kids live by the eat what mom makes or don't eat at all and if i get hungry it will be reheated and fed to me for a bedtime snack.! the economy is to much in crisis to waste food! they get the chic nugs and mac and cheese type stuff 1 a week, and mine help decide whats for dinner! like tonight we want green beans or tonight we want mashed potatoes! and just because they eat a little junk food doesn't mean they will be "fat and unhealthy" if you let them eat constantly and sit on their buts on the computer or in front of the tv then yes they will be "fat and unhealthy" it isn't just the proper diet that keeps them thin and "strong" its also the proper excercise and activities that they do!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:32 PM on Feb. 22, 2009