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Forcing a child to eat dinner?

When I was my daughters age my family would often fix fish since it was cheap and I grew up in a poor home. I hate fish. But because there was nothing else to eat theyd make me sit at the dinner table for hours till I suffered through at least half of the meal. I promised myself I'd never do that to my child. And I have not. Especially when I know she does not like something.
However, my daughter has an aversion to home cooked meals. She'd rather have the processed junk or go out to a restaurant. I admit, I've let it slid a lot.
Tonight I fixed a turkey roast, with corn on the cob and stuffing. She announced that she would not be having the turkey. Instead she wanted waffles. So I put my foot down. I'm making her eat my diner. And I don't care if she goes hungry. I refuse to cook two meals! Wrong or right?


Asked by SalemWitchChild at 7:44 PM on Mar. 25, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (18)
  • You're right. We have a "one bite per year" rule here for the "I don't like that" foods. lol Figuring a full serving to be 1/4 of an adult serving at the most (mine are 5, 3 and 2 years)

    If it's a brand new food, one taste. And because we also are dealing with SPD, the first time they have to just touch it to their tongues...

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 8:18 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • I think you were right to put your foot down. If you don't take care of this problem now it will only get worse.

    Answer by LenasMom27 at 7:48 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • i think you were right, having 4 kids myself...nobody eats what i make except my youngest who is 2years and as they get older they wont try nothing or taste it for goodness sakes.

    my 2 year old eats somethings that i make at least but thats because i have fed him my cooking since he was at a stage he can eat adult food, but my other 3 wont try or taste nothing so i mainly make food for me and hubby and the other 3 get thier own meals.

    good luck!

    Answer by americansugar80 at 7:55 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • My kids always eat what I fix for them or they do without. I'll warm up their dinner once... maybe twice on a rare occasion... and they'll sit there until it's gone or until it's time for bed, whichever comes first.

    They've got to realize that food is about being healthy & having a full stomach --- not about what tastes good. They can't always have what their tastebuds want.

    Answer by Laura1229 at 8:01 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • lol. Ok so she at the corn on the cob and went back for more. I asked if she ate the other stuff and said again "I don't like it" . I told her put the corn back and eat whats on her plate before seconds. She went and tasted it and now she likes it. grrrrrrrrr I wish kids would make up their minds.

    See I just have a soft spot for the I don't likes because as a kid I said it all the time. But it was true eating fish was nausiating to me.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 8:21 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • I always make my kids a plate with the same things on it as mine and my husbands, they have to at least try it, usually they realize it's good, but my rule is, they eat what I make for them, or they get up and make themselves a pb&j. I used to cater to them but I got sick of trying to eat my own dinner while getting up 15 times to makes everyone happy

    Answer by Rachel24517 at 8:29 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • its about compromise. i serve my kids what i made for the family. they have 2 at least sit at the table with us long enough for us 2 eat comfortably, and long enough 2 smell the food, be hungry and maybe try everything on their plates, at least one bite. then i will excuse them from the table and offer a snack later(which is what i do even if they ate all of their food on their plates). most of the time they will try 2 eat what i made, just because i am eating it 2, but sometimes they don't. oh well, they are still growing, so i must be doing something right. lol

    Answer by pattisayshello at 8:59 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • we always make our kids eat whatever we make. there are a few exceptions, but those are planned and then we already have planned that they will have hot dogs instead. but we try to have things they dont like when they go to their BM. We try to make them eat whatever it is. We also try to make them eat everything we put on their plate unless we know that we put too much of something on there. If they don't finish their dinner, they don't get a snack/dessert or anything else.

    we have run into problems with them not wanting to eat something because that just isn't what the want, not because they don't like it. and in the past they use to try and say their belly hurt because they didnt want to eat whatever it was we were having. it has only happened once or twice at our house, but i know more at their BMs, but they would even make themselves sick. so we had to be firm about things. if they are full, thats one thing..

    Answer by aly38914290 at 9:46 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Our house rule is you have to at least taste it. If you don't eat it then oh well you were not hungry and you can't have dessert unless your plate is clean. I've also started a "time limit" on dinner b/c they will be there forever without finishing b/c they are talking to each other, watching T.V. etc. (I eat really fast so I don't expect them to be done at the same time as me)

    There are times when exceptions are made to the rules but....
    I am not restaurant and I think its imp. to be able to eat lots of diff. things, kids go through a "that's yucky" for everything new and I HATE THAT!!!
    They've got to at least try a couple of bites:

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 9:58 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • I would make only one meal, but if they don't want to eat it they can wait until the next meal, I wouldn't force them to eat the dinner. If they get hungry before the next meal then I would reheat the meal that the previously declined. I think you're right for not fixing two meals.

    Answer by BethTTC at 10:53 PM on Mar. 25, 2009