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Should I let my son choose what he wants for dinner?

I know that most of the time, doing this results in bad things. But my husband and I were just making whatever. If it was a family meal, I'd make him eat what we were, but it wasn't. Is it wrong or even a bad idea to let him choose something he'd like to eat tonight? I don't think so, but my husband thought it was a horrible idea and now we're fighting over it. I know it's a stupid thing to fight over, but I just get so sick of him acting like he knows everything when I'm with our son every day. Please! Any opinions, ideas, facts.. anything that will help me and possibly him come to peace about this. What do you think, Moms, let the kid choose when nothing at all has been made, or force him to eat whatever you feel like making?

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Dreamyrun

Asked by Dreamyrun at 6:47 PM on Mar. 2, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (14)
  • let him...as long as it's nutritional...he deserves the independence to boost his self esteem
    aliishott2

    Answer by aliishott2 at 6:50 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • I think if you are doing it all the time then yes it is a bad idea makes it hard later on. But to do it once in a while I don't see a problem in it. Like if I make something that is to spicy for dinner that I know the kids can't have or if I make something that I know the kids don't like I will ask them what they want for dinner, but because there is 2 of them they have to decide together cause I am not making 2 seperate things for them. If we go out to dinner which is hardly ever, but if we go out and the kids are getting babysat I will ask what they want, but I don't make it an everyday thing. So if you aren't doing it all the time I don't see a problem with it
    mommy5409

    Answer by mommy5409 at 6:53 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • all three of my girls get to pick and help make dinner one night a week.

    get him involved in the dinner process- hopefully you won't have to fight to get him to eat as he grows up, and he'll know how to cook when he's grown up.

    start them early learning about food and everything
    hypermamaz

    Answer by hypermamaz at 6:53 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • When we are having a fend for yourself night (which are fun if you think about it!) we have left over's and my kids ( 7, 5 and 18 months) do just that, whatever sounds good, might be what I am eating and I give the baby some of what I am eating or what my DH is eating. I never thought that would be an issue in our house and our older boys still eat whatever they are expected to eat when it's a family meal. I suppose it's all in how you present it. Sometimes there isn't an option for baby to eat what we are having (mostly soups or HOT, SPICY foods) and then I just give the baby some cut up chicken, ham or turkey and veggies, maybe some toast and a fruit.
    MamaRoberts

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 6:54 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • Once in a great while I think it is fine to let young kids chose their own meal. The way kids build their taste buds is by exploring other foods. It is easy to get in a pattern of letting them chose what they want to eat, and then they will only eat certain foods. Occasionally it is fine, every night, no.
    This really isn't something to fight about either. Save the fighting for big things :D hope your LO enjoys his dinner.
    SleepingBeautee

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 6:55 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • OH for gosh sakes men :( . Tell your husband to pick his battles. If nothing has been made for dinner and its a casual eat whatever night then by all means let your little guy pick out what he wants.
    mistynights234

    Answer by mistynights234 at 6:55 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • Don't let this be a big battle. It's a good idea to let your child choose sometimes. But try to let the argument go. Try bringing it up when everyone's in a better mood and then you can have a conversation about it, and maybe not fight over it. Good luck.
    RedRowan

    Answer by RedRowan at 7:04 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • Funny, my DF and I fight about this too. I think so long as something has not been made, then what is the harm in asking them! I agree with mistynights. Pick your battles.
    beanielips

    Answer by beanielips at 7:36 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • My kids have always chosen what they want to eat. We keep lots of healthy choices around & even a few "junk" foods. If my kids don't like what was made they are free to get something else. It works for us & isn't as chaotic as people might think. Here are some links in support of letting kids make their own food choices:
    http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/175/10/1199
    http://www.childrenshospital.org/locations/Site1395/Documents/Healthy_Kids_final.pdf
    http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/centsible/handouts/Division_Responsibility.pdf
    http://www.extension.org/pages/Parents_Set_Mood_for_Good_Eating_Habits
    jessradtke

    Answer by jessradtke at 8:03 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with allowing kids to have some input into what they are going to eat. I will often ask my son what he wants for lunch or breakfast or snacks. I'm not going to let him eat junk but I don't think there's anything wrong with saying "do you want a bowl of oatmeal or some toast?" or "would you like apples with peanut butter or peppers with dip?"

    At dinner time if I wasn't making an actual dinner for everyone that night I'd ask my son what he wanted. If he chose something I didn't think was appropriate I'd tell him to choose something else or I'd offer other suggestions. If I make a meal, I usually make something I know he'll eat so in that case he doesn't get to choose his meal.
    EmilyandIsaac

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 8:53 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

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