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Do you make your kids eat food that they don't like? What are your rules?

I made dinner last night that had zucchini and squash in it. My almost 4 yr old refused to eat the zucchini and squash, he tasted it and spit it out, then begged for a cookie. I said no cookie unless he eats his dinner, and he had a huge fit. So he went to bed with nothing else and I saved his dinner for the morning, and he still refused, even threw it on the ground. I got some more for him to eat and she still refused, so I got him some cucumber and tomato, giving him anotehr veggie substitute. He refused to eat the tomato and his little brother ended up taking them. So, i really am not sure if I should make him eat foods that he doesn't like. I usually make foods I like, but there are occasions as well where I eat things I'm not fond of because they are good for me. Any suggestions?


Asked by Precious333 at 1:41 PM on Jul. 23, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (15)
  • My rule is they have to take one bite for every year of life... So 3yo takes 3 bites... 4yo takes 4 bites... Beyond that, if they don't want it or don't like it they don't have to eat it... BUT, if they don't eat dinner, they don't get junk!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:54 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • If it is something she hasn't tried before, she has to try it. If she has tried it and still doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat it unless we're at someone else's house. Then, she has to eat what is offered since I think it's rude not to.
    I make stuff I like, since I am usually the one cooking :-) I also make sure there are veggies she will like available too. I figure that if it's okay for me not to eat something I don't like (I HATE peas) then why should it not be the same for a kid?
    I don't offer sweets in exchange for eating healthy foods and I don't make her eat everything on her plate. I only put a very little bit of food on her plate and she is free to ask for more if she wants it.
    Don't bribe with cookies, and make veggies he likes. Kyra has a song she sings "If I don't like it, I don't have to eat it. If I haven't tried it I have to try it and if I like it I eat it and if I don't I don't have to eat it." :-)

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 1:46 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I don't make him. I make fruit and veggie smoothies that he drinks instead.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 1:43 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • i would hold my ground with the veggies. it's important that he eats those. maybe try fixing them a different way.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 1:44 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • as long as they try them...maybe cutting them up into small pieces and added them to something he likes would help gl

    Answer by baby1mom at 1:47 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I make my son TRY them in the very least. He has to fully eat a couple bites before he can leave the table. If he doesn't finish, then he doesn't get a snack or anything like that, but I won't make him eat it. I'll be sure to point out to him that I'm he tried it and I wish I could give him an M&M (or whatever), but since he didn't finish, I can't. Sometimes it works! lol.

    Answer by mickstinator at 1:52 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • He is not too bad about eating veggies.... but I do wish he liked more of a variety of them. He likes cucumbers, carrots, celery, corn (has to be on the cob), sometimes broccoli, but he does not like tomatoes, bell peppers and zucchini and squash.

    Comment by Precious333 (original poster) at 1:46 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • good point Kwiwsmom....the reason why I said he could have a cookie after he was done eating was because he said he was done with his food and wanted a cookie that we had cooked together eariler that day.

    Comment by Precious333 (original poster) at 1:54 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • I wouldn't make my son eat something he didn't like. There are foods that I don't like, and I don't want to eat them. By forcing him, I think you may be making him dislike them even more. I would let him know that he at least has to try them.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 1:57 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • If my kids really don't like something, I won't make them eat it. But I certainly wouldn't give them a cookie if they didn't have any dinner. My youngest DD don't like a lot of things.. I just make her other things to sub with!

    Answer by SuperrMommyy at 1:59 PM on Jul. 23, 2010