I don't force DD to eat or insist she eats the whole lot but I don't offer an alternative. I know what she likes & dislikes so I wouldn't give her anything that I didn't think she'd eat. If she refuses dinner, that's it. Nothing else. I've been doing this since around 3 I think, can't remember exactly, just when I knew she understood.
I would of course never insist she ate it all, my dad's parents did that and my dad still feels that he needs to eat everything in front of him. It's a terribly unhealthy habit.
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10-07-2015 13:31 #11
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10-07-2015 13:36 #12
At what age do you get strict with dinner or nothing?
I trust my kids appetites so never force them to eat. They do need to sit at the table as a family where we don't talk about who is eating what or focus on food.
There is always a variety of components to each meal so if they don't like something they leave it to the side.
I've made my kids alternatives twice and that was when I accidentally made a curry way too spicy.
If there is dinner leftovers they get put in the fridge and if someone wants something else after dinner they can have that. Occasionally my daughter will say she's hungry after dinner and is more than happy to have a bit of whatever we had earlier.
Because I've never made alternatives they wouldn't know to ask.
Food doesn't need to be a battle but you don't have to run a restaurant either.
My kids eat a wide and varied diet.
My nephew one night said his meal was yucky so got given fruit and milk, now he says its yucky every night and gets fruit and milk. The kid has outwitted his parents and it's not done him or them any favours.
10-07-2015 18:20 #13
At what age do you get strict with dinner or nothing?
Last edited by Rose&Aurelia&Hannah; 10-07-2015 at 18:23.
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10-07-2015 18:41 #14
We always did it.
It's only confusing for them if you don't follow through.
It wasn't exactly "no dinner or nothing" so much as no alternative. If they refused to eat at dinner time, and said they were hungry later, we would offer the same thing.
10-07-2015 19:18 #15Senior Member
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I've always just said "that's fine if you don't want it but there's nothing else"
We only have dessert inc yoghurt rarely or on occasions so they don't expect anything else after each meal- this is because my children have always been picky with their veggies.
If they don't eat anything at all I usually put their plate to the side after dinner and if they're still complaining about being hungry before bed I'll offer their dinner plate.
10-07-2015 19:21 #16
Our mealtimes are very similar rules as NoteToSelf. Food is never a battle, i never force them to eat EVER - but I also dont offer any alternatives. The only variation is when they are sick, eg, dry toast for gastro. A couple of times I have saved their dinner plate & reoffered the food if they are hungry later,but I never offer another meal and they dont think to ask I guess. What we have is what the whole family gets. I hate when they say something is 'yukky' & tell them that language isnt allowed in our house,lol. They are allowed to say 'no thankyou', they are not allowed to say yuck.
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10-07-2015 19:36 #17
We don't make food a battleground here either and I never force food on the children. The only rule we have is no dinner, no dessert.
I try to offer meals or options the children like. My DS can be fussy though and often won't eat dinner. He is 3 and I still offer limited alternatives because I don't want him to go to bed hungry. The alternatives to dinner are normally cheese sandwich, fruit or rice crackers and cheese.
Last edited by DailyDiversion; 10-07-2015 at 19:38.
10-07-2015 19:40 #18
DD2 often won't eat dinner, or will only eat a little, so I cover the leftovers and pop them in the microwave. If DD2 is hungry before bed, that is all there is to eat.
In saying that I never give her anything she doesn't eat, usually basics like meat and veg or shepherds pie etc, meals I know she eats.
10-07-2015 19:46 #19
DS is generally a good eater but DD is pretty ordinary. I don't ever cook things they wont eat, if I do occasionally do something spicy they have a less spicy version. They don't have to eat everything on their plate if they are full but they do have to try everything - even if it's just a nibble. If they don't eat then they don't get dessert (usually yoghurt). If they do complain after an hour that they are hungry then they can have fruit but nothing else. I don't make it a battleground but it's not a restaurant or room service that is open 24/7, when I've cleaned up the kitchen meals are finished.
10-07-2015 19:49 #20
Pretty much from the start - DS eats most things but there are a few things he won't eat so i don't serve him those things , I don't mind how much he eats but on the odd time he's says he's not hungry or if he hasn't eaten as many veggies as I think he should I just ask him to eat a few veggies to keep his muscles strong before he leaves the table which he does and no I've never given him food afterwards , if he's hungry after dinner he can have an apple ( we only have desserts if we have people over for dinner!)
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