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Feeding the ungratefuls


luuknam
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 I do all the cooking around here, and very early on I shut him down on offering unsolicited critiques on the food.  

I was not smart enough to shut down the criticisms. We started our marriage on the wrong footing - moved in with my doting(to DH only) MIL because of financial issues, and she treated DH like some Prince who needed to be waited upon hand and foot and cooked foods that he liked (mostly deep fried junk) and did not cook anything else resembling healthy foods. Well, it was her house and she could cook anything she wants. When we moved out, I cooked healthy foods from scratch, but, never thought about shutting down criticism for years. Now, I have come to the realization that I am doing him and his health a favor and that he needs to suck it up and eat what is dished out. I tell him that a little gratitude might be the correct response to the person who grocery shopped, prepared food, served it and washed the dishes. Or, he is more than welcome to hop into his car, waste gas driving to his favorite restaurant (not possible as DH arrives home late in the night after a long day at work) and eat a non-nutritious meal of his choice, pay tax+tip and then smile and say "thank you" to the waiter!

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I did ask the doctor about my kid's eating issues.  What can the doctor really say?  He is not overweight and is not underweight.  He has no health issues whatsoever.  So I can't imagine the insurance paying for a feeding clinic because gee i wish my kid weren't so picky.

 

What I have done is basically I cook dinner.  If he can't eat it he makes his own food.  My other kid will eat anything.  Literally anything.  So again, further proof, I think, that it is not about something I've done wrong. 

 

 

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I would stop cooking for them. I would provide a bunch of things they will eat and can prepare for themselves. I'd cook for myself. And no sweets unless they eat something decent that day.

This is what I would do. I would not slave to all of those little individual tantrums.

 

I would keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house, healthy proteins, no sweets or baked goods, and if the child is over 8 years old, and most certainly the adults no matter what, have to fix their own food every.single.day. I would simply retire from cooking for them and not volunteer to help with food prep.

 

If people old enough to feed themselves have feeding issues, then they need to take responsibility to feed themselves.

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I'm the Grumpy Hangry wife in this post.  Well, not really, but I can recognize myself here.  There are many things I will not eat and some things that I will not even pick out.  DH does all the cooking - if he isn't there to  cook, then DD14 or one of the other kids does.

 

However, I draw the line at being ungrateful.  Just because I have food problems doesn't mean it's OK to suck the soul from the cook on a daily basis.  No one else is allowed to criticize DH's cooking either.  We raised our kids to say "No Thank you" and that's it.  

 

But in our house, No Thank You means No Thank You - you don't have to "try just one bite" or anything else.  And it's perfectly OK if someone else serves you food that you didn't ask for to leave it on the plate untouched.

 

I think the complaining thing would be a hill-to-die on.  I would be having private words with my spouse about how it was hurting me and I would be sending kids away to try again if they were complaining.

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Do your kids dish up their own food? That one thing changed my kids' eating. I put the empty plate in front of them starting at about age 3-4. We all dish up and start eating. No comments, no try-its. Not one time have I had a kid sit there staring at an empty plate. Most times I make sure there are options but not always if it's a one- pot meal.

 

If you only like bread though, you don't get to eat all of it if others want some.

 

It has been the best thing for picky eaters here.

Edited by Miss Peregrine
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Nm. Hit quote, got interrupted (darn mailman annoying the dog again), and forgot what I was going to say.   Something about how little it can take to keep some kids healthy.  But surely more eloquent than that LOL.  Basically agreeing/commiserating with you, Sparkly.

Edited by marbel
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This is what I would do. I would not slave to all of those little individual tantrums.

 

I would keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house, healthy proteins, no sweets or baked goods, and if the child is over 8 years old, and most certainly the adults no matter what, have to fix their own food every.single.day. I would simply retire from cooking for them and not volunteer to help with food prep.

 

If people old enough to feed themselves have feeding issues, then they need to take responsibility to feed themselves.

I agree with your last paragraph especially and would just add that they prepare their own meals graciously and with gratitude for the one who shopped to stock the fridge and pantry.

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My experience matches what fraidy says. My son too projectile vomits with many foods. I have tried everything. EVERYTHING?

 

I don't think you can really know this for sure. This may not be your experience, but it's a little upsetting to be accused of just not doing it right.

I didn't mean to come across that way. I said that I recongize that there are some people with real issues with certain foods. It sounds like your kids fall into that category.

 

Kids can be picky. I have 1 very picky eater too. He doesn't have any sensory issues and he doesn't projectile vomit. It's just normal pickiness. He hates tomatoes and I don't make him eat those. But his general reaction to new food is to refuse to try it. But I still keep putting different foods in front of him. He doesn't go hungry because there's always something he'll eat. But little by little he's widening his food horizons. I think it would be doing him a huge disservice if I started feeding him separate meals instead of encouraging him to try nee things

 

I didn't get the impression from the OP that DW or kids had real food issues or sensitivities. Sounds like they just prefer junk food. That's very different from what you're talking about with your kids.

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One way to introduce new foods to kids with autism or sensory issues is chaining (I think that is the correct term, but I'm not positive). Take something they like and change it up just a little bit. For example, at one point the only meat my DD would eat was chicken nuggets. I introduced other "nugget" type foods such as catfish nuggets, the steak nuggets, eventually she was able to move on to chicken tenders and fried shrimp. At least now she can go to a restaurant and not have to order a kids meal at 20 yes old. If they will eat potato chips, the gradually chane it up. Make homemade potato chips with white potatoes, then make sweet potato chips, and move on to other vegetable "chips". My somewhat picky DS now asks for kale chips. (But I admit that DD will not even try them).

This isn't perfect, but at least it widened her good choices some.

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Didn't read the replies yet.  I will later.

To be honest, I don't make things I don't like and then suck it up and eat them.  Do you?  If you do, how often do you do that each week?

 

I have a policy of not even bothering to make foods that the majority of us don't like. If 3 people living in my household don't like it, I don't keep the recipe and make it again.  When I got into meal planning I spent a lot of time reading recipe books before buying them, trying recipes I thought family might like and soliciting honest feedback on each one. I didn't take it personally because when I don't like a food it isn't personal, so it doesn't make sense to assume someone in my family is making it personal.

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Didn't read the replies yet.  I will later.

 

To be honest, I don't make things I don't like and then suck it up and eat them.  Do you?  If you do, how often do you do that each week?

 

I have a policy of not even bothering to make foods that the majority of us don't like. If 3 people living in my household don't like it, I don't keep the recipe and make it again.  When I got into meal planning I spent a lot of time reading recipe books before buying them, trying recipes I thought family might like and soliciting honest feedback on each one. I didn't take it personally because when I don't like a food it isn't personal, so it doesn't make sense to assume someone in my family is making it personal.

 

I love to try new recipes. And there have been plenty of recipes I've tried that I didn't like. But I ate it for dinner, threw the leftovers away and then I never made it again. (Except that one recipe that was so bad we all scooped it into the trash, except for mom who declared she loved it.)  So yes, I can honestly say I've made stuff I didn't like and ate it anyway.

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I love to try new recipes. And there have been plenty of recipes I've tried that I didn't like. But I ate it for dinner, threw the leftovers away and then I never made it again. (Except that one recipe that was so bad we all scooped it into the trash, except for mom who declared she loved it.)  So yes, I can honestly say I've made stuff I didn't like and ate it anyway.

 

I meant did it get made a second time?  Yes, if I make it and don't really like it I suck up and eat it, but I got the impression the OP was making things family has told her they didn't like.  Maybe I misunderstood.

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Didn't read the replies yet.  I will later.

 

To be honest, I don't make things I don't like and then suck it up and eat them.  Do you?  If you do, how often do you do that each week?

 

I have a policy of not even bothering to make foods that the majority of us don't like. If 3 people living in my household don't like it, I don't keep the recipe and make it again.  When I got into meal planning I spent a lot of time reading recipe books before buying them, trying recipes I thought family might like and soliciting honest feedback on each one. I didn't take it personally because when I don't like a food it isn't personal, so it doesn't make sense to assume someone in my family is making it personal.

 

One of the few foods that I don't really like is chili.  My family *loves* chili.  I make it about every 3-4 weeks in the winter time.  And yes, I eat it.  I make myself a very small bowl and have dessert after the kids are in bed, but I do eat it.

 

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Let them eat microwave food. It sucks, but it is what it is. Let your wife and the kids do their own grocery shopping. You go ahead and feed yourself yummy and healthy food. 

 

This is exactly what I would do.  Why bother shopping, cooking and cleaning up for people that don't want or appreciate what you do.  Let them do what they feel like doing for themselves.

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I feel you, Sparkly, I really do.

 

I have one very picky eater, one that eats anything, and two that are in the middle.  The middle ones seem to be trying more things as they get older, though.

 

I have made agreements with kids before about them naming 5 fruits and vegetables that they will eat, then every time I serve them, they need to eat them (no backing away from apples suddenly because of whatever).  That has worked with about age 5+.  Old enough to understand nutrition a little bit and realize its importance. 

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One other thought--what was eaten when they were in gestation process? That is supposed to be related to what children want to eat once they graduate to eating stage. It feels right, supposedly because essence of it was floating in the fluids around them, and because taste buds develop very early.

I've heard this so many times and find it hilarious. I practically existed for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy on mashed potatoes. From the day ds was able to eat solid food and right on to this day at age 16, that child would die of starvation before eating mashed potatoes. I've seen him vomit after just 1 "polite bite."

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I don't believe this. I do believe that there are some people with texture issues or something that makes it so they just can't tolerate certain foods. But I bet for most kids (and adults) it's a matter of being willing to try new foods and acquire a taste for it. The more kids are exposed to new foods, they more likely they are to try them. And I think if we tell/teach kids "you don't have to eat that ever" we are doing them a big disservice.

You don't BELIEVE it? Seriously? It's pretty freaking straightforward. Kid puts food in mouth, everything he's eaten in the past week (it seems) comes back. Forcefully.

 

He is willing. He tries. Some he likes. Some, he vomits. You are welcome to clean it up any time. Perhaps you'll become a "believer".

 

He doesn't just eat junk food. The kid LOVES broccoli, ceasar salad, sushi, mexican food, chinese food, etc. He eats complex foods and a variety. He's EXPOSED.

Edited by fraidycat
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I've heard this so many times and find it hilarious. I practically existed for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy on mashed potatoes. From the day ds was able to eat solid food and right on to this day at age 16, that child would die of starvation before eating mashed potatoes. I've seen him vomit after just 1 "polite bite."

Hilarious. I didn't keep anything down for most of my first pregnancy. She eats anything and everything!

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I've heard this so many times and find it hilarious. I practically existed for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy on mashed potatoes. From the day ds was able to eat solid food and right on to this day at age 16, that child would die of starvation before eating mashed potatoes. I've seen him vomit after just 1 "polite bite."

 

 

LOL Maybe he had too much and got to the point of feeling like he ever saw another mashed potato he'd puke...and he does. 

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I meant did it get made a second time?  Yes, if I make it and don't really like it I suck up and eat it, but I got the impression the OP was making things family has told her they didn't like.  Maybe I misunderstood.

 

 

I think that is true.

 

I'm not clear if OP made a healthy nutritious homemade pizza, or similar healthy and homemade versions of foods they seem to like they would accept that more readily. Maybe it has not been tried.

 

From a post by OP on another thread, I gathered that maybe OP cooks as she grew up with in another country ??? cooked meat, cooked vegetable, maybe potato?, and bread = dinner.  It sounds like a perfectly good dinner, but not the only one possible that would be nutritious.

 

And pizza, which OP rejected as being bad food, is basically bread on the bottom, with potentially the exact same sort of things, cooked meat, and cooked vegetable on the top.

Edited by Pen
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Maybe I'm a mean person, but I put a healthy meal on the table (protein served with healthy veggies and salad) ...if you don't eat it you're SOL until the next meal.  I don't keep snack food, but I have lots and lots of healthy fruits and veggies.    My grand baby is learning  this now..I don't cater to individual taste.  There is always something you like at each meal and if you don't eat..you don't eat.  

 

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Maybe I'm a mean person, but I put a healthy meal on the table (protein served with healthy veggies and salad) ...if you don't eat it you're SOL until the next meal. I don't keep snack food, but I have lots and lots of healthy fruits and veggies. My grand baby is learning this now..I don't cater to individual taste. There is always something you like at each meal and if you don't eat..you don't eat.

This works fine for some kids.

 

Then there are the kids who don't eat. And don't eat. Until they are so weak they are shaking and can't eat and mom has to spoon feed them.

 

I had one of those. Peanut butter sandwiches were pretty much the only thing they would eat, otherwise the child would simply starve. I learned to always have peanut butter sandwich fixings on hand.

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Maybe I'm a mean person, but I put a healthy meal on the table (protein served with healthy veggies and salad) ...if you don't eat it you're SOL until the next meal.  I don't keep snack food, but I have lots and lots of healthy fruits and veggies.    My grand baby is learning  this now..I don't cater to individual taste.  There is always something you like at each meal and if you don't eat..you don't eat.  

 

 

This is how dh's family approached food. He used to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to eat spoonfuls of sugar because he was so hungry. He doesn't even have a sweet tooth as an adult but he was just so hungry and that was the only thing he had access to. This was a big thing that we discussed before we married. He wanted to make sure our home wouldn't be like his home growing up in regards to food. 

 

I don't think all homes do this poorly but I think one needs to be careful. I also truly don't understand the thinking behind it. Why refuse to let someone eat because they don't like what you made? Why not let them choose to make themselves something else with the food you choose to have in your home? 

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Until you have seen it, you might not believe there ar children who would starve, rather than eat whatever. I was one who was raised with the requirement to eat what was served, doing without was not an option. It didn't make me an adventurous eater. It did make me aware that the use of force to compel a child to eat can and does lead to irreparable fracture of healthy relationships to people and to food.

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Well, that's a bind you're in.  But I'll tell you what I *wouldn't* do .  I wouldn't, under any circumstances, become a short order cook for anyone.  Cook your healthful meal for the day, and the family is free to eat it.  Or not.  But the kids still need to abide by your rule of "This is dinner, there is no other food", regardless of the poor example your spouse sets.  While you're at it, since no one wants to eat the meal because they don't like it, you may as well prepare that delicious gourmet meal with your own taste and wants in mind.  :)  OTOH, I can see just retiring from cooking and letting everyone just cook for themselves and also clean up aftter themselves.  But I would be getting rid of junk food and sweets so they couldn't fill up on garbage and claim they're too full to eat real food.

Edited by reefgazer
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Because it's time-consuming for the cooking and cleaning-up parent, costlier not to prepare a meal in bulk, and it sends the messages that the cook's time is not valuable and that the child's choice over-rides a family decision.   OP has offered compromises that respect her position as the family meal planner and provider; her kids need to learn to respect that.  Not to do so just enables the me-generation that thinks they are entitled to having their every whims catered to.   

This is how dh's family approached food. He used to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to eat spoonfuls of sugar because he was so hungry. He doesn't even have a sweet tooth as an adult but he was just so hungry and that was the only thing he had access to. This was a big thing that we discussed before we married. He wanted to make sure our home wouldn't be like his home growing up in regards to food. 

 

I don't think all homes do this poorly but I think one needs to be careful. I also truly don't understand the thinking behind it. Why refuse to let someone eat because they don't like what you made? Why not let them choose to make themselves something else with the food you choose to have in your home? 

 

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Because it's time-consuming for the cooking and cleaning-up parent, costlier not to prepare a meal in bulk, and it sends the messages that the cook's time is not valuable and that the child's choice over-rides a family decision.   OP has offered compromises that respect her position as the family meal planner and provider; her kids need to learn to respect that.  Not to do so just enables the me-generation that thinks they are entitled to having their every whims catered to.   

 

Well, I don't agree and don't see that with my own dds at all. I actually have one dd who never asks for anything. It's frustrating! Yet, if she doesn't like dinner she doesn't feel weird getting her own food or saying she wants something else. She's the least entitled feeling person I know. She's not catered to at all but she needs to eat and I'm not hung up on her only eating the food I prepare. 

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We have picky and non-picky eaters. Everyone is able to sit at the table and eat a meal with gratitude, however, and some make up more calories eating bland fruits and nuts for snacks than others.

 

You don't have to like it. You don't even have to try it. You don't have to say a single nice thing about it. You do have to appreciate that food is wealth and cooking is work and we respect that in this home. That's all.

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You're right - feeding them that crap would be neglectful.  Don't buy the crap and they'll be grateful for whatever dinner is when you prepare it.  Is it possible they fill up on snacks (even healthy ones) during the day and aren't really, truly hungry at dinner.  If so, I'd ditch the snacks.

It's not the "lovingly prepared" part that bothers me. It's that frankly, the food they will eat is mostly crap. Microwave spaghetti and meatballs, microwave mac&cheese, pasta with pasta sauce out of a jar, and seasoned rice with sausage, fast food, and pizza are just not nutritionally balanced in the long term (they're fine on occasion, imo). But then, if I make healthier food (not "health food") and they don't touch it, it doesn't really matter either. They're just so young that I feel that giving up on them nutritionally would be neglectful.

 

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Because it's time-consuming for the cooking and cleaning-up parent, costlier not to prepare a meal in bulk, and it sends the messages that the cook's time is not valuable and that the child's choice over-rides a family decision.   OP has offered compromises that respect her position as the family meal planner and provider; her kids need to learn to respect that.  Not to do so just enables the me-generation that thinks they are entitled to having their every whims catered to.   

 

The Me Generation was actually the Baby Boomers:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_generation

 

I think they're a lost cause, personally. [Edit: that was a joke.] Seriously though--you're not going to improve the Me Generation at this point.

 

However, simply requiring polite behavior at dinner is not asking too much.

Edited by Tsuga
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IMO, the current crop of under-20s is the Me generation, although I am aware of the traditional definition.

The Me Generation was actually the Baby Boomers:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_generation

 

I think they're a lost cause, personally. [Edit: that was a joke.] Seriously though--you're not going to improve the Me Generation at this point.

 

However, simply requiring polite behavior at dinner is not asking too much.

 

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Well, I don't agree and don't see that with my own dds at all. I actually have one dd who never asks for anything. It's frustrating! Yet, if she doesn't like dinner she doesn't feel weird getting her own food or saying she wants something else. She's the least entitled feeling person I know. She's not catered to at all but she needs to eat and I'm not hung up on her only eating the food I prepare. 

 

That's how it has worked in my house since our kids have been able to express their opinions about food.

 

I think this was mentioned upthread but I can't find it.  Most people who cook for their families don't cook food they don't like, at least not most of the time. I rarely do.  I might cook something new as an experiment but if no one likes it, it won't get cooked again.  If everyone likes it but me, it might get cooked again, but rarely, and someone would have to specifically ask for it, simply because I'd forget about it.

 

But also... kids have opinions, likes and dislikes.  I agree that they need exposure to different foods, but I don't think kids should be forced to eat whatever is put before them or go hungry.   The other day I attempted a new lentil dish, thinking maybe this recipe would make lentils taste good.  It did not. I didn't eat it, but I also didn't make myself go hungry.  So why would I do that to my kid?

 

Of course there is a difference if they are out at someone else's home.  Kids know the difference between the family dinner table and being guests.  But then, when we have young kids over to eat, I make sure there is something that typical kids like available.  Especially if I'm making something casserole-like!  :-)

 

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IMO, the current crop of under-20s is the Me generation, although I am aware of the traditional definition.

 

I believe it may stem from the fact that young adults are still part adolescents and therefore very self-centered, and that we all get a little more perspective as we age.

 

I wouldn't label anyone the "me" generation because of behavior in their 20s and early 30s. That's when you're finding your place and getting a mate. You're going to be selfish.

Except me. I spent that entire decade working in the mission field and in humanitarian aid.

 

Because I'm an idiot, apparently. You're just supposed to talk about missions or go to South America on vacation, I gather. How was I supposed to know?

 

But the whole "oh all THOSE people are selfish" just doesn't fly with  me. People are people.

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This works fine for some kids.

 

Then there are the kids who don't eat. And don't eat. Until they are so weak they are shaking and can't eat and mom has to spoon feed them.

 

I had one of those. Peanut butter sandwiches were pretty much the only thing they would eat, otherwise the child would simply starve. I learned to always have peanut butter sandwich fixings on hand.

I get what you're saying...I always ...always have something that was filling and healthy that they liked at every meal.  I don't get why we have to cater to everyones taste at every.single.meal.   

 

I fix a protein--chicken, beef or fish...then 2 veggies and salad and a bread for those who want it....I don't get how preparing this type of food makes me a bad person for not making everything about what a child wants.    They need to expand their horizons....my parents never asked if I liked or wanted what was prepared...I sort of think this is whats wrong with our kids today...there's a reason or diagnosis's for everything.   

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This is how dh's family approached food. He used to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night to eat spoonfuls of sugar because he was so hungry. He doesn't even have a sweet tooth as an adult but he was just so hungry and that was the only thing he had access to. This was a big thing that we discussed before we married. He wanted to make sure our home wouldn't be like his home growing up in regards to food. 

 

I don't think all homes do this poorly but I think one needs to be careful. I also truly don't understand the thinking behind it. Why refuse to let someone eat because they don't like what you made? Why not let them choose to make themselves something else with the food you choose to have in your home? 

Seriously...you're making me feel bad ...no way..... I prepare 1 protein each meal (grass fed beef, wild caught fish or free range chicken) ..2 veggies, salad and bread.  There is nothing wrong with the meal...I'm sorry your hubby had to have sugar to supplement his meals but I spend 1200 a month on healthy, top dollar food and will not feel bad if a person doesn't eat it. They simply can wait and eat the next meal and we move on in this house.

 

 

There are just some children or adults who are spoiled and ungrateful.   

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Seriously...you're making me feel bad ...no way..... I prepare 1 protein each meal (grass fed beef, wild caught fish or free range chicken) ..2 veggies, salad and bread.  There is nothing wrong with the meal...I'm sorry your hubby had to have sugar to supplement his meals but I spend 1200 a month on healthy, top dollar food and will not feel bad if a person doesn't eat it. They simply can wait and eat the next meal and we move on in this house.

 

 

There are just some children or adults who are spoiled and ungrateful.   

 

Wow! My dds are neither spoiled nor are they ungrateful. They each thank me at every single meal for what I've made whether they like it or not. I don't care how much one spends. It doesn't mean anything. We have salad at every meal as well and they pretty much always eat that. That doesn't mean they don't sometimes pass on the main part and make themselves something different, which is fine. I will never have the attitude that they can wait and eat the next meal. I feel it's completely unnecessary in a home with healthy alternatives they can fix themselves. 

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We'll just have to disagree on that then.  Culture builds people, and our current self-centered culture built the current crop of under-20s.

I believe it may stem from the fact that young adults are still part adolescents and therefore very self-centered, and that we all get a little more perspective as we age.

 

I wouldn't label anyone the "me" generation because of behavior in their 20s and early 30s. That's when you're finding your place and getting a mate. You're going to be selfish.

Except me. I spent that entire decade working in the mission field and in humanitarian aid.

 

Because I'm an idiot, apparently. You're just supposed to talk about missions or go to South America on vacation, I gather. How was I supposed to know?

 

But the whole "oh all THOSE people are selfish" just doesn't fly with  me. People are people.

 

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We'll just have to disagree on that then.  Culture builds people, and our current self-centered culture built the current crop of under-20s.

 

I think you sound more entitled and self-satisfied than anyone I've ever met under 20.

 

It's too bad that your children's friends, or whoever these people you know under 20, are so selfish. As it happens, the young people that come through our home with the step kids have quite varying characters, some quite nice, polite, grateful, others less so, but with no less variation than my parents' friends.

 

Maybe it's the people with whom you hold company.

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but I got the impression the OP was making things family has told her they didn't like.

 

Well, the only thing I cook from scratch that the kids are *sometimes* okay with is pasta. So, yeah, obviously I make stuff they don't like, since they don't like anything, in fact, they complain when they hear I'm cooking dinner, before they even know what I'm making. I rarely cook something that's on DW's doesn't like list but she has quite a long list of things I make that she *is* willing to eat, most of which she does like. 

 

I'm not clear if OP made a healthy nutritious homemade pizza, or similar healthy and homemade versions of foods they seem to like they would accept that more readily. Maybe it has not been tried.

 

From a post by OP on another thread, I gathered that maybe OP cooks as she grew up with in another country ??? cooked meat, cooked vegetable, maybe potato?, and bread = dinner.  It sounds like a perfectly good dinner, but not the only one possible that would be nutritious.

 

And pizza, which OP rejected as being bad food, is basically bread on the bottom, with potentially the exact same sort of things, cooked meat, and cooked vegetable on the top.

 

They do not like any pizza other than pepperoni & cheese pizza. I get that pizza *can* be healthy... but in this case, not so much.

 

And my dinners are usually not vegetable, potatoes, meat (I got mighty bored with that growing up with that). They're usually: pasta, or chili (well, what I call chili anyway... something with beans and tomatoes and chili seasoning and who knows what else), fried rice, rice with stir-fried veggies, curry, stew, etc.

 

Then there are the kids who don't eat. And don't eat. Until they are so weak they are shaking and can't eat and mom has to spoon feed them.

 

Ha, that reminded me that when oldest started chewing the nipples off the bottle at 16mo (i.e. choking hazard), and we forced the sippy cup that we'd been trying to get him to use with no success for months (we'd tried several different sippy cups), he didn't drink for over a day. He finally drank when I called the sippy cup "bottle" (I'd used the words "milk", "drink", etc).

 

Something tells me though that calling dinner "ice cream" is not going to work on my now 8.5yo (and 5yo).

Edited by luuknam
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I get what you're saying...I always ...always have something that was filling and healthy that they liked at every meal. I don't get why we have to cater to everyones taste at every.single.meal.

 

I fix a protein--chicken, beef or fish...then 2 veggies and salad and a bread for those who want it....I don't get how preparing this type of food makes me a bad person for not making everything about what a child wants. They need to expand their horizons....my parents never asked if I liked or wanted what was prepared...I sort of think this is whats wrong with our kids today...there's a reason or diagnosis's for everything.

Did anyone call you a bad person?

 

What you are doing works with your children.

 

It would work with most children.

 

Some children it would not work with, depending on how committed you are or are not to having something they like. I'm curious to know what you would do with a child who only ate mac and cheese and applesauce. Would you make sure those items were always available or would it be too-bad-so-sad because these are not what you prefer to serve? And if the child simply didn't eat any of what was offered meal after meal?

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*eye roll*  Or maybe it's just you having a problem with seeing other points of view.  Yeah, I think that's it; I'll waste no further typing energy on you.

I think you sound more entitled and self-satisfied than anyone I've ever met under 20.

 

It's too bad that your children's friends, or whoever these people you know under 20, are so selfish. As it happens, the young people that come through our home with the step kids have quite varying characters, some quite nice, polite, grateful, others less so, but with no less variation than my parents' friends.

 

Maybe it's the people with whom you hold company.

 

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Do they eat plain rice? What do they eat when you are at Chinese buffet? What is attractive at Wegman's?

 

At the Chinese buffet, oldest ate: maraschino cherries, peas, and croutons (all from the salad bar). Seriously, he went back for seconds, and then asked to go to the Chinese buffet again just a few days later because he liked it so much. I don't exactly recall what youngest ate (something chicken), but youngest will eat orange flavor chicken from the Chinese take-out (though he's not a fan of the rice). Oldest used to be willing to eat beef sticks or chicken sticks from Chinese take-out, but now refuses to eat any Chinese take-out.

 

From Wegman's they want (seedless) grapes and strawberries. They also like the garlic bread and oldest likes the rosemary bread too, so it's not like garlic (which is in almost everything we cook) is a problem. They used to eat all kinds of cheese sticks but now are only willing to eat pepperjack cheese sticks. For a while oldest was only willing to eat Walmart brand yogurt, but then they were both willing to eat any yogurt, and since a month or two youngest is suddenly not willing to eat any yogurt with 'pieces' in it, so for example no strawberry or cherry yogurt, but only key lime, vanilla, or trader joe's brand bananas & cream.

 

One of the frustrating parts is that it's hard to tell what is genuine dislike vs just pickiness.

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One of the frustrating parts is that it's hard to tell what is genuine dislike vs just pickiness.

This is my daughter. The only thing she genuinely dislikes is tomatoes (in any form). She gets picky about other foods. With her specifically, it helps if she has input into the grocery shopping and meal planning. She's only 6, but it really helps.

 

She's my child who will tell me repeatedly while I'm cooking how good the food smells, maybe even steal bites from the kitchen, and then refuse to eat at the meal because it doesn't look right.

 

I don't know that there is any one right answer as to how to solve this problem, but I think you have been given a lot of great ideas.

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Sensory issues aside, can the wife who is modeling this bad behavior be in charge of cooking for two weeks?

 

My sister in law did that and suddenly her DH got much more cooperative about eating.  Especially when she required he track nutrition using software and he could see he was going to cause serious problems for the kids, and that his own health problems were directly related to his very bad diet.  After that, she just raises an eyebrow and now her DH is the bad guy at meals. He denies dessert to any kid who doesn't eat at least 3 bites of everything being served.  If a kid is being picky, the desserts get better and better until the kid gets over it.

Everything I've read and experienced tells me this is not a good idea.  It elevates dessert to a high status and a reward for good behavior.  I don't remember if someone told me this, or if I read it, but I agree with the notion that when dessert* is part of the meal, everyone at the meal should get it regardless of what they eat or don't eat and not treated as a reward for being "good eaters." 

 

*Can be fruit, or a few graham crackers, a bowl of ice cream, a piece of cake, a single cookie, whatever the definition of dessert is.

 

I used to deny dessert and all it did was make people crabby.  No one ate any  more or less based on the promise of dessert or threat of none.

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From Wegman's they want (seedless) grapes and strawberries. They also like the garlic bread and oldest likes the rosemary bread too, ...only willing to eat pepperjack cheese sticks. ...

 

 

 

Not such a bad start. Fruit, carbohydrate, protein and fat.  

 

Maybe you could stock the fridge with these things rather than junk, and if they don't want the dinner you make they can have grapes, pepperjack cheese, and garlic bread.

 

Then maybe they could gradually branch out.

 

Have you all read Bread and Jam for Frances?

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