Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I don't make my kid eat

Ya I said it. I don't make my kid eat. I'm not that kind of mom. You will never see Cooper sitting by herself at the table for hours waiting for her to "eat her brussels sprouts." I never understood why parents do that.

I hear it all the time. "My dad used to make me sit at the table until I ate everything on my plate." Or, "my mom sent me right to bed after dinner if I didn't finish my meal." 

Not me! I was never forced to eat anything. I didn't eat meat until I was 10. If my mom made roast beef, I had pasta. If we were eating lasagna, my mom made a small lasagna just for me with no meat...just the way I liked it. I ate things I wanted to eat and I was never forced to finish my meal. When I tell people this, they look at me like "wow, your mom's crazy." But I dunno, I think it worked out well.

I am a healthy eater. Sure I can down a bag of Doritos like nobody's business, but I eat well. I eat a balanced diet and I eat meat, veggies, and fruit every day. I just don't understand what the lesson is in making your child feel like eating is a punishment. To let them know you "have to eat what's put in front of you." I get that not everyone in the world has the privilege to eat what they want, but you can make the same argument for taking 20 minutes showers when people have to walk miles for a glass of water. 

I like asking her what she wants to eat, because then I know she'll eat it. or most of it anyway. And honestly, I don't like arguing or causing conflict when it's really not necessary. I understand not everyone agrees with this (her dad included) but hey, I'm usually the one making the dinner and I really don't mind. 

What are your thoughts? Did you have to eat what was put in front of you? Do you make your kid sit at the table until they are finished eating?


  1. Not an expert in this field, as I dont have children. But I've experienced this with other family members. How do you handle it when you visit others or have special meals such as Thanksgiving/Christmas at other peoples homes - and there is nothing prepared for your child that they will eat?

    1. Great question! She eats what she likes. She loves turkey, potatoes, corn, etc. So that's what's on her plate. We have never had a problem with her not being able to find something to eat when we go to restaurants or people's houses for dinner. I guess what I'm saying is, I never put anything on her plate and make her eat what I know she doesn't like. Asparagus?! Forget it. Shrimp? No way. She'll have chicken fingers. She's 7 now and we've never had a problem with her eating. Guess whatever it is, it works for this family =)

  2. I have 3 daughters and when they were young, one wouldn't eat meat, one wouldn't eat vegetables.... and I always said, my children eat everything on their plate!!! I only gave them what I knew they wanted....oh and the one that didn't eat meat still doesn't eat meat 25 years later!!! We must respect what our children do not want to eat.... just like I won't eat something I don't like! Could it be that those that were forced to clear their plates as children, carry on as adults and become obese??

  3. My Mother didn't make any of us eat either. Unfortunately we are all extremely picky now and miss out on a lot of foodie opportunities. I say NO a LOT. mom is a chef who has been on tv. I WISH she would have opened my palette more. :(

  4. Forcing children to eat can lead to all kinds of tension and eating disorders; it's best not to push. :)

  5. I can understand parents doing that but I made my daughter eat what I put on her plate or she had the choice of going to bed without eating. Her choice. I saw that my brothers kids were really picky and would only eat stuff like chicken fingers or pasta every single night and there was no way I was going to let my kid get away with that BS. Now my brothers kids are all still extremely picky and only eat a handful of things as adults and won't even try new things and my daughter isn't picky at all.

  6. I get what you are saying. I don't want to force my boy loves pasta. 6 years of homemade sauce. Spending the full day as a family in the kitchen cooking it up with mouths watering. Then it comes time to eat and he is suddenly a vegetarian. "Yuck, I don't like this meat!"

    It's the same sauce he's eaten for 6 years!?!

    I forced him to eat it.

  7. I agree never to force, but I just (coincidentally) posted my new blog on picky eaters. I DO regret making alternate meals for my sons as it has caused stress in ways I wouldn't have thought of when the habit started. With my sons 12 and 10, I'm hoping they just learn to try new foods eventually!