I was raised the old fashioned meat and potatoes way. Every meal had a meat, a potato and a vegetable. Rarely did it happen otherwise. Now, there was a variety for each, but it was that way on a daily basis. We ate lunch and dinner at the dining room table (unless we were in school) and breakfast was kind of a fend for yourself type deal- cereal, pop tarts, etc.
Now, I appreciate the family meal... I appreciated the good food. But, one thing I disagreed with is that we HAD to eat every bite on our plate before we left the table. And if we didn't like it, too bad. Now, my mom thinks that's an exaggeration, but you remember these things from childhood as they are somewhat traumatizing! (I think my siblings could back me up on this.) But it always seemed to get down to my dad and I sitting at the table long after everyone had left. He watched TV and waited... and waited... for me to finish my supper. I'd outlast him and he would have to use the bathroom or go in the living room cause his show was on. Then I would quickly throw most of what was left out to the dogs and act like I was finishing it when he came back.
Being a parent now, there are all kinds of options on how to feed my kids. But, I'm still a meat and potatoes girl at heart and my husband is too. He could live without the vegetables, though. So, most meals will consist of a meat, a carb and either a fruit or vegetable. I try to throw dairy in there as well. (Cheese is the best!)
A is such a difficult eater! She is a snacker and doesn't eat much at a time. I'm okay with this for the most part, because I'm pretty sure studies are saying that three meals a day is not really the way to go. But the problem is that she only wants to eat junk food. I'm not a big fan of junk food, so I either don't buy much of it (which is hard with a man who likes his ice cream, chips and donuts), or I put it where she can't get to it. Otherwise she'd choose junk over healthy food anytime.
Supper is very difficult. If I make something she doesn't remember or recognize she automatically says, "I don't like it." We hate hearing that! Our response is, "you don't know you don't like it cause you haven't tried it!" If you're familiar with the Yo Gabba Gabba episode there's a song that sings, "Try it, you'll like it..." And "there's a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy!" Anyway, we always make her TRY one bite of something. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to eat it, but usually she likes it. But getting her to eat more than 3 bites is like pulling teeth. She will tell you she's done and then 20 minutes later ask for junk food because we gave her plate to the cats outside.
She doesn't get the junk food, but we give her a healthy alternative. Sometimes we make her eat a certain amount before she can get down, but that brings me back to the days of having to sit long periods of time at the table when I was young. Sure, we don't make the kids clean their plates (L will eat anything not bolted to the floor!) but is it okay to make her eat a certain amount?
Do any other parents have problems with this and what do you do?