Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-22-2012, 11:58 AM   #1
Almacham
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Slytherin House
Posts: 15,946
My Mood:
Help! My kids are killing me...

with their eating habits!!!! Do you have any advice for me? I know it's my fault but I've got to turn this thing around now while they're still little.

First of all, they eat constantly. They seriously eat much more than I've ever eaten in my life. None are overweight or have any medical issues. They're just big, strong, active kids with huge appetites. I have GOT TO get my food budget under control. I absolutely have to. We're coming into a situation where we're going from 2 incomes to 1 income for the foreseeable future until I can get a job and figure out childcare arrangements for them. Do any of you have any tips for me so that I can feed my children well but not spend a horrifying amount of money on food per month? I'm also trying to keep their diets healthy & wholesome, if that helps.

Secondly, my DS is horribly, ridiculously picky. It's unbelivable. I'm in tears half of the time just trying to get him to eat something I've cooked. I'm being serious when I say he eats spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, all fruits, fries, occasionally a cheeseburger but that's hit or miss, pizza, some chicken sometimes (has to be BBQ chicken legs or frozen chicken fingers), and blueberry or strawberry jam on toast. That's it. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all consist of those foods for him. He becomes hysterical if asked to try a different food, and almost every single meal consists of me making him something totally different while the girls & I eat what was served.

I cannot afford to do that anymore, and it's just not a good habit. I don't ever want to get into a "food war" with any of my kids, but I feel so guilty that somewhere along the way I screwed up DS's eating habits so badly. His three sisters are so good about eating healthy, avoiding junk food and trying new things. They always eat what I serve them, as well. I know DS is a different person with different tastes but I worry constantly about his nutrition.

I'm willing to listen to any and all advice! (I'm going to admit that I tried to cut out all processed foods from DS's diet a few months ago but failed miserably... )

Advertisement

__________________
Sarah, mom of many

Last edited by Almacham; 08-22-2012 at 12:00 PM.
Almacham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
Hungry Caterpillar's Avatar
Hungry Caterpillar
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,248
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

I am not sure if you will be able to transition his eating habits while also doing a home life transition. You may need to fix budget and move and then work on DS.

Do you have a crockpot? You can do chicken legs in BBQ sauce in bulk when chicken is on sale and then freeze individually into whatever size portion he eats. Same with nuggets. If he doesn't like what you made for dinner he can choose one of those from the freezer.

What is your budget and how often do youneed to rotate meals? Can you serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and then keep a basket of pres portioned snacks on the counter for between meals?

Sorry to hear about your upheaval
__________________
Andrea
Mama to B and E, Wife to E
Parenting with Hugs and Terror since 2011
Hungry Caterpillar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
BottomOfMyHearts's Avatar
BottomOfMyHearts
Registered Users
Formerly: NewFoundFaith
seller
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,927
My Mood:
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

Well...kids won't starve themselves. If you serve them what you want/can afford, they will eventually eat it. So if you want to do rice and beans every night of the week, they will learn to eat it.

Hope that helps!
__________________
Mommy to two little girls. I'm ALWAYS doing laundry!
Please visit my etsy store! <--Click

New Contest coming Soon!Please visit my Facebook store! <--Click
BottomOfMyHearts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
Hitchkids
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,219
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

I think on some level you already know what you have to do. How old is your son? For our family, once you are 2, you no longer get to be picky about meals. Meals are planned and served, your choice is eat or not. With a picky child with no medical issues causing it, I would simply make sure there is one item on the table that you know the child would eat (not counting meat, we don't allow unlimited/extra servings on meat here). Serve a small portion of everything on the table to the child. I'm thinking like a tbs or something to start. They have to try everything at least which eventually moves onto you have to eat your first serving of everything before you are allowed seconds. But seconds are open as long as you don't eat all of one thing while others in the family were waiting for the dish to be passed to them if that makes sense.

I also do limit snack times. Honestly, most kids will ask for food all the time just because it is there and they can. I have many friends who are totally happy with allowing their children to graze all day and some who are ok with allowing the kids to be picky about what they eat. That just does not work for our family or more importantly, for our budget. There is nothing wrong with saying this is what is being served right now and that is it. It will be a tough battle at first but I really think it's worth trying to fight a little bit now. I grew up with parents who catered to our every whim food wise. I have one sister who ate nothing but tortilla chips and microwave popcorn for a year. A brother who ate nothing but scrambled eggs, plain spaghetti and certain types of candy and apple juice. Another brother who refused to ever eat pasta of any sort and never ate a vegetable until he moved out of the house. My parents were ok with that and my mom made different meals for each person in the family almost every night. I just can't do that.

good luck. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you.
Hitchkids is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
Hitchkids
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,219
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

I think on some level you already know what you have to do. How old is your son? For our family, once you are 2, you no longer get to be picky about meals. Meals are planned and served, your choice is eat or not. With a picky child with no medical issues causing it, I would simply make sure there is one item on the table that you know the child would eat (not counting meat, we don't allow unlimited/extra servings on meat here). Serve a small portion of everything on the table to the child. I'm thinking like a tbs or something to start. They have to try everything at least which eventually moves onto you have to eat your first serving of everything before you are allowed seconds. But seconds are open as long as you don't eat all of one thing while others in the family were waiting for the dish to be passed to them if that makes sense.

I also do limit snack times. Honestly, most kids will ask for food all the time just because it is there and they can. I have many friends who are totally happy with allowing their children to graze all day and some who are ok with allowing the kids to be picky about what they eat. That just does not work for our family or more importantly, for our budget. There is nothing wrong with saying this is what is being served right now and that is it. It will be a tough battle at first but I really think it's worth trying to fight a little bit now. I grew up with parents who catered to our every whim food wise. I have one sister who ate nothing but tortilla chips and microwave popcorn for a year. A brother who ate nothing but scrambled eggs, plain spaghetti and certain types of candy and apple juice. Another brother who refused to ever eat pasta of any sort and never ate a vegetable until he moved out of the house. My parents were ok with that and my mom made different meals for each person in the family almost every night. I just can't do that.

good luck. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you.
Hitchkids is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
Kiliki's Avatar
Kiliki
Registered Users
Formerly: kr***y
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,397
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BottomOfMyHearts View Post
Well...kids won't starve themselves. If you serve them what you want/can afford, they will eventually eat it. So if you want to do rice and beans every night of the week, they will learn to eat it.

Hope that helps!
I agree.

While it's unpopular among the majority here, I am an "eat it or don't" parent. My kids either eat what I've made, or they don't eat. It's their choice. No pressure, no arguing, it's just how it is.

That said, I'm not making exotic dishes, like escargo with liver and a side of cow tongue. I make the same things I've made their whole lives. Our diet generally consists of a few wholesome dishes that I rotate throughout the month. Some of our staple dinner meals are: beef stew with bread and butter, chili with saltine crackers, chicken and rice and veggies, rice and beans with chicken (they can put theirs in a flour tortilla and make a burrito if they want - they seem to prefer it that way), spaghetti with ground beef, sauce and bread... most of our dinner meals are some sort of meat (a small portion) with loads of veggies and a serving of bread.

Every once in a while, I'll try a new dish. I try to think before I make it whether they will like it. If I am not sure if they will like it, I also make a side dish that I know they will eat.

Bfast and lunches are a bit more relaxed, but with the same idea. You eat it or you don't. Eggs, toast, ceareal, bagel w/cm chs, a sandwich and a pc of fruit....

In general, my kids don't get a say in what they are served. If they did, they would ask for candy, cookies, chips, or ice cream. Which I totally get cause I love that stuff! But, my mom LET me eat that crap all day everyday. And my teeth are now all rotting out of my face. I'm "meaner" to my kids. And I hope to save their health b/c of it.

Also, I try to think in terms of eating to live rather than eating to make us feel good. Foods that are full of salt and sugars are delicious and make us feel good, but they don't fill us up. They leave us hungry 15 minutes later. And, these types of food often wind up being MORE expensive health-wise and financially than buying healthier options.

For example, a 3 lb bag of apples is about the same price as a big bag full of single serving assorted varieties of chips... yet if you eat an apple with some peanut butter, you will be full much longer than if you eat a single serve bag of chips. The chips will not last you as long as the apples will b/c the hungry person will need to eat 3-4 bags before they are full. .... so in this way, I think changing eating habits also has a lot to do with changing how a person *views* food. Food is fuel. Sometimes that is the hardest part of changing bad eating habits.

You are on the right track to change bad eating habits now!

ETA - maybe you could start by establishing the ground rules before you change any food options. So, you could sit everyone down and say "As a family, we are going to change how we eat. From now on, you will be served a meal and it is your choice to eat it or not. We are going to try - TOGETHER - to eat healthy. This means no more (fill-in-the-blank). Foods that are bad for us are also bad for our bodies. We're not going to argue over food. We will either eat it or not, and that is each person's choice..." maybe just prepare them for the change by explaining WHY you are making this change, and also how this is a GOOD change, that you know it might be different and new, but you KNOW they can do it because being healthy is really important!

Remind them that eating healthy foods makes us smarter, makes us run faster, climb higher, etc....

I think if you can turn it into a positive thing, maybe it will help. If your kids are old enough, they could even help you come up with ideas for healthy, nutritious meals, and help you shop for them. You could make this a real learning experience for them! This way, it feels much less like they are giving something up, and more like they are making a positive change to benefit themselves.

Last edited by Kiliki; 08-22-2012 at 02:08 PM.
Kiliki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
AcrossTheUniverse's Avatar
AcrossTheUniverse
Registered Users
Formerly: ReiSapphireJade
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Arizona!
Posts: 5,026
My Mood:
Re: Help! My kids are killing me...

My kids are the same way. I use to cater to them but now that I have 5 kids I just can't do it anymore. I offer them whatever I've planned for their meals and they can eat it or not eat it, it is their choice.

I've also started making a lot of things from scratch because I also want to avoid processed stuff. It is a lot cheaper! I make homemade granola bars, homemade muffins, homemade pita bread, homemade hummus, homemade yogurt, etc... I also keep a lot of fruit on hand and I always buy the fruit that is in season/on sale. I've been able to keep my food budget around $300 a month for our entire family (of 7).

An example of a day:

Breakfast: Homemade yogurt with strawberry jam and toast
Snack: Pita bread, carrot/celery sticks, and hummus
Lunch: Cheese quesadillas and grapes
Snack: Homemade granola bars and applesauce
Dinner: Lemon chicken with rice and green beans
__________________
Heather, wife to James & mommy to:
Jaden (8.06), Mara (8.07), Fenn (5.09),
Elias (7.10), & Levi (11.11) 80lbs lost!
*i* Loved and Lost (6/12), (9/12), & (2/13) *i*

Last edited by AcrossTheUniverse; 08-22-2012 at 02:03 PM.
AcrossTheUniverse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
kelpie169's Avatar
kelpie169
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 1,838
I agree with alot of the pp. eat it or dont. Kids won't starve themselves. The most tailored our kids meals gets here is my oldest doesn't like sauce on his pasta. Which is fine by me since usually we serve it separately. But if it's a mix in sauce he eats it or doesn't. That being said there are things I will compromise on. For example I'll ask them I they want a bagel or cereal for breakfast. Basically find 2 options that are equally acceptable to you an give them he choice. I find they're much more agreeable if they get I choose even that little amount. We also limit how log thy have to eat. Otherwise they'd eat a meal for hours and then snack for hours then meal for hours....yeah. They're like hollow legs! Find something filling like oatmeal too. My youngest just started eating oatmeal and he eats more than my husband and I usually. But the oatmeal curbed that. So we usually do 30-45 mins for wake up and breakfast. Then around mid day they get a snack. Lunch is around 2 (when my older gets home from school-he won't eat much there) and then another snack around 5. Dinner is anywhere from 6.30-8. And it's usually about 30-45 mins allowed for meals. My oldest would literally sit there for 3 hours eating if we let himZ
kelpie169 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
lalaith's Avatar
lalaith
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 591
Your DS is practically an omnivore compared to kids in my family. The worst was my cousin: chicken nuggets, apples, cold hot dogs, goldfish and grilled cheese sandwiches. . I desperately hope my LO inherits his daddy's love of new foods. We're all adults now, and there is still not a single food everyone in the family will eat.

Drove (drives) my mother and DH batty. Both love cooking, trying new foods, etc.

Turns out we're all "super tasters" or whatever, making flavors much more strong to us than most people. Couple that with VERY sensitive stomachs, and we're terrified to try new foods, since it will probably make us sick.

Not that we could explain that at 4 years old.

No real advice here. Mom made dinner, if you didn't like it you had to get your own (we ate a lot of cheerios), and you still had to sit down at he table with the family. She tried to rotate meals so no one got more than two cereal nights a week. We were allowed to turn down food, but we wereNEVER allowed to be rude about it.

Soooo... It could be worse? And if it's that bad for you too, you're not alone?
__________________
The time has come, my online friends, to talk of many things:
Of flats, and wool, and hybrid dipes - of breastfeeding and slings-
And why our bed is cramped at night,
and the joy my munchkin brings!

Last edited by lalaith; 08-22-2012 at 10:10 PM.
lalaith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
BeccaSueCongdon's Avatar
BeccaSueCongdon
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3,621
My son is picky too, but he has sensory processing dysfunction and we work with a feeding therapist to help introduce new stuff. I'd confirm first that he doesn't have any feeding issues (sensory or anatomical) before going all soup-Nazi on him. ;-)

-says the recovering soup Nazi with the special needs kid. ::good vibes::
BeccaSueCongdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.