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  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 08:56 AM
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Angry Cruel and Unusual Punishment??

I have a 2 1/2 yr old that doesn't eat anything unless it's junk food. So...for breakfast I had peaches and blueberry muffins (a few things I KNOW she will eat)... she won't budge - all she wants it HER MILK...Ugh. So, it has been an hour and I'm still holding strong. She can't get out of her seat until she eats 1 bite of each. Is this too harsh?? She drinks her milk ALL day and then isn't hungry unless it's a cookie or chips. She sees all the kids playing but she won't eat. Wondering if I should give in?....PLEASE HELP
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:07 AM
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My kids AND daycare kids get what they get and they dont throw a fit, if she refuses to eat then take the food away after a normal amount of eating time and DO NOT give her any milk unless its with meals, I've had dcks in the past like this and when i serve them milk with thier food they only get a couple of swallows until/unless they eat a good majority of their food then they can have more milk..I DO NOT allow ANY kids to walk around with food or drinks and especially not infants or toddlers with bottles/sippy cups, when your dcg is thirsty between meals and snacks give her a drink of water, it may take a few days but eventually she will learn that if she wants to eat she has to eat at meal times and whats in front of her and that she will only get milk if she eats.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:50 AM
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No, that's not cruel at all. I'd switch her to water only until she starts eating again. It's your job to do your best to ensure she is well cared for during the day and that includes making sure she eats. Even after she begins eating for you, you will probably still need to limit her milk intake, because it can be really easy for her to fall right back into the old habit of filling up on that instead of her food.

My son did that with juice before I knew any better. For my son I do milk at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, juice with snacks, and water anytime he needs it inbetween.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:58 AM
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Nope, not cruel or unusual...

When you say "all day" for the milk, are you giving her milk in between meals? I definitely wouldn't do that under these circumstances. Also, when I've had kids like this, I just don't give them their milk until they have eaten a few bites of food first. They learn pretty quick.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:01 AM
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I give them my dessert(might only be applesauce, jello, cookie, etc.) after they eat everything, the main dish and veg. otherwise they would eat that first and say they were full. I give them a 1/2 children's glass of milk at mealtime and juice or water at both snacks. If they want anything else to drink in between, they just receive water.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:19 AM
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My two cents, for what it's worth, is that making her sit there that long is a little extreme (but no offense intended). I have several kids that don't eat anywhere near what I think they should be eating, but unless there's a medical condition involved, I think it's better to let the kids listen to their own bodies. If they're not hungry, they're not hungry. That said, I have set meals and snacks. Food is placed in front of the kids. If they choose not to eat, that's their choice. We don't have dessert or treats or substitutions so I don't use that as an incentive. Lots of fruit and veggies and whole grains. Milk & juice is only served at breakfast, am snack, and lunch (2 glasses max.). The rest of the day it's water. I tell them quite often that eating is completely up to them.

Being the controlling person that I am , I would prefer to make kids eat everything on their plate. But, for the strong-willed ones (and this one sounds like one of those), it could quickly become a battle ground. IMO, eating is not where you want to stake your claim. Naptime, rules, etc are where you need to spend your energy, but with eating -- there could just end up being so many issues later on in life (eating disorders, or obesity).

The other thing is, what if the child doesn't eat for the rest of the day and is still sitting there at pick-up time?
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:39 AM
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My two cents, for what it's worth, is that making her sit there that long is a little extreme (but no offense intended). I have several kids that don't eat anywhere near what I think they should be eating, but unless there's a medical condition involved, I think it's better to let the kids listen to their own bodies. If they're not hungry, they're not hungry. That said, I have set meals and snacks. Food is placed in front of the kids. If they choose not to eat, that's their choice. We don't have dessert or treats or substitutions so I don't use that as an incentive. Lots of fruit and veggies and whole grains. Milk & juice is only served at breakfast, am snack, and lunch (2 glasses max.). The rest of the day it's water. I tell them quite often that eating is completely up to them.

Being the controlling person that I am , I would prefer to make kids eat everything on their plate. But, for the strong-willed ones (and this one sounds like one of those), it could quickly become a battle ground. IMO, eating is not where you want to stake your claim. Naptime, rules, etc are where you need to spend your energy, but with eating -- there could just end up being so many issues later on in life (eating disorders, or obesity).

The other thing is, what if the child doesn't eat for the rest of the day and is still sitting there at pick-up time?
I agree, I let the child sit there, and if they are not going to eat anything, that is their choice, they will not get my dessert that day(fruit, pudding, jello, applesause, cookie, etc) It varies day by day what we have. Many times it is a fruit(which they usually love this) if they decide they are not going to eat the main dish and veg. they don't eat. I tell them, they are not going to be getting anything else til pm snacks, after resttime.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:49 AM
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Rather than to make her sit there until she eats what if you were to saran the plate and bring it back out for snack/lunch until she takes her bite. When she sees the other children eating something else maybe she'll give in. I have a two bite rule and every child has to eat two bites of everything on their plate or they don't get to go out side and play, or craft or what ever. I've only had a couple children that have fought the rule and after a couple of days of watching the other kids play and getting the same food back the next meal they pretty much try everything.

I did have one girl that started screaming every time we sat down to eat and there were no gummy bears or chips on her plate. After a couple of days of this she would spend the meal in the sleep room with a tantrum while the rest of us ate. Daddy only gave her chips and candy. Too bad, so sad! Now she will try everything, she got very hungry and I don't do junk.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:54 AM
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I have a 6 year old school aged boy that refuses to eat anything but cookies, cakes ect. I offer him lunch and he has the option to eat or not. He gets milk as well. If he chooses not to eat it, then he doesn't get snack. His meal is waiting for him still at snack time. I wont give water/juice until his milk is gone. There have been times were he wanted a cookie for snack and he ate his lunch at snack time and then had a cookie for snack. I don't make him sit there the entire time though, he is free to play but if he complains he is hungry that is his own fault and he has to wait until snack time to eat his lunch.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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I used to make my own kids sit until they ate at least one bite of everything on their plate, but now that is one of the battles that I regret having with them. When I look back that is one time when I think --wow that was way too controlling and not neccessary! Maybe it's easier to let some thngs go now that I'm a LITTLE older, maybe now I can see the bigger picture and realize it wasn't such a big deal--I don't know. But food is one battle I won''t stress over anymore. It can become such a huge power struggle, and there is really no way the adult can win--you can't make someone put something in their mouth and swollow it. I also noticed my kids appetites would change from time to time, depending on growth spurts, activity level, and other things.
Is this the only struggle you're having with her, or is she a very strong-willed child and this is one of many struggles?
That being said. I would not give her any junk food at all. She can have what you serve for meals/snacks and that's it. And I would hold off on the milk until she's eaten at least some food.
In Michigan it's against the rules to force a child to eat something or to withhold any food. "Children shall be encouraged to taste new foods, but shall not be required to eat anything they do not want"
Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:28 PM
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childminder and gbcc I like this idea! Effective tomorrow, I think I will start saving uneaten lunches and bringing them out again at snack time. If they take a bite then they can have the snack that the others eating. This just might work for my group.
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2010, 12:45 PM
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Food is not the hill I'm willing to die on.
I put food in front of them. If they want seconds of something, all the food on their plate needs to be gone.
That's my only rule.
If they eat, great. If they don't, I really would have a hard time caring less (not really, it drives me freaking nuts, but I don't let them know that), and just give them an oh well, sit and watch everyone else eat.
If they are hungry they will eat, but hey, no ones going to starve to death.

Parents will hit up Micky D's after they leave your house anyway, officially canceling out anything nutritious you may have managed to squeeze in there anyway.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:13 PM
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I have a girl in my daycare that wont eat anything but junk food. I have tried everything to get her to eat more healthy foods. I finally just gave up. I serve the healthy food, if she refuses to eat it then fine she doesn't get anything else to eat. I don't fight her on the one bite rule because it just doesn't seem worth it to me. Her parents actually asked if they could bring food for her (their ideas of food were cheetos, fruit snacks, chips, and yes SODA...she's 3!!!) I told them there was no way I could let her eat foods like that in my house because it would upset the other children. So most days she just doesn't eat anything (which sounds horrible) but yesterday I figured out why, her parents are loading her up on junk food before she comes in the morning. It was 8am and she had a bag of chip ahoys, cheetos, and soda.

I don't understand parents. My kids rarely ever get sweets so when they do it's a big deal (a treat)
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:31 PM
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I wouldn't make her sit there for extreeme long periods..just don't give her the cookie or sweets until she eats something good. If she doesn't eat her good food, she doesn't get the sweet snack. At snack time offer her the good food again...no good foods, no sweets. That's my rule with my 6 year old daughter who has a HUGE sweet tooth.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:06 AM
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(warning! not for thse with a weak stomach) LOL

i used to make the kids sit there until they ate. one day i fought with a dgb about eating his carrots. when i fianlly got him to eat them, he looked at me with this strange face i've never seen before, and opened his mouth and out it came. ALL. OVER. EVERYTHING. alot more came out then went in. ALOT more.

lets just say, i dont make kids eat it if they dont want to anymore
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:08 AM
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(warning! not for thse with a weak stomach) LOL

i used to make the kids sit there until they ate. one day i fought with a dgb about eating his carrots. when i fianlly got him to eat them, he looked at me with this strange face i've never seen before, and opened his mouth and out it came. ALL. OVER. EVERYTHING. alot more came out then went in. ALOT more.

lets just say, i dont make kids eat it if they dont want to anymore

Before I knew any better I did this same thing - three separate times on three seperate kids. The same thing happend every single time so I don't force it anymore either. It wasn't a lot of puke but it was just enough to make me almost puke myself!
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:11 AM
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OMG!!! I am glad I never forced anyone to eat anything. What a great learning experience!! YUCK!!!!!!
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:46 AM
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I dont force the kids to eat. I leave it on the table for the normal serving time and then it goes in the trash. They get milk with their meals and at no other time. They each have a color coded water cup that is out for them to drink as needed. Why get stressed out over what they eat??? They are not our children. We offer healthy meals and snacks and that is the extent of our responsibility IMO.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:04 AM
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I dont force the kids to eat. I leave it on the table for the normal serving time and then it goes in the trash. They get milk with their meals and at no other time. They each have a color coded water cup that is out for them to drink as needed. Why get stressed out over what they eat??? They are not our children. We offer healthy meals and snacks and that is the extent of our responsibility IMO.
I think that I was stressed out about the eating thing with the one boy because I knew for a fact that all he ate was garbage when he wasn't in my care. His Mom admitted to my face that she takes him to McDonald's every day. I thought she was exaggerating but she was not. He goes to McD's EVERY SINGLE DAY! One time at pickup he asked to go and she said no. I was SHOCKED until he asked why and she said "Because we're going to Burger King today!" UUGGHHH - go figure. After a while I realized it was a losing battle. After about 3 months, he came around and started eating some things here. Now he at least takes a tiny bite of everything on his plate. The experts say that sometimes you have to offer a food up to 15 times before a child will try it. I guess that was the case here. Whenever he tells his mom what he had for lunch she always says WOW, how did you get him to eat that?! I just want to slap her because I know they are going to walk right out the door at stop at McD's on the way home. So frustrating. It's just like unregistered said:

"Parents will hit up Micky D's after they leave your house anyway, officially canceling out anything nutritious you may have managed to squeeze in there anyway. "
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:04 AM
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Thank you everyone so much! I have learned A LOT! The only problem I have is that the parents won't enforce what I do...so I'm thinking it's going to be a battle day after day. I like the "wrapping it up and pulling it back out"...so I may see if that works. I am NOT going to stress myself and the dck out anymore - it made for a MISERABLE morning! So....I may talk to the parents and see..but according to them, "the doctor said as long as she is drinking as much milk as she does, she is getting all the vitamins she needs without the food"...so I guess that's why they are not worried.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:33 AM
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Why get stressed out over what they eat??? They are not our children. We offer healthy meals and snacks and that is the extent of our responsibility IMO.
Understandable and I feel somewhat the same way in most cases. But not in a situation like Amadia's. Cookies, Cheetos, and soda for breakfast!?!?! In cases like that I'd make it my #1 priority above all others, for that individual child, to learn to eat healthier in my home. I wouldn't try to force it, but I'd throw away any junk she brings in, do my best to get her to work up a good appetite, only offer healthy foods, and not let her fill up on drinks. I read Amadia's post yesterday and it has bothered me ever since. Just when I think I've heard it all, along comes another story that absolutely floors me!

I'd step in on the original poster's child as well. The filling up on drinks, left unchecked, can effect their growth. One other thing that worked for my son (who filled up on juice) was sitting with him at the table and giving him 1 sip of his drink for every bite of food he ate. It helped him a lot to transition back to eating.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:20 AM
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I agree with alot of the providers here.....choose your battles, and food is not one of them.

That being said, here it is against regulations to make a child eat anything. It is alos against regs to withhold food.

As far as re-serving a meal for snack....that's just gross.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:30 AM
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I couldn't afford to provide that much milk. The kids here have to keep their cup on the table, they can come and drink whenever they want. They only get milk or juice at breakfast and lunch and water in between and with snacks. I am a big water drinker and my family drinks lots of water, so I just do with them, what I do at with my own kids. I don't think kids drink enough water, if they are thirsty, that is what they need to drink.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:38 AM
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I agree with alot of the providers here.....choose your battles, and food is not one of them.

That being said, here it is against regulations to make a child eat anything. It is alos against regs to withhold food.

As far as re-serving a meal for snack....that's just gross.
I personally would never do it- reserving their meal for a snack! Whatever that needs to be done, might work for some and not for others!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:21 AM
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While I do agree about the "picking your battles" point, I get so frustrated when I make healthy food and they won't eat it, but want the brownies I made. Today for example, made a very good batch of goulash, so each kid got goulash, a lunchmeat sandwich, and crackers. Guess what, I threw away 5 plates of goulash and the sandwiches, because they would not eat it, after 40 minutes I told them they were done. When the kindergartener came home from school, his went in the trash too, 1/2 a sandwich and all the goulash, after 30 minutes, he got up and went to bed. This is what makes me mad. It cost money to fix that, hamburger, tomatoes, pasta, lunchmeat, bread, and it went into the trash.

IF they get a snack today, it will be a cracker or two and that is it. I personally think they should have to wait to the next meal to get something to eat, after throwing all that food away.........This is exactly why I continue to serve what I do, mac and chees, hot dogs, spaghettios, pancakes, simple kids foods, because whenever I put time and money in anything else, it just gets dumped in the trash.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:56 PM
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This is exactly why I continue to serve what I do, mac and chees, hot dogs, spaghettios, pancakes, simple kids foods, because whenever I put time and money in anything else, it just gets dumped in the trash.
I am the same. I SO BADLY want to feed them nutritious food - fruits and veges, but they won't eat it. I do offer it (small portions) along with food that they will eat. Mac n cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc. Yeah the "not so good for you" food is served along with f/v...and I feel kinda bad, but they have to eat. I can't just let them starve......

PS - I do not serve junk food all day, if that's the way it sounded...lol.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:29 PM
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I don't get why some people think that it's gross to serve their lunch plate again at snack-time. It's been covered, refridgerated, and then reheated, right? Sounds just as good as the original lunch to me, but maybe I've missed something here?
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:05 PM
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food that has been touched by tiny fingers, possibly bitten off of, etc. grows bacteria. That is gross.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadia View Post
I have a girl in my daycare that wont eat anything but junk food. I have tried everything to get her to eat more healthy foods. I finally just gave up. I serve the healthy food, if she refuses to eat it then fine she doesn't get anything else to eat. I don't fight her on the one bite rule because it just doesn't seem worth it to me. Her parents actually asked if they could bring food for her (their ideas of food were cheetos, fruit snacks, chips, and yes SODA...she's 3!!!) I told them there was no way I could let her eat foods like that in my house because it would upset the other children. So most days she just doesn't eat anything (which sounds horrible) but yesterday I figured out why, her parents are loading her up on junk food before she comes in the morning. It was 8am and she had a bag of chip ahoys, cheetos, and soda.

I don't understand parents. My kids rarely ever get sweets so when they do it's a big deal (a treat)
WOW! That is absolutely ridiculous to me! I can't imagine giving ANY soda to a 3 year old even on rare occasions let alone every day! I barely allow my 9 year old niece drink it when she's with me!
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:15 PM
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While I do agree about the "picking your battles" point, I get so frustrated when I make healthy food and they won't eat it, but want the brownies I made. Today for example, made a very good batch of goulash, so each kid got goulash, a lunchmeat sandwich, and crackers. Guess what, I threw away 5 plates of goulash and the sandwiches, because they would not eat it, after 40 minutes I told them they were done. When the kindergartener came home from school, his went in the trash too, 1/2 a sandwich and all the goulash, after 30 minutes, he got up and went to bed. This is what makes me mad. It cost money to fix that, hamburger, tomatoes, pasta, lunchmeat, bread, and it went into the trash.

IF they get a snack today, it will be a cracker or two and that is it. I personally think they should have to wait to the next meal to get something to eat, after throwing all that food away.........This is exactly why I continue to serve what I do, mac and chees, hot dogs, spaghettios, pancakes, simple kids foods, because whenever I put time and money in anything else, it just gets dumped in the trash.
Yep, this sucks!!
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:01 PM
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Here's my take. There are only TWO things a child can control. What goes in their mouth, and when it comes out (as in poop or puke).

I've served that lunch at snack - many times. I gave up. I think it made the child even more stubborn. And the other children's response to seeing the child sit there again wasn't what I wanted to foster.

I serve "adult" food except for the occasional chicken nuggets. If they are hungry before snack, I just say: darn, you should have eaten lunch.

Now, I don't serve the sweet snacks very often. But, they are sometimes the "second helping" at lunch when I have a challenging food. I don't cook much of the challenge food, if a child eats everything on their plate, and I don't have seconds of what they want, I "scrounge around" and oh, look, all I have is a cookie for seconds today. More will eat the challenge food then.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:18 PM
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food that has been touched by tiny fingers, possibly bitten off of, etc. grows bacteria. That is gross.
Oh well, yeah maybe. I was thinking specifically of the kids that boycotted their entire meal and refused everything. I have never had to use this tactic (bringing out lunch again at snack) despite picky eaters. I don't think I would ever try it unless they flatly refuse everything. I don't see any issue with doing this if it's an untouched meal.

Last edited by Daycare Mommy; 03-23-2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Oops! Hit send too soon. Added a line. :)
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:11 PM
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food that has been touched by tiny fingers, possibly bitten off of, etc. grows bacteria. That is gross.
I don't think that anyone just leaves it sitting on the table until snack. It would go in the fridge until snack time and then get reheated. How is this any different than bringing home a doggie bag from a restaurant and reheating the food to eat the next day???
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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I guess it's a personal preference, and I think it's gross.

And, if I knew my provider was doing that with my child I would be livid.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:18 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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If you're licensed then you should talk to licensing and ask them. I'm in CA and here we can't force any of our kids to eat. I was specifically reasured today (I had a surprise visit today from my licensing) that our jobs here are to provide healthy meals and that is all. It is up to the child to eat or not. If the child is in your care for a long time and eats absolutely nothing talk to the parent and let them know. If they eat junkfood at home and that's the reason why they wont eat with you, they have to know. The way I figure is if they don't eat what I serve, they must not be that hungry. They won't starve to death.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:10 AM
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I agree, but just don't expect me to give them the fun snack 2 hours later when I just threw away a plate of food they sat and stared at for 40 minutes. Snacks are a priveledge, something that you have to earn in some respects, and throwing your lunch away is not the way to earn one.
Bk at 8:15, lunch at 11:30, start going home around 3. Nobody is going hungry or starving here.
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:28 AM
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I don't do many "fun" snacks.
Fruit is my typical afternoon snack because that's what I want my child eating when she comes home from school.
If it's no fruit then it's some sort of protein like cheese, yogurt, or hard boiled egg.
I try to view food as more functional than as a treat.
I try to keep emotions out of the equation. Try, not always successful.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal View Post
I agree with alot of the providers here.....choose your battles, and food is not one of them.

That being said, here it is against regulations to make a child eat anything. It is alos against regs to withhold food.

As far as re-serving a meal for snack....that's just gross.
I agree! I would be very upset if I were a parent and I found out that if my child did not eat their lunch then they would re-serve it hours later as snack! What is the point?? We need to serve each meal individually and offer nutritious choices. If the child eats then great...if they dont then oh well...they will get another healthy food choice at the next meal/snack time. I am against re-serving a lunch for snack.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:56 AM
laundryduchess@yahoo.com laundryduchess@yahoo.com is offline
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I agree, I would give smaller portions to the child I knew wasnt going to eat, I would divide it onto another plate, so he could get the same amount, but I didnt waste it and could offer it to another child if he refused to eat. He would still have available a full serving, but not all at once.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laundryduchess@yahoo.com View Post
I agree, I would give smaller portions to the child I knew wasnt going to eat, I would divide it onto another plate, so he could get the same amount, but I didnt waste it and could offer it to another child if he refused to eat. He would still have available a full serving, but not all at once.

This is what I do, especially whenever I get a new child and are unsure how much he will eat. They can always have seconds so I don't feel bad about giving them smaller portions. I also do this when I'm trying out a "new" food that I haven't served to the kids before to see how well they will like it.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default I'm the Switzerland of Food Wars!!!!

I just refuse to fight about food. I serve pretty healthy, while still kid friendly, meals and snacks. Some kids are just picky eaters and nothing usually can change that. I don't have the time nor the inclination to make an entirely separate meal just because a kid doesn't like what I have made. I offer the food to the kids, but I can't legally make them eat, and even if I could do it legally, I still wouldn't make them eat. My daughter was aa kid that would have periods where she would barely eat. Once I made her eat some of her food. It was mac & cheese and I told her "just 5 more bites and you can be done". After the 5th bite, she puked everywhere! Mac & cheese in puke form sucks to clean up! It's all pasty and chunky! Yuck!!! Now, if a child won't eat, then that's fine by me, but I make sure that they understand that food won't be offered again until the next meal or snack and I ask them to be sure of their choice. I always give them water whenever they want it, but like with any other food or drink, it has to be consumed at the table. To try to keep my grocery bill down, I've started with smaller portions and just given seconds when asked. I found that I was wasting a minimum of 1 gallon of milk a week! And I buy the hormone free kind so it adds up! I usually don't do the "fun" snacks, but when I do, I make sure that I give a supplement to the snack that is on the healthy side. Example, I had a kid with a birthday last week so we had cake, juice and apple slices and celery sticks, lol! I just don't want to argue with kids over food, and I make it clear to the parents that I'm not a short order cook, so we all eat the same meal unless there is a medical or religious reason not to. Then I will make exceptions. I also don't allow outside food to come in at all. I will either have the kid give it back to the parent at drop off or I will put it away as soon as they come into the house. But no stressing out over it. If a kid gets hungry enough, the kid will eat. I just choose to be neutral. I don't care one way or the other, because it's their tummies that will be growling, not mine!
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