View Full Version : What do dc's meal times look like in your house??

06-22-2005, 12:18 PM
I can't help but suspect that we're doing this very differently from everyone else - confirm or deny? How does it work over there?

Here's what it looks like at our house:

At roughly the same times every day (lunch is iffy because naps are unpredictable) - parent makes food in kitchen. Meals always consist of two or three different items - like asparagus, chicken hot dogs, and apple. We have yet to give her anything combined, like pasta with sauce - it's just three separate ingredients - no dishes.

Parent puts child in booster (also in kitchen.) Child refuses to eat anything until whatever is being cooked, which she assumes, usually correctly, is meat. Before the meat is served, she throws anything else on the floor and fusses and points to the stove.

Meat is cut into bits and placed either in bowl in front of dd, or on tray of booster, depending on what's clean. :) Dd eats meat at the speed of light and indicates when she wants more. Parent continues to place meat in front of dd as requested, until it is all gone. Parent then offers next item. dd either eats or drops on floor. Parent offers last item - ditto. Throughout meal, dd indicates when she wants a drink of water and parent also offers.

Meal is over when dd starts to drop whatever is left onto the floor or otherwise begins a refusal to eat, signs "All done", or parent is exhausted. LOL. Parent and dd together wash tray and dd's hands with washcloth.

Whaddaya think? Vastly different from your household? Wanna paint your picture here? I'd love to get an idea of what others do.

Btw - meals at restaurants are a whole different story, because we're all eating together. We just put her food in front of her and we eat while she eats!


06-22-2005, 12:44 PM
This is going to paint us as not very good parents, I fear. ;) Also, it's going to be long.

We keep DS's highchair in the kitchen, and we feed him his food while we cook ours. We get home from work around 6pm, and if we made Riley wait until our dinner was ready, he would be crazy with hunger. (We always save him a portion of whatever protein item we had that night, and he eats them the next night. I know that sounds kind of mean, feeding him leftovers, but it works best.)

We have two different ways of feeding him - one is for if he's in a good mood and willing to eat. The other is for if he's in a bad mood and not willing to eat. (In the worst cases, neither of these work and he gets an ounce of cheese, an Earth's Best Sunny Days bar, and we give up.)

Ok, here's the "Good mood" ritual -
We give him a few sticks of cheese, which he usually eats pretty happily - while we get the rest of his meal cut up/warmed up/smashed up, whatever. Then we feed him a veggie - usually something orange, because a) he eats his green veggie at lunch, and b) at dinner, he tends to be more of a pain about eating and he likes the orange ones better because they're sweeter. Then we give him a protein item - finger-food sized pieces of steak, chicken, fish, or egg. Sometimes he tries to eat them with a fork, and sometimes he just uses his fingers. We always try to get 1-2 ounces of meat into him - sometimes with more success than others. After that, we give him a 'dessert' thing - usually cut up pieces of fruit.

The "Bad mood" ritual is slightly different -
We give him cheese. He screams "No!" and tries to hand it back to us. We take it, he screams "Mine!" and takes it back. Then he eats it while we prepare his dinner. When he's being like this, we usually mix his veggie and protein together. (We've found that the longer dinner takes while he's in this mood, the more likely that he'll just stop eating.) We feed him the veggies and protein, sometimes mixing in applesauce or smashed pears if he's being *really* difficult about eating. Then we feed him his 'dessert', and he screams "No! Stop! Don't!" while we wash him up.

After he's done, we go sit at the table and eat our dinner. Usually he'll wander us, occasionally coming over and opening his mouth like a little bird if he wants a bite.

We've tried doing the "All sit at the table and feed him while we eat thing", and it just leads to one of us being frustrated and having cold food. We're hoping that once he's a little better at feeding himself, we can do that, but we're not expecting it to work for a few months, at least.

And meals at restaurants don't much happen right now. Mostly we get fast food and take it to the park, or make a picnic and take it to the park. He's just too bipolar to try taking out to eat right now. ;)

Emmas Mom
06-22-2005, 11:47 PM
Ok, I'm going to be "worst" parent here because I give my daughter whatever I can get her to eat....within reason. ;) Veggies...yeah right! What happened to my happy little infant who gobbled up EVERY jar of veggies I gave her?! I will actually still try to give her a jar of stage 2 or 3 veggies if I think she'll buy my "VEGGIE SAUCE" line. It hasn't been working lately. If I'm lucky she'll eat some canned peas that I mix in with rice or mac 'n cheese or something to disguise the taste. Same with Ranch dressing! I did try Broccoli & Cauliflower with cheese sauce & it was a no go though. And she'll ususally eat just about anything w/cheese sauce or Ranch. (sigh) Meat? Eggs? Um...no. You'd think we were vegetarians....oh but that would imply she would maybe EAT vegetables! Again, I go with whatever I can get her to eat. You want a Cheeseburger from McDonalds? Hey! That's protein in my book (not that I will run out & buy one but I have considered it!). Now she's a bit on the small side for weight (about 20-25%) so I'm a bit more lenient right now. The thought of her growing up on Cheeseburgers is a bit nauseating (of course that could be the morning sickness too). Lately, she HAS been going for Chicken nuggets & you could have blown me over with a whatever that phrase is but tonight she actually ate TWO Fishsticks!!!! I think I'm still in shock. She does love cheese & yogurt. I'm definitely not worried about vit D & Calcium. I do give her 1/2 a My First Flintstones vitamin each day which she chows down & asks for more of. Oh and she loves "rees"...that would be raisins. I give her a mixed berry variety & think I'm doing good. Another standby is the Gerber Graduates Pastas (I can usually get her to eat the Chicken/Carrots kind if I put a little Ranch on it). What is it with toddlers & sauces. I swear she'd eat a bottle of ketchup if I let her! Hey....is ketchup a vegetable?

So, to answer your question...yeah, dinnertime at our house is a bit different. lol I will offer her whatever we're eating but if she doesn't want it I'll try for whatever I can get her to eat. This does get better....right?!

ETA: I will say she does sit very nicely in her booster seat at the table & even asks for her Fork before she starts eating. Though I think the fork is more just a toy since she still prefers to use her hands. It's quite funny to see her try to eat rice! I do think she's getting the hang of utensils better, though tonight she did try to eat her foot with her fork (I swear I feed her!).

06-23-2005, 02:40 AM
I make dinner for the family and we all eat at the same time. Typically 3 items are being served. If I think Logan will balk at the food, I will put an additional item on his plate- typically yogurt or half a banana. He has these wonderful divided plates and I put each item in it's section so it is fairly separated unless it is a casserole (and even then I've divided it up sometimes). I put Logan's food on his plate to cool off prior to serving it to the whole family. Then we all sit down (Logan in his booster seat at the table) and eat. Logan knows that all food is GONE for the hour if he throws anything. Then when done, wash hands and off to play while we finish dinner- although often he is the last one eating!

06-23-2005, 06:58 AM
Julie, this is exactly what we do here. I put everything on his plate to cool off first and we all sit down together. Also typically 3 things here - like a veggie, meat, and a side. If I don't think he's going to like the things, I will include some cheese or bread. If he's finished before us, he can go play (we're not asking him to sit there the whole time yet).

06-23-2005, 11:35 AM
DH and I both work full time outside the home, so the only meal we consistently eat together during the week is dinner. But our weekend lunches and breakfasts work pretty much the same way. We try to get us all to sit down together (Sarah in her Kinderzeat), and unless we're having someting we know Sarah doesn't like, she eats what we eat. If we're having something I don't think she'll like, I'll still serve some to her and supplement it with some cheese or raw veggies (she dislikes most cooked veggies, unless hidden) or leftovers. Sometimes she sits with us through the whole meal, but often we excuse her early so she can go play.

Occasionally, she gets really hungry before we finish cookng so I'll give her a small snack or just feed her before ours is ready. When eating alone, she prefers to either sit at her table and chair set or stand on her Learning Tower at the kitchen counter. She doesn't eat much at all (quantity-wise and sometimes variety-wise), so I've become more flexible about the when/where/what she consumes. She is luckily past throwing food, but will start to play with it sometimes. I then ask if she is still hungry or is just playing and she'll either resume eating or tell me she is "all done."

Restaurants are hit or miss, based on how tired/clingy she is. We opt for take out or go-up-to-the-counter-and-order-type palces if we don't think she'll be able to sit for an hour or more. We went through a rough few months, but things are getting better again. I just make sure to bring some fun "restaurant only" toys and she is generally pretty good.

I have no idea if what we do is typical, but most of the time it works for us, so we've stuck with it. Sometimes she will go a meal or two without eating more than literally a bite or two, but I've tried to worry less about this, since she is very healthy, overall.

Melissa, mom to Sarah (5/03)

06-25-2005, 01:22 AM
That is exactly what we do also, right down to the divided plates which I love (thank you Target dollar sections!!)


06-27-2005, 10:06 PM
I recently stocked up on great divider plates at Walmart in the baby plate section. They were $.99 cents, and come with a lid. Great for leftovers!

06-30-2005, 08:56 PM
Lets see. DD ate like a horse until 11.5 months at pretty scheduled intervals and still eats at the same time but very little. Meals are served at 7:30am, 12ish and 5ish with 2 snacks and 3 bottles in between. We don't eat dinner with DD during the week but on the weekends we try to have all meals together.

DIsclaimer: The only meal that DD consumes a lot of food is breakfast (cereal, children's cream of wheat, wheat pancakae or wheat waffle all with fresh fruit or unsweetened organic apple sauce).

DD is placed in high chair,in dining room with either some wheat or rice or cheese puffs while I prepare food. Except for breakfast items, most food is rejected these days, especially meat.

I try to place meat on tray while DD tosses it onto the carpet, smears it in her hair or mushes it in her hands. few little pieces end up in the mouth. veggies get tossed. fresh cut up fruit is welcome, occassionally greek yogurt. I sign "more" and if DD signs back, I make her mac and cheese (those Amy microwaveable things). DD asks for water throughout meal.

When everything starts flying or being smeared/spitted out, etc. meal is over. Sometimes DD will sign "All DOne", most times I have to initiate.

for snacks I give DD tea biscuits, Trader Joe cereal bars, string or other cheese and fruit/yogurt. I either follow DD around or I place her in my lap and feed.

Sad conclusion: DD lives on breakfast food, mac n cheese, more cheese, fruit, yogurt, snacks and formula.

We haven't been to a restaurant in months with DD. 15 minutes and she's done with her food and done with sitting. we stick to take out when we order out.

August Mom
07-01-2005, 03:57 PM
At home, DS gets to choose what he has for breakfast. At lunch, I generally give him a couple of choices. For dinner, he gets whatever we're having. Sometimes, I save some raw veggies for him if they will be cooked in our meal (because he likes raw better than cooked) but other than that, he gets the same thing. I put it on the same plate and serve it at the same time (although I try to get his on the plate first and let it cool). Sometimes he eats it and sometimes he doesn't. If he doesn't want to eat it, he can get down and play, but I don't make him a separate meal.