Serving only one meal at mealtime

  • My oldest has been making a slow transformation from a girl who gladly ate whatever you put in front of her to a picky eater. We have stuck to our policy of serving one meal at mealtime which you either eat or don’t eat at all. Just this past week, she has chosen to skip meals instead of eating what we made. Should we stick to this policy? --Chris

  • I would say stick to the plan... I was raised that you eat what is made or you don't eat for that meal and from experience i can tell you if you get hungry enough you will eat at least a portion of what is put in front of you. Of course monitor her weight and health with the help of her doctor, but at 5 she is capable of knowing that you are the boss and she needs to eat what you have made for her. She is probably going through a phase and testing her boundaries to see just how much she can get away with. If you fold and start making her special stuff to get her to eat you are going to have a much harder time convincing her to eat what you have made. now for some ideas to help her be more receptive to the idea of eating what is made... does she help with dinner ideas or help prepare dinner? At 5 she should be old enough to rinse vegetables, put chopped vegetables into the pan or pot (with supervision of course), mix mashed potatoes, spoon in butter or milk, crack and mix eggs, dredge chicken in eggs and flour (Always with supervision and proper hygene before and after), sprinkle cheese or toppings, stir stuff... the list of small cooking chores goes on and on. Studies have shown that children are more likely to eat and  like their dinner and vegetables if they know what it is and help make it. Not to mention the small tasks we we learn in the kitchen are the building blocks to healthy eating habits like eating leaner meats and fresh vegetables, and making your own meal vs going to a restaurant or opting to get fast food because either you are too lazy or don't know how to cook.

  • YES! Otherwise you will become a short order cook! I always tried to make sure there was something on their plate that I knew they would eat... like pasta or a cheese stick. Then I also put other foods on their plate that were new that I wanted them to try. Stick with it and she will get with the program

  • Thanks ladies... we have been prestty disciplined about preparing one meal and I think that it will stay that way. My wife is closer to capitulating than me, but we have remained strong!