Cooking on Demand: Good or bad?

Cathy - posted on 12/09/2017 ( 9 moms have responded )

11

0

2

My kids are teens and they don't want to sit at a meal anymore. My daughter's tastes change on a daily basis. When I ask her on grocery shopping da what she wants, she asks for one or two things, usually snacks. I then ask her what she wants for meals and her response is, "I don't know until it's time to eat." One week, she wants salads, the next, it's bagels and cream cheese, the next, it's burgers. And within those variations, there are further specifications: Only specific items may be on the salad (but that can change from day to day)m, she will only eat bagels from the bagel place, not the supermarket, and will only eat the cream cheese from the bagel place. With burgers, she will occasionally say "yes" to a homemade burger. But she wants McDonald's burgers most of all, and this involves driving way out of the way of where we live.She wants lemonade, but when brought home the store brand, rather than the name brand, it went to waste. She wants the cooked rotisserie chicken you buy at the store rather than a roast chicken you cook at home.

And on and on.

I've tried buying generic bagels, tried buying her burgers from the Jack in the Box in our neighborhood. Tried buying a cheaper lettuce. If it's not up to snuff, she turns her nose up at it and it rots.


A lot of food goes to waste when I don't cater to her day-to-day requirements. She tells me that all of her friends' parents cater to this up-to-the-minute food desires.This is costing us money, and I lost my job two months ago.

I need help with setting boundaries. Either that, or I need to know if most parents cater to this kind of pickiness. I am going out of my mind with stress about feeding her.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Cathy - posted on 12/28/2017

11

0

2

Thank you. I have set a 7:00 mealtime and made them sit there. So far, so good.

I do wish that the tone of this response were kinder. It's hard to admit these things to others -- be gentle. You may be bad at something some day, and would want the criticism to be frank, but not eviscerating.

Just some feedback.

Ev - posted on 12/27/2017

8,257

7

919

""My kids are teens and they don't want to sit at a meal anymore. My daughter's tastes change on a daily basis. When I ask her on grocery shopping da what she wants, she asks for one or two things, usually snacks.""
This has to have been going on for a while. When asking a child what they would like on grocery list snack items should be the very last consideration.

"" I then ask her what she wants for meals and her response is, "I don't know until it's time to eat." One week, she wants salads, the next, it's bagels and cream cheese, the next, it's burgers. And within those variations, there are further specifications: Only specific items may be on the salad (but that can change from day to day)m, she will only eat bagels from the bagel place, not the supermarket, and will only eat the cream cheese from the bagel place.""
First, who is the parent here and who makes the money and buys the food? This is downright awful catering to her like this. You want to have salad in the home get what you can afford not what she specifies. If she gets hungry enough she will eat it or go hungry. Same with bagels--cream cheese---they are about all the same no matter where you go.

"" With burgers, she will occasionally say "yes" to a homemade burger. But she wants McDonald's burgers most of all, and this involves driving way out of the way of where we live.""
Do you even know what is in those MCD burgers? Not real food. And you should never go out of your way to get her what she wants all the time. It is either what is there or she can go without.

""She wants lemonade, but when brought home the store brand, rather than the name brand, it went to waste. She wants the cooked rotisserie chicken you buy at the store rather than a roast chicken you cook at home."""
This is ridculous. You have allowed her to dictate to you so much that the things in this post show she is allowed to do what she wants. She needs to learn that she can not have everything just because everyone she knows gets to. You are not the other kids' parents.

And on and on.

""I've tried buying generic bagels, tried buying her burgers from the Jack in the Box in our neighborhood. Tried buying a cheaper lettuce. If it's not up to snuff, she turns her nose up at it and it rots.""
That is the problem---you have allowed her to dictate. Get a list of food set up and get it. Tell her that this is what is in the house to eat and if she wants it she can have that or she can start earning her own money to get what she wants.


""A lot of food goes to waste when I don't cater to her day-to-day requirements. She tells me that all of her friends' parents cater to this up-to-the-minute food desires.This is costing us money, and I lost my job two months ago.""
She is not learning the meaning of how much money it takes to run a home. She gives orders and you bow to her like she is a queen. She is not. She is your child and she needs to learn no one is catered to because that is what they want. You need to learn to say no and stick to it.

"I need help with setting boundaries. Either that, or I need to know if most parents cater to this kind of pickiness. I am going out of my mind with stress about feeding her."


I do not think she is picky. I think she was allowed to be this way since she was a little kid. I never really catered to my kids either. My son refused to eat some foods so he got what he would eat and that was it. He learned later to eat it or else go hungry. I did not make different things to eat for my kids at all. WE had meals together and what was fixed was eaten. You needed to set those boundaries a long time ago. Now she is 15. You are going to have a fight on your hands but you can get it done. You just need to learn to set a menu and stick to it and the grocery list and get what can be afforded and she can eat it or go without.

Summer - posted on 12/26/2017

60

0

14

Hi Cathy! First, you have my support...I feel for you...as I've been through several picky eaters phases. Please do not take any of my advice as judgmental, as I am not as close to the situation as you are, and I am sure you've exhausted every effort to make this work.

It sounds though like they have gotten to this picky eater phase over time, and not over night (when younger, they probably ate most things, unless they truly did not like it). Here are my open and honest thoughts.

Have a talk with all involved...set ground rules for moving forward....you are the meal planner, not them. And by no means would I suggest using fast food as a solution. Let them know from a certain date (hey, how about New Years!) you will have a good, decent, delicious meal for them...if they choose not to eat it, there will be no alternatives. Now, you should know their likes and dislikes, so reassure them they will not be served food they truly do not like.

A body can go three weeks before starving...a child not eating for a day will not hurt them...most times if they are hungry, they will eat something. Make sure unhealthy between meal snacks are cut out so as not to interfere with main meals.

Another option is seeing a doctor or specifically a dietitian - at least one of your children could have a mild eating disorder that neither you are they are aware of...even if not, a dietitian can be a support for meal planning on meals that might better improve their eating habits.

Also, in this hectic world it is hard to do, but regular meal times sometimes will help...with everyone at the table.

Also, another option is always spanking them. I would surmise one or two good decent spankings would make that food taste really good.

Avidreader9559 - posted on 12/15/2017

7

0

0

Parenting teens is a challenge. With my kids, I have 2 teens and 2 younger kids, I fix one meal, and they can choose to eat or not to eat. If one child is allergic to a certain food, then they can have leftovers from another day. I try to buy foods at the grocery store that they like, but I don't buy specific brands. Sometimes I make a menu, and sometimes I give them a choice-"Would you rather have burgers or pasta tonight?" Sometimes my kids ask about going out to eat on a specific night. My husband and I discuss it, and sometimes we go at a child's request and sometimes we don't. For us it is about working together as a family and about respecting each other's time and preferences. I will even say, "Maybe we can have (specific food) another day. Tonight we are all having (whatever I cooked that evening.)" I hope this is encouraging and helpful. Hoping you find what works in your family.

Michelle - posted on 12/13/2017

4,813

8

3248

Your daughter is very demanding and she needs to be reigned in with her attitude.
There would be no way I would be driving out of my way because she wanted a certain burger!!!
Since my children were little, I made a meal that everyone would sit down and eat together. My children know that if they don't eat what I cook then they go hungry. I don't pander to what they want each day.
I will ask them if there's anything they would like before I do the grocery shopping but if they don't suggest anything then it's whatever I get.
The only time they get to say what is for dinner is on their birthday. Each child gets to choose what I cook on that night.
Just because her friends' parents cater to their child's whims doesn't mean you have to. You need to set the boundaries or she will start with other things and be a right spoiled brat!
YOU are the parent and it's YOUR rules in the house, NOT hers!!!!

9 Comments

View replies by

Cathy - posted on 01/01/2018

11

0

2

Ev,

Maybe you don't appreciate the way you come across. Your last paragraph was very broad and sweeping:

"Teach the children the value of things in life they need to know, teach them that life does not cater to them with what they want all the time, and work to have them learn these lessons from day one every day."

I know all of this. I do all of this. Food is the one area with my daughter where I've failed. that was all I was asking for help on, but the assumption one can infer from your answer is that I must come across as having been permissive with everything in her life.

A little background. We adopted our daughter from Ethiopia at the age of 4. As with many adopted kids who were starved in their early years, she came with a host of food issues. She hoarded food for some time. I've tried to walk a thin line when it comes to food with her, letting her explore and trying not to shame her choices except when they are blatantly unhealthy. I have never felt quite comfortable limiting her in this probably because somewhere in the back of my mind I am making up for her early years. I think this had led me to the current situation.

My other child is adopted as well, and is autistic. He causes disruptions at mealtime, which is one of the contributing factors to difficulty in having a steady mealtime. Also, my husband works late every night. So, there are factors in our family that make mealtime together very difficult for me indeed.

So, that's the full story. What I asked for was suggestions in setting boundaries with my daughter's food because I have been unable to. Period. I thought that folks with neurotypical kids would have food routines and strategies that I had not yet considered. However, I never thought that requesting help with food would lead to a lecture based in an assumption that I don't set boundaries about ANYTHING with my kids.

Hope that helps to clarify why I had that reaction. Thank you for your time,

-Cathy

Ev - posted on 12/30/2017

8,257

7

919

Cathy--
I am not a perfect person and never have been but when it comes to kids I have always had this one thing I found important and that is that being a parent means that I set the rules and enforce them or the routines that are set. Sometimes I do come across blunt but time and again I have seen questions on this forum for different situations and the thing is always the same---the kids need to be reminded that they have parents who are raising them and that demanding what they get to eat or get for whatever reason it is is not a requirement of the parents to hand over or get for them. You daughter needs to understand that you have so much in funds to apply to groceries, clothing, shoes and other needed things that going beyond the necessary ones for the more elaborate ones is not always an option.

My daughter has two children who are 3 and 5. The 5 year old the other day was with me in the store and we were getting things to make up Christmas cookies. We were checking out decorations for on the icing and she found the marshmellows and asked me if that would be okay to get and I told her yes. She turned to me and said that they looked expensive...she used that word....I told her they were 1.00 and she could put a package of them in the basket and she did. Even at the age of 5 and even younger you can teach the kids about things like money and what is affordable.

It just sounded to me like your daughter was just let to be the one to decide what you guys ate and so on. But giving in to her every whim is not helping when you go to her choice of fast food places for burgers over making them at home, choosing brands for bagels instead of taking what is afforded along with the cream cheese, and the deal with fresh veggies---get what is affordable for the salads if you want them and she can just use what is there or go with out. It is the same with getting clothing...name brands are what you are paying for not the clothing or even shoes for that matter. As long as she had clothing that is clean, descent, and looks nice that is all that matters. Jeans are jeans and why pay for 100 bucks for ones full of holes, bleach stains, or those rips when you can buy some jeans for 10 to 20 bucks and make them look like the designer ones.

My point is this: Teach the children the value of things in life they need to know, teach them that life does not cater to them with what they want all the time, and work to have them learn these lessons from day one every day.

Summer - posted on 12/29/2017

60

0

14

Hi Cathy! I do hope the tone of my response was found to be gentle...it is hard sometimes to convey feeling in writing these responses. It certainly wasn't meant to be judgmental, and if you found it that way I sincerely apologize. I am a Mom who has failed and failed and still do...not judging here.
Summer

Carol Many - posted on 12/11/2017

19

0

0

the first question is how old is this daughter. When my boys were teenagers, I eventually had to let them do it, as long as they had the funds- the time and put the effort into doing tit themselves. If they are hungry the good food is there, they were taught to cook, to clean up after themselves, and the basics of good daily nutrition, if they wanted anything above and beyond it was up to them. Boundaries, require a certain stubbornness. and an ability to let the rest of it go when she throws a conniption fit you stand your boundary or give in. (remember the Dr. telling us that if a child holds his breath-(as a toddler) when he/she passes out his/her body will breath) no harm done and she/he will learn a lesson, the same thing for tantrums, (tears and pouting never hurt a child.) for more support there is a lot of good articles on focus on family regardless of faith affiliations. Take the good and let it help. Many Blessings

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms