Do you make your kids eat what they are served?


12 Years
Apr 27, 2007
Laclede County, MO
I am having a dilemma. We have a Bible Study on Wed. Nights and we divide up between the families on who brings what food for the next week. Several times there are things that my kids don't like. I will admit, its my fault. When they were small (they are 10 & 8) I didn't introduce them to alot of different foods. Shoot, when they were young, I didn't eat the things I do now. So we are now facing the problem of them not liking certain things.

I can't remember my mom making my sister and I eat something that we didn't like. As I have gotten older, I do try different things because I know I may like it.

My husband on the other hand, was raised you eat what is put in front of you or go hungry.

The kids and I (and DH too I'm sure, we weren't talking much due to this)didn't have a good night last night because there was food there they didn't like and as a result, went to bed hungry. I felt so bad, I can't stand the thought of my kids being hungry, even if it's by their own choice. They could have eaten something, they were offered food, they just chose not to eat it. This is not the first time its happened. The other times, I gave them something to eat when we get home.

I just think they will learn to like different things when they get older, just as I did. But, I do see my husband's view too. There may be times when it comes to eating things we don't like because we may have to.

I just don't know what to do. DH and I clash on so many things because of the totally different ways we were raised and it's really wearing on me. Please don't bash, I am looking for ways to a compromise or tips so this doesn't happen again.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
I have learned a lot over the last 21 years of child rearing. If they get hungry enough they will eat what they are served. I have one girl who is a picky eater.

My children ar required to at least taste something new. If they find it so horrid they can't eat it then they don't have to eat it but they must give it a try. It is surprising how many things they think they hate and find out they aren't so bad or even like it.

I was raised in a family where we ate what was served. If we didn't eat it, well, we didn't eat anything else either.

American kids are allowed to be too finiky in their eating habits. We are raising a generation that has realy never had to starve or do without. Our kids lives have been filled with instant gratification in so many ways.

Once again tough love prevails - if they get hungry enough they will eat what they are served. Mine do.

Or you could try the 'if you don't like it then fix it yourself' method. Include rules too - they must have a balanced meal - at least 1 vegetable has to be consumed during that meal.


11 Years
Sep 9, 2008
Pilot Mountain, NC
I did make my eldest kids eat what I served them up until just a few years ago. I feel like kids aren't equipt to pick out what's good for them to eat, and then eat it. And IF they get hungry enough, they will eat the brussel sprouts or broccoli. It's what my mom did with me. My husbands parents did not make him or his brother eat anything they didn't like. But my husband did end up going into the military which taught him to eat what he was served. My brother in law still doesn't eat veggies. He's 31!!!

I have had to make my kids do a lot that they didn't want to do. Eating is just one of them. They also never had time to take showers unless I put my foot down. I prefer them to shower every day (which they do now that they are older) but at the age that you're two are at...I was lucky to get them in the shower 4 times a week!

There is also the brushing the teeth issue I had.

Doing homework...

Doing chores (which is still a problem)

It's all part of the same stuff IMHO. They don't know what's good for them, we do. lol


12 Years
Apr 27, 2007
Laclede County, MO
That kept running through my mind last night. I guess I just needed to know that we weren't being too hard on them. The youngest seemed to accept it. The oldest however, cried his eyes out and it just broke my heart.
Thanks Miss Prissy.


11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
Columbiaville, MI
whatever i cook or is presented to them must be tasted. NOT A LITTLE LICK! two bites! if i make something that they do not like they have two options.

1. make a pb&j or oatmeal or find a left over.
2. eat nothing.

they also thank me for every meal. they say, "thanks for the good meal, Mom!" or something similar every time we eat. when taken out for a meal they thank us for treating them.

now, down to the nitty gritty of your issue. you FELT bad because the kids CHOSE not to eat. 10 & 8 years old is old enough to figure out to pick SOMETHING they liked. feelings aren't real. they are fickle. kids will only do something like that once or twice before they don't do it again.

also, you are attending a bible study, i assume you are Christians. marriage is not a contract, it's a commitment and God has rules set forth that are clear. two shall become one. you and your husband need to come up with one set of rules, regardless of the way you were raised. you have left your parents to be your own family. to live with less strife, nix it before it comes along. you also have to stick to those rules and the consequence of not following them may be going to bed hungry.

you can do it and you have a big God who wont let you down, but it may be bumpy getting there. (or maybe growly, since it's tummies!)


Barista Queen
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
I sometimes make my 2 year old a different meal if I know she won't like what we're eating. For the most part though, I give her bits of everything we eat. I like her to try everything, and if she doesn't want to eat it, that's fine. That's her meal though, so sometimes she eats very little at one meal, and is hungry soon after the meal.

That being said, I think your kids are old enough to make the choice to go hungry, a deal with it. I wouldn't force them, but I would make them try everything.

I think when you force food, you can be causing some underlying food issues, and might see repercussions of it later. I have two cousins 10 years apart who had a mother that made everyone clean their plates, and they both became anorexic as teens, and have continued into adulthood.
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11 Years
Apr 29, 2008
Decatur, TN
That's exactly what we do here. My middle DD is extremely picky, my oldest DD eats just about everything, and DS is not afraid to try anything. Middle DD is my "problem child" when it comes to foods. She does not like the fact that she has to at least try something new, but now she will usually go ahead and eat the bite required and get it over with. If my children refuse to eat anything for whatever reason, then they have (on very rare occasions) gone to bed w/o their supper. But, it is their choice, not because I did not feed them anything but because they refused to eat. That does not happen very often, thank goodness. Yes, I do feel bad, but they also need to know that food is not to be wasted, and they need to eat what is served. One meal fixed per family, not per person.


11 Years
May 8, 2008
Honestly, my daughter is such a picky eater EVERYONE knows it. If I know there is going to be food served that she may not like(nearly everything normal people serve at events) I bring a snack for her or feed her what I know she will eat before we go.

She is going to be 6 and does not eat hamburgers, hot dogs, most chicken nuggets, chicken, turkey, ham, pizza, corn, mashed potatoes, squash, fish sticks, fish and even P&J.
She never has liked these things. Which makes BBQs or even her spending time at a friends house hard. Heck school is tough as well.
I send her with fruit cups or veggies cut up. No dipping sauce or dressing.

My mom buys food that the kid will eat for when she comes for visits. My MIL has never asked and does not have food in the house she will eat. So guess what grandma she likes better. The one that has food she will eat or the one that either makes her go hungry or insists she eat what she doesnt like. Yeah. easy answer.

I htink your kids are old enough to understand "eat what is offered and in front of you" and if they dont they will go hungry. Myself. I would warn them ahead of time and make sure they grab something to eat before you head out.

BTW- she isnt spoiled at all. I just "know" my child. And I, my dh and my mother work with her on things. She doesnt like meat. Fine with me. She chooses apples over junk food. Really ok with me. I will not force her to eat something she doesnt want. I think that it leads to eating and food issues myself. Just my honest opinion
I hated lobster til this year. It has been offered to me before as a "eat this, there is nothing else" I waited and ate later on these occasions. It didnt make me a spoiled person that wants things NOW.
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13 Years
Jan 15, 2007
West Tn
Yes and no. I require my kids to at least taste something new,unless it is obviously disgusting,like slugs or brains,but if after tasting it,they genuinly don't like it,they don't have to eat it again. Heck,I don't want to eat what I don't like. Now, if I know they like it and they just don't want to eat it,too bad. Eat or go without. Once I know they don't like something,I don't deliberatly cook just that. For instance,they don't like chicken liver(or any liver for that matter),but DH and I do,so when I cook it,I fix something different for them. My kids are great. They eat a wide variety of healthy foods. Their favorite is homemade veggie soup.

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