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I Had A Major Throwdown With The Wife Over My Son's Diet

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Old 06-06-2011, 07:30 AM   #1
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Angry I Had A Major Throwdown With The Wife Over My Son's Diet

My wife and I have been at odds for a couple months now regarding his eating habits. My son will be two in October. As of late he only eats crap food. His main staples are nuggets with ranch, fries with ranch, goldfish, pretzels, poptarts, and waffles or multi-grain cheerios in the morning. He does like juice and milk, thankfully.

Last night was the straw that broke the camel's back. After refusing to eat some dinner the wife broke out the goldfish and I blew my top. Tactful, yet very heated exchanges ensued (arguing in anger in front of our son is not an option) and we haven't spoken to each other since.

My wife's philosophy is that this is just a phase and getting him to eat anything is better than nothing. She also states that he is learning independence through being picky and most kids go through this phase.

To me, this is unacceptable. My philosophy is that we are enabling our son to choose what to eat. We are also teaching him that by refusing something long enough he will eventually get his way. If he gets hungry enough, he'll eat it. I say don't give him an option unless that other option has some nutritional value. Also, our son learning his independence is great, but not when it comes to nutrition. Sorry, the dinner table is not a democracy. Also, I grew up in poor home and I want him to eat better than I did, so I'm pretty anal about it.

Any of you go though this drama? WTF. Am I going overboard?
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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I think you are in the right... My cousin's mother is the exact same way. He is now 12 and is the size of about an 8 year old. Still eats absolutely shitty. Do not let her win this battle as you will both regret it later
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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No you are not going overboard at all, you are only concerned about his well being.

If she wants him to have independence through choosing, put better options in front of him.

Fresh fruit chunks, veggie cut up with dip (he likes the ranch, right?) whole grain crackers. These are all good snacks that not only can he help choose but if she includes him in on the preparation, "How big do you want me to cut it? Do you want me to cut here or here?" "Do you want the melon cut in squares or triangles?" He may show more enthusiasm for eating what he may feel are his own creations.

I used to take the fruit pieces and make a cute face on the plate. He can eat the nose or the ear then try to make another face of what is left over. From that he can eat eyes and start again or perhaps make a boat or car with it. It works well with vegetables too. They like to see what they can make and it's something fun to do.

In terms of breakfast or lunch, giving him three options - for example, "Which cereal do you want this morning?" gives him some 'power' in his decision making.

If he chooses none, put them away and be done. He will eventually get hungry and ask again. At that point, pull out the three options and I betcha he will chose one.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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My opinion-Yes. None of the things he is eating are so horrible that he's going to obese or anything.
Right now-He's so young that reason doesn't work. While you are right that EVENTUALLY he will eat, do you REALLY want him to eat NOTHING in the mean time??

My 2 year old is a champ and likes fruits-So we keep a TON in the house. He also wants what we have-So we eat a fair bit of fruits and veggies too.

Maybe there is an in between-Give him a small amount of what he will eat and some of the "regular" meal-See what happens. There is no one answer to it. Gotta do what works.

The other issue I have is that you and your wife aren't speaking over the whole thing. That doesn't get anywhere....
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:43 AM   #5
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No, you are not going overboard and agree with you 100%.

Fortunately, the wife and I are in agreement on mostn major issues and differ only on a few minor points.


In the end, we are to raise children in the ways they should go. Psychologically, your child is training mom.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:44 AM   #6
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I agree with you 100%

Although I don't have any kids of my own, I will do the same when I do have kids.

My parents made me eat what was on the table and if I didn't want it then I didn't eat. We didn't have a lot of junk food around the house which was surprising because my dad worked for Nabisco. My parents did a good job at making sure we got well rounded meals and kept a variety.

I love all kinds of food now and appreciate variety and I don't eat a lot of junk food.

I see so many kids who's parents caved and let them eat whatever the wanted or made them a seperate meal because they pitched a fit and it pisses me off. A good friend of mine is a great example of this. He eats like absolute shit and is the pickiest person I know and I know it's because he was (still is) a mamma's boy and got his way. His diet consists of junk food and crap. He eats the most bland stuff and when we go out to eat he usually orders a plain hamburger with just ketchup on it. There are so many great restuarants around here with great food and he refuses to eat at them because he says he doesn't like the food but yet he raves about how great the food is at this bar next to his house, which IMO sucks and their food is totally bland and its just shitty bar food.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:44 AM   #7
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Im going thru same shit with my wife too..

Her argument is that she knows best because she is his mother..well guess what..i am his father and i know what he needs to be eating as well as anybody..

Put your foot down..she needs to respect your decisions just as your child will yours in the years to come..

Kids understand roles peolpe play..they identify you by that role (mommy, daddy)..so you need to establish a firm standing now..that way you dont end up with a five year old throwing french fries at Applebees..(like my wifes sister..)
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:07 AM   #8
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My 2 yr old loves his nuggets & will ask for them specifically when he wants them for lunch or dinner. He also loves his vegetables whether it is corn, peas, broccoli, green beens, etc. He is in the 97 percentile for height & weight + he's rockin' an 8-pack.

In other words, he will eat whatever you put infront of him if he is hungry enough, but will also ask (demand) for what he wants now that he is 2.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asphaltpilot View Post
My wife and I have been at odds for a couple months now regarding his eating habits. My son will be two in October. As of late he only eats crap food. His main staples are nuggets with ranch, fries with ranch, goldfish, pretzels, poptarts, and waffles or multi-grain cheerios in the morning. He does like juice and milk, thankfully.

Last night was the straw that broke the camel's back. After refusing to eat some dinner the wife broke out the goldfish and I blew my top. Tactful, yet very heated exchanges ensued (arguing in anger in front of our son is not an option) and we haven't spoken to each other since.

My wife's philosophy is that this is just a phase and getting him to eat anything is better than nothing. She also states that he is learning independence through being picky and most kids go through this phase.

To me, this is unacceptable. My philosophy is that we are enabling our son to choose what to eat. We are also teaching him that by refusing something long enough he will eventually get his way. If he gets hungry enough, he'll eat it. I say don't give him an option unless that other option has some nutritional value. Also, our son learning his independence is great, but not when it comes to nutrition. Sorry, the dinner table is not a democracy. Also, I grew up in poor home and I want him to eat better than I did, so I'm pretty anal about it.

Any of you go though this drama? WTF. Am I going overboard?
You are exactly right to not want him to eat that crap. It's full of bad things for you, and lacks good nutritional value. In addition, it creates an addiction for this type of processed foods. I agree with you. I would never feed my kid that stuff at all. They don't acquire a taste for it then. Who's the parent here? The kid or you?

In addition, this is an important time in their life when they're developing physically. Providing them the proper nutrients is important. It makes me nuts seeing the parents of today letting their kids dictate too much to the parents.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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"You got any ranch for those nuggets?"



Ok, got that out of my system. I'm not a parent so my opinion is immediately null and void, but I'd think that kids should be eating at least the basics during their formative years. The bones and muscles are still developing and they'll need the right nutrients.

That said, I've seen arguments involving 2 year olds and would do my best to avoid them. It's a tough spot you're in.

How different are you and your wife in terms of level of activity and fitness?
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:19 AM   #11
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Im on your side on this one, your wife is teaching your son that your word is not absolute. You can probably tell im pro spanking (spanking not beating).
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:21 AM   #12
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stand firm. I ate veggies and fruit as a kid and if I didn't want to, I went hungry. I never drank soda and candy was a holiday/birthday treat.

Set the example as well. I honestly wouldn't even keep it in the house if you were worried about your kid getting into it. There's no reason mom or dad should munch on soda and chips if you wanted to be setting a good example for Junior.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp2 View Post
How different are you and your wife in terms of level of activity and fitness?
That's the funny thing. The wife eats a healthy diet, better than me sometimes, and she puts more effort into her fitness than I do.

The kid in that picture bleeds mayonnaise, no doubt.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:23 AM   #14
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Let me first say that you r the parent and have every right to be concerned for your child. If you are really concerned about what your child is eating talk to your pediatrician or if you really want find a registered dietian who can help delvelop something else for your child to eat. More importantly your kids need a stable house with mom and dad happy. Try to talk to your wife and find a middle ground. Good Luck.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:24 AM   #15
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I also do not have kids of my own but I can't tell you how many times I ended sitting at the table until I finished the meal my parents made for me. While I agree with Brunes, nothing he's eating is overly horrible, I say nip it in the butt now before it gets out of hand. Oh, and independence my ass, he's 2, you're the parent, he's the child, there are no options at that age.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asphaltpilot View Post
That's the funny thing. The wife eats a healthy diet, better than me sometimes, and she puts more effort into her fitness than I do.
Not what I expected at all. I'm stumped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asphaltpilot View Post
The kid in that picture bleeds mayonnaise, no doubt.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:25 AM   #17
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Mine just turned 3 on Friday... luckily he's not a very picky eater.
We do allow him to have some junk food, but it's definately not the foundation of his diet. If he is eating on his own we'll usually do something quick like nuggets or fish sticks, but most of the time we all eat together, so he eats what we eat, or not at all.

One thing I did run into with my wife was her concern when he would go several days without eating much at all. Little ones go through spurts, eating tons at times and not much at all at others. I think she felt guilty somehow when he wasn't eating so she would try to give him the sweet stuff to get him to eat. Finally convinced her that he'll eat when he's hungry... sure enough, he does.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:27 AM   #18
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My girlfriend's niece is a freaking stinker when it comes to picky eating. Her mom is tough and does her best to get healthy stuff in her. If she won't eat it, she lets her out of her booster seat and most of the time she gives it up because she is hungry. So back in the booster seat you go, healthy food eaten and then something like half a granola bar or something for a dessert/reward.

You didn't go overboard. Healthy eating habits are one of the most important things a child can learn early.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:29 AM   #19
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You're in the right. Feed the kid right and it'll be a life long blessing.


My 19 month old just finished feeding herself oatmeal. She friggin' loves it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horwitzs View Post
One thing I did run into with my wife was her concern when he would go several days without eating much at all. Little ones go through spurts, eating tons at times and not much at all at others. I think she felt guilty somehow when he wasn't eating so she would try to give him the sweet stuff to get him to eat. Finally convinced her that he'll eat when he's hungry... sure enough, he does.
This^

While it may seem weird to think of dogs and kids in the same realm of "training." The kid isn't going to die from a grumbling belly for a short time. Just like your dog isn't going to die while you're training him to eat when food is put out, otherwise it goes away.
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