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Ask Starwitch

Making Your Kid Eat His Dinner

 

Dear Starwitch,

Is there is a way I can make my child clear their plate at dinner? My mother always made me eat everything I was served and I feel that my own child should eat all of her food too. She refuses to eat all of the food that I serve to her and we get into fights over this every night during dinner! How can I bring peace back to the dinner table? Help!

Yours truly,
Donna


Dear Donna,

As much as you love your mother and may think that everything she did was right, let's put things in perspective. Your mother may have been brought up in a time when food was scarce for her family. I know my own mother was dirt poor when she was a child. Her family ate beans and cornbread every day for a very long time. Back then, it made sense to finish all your food because you may not get to eat again for half a day or more. But these days, it's a very bad idea to force your child to eat all the food on their plate. Maybe you haven't noticed, but childhood obesity is an epidemic now. Kids are eating WAY too much.

If the Goddess has seen fit to bless you with a child who doesn't struggle with weight, don't go out of your way to make them fat by forcing them to eat food that their body doesn't need. Their body will tell them when they're full. Some people eat very small portions of food several times throughout the day. I'm one of those people and I've always been thin. I simply don't need as much food as other people do (or maybe those people truly don't need that much either but they've been trained to overeat by their parents who forced food down their throats, thinking that they were doing the "right" thing.) By forcing yourself to eat when you're already full, you stretch your stomach out. Next time you eat, your stomach will need more food because it's bigger now. That's how people get fat.

I just saw them saying the same thing on the show "The Doctors". They said don't make your child finish everything on their plate. Just let them eat until they're full. Let the child determine when he or she is full.

If you make food into a huge issue in their life (when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat) then they will almost certainly become overweight. The Law of Attraction states that whatever you think about the most is what you attract into your life. So if you spend all your energy thinking about food and getting fat, you are very likely to create a life that is centered around eating and getting fat. Please don't inflict that misery onto your child. I bet you struggle with your weight, don't you? That may be why you're so over-involved with your child's eating habits. Don't make the mistake your mother made and raise a child who's overly-focused on food and eating.

I would also suggest that you not make sweets into a huge deal. If you hide sweets, or use them as a reward, you're teaching the child that sweets have great importance. By making sweets some big deal, the child will only desire them more. We all want what we can't have. At the same time, don't make sweets over-available by keeping ten different treats around the house at all times. You could have a box of cookies or a bag of candy and maybe some ice cream, but there is no need to have a bag of Snickers, a box of Chips-Ahoy, Fudgesicles, three boxes of Breyer's, leftover Ēostre candy, and lots of sugary cereals in the house (okay that just happens to be the sweets that I have in my own home, lol, and I live alone!) The moral here is, don't feel like you're SO BAD if you can't follow the experts' advice (as if I'm an expert, lol). The experts may not be following their own advice, ha ha.

If nothing else, I'm sure you can manage to leave the child alone at the dinner table. You just want to make it seem as though food isn't such a huge deal. Though it would really be good if you can teach them to eat healthfully so the child doesn't grow up unhealthy like the rest of us. We aren't doing our kids any favors by taking them to McDonald's every week, even though the playground is fun (pack a picnic and take it with you, or better yet go to a "real" park and actually watch your kids play so they don't get kidnapped.) Fast food is horrible for humans. Just feed them something at home instead. It's far cheaper and better for them, not to mention usually better-tasting and your stomach doesn't feel like it's going to turn inside-out like it does when you eat at McDonald's.

If your child says that fast food makes their stomach sick, you should believe them. It does the same to me and my ex-step-daughter because it's so horrible for our bodies. The only reason your own body doesn't reject it is because you've forced it into your system so many times that it has learned to submit to your abuse.

Bright Blessings,
Starwitch

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