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RENATA144 SparkPoints: (207,563)
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3/11/14 11:12 P

No - but don't force them mix the veggies as purée into brownies & other yummy foods. See mrs. Seinfeld's cookbook.

ETHELMERZ Posts: 20,727
3/11/14 10:34 P

I was forced to eat vegetables, still struggle to eat them, and don't enjoy them, yucky just to write the no, don't force it. It's telling, right there, that it has to be "forced", if the stuff actually tasted good, no one would have to be "forced" to eat healthy foods, wish the experts would admit it.

Edited by: ETHELMERZ at: 3/11/2014 (22:36)
SOOZERELLI SparkPoints: (56,079)
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3/11/14 9:09 P

No, because if they never try it will just get harder and harder to help them learn a healthy lifestyle. start small with big praises or even bribes til they like the taste. it worked for me with my 2 kiddos who eat mostly vegetarian.

SEAFLOAT SparkPoints: (8,886)
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3/11/14 7:54 P

Our rule is you have to eat at least a bite. I also keep telling them they will really like vegetables when the get a little older. I tell them mommy didn't like them when I was there age either but now I love them. I'm hoping to brainwash them. Lol

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
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3/11/14 2:28 P

Well we tell our son that he has to at least try it. If you do that every time you serve veggies, eventually something will stick that they want more son loves broccoli and has added 2 new veggies each year for the past 3 years. I consider that progress. Also there are no processed foods in his lunch, no sweets like cookies etc. 3 pces of fruit, whole wheat bread, veggie bar by Sun Ripe -- those are great and full of veggies but they are a bar and have a chewy consistency. He eats two of those a day.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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3/11/14 1:08 P

Not force them, as long as they are getting some kind of vege.'s in. None of our kids like brussels sprouts. That's fine.

LEKESHIA35 SparkPoints: (4,957)
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3/11/14 10:24 A

i dont think it wrong

CYFREE15 Posts: 248
3/11/14 10:14 A

My son is 17 months old and there is no forcing him to eat anything. If he doesn't like something, he spits it out. I let him willingly eat the vegetables he likes and find creative ways to conceal the others so that he gets a variety of nutrients.

With foods he doesn't like, I keep offering them in as many different preparations as I can think of. Some he has learned to like, some he still hates. Can't say what I'll do when he gets a little older, but this process is working for us for now.

ROXYCARIN SparkPoints: (95,965)
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3/11/14 2:48 A


LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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3/11/14 12:14 A

REITA said it better than I did. We ate was put in front of us. There was no arguing, no whining, no special meals. If we really didn't like something we didn't have to eat it. But, it had better be a rare occurrence. Not I hate something everyday. I hated hominy and okra. I didn't have to eat those when I was at home but I had to gag down squash at Grammas house. It didn't kill me, probably made me a stronger person, but I still hate squash!

03191952 SparkPoints: (15,294)
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3/10/14 6:40 P

I think they should as least try time, sometimes they're surprised & like them after all

FRAN0426 Posts: 21,435
3/10/14 6:38 P

Encouraging them to eat veggies are fine when you make them tasty for a child; forcing is not ok---they will remember that their entire life---and probably will still be hating the veggies you tried forcing them to eat. Kids will sit at the table until bedtime and not eat those veggies---nobody wins, and in some cases plenty of complaining and crying going on--not worth it.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
3/10/14 6:21 P

Jo Frost from Super Nanny wrote a book. She was saying that it can take 12-15 times for a child to like something.

When I was little. I didn't have any problem eating vegetables. If we were hungry before dinner. We could snack on vegetables. Pasta and beans I didn't like. I refused to eat it. I was told I could stay at the table until I did. I sat there until bedtime.

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 3/10/2014 (18:23)
MCCC75 SparkPoints: (25,022)
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3/10/14 6:17 P

I encouraged my kids to try all veggies (even ones I didn't like) when they were little. They have always liked and ate all their veggies. I did add some ranch dressing for them to dip their veggies in when they were little so that did help a bit. They weren't really picky eaters so that was such a help especially for a single mom!

GEVANS7 SparkPoints: (310,369)
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3/10/14 5:08 P

Yes, I think it is wrong. I have some severe childhood memories about being forced to eat certain "grown up" foods. I never forced my son but tried my best to encourage new foods. "one bite, see if you like it" was my motto. I made sure he was well nourished, even if it meant "hiding" the vegetables in a smoothie.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,484
3/10/14 4:10 P

I wonder how cultures with primarily vegetarian diets get their kids to eat veggies
and many of our kids fight a few spoonful's.

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
3/10/14 2:55 P

"Is It Wrong To Force Your Child to Eat Some of Their Vegetables"

I believe that it is wrong to force a child to eat a food. I don't feel it is respectful or helps the child learn to make good choices for themselves.
I believe that encouraging a child to try a bite or two of a food before turning it down is not the same as using force and is fine.

JOYCECAIN SparkPoints: (137,945)
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3/10/14 12:49 P

Yes it is, because you can fix them so that the kids will eat them.

MISTYDAZE42 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/10/14 12:30 P

I never forced but we had to try things. If they didn't care for it, it was on the the next try. Worked out pretty good.

3/10/14 11:02 A

My mother made me eat vegetables I didn't like. I didn't resent her for it. She was looking out for my health. I put ketchup on any veggie that I didn't like. In those days we also had something called "I hate peas." It was peas, and other veg inside tater tot-like things. They were tasty.

3/10/14 9:07 A

I make my life easier by making them the veggies they like to eat.

I think because we don't eat a lot of sugar my kids are much more open to eating vegetables. They haven't ruined their taste buds with too many sweets.

FAITHP44 Posts: 8,745
3/10/14 2:37 A

We had one of those Nanny programmes on UK TV - not Supernanny, but Norlands nanny or something. She went to a house where the triplets wouldn't eat any veg and she told the children that people normally start to like something after they've had 6 bites. Amazingly all three children managed 6 bites of each new food and declared they liked it after the 6th bite! Seems like a bit of psychology can work wonders.

My mum used different psychology on us ... "You will eat your cabbage and like it!" Well, it worked for me!!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
3/9/14 11:10 P

I think forcing a child will just raise a child with disordered eating problems

I like the idea of highly encouraging. I would have a child take three bites on three separate occasions. And if they don't like it they don't like it. Some vegetables smell funny while cooking and even on the plate.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (587,745)
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3/9/14 10:51 P

Never force a child to eat something they don't like. Instead, model yourself eating the particular food that you want your child to eat. Stay positive and reinforce good eating habits in your child!!!!!

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (554,153)
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3/9/14 10:51 P

You are the parent and question also would be, do you force your child to attend school, obey you or treat others as you would have them be treated?!?! The parent is to teach the child, not the child dictate what he/she will not do! emoticon

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (64,375)
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3/9/14 9:52 P

I would have to agree with many of the previous posters comments. I would never force a child to eat something they didn't like but I also didn't allow my children to dictate what was being served. If they really didn't like something on their plate they could leave it.

From a very early age my children were a part of making breakfast, lunch and dinners. They participated in the food preparation and we even looked through cookbooks for new and different recipes together. I always grew small pots fresh herbs and had planters of cherry tomatoes and strawberries and in the summertime we would take them to U-pick places to pick raspberries and strawberries to freeze and make jam or to pick the blackberries growing wild everywhere. When we moved into a home that allowed some decent gardening we would give each of them a small patch to grow whatever veggies they wanted, carrots, radishes, lettuces, beans, peas and even corn. They loved being able to eat right out of the garden and learned an appreciation of food and how it gets to our table. I have to admit our efforts were always modest but I used the opportunity as a learning experience and as something we did as a family together. Some years we did too well, think zillions of zuchinni, but that year we gave many away and made relishes to give as gifts at Christmas. When we made dinner I would put a dish of hummus or guacamole out so that we could try different raw veggies as we cooked. All of my children have well developed palates and will eat foods from almost every culture and all of them eat a wide range of veggies. It is a bit of extra work but it also became part of our daily routine that taught them good skills and kept them away from the TV after school. They earned a greater appreciation not only of the work their mother did each day but also of what it takes to make a meal.

ANDILH Posts: 1,543
3/9/14 9:06 P

This is an interesting topic. When I was a child I spent a lot of time with my grandma who always required us to eat as many bites of something as we were old. I don't remember it ever being a struggle. Now as an adult, I like almost all vegetables prepared in a lot of different ways.
I work in childcare and have seen several different situations. When the kids bring a lunch from home, you can tell when it's important to the parents that the children eat a well balanced diet. Those kids have lunches that we were always jealous of, and almost always ate all the healthy items without complaint. There are also the kids who only bring junk food for lunch, and would refuse to eat anything that resembled a fruit or vegetable when offered by us.
I've also worked in settings where we provided the food, and almost universally the vegetables were served first, followed by the main dish, and then fruit. Kids might object to eating their vegetables the first couple days in our program, but even as very young toddlers they figured out pretty quickly that the vegetables actually weren't bad. There are always some more popular vegetables than others (corn, peas, and carrots primarily), but once the kids realized they actually liked the vegetables we could start serving other things.
There will always be kids who don't like a vegetable, just as there are adults who don't (I HATE asparagus and nothing or no one can make me eat it), so if a kid truly doesn't like the vegetable but really likes others, offer two choices for a meal. I had a friend throughout elementary-high school whose mom made 2 vegetables every night and you had to eat one, she didn't care which. You could also eat both.
I think the most important thing for parents is to start giving their children vegetables when they're young. Baby food vegetables don't really count. Has anyone ever tasted those things? They don't really taste like the vegetable they're supposed to be, and generally they aren't that great. I've worked in childcare settings where most of our parents were absolutely struggling, most were getting aid, and most of our kids tuition was paid for by aid or grants. But there were a couple parents who made sure their kids had fresh fruit and vegetables in their lunch, and those kids ate every single bite because they loved it. They considered mandarin oranges a huge treat and acted like someone had given them the best present in the world. It was amazing to watch.

3/9/14 8:00 P

i don't think force is a good word either .. but don't make meals of favored foods only, like chicken nuggets & fries, burgers & fries, treats, available as a subsitute either ... veggies on the plate, they have to try at least a bite, this way you find out what vegetables they will truly like eat .. treats/snacks if they finish what is on their plate .. if they truly don't like a vegetable, the won't eat it even if promised a treat .. so, if they don't eat what's on their plate, they are done for the night .. they will soon learn to eat the vegetables they truly like in order for the treats to come ..

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
3/9/14 7:05 P

I agree with "encourage" being the way to go. emoticon

SUZIEQUE77 SparkPoints: (9,271)
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3/9/14 6:52 P

I would use the words highly encourage rather than "force." Also, they would not get any sweet treat or dessert if they didn't eat any of their veggies.

Funny, but this worked for my three kids and they grew up liking veggies. I have step children who hate veggies and don't even encourage their kids to eat veggies.I know in my step-dd's mind, there is nothing she can do to make her kids eat veggies. I do believe that parents have more influence than that. My son and his wife also encourage their kids to eat veggies the same way I did and it works. My four year old granddaughter LOVES broccoli and asks for more when it is served at meals.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
3/9/14 6:46 P

Yes, I think it is wrong to force anyone to eat anything they have decided not to eat. And as a previous poster said, I don't think it is possible to do so without physical abuse.

But I wouldn't get all worried at any given meal and try to make something the child requests to replace the offending vegetable. Lol, that tactic doesn't even work with a dog, let alone a human. Dog or human child, that is the way for mom to be controlled instead of in control.

I'd just let child or dog eat what they want on their plate and continue on with the next meal when it is time.

I also agree with a previous poster that one should try to make the veggies (or whatever one is trying to get someone else to eat) palatable

Long post, short answer, yes, I think it's wrong.

REITIA SparkPoints: (2,880)
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3/9/14 6:45 P

The whole idea seems strange to me - when I was a kid, I just ate what was served to me. Clean your plate, and all. My husband's mother stopped cooking vegetables any time a kid complained - it ended up that they just ate pasta with tomato sauce every single day because nothing else had universal approval. That's how my husband ate when I met him. It's so weird the idea that kids can make the food decisions for the family or have special meals cooked for them because they complain.

I don't think of it as forcing, really. Just - that's what there is to eat. We never had snack foods in the house, so it's not like we could sneak things instead of eating the dinner we were given.

THOMAS.H Posts: 17,830
3/9/14 6:24 P

Just don't make it the focus of a struggle over who controls what goes into the kids mouth!

PATRICIA-CR Posts: 20,936
3/9/14 6:22 P

I agree with the previous opinion.

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
3/9/14 6:07 P

If they taste it and don't like it, should be
no forcing

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/9/14 6:04 P

When my son was little I would just say "have a little". If he had 3 bites and didn't like it..he didn't like it, I couldn't "force" him.

If I knew he didn't like a veggie after that...either I didn't make it, or I didn't serve it to him.

RUNANDRUN SparkPoints: (51,768)
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3/9/14 5:43 P

I never forded my kids to eat the vegetable that they didn't like, but they had to at least try if 3 different times. I did try to serve vegetable is ways that was l little more appealing

3/9/14 5:34 P

No and yes.

I learned I was allergic to some of the foods I refused to eat.

Later in life my mother adopted a different attitude for the grandkids that I thought was neat - they had to eat 1 tsp of any new foods.

I do believe that children must be exposed to healthier alternatives even if not forced to eat great quantities.

LADYCJM SparkPoints: (57,456)
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3/9/14 5:22 P

Children should eat what is served. If they do not eat what is served they go hungry till the next meal. No, you don't serve the same meal again (last nights dinner for breakfast etc till eaten)

If they don't like a certain food, that is okay. Adults don't like everything.

But special meals should not be fixed nor should a child be able to refuse to all vegetables.

GARDENDIVA2 Posts: 612
3/9/14 5:06 P

My Mom never "forced" us to eat vegtables but she did require that we ate one spoonful of all the vegtable on the table. I never remember this being an issue at our house. However, now that I have eated vegtable served elsewhere, I can see why some kids do not like them. My Mom usually steamed, boiled or roasted most vegtables just until they were just cooked. We rarely had a vegtable out of a can and the only vegtable that had a little cream sauce was spinach, just a little on top.. It really does make a difference.

Now eggs were another story.

ANARIE Posts: 13,200
3/9/14 4:57 P

I don't think it's even *possible* to actually force a child to eat something without physical abuse. You can coerce, bribe, nag, encourage, etc, but any attempt I've ever seen at forcing ended up with the kid winning, one way or another.

And it's counterproductive anyway. Try to force a kid to eat something and you'll raise an adult who hates that food. They might eat it when you're there making them do it, but not once they're on their own, and that means you've failed at your ultimate goal. Just presenting the food and letting them decide whether to eat it or go hungry is much more effective.

This is a case where you can avoid worrying about right or wrong by just choosing what works over what doesn't!

Edited by: ANARIE at: 3/9/2014 (16:58)
3/9/14 4:38 P

No. Children need their vitamins. The best you can do is make veggies tasty.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,484
3/9/14 4:33 P

Is It Wrong To Force Your Child to Eat Some of Their Vegetables emoticon

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 3/9/2014 (16:42)
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