Friday, February 25, 2011

Bribing

Lately I've had to bribe Sophie to eat her meals. Breakfast isn't bad, but lunch and dinner are always a fight. I tell her if she eats her food "all gone" she can have _____ (If you have any good ideas please send them my way).

I guess I'm concerned this is going to be a habit, and that I'm starting something bad. That I'll be bribing her when she's 10, or that it'll start to creep into other things... like homework or chores or going to college when she's older. I just don't know!!! Do most mom's bribe their children to eat? I mean, I remember getting dessert sometimes, but not every day, let alone after every meal. What to do?

I found this one ingredient icecream from Our Best Bites (one of my new favorite cooking blogs). All it is is a frozen banana, put through the food processor, and it has the texture of icecream. So I thought I'd give it a go and I busted it out last night. She LOVED it. And I don't have to feel as guilty about it, cause it's just a banana.
Now I just need a better food processor...

But it is still a bribe. Or is it just an incentive? Or are those the same thing?

Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions are sure welcome here.

13 comments:

Liz said...

Getting kids to eat is tough. My friend just got a game off of amazon called "Dinner Games" It is just a deck of cards with ideas for games at dinner time.

One cute one is to roll a die and you have to take as many bites as you roll. Each person goes around the table and takes a turn. Simple, but effective. One for a little bit older child, maybe Sophie would pick up on it. But everyone makes either a thumbs up, or thumbs down. Who ever is the odd one has to take a bite. Anyway, it sounds like fun. She told me I could come look at them and jot down some ideas, when I get around to it, I'll pass along the info.

Good luck. The frozen banana ice cream sounds awesome! Way to be a super mom. ;)

Heather & Darrin said...

I have to bribe my kids too with treats, sometimes i put them in time out.:( Such a hard thing. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Don't have any new fangled ideas, but here is an old fashioned one. If they don't eat, save thier plate and when they get hungry (and they will) heat it up and give it to them. Eventually they will eat all of it. This counts for treats or meals until it's gone.
That is why old people don't have kids. :9)
GMB

alma and nicole smith said...

well a bribe is something you give to your kid BEFORE the good behavior, and a reward is what they get AFTER theyve proven themselves. theres a big difference. i never bribe, but reward a lot. it can be in the form of personal praise, treats, letting them do something special, etc. we have the same battle w jagger. but kids are good w rules and routines so he knows that he can eat all of his dinner and get dessert (his choice, usually an oreo) or he doesnt have to eat, but gets nothing else. this has worked well. he knows thats just the way it is. there are many nights he goes to bed hungry, but he makes up for it the following day. i guess its what youre comfortable with. to me, if he eats all his dinner (which gives him lots of healthy stuff) i dont care if he follows it up w something sweet. i just limit how much he can have. and that will always be the rule for dinner. hope that helps!! :)

Genevieve said...

eating is a constant battle in our house too. i've been dealing with all of the same thoughts here with madilyn. i don't like bribing her (or rewarding her) to eat but somedays its the only way i get anything down her! i just figure that someday she'll get a little older and i'll be able to space out the bribes until we don't need them anymore and hopefully we'll just get past this whole food strike thing soon. they'll turn out ok regardless of what we do i think... as long as we're just trying out best. least that's what i tell myself :)

Scott and Nicole said...

My mom always saved our food if we didn't eat it. Then at the next meal thats what we got to eat. She would let us go a whole day with the same food. Mostly she had to do this with my older sister. It probably would have worked to if I hadn't gotten in the way. I felt bad for her one time so I saved my desert (which she obviously didn't get), I wrapped it in my paper towel and snuck it down to her after dinner because I thought she was going to starve. haha! So maybe it could work for you since there is no one that can sneak her food.

Jenn said...

I just wanted to say that sometimes kids don't eat because they aren't hungry. My kids go through phases where they will eat us out of house and home and others where they won't even eat the equivilant of one meal.

If our kids won't eat the meal gets saved until the next meal time where it is replaced with what everyone else is eating. On days where they are little hogs we try to have healthy snacks readily available where they can get to them easily.

Go by her cues and she will learn to have a healthy relationship with food and listen to the cues from her body. Good luck!

(But if you are going to try to make her eat all of her meal just reward her with treats sporadically. [find another way to reward her like praise all other times] so that she doesn't expect it everytime)

Carolanne said...

I'm still laughing about the banana. If you tell a kid it's ice cream, they have to love it. Don't feel guilty about the bribing. I'm way beyond that point. In fact, we throw my two year old a celebration just shy of the Macy's Thanksgiving parade if he just puts one forkful of food in his mouth. Food is a giant struggle at our house. I just have to remind myself that he hasn't starve yet, so he must be getting something in him.

Brooke said...

Hi Alisha! Every once in a while I check your blog and I just so happened to do it today and thought wow I am just reading a book about this. Its called "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter. Basically she talks about how important is to make meal time pleasurable. Make it a time the kids enjoy. One thing I like is that she says is that the parent chooses what the child will eat and the child chooses how much. She talks about letting the child dish the plate and deciding how much of it to eat. I myself do not have a toddler but I use this with Case already. I try to give him things to eat and if he doesn't want it I just don't give it to him. If he wants more I give him all he wants. I think we sometimes forget that children know when they are hungry and when they aren't. Our responsibility is to make sure we are feeding them healthy meals, and they will eat it when they are ready. I would check this book out. I love it. Also check out www.positivediscipline.com. LOVE LOVE LOVE this technique.
like I said, I am no pro, and I don't know what exactly you are doing but I hope this helps!

Melanie said...

OK, my thought is to pick your battles.....sometimes if my kids eat a bigger lunch, they aren't hungry for dinner. They'll eat when they're hungry. And every good parent bribes their kids every now and then! ;) Now, on to the important thing....don't you just LOVE Our Best Bites!! Do you have their new book yet? I think I'm almost obsessed with them!
We miss you guys!

Old Folks That Can't Blog said...

*ahem*, Send her to Grandma & Grampa's house... Sophia will happily eat ALL the nutritious and delicious meals we offer, for instance, Cake, Now in the wise wisdom of Bill Cosby he states, "Cake has flour, thats a good ingredient, cake has eggs, another wonderfully nutritious ingredient" Protein and carbs, what more could one ask for? Legal Disclaimer: all other additives to cake and incosequential...

Sunnyworld said...

Hi -- I just happened across your blog! Cute kids you have there! I had one daughter who didn't want to eat. I decided that if she didn't want to, she didn't have to. Just no snacks in between. She was fine with that. I kept track of when she ate, and it turned out she was eating one really good meal a day, and the rest just a bit of this or that. She was quite thin, but very healthy! And, although thin, she was not overly thin; now I look at her children, and they are all thin just the way she was. In other words -- they all lucked out in the gene pool! Bribing kids to eat, or forcing them to eat just might cause them to be chubby adults (like me)! lol

Anonymous said...

A very wise Dr. told me to look in the newspaper and see if any children had starved to death that week. Then, when they don't want to eat, let them know their plate will be on the table, or in the fridge, when they're hungry they may go find it, and no other treats. Love and Logic auther tells you they are told, this is dinner and if you choose to eat it great, if not, we'll see you at breakfast. This works until they get old enough to get up after you've gone to bed and raid the pantry. Yep, still trying to figure this one out with all 7 of mine. Good Luck! You now know which aunt this is. ;)