Author Topic: establshing good table manner?  (Read 1169 times)

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Offline Rongrong

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establshing good table manner?
« on: October 13, 2013, 18:03:13 pm »
my lo is 9.5 months, she doesn't take bottle, neither does she drink formula, I don't have enough breast milk, so solid food is the main resource for her. Because solid food is so important, we focus more on how much she eats than how she eats, her bad appetite makes it worse. now she wonít eat if you donít let her play with her toys, and without toys she doesnít want to sit on the high chair either.
I did try to find different food including finger food to meet her needs, no luck.
I know itís a bad habit to eat like that, but what can I do?  should I just take all toys away while she is eating and if she doesnít want to eat, let her be till she is hungry?  Or since she is young, itís OK to let her play? What if I donít change her eating habit which means let her play while eating? Whatís the exact harm eating like this?
Thx.

Offline TB9

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 23:14:38 pm »
Hi,
I guess it depends on what behaviours YOU want to teach your LO.  Personally I don't make a big deal about eating.  If my kids want to eat they eat, If they don't eat then it isn't an issue (I just assume they aren't hungry if they don't eat).  I allow a select few toys at the table when they are little if they have finished eating but DH and I haven't.  But that is our choice and I know some other parents would prefer the kids get down and go play quietly while they finish eating.

It really is your decision. Do you want her playing with toys while eating when she is 2 or 3 or 5?  Might be an easier habit to break now when she is young. But if it is something that you don't mind then you've got your answer ;)

Offline jessmum46

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 14:37:31 pm »
I agree, this really is completely your decision about whether you are happy with the situation or not :-* It must be tough being in the situation you are and worried about her intake - is she still having any milk at all in her diet?  I know this isn't the main focus of your question but since she is still under 12 months she needs to be getting that milk in somehow, and if distracting her with toys while she eats a milky porridge/custard/cheese sauce means she gets the nutrients she needs it may be the lesser of two evils?

That said, I am a firm believer that children won't starve themselves, so if you aren't happy with the table habits she's establishing it might be a good time to address them now (probably easier now than with a toddler!).  The way I'd handle it is to put her in chair at mealtimes without toys and offer her some foods, perhaps a mixture of finger foods and purees/milk-based dishes.  Try to keep very calm and take the approach that if she eats, that's fine, and if she doesn't, well (as pp said) she must not be hungry.   If you can eat with her so much the better, children learn a lot from seeing how others do things.  Give her 20-30 mins in the chair and at the end of that time take her down (or earlier if she is getting very upset or throwing food). If she shows signs of being hungry a bit later, then offer food again but back in the chair without toys.  At some point she will be hungry enough to eat ;).

To me it's a bit like sleep training - in the early days you expect LO may skip a nap or two and things will be disrupted, but if you stay consistent LO will quickly learn what to expect.  But it is completely up to you - good luck with whatever you decide x
***Katherine***







Offline creations

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 22:13:05 pm »
I agree with pps. It's really up to you.
I've never allowed toys at the table but if DS finishes eating before the rest of us I play it by ear, if we have a long way to go I let him down from the table and he can play (but if he brings toys over to us I tell him we are still eating and not available to play with him, but we will chat with him same as chatting over dinner), if we are almost finished or if he is in a chatty mood he stays at the table until we are all finished.

I would also try out some recipes using formula so she doesn't need to drink it but can eat it as a solid, either pouring custard consistency or jelly mould consistency (milk pudding is simple just mix in some cornflour and heat until it thickens, flavours can be added such as vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon or nutmeg, if she is ok with nuts you can add ground almonds - I made some for DS which I thought tasted vile but he loved them!), you can also make egg custard, rice pudding, and lots of other things with formula - no need to add sugar.


Offline Rongrong

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 19:20:48 pm »
 Thank u for all posts , her grandma which is my mother-in-law lives with us, to grandma, eating is a big deal, her main concern is how much kids eat, if kids donít eat, she will try her best to force them.  She would let them do whatever they want, including playing toys, watching TV, walking around in the house, as long as they eat. Most of the time I feed my lo myself, but when she refuses eating, her grandma will give her something to play with, it does make the feeding much easier. I donít remember when the habit (playing toys) started, when I noticed it, itís already too late, my lo wonít eat without playing.
when I told grandma that this is not a good habit, her response is :donít tell me that, I took care of my own kids and my other 3 grandkids , they all grow up well. I could try to train my lo now, but I wonít have any control after I go back to work which is pretty soon, thatís why I am posting here and wondering whatís the tolerance in other families, whatís the exact reasons that normally we donít let kids play while eating, I need strong support to convince her grandma, otherwise she feels like I am picking on her.
Regarding my loís food, I am working on getting her back to sip cup, and looks like there is progress. other milk? Just whatever she gets from my breast which is canít be calculated. Thanks again for food recommendation, great ideas.

Offline creations

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 21:14:13 pm »
I think this can often be the case for people of certain generations or cultures.  My mother is much the same because her family was quite poor and when she was a child many foods were scarce, meat and fresh fruits were expensive and hard to come by, they had small portions and everyone was expected to eat everything on offer.  The attitude continues despite food now being plentiful and varied.  My mother doesn't live with us though and has very little influence on how I parent my child.
It's a difficult situation for you.  I hope you can find a compromise of sorts which you can be happy with.


Offline Rongrong

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 02:28:38 am »
doesn't look like got what I am looking for, but still appreciate all responses.

Offline TB9

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Re: establshing good table manner?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 02:53:38 am »
I am sorry you feel like we weren't helpful  :-\  It really is up to the parents to decide what is acceptable when it comes to behaviour at meal time.  We cant tell you what is right and wrong, because there is no right or wrong in a case like this, it really comes down to how you and dh decide you want mealtime to be.

I dont think there is any sort of evidence against having toys at the table at mealtimes, it wont cause any sort of damage to your child...but when your child gets older, will you want to have a conversation with them or will it be acceptable for them to play during dinner?  Will it be acceptable for them to eat dinner while watching tv or playing video games or in front of the computer because it is the only way they will eat?  It is your child so you can set the rules for mealtimes, but be prepared to have them broken when MIL is watching LO.  You could always start new mealtime rules once MIL isnt living with you, the old habits just may be harder to break at that time.