Did anyone else grow up with their parents forcing them to clean their plates before leaving the dinner table? Were you ever told you had to eat the food provided even though you had no desire to do so? Has anyone been punished because they didn’t eat their food? I most certainly have experienced these scenarios and I am here to tell you: I don’t force my kid to eat.
Why I don’t force my kid to eat
The better question I ask myself is: Why should I? I don’t force myself to eat food I don’t want. If I am full I don’t clean my plate. There’s no punishing myself if I don’t eat all the food in front of me. So why am I going to subject my child to the same standards? Forcing my child to eat doesn’t teach anything valuable or healthy in my opinion. In fact there are many studies and articles that share the same sentiment. Forcing your child to eat is not the answer.
Your child’s lack of eating doesn’t diminish your control as a parent
I feel a lot of times I hear from others that not forcing my child to eat shows a lack of control as a parent. Respectfully it does not. My child is their own person with their own developing taste and preferences. Who am I to deny them growing into their own person? My goal is for my child to be well-fed as nutritionally as possible. I want to meet them where they are at while opening the door for them to try new foods. They are not going to like everything. They are probably going to change their mind frequently. But also, they’re kids! So no, I’m not going to force them to eat. I am sure I have bigger battles to worry about.