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The Eat It Or Starve Movement | Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

The Eat It Or Starve Movement

There are snack gremlins in my house. They are constantly eating all of my apples, pizza rolls, cheese sticks, crackers,  corn dogs, and anything else they can get their hands on. These gremlins are my children. They are eating garbage and refuse to eat veggies (well, most of them). And it is time for a change.

I’ve decided to institute the Eat It or Starve Movement.

The rules are simple:

  • Eat the meals the I make, when I make them.
  • Snacks are permitted at the discretion of mommy.
  • Meals and snacks will be REAL FOOD and not quick “heat and eat” types of things.
  • There will be veggies served at lunch and dinner.
  • You don’t have to finish your meal, but you get nothing until the next meal.

Eat It or Starve Rules

The Reaction

There has been quite a bit of push back since the beginning of the Eat It or Starve Movement. Liam has yet to finish an entire meal – even ones that he likes like cheesy eggs for breakfast. Eliza will at least try everything once. In fact she finishes what the boys don’t eat if she likes it. London needs a full reprogramming. He has been operating on such a snack/junk schedule for so long that he is never hungry when we sit down for meals. He will run around talking about his tummy rumbling for hours and then when I serve dinner he might take 2 bites and then declares he is full.

What I’m Cooking (and They’re Eating!)

I have been trying to cook a variety of food so that the kids start to expand their horizons. I made us pumpkin and oatmeal muffins to start off the week for breakfasts. We’ve done a lot of ham and cheese roll ups and PB&J for lunch but they are all accompanied by some fruit, yogurts, ants on a log, and sliced cucumber.

Dinner is where the real challenge has been. I lucked into some AMAZING sales at Safeway this weekend where meat was 30-50% off! This makes it absolutely affordable for me to load up. I have tried serving stew, chicken and rice casserole, and pork chops and the boys are rejecting everything. The struggle is real.

I do make sure that there is something that each of them will eat (a roll or fruit usually) at every meal. We don’t force them to join the Clean Plate Club, but we want them to try new things. It hasn’t all been bad. My daughter had an amazing response to her first bite of cauliflower (to her knowledge)!  Thumb’s Up!

Eat It or Starve 3

Join the Movement

Join the Eat It or Starve Movement!

I have had a lot of friends tell me that I have inspired them to try doing Eat It or Starve with their kids and I would love for you to join us! Share your pictures and stories on social media with the hashtag #EatItOrStarve and tag me @CCHCblog so I can see how your progress is going!

Tell me your surprising wins and devastating fails.

I want to hear about the kids who ate nothing but rolls for a week and the kid who thinks that veggies are as good as candy.

Do you have a slip up and eat out all weekend because you just can’t even? THAT’S OKAY! We’re human and can help each other get back on the track.

Share your meal plan and shopping tips with the rest of us because I need all the help I can get!

Feel free to try my favorite smoothie, banana bites, or cauliflower mac and cheese to get you started!

If you liked this post, please be sure and share it with a friend.


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  1. mommyinsports

    So we tried this, and have cut down on snacks, but I’ve noticed two things. Dinner time was TOO EARLY, and they were getting hungry later. And our kids are growing they need healthy snacks to sustain them. We don’t force our kids to eat, we just leave their plates and when they’re hungry they know to finish their meals! Good luck!

    • Anne Marie D

      I can see that. We have had a few major problems which led to Eat It or Starve. 1) We (all of us) were eating too much processed crap and the kids wouldn’t even try new things. 2) They were grazing so much that they were never eating at meal times. I was wasting so much food that it was frustrating. 3) My youngest starts kindergarten this year and needs to adjust to only eating at snack and meal times instead of whenever he wants. I knew this would be rough so I needed to start early.

  2. like Sara…but with a d

    Okay. I think I will try the eat it or starve movement for August. That way it is a fresh month with a fresh start! This is gonna be rough *crying face*

  3. Becky

    We call it Take It or Leave It at my house. I am not a short order cook. I will do my best to make meals my family likes, but I can not please all of the people all of the time. Take It or Leave It.

  4. Sarah Nenni Daher

    I have been having the biggest laughs when I see these on your Facebook page! We haven’t yet faced a picky eater, but this is just the best approach EVER if we do.

    Thanks for linking up this great idea at the Thank Goodness It’s Thursday party, Anne Marie!

    • Anne Marie D

      They became picky eaters OUT OF NOWHERE! I didn’t even see it happen until it was too late. Hopefully I can reprogram them so that they don’t shudder at veggies anymore!

  5. storiesofourboys

    We’ve been pushing this movement on our boys for years. Never quit. It works even though there are days that it is hard. Our oldest is now 10 and eats so well. We still have a long way to go on one of his brothers.

    • Anne Marie D

      Those strong willed children can really hold out for the stuff they like! I have gotten them to lighten up on a few things…even if it involves a squirt of ketchup.

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