I've been having the same issue with my seven year old since time immemorial :)
I never had a problem with just letting him not eat. I have a rule that he has to remain seated with the family until everyone is done.
However recently I've been having issues with the fact that he eats no protein and never has. So now I cut up a small amount of meat or other protein and he's expected to eat that.
He's very,. very tall, and normal weight.
Fitness Minutes: (3,130)
6/8/11 12:08 A
I agree with those who are saying not to worry about it too much. Just don't give her unhealthy treats/dessert if she doesn't eat, but also don't force her to eat. You don't want to perpetuate an unhealthy relationship with food and it's good for her to learn to listen to the cues her body sends her as far as when she's hungry. It's hard, but you can do it. Hang in there!
Sounds a lot like my 3.5 year old son... uggh I love him.. but the kid puts me over the edge a lot! I'm hoping it's the part of early childhood they forget to tell you about.. they emphasize so much about the terrible twos... but what about this 3 year old thing which makes me consider giving the child away?.. So I guess I just want to tell you that you're not alone- it's a terrible age! And good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (11,867)
166 6/7/11 12:37 P
My four year old was always a one meal a day kind of kid. He loves breakfast and would eat a large meal and then just nibble on the other meals. I think he did this because he's super picky but likes most breakfast foods. I was never really worried about it because he was always within a healthy weight. He's grown out of it now and with some prompting will try all the foods on his plate. Like everyone else we don't get dessert unless everything is tried!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/4/11 11:56 P
You are falling for the assumption that there is something wrong with these kids eating habits whereas they sound like normal fickle children to me. Regimentation of diet is a bad thing to instill in children since they are more in touch with their bodies hunger needs than most adults who get distracted by worry, thinking problems through and all the business of life to consider how hungry they are, Who hasn't skipped a breakfast or lunch at times because they either a) just didnt feel like it or b) were too caught up in something else at the proscribed time. Unless there's some serious risk of the child fading away to nothing, I am a big beleiver in letting your kids internal energy management system dictate when more fuel is required. Give thanks that they dont have a REAL disorder.!
Fitness Minutes: (70)
39 4/16/11 11:00 A
I'm convinced that my son thinks he is a thirty year old man trapped in a 3-year-old's body. If he decides he is not going to eat something no amount of sitting at the table, time-outs or refusing to give him a snack will change his mind. One day he loves a certain food and the next it's "too scary" to eat. I get so frustrated when he does this especially on days when it happens at every meal.
He has some strange eating preferences in general- today at lunch for example (DH brought home Happy-meals for the two boys...grrr) he refused to have any of his fries but ate about a cup and a half of carrots I had just steamed. Go figure. Don't get me wrong, I thinks its great that he loves veggies and makes a lot of healthy choices, but my inner fatty child can't understand how a kid can say no to fries (LOL). My 4-year-old son on the other hand hardly ever refuses to eat and even when he does will eat anything if I threaten to not give him a snack.
My 4-year-old daughter doesn't always eat her dinner either; or sometimes she won't eat her lunch, but then will eat her dinner. She still eats well, just skips a meal every few days. I've noticed that when she's going through a growth spurt though, she eats and eats and eats. She eats more than her 10-year-old brother! I'm with many of the other ladies on this one. When she's hungry, she'll eat. I don't know any kid who willingly starves themselves. Hope all goes well in the future!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
72 4/12/11 6:13 P
Have some healthy snacks within reach for your child. NOT junk, no cookies, candy, etc. Things like cut-up vegetables and fruit.
If they don't want dinner, fine. Let them get up. Do NOT leave them crying at the table for an hour. But if they want a cookie after dinner - give them an apple. If they don't want the apple, then they're not actually hungry. If they're hungry, they'll eat the apple.
(I'm not actually successful at this....but I try)
Fitness Minutes: (1,089)
4/11/11 4:51 A
My daughter is 3 and a half and there are days where she barely eats, and other days where she doesn't stop eating! Her weight is normal, only when she's a bit sick she loses a little weight. I think it's completely normal that kids that age sometimes don't want to eat.
Fitness Minutes: (2,124)
85 4/10/11 11:45 A
Thanks Lades We have been working at it. Some days she doing well and other days shes struggling. I do realize I cannot give in to her. I did noticed she is really hungry as soon as she comes for daycare so I am giving her a hearty and healthy snack then..and allow her to have a cookie or after that. She does know the rule about no dessert if she didnt finsih her dinner...yet she always asks.. wishful thinking on her part
Fitness Minutes: (6,963)
4/10/11 12:00 A
I am no expert but maybe eating earlier might help, I have twin 6 year old boys and they get hungry for a snack between 3 & 4 and I try to hold off giving them one and have them eat dinner by 5 or 5:30.
I am mom to 8 kids (5 bio) and I can tell you, all of them went through that! My 4 year old is right now as well, but my 3 yr old still eats like a champ... My 4 yr old (Danika) is really bad for wanting junk, but we do one of 2 things. 1) Split her meal in half and ask her to finish one pile. This usually works without a struggle. 2) If its still a struggle after splitting her food, we allow her to get down from the table and do whatever it is she was doing, but, when she says she is hungry again (often 30 mins later) she is offered her reheated dinner. She pretty well always eats it then. If not, its something like an apple, cheese, etc as mentioned by a previous poster. Good luck, and my best piece of advice is be consistent and don't cave!!!
my daughter is 7 and she does the same thing, she just wants junk as a snack when she comes home from school, sometimes i give in, but after dinner if she is still hungry than i make sure she eats fruit or something healthy, i try to limit their junk intake, but its better not too keep junk food in the house at all, they wont miss what they cant see right ??
Fitness Minutes: (135)
60 4/6/11 2:20 P
The only advice I really have is this: Don't let her win. If she isn't hungry, fine. Don't force her to eat. BUT, DO NOT give in and give her unhealthy snacks. And don't give her any dessert if she doesn't eat her dinner. My daughters, ages 4, 2 and 6 weeks, don't get dessert if they don't eat dinner. They know the rules and they don't ask. If they do ask, we tell them no, and they respect that. Just don't let her win. I know it's hard after a long day, but once you start putting your foot down, she will come around. Also, don't feed her. She is old enough to do it herself. Good luck! It does get easier!
LOL, my solution to cookies/chips is I pretty much don't have unhealthy snacks in the house unless there's company. I never have, even before she was born. If she wants a healthy snack afterward, I don't really mind. Can you try and replace with healthy snacks? Here are some things Alita loves:
ANY form of fresh fruit String Cheese PB& No Sugar Added Jam on a whole wheat english muffin. Sometimes I get crazy and cut it into a cute shape with cookie cutters. Any form of raw vegetables with dip (ranch or hummus) Air popped popcorn with garlic salt or bacon salt Cheese rollup (cheese & spinach rolled up into a whole wheat tortilla and heated until the cheese is melted) Those organic fruit/veggie mashes that come in the pouch. Those are typically just fruits and veggies with no added sugars or preservatives. Yogurt Cheerios Smoothies made with yogurt, fruit and pureed veggies Those little Dora edamame packets
The chips/cookies are typically a moot question in my house since there aren't usually any, but if we've just baked or the hubby has brought chips home, I can usually get away with offering her the above snacks and if she still persists, I can always get away with giving her only 1 or 2 because those are "sometimes" foods.
Does she help you shop? I noticed that she's more likely to eat things if SHE picked them out, and even more likely to eat it if SHE harvested it at daycare or at the pick your own.
Fitness Minutes: (45,551)
1,737 4/6/11 6:56 A
I have the same problem with my 4yrs old, he doesn't want to feed him self he will take the food to his grandma when I refuse to spoon feed him. We have to play games with him to eat, now my 2yrs old sees him doing this and she is refusing to eat. it gets frustrated,but we have just keep trying. Hang in there you are not the only one.
Fitness Minutes: (2,124)
85 4/5/11 8:45 P
well the thing is..she wont want dinner but she wants desserts right after..so she'll want to grab some cookies or chips.
Also, at breakfast she eats either a boiled egg or cereal. Lunch is at daycare but i see her eating habits overall so I know she doesnt eat much. As soon as she comes home ..all she wants are snacks. and not the healthy ones.
Our pediatrician told us never to force our daughter to eat, even though she's underweight, because it ends up confusing her hunger signals over time. My daughter's three, so I don't worry if she doesn't eat. I just set it aside and if she wants it later, that's fine, but there are no treats unless she eats her dinner. Generally, the days where she eats no dinner, she does want a snack later and still doesn't want her dinner, so I just give her some yogurt or cheese or a glass of milk with a fruit or vegetable and maybe a carb like some whole grain bread, crackers or air popped popcorn. I just draw the line at actually PREPARING something else for her later. If I were you, I wouldn't worry. If she's hungry, she will eat. Heck, I'm 30 and sometimes I eat 2 bites and I'm done!
4/5/11 2:47 P
I have talked to our doctor about the same problem with my 2.5 year old and she said if my daughter was eating a good breakfast and lunch that I shouldn't worry too much if she wasn't eating dinner. I know it is hard to get dinner on the table earlier, but I find when we eat at 5ish instead of 7ish that she eats much better. If my daughter won't eat, I usually try to give her the food she refused at dinner for a bedtime snack. Good luck!
my 4 and 6 yr old daughters often refuse dinner. Both are normal or slightly underweight, I figure if they were hungry, they would eat. Our rule is, no dessert unless you eat the veggies and protein, and if you refuse the meal, you don't eat again until the next meal(breakfast, in the case of dinner) Why is it necessary that she eat supper if she is not hungry and has eaten 2 other meals that day? Most kids if presented with healthy food only do a pretty good job of regulating their food intake.
Fitness Minutes: (2,124)
85 4/4/11 8:47 P
every single night we have issues with her not eating her dinner. She'll talk through dinner and then just sits there. I mean she barely takes 2-3 bites. Then she wants me to feed her or sit there and tell her she only needs to eat 2 bites and shes done. We ate dinner at 7:45 and shes sitting there even now on the table with her dinner untouched.
im so frustrated. She does this every single day. She's been sitting there crying for the past hour.
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