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2 Bumps

My child won't eat - is it better to give her just crackers than nothing at all?

My daughter started a new daycare about a month ago, and for the last 2 weeks has decided to eat NOTHING during the day. When it is snack time or lunch time, she will not sit at the table with the other kids and just sits away from the table by herself. As soon as she gets home, she begs for crackers, cookies, or other junk food. I DO NOT GIVE IN. I believe it was her choice not to eat (and believe me, I know that they are serving food she likes). I offer her choices and serve dinner. If she does not like that and continues to beg for junk food, then in my world she has made the choice to continue to not eat and some times she even goes to bed hungry. I always offer food and never keep her from having milk or water. My mother thinks this is cruel and thinks I should give in and let her eat crackers or whatever she wants because "at least she would be eating something." Your thoughts?

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Asked by AndreaV86 at 4:47 PM on Feb. 16, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I kind of agree with your mom. I would never let a child go hungry. At that age, I believe anything is better than nothing. I even heard a Dr. say if it takes pouring cheese all over veges to get them to eat, then so be it. At least they are eating. Think of it this way, if your child winds up malnourished you will be held responsible and could get the child taken away from you.... is it worth that? I don't think so.

    Answer by m-avi at 4:54 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • Get some Breakfast Essentials and have her drink that

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 5:00 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I would make sure to give her a liquid multivitamin & whole milk. Offer her new things to eat. I don't know what she eats but my Daughter loves Progresso chicken rotini soup. I strain the noodles & veggies into a bowl & give her a spoon. She also loves beef barley soup & pasta wheels plain. How about chicken nuggets? As long as she is taking her vitamin & drinking milk I'd let her eat what she wants besides candy.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 5:21 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • Maybe have veggies and fruits available, like mini carrots and oranges that are easy to always have on hand, and can be offered while you fix dinner. Maybe even a few multigrain crackers. But no junk food.

    Answer by silverthreads at 5:27 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • Have you thought about sending a lunch that you know that she likes to daycare? My youngest NEVER ate the food at daycare but would eat what I sent him.

    As for begging for junk food, I wouldn't give in either. A few crackers here and there wouldn't be the worst in the world.

    Could it be that she is filling up on the liquids and is fairly full when you happen to give her a meal? Just keep giving her healthy choices and eventually she will eat.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 5:28 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I'll give my daughter four or five healthy choices of what she can eat, rather than sending her to bed hungry. But I absolutely won't give in and let her eat junk food just so she's eating something. She eventually chooses one of the healthy options; she's never decided to go to bed with nothing at all in her. A child won't starve herself. Try different food choices; what a kid loves one week, she'll hate the next. But don't give in, even once, to letting her eat cookies or crackers because she won't eat anything else at all. It will just make it that much harder to stick to your guns next time.

    I agree that sending a lunch to daycare with her for a short time might help. Going to daycare is a big adjustment. Before long, she'll probabl start eating what is served there if it's something she likes.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:38 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I agree with you. That is how I raised my dd's. You do not eat the food I put in front of you, you do not eat. Do you live with t
    Your Mom? If not tell her to but out.

    Answer by louise2 at 5:44 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I'm siding with your mom. A toddler isn't making a rational choice to go hungry. And going without food when she should be eating something only leads to a kid with crashing blood sugar levels, which leads to worse mental function than usual.

    Answer by SWasson at 5:49 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • A lot of little kids won't eat meals but would rather snack throughout the day, which is actually healthier than gorging on three meals a day. I'd stand my ground on junk food but I'd make sure she has daily access to peanut butter and crackers, or cheese with crackers, apple slices, yogurt, grapes, etc. good snacks that she can eat when she is hungry even if its not a traditional mealtime.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 6:17 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • ice cream. When my kids were small and wouldn't eat I talked with the WIC nutritionist. She said make sure they eat ice cream. Eventually, she'll come back to eating foods but keep the calcium levels up (cheese, milk, ice cream).

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:29 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

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