Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

Starving four year old!

Okay, so I have a four year old boy who in the last week has decided he is starving all the time!!! We have healthy snacks available all day long but I don't want him eating all the time because then he will not eat his dinner.... It is very frustrating to hear how hungry he is all the time and then he just wastes the food! He is not overweight (actually has always been petite, currently weighs 31lbs ) and busy as hell! I just don't know what to do with this.....he will mostly waste his breakfast and then act like he is starving to death when he gets home from preschool (they have snack there, usually fruit, veggies or crackers) there is 40 minutes before lunch ( I try to make him doesn't usually happen because I get sick of hearing him whine about starving to death) but he usually ends up with an apple anyway...he will then eat maybe half of his lunch which is fine then he begs for snacks all afternoon , which I don't really give into (but if I of, it's string cheese or carrots...something simple ). He will usually beg for dinner and then completely waste it, then an hour later beg for more food like he hasn't ate all day long....I wrap his dinner up and warm it up for him, but he doesn't usually eat it.... What would you do? It's very frustrating to listen to him whine about food all day long while wasting it and I don't want him to lose weight since he is small already....oh vey!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:13 PM on Mar. 28, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (17)
  • I agree with not being a short order cook, that's why he doesn't get a choice if he doesn't eat his dinner....he can have it again, if he asks but he usually doesn't (or I will just leave it on the table and he will go back to it sometimes, but not usually) I never give him a huge portion because I don't want to overwhelm him and he isn't really picky....I don't know....

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:11 PM on Mar. 28, 2013

  • Not cleaning your plate, and being in trouble for it, is a sure sign that he will have food issues, now him not eating, and begging for cany is one thing, but you describe a small boy with a small tummy- it gets empty, so why not schedule the meals more frequent, nobody said you can't have a string cheese and an apple for breakfast, then a half sandwich carrots mid-morning, but in MYHO making a child eat everything you serve them at one time, is cruel. You can reserve it for snack, if you make the right things. He has a small tummy, it fills and empties faster than an adults.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 4:34 PM on Mar. 28, 2013

  • No one said I was making him clean his plate....that is just not right! When I say he is wasting his dinner, it's more like he won't even take a bite at all and instead wants dinner later, which he can have, we just like eating as a family....

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:47 PM on Mar. 28, 2013

  • MY gosh and he certainly isn't in trouble for's just frustrating for me since I feel like he wants to eat all day long but not dinner then he wants to eat later then that when we are all done....and no one wants to sit at the table with him, and I am certainly not making him sit longer then he should.... I have tried to make this a non issue as much as I can, so it doesn't become a control issue....

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:51 PM on Mar. 28, 2013

  • Feed him smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day. It sounds like you are forcing him into a few big meals. Growth and high metabolisms tend to make you eat more frequently. Take what you'd normally give him and portion it into tupperware in the fridge. That way you just take 1 out at a time to heat up without wasting anything. Also make sure he has some snacks that fill him up longer, such as fruits and veggies.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:49 PM on Mar. 28, 2013

  • I was a small kid and now my 2 1/2 yo weighs 22 lbs - but I'm convinced she can eat her weight in food! I think many times when they are that little they need to eat very often because their tummies are small and can't handle a lot at one time. But the fact that he isn't eating meals is somewhat puzzling. I would definitely tackle that and save whatever it was for supper for when he says he's hungry an hour later. My 2 and 4 yo's sometimes aren't big on what we are eating for supper, but they know if they eat it they will get a cookie (1 cookie). To me 1 cookie is worth it to me for them to eat their vegetables without complaint. If they don't eat supper they dont get anything else the rest of the night.
    The snacks with protein - string cheese, nuts, etc. - will fill him up longer than fruits or vegetables.

    Answer by missanc at 9:41 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

  • Oh, and I should add that I do something similar to Ballad - we have a before-bed snack that is something healthy and filling that I know shouldn't be a big fight because he generally likes it. For us it's a cup of milk and fruit of his choice. He almost never eats any dinner since he just doesn't seem to like most dinner foods, and I've never been comfortable sending him to bed hungry. He knows he has to sit at the table and be polite for each meal, including dinner, but he has total control over whether he eats. No pressure or judgement to eat.. just gentle encouragement and role-modeling. If he doesn't want dinner, he can wait for his until bed-time snack... and he's usually STARVING by that time.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 9:51 AM on Mar. 29, 2013

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.