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What do you moms do when a toddler doesn't want to eat his food.

We had grilled pork chops, broccoli w/cheese and rice roni tonight and he wouldn't eat it and he does that alot. His father went ahead and gave him a strawberry pop tart which angered me because both of us can be stubborn as a mule. But my SO told me not to worry about it as long as he gets something in his stomach. I mean my 2 year old will cry and throw a fit and will not eat dinner sometimes. What do you do? And yes I can cook so don't even go there.


Asked by diamondmamma at 12:33 AM on Apr. 5, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 3 (24 Credits)
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Answers (22)
  • "As long as he gets something in his stomach"... this teaches him that he can refuse foods and get his own way. Not just a different meal like Mac & Cheese (which is bad enough) but a pop-tart.

    What to do? Let him discover what it means to be hungry. That's what I've finally done with mine.
    I have 3 set meals and 2 set snack times each day. She doesn't eat except for those times.
    Each meal or snack is something fairly healthy unless she's been eating well - then I might give her a couple of cookies for one snack. She doesn't know why though so it's not a "reward".
    At each meal, I have one thing I know she will eat. She can have as much or as little of anything as she wants.
    If she doesn't want to eat, oh well. She can eat at the next meal. I don't threaten, beg, or bribe. I certainly don't make her somthing else. I do keep track of what she eats and try to get a blanced diet in her over a few days.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 1:02 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • i try to make something that my daughter likes as a side. she is not big on meats so i dont force her to eat it or everything on her plate. my husbands parents forced him to eat everything on his plate and he still freaks out and eats everything on my plate and his if theres stuff left over after hes full then wants to know why he is overweight. so anyways, i make a side she likes, my daughter loves bread so i always give her a piece of bread too, and some fruit b/c she loves fruit too. i put what we are having on her plate as well, just a little of it, and if she eats it great if not i didnt expect her too anyways. she is 3, i just feel if she is eating something healthy than its better than not eating what was on her plate and getting cookies an hour later.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 12:39 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • If i place it in front of my children... they can eat it or wait till next meal. If they choose to not eat dinner and go to bed hungry... then come breakfast they will eat a ton. but they wont die.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 12:49 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Wow. First, please ask your husband not to do that again. The nutritive value of actual food differs greatly from that of a pop tart, and not having anything in her stomach for an evening isn't the end of the world.

    Here's the deal, in my opinion. Food is the biggest control issue with kids. You can relate with them regarding food in 2 ways:

    Permissively - They don't want to eat so you make deals, make allowances or make alternatives.
    Authoritatively - They don't want to eat what you make, then they don't eat.

    I don't think permissive parenting is necessarily bad, though it's not my choice. I think that giving in even a single time on the food issues creates a circumstance where you will be, either always or at some point, negotiating, bargaining, pleading and basically having a pissing match WITH A KID!

    And it will go on until they move out at (hopefully) 18.

    Which ever path you choose, be consistant.

    Answer by Avarah at 12:50 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • You don't give them a choice, they eat what's in front of them or they don't eat. Giving into them is just going to make things worse.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 12:55 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • He doesn't believe in that going to bed hungry stuff....came from a troubled childhood. But bet's believe I believe in it and those nights he works a double Im going to put my foot down.

    Answer by diamondmamma at 12:56 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • LOL... well... if he doesn't beleive in going to bed hungry and thinks taht just giving her what ever she wants.. ask him if he beleives in child hood obesity, or diabeties, or tooth decay( poptarts are loooded with sugar), or hyper activity. I can understand were he is comming from... I grew up in a very abusive home... but he needs to be a parent... and he cant let his past dictate how he parents his child.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 1:04 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • His father and I have very different views on parenting. He hates it when our son cries, so he gives him what he wants so he doesn't have to cry. It burns me up but hell grow out of it.

    Answer by diamondmamma at 1:04 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Tell the kid to either eat or starve. Leave the plate on the table for 30 mins after dinner and if the kid doesn't eat it then it goes in the fridge. If kid is hungry later, give kid the plate agian. Eventually, if the kid is hungry enoght, the kid will eat.

    Answer by lstrickland at 1:40 AM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • do not ever make a kid eat their food if they do not want it. A child's body knows when they are hungry and what their body needs. I would make the child sit at the table while the rest of he family eats though

    Answer by jocemiah at 3:04 AM on Apr. 5, 2009