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just an opinion..sending kids to bed hungry

at what age do you think its ok to say well if you don't like what was made than you can go to bed with out dinner? my daughter is 3, if i do this (which i have done a few times) she ends up waking up starving in the middle of the night and will not fall back asleep. so i no longer do it, it makes me have to get up and get her something to eat, and its definately not healthy for her to be eating, (no matter what it is) at 3 or 4 in the morning. so i just want some other opinions on the matter to see where other people stand i guess.

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Asked by vabchmommy at 8:57 PM on May. 5, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 5 (76 Credits)
Answers (35)
  • i have done it a few times, havent had to do it much, the point got through, but im sure i prob did it at 3 i wouldnt let her have anything in the middle of the night tell her to go back to bed and give her breakfast in the morn

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 8:59 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I do it with my boys. They are 3 and 4. I've been doing it sense they were very young. But i dont feed them. that's the consequence of their actions. If they wake up in the middle of the night saying they are hungry i tell them they have to wait until the morning because that is the choice they made. I will give them water. ...but that's it. yep. i'm tough like that. They either eat dinner (which is most of the time) or they go to bed without and dont complain about it because they understand the choice they made.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 8:59 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I maybe should have done that when my daughter was 3 but I could not do it..
    I would allow her at that time to have fruit.
    She is 5 now and if she does not eat some of her dinner she doesn't get anything until breakfast.
    I understand how you feel, it is really hard to do..
    Follow your gut and what will allow you to sleep at night.

    Answer by Dannee at 9:03 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • If it is dinner they are refusing to eat then at age seven they can go to bed without eating. Before that I try to make sure that they eat something before bed. It is never something they like. Generally a piece of bread and some cheese. That way they have something and it is not a reward for not eating. Also, I make him put what he doesn't eat in the fridge. If he is hungry before bed then he can eat that.

    Now my 10 year old has to be in bed reading at 8pm, lights are off at 8:30. If he comes out right at 8:30 he can not have anything else to eat. If he tells us he is hungry before going to bed then he can have a sandwich.

    Answer by Nathskitten at 9:06 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I don't think at 3 or 4 they understand the consequences of the choice they made. JMO.

    Answer by Nathskitten at 9:07 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • ya, thats what i do normally she gets fruit and bread if she doesn't want to eat dinner. shes never ever been a big fan of meat, the only meat she really likes is certain baked chic breast, fish sticks and pork chops, and i myself am a picky eater so i know how it feels. i guess thats why i feel so bad, the times i have done it, the most she gets in the middle of the night is a piece of bread, but i just can't do the whole her crying for 3 hours b/c shes hungry and making herself sick over it.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 9:08 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I don't think it's ever appropriate to withhold food as punishment and age 3 is certainly too young. Kids that age are too young to make the connection between not eating dinner and being hungry in the middle of the night.

    My guy is 4 and has to try dinner. If he doesn't like it of if he only like part of it he can have a peanut butter sandwich or fruit to supplement it.

    Answer by RhondaVeggie at 9:14 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • I think it depends on the individuals, and the circumstances. A three year old not eating because they don't like the meal is quite different from the seven year old who is just being difficult. I go with my gut, if they have had SOMETHING to eat and maybe just aren't that hungry, I'm fine with cutting them off-kitchen is closed! If I think they really just need something to eat, I'll offer them something really really simple, like bread and butter, a peanut butter sandwich or cheese sandwich, or a bowl of cereal. Just something to fill the hole without making a production out of it or going to great lengths to please the palate. Do what you need to do, what you feel is right for you. Oh, and I completely agree, NO midnight meals, no no no! Very bad habit to get into, very hard to break! It's bedtime, not eating time!


    Answer by crazywith4 at 9:19 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • Brendon is also 3 and I do it. From the time he started eating real table food he has been taught to sit up and eat what is provided. If I make breakfast and he doesn't 'like' it and refuses to eat it, that is his lunch as well. If he wakes in the middle of the night wanting something- he goes right back to bed. I don't play that around my house. He sits up and eats at the table like every one else. He also helps me cook- I think this helps out a lot. He is excited to eat because he had a hand in making it.

    Answer by chel1195 at 9:32 PM on May. 5, 2009

  • When my daughter refuses to finish her dinner (and the family is forced to wait for her at the table, and she's obviously dawdling) we set a timer and at the end of it, we throw away the remains. If she's "starving" before bed, she can have a cheese sandwich or a pb&j. She usually gets so upset by the timer (and I've been known to add a few minutes to keep from taking her plate) that she finishes.

    Answer by rainbowlight at 9:47 PM on May. 5, 2009

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