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how can i get my 3 year old to eat real food?

ok so i have a 3 year old boy. he has never been a picking eater.... but now that i have more nights at home and we are doing "family meals" he wont eat. the only things we can get him to eat is french fries, popcorn chicken, peanutbutter, and just about any junk food you could think of hes not fat in anyway... but i don want him to get fat to we started making real food... now at meal times all he dose is cry... he on even try it... he would rather go to bed then eat. i dont know what to do my mom tells me to just let him cry or go to bed and he will eat when he gets hunrgy. bu i dont know. my boyfrined will not let him go to bed without something even if that means making him something different . what should i do? what can i do?


Asked by jacobmommy62106 at 10:13 PM on Jun. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (170 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • Let him choose to not eat. Your mom is right. Yes, I know it's hard but he is playing you. He KNOWS that a few sobs will get him the junk he wants.

    You can control what you offer him and when he eats.
    He has 100% control of what he eats and how much of it he eats.

    Have set meal times and two set small snack times... for everyone in the family. That means no one snacks outside those times.
    Fix a healthy meal or snack. That's what everyone gets to eat. No special requests. You can make sure there is one thing at the meal that he will eat. Vary what food group that is throughout the week.
    He gets water only at meals. Do not let him fill up on milk. 16 ounces a day tops for ALL dairy.
    If he chooses to go to bed hungry, let him. He will test you. He may wake you in the middle of the night. Let him. Do NOT give him a snack at 2am. Make him wait for breakfast.

    This is a contest of wills. Don't play.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:24 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I would do what your mother has said.

    If you keep giving in, and giving him junk to eat if he cries long enough for it, he is just gonna keep on crying for it. Ya know what I mean? He KNOWS you are gonna give in, and he doesn't really have to eat the healthy food.

    One or two nights without dinner will NOT kill him.

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 10:16 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Keep serving him healthy food. He will eventually eat. He knows that you will give in if he cries or doesn't eat what is served to him and that's why he continues to do it. And, most importantly, you have to get on the same page with your boyfriend...that is going to make or break this transition for him. I agree with PP that one or two nights without dinner is not going to hurt him. It's also important for him to learn to appreciate the food that you serve and not take it for granted. Him learning to eat it and be thankful will build character in the long run. Good luck!

    Answer by hgibsonorc at 10:20 PM on Jun. 8, 2009

  • Go with your mom on this one. If you give in and make him something different he will just expect that every night and will cry until he gets what he wants.

    My kids eat what I make or go without and there have been many nights my now 8yo has gone without because she is stubborn and refuses to eat anything I make whether she likes it or not. My other kids learned real quick to just eat it because they don't like being hungry all night.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:10 AM on Jun. 9, 2009