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What can I do if my three yr old doesnt even try what we are having for dinner?

My daughter is a very picky eater. When it comes to dinner unless its Hotdogs or Pizza or Mac n Cheese(outta box not homeade) she wont even look at it. As soon as she looks at the bowl or plate she pushes it away n yells NO!. I get fustrated but my husband gets really ticked off. I tell him just let her sit there until we are done. I wont refuse to give her her milk or drink of some sort.. My husband gets so mad he wants her to sit in time out while the rest of us eat. What should I do? Will this picky eating pass?

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Asked by MamaOf3Girls09 at 8:02 PM on Jun. 21, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (15)
  • She won't starve if she doesn't eat. I'm assuming she's eating her other meals alright throughout the day? Only give her half a cup of milk (or whatever) and tell her she can't have anymore until she eats some dinner (1/2, 1/4, whatever)
    I agree she should sit with the rest of you, so you can give her a chance to eat, but don't try to force it. If she doesn't eat DON'T make her something you'll know she likes, or you'll just be reinforcing her pickiness. I'm sure she'll come around. There have been plenty of times my 3yo eats next to nothing... or less, for dinner. But he doesn't get his snack that night, and if he's hungry before bed I'll give him a slice of cheese or something. So, yeah, sometimes he goes to bed without dinner, but he makes it up the next day at breakfast & lunch

    Answer by motherofanaries at 8:10 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • We want our children to do as we say. It's great if they do but even as a infant, some things they do or won't do our out of our control and always will be. We can't make our children eat unless we want to be over the top and maybe abusive. Punishing kids doesn't work as well as praise for what they do right. I would give her what you are making for supper and make the mac and cheese, hotdogs and pizza at least one night a week so she eats a full meal. Serve milk in the same amount whether she is eating or not. The thing she should sit in time out for is saying "no" and pushing the plate away. I would explain that what she is doing is bad manners. If she does it, she will not have dessert, t.v. show, playtime, whatever she really looks forward to. Make those rewards for good behavior at the table. Explain what "good manners" look like. She will get the message and you will have an easier time.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 8:14 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • Give her what she wants,at least she is eating, my youngest DD ate nothing but syrup and bread from 3 to 8, I told the Dr. ,she said the bread is good for her,and the syrup isn't real,she now is 14,she eat all veggies,fruits,now my 3 yrs. old grandson eats nothing but, oatmeal,and rice,no meat at all. Your DH is making meal time a fright night,meals should be fun,lovable,tell to back off,before she stop eating anything. Good luck.

    Answer by lady-t3984 at 8:18 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • Make her eat what you cook. She is the child, you are the parent. If she doesn't eat it then, make her eat it before she gets anything else.

    Answer by Alexsmom04 at 8:20 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • If she doesnt eat what you cook then she doesnt eat. If shes thirsty give her water, not milk or juice. If she doesnt eat by the time the meal is over put her portion in the fridge for later. She will not starve herself.

    Answer by sk_tennyson at 8:24 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • If she doesn't eat what you cook, fine. She doesn't eat. She won't starve herself. The only time I cook something different for my daughter is if I am cooking something she absolutely does not like (not just being picky) like she hates spaghetti with red sauce. I cook the red sauce with smoked turkey sausages, so I will cook her one sausage not in the sauce and she eats that with plain noodles. I don't make her something entirely different. Those things your dd loves, the macaroni and cheese from the box and hotdogs especially, have no nutritional value whatsoever. I understand kids love them, mine eat them once a month or so. But you can't feed that to her for every meal it can lead to health problems. She will realize hey mom's serious, and she will eat when she gets hungry. And yes, I would have her sitting at the table with you. Oh, and if you let her help prepare the meal she may feel more inclined to eat it.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 8:36 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • She'll eat whatever you put in front of her when she gets hungry enough. Quit giving her the macaroni and cheese, and if she doesn't eat what you make, then she doesn't eat. No snacks, no treats and no specially prepared foods. The rule in our house is, if you don't eat your dinner, you don't get a snack. There are very few foods my kids don't like, because we make them at least try one bite of something new, and if they really don't like it, they don't have to eat it ( they don't like baked beans or cauliflower, and my oldest son doesn't like green beans or spinach, but they love broccoli, carrots, peas and fruit). I allow them a very few "dislikes" because they do eat veggies and fruit. There have been times that they've said they didn't like something, but when they tried it, they actually loved it. Mommy is not a short order cook and unless they're allergic to something,( which they're not) they will eat what I make.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 8:36 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • I just made sure I had something cooked that my child would eat if I knew he did not like what I had planned for supper (but he had to have tried it previously and not liked it). Guess I'm just a tad different.

    Answer by mabelsbabygirl at 8:49 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • Don't feed her junk and don't load her up with milk. Past the age of two, the only beverage that humans need is water. She should be eating fruits, vegetables; whole grains, beans, and you should be eating healthy foods to set a good example &to live long enough to be a grandmother.
    Kids love to dip: fruit & yogurt; veggies & hummus or salad dressing; whole wheat pasta & peanut or marinara sauce; make a smoothie with frozen blueberries, frozen banana chunks, kale (loaded with iron and calcium), orange juice (vitamin C to increase the absorbtion of the iron) and some yogurt.
    I have a ton of healthy, tasty, family and budget friendly recipes; feel free to contact me for recipes.
    The rule at our house is you try 3 bites of dinner, if you don't like it you get (yourself) toast with peanut butter & honey with an apple. Don't battle over meals, but insist that she enjoys family meal time.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:18 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • Here is one fun recipe for the two of you to make together: Dad's Sneaky Pudding
    Makes 2 servings
    This recipe was created by Earthsave International' s Chair of the Board of Directors, Louisville Lawyer and chef, John Borders.
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
    • 1 banana
    • 1-2 tsp. carob or cocoa powder
    • 2 tsp. flaxseed oil
    • 3-5 Tbsp. nut butter (cashew or almond)
    • 2-3 Tbsp. orange juice or other healthy juice such as carrot juice
    • 2 Tbsp. fortified soymilk
    • 1/8-1/4 avocado
    Set your little companion up on a stool beside you, ready to toss in the ingredients and push the button. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. This works best in a food processor; you might add a bit more juice or soymilk if you use a blender. Blend until smooth.

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:19 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

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