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Is 2 too young to enforce the "sit there until you finish" and/or the "don't like it? go hungry!" rules?

My 2 year old son just started being anti-veggies and my husband told me to start doing both rules. Am I too soft or is he too much of a hard ass?


Asked by Anonymous at 5:01 PM on Sep. 2, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (13)
  • There is a difference between not being hungry and refusing food, and going on a vegetable strike, refusing to eat vegetables. HUGE difference.

    He is not too young to enforce the mentioned rule. Starting at 1 year, we started a "one bite per year" rule. They can get down from the table once they have eaten at least one bite for every year...of each food. New foods get a break, they have to at least taste it, then take one bite. My 5 year old is now kind of beyond the year/bite rule, though..LOL He's pretty much taking a toddler serving now (1/4 of adult serving)

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:37 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • That's when I started it, my kids now know that if they don't eat-too bad, if they don't at least try something-too bad. There is no dessert or anything else for the rest of the evening.

    Answer by jenree33 at 5:03 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Not too young. I don't like the you have to eat everything rule, cause I just think it promotes over eating. I tell my girls that if they don't want to eat everything fine, but they are not getting a snack. My youngest is 3 and she forgets and asks for a snack and I just calmly remind her that she didn't finish her previous meal and the next will be in X hrs.

    Answer by chrissifaye at 5:03 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Nope.

    But they don't ever have to eat everything, just eat a few bites of everything at least.

    My kids LOVE veggies and fruit, in fact, it's a fight to get them to eat the main course.

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 5:22 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • i do that, but started younger than two. If she got hungry later, I would pull the same food back out. :) I don't mine offering options, so she's not forced to eat something she doesn't like, but if hse flat out refuses everything or soemthing I know she likes, then she doesn't have to eat.

    I disagree wtih the clear your plate type rules, though.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • You should never enforce these. A child is a human too. I would rather my son keep his own natural instincts about when he is hungry. If he isn't hungry or he doesn't want something it shouldn't be a big deal. Just let him eat when he is hungry. That doesn't mean giving him crap or caving to cookies. Just stock good fresh whole foods and let him eat when he chooses to. That is not being too slack that is letting another human being pick and choose when they want to satisfy their hunger.

    I would never want someone to tell me when I can or can't eat so I wouldn't do that to my son.

    Answer by keyaziz at 5:27 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • I don't make my boys eat everything, but the don;t get anything else until the next meal if they choose not to eat what we are having. My mom used to make my sis and i anything we wanted if we did not like what she was having for dinner. Now that just gets on my nervs when i see it happen. I mean she does it with my boys. I used to say something, but she only sees them two or three times a year so i let it go. They know better with me

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:40 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • ""sit there until you finish" "

    No, know if they have served themselves (when they are older) then I will remind them that they placed it on thier plate and should finish it, but I can usually tell when they are full versus they decided they just don't want it anymore.

    ""don't like it? go hungry!""

    This is an iffy area, if I know that they like something, but are changing thier eating habit's, which kids do, I make them take a bite or two of the thing they have decided not to eat, before they can have more of what they do like or want to get down.

    Food should never be a battle, and like adults thier habots change, what they once hated they now like and vice versa.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 5:54 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • i agree with keyaziz

    Answer by truannmil at 6:01 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • My kids very very seldom get anything different than what we eat at our meals. I will not normally fix them a separate meal. I do however try to have one healthy item at each meal that each person likes. For example my daughter doesn't like chicken a lot but she loves corn and green beans, so I make chicken and rice with corn and green beans for sides. She has to eat three or four bites of chicken for the protein, but then she can just eat the corn and beans. She hates rice too lol. My oldest loves meat, potatoes, and rice, so we might have meatloaf with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots. He has to eat 2 mini carrots steamed and then he can have meatloaf and potatoes. My middle son loves everything including brussels sprouts so i have no issues there. Just provide a variety of healthy items and make sure he tries one bite of each and let him choose the rest from what you have made available. He will tell you when he is full.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 6:11 PM on Sep. 2, 2009