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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 5:02 PM on Sep. 2, 2009 in Just for Fun

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Answers (17)
  • I will never push the sit here until you finish rule at any age (my parents did and i still eat too much because I was trained to finish it all), but I do use the eat or go hungry rule starting around 18 months. If they don't eat it they aren't having any other treats, though I would allow them to change their mind and come back and eat the original option at a later time. The only exception I have about that is when I serve something that I realize is too hard/tough for them to manage or too spicy. We don't do seconds on anything unless everything is gone, so if toddler chooses not to eat his peas he doesn't get an axtra piece of bread or chicken. I apply this to my older child also. I do expect them to at least try a bite of everything, but if they aren't liking something I'm not going to push it - they will, however try it again the next time I serve it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • I don't push her to eat everything...face it their stomach is much smaller than ours and they eat slow enough to know when they are for the eat or go hungry...we started that around 18 months. I just take away what she needs less of and give more of what she needs BUT kids eat what their bodies need NOT what they crave like we do...when they are deficient in a vitamin, they tend to eat the foods that will give it to them.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 5:04 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • I wouldnt enforce EITHER rule. But that is because I don't want my son to have issues with food. He has to TRY everything...that is our rule. Try it, if you don't like it fine, but you can't say you don't like it if you haven't even tried it. And if he doesnt want to finish because he's 'full' fine, but tihs is the LAST meal of the day (or until the next meal if it is breakfast or lunch) so if you are full, okay, but you wait until the next meal to eat. (this is because my son is 'full' when he knows there is dessert, and well that crap doesnt fly in my house)

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 5:09 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • it takes toddlers a looong time to get used to new foods and their tastes change all the time. and as PP said, their tummy's are tiny. they only hold a few tablespoons of food at a time. a rule like "you have to try everything on your plate" might work a little better. at least it worked for our 3 year old. he still spit things out and refused to eat them at first, but after a few tries, he started to eat the "tried" food better

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 5:09 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Oh and another reason. I am obese, and to this day...I still struggle with the feeling that I NEED to finish everything on my plate because it was ground into me as a sucks...and I don't want my kid to deal with this later (esp. if he has eating issues)

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 5:09 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Meh, sounds like hubby is being a hard ass. Tell him to chill!

    Answer by Starfire73 at 5:13 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • A 2-yr-old isn't too young to make them eat it. I have a child like yours. He will sit there all day refusing to eat the food. My child is stubborn. I have had to force him to eat 2 bites of the food he didn't want to eat. There are times when he comes back and says that he is hungry. I let him have small nutritious snack. If he wants more, he will have to wait until the next meal.

    Answer by dustbunny at 5:14 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • dustbunny (not bashing, but just asking) do you ever think that maybe he doesnt finish becuase he KNOWS you will give him a snack later?

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 5:18 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • I stick with the "don't want it? Go Hungry!" rule. I always try to make something I know my dd likes and she will finish off a bowl of broccoli but won't eat her chicken. If she stops eating, I tell her "one more bite then you can get down". She's 21 mos. As far as finishing your plate, my parents did that with me as well but were leanient on how much I really had to eat which is why I stick to the one-more-bite rule. Maybe try telling him he only has to eat 3 bites of veggies and then eat other stuff on his plate? But I do feel sit there til you finish is a little much for a 2 yr old. Their stomachs are only the size of the fists anyhow!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 5:19 PM on Sep. 2, 2009

  • Definitely not too young.

    Answer by fluud7 at 5:21 PM on Sep. 2, 2009