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Should a three-year old be told, "Eat what I cook or go hungry"?

Am I the only one that thinks a child that young shouldn't be allowed to go hungry?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:39 PM on Sep. 22, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (45)
  • My child would never go to bed without something .. to me i think its just plum lazy on a parents who does that .. Its not that hard to offer a bowl of cereal or a pb&j .. they have different taste and can change ..

    Answer by tweetyfan at 12:55 AM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • jeez us. this question was asked like 2 weeks ago and it stirred up a lot of unnecessary drama.


    Answer by tnm786 at 10:41 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • I absolutely agree with this statement. My kids are to eat what I serve them or don't eat at all. Of course, I do serve them foods I know they like. If I try something new, I always make sure I put a food on their plate I know they'll eat. If they are not in "the mood" to eat what I prepare, tough. I am not a short order cook. I don't make 4 different meals for the 4 of us in the house. Kids will eat when they are hungry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • i think that a child that young needs to start learning that mom isn't a short order cook. They won't starve, trust me.

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 10:42 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • I think that 3yr olds are smart enough to make their own choices if you teach them early. My 3yr old knows that if he chooses not to eat then that means he is choosing NOT TO EAT. I do not cater to my 3yr olds every desire. However, i do often ask what they would like to have for dinner or what they'd like to have with dinner, this ensures that they are more likely to eat what i cook along with the fact they know i'm not a restaurant.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 10:43 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • A child WILL NOT go hungry if you offer them food. If a child does not feel like eating what you prepare b/c it does not sound good to them or because they want pizza or chicken fingers instead, then they are playing you and have taken control.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • OP

    I wasn't aware that the question was asked before. Sorry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • All I can tell you for sure is that when I was a kid that was always the case. No matter what your age. We had money for groceries but my mom was not fpreparing a different meal for everybody. I have a 3 year old right now that every meal is a struggle. The best thing I can do for him is get him to eat fruits and vegetables for snacks. The only meat he enjoys eating is chicken. But it is very time consuming and expensive to cook 3 different meals every night and 3 meals every morning.

    Answer by treynlisa at 10:46 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • Yes. I think it is okay to tell a child to eat the dinner they are served or go hungry. Missing a meal or two isn't going to hurt the LO. In the long run, I think it helps improve eating habits. They will learn to eat what is served and will learn to like a wider variety of foods. When mom and dad become short order cooks the quality of the meals goes down. All the LO will eat is hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and french fries. Not healthy.

    That being said, it isn't fair to offer only foods that are new or that you know a child doesn't like. for instance, when I make a new dish, I try to also offer a side dish I know my LO likes. That way there is something for them to eat if they turn their nose up at the main course. Like I made fish and veggies which was new. I also served fruit, rice and bread, which I know she likes. She ate what she likes, but tried the rest, At least it wasn't hot dogs!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 PM on Sep. 22, 2009

  • OP

    Maybe the child isn't eating what you cooked because they simply don't care for the particular food? Why does it always have to be because the child is trying to "manipulate or control"? When you go to a restaurant, do you select a meal that you can't stand? No, you choose what you LIKE. But a 3 year old doesn't have that freedom. They are forced to eat what is put in front of them, whether or not they care for the particular food. How is that fair? I remember being forced to sit thru meals of lima beans and other gross things, that to this day I STILL hate. What lesson was taught? "Big people can make you eat what they want you to eat or you have to go to bed with no food". That was REALLY effective.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:59 PM on Sep. 22, 2009