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When you stopped catering your child's meals.....?

How long did it take them to start eating what you put in front of them?

DD pretty much will only eat PB&J sandwiches and fruit with the occasional yogurt thrown in. She won't even try anything else no matter how much I try to offer them or get her involved in making them. Everything is "YUCK."

I've decided no more sandwiches (even ham and cheese because she would just eat the bread) until she eats something else and it is a right hell right now. I know missing a meal isn't going to kill her but I want her to eat healthy foods and partake in the family meal.

When does it get better? Thanks!


Asked by Xynyth at 8:00 PM on Mar. 5, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (18)
  • So she is 3 right. Sounds like a power struggle. Don't do it. Just put the food in front of her and walk away. As long as you cater she will continue and if she can feel you are nervous she will not eat in hopes of getting her way. Have her help you prepare the food, this might help get her involved. Don't buy her favorite things for a period of time, if its not there she cant see it and want it. Try to fix foods that are fun for kids and things that are not too complicated. Kids like it simple. It might get worse before better, so be prepared for it.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 8:06 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • It will get better eventually. Just stick it out. Was she always a picky eater? There could be many things going on here. She may not be able to taste her food. Maybe she can't handle the texture of certain foods. On the other hand, it might be a control battle that has nothing to do with the food. Only you know if it's a real problem or it's just a control battle. If it is a control battle, just keep at it. She will not starve herself. Some parents make their child sit there until they eat but I wouldn't recommend that. Just make her sit there until you are finished eating and let her get down. Put her food away and serve it for another meal. No snacks until she's eating her meals. Good Luck! It does get better, promise.


    Answer by legalmommy101 at 8:05 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • It's totally a control thing. The only time she wasn't a picky eater was when she was a baby but even then mashed potatoes and broccoli she'd spit out. I've tried offering her those things but I don't push them, I know sometimes you just don't like something lol. I'm just so tired of the screaming and arguing and I know a lot of it has to do with her age but it's SOOO draining.

    I just needed to hear that it will get better :) Thanks :)

    And thanks for the tips!

    Answer by Xynyth at 8:10 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Hi *waves* what I use to do with my DD was putting something in a dish right between her and me. I'd tell her that this was only for grown-ups, it was "mommy food" and not for little girls. Then ignore the little fingers that kept snitching stuff out of the bowl. lol How many 3-4 yr olds do you know that will actually eat brussels sprouts? I'd do that with all sorts of stuff, growing up most of her friends must have thought she was really strange. She would rather snack on a bowl full of baby carrots then cookies!

    Something I've been doing with the boys though is watching food network, they even have favorite chefs. If they see something they like, we pull up the recipe and fix it either that night or soon after. They've even gotten to where sometimes they'd rather watch me cook supper then watch cartoons.

    Good luck

    Answer by daisy521 at 8:13 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Nice! We've tried the mommy food daddy food thing and she just agrees with us! Then she repeat back to us that this is for mommy/daddy, not Xylia's!

    She's a trip sometimes.

    Answer by Xynyth at 8:18 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Never started. Our son gets what he gets... no choice in the matter.
    But I would do what your are doing... take away the favorites and provide other foods... if she doesn't eat it then she can be a little hungry, she'll eat better at her next meal.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 8:31 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Yeah, I know I should have never started but I didn't want her to go hungry. Well I'm regretting it now and certainly won't make that mistake with DD2.

    Live and learn I guess :)

    Answer by Xynyth at 8:39 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • I'm big on partaking in family meals, so they sit down during our dinners (they will have received nothing to eat since at least 2 o'clock often noon and dinner is around 6). They are given their dinner and told to eat, if they don't like it they can sit there until we're all done and they are excused from the table where if they did not finish what was on their plate they can wash up, brush their teeth, get pj's on, and go to bed w/o anything.

    It's a power struggle is what it sounds like in your case, but my kids aren't picky and we did not have any of that. I have never given them any option and they don't like being hungry so "they get what they get and they don't throw a fit" is what we say. Good luck, she'll grow out of it if you stick to your guns. :-)

    Answer by Knightquester at 8:41 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • Thanks everyone. I guess we're just going to have to power through it and not give in. Glad to know I'm not alone in this at least!

    Answer by Xynyth at 8:59 PM on Mar. 5, 2010

  • I made the same mistake as you with #1 and I learned my lesson with #2. What I did to break the cycle was cater to her likes ONE meal a day, so if it's PB&J she eats then it's only for lunch. At dinner make her sit at the table at least until the rest of the family is finished whether or not she eats and just say this is what's for dinner and leave it at that. She WON'T eat at first but stick to your guns and it will come in time. Another thing I did with my daughter was a good eating reward system, if she didn't complain all week she got to plan one dinner meal at the end of the week. She always picked pizza but liked the compromise.

    Answer by fatcat0908 at 9:55 PM on Mar. 5, 2010