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3 year old and not eating

my boy has always had a nice appetite ever since he was young but now he has just been dilly dallying when it comes to eating and would sit there for hours with his food just sitting there right infront of him. my MIL said to just let him eat whenever he is hungry but he hasn't been "hungry" in almost a week and a half!! if it hasn't been for me making him eat a sandwich or something he would have had nothing to eat at all! what do i do to make him more interested in eating, or at least try to eat something until this phase goes away. or is it a phase at all?? INPUT PLEASE!!!!!

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Asked by khmymommi at 10:22 AM on Apr. 12, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 12 (855 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • my little brother did the same thing when he was about that age. He would always say he was tired when he would get ready for dinner. My mom would always make him eat at least some of his food, then he could leave. It was very frustrating for her. He's 8 now, and once he got past that stage, he has a very big appetite

    Answer by AirForceWife14 at 10:40 AM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • It is the age. They won't starve themselves. As long as he is staying hydrated he will be ok. The best way to make him take the time to eat- eat together as a family. No one gets up from the table until Mommy is finished eating. He can either sit quietly or eat. Leave it in front of him though. If he is hungry, he will eat (or at least pick at it). He will grow out of it, then likely fall back into it, before he finally grows out of it. My kids do it most when the weather is warm because they would rather be playing outside.

    Answer by ZaTa at 10:52 AM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • get him to help make the food. the smells might trigger some hunger. try pushing is meals back like 30 min to an hour to let him get hungrier. dont make it a battle. he prolly isnt growing rapidly now. kids go through phases where they eat a ton or very little and bounce back and forth. also maybe give him input on What he eats. like a choice of 2 vegis to go with dinner. has lots of kid friendly recipes to make the food cuter and more appealing if you want to go that route.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 12:20 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • if u find an answer let me know neither of my kids seem to like to eat. my oldest will eat a small bit of cereal before school but otherwise she doesnt seem to want to eat.

    Answer by mommam58122 at 9:15 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • It is typical of the age. Both mine would start saying they were "tired" at mealtime.

    Answer by happytexasCM at 10:50 PM on Apr. 12, 2010


    My son, about that age went through a stage, he only ate "GRANM-CHACKERS and CHEESE ?????

    I thought, I was the worst mother....

    Just let it go....
    Less said...... the better, or else it turns in to control.....

    If the child is hungry, he will eat....
    a lot of this has to do with ...
    Are they growing, they get hungry, IF NOT they are not hungry .

    Answer by SissyAnn141 at 10:53 PM on Apr. 12, 2010

  • My 4 year old is like this and i have no clue how to get him to eat. He tells me all the time he doesn't like the food yet he used to eat it none stop.

    Answer by mommyof11050307 at 5:05 AM on Apr. 13, 2010

  • It's pefectly normal. Both of my girls have done this. Around 4 they'll be eating like crazy

    Answer by HelloKitty1225 at 8:57 AM on Apr. 13, 2010

  • My momma always told me they will eat when they are hungry! Just keep having him sit when food is served for the time span you would sit and eat and try your best to get him to eat with you but if he just sits and don't eat start again at the next meal time... Good luck...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:24 AM on Apr. 13, 2010

  • My son changed his eating habits at 3 and he is almost 6. Yes kids will starve themselves! my son will go an entire day and evening until I cave in and give him whatever he wants. It becomes a power struggle between giving him what's healthy and what he wants.
    He is so fussy about everything! there are maybe 5 or 6 foods he will eat. However the closer he gets to 6 the better he is getting at new things. Like the other day I set out a meatloaf on the table and he ACTUALLY wanted some!! he hasn't liked it since he was 3! he won't eat any kind of pasta except spaghetti. Picky kids are sensitive kids, they have a stronger sense of taste then we do. My son doesn't eat the food I serve with dinner unless he wants it.I do not MAKE HIM eat the food. He usually opts for bread.

    Answer by togo90210 at 2:21 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

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