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Am I a bad mom for doing this to my 5 yr old?

All day long he is picky about eating and doesn't really eat much.
Then it becomes close to bed time and he wants to eat, so he will have a yogurt. Then he comes back and says he is still hungry and wants an apple. I tell him no he can have one for breakfast instead and that he is just stalling his bedtime......He tells me he is still hungry....I tell him to eat more during the day and to stop stalling his bedtime with food.
I know from the past that he will not really eat the apple, just take 3 bites and say he's done...wasting the apple. This is why I know he is stalling his bedtime with the excuse he is hungry.
He had a snack and that should be enough, right? not more then that.
Am I right that he should just eat more during the day and that he is stalling his bedtime?
Or should I just give in?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:40 PM on May. 4, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • You are not a bad mom. It does sound like he is using food as a stall tactic. I think a set bedtime snack time would be a good idea (like 1/2hr before bed) offer him a few choices to pick from and tell him that this is it until breakfast. That way he is not going to bed hungry, and he will not have an excuse to stall bedtime.

    Answer by MizLee at 9:17 AM on May. 5, 2010

  • if he is hungry feed him, no matter the time. he is still little.

    Answer by Preggydyke at 11:42 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • No, I think you're right (and defnitely NOT a bad mom!!!)

    Maybe make him sit at the table until he eats at least most of his dinner. Then if he is still hungry later (BEFORE bed time) give him a light snack.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:43 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • I would just start telling him during the day at lunch and dinner time, that before bedtime he's not going to get any food so he better eat now. Then if he doesn't eat and come bed time he starts asking for food, don't give him any. Stay consistant with it and eventually he will start eating during meals and stop claiming he's hungry at night all the time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:43 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • My daughter is the same way. I try to give her dinner (she eats breakfast and lunch at daycare) and she won't eat it til much later. I honestly am glad when she does finally eat because I'd rather she eat later than not at all. And as long as it's something healthy and not sugary I don't see anything wrong with giving them a night-time snack before bed. I think it actually helps them sleep better.

    Answer by GinNTonic at 11:44 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • Don't feed him. Your don't want your son to have a lifelong habit of eating befor bed. That will cause undue weight gain later in life. I doubt going to bed hungry for a few nights will kill him. And it may make him more likely to eat during the day since he knows he can't eat before bed.

    Answer by lstrickland at 11:44 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • I would have a set "bedtime snack" that you give to him a half hour before bedtime. Something filling, like peanut butter crackers or cereal, and milk. If he eats it, you know he isn't hungry and that he is just stalling. Yogurt isn't very filling or satisfying, so he very well may still be hungry after eating it, since you say he doesn't eat much through the day.

    Answer by Iskkra at 11:44 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • I think you were absolutely right. I don't think just because a child is 5 they need to eat whenever they feel like it. Their systems are mature enough to take breaks between meals and in fact, that's what's good for his system. I agree that if you set a boundary, he will learn to eat more at other times. When I was growing up, we had 2 set meals a day and then a light snack (like fruit and popcorn) before bedtime. We ate really well, loved veggies, and were all very robust. Good luck mama!

    Answer by Adelicious at 11:49 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • I save my 5 year old's plate when he's not hungry. If he is hungry, he can eat what I fixed.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 11:50 PM on May. 4, 2010

  • You control when he eats, and make it clear and consistent when meal and snack times are. If you want to have a regular small evening snack, that's your choice, but not his.

    Once you make it clear when eating happens, he will adjust his eating to get his fill at those times.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:51 PM on May. 4, 2010