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Anyone else's child do this??

My 3 year old wastes SO MUCH food it isn't even funny. This morning she was whining about wanting some eggs. SO.. I made her some. As soon as I set them in front of her she started crying because she DOESN'T want eggs. So I told her fine, I will eat them. She grabs her plate and runs away from me screaming and dumps the eggs in the trash. I was so P.O.ed!! So I made myself some eggs and she hovered around me crying the entire time I was eating them because she WANTED eggs!! What the heck?!!?? She does this quite often. It is to the point where I am afraid to even make her something anymore because I know, more than likely, the food will get wasted! She used to be such a hearty eater but now I am lucky if she eats 1 meal a day. I completely stopped doing snacks during the day in hopes that she would eat her meals but that has not helped at all. I'm at a loss for what to do!


Asked by Ctink8189 at 10:26 AM on Jun. 10, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (14)
  • If my girls (ages 4 and 5) waste food I won't make it again for awhile, when they ask I tell them exactly why I won't make it. Then after awhile if they ask I'll make it and they typically eat it - if they don't eat it or only eat two bites it'll be even longer before they get it again. My 5 year old has an issue with wasting milk for cereal so she went a good 4 months before she was allowed cereal again and when it came for drinks she got very little, when she finished that she got a small amount again until she no longer wanted more so there was very little waste. As for the indecisiveness - if they tell me they don't want it and I take it to eat it they know complaining won't help. At their ages whining and all out crying over nothing doesn't make me feel bad. I have no problem eating that food in front of them after they've thrown a fit about not wanting to eat it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:52 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Yes my 4 yr old son does this. I usually give him a choice but if he doesn't eat what I make then he doesn't eat. Or I will put it aside for when he gets hungry. It's very annoying but when he realizes that i'm not going to make a bunch of food, he eventually eats what I cook.

    Answer by JayRo00 at 10:30 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • LOL...not laughing at you..I'm laughing with you mom. :)
    That is one behavior that would drive anyone batty.
    Stick to your guns.When she asks for something in specific to eat,before you make it make it clear that that is the ONLY thing you will be making and if she decides to not to eat it, she will not get anything else until lunch time or whatever meal is coming next. will never get out of the kitchen and your fridge will be empty a lot sooner than you intend it to be,lol.
    Good Luck!!!!!

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 10:47 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • be the parent and make her eat her first choice, leave it on the table with no other options, she will get hungry and eat it!

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 11:16 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Rather than to play a head game with her "fine if you won't eat them, I will"...make both of you the same thing and if she doesn't want to eat, fine...leave it on the table and when she says she's hungry, she can go eat what she wouldn't earlier. If she wastes it, then she's out on what she has available to eat.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:30 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • ya, my 3 yr old does the exact same thing. so i'v started telling her no. she gets whatever i make, when i say she can have it. she still gets 3 meals and snacks, and will usually eat when i give her something. she is usually just bored so i try to find something for her to do, read to her, play barbies, pet shop, just something to distract her.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 10:31 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • My 2 year old does the same thing. I just do what jademom said. If he doesn't eat I leave it on the table and tell him when he is hungry he can eat that. and it stays there until he either eats it all or the next meal time.

    Answer by mrsbean08 at 10:37 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Kiwi tried this before. I would just put the food in the fridge, on the top shelf, in the back, and give it to her when she said she was hungry. Have you ever tasted cold eggs? Nasty! She asked for eggs, so I made only 1, then she changed her mind, so I put the plate in the fridge and told her to get dressed. She claimed she was hungry an hour later so I gave her the plate of cold eggs, she didn't want them so I put them back. She eventually ate them for lunch, making a face the whole time.
    When I give her food, I only give her a little, if she wants more, she can ask for it, this way food doesn't get wasted. If she asks for something she knows to eat it and if she doesn't it gets put up and she gets it later and nothing else until it's gone.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 10:59 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • OP Here- Yea this is pretty much what I do when this happens. I don't make anything else but still it drives me nuts and worries me that she is practically eating NOTHING. And @jademom07.. by no means am I playing "mind games" with my 3 year old. I simply said I would eat the eggs if she didn't want them because I was about to make some for myself anyways, so why make extra? If this is some kind of phase I hope it passes quickly lol

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 11:05 AM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • She's trying to assert her authority. Start laying down the law.
    "Suzy, if you ask for food you will be expected to eat everything on your plate. You are not to throw the food away, throw it on the floor, or play with your food. The second that you do meal time is over and you will not get to eat again until dinner." (Or whatever the next meal is.) By putting your foot down and letting her know that when she is giving food at meal time she is to eat it, that there won't be any games of her deciding last minute she doesn't want it. When she asks for something make sure that is what she wants. Go over other options with her. By allowing her to pick out the kind of food she wants, she may feel she has some control over it. On the things that don't involve the stove allow her to help make the food. Like a sandwich. Getting her involved might take her mind off of the upcoming tantrum she's planning, and actually help her eat it.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 1:09 PM on Jun. 10, 2010