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Stick to schedule or let them tell me?

I have had my 3 yr old and 1 yr old on a pretty good schedule and they were doing very well until about a month ago...they have breakfast at 8, lunch at noon, supper at 5 and snack before bed. But lately, they wont eat lunch, and if they eat lunch then they dont eat supper. My question is, do I try to keep them on a schedule or do I let them tell me when they are hungry?

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Asked by Mom2LexiNJordan at 5:42 PM on Jun. 27, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 5 (81 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Try pushing the lunch and dinner up a little.
    I always let Ki tell me when she was hungry, but she's always been an all day eater with small meals/snacks all day instead of three meals and one or no snacks.
    Like, instead of 3 veggies and some chicken for dinner, she'll snack on veggies all day and just eat the chicken at night. I figure she's getting the food she needs so I don't care when or how she gets it.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 5:45 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • I would keep them on the schedule, But not force them to eat.

    Answer by homemakeingmom at 5:46 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • if it were me i'd keep them on schedule. my kids are the same age (1yr old almost 2 now), sometimes they eat their lunch, sometimes they don't. the youngest tends to copy my oldest, so if he doesn't eat, she doesn't either. if he has something on his plate that's not on hers, she won't eat until she has it. it's kind of aggravating but i deal with it.


    Answer by armywife43 at 5:46 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Let them tell you...they know when they are hungry or not and are showing you. A schedule isn't important to stick to in my opinion with food. I have always let my 2 and a half year old tell me when he is hungry or not. I don't see the point of trying to force him just to stick to a schedule.

    Answer by keyaziz at 6:05 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Are they having too many snacks in between? That schedule sounds pretty good.

    Answer by ARmom at 6:14 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • They do not really snack during the day anymore because they started not eating meals, so now they just have a snack about 8pm right before bed.

    Comment by Mom2LexiNJordan (original poster) at 6:22 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • They both are at the age where they would rather be playing than eating, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
    Are you changing things up with what you give them or giving them the same stuff?
    Are you overloading their plates? Sometimes when I put too much on my kid's plates, they don't eat because it's so overwhelming. When I give them a little at a time (3 pieces of meat as opposed to 6) they eat it.
    It also helps so I can see what they are eating.
    I really think your schedule is good. My kids get up earlier, so we eat bfast around 7/7:30, lunch around 11:30, dinner around 5, and bedtime snack at 7pm. My kids are 7, 5, 4, and 16 mos.
    You can try moving lunch up and see if that helps. But I wouldn't wait till they tell you they are hungry - otherwise they will be eating lunch at 2pm, and dinner at 8pm. LOL
    And you'll be dealing with cranky kids who don't understand they are hungry!!

    Answer by ARmom at 8:20 AM on Jun. 28, 2010

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