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Does your child have a problem eating when it's 'time' to eat?

My daughter will eat throughout the day but even if it's been 4 hours since she ate last, when dinner rolls around, she will NOT eat it. She'll pick at it, and then say she's not hungry, only to ask for something to eat an hour later.

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Asked by carolinamom84 at 1:33 PM on Jun. 30, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (45 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Nope. I don't run a restaurant. When supper is finished, if they have chosen not to eat, they will wait for breakfast.
    Rarely do they ever test this law.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 1:37 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • Figure out what time she should have snacks so that she won't be too full for meals. Don't let her graze all day. If you do choose to continue to let her graze, then don't expect her to be hungry at mealtime, and go ahead and let her graze some more after mealtime. Perhaps the grazing foods could be what the rest of the family are having for meals. Say you are having hamburgs, then she can have hers later instead of a snack. Any grazing snacks should be nutritious parts of a balanced diet and not junk foods- no chips, cookies, etc. So it's up to you to decide whether to let her graze on her own schedule, or take her eating in control and don't let her eat so that it will interfere with her participating in a family meal. I don't see a problem, really either way. She could still sit at the table and talk with the others even if she isn't eating. And grazing does make more work for you.

    Answer by Bmat at 1:38 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I agree with Bmat. I had a similar problem with my son but now I just cut back snacks and watch what he eats throughout the day, that way when mealtime comes around he is ready to eat :) GL to you

    Answer by xxMasonsMommaxx at 1:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • That's a tough one. My son has a feeding disorder (he never used to eat). We worked through it with lots of therapy. They were all very big on not letting him graze throughout the day so that he actually felt hunger at meal time. When he would want a snack after meal time we couldn't give it to him. It sounds mean, but this part was actually done in a hospital when he was admitted for 5 weeks of inpatient therapy. All he could have was water in between meals. He had 3 set meals a day and 2 set snack times. In between those times only water to drink. It worked. Feel free to message me.

    Answer by MommyH2 at 1:44 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • My son does the same thing. And I hate denying him food when he is hungry to make him more hungry later. He is 3, and from what I have read they like to "graze", and eat most of their calories in the first half of the day anyway. So I make sure he has a balanced breakfast of toast, eggs, fruit, and milk, then when he wants snack I put out a bowl of something healthy like cheerios, grapes, pretzel sticks, etc, things that don't go bad when they sit out. He picks at them all day, and has water to sip as he plays. Then he has a healthy lunch. Once we get to dinner, I ask him to try a bite of each food, but if he doesn't finish that is okay. Then he has frozen yogurt for dessert. He is growing up a healthy boy, and we don't fight over food! Good luck!

    Answer by CarlyQ at 1:45 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • with my 3 1/2 year old, i've noticed that if we are eating dinner at home, he does really well. he will sit at the table and eat and act like a pretty good kid. however, if we're out, he will hardly eat and just wants to jump around in the booth and play.

    Answer by MommyToEthan at 8:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • My daughter eats when i eat or when the rest of the kids at daycare eat. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and then dinner. Im with the first poster. My kitchen is no drive thru. when I clean up after dinner, the only thing thats coming up out of there is a snack or some water.

    Answer by lilmsnay83 at 11:14 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I don't let my son eat anything past 2 PM so that way he will be good and hungry at supper time.

    Answer by nakoal87 at 1:02 PM on Jul. 1, 2010

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