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How do you get your 2 1/2 year old to eat most of his or her food at dinner time and what do you do if they dont eat everything?


Asked by noahsmommy12908 at 9:33 PM on Aug. 19, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (13)
  • I never force them to finish, but they know that's all they're getting for dinner! And no snacks afterward...except dessert IF they finish enough of their dinner. They've gone to bed with empty bellies only to have a HUGE breakfast the next morning--they learn quickly, not to take dinner for granted. :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 9:48 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • yeah, that's a nightly battle we are dealing with too - however, I don't want this to get much further so I am starting strong by offering what we have or nothing else for the night.. period.. if he does eat a good amount then he will also get a snack if he wants before bed...otherwise he usually gets hungry and wants food at bedtime and he doesntt get it.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 9:35 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • When my nephew walks away from his food, he gets one more chance to eat it, then it goes in the trash (or to whoever wants it.) I have 5 children myself and him 10-12 hours a day and I am not a short order cook. He either eats what I give him or he doesn't eat. He is learning quickly!! To the bashers: I don't care what you think of my parenting methods :)

    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:37 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • My kids have to have one bite for every year - so 2yrs = 2 bites - beyond that they don't HAVE to eat. But if they don't eat the don't get to snack later either. I just put it up for them to eat later... And unless they are making their own plate, I never require anyone to eat it all... How can I know how hungry they are when I make their plate up?

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:40 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Thats exactly what im doing also. Im just looking for other options Thanks and good luck

    Comment by noahsmommy12908 (original poster) at 9:36 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I have a 3 year old son and he is kinda picky when it comes to eating. Somedays he will eat soooo much and then other days he barely eats at all. I encourage him to eat, try to pick foods that he likes, but if he doesn't eat i don't freak out. He is a good height and weight and very active so i just let him be most of the time.

    Answer by 3sweetiepies at 9:37 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Both my kids 5yrs and 2yrs are going through that stage where I can hardly get them to eat anything. They only take a few bites of their food and then their done. Tonight is the first night in a week that my daughter(2) is actually eating her food. If they don't eat what I give them then they go without until the next meal, eventually they'll get hungry. GL

    Answer by jnsdrf at 9:39 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I agree with all of that. Thanks

    Comment by noahsmommy12908 (original poster) at 9:39 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • You can't. You can't force them to eat. My 2 year old is like that most of the time. I offer her dinner, and she'll pick at it. Her leftover dinner is then placed on her little table for her to nibble on when she decides she IS I'm pretty laid back as far as eating meals together...she and I are grazers.

    Answer by Fallaya at 9:42 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • We always start with meat and veggies on the plate first. She usually gets a small piece of cake with fruit after, so we encourage her by saying she needs to eat '2 more green beans if you want cake'. Since she's not a good counter, I can say this a few times. I don't make her eat all her food before dessert, but I do want to see most of them gone.

    If she's not hungry, we don't push it. I think making mealtimes into a battle just causes more problems.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 9:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2010