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meal time is ALWAYS a fight with my son. im sick of it!

my son whines and cries before every single meal (except breakfast) and i really don't know what to do anymore. it seriously takes him an hour or more to finish a meal, and i have to remind him to take another bite every 5 minutes. if he absolutely refuses to eat, ill take the food away and tell him he gets no snacks. then 10 minutes later he wants cookies, popsicles, yogurt etc. then i don't give it to him and he whines and cries. and just today he didnt have a nap so i told him he had to at least lay on the couch and relax for a bit because he was crabby. so he says he wants dinner. i made him dinner and he takes one bite and is refusing to eat again. UGHH what should i do!? my neighbors 2yr old daughter eats like an angel! why can't my son be the same way????

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:59 PM on Sep. 17, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (10)
  • Join the club! :) My son is the same way! Forget about the cookies, popsicles, etc... though.. he should get none of those until he eats his meal.. and that definitely means more than one bite. Other than that I don't know what else to say because if I had something that worked I wouldn't be having the same issues... :) My son tries to play video games and I tell him he cannot until he eats his meal or I'm turning it off... And when I end up turning it off, he has a complete meltdown and it ruins our entire day..., but he needs to learn all the same... Anyhow, I sympathize.

    Answer by momofonelilguy at 7:03 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • My daughter has been hitting this stage, too. It's really irritating, and I'm hoping it's just a phase and she'll grow out of it. But for now, we've started telling her that she has 45 minutes to eat, and after that, the food is getting taken away and she will get no snacks or treats. She's also not allowed any snacks after 2pm to try to encourage her to eat more.

    Answer by kittyhasclaws at 7:05 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • well my 3 year old daughter is the same way and so id her 5 year old sister....they refuse to eat what is cooked if it is even remotely good for them....I really wish I had the answer to give to all us moms going through this but I don't...I am with you and sick of it myself especially since school has started and I found out that they don't do this at school and at least try it without any no's or anything...WTH???

    Answer by MamaCortney at 7:39 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • Some kids go through stages like that... My son does and he's 2.

    Answer by sstepph at 8:14 PM on Sep. 17, 2010

  • Girl I am having the same problem. I have been doing is giving the first bite and eating like a family in order to say brother is eating it and daddy too.. so eat it ,it's good.

    Answer by Dariensmom1 at 2:03 PM on Sep. 18, 2010

  • What do you do? Wait for him to grow out of it. Don't become a short order cook. If he's not hungry, he's not hungry, but don't let him get a snack 5 minutes after the meal is cleared away. My son tries to pull this too, but I tell him he has to wait an hour. He hates it, so he's doing it less and less. He is 5.

    Answer by Pnukey at 3:08 PM on Sep. 18, 2010

  • We just finished doing the same drill with our 3 yr old tonight. We tried to get him to sit down for dinner, lots of screaming (his, not ours). Our solution is to tell him he doesn't have to eat if he isn't hungry. If he wants to play, fine but we won't play with him until we're done with our dinner. When he gets hungry, he gets dinner (we make this clear to him). Tonight, shortly after we finished eating, he decided he wanted dinner and sat down to eat his dinner with gusto.. It's a control thing. He doesn't get anything else until he's eaten at least some of his dinner (we bend a bit for things we know he isn't wild about but we've kept trying..)

    Answer by momofryan07 at 7:05 PM on Sep. 18, 2010

  • I have no idea what to tell you because I have never had to deal with this. Both my kids eat well. I would not give in though. I would make him sit there until he eats and I would not remind him. I would also not respond to the whines. I would let him have his baby fit If I were to say anything at all, I would tell him that if the baby fit continued, he would have to sit in his room until the rest of the family was finished with dinner and then he could sit at the table all by himself and eat once everyone was done. I don't know if it would work but it might be work a shot. Good luck to you!

    Answer by Peajewel at 9:52 PM on Sep. 18, 2010

  • I've had these issues with both of my girls at one time or another. What we did: If they weren't hungry, we'd have them go to their room and we'd eat dinner. They did not get any snacks the rest of the night. If they decided they wanted to eat they could have their dinner or go to bed hungry. It doesn't hurt them to miss one meal, and they will eat at the next one b/c they will be hungry for sure. I agree that its a control issue. This is the age where they really start testing their power and what they can get away with. Once they realize you won't fight about it, its no struggle anymore and they get to choose if they will eat or not. I also try to include at least one thing in the meal that I know they will like, but we always serve a vegie w/each meal. Now my girls are great eaters. It takes time and patience but this too shall pass. :)

    Answer by Jackie1081 at 9:52 PM on Sep. 21, 2010

  • Your not 4 year old boy is the same way but its usually with dinner. Ive done everything as well and I guess its something they grow out off. You could try letting him help make the food that might help and let him help you figure out what to make :)

    Answer by socalikim at 3:54 AM on Sep. 25, 2010

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