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toddler dinner struggle... HELP!!!

i am a working mom and my 17 month old daughter goes to a babysitter during the day. while there she doesn't sit in a highchair to eat. she is allowed to eat whereever she wants, i am assuming during play and such. there is no structured eating time or place (ex: table/chair). I have been struggling beyone belief to get my dd to sit at the table and eat. At first it was a game where she wanted to sit in a big chair (not the highchair). I started giving her dinner at the big chair. Now, she is just out of control and won't eat. She refuses to eat dinner every night. I started to give her a safe food (chicken nugget, mac cheese, etc) and the family dinner on the same plate. she refuses to eat. she doesnt eat anything!!! the past few days after the screaming and non eating match I gave her cheerios. She ate them totally fine (but in the living room not at the table). Can someone please give me guidance?? Normal??

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:25 PM on Nov. 10, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • You need to tell your sitter that your child needs to sit at the table to eat. You are the mom and while they are taking care of your child, the still need to follow your guidelines.
    As for what happens at are the boss, not your child. If she won't eat at the table, she doesn't eat. Not even snacks. She will not starve and there will be another meal soon. she will learn that you are the boss and regardless of how she acts, she cannot coerce you into giving in to her actions. She is attempting to run the roost.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 8:31 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • A child will not starve themselves. You can not control what your sitter allows I would say, but you can control your reactions to your child. If she doesn't eat, then let her not eat. Sooner or later she will the table!

    Answer by huntannakay at 8:34 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • Another thing...if the sitter will not work with you on this, I would consider finding a new one.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 8:40 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • You need to sit down with the sitter and set guidelines on what is and what is not acceptable for you child. She needs to eat at the table and not eat whatever or whenever she wants. If the babysitter refuses to abide by the rules you set down then you need to find a new sitter. As for at the house, do not cater to her and don't give in. If she refuses to sit at the table and eat what you have for her then she doesn't eat.

    Answer by kmath at 8:42 PM on Nov. 10, 2010

  • I agree that you should talk with your babysitter, but if she's resistant for any reason then you need to decide if it's worth keeping her. Regardless, consistency seems to be the key for parents of any kid, especially a strong willed kid (oh so much easier said than done, I know!!) It's your job to offer your kid healthy foods in a socially acceptable setting, and it's her job to decide what or IF to eat. Kids won't starve. I'd say, keep doing what you are doing. If she chooses not to eat after 10 minutes, let her go. You remain neutral - no drama! If you want, an hour later, offer her another healthy snack at the table (cheerios, fruit, whatever) - again, she can eat or not. Or, since I don't like to send my kid to bed hungry, part of our routine is he has a cup of milk (or thick smoothie when he didn't like dinner) while we read before bed - you can also offer cereal while reading. Calmly set the rules and stick with it.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 1:22 PM on Nov. 11, 2010

  • Battle of are losing! Refuse to give in, she won't starve, eventually she will give in and eat where you want her too. If she has a fit, put her in her room or away from the situation until she gets over herself.

    Answer by salexander at 12:34 PM on Nov. 12, 2010

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