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How can I encourage my daughter to eat faster?

So my daughter is possibly the slowest eater ever. I know she is enjoying her food, but it is starting to drive me crazy that it takes her almost 45 minutes to finish her meals. Any suggestions on how to speed it up a bit? I would like to spend my nights playing with her rather than at the dinner table.

Answer Question

Asked by BlissfullMom at 9:01 PM on Apr. 7, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I would set a timer and tell her if she finishes before the timer goes off, she can get a sticker, treat, whatever.

    Answer by lowencope at 9:02 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • Maybe it is just a phase, atleast she is eating and they actually say your food digests better when you eat slow. Since she is so young I would just let her eat at her own pace. I have to struggle to get my son to eat almost anything and he is always done eating before everyone else and then he wants me to do things for him while I am trying to finish dinner so the grass always looks greener on the other side lol

    Answer by kayaiden8907 at 9:03 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I wouldn't rush her into eating. Hope that doesn't come out negative. My daughter goes to Headstart and they encourage the parents not to rush the kids to eat. I think the kids get however much time they need to finish their lunch. Kids usually just eat at their own pace.

    Answer by proudmom2510 at 9:07 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • When she is older and has a beautiful figure, she will thank you for not rushing her

    Answer by ochsamom at 9:21 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I agree with schsamom, I think eating slow is good for you for many reasons. She'll probably speed up soon enough count your blessings. why not chat at the dinner table?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:55 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I do agree, with some others here, however, If everyone is eating at the dinner table and "ask to be excused after eating.

    She will be last ?

    **just a thought ?**

    Answer by SissyAnn141 at 10:31 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • Why rush? As long as she is eating, then there is no concern. I don't think that rushing her to eat is healthy.

    Answer by vjoaquin at 11:34 PM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • She needs to learn to eat at meal times and that they can NOT last indefinitely.

    By sitting together, eating together, having a consistent time that the meals start and stop she will learn rhythm.
    When it's about time to be finished, give her a warning. Then when it's Time, take her food away and move on to fun distractions.

    Later have a snack but remind her that she is hungry now because she didn't finish her meal at the Meal Time.
    You can reiterate this again later at the next meal.

    It is important because this is a gradual way to prepare for what will be expected of her eventually.
    By getting her used to it now she will not have so much to deal with later as she starts school, less "trauma."

    Create the Norm now, establish rhythm, help her know what is expected of her, and be sure to follow through!

    Answer by doulala at 2:53 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • We use a bell. The bell is on the table in the middle and every time we ring the bell he takes a bite. This encourages eating and reminds him to take bites. After dinner if he ate when we rang the bell he gets a prize. A small dollar store item. He also can ring the bell. Often he rings it before we do. The rule is when it rings he HAS to take a bite. It is so tempting to hear that sound they can't resist. Soon you won't need the bell because they just do it. We had several meals where he forgot the bell and just started eating. All it does is set the routine. If this doesn't work then you may want to ask for an evaluation by an eating specialist. My son does well with the bell but still had difficulty swallowing and chewing certaintextures.  This technique works for kids who need to work on efficiency and timing.


    Answer by frogdawg at 9:38 AM on Apr. 8, 2011

  • Thanks for all the advice ladies!!!

    Comment by BlissfullMom (original poster) at 10:22 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

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