Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

What do you do with a 3 yr old that throws her lunch in the garbage because "she doesnt like it" but whines for a snack an hr later?

My 3 yr old did this today. She hates sandwiches. Well, its all we have to eat so I make a turkey sandwich with whole grain bread. She takes one bite and throws the rest in the trash. I send her to her room. Almost an hr after lunch, she wants a snack because she is hungry. Do I cave and give her a snack because she is obviously hungry or do I punish her by not giving her a snack. I really felt bad for her though and I did give her a snack with a stern warning to never throw away her food if she doesnt want it. But what would you guys do?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:41 PM on May. 2, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • One last thought: I had a lot of fears/worries in the beginning but I went forward on principle, with trust, and I have found that the things I feared (being taken advantage of, being "too easy," becoming a "short order cook," finding her impossible to please or very demanding) didn't manifest.
    This implies that I'm aware of my feelings & responses & personal limits & take responsibility for them. (And also communicate them responsibly. So "I messages" not "you messages." Not "you make me feel" or "you are so" or "why can't you?" messages, but things that communicate my reality & my personal limits without blame. This is a good practice & helps with partner communications, as well! lol)
    Anyway, I went forward in trust, being truly flexible didn't have to mean bending over backwards but it also didn't mean being pre-emptively defensive or resistant, out of fear. I think many of us have issues from OUR early exp. re: food.

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:07 PM on May. 4, 2011

  • make her a sandwich and tell her that if she is hungry then here is lunch. In my house you don't get a snack or dessert unless you eat your meal. No meal...then no snack.

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 7:43 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Well I have the same idea as in if you dont eat your meal you dont have a snack, I also have a 3 year old, but if I know she hates sandwiches, I wouldnt give her one for lunch, maybe you would have more luck with trying other things for lunch other than what she doesnt like. She is hungry thats why she wants a snack cause your giving her something you know she doesnt like.

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 7:47 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Don't let her throw it away, that simple. Don't let her up until she eats it. ... If she is stubborn enough to sit there for an hour then when she wants a snack pull out the sandwich lol I would just tell her that she is going to have to eat it and you will put it away for when she is ready. Then I guess I would try to cut back to once a week turkey sandwiches lol

    Answer by Ethans_Ma at 7:47 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • If she doesn't like sandwiches, don't make them.

    But if you insist, when she says she doesn't want anymore, keep the sandwich and offer it to her later when she's hungry. "No, you can't have a snack, but here's your sandwich from lunch."

    Answer by SherriPie at 8:05 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • I probably would have just made her a cold cut plate and left the bread off. I have never liked bread unless it was fresh.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 8:09 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Same as above answer... My Ds who just turned 4 today didnt take long to get the concept of it and now he knows. He used to whine and cry then he would just end up eating what he was suppose to so he could have a snack.

    Answer by brandnew744 at 7:46 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • I love the cold cut plate idea -- and that works with my DD. She LOVES taco's, minus the shell. She loved sandwiches, minus the bread. She will not eat a cheeseburger unless we take the bread off -- Perhaps you should try that? We do as everyone else though, if you dont eat, then you get no snack. I always try to either buy or make snacks she REALLY likes, so she WILL EAT dinner for them!

    Answer by BaileysMom476 at 8:18 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • Why would you give her a sandwich if she hates them? Would you eat something you hate? Make her something else and give her the snack.

    Answer by onethentwins at 8:18 PM on May. 2, 2011

  • No lunch, no snack. It's a control test and this time you lost. She got her way.

    In my house if they don't eat what I make them, and I'm NOT a short order cook, then they go hungry until the next meal. If they try to whine at me I tell them: well, if you had eaten you breakfast/lunch/dinner you wouldn't be hungry now. They know better than to argue with me after that. SOMETIMES I've given them their uneaten lunch for dinner, but that's when they're being particularly annoying about eating; or refused to even take one bite.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:59 PM on May. 2, 2011