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3 Bumps

How can I get my four yr old to eat?

he won't try and food just says it all taste horrible without even tasting it. he only eats cereal pancakes and bacon. I threw away every last piece of candy in the house and have been trying to in force the 4 bite rule but it just turn into a tantrum and ruins everyone's dinner. he has gone to bed early with no dinner by his on accord every night this week cuz he would rather do that then try a bite of food!

I have tried:

letting him help cook and it sometimes works

saving his food all evening to offer him if he decides he is hungry

I don't give any treats unless he eats dinner

I give small portions

if he tries it and doesn't like it he doesn't have to eat it

I have tried bribery and offering other options like a sandwhich or fresh fruit

SO says eat or go to bed but i don't like that approach cuz we both work and it's our only real time to spend with him

his bio dad lets him do whatever he wants whenever he wants so when he comes back from there it is alway like we are back at square one!

Answer Question

Asked by Andrewsmomom at 6:29 PM on May. 5, 2011 in Kids' Health

Level 4 (33 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • i would put what he doesn't eat in the fridge and when he says he is hungry offer it to him again. Eventually he will get hungry enough to eat it and realize that you mean business about eating the right kind of foods.

    Answer by amberpaiz at 6:32 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Since its something new, give it some time. Let him help with preparing the food. Some kids may say they do not like something than once they are the ones helping make it, they suddenly want to try their 'creation'
    Only give junk food outside the home, or for special ocassions, so he will start to learn this is something that he is only going to enjoy outside the home or at special ocassions

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 6:33 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Maybe you can compromise with a tasty version of the food? Like pancakes made with fruit or veggies ( like carrot or pumpkin) or a sandwich with not just bacon but eggs as well? If there are foods outside of those at all that he likes you can start with those an make neccessary modifications.( My daughter went through a mac n cheese phase, so i slipped pureed carrots into it or made mac n cheese with the tricolored pasta or whole wheat pasta, for example)

    Answer by Jaliceawrites at 6:35 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • All my kids have different things they fave. when they say they don't like something but haven't tried it, I ask for a couple bites at least. I have not been above bribing either or some form of it. Example: "If you finish half of this, I think I might cook some of your favorite pancakes for breakfast." They remember and I suppose you will have to too. But if they don't then they get a not so favorite breakfast. anyway. Good luck! oh, btw my kids have ended up liking some of the stuff I make them eat. :) haha!

    Answer by Autumn07 at 6:46 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Your son would HATE being in my house. Both of my kids have tried pulling this crap on me and it backfired in THEIR faces. If they refuse to eat their PB&J at lunch they get it again at dinner. If they still refuse to eat it at dinner they get it at breakfast the next morning. I am not their slave, nor am I a short-order cook. They get what they get or they don't eat. If they don't eat the majority of their meal they also don't get a snack. They only went hungry for a hand full of meals before they realized that Mom was serious. They're 7 and 4.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:06 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Don't make it a fight. That's the worst thing you can do. There must be something healthy he'll eat - peanut butter on whole wheat? carrot sticks? Give him what you know he'll eat and introduce other foods slowly. My oldest ate around 12 things until he was 7. Now he eats anything. Just don't battle with him. It's not worth it and you will never win.

    Answer by mompam at 7:06 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • I have tried to get him to help me cook dinner and that sometimes helps and other times doesn't. I have also saved dinner all evening so if he decides he is hungry he can have it, I have taken all the treats out of the house so he can't have any here. he use to eat peanut butter sandwiches but he now refuses. he use to eat a few other things that he refuse to eat now. I have tried bribery and offering other options options and even asking what he wants. I have been trying very hard not to make it a fight but I am getting to be at my wits end. the SO says eat or go to bed but that seems harsh to me since we both work all day and after dinner is our time to spend with him. I'm having problems getting his bio dad to help with the situation when he goes over there so it seems like we are always starting over at square one

    Comment by Andrewsmomom (original poster) at 7:20 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • I wouldn't put a lot on his plate and if he doesn't eat it put it in the fridge til he is hungry, even if it is in the morning. We had to do this with my step daughter and it worked, did take a while and also took her belly hurting in the middle of the night before she would eat her dinner.

    Answer by tazdvl at 8:27 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • Just keep offering it to him.

    Answer by mommythree0508 at 11:37 PM on May. 5, 2011

  • my daughter can be like that sometimes. she's 4 too. if she doesn't eat her dinner, she can't have any snacks or dessert after. if he eats pancakes, i'd make them even healthier by adding bananas or other pureed fruit or veggies to it so he can at least get some nutrients. i guess i'd be more worried that he isn't getting the nutrients.

    Answer by Kainalu55 at 4:11 AM on May. 6, 2011

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