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I have a very hard time getting my 3 year old to eat sometimes. Every now and then he will do just fine but sometimes he absolutely refuses to eat anything unless it's junk. I have tried it all, I won't let him have anything but water until he decides he's hungry, I have tried sending him to bed, I have tried giving it to him the next day to get him to eat...he's just so stubborn sometimes. Is there a softer approach that I can take to this that will work?

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Asked by envyme72 at 7:20 PM on Dec. 13, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • My son's the same way. He's also 3 1/2. He loves anything sweet and would eat nothing but candy all day if I let him. Trying to get him to eat vegetables (and even fresh fruit) has always been the biggest challenge. Sometimes I really worry about him. Most of the time I have to make him eat his dinner and it's really a pain. He's the most stubborn child you would ever know - especially when it comes to eating. I think the only way you can get him/her to change is be consistent by preparing healthy food as much as possible and putting it in front of him whether he eats it or not. I would hope that sooner or later he would out grow that funky eating phase by deciding to try different food before judging and refusing it. Sometime it seems pretty hopeless but don't give up.

    Answer by avonxpress at 7:54 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • I would not give her junk food. Granted, she won't like some foods at her age, however, she is old enough to eat what you fix. This is typical behavior. I don't remember what age my children were when I did the following. DH and I told them that they had to eat their food or they wouldn't get any desert. We have even eaten desert in front of them to give them the incentive to eat the despised food. Sometimes, this works. If they still didn't eat the food, then I save it and give it to them for breakfast. My parents gave me green beans for breakfast one time because I hated them. I hate cold green beans now. This might be harsh to you but it really does work. It sounds like you want her to eat what you make. Be consistent.

    Answer by dustbunny at 8:06 PM on Dec. 13, 2008

  • Sorry momma, I am in the same boat w/my 3 1/2 year old son. I give him many "healthy" options, but I tell ya, he would eat chocolate all day if I let him!! But this weekend he did pretty good. He ate a couple of cheese quesadillas, a few veggie nuggets (he thinks its chicken!) and hard boiled eggs! His diet is a little off balance, but I think that if they dont have access to junk food, then what choice do they really have?? I have been trying to quit buying junkfood, but he can't live w/out his oatmeal creme pies!! I hope they will grow out of it. Good luck!

    Answer by ncmomofboys at 12:34 AM on Dec. 15, 2008

  • This is totally normal. I went through it with my son. I called the doc and they told me they can live on a teaspoon of food for each year old they 3 teaspoons of food a day and they will stay alive and basically healthy...this will pass Mamma..don't worry. Just encourage healthy eating when ever possible.

    Answer by salexander at 1:02 PM on Dec. 15, 2008

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