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Does anyone else have a 3 year old that refuses to eat??

My daughter is 3 years old and everday it is a struggle to get her to sit down and eat a meal. She will eat fruit all day if I let her which I know is good but she will not eat anything substanial like meat or pasta. She just wants to snack all day. She is tall for her age and looks very skinny, however she weighs 35 pounds and has endless energy. Is this normal? I have put her in time-out until she eats her dinner and she just cries and then I feel cruel. What is the best approach to this? I feel like the more I push and nag her to eat it just gets worse and then we all end up miserable.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:35 PM on Jul. 1, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (7)
  • i dont anymore but let me tell you that is true if she is hungry she will eat. meanwhile try to put some veggies on the table steamed carrots not too mushy. or raw some baby spinach and along with some fruit and dont give her any snacks at least 2 hours before dinner. then say here is you dinner there is nothing else till tomorro for bfast. i know it feels aweful but i did that and it was hard but worked now he eats most things and he did not die of hunger and did not loose weight or anything so dont worry.

    Answer by rosepetalluv at 8:41 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • my daughter will eat pasta (carbs)
    and meat if texture is ok with her
    but fruits and veggies - she thinks i am trying to poisin her!

    she has autism- pretty common to have extreme eater- so that is my life

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:43 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • also she is a huge juice drinker (also autism thing-quick calories from fruit juice)
    she drinks juice with a whole bunch of veggies in it, broccoli, spinach, kalae, blue alge, carrots
    lots you can hide in a blended "juice" drink
    also chewable vitamin (no artifical colors)

    i keep introducing things she will not eat
    school (special ed) taught me a trick
    they have a "no thank you" placemat, and when they do not want- kid has to place on the mat-at least they have touched it- concept is that it gets then that much closer to the food they are refusing

    she will try a new food now 50%, and never spits out anything anymore, will say no thank you and not eat another bite, but never spits it out like she used to
    keep placing on her plate, and she can refuse but has to place on mat
    she has control but gets some introduction to it

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:49 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • She will eat when she is hungry. A lot of 3 year olds will do this to get attention. Try to not react to her not eating and she will eventually eat.

    Answer by sherribeare at 9:30 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • My son was like that. The dr told me to fix his favorite meals everyday even if that means i have to cook a separate meal for him as long as he eats.

    Answer by missthang42001 at 9:31 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I only have one baby as of now so my advice hasn't been practiced yet, I'm just gonna pass on to you what I just read in my baby book...It isn't until around 4 years old that a child should be expected to eat a well-rounded meal. Of course you should offer a well-rounded diet to your 1-3 year old, but you shouldn't force it. Being forceful will only make the child resent mealtime. As soon as the child becomes disinterested in the meal, take her out of the highchair, even if she hasn't eaten much. If she is still hungry, then she will learn to appreciate mealtime and will begin to eat more at mealtime. Also, try not to have too many snack times throughout the day. Many snacks throughout the day will make mealtime less important and significant. Good Luck, hope this helps even just a little bit!

    Answer by Ludvik_Smith at 9:35 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • My son was like that. The dr told me to fix his favorite meals everyday even if that means i have to cook a separate meal for him as long as he eats.

    Missthang, your doctor is a complete idiot, either that or he is looking for you to return with the child to line his wallet.

    I would never make my child eat, they will eat when they are hungry. Do not allow the snacks though unless she eats a meal. I've been through 26 years of when to feed children real food instead of breast/formula. It changes all the time. I did what I thought should be done and gave them real food from the get go along with breast. They are all healthier eaters, not too thin, not overweight and out of 4 not one of them with any eating disorders or digestive problems. Sucking is easier than chewing and children learn to be lazy and it's hard to get them to eat later on, especially things that are good for them.

    Answer by attap5 at 9:22 AM on Jul. 2, 2011

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