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

(minimum 6 characters)

What to do with a 3.5 year old that wont eat her breakfast, lunch or dinner?

I dont know what to do. She hasn't ate very much the last few days at all. I changed our rules around because she hasn't been eating her meals. I made cake the beginning of the week so her thing right now is when she very first wakes up she will ask for some cake so I tell her no you haven't even ate breakfast yet. So then she will ask for a popcycle and I am like no what did I tell you. Then after going down the list of things she will ask for she will ask for cereal so I give her some and she eats 1-2 bites and waists the rest of it. Then like 5 minutes later she will go down the list asking for snacks again I tell her no because she didn't wat her breakfast. So then she will keep on asking I say no it goes until lunch time. I will make her a peanut butter and jelly or a grilled cheese or bolonga and cheese sandwhich or something like that she will eat one bite and that is all she will eat then 5 minutes later goes down the list of things again I tell her again no up until dinner. Then it is dinner time and she wont eat it at all not even a bite. Then I tell her she isn't getting any snacks she says ok. 5 minutes later we go at it again. The thing is do I just let her go hungry or what? I don't believe in making a sepret meal for my child. The only way I do that is if I know for a fact they don't like something I am making. But people keep telling me she will eat when she is hungry and other say let her eat what she wants, but I don't want to let her eat what she wants cause she wants junk food stuff like chips, popcyles, popcorn, stuff like that.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:34 AM on Jul. 24, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (15)
  • Continue what you are doing. This is just a phase. If you give in it will only get worse!

    Answer by treynlisa at 9:38 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • Give her a vitamin and don't worry about it. Keep feeding healthy foods and try and introduce new foods as normal. Get junk food out of the house. You can buy sugar free popsicles for special treats. She will eat when she is hungry enough.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:41 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • Yes, you let her go hungry.

    Breakfast is at breakfast time, she has 20 minutes to eat (unless she is eating actively and is just not finished), if she doesn't eat that, she gets nothing until lunch. Same thing at lunch. If she doesn't eat at lunch, nothing until dinner. Same thing at dinner and if she doesn't eat then, no snack.

    I would also cut down on the asking for snacks with whatever your discipline method is. She should not get to "run" your day by asking for snacks when she knows she didn't eat.

    Been through it with my oldest...and it was miserable. I was wimpy about it for about 2 months before I went "prison style" LOL. It worked though. It was a tough couple weeks, but that was the end of it. They have to know you're not going to cave and meal times are meal times.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 9:41 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • I agree with giving her a vitamin and then let her eat as much or as little at meal times. Have water available for her throughout the day. Ignore her requests for unhealthy foods and get rid of all the snacks and junk food. Occupy her with activities and fun things to do.

    Answer by whitepeppers at 9:58 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • i agree if you give her the vitamins then she will be getting the nutrition she needs. but just a thought. have you ever tried feeding her other stuff, like gerber graduate foods. i know they are really baby to toddler ranged in food. annd they come in enough flavors even my dd who will not and i mean will not eat anything she finds oddly textured or diff. she eats mac and cheese, has to be kraft, she eats chef but only the kind with meatballs, she drinks a lot of milk, and eats the gerber foods. to all of yo who say i am indulging her bite me she has a tentative diagnosis for having aspergers so what ever. we are being forced by our ped to give her pediasure twice a day because she does not gain weight fast, she is three going on four and is the size of an average one and half year old. so while making her go hungry is all right as long as it does not last long, make sure she is gaining. :)

    Answer by 4g4b at 10:16 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • mine pickest on earth too
    not for sweets but carbs and fruit juice
    i water down her juice and her juice is the organic kind with veggie juice in it
    will add some almond milk to it
    give her a chewy vitamin with no lake dyes

    also, special ed teacher told be of trick, make a No Thank You may with her, cover with clear contact paper, at meals if she does not want something, she has to say no thank you and place it on the mat - thought is that she is getting some exposure to the food, has to touch to place it there, might smell a bit, maybe even get some on her hands-just one step closer to trying it

    now if your child will eat these foods but just playing the fit card for sweets, than stand even firmer on "no sweets, except after dinner-or whatever the rule you make"

    is she picky or is she playing you
    OR both


    Answer by fiatpax at 10:17 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • we can't afford the baby graduate foods right now. I am about to have another baby in about a week and I can't afford to buy what that baby needs plus baby items for a 3.5 year old. But it isn't that she doesn't like these foods. She has always ate these foods she is just going through where she wont eat. I use to not have a problem with her eating she use to eat everything and anything on her plate. I mean she will still try new things, but she just isn't eating her meals. I know she likes the foods I make for her she is just not into eating I guess right now

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:25 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • no she isn't picky she is playing me. She tries everything and will tell me she likes it then the next time I feed it to her she wont eat it. Then she is also not eating stuff that she has ate since she was on table food and that was at 11 or 12 months old.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:28 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • When you give her cereal or a sandwich or whatever 'real' food is for her meals tell her she must east so many bites or so much to get a snack in an hour.

    Answer by meooma at 11:16 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

  • I have told her that and she sill doesn't eat it. I don't tell her in an hour, but I will tell her if you want (whatever she had asked for) then you have to eat a couple more bites and she says no im done or i don't want it

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:44 AM on Jul. 24, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.