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How can i get my 7 year old to eat?

My daughter is 7. She doesn't like to eat. Her father (my x husband) is picky to. He would always eat what he wanted and not what was made. So now he does that with her. Only makes what she wants. I on the other hand will make what i want and not give her an option. Things went well till she started back at school. The fighting is starting. Tonight she had 2 bites left and cryed till she almost got sick. She won because its bed time. What can i do? Even her brother (2 1/2) told her to eat as he cleaned his plate. Punishments don't work because her dad wont keep with me. So Frustrated!

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Asked by hippiemom04 at 8:22 PM on Sep. 1, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 5 (98 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • i am in the same situation. at one point, dinner -and all the fights and drama that went with it-almost caused a divorce. i can't say the dinner battle is over...i just decided to lose sleep over other things. i make what i's my job to cook ...their job to eat. i try to include one thing that i KNOW my child likes. some nights are better than others. i don't know that i made the best choice, but i did what i could for the moment.

    Answer by mommy_wambles at 8:37 PM on Sep. 1, 2011

  • Have her help plan and make meals. Include at least one thing that she will eat with every meal. Her crying to the point of getting sick is NOT helping. I would make her a sandwich or a bowl of cereal. I do NOT send a child to bed without eating. I do not believe food should be used as a punishment or reward.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:41 PM on Sep. 1, 2011

  • When my son was 5, he wouldn't eat- no he is almost 7 and he is somewhat picky. Dr told me that he would eat when he got hungry and he did. If you are having trouble with pickiness- it's ok, mix veggies in spaghetti sauce or get spinach noodles and vitamins.

    Answer by Eyeloveupunkin4 at 8:54 PM on Sep. 1, 2011

  • We do the left over don't have to eat it NOW, but you WILL eat comes out next meal or snack time (this will only happen for 2 meals before it is thrown to the pigs if they refuse to eat it, and breakfast is not included in the 2 meals (although breakfast leftovers will be saved until the next day and consumed before any other breakfast food is served) so nobody faces liver for breakfast, so please don't cry abuse, cafemom witch hunters)

    I would also say firmly "In OUR house, we eat what is on our plate. In other houses, there are different rules. That's the way it IS in the world. When you are HERE you obey OUR rules, regardless of what you do elsewhere."

    Answer by livewell at 12:10 AM on Sep. 2, 2011

  • "I on the other hand will make what I want"

    Do you ever ask what she wants? Maybe she doesn't want to eat what you want all the time. And honestly... 2 bites? Why is there such a big battle over 2 bites? If she doesn't eat the two bites then she gets nothing else to eat, but seriously it is just 2 bites if she's full then she's full.

    When I was little my mother made me eat the extra 2 bites once and I puked all over the floor promptly after because I was full and couldn't take 2 more bites. She never did it again.

    Answer by Michys at 11:08 AM on Sep. 2, 2011

  • I like to have Family Meetings.
    We discuss all sorts of stuff, occasionally it's meal planning.
    We make a menu of *healthy* foods for dinners, put them down for the week. The kids help pick out what the want, what they WILL eat, and I say I will approve / make it healthier / add salad, too, whatever...

    Also, your daughter is at a great age to help with preparation, too.
    When children plant & grow their own gardens, pick their own food, and especially help to prepare the meal, they tend to be much more likely to want to eat it.
    Many will prefer no sauces or dressings, just plain.

    Be sure you have regular sit-down meal times, not in front of the TV or come & go table time.

    Oh, and also peers eating is another good help. When playdate buddies are there and THEY eat the food without question (not just little sibling, lol) it it a motivator.

    Answer by doulala at 10:26 AM on Sep. 3, 2011

  • I don't suggest punishment, only positive reinforcement. Don't call attention when she does eat it, wait until later or she might remember to not eat it / hold her grudge. ;-)

    And when you are struggling, try to stay calm and make notes for your Family Meeting, rather than "nit-pick" because it's harder to be heard in that emotional time.
    In the meeting you can ask HER what she wants to do about it when-if she doesn't eat it all, too.
    SHE can say, I will go to bed hungry or will eat it anyhow, or make myself a new X or Y. And you can nod and listen and say okay let's try that. If it isn't working by next week we'll have to come up with a new plan at our next meeting next week.
    Or whatever.
    Practice empathy, listening...

    Good luck!


    Answer by doulala at 10:29 AM on Sep. 3, 2011

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