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How do I get my 9 year old to eat what is put in front of him?

I have a problem with making my son go to bed hungry. I have a bigger problem with making two seperate meals just to make him happy. He used to eat everything put in front of him now he barely eats anything and when he's made to eat something it takes him forever. Any thoughts on what to do?

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Asked by mrslilmama030 at 5:22 PM on Jan. 2, 2009 in Food & Drink

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Answers (7)
  • He doesn't eat it b/c you make him a seperate meal. He's 9 and knows what he's doing and how to get you to do what he wants. You need to put your foot down. If he goes to bed hungry I bet he'll get the hang of it soon. I've never made a seperate meal for my son. I do avoid certain things that I know he won't eat for sure, like fajitas or something spicy. If I make something like fajitas then I won't put the sauce on his but that's as far as I go. I would tell him that he needs to eat half of what you give him and then he can be done.

    Answer by a_and_j_momma at 5:28 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I have a picky 7 year old son. I told him that he used to eat all these foods when he was a baby. He is then willing to at least try it thinking he used to eat it when he was younger. Just a suggestion.

    Answer by PurpleDawn at 5:29 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Honestly, my 7 & 5 yr olds know my rule: eat what I put in front of you, or go hungry until the next meal. Period. I don't like making them go to bed hungry, either, but sometimes it's the only way to make them understand you mean it. And my kids have only chosen to go to bed hungry maybe twice. Kids will not starve themselves. They will eat when they get hungry enough. Now, with that much said, I will also add that I don't make meals that I KNOW they don't like. I always make sure that at least 2 of 3 items on our dinner plates are things that they generally like and eat. Also, have him help you make dinner. Kids tend to be more willing to eat what they helped make. Even just give him choices at dinner. Do you want mashed potatoes or baked? Green beans or peas? If he chooses it, he can't complain about eating it. Just some thoughts.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 5:29 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I have always made my son at least try what's on his plate. He has the option of not eating it after he tries it. It's really rare he is going to dislike everything on his plate. And I don't make him eat things he obviously doesn't like. It sounds like your son is just exploiting your current willingness to make two meals. Once he realizes that willingness is gone, I'll bet his palate opens up.

    Answer by ElderGothMom at 8:24 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Things I know my daughter legitimately doesn't like, I don't make her eat...but when she is just refusing whatever is in front of her because she wants something else or wants to go play, I make sure she knows that the next thing she eats is going to be that plate of food. I never "make" her eat...I just tell her "That's fine if you don't want to eat it, but you're not getting anything else tonight until you eat that plate of food". Very rarely will she choose not to eat it when she sees everyone else getting something good for snack later...but if she's really not going to eat it, she eats great at breakfast.

    Answer by kabbot01 at 10:42 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • How about making him things he likes to eat? Do you ever give him the choice of what's made for dinner? Like Saturdays its your son's night to choose. You make what ever he wants for all of you. But honestly I see no problem with making 2 separate meals. As long as what he's eating is good for him what's the big deal?


    Answer by Chrissy629 at 7:35 AM on Jan. 3, 2009

  • im with tropicalmama. we do the same thing. my husband puts the kids plates in the fridge, and when we have dessert, or the next meal, or a snack (basically when we eat next) the plate of food comes out of the fridge and they eat on that plate as many meals as it takes. my kids will eat ANYTHING put in front of them with no complaints!

    Answer by ivelostmyself at 2:18 PM on Jan. 3, 2009

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