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He won't eat dinner!

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM
  • 14 Replies
My 3 year old used to eat anything I'd give him! Then something changed & now he will just rather eat beans & rice or just rice, cheese, cereal, pbj, yogurt, applesauce & pizza.
He's never cared for neat & we rarely eat it.. Maybe biweekly but I just want to get him to eat a bit if dinner.

Tonight we put him in time out then he came & ate a few bites of noodles after dh said he'd give him pbj if he ate a few bites just to encourage him. It worked a little but he still got a pbj in the end.
Do we get him to eat more little by little until he's eating most?.
I don't believe in making skid clean their plate, my dad did that to me a few times & I would literally make me sick, we just want him to eat a little of what wr cook. I also don't believe in making different things for us all to eat.
by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM
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by Bronze Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM
Does he drink a lot of liquid before dinner? If you are I would give it to him after he eats some.
by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:49 PM
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I think I'd just give him the plate and if he eats he eats and if he doesn't he will probably be hungrier the next time. I wouldn't be giving PB&J because if he knows it's an option it may become a power struggle. He won't let himself starve. Also, don't let him fill up on snacks between meals or he won't be hungry when dinner comes around , and I agree with PP about not letting him fill up on liquids. Sometimes toddlers/preschoolers go through these hases and you don't want to create bad habits in the meantime. I wouldn't put him in time out or punish him for not eating, that's part of a power struggle. I wouldn't even acknowledge that he isn't eating because then he gets attention for it, too, even if it's negative. I'd just put the plate in front of him, give him 20 minutes or so and then take him down from the table until the next meal. When he is hungry he will eat. This is what I do with DD and sometimes she eats and sometimes she doesn't, but she's healthy. The thing is, you can't force him to eat so all of the fighting with him, bargaining with him, begging, punishing, just reinforces to him in his mind that he has all of the power in the eating situation. So make it not a big deal. Here's the food, eat it or not, it's dinner time. Good luck. ;)

by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM
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My kids can be very, very picky eaters, but I refuse to let them think that I'm going to make or give them something else. 

We have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old.  If I don't know if they should be hungry or not (growth spurts or recent snack or whatever) then I'll ask them to take a few bites and then leave the plate on the table.  They will not get anything else if they are whimping out on the meal just because they want to protest it. 

If I know they should be hungry and eat a decent amount (they've been begging for snacks the whole time I made dinner, for example) I will make them take a good portion of food.  If they refuse I have been known to make them sit at the table for a while until they give in.  Or send them to their room if they still refuse to eat the food.  My oldest will sit with the food she doesn't want to eat in her mouth and not swallow.  I can't make her swallow, but I can clean the kitchen while she sits in silent protest.

I don't think I've ever made a different dish for the kids just because they don't want to eat what is for dinner.  We do try to cook things with their tastes in mind (no liver and onions and the like) but if they ate it or something similar last week they WILL be eating it when I serve it to them.  I hate cooking too much to run Mama's Diner. 

by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Bribing the kid to eat a few bites of what you are serving is not the way to do it.  All it teaches your kid is that he will get his way each and every single time.

Serve the kid what you are eating.  If he won't eat it, then he won't eat.  Period.  That's the rule in my house--eat every bit of what you are served (my boys get small, very reasonable portions.)

by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM
If my kids don't eat what I make, they don't eat dinner. I usually make kid friendly meals but there are times they refuse to eat. I do make them try a bite of the food though. I don't make different meals for anyone. If a kid has leftover sandwich in the fridge, I'll give them that but that almost never happens. My kids are 4, 2-1/2 & 14mon (but they baby is on a different diet so she sometimes gets different things).
by Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 8:06 PM
Mine is doing the same thing right now but I think one of his back teeth are coming in. He will say his mouth hurts.
by on Apr. 24, 2014 at 11:02 AM

 We make our DS take at least a few bites. He doesn't get anything else though. He eats when I made him or he eats nothing at all.

by on Apr. 25, 2014 at 11:18 PM

My kids don't have to clean their plates, but if they say they are hungry, there is usually just one choice, what was made for dinner. I don't make them anything else unless I know for sure it's something they don't like. I don't mind if they have dislikes because I don't know any adult who doesn't have any dislikes.

by on Apr. 26, 2014 at 12:19 AM

I only make the 1 meal and if my oldest son refuses to eat it, he goes hungry. Then, when the next meal time appears, guess what's on his plate? He will usually come around on the second go-araound. Although he did opt out for 3 meals straight before I decided that enough was enough and served something different for the 4th meal. I didn't event acknowledge that it was a different meal though. My youngest has such a good appetite. He eats anything, especially vegetables.

by on Apr. 26, 2014 at 12:23 AM
I don't make DS eat but I don't give him anything else either if he won't eat any of it. I keep his dinner and if he says he is hungry later I will offer it to him.
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