I hate lunchtime!

[deleted account] ( 22 moms have responded )

I cant stand lunchtime......really every meal but i have gotten better at breakfast......waffles this morning donuts yesterday. Dinner is ok there is a struggle there too... the kids (3 1/2 and 2 1/2 yr olds don't like to eat lunch (any meal actually....), just the snacks afterwards. I get emails from parenting.com and they have some recipes i tried like a banana and chocolate chip qusadilla today and yesterday we tried peanut butter on bread with banana slices on top.......NO GO for either of them....

the older one loves bananas but did not like these ideas. the younger one had a cheese qusadilla today instead of banana.....she did eat hers but maybe that was because i said she wouldn't get a snack if she didn't eat. The older one didn't really eat the banana qusadilla
Normally they eat "peanut butter" (which is nutella but they call it that) but even having them eat that is like pulling teeth..... and they eat it practically everyday (unless i happen to forget about lunch altogether) but i know soon they arent gonna want it anymore and then we will be in trouble...lol

i do NOT want to make 5 different lunches for each kid (thank god my 7 month old is still on baby food lol)
i want something simple to cook or throw together cuz i know i have to clean that before cooking dinner and clean that up as well.....

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Tabitha - posted on 05/10/2012

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I would not start the habit of allowing them to pick what they want for every meal. It's not a restaurant. They need to learn to eat the majority of food that is put in front of them. I would cut out the snacks all together until they learn that they're lucky that they have meals to eat, a lot of kids don't! Your kids will not starve for missing snack. I always try to make things I know they like but that can't happen everyday, I can't please everyone in the same meal or we'd have about 10 courses every day...lol

Picky eaters are picky because they ALLOWED to be. If they don't have a choice but to eat what's given to them, they learn to eat.

Kelina - posted on 05/10/2012

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So don't make different lunches it's as simple as that. And they don't get snacks between meals if they don't eat. There will be a lot of whining involved for the first few days but eventually they'll get the idea. Ask them what they want for lunch and see if you have it. Last night my son whined about dinner. Eventually he got down from the table and we told him there was nothing else until breakfast. He was NOT happy when we stuck to it, but he was hungry this morning I tell you! He ate 3 waffles when normally it's a chore to get him to eat one and there was no complaints. I'm guessing he'll eat dinner tonight. Also, the things you're giving them-generally if you won't eat them, they probably won't either. Try to make an example of eating the things they're eating to see if they're any good. and sit down and eat with them. It'll make a difference. I'm also not overly surprised about the nutella. It's basically chocolate icing with a few nuts thrown in.

Happy - posted on 05/11/2012

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You prepare the meal, put it on tha table ans say, "Eat!". If they don't, they don't. Stop serving snacks.

Lori - posted on 06/03/2012

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Hi Kate, I can really relate to your dilema...my eight year old daughter is super fussy and it's always a struggle to get her to eat at meal time. She's the opposite of my 13 year old son who eats like a machine and loves nearly every meal put in front of him....and even one of his favourite snacks is cut up lettus...of all things! lol!! But my daughter is a whole other story...it's like if it was up to her all she would ever eat is chocolate ice cream and cookies! BUT...that being said I make her know that she must eat a good portion of whatever we are eating at meal time or no desert and that really seems to work since she has such a sweet tooth. Also, I try not to put too much on her plate because that is just discouraging for her...so I only give her the amount I think she can handle. Good luck to you Kate, I hope this helps. Lori.

Ange - posted on 05/20/2012

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Just a thought... if you get them involved in making it, they often have a vested interest in eating it. I know they're young. I had my boy kneading bread dough before he was three. I let him arrange apple slices, cheese chunks, and crackers on his plate for his snack. He gets to choose whether his sandwich is cut in an "x" or a "t" each lunch, as well as choosing what kind it will be (from two choices I pick ahead, he can choose between but not so good at coming up with on his own). This makes it "his" meal. At breakfast he picks the cereal, and I have him get his own spoon from the drawer. Now he's four and I'm teaching him to use a butter knife to spread mayo on his bread for his sandwich, unwrap the cheese slice, and put it on the bread - lopsided and all. It's still "his." So let them have a say, and hopefully a hand, in what's being served.

Don't leave them out of the clean-up either. At three, he got to stand on a step-stool at the sink with me while I washed dishes, and he got to "help" by pouring plastic cupfuls of water over whatever I was scrubbing (and me and the floor, half the time). When I was done, I'd run a sink of cool soapy water and give him (clean) wooden spoons, plastic cups, plastic bowls, etc, and the scrubber, and let him "wash" his dishes too. Now he's older, the other day I saved the non-breakable metal bowls and the plastic cutting board (fruit only, not meat) and let him wash them all by himself, then rinse and set aside, then drain the sink and use the sprayer to get all the bubbles. He loved it!

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Gena - posted on 06/02/2012

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I agree with most of the other moms! I give my son 2-3 choices and that is it! If he doesnt eat enough to satisfy me, then I leave it on the table and when he wants a snack...that is what he gets!!

[deleted account]

I saw the banana thing in a kids recipe and my oldest like bananas and they both like chocolate......never again.

The donuts are plain donuts no frosting on top they have some vanilla extract in it. I have a big boss grill thing that I can make paninis with and waffle (Just need to switch out the inserts for whatever you want to make) one insert is donuts, the manual gave me recipes and it was a plain. Small mini donut. They take 5 minutes to make and I made 24 of them, because they were plain (& I made it green so it was colorful, they were able to put frosting & some sprinkles on it.

I found out they love fajitas for dinner each of them will make their own and eat 3 full ones :)

Nicole - posted on 05/14/2012

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My daughter told me for 2 years that she, "can't like egg" I got a rewards chart the other day and with the promise of a star - she ate scrambled eggs for the first time..

I tried egg and bacon pie, omelette, poatched eggs and everything else you can think of but it was always a no go.. I never let her pick her means but I do give her a variety of different things in each meal.

Tonight she had one of her favorite meals and it's a quick and simple one - brown rice mixed with mashed greens.

Michelle - posted on 05/13/2012

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I am going with the same advice others are giving. YOU are the Mom. That means YOU decide whats for lunch. They can have choices sometimes, not every day or every meal. They will eat what they are given or the don't eat. If they don't eat, they do not get a snack. No child has ever starved themselves because they didn't like what was for lunch. I am not saying give them things that you know they don't like. They will only expand their taste for different foods if you make them try new things. The rule in my house is they have to take at least 1 bite, not a lick or a touch it on your tongue, but one actual bite. If they really do not like it they don't have to eat it. While I love it, I consider Nutella a treat, it's mostly chocolate. No snacks ever, if meals are not eaten.

Bethany - posted on 05/13/2012

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I wash my daughter's food off if it's spicy, like if it's a curry or a chilli, I'll put her portion in a dish and rinse it under water, which cools it down and washes off most of the spice and just leaves the cooked in flavour. Has worked so far.

I also use a teaspoon measure, which is a neat half circle to scoop her rice out of the cooker, so she has little half balls of rice to pick up instead of lots of loose messy rice. she eats more that way. Could probably use a melon baller too. I put a little of the meal's sauce on the side and she can dip her rice into it to try it if she likes.

[deleted account]

If snacks are the problem then stop offering them. If they don't finish a meal then offer the leftovers from that meal as the snack.

When my daughter says she thinks something is icky, I try offering it in a different way the next time. Lately it has been mushrooms, she'll eat them on pizza and in soup, but not in a lasagna. I do the same as Medic Mommy for spices. My husband is a heat head, so I just make a mild version then add more spice after taking a portion out for my daughter. What is even better with doing that is then her's gets the chance to cool and our portion doesn't get too cold.

Medic - posted on 05/11/2012

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Janice- I will do what you do. If I am making something I know the kids won't eat due to the spices I will set aside enough meat, or veggies after it is cooked and before I season it just for them. That does not require a lot of effort. You know my kids hardly ever fight over meals, they do a really good job of agreeing. Even if it is the only thing they agree on all day.

Janice - posted on 05/11/2012

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My daughter is 2.5 and I have 6-7 lunch meals she gets. Everyday I let her pick one of 2 choices. She rarely refuses to eat. When my son (only 5 months now) gets older they can take turns choosing but it will be quite rare for me to make 2 meals.

My daughter is much pickier about dinner. She hates anything with any spice. I accommodate her if possible; such as if I make garlic-dill potatoes I set aside a few pieces of boiled potatoes and just mash them plain for her. Otherwise she eats what we eat or she doesn't eat.

Limit snacks and be consistent. Most kids will be super picky if you allow it. However, if you put your foot down they will grow out of it.

Denikka - posted on 05/10/2012

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I pull the same things with lunch as with dinner. They eat the meal and then get snacks later, or if they don't eat, they don't get snacks. I usually leave the food out if they haven't eaten it during meal time. If they're hungry, they eat it. If they're not, they don't.

I usually do something on the sweeter side for breakfast, PB and nutella sandwich, homemade muffins, cereal, etc. Then lunch is kinda a whatever meal. My son (only one who talks :P) has his choice of a few different things. Usually it's eggs, grilled cheese, PB&N sandwich (if he didn't have it for breakfast) Occasionally I'll let him have hotdogs, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. On rarer occasions, it's leftovers from the night before. But that highly depends on how much he liked the food. Usually that's what I get to eat :P

I agree that you're over thinking and over complicating things. There is no need for meal to be a battle ground. Just put your foot down. This is what you made, eat it or not. If you want a snack, you eat your meal first (or at least make a good attempt at it). Real simple. They're obviously playing you if they're only eating the snacks and not the meals.

Good luck :)

Medic - posted on 05/10/2012

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You are making this way to complicated. Make one meal they either eat it or they don't...oh well. I make 3 meals and they get 2 snacks a day. If they do not eat breakfast then they do not get anything till snack time and they only get a snack size porton. Lunch I usually let them choose but they either choose, pb&j, or what we call snack lunch...I cut up meat and cheese and carrots, tomatoes, celery and all sorts of veggies and fruit and they eat on that most of the afternoon. If they choose an actual meal for lunch they get a small snack...ie: small amount of applesauce, some cheese, some yogurt. I do not serve "meals" as snacks, they are always light and healthy. Then dinner is whatever I make eat it or starve. If they eat they can have a desert if they don't well then thats it. I have been known to hold meals over for the next one until they eat. I don't make it a fight. If they choose not to eat I tell them Ok, just remember there will be nothing until the next snack time. I do not make a big deal, when they ask for something I remind them that they CHOSE to not eat and that they are more than welcome to reheat it. I also STICK to snack size at snack time, If they are still hungry they should have eaten their meal. My kids are 5 and 2.

Bethany - posted on 05/10/2012

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My daughter's lunch is usually a little of this and that on a plate. If there's too much on the plate, she won't want to eat it. If there's 2 of each thing, like two little slices of zucchini or capsicum or carrot or a slice of cheese, two crackers, two little bits of ham/chicken, 5 bits of pasta spiral and then a bit of dijonaise or sour cream to dip them in, she eats it all up. Yes, I cook 5 bits of pasta in a little pan of water, but how hard is that, not very.



I tell her eat one of each thing and if she likes it, she can eat more, if not, then she doesn't have to. It's quick and easy and gets her eating all kinds of textures and flavours with out feeling overwhelmed by the amount on her plate. That's always been an issue with her.



If she wants a snack, it's a piece of fruit or a couple of plain crackers, or a cookie, but if she hasn't eaten the meal I've make for her, she gets that back again.



She likes it when I tell her I like her company and we like eating together. We went through a phase of lighting a candle for dinner and if I was happy with her behaviour, she got to blow it out. She flippin loved that. We "cheers" our drinks.



TV off, sit nicely, try everything, no drinks before the meal, no toys at the table, ask if ok to leave table, eat what you need (I don't care if she doesn't eat it all, but no after dinner food if she can't even fit her dinner in) She's always just had little bits of what we're having, since she was under 1. I don't like cooking enough to be making kid food and adult food.



Gosh, sounds like we're really strict, but it just makes for a pleasant meal and who doesn't want that? We have the same rules at home as when we're out, so she's aware of what's expected of her where ever she is. She's been getting this since she was a baby, and she is pretty compliant. I never get tired of hearing how good she is when we're out, and it's thanks to consistent guidance from us. It takes effort, which I don't always want to give, but your day will only be that much harder without it.



oh, and she's born 8 Feb '09 and an only child, with sibling on the way this year

Sal - posted on 05/10/2012

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I think you're over thinking the whole deal and making heaps more work for yourself, just serve thebreakfast lunch and dinner you are happy for them to eat give them snacks and drinks you want them to have you are the mum and get to make those choices, the meals you have mentioned all seem sweet maybe they would respond better to more savory dishes like you said your youngest child liked the cheese melt you made, why are you trying chocolate and banana??? Was it sheer desperation, my kids always love plates of finger food small pieces of veggies fruit crackers cheeses for lunch you are never going to please everyone all the time so don't beat your self up, and stop making dish after dish to try and please them, make one meal if they don't like it they have to wait nt the next meal or snack, and can I ark what tips of donut you made for breakfast? I am just curious, here the Only type are the sweet cake type ??

Rachel - posted on 05/10/2012

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We often have 'snack' lunches. We will cut up a string cheese into rounds and then let the little ones poke pretzel sticks through them. Sliced cucumbers with 'dip' - ranch dressing, maybe rolled up lunchmeat with pretzels, etc. I'm in favor of small meals with healthy snacks between. What difference does it make if your child doesn't eat a waffle and then later eats a sliced apple? The apple is better for him anyway. We try to do non-processed foods. With my 10-year-old, she eats hardly anything we make because she doesn't tolerate any 'spices' including black pepper (no sandwiches, no yellow cheese, no peanut butter, no lunchmeat, no tuna, etc.). I don't make her anything. If we have leftover pasta or egg noodles, she will eat those with butter. She will eat almost any raw veggie. She *loves* edamame and they're a great protein. Most of all, though, I don't cater to her. She can make herself something else, but I'm going to make only one meal. I will make a concession occasionally and, for example, save out some of the beef roast for her before shredding the rest and adding barbecue sauce for sandwiches. We taught her how to make mac-n-cheese a few years ago. She will not starve, and I think most kids will balance their diets on their own. Stock your house with healthy, non-processed foods and your kids may learn to make good choices.

[deleted account]

Thanks Tabitha & Kelina some great ideas......I do need to cut snacks and give them 2 options of what I would make so they have some say in what they are eating. I hate buying & making so many different things thinking they will eat it. How long have you had your child sit there and wag a meal? Lol

Kelina - posted on 05/10/2012

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one other thing you can try is cobble together random foods. They don't necessarily have to be a meal combination, but giving them ham and cheese cut up in a bowl along with toast and some cut up veggies is just as nutritious as a sandwich and they might eat more. On days my kids don't want bread, they love toast. often I'll do a cut up tomato with lunch and they love it. and allowing them to snack on a couple of cut up veggies like carrot sticks before dinner certainly isn't going to do them any harm. especially if dinner is mac and cheese lol.

Kelina - posted on 05/10/2012

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it really depends on what they want to eat though. My son would eat hotdogs or cheeseburgers for every meal if I let him! but if you can manage to say pick something else and they do then go for it. JJ likes ham and cheese and mac and cheese and tuna and cheese-see the trend? lol. he loves cheese, but when he wants a ham and cheese sandwich I'm not going to argue!

[deleted account]

Thanks......yea I tried the banana quesadilla & I will never eat it again lol I do eat dinner with them & they somewat eat it........they do pick out what they want to eat for lunch, mostly nutella eat 1 slice (they will take apart the sandwich) finish it so I ask want another and they say no my tummy hurts....2 minutes later mommy can I have a snack I'm hungry.....wait but didn't u just say it hurt?? I am lenient with them I guess......from now one they will pick what they want to eat Mac&Cheese whatever but they need to eat it......they can't keep eating the snacks......

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