2 yr old dinner struggle

Kristin - posted on 01/01/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 2 yr old is a great eater. I never have a problem getting him to eat breakfast or lunch but dinner is a completely different story. He cries and wont eat it and asks for a sippy cup. I bribe him with if he takes a couple bites he can have it back, or if he eats his dinner he can have a treat but it still doesnt work. He can eat with utensils but at dinner he sometimes wont eat unless I feed him. Any ideas to get him to stop fussing at dinner time and just eat? Any feedback would be great. Thanks.

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Do you think it's because he is getting tired? I had a similar problem with my son and eating an earlier dinner made a huge difference. I also eliminated the extra snacks and drinks in the afternoon that would prevent him from being hungry.

Susan - posted on 01/01/2011

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We've been having a similar problem with our daughter. We started by cutting out/reducing snacks thinking maybe she just wasn't hungry by dinner time. That helped a little, but not that much. She would even refuse to eat things we knew she liked. We got tired of wasting food, so we decided to make her sit there until she finished her plate. I don't totally like the idea of forcing kids to eat because that can just make them gain unnecessary weight, but our daughter wouldn't eat dinner, then ask for a treat so we knew she was hungry. There were many nights it would take her an hour or more to finish her dinner, but now she knows she has to eat or she doesn't get to get out of her chair or play. It's been especially helpful since Christmas and she really wants to play with all her new stuff. One other thing my mom started with her is to "show Grandma how you make your food disappear". That made eating sort of a game and got her to put her food in her mouth so she could show Grandma what she could do. Surprisingly, it works for us too sometimes. My daughter still uses her hands a lot to eat. We remind her to use her fork, but don't get too worked up about it figuring if she's eating, we'll take it. My co-worker also has a 2 year old and she said the daycare says her daughter eats great and asks for seconds, but she can hardly get her to eat any dinner either. Maybe it's a 2 year old thing.

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