My 4 year old is a huge food waster!

Andrea - posted on 01/11/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,

I hate to make my first post here a complaint about my son, but I am pretty much at the end of my rope. I have a wonderful 4 year old boy. He is talented, funny, and smart. He can play the violin, write a few letters, and is in most ways the delight of my life.

Except when it comes to food.

With food he alternates being the greediest thing I have ever seen in my entire life, and at the same time, hugely picky. The first thing out of his mouth in the morning is "I want BREAKFAST!! I'm hungry!!" and then you give him breakfast and he peers at it fussily and says, "No. I'm not hungry. I'm going to throw this in the trash."

He wants to throw it in the trash because I save it and give it to him again for lunch. He then whines constantly about snacks, lunch, dinner, and how hungry he is even though he isn't hungry enough to eat the food I pried out of his hands before he could toss it in the trash and saved for him.

Right now I am saving the food and giving it to him (and you bet if he goes to daycare before he eats it, it goes along with him) and I try to explain that it isn't good to waste food, but I swear he only opens his ears long enough to hear one word (food) and is prattling on about the whole dialog he imagines we had about food. (Mainly me agreeing to give him what he wants, because I said food so I clearly meant cookies.)

Aside from this one thing (which damn near pops the vein out in my forehead) he is a great child, but I don't know how to handle this at all. Any thoughts?

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Dove - posted on 01/12/2016

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Yep. Kids have so little control of their lives that ANYTHING they can exert their 'power' over... they tend to do. The more power we can give them... the less they will fight (usually... hopefully).

And yeah... I think there is a glitch around eating comments cuz I keep seeing that a post will have comments on it... but no comments are actually THERE. Weird.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2016

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This is an age (especially for a bright child) of remarkable independence and wanting to show that independence. I think you are perfectly on track by saying; : would you like pancakes or cereal today?" or if you have prepared a meal, "would you like your sandwich in squares or triangles?" And then stick to it. If you have him help as well, then when you sit to eat comment about he wonderful culinary skills! It can and may turn into a power struggle again, as ultimately he can control what he will eat or not, but remember he will always eat before he starves.

Andrea - posted on 01/12/2016

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Hmm, I hope you two can see my replies because I don't see them when I come back here. I'll try not to repeat too much in case it is still around somewhere and I just don't see it.

Yes, he does get choices for breakfast and lunch. He does love to help cook, and choose menus, and now that I think about it, the foods he tends to like best are foods he has helped create in some way.

Anyway, today I took your suggestions and gave Alexii a choice between green beans and peas. He doesn't normally like any vegetable, but it worked like some sort of magic trick. Boy did he want green beans! He wanted green beans more than he wanted anything else in his life! And he ate them with a zeal that normally does not belong to food. O.O

I don't know how long the spell will last, and it's hard to believe that choosing between things he doesn't seem to like makes it better, but i will keep at it! Yay! Thank you!

Dove - posted on 01/11/2016

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Is he getting to choose (between a few healthy suggestions) what he eats for breakfast?

Jodi - posted on 01/11/2016

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I guess my question is about what you are offering him. Is he getting any choice in what he can eat? Also, do you involve him in helping plan the menus for the week (or however it is you do it)? Or helping prepare and cook the meals?

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