How do you get your kids to eat dinner at dinner time?

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Any suggestions? thanks{:+)

shannin tipton

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Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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I don't allow my son to have a bedtime snack if he does not eat a reasonable amount of his meal. If he choses not to eat at dinner time ( I understand he may not always be hungry at that time) then at snack time I will offer him his dinner one last time and if he choses not to eat it then that is it for the night. He has cried at bedtime a couple times and I feel terrible but I know if I give in he wont care if he doesn't eat dinner because he knows he will get a snack.

If he is messing around I will remind him to sit politely and eat. If he continues then I send him away from the table for a few mins. When he comes back he is usually well behaved and finishes his meal. If he keeps messing around I warn him again that he needs to eat nicely and if I have to tell him again I will take his dinner away.( I will offer it at snack time though because I feel mean otherwise, he is only 4) If he is just being slow then I let him go at his pace and will wait for a little while. If dinner drags on a ridiculous amount of time he knows he will be finishing by himself because I have to bath his sister and do the dishes.

Tina - posted on 04/06/2011

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I think making dinner time an exciting enjoyable time and even getting them involved in helping they'll be more interested in eating if they've been involved in it even if it's setting the table, mixing or something.

Michelle - posted on 04/08/2011

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my daughter likes italian dressing so if she doesn't want to eat we add sauce and then she eats it up

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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Sorry just thought of something else. I was watching Supernanny and she got the kids a special jar or box or something. They were allowed to pick 3 or 4 snacks they wanted for the day and put them into their jars. If they were hungry they could get a snack from their jar but when the snacks are gone they are gone. Maybe something like that will work for you? You can control the snacks by only having healthy choices to offer yet they feel in control because they are choosing which ones they want for that day.

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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Maybe try having set snack times at the table and they are not allowed in the kitchen unless you are in there? Try moving the junk somewhere else? Hidden in your bedroom or something until they learn to ask? Mabye have them lose out on their treat for the day or tv or something if they get into the cupboards without asking? I would try sticking with it for awhile and see how it works. It sometimes seems to take forever to break a habit. Good Luck

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Shannintipton - posted on 04/08/2011

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Hi Michelle,
Mine likes ranch dressing so we use a lot of that. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

Kathy - posted on 04/08/2011

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I do the same thing. If my daugther doesn't want dinner that's fine, I'm not going to force food down her throat, but if she askes for food after dinner, she's gonna get her dinner.

Shannintipton - posted on 04/07/2011

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Oh Tina,
That sounds great, and I am all thumbs. However NONE of them are green. ha ha. But thats great that you can do that. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

Tina - posted on 04/07/2011

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I've also found teaching kids about growing food helps getting them to have their own little pot of something a herb or vegetable give them a greater appreciation for what goes on their plate.

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Kim,
I LOVE it. I should really watch that show but I am alway here. ha ha
shannin tipton

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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Don't worry I am definately not the greatest cook. I don't have time. Our usual dinner consists of some sort of bbq meat with rice potatoes or pasta and steamed veggies and salad. Nothing fancy or gourmet. Once in awhile I switch it up and make something that takes a little more time and of course that is when I have the most problems:)

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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haha yeah kids make something so simple as eating their dinner turn into something that takes over our whole day and leaves us exhausted. Again I say good luck, if anything hopefully it is just a stage:)

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Kim,
It would help if I were a better cook too. They dont eat enough. I need to make better meals. I will keep trying. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Kim,
All this talk about food I just went and got a yogurt haha

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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I just thought I'm not sure how many snacks a day they are having but maybe try cutting it back? My son rarely has one between breakfast and lunch and one the very odd time two between lunch and dinner.

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi April,
My little ones are little bit bigger. 8 and 4. They cant get themselves anything to drink but they can climb up over the oven to get to the snacks (junk) food, that is meant for me by the way. Kids. Got to love them.{:+)
shannin tipton

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Kim,
I found strawberries all over the kitchen today. Its a healthy snack but it doesn't seem to fill them up, just enough not to eat dinner. Go figure. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

April - posted on 04/06/2011

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When my sisters and i were younger my mum had this rule that we weren't allowed to touch any of the snacks in the kitchen unless we asked. It worked because she would only ever let us have a snack after dinner and thats if we ate it. You could try that.

My son is only 7 months so i don't have that problem with him yet but my daughter is two so i have tried this on her and it seems to work, she always eats dinner when we do.

Kim - posted on 04/06/2011

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Thanks it seems to work well. Sometimes he eats it sometimes he doesn't but at least he knows he wont be getting anything else and I don't feel as bad since he has had more than one opportunity to finish. If it is something that I know he doesn't really like I will give in a little and not make him eat as much.

I find that when I don't offer him as many snacks he doesn't eat as well. He almost gets so hungry he isn't hungry anymore if that makes sense. With that being said he is usually only allowed healthy snacks especially before dinner. Maybe try having some cut up fruit or veggies(something not that filling but enough to hold them over) that they can choose from if they are hungry before dinner and put the junk where they can't get it. I really don't like sneaking food so if he takes something without asking I take it away and he is not allowed that treat for a long time. Works pretty good, he rarely goes into the cupboards or fridge without asking first.

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Angela,
I usually try to starve them until dinner but they find stuff to eat (junk). It makes me so mad. I cant watch them every second and they know that. But I will keep trying. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

Angela - posted on 04/06/2011

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We had the same issue and i decided to cut down on her arvo snack....worked a treat! by dinner time she is that hungry that she eats most of it. We also noticed she was a lot happier at nights once she ate all her dinner :-)

Shannintipton - posted on 04/06/2011

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Hi Kim,
I love the part about offering his DINNER one last time before bed as a bedtime snack. I will give that a try. Im so tired of making something else right before bed. thanks{:+)
shannin tipton

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