My son only wants to eat cookies and snacks but at daycare he will eat all his healthy food with no fuss. What can i do?

Kyla - posted on 01/09/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I don't know how to get my son to eat dinner. I cook a fresh meal for him every night but he will not stop crying for his snacks and sweets. I have offered the same dish to him multiple times when he asks for snacks but he will not eat it and he will sit there crying and crying. I'm loosing my patience any suggestions?

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Claire - posted on 01/22/2013

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I am a daycare provider, kids are offered all the same healthy food, They see the other older kids wolfing it down so they are more liking to eat things they would not at home.Ask your provider what she is serving. Including him in preparing the food will help also. Remember he will be tired and not at his best behavior for you because you are Mom and they seem to save up all of their stress and release it on the parent. Be consistent in not offering sweet snacks.

Catherine - posted on 01/18/2013

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We need to educate ourselves on what constitutes Healthy. Cool Whip isn't even a food lol. It's an edible oil product. I am reading a lot about cookies and other assorted junk food.
Many don't have to be bad for us if we stop buying these highly processed products and make our own. There are lots of fruit & nut or nut free cookie & bar recipes that have enough in them but lower in bad fats they could be a meal replacement on busy days or those days when a child is simply too tired, not hungry or whatever reason.
Our jobs as parents is to read the signals kids are giving us and to know when to give a gentle nudge and when to back off plus instill manners and decent life long eating habits.
This is why people who say parenting is easy needs a slap upside the head LOL.:-)

Catherine - posted on 01/18/2013

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One of the most affordable children's vitamins has iron....Flintstones complete multiple vitamins & minerals. My kids always had one with breakfast.
Thankfully these days we have the internet to search for iron rich food or how to keep kids healthy without much meat Learning how different foods interact and how to make family friendly meals might be something you and your daughter could do together!
Lots of great books on this topic and zillions more online.
Have some fun with this!

Cecilia - posted on 01/18/2013

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I was giving her vitamins but most don't have iron. She does not like cereal. She always has apple juice with breakfast and dinner. She actually does like tomatoes. She always eats nuts and likes beans. I did learn afterwards that milk is irons worst enemy. I think that alone might have been our issue. It hasn't been retested but i'm sure we got it back under control.

Catherine - posted on 01/18/2013

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is she taking a vitamin/mineral supplement and will eat iron fortified cereals? Adding a glass of orange or apple juice to wash down iron rich foods helps our bodies make the most out of any iron present. This is why OJ or any juice is a must with eggs. Or a sliced tomato but a lot of kids don't like toms.
Our kids don't need meat- but it is a hard concept to get around if a nice thick steak is on the table!
This site explains how to boost iron in the blood for non meat eaters (or very little meat)...
http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/factsheets/...


I would get a book on healthy vegetation meals the family can share a few times a week. We can all do with less meat but we need to know how to mix grains and other stuff to make complete proteins.

Cecilia - posted on 01/17/2013

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For me, i have to push the meat issue since her last iron test came back as low. So i can't let her get away with too many dinners of yogurt. Although the other day she was sick and i allowed it for lunch and dinner just to get her to eat. (plus she had an egg for breakfast so we had some protein in her.)

Catherine - posted on 01/17/2013

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LOL! We love yogurt,diced fruit and wholegrain toast for supper! After a busy day that's about all our stomachs can handle. Or a bowl of soup/ and crackers or half a peanut butter sandwich for dipping in the soup is fun!. Since the child in question is eating well at daycare breakfast food at the end of day day isn't harmful. A bowl of cereal before bed is a decent snack.
Fruit laced pancakes & a glass of milk is a good supper
So many ideas online for creative family meals.....Get them involved and take the focus off the food wars.

Cecilia - posted on 01/17/2013

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Catherine, I laughed because my daughters addiction is yogurt. she wants it instead of dinner most nights. She'd be like a kid in the candy store if i let her pick some out.

Anyways what i did is get good sturdy metal cookie cutters. I use them to make different foods such as baked chicken, hamburgers, cut up fruits... you get the idea. Get something he likes, dinosaurs are always a hit. If you can't find anything fancy find basic shapes, triangles, circles, stars. Then get a cookie press. Use this to dress up what ever you make. For chicken i make a lil fancy design of bbq. you get the idea right?

Cookies are a very fun food. They are shaped, and textured and look nice. they do it for a reason. So you have to compete with them and make your food fun also. Think about how restaurants do it. pancakes with faces.. (Feel free to make them whole grain pancakes with fruit in them) if you run out of ideas look up fun food or kid friendly food in google.

Also I use a cookbook called the sneaky chef. It's how to hide veggies in every day items. (like cauliflower in ranch dressing) Might help you hide some food he doesn't like in food that he does.

Patricia Ann - posted on 01/17/2013

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dont even buy this stuff and let him see that there isnt any cookies or treats where you keep them,so then he will eat what is given to him....treats are ok here and there or on the weekends,but substitute alot of this with healthier choices,like applesauce,sliced up bananas,orange smiles,different colored grapes in a cool dish,yogurt with a little cereal mixed in it or granola....strawberries and cool whip,blueberries and coolwhip,ghram crackers and milk....but to get these things we eat our dinner first or we dont have the other things......and these other things arent ready in the cabinet,these things are prepared by you....

Catherine - posted on 01/17/2013

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keep the junk food where it belongs- in the grocery stores. If you want him to have the odd cookie make it yourself so at least you know what's in it.
Your son eats well at daycare as he has other children doing the same thing and all the kids know the rules. Ever notice how even the most challenging child is easy for others to care for yet the parents think they've spawned a devil LOL.
Remember the golden rule for toddlers- if it isn't bought (or well hidden for after his bedtime) what isn't there cannot be eaten.
Crying for snacks is more attention seeking behaviour as he MISSES YOU and this is one way to keep you focused on him. Spend more time with him- take him shopping so he can decide what two yoghurts he can put in the cart, same with whatever fruits and veggies/dips he likes. And get him to help.
Try making up a plate of home made chicken fingers, yam fries and veggies with dip and don't offer it to him. I bet he will be scrambling up onto your lap to see what mommy is eating and most likely will help mom eat what is on her plate.
Your daycare provider can give you some tips- she does this for a living and knows what works with kids and what doesn't.
If he has a big stuffy critter-, Set a plate of invisible food for it and let your son sit across the table from stuffy.. Imagination works wonders in making mealtime fun and hearing laughter instead of tears or tantrums.

Christy - posted on 01/15/2013

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Or try healthy snacks like apples or fruit yogurt vegitables but cookies etc are ok once in a while for a dessert as long as he eats food

Dove - posted on 01/09/2013

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He can eat his meal or not eat. You can also make sure that whatever snacks you offer him at other times of the day are just as healthy as his meals.... save the cookies and treat snacks for when he's eating a reasonable amount of nutritious foods.

If he doesn't want to eat his meal.... he can leave the table and go play. If he's just sitting there crying... either you leave the table or he does and can go cry in his room instead.

Stay firm and don't give in. If he eats healthy food all day at daycare, but not for you.... either he's used to you giving in or he's simply not hungry enough to stop the fuss. You KNOW he's eating during the day, so he won't starve himself. Stop caring whether he eats or not and he may just start eating when he realizes it's not bothering you.

Michelle - posted on 01/09/2013

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You could even stop having them in the house until he learns that he can't have them. If he can't see them then he knows he can't have them.

As Lacye said, you need to be strong and stop giving him what he wants. Ignore the tantrums and eventually he will realize you mean what you say.

Lacye - posted on 01/09/2013

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Sure. Stop giving in to him. Tell him that he can't have any cookies or snacks until he eats some real food. If he starts crying, walk away from him. He will get the point that snack foods are for once a day. Not an every meal kind of thing.

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