Not a debate but please help

Kimberly - posted on 10/08/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )




I know this isn't a debate but I am stuck and need some help. From the conversations I have read on here you guys seem to be able to give some actual advice.

For the past couple of weeks my 3 year old son has not been wanting to eat. I haven't been making it a big deal because I go through those stages too. The last week he has kept refusing to eat his dinner saying that he does not like it when I know that he does. Since I refuse to make him something special he just ends up not eating which I am fine with because I know he wont let himself starve. The problem is that he then wakes up around 5 in the morning starving. I try to get him to go back to sleep and just wait until breakfast but he refuses so I finally give in and give him a couple crackers or something but he never ends up going back to sleep. So, I am now dealing with a tired, hungry boy when I am exhausted myself. I don't know what to do. I can't make him eat but at the same time we both need our sleep.


Amie - posted on 10/09/2009




My kids eat breakfast, have a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, supper and then a night time snack.

While it seems they are eating a lot, they aren't. They get smaller portions than most kids because of how often they are eating. It is healthy options, except the afternoon snack then they can have something a little junkier ~ those chocolate chip granola bars are a hit.

However there are some days we deviate from this. Eg. Family movie night we all eat chips and salsa, instead of them having their piece of fruit before bed.

They also have a hand in choosing what they eat. They get options which goes a long way. He may be only 3 but get him involved. Our 2 year old is involved. She goes through the cupboards and fridge with us and picks out things she likes.

At this age it is all they want is a little say. They are becoming more aware of their independence but have no real say in anything. Letting them choose what to make for supper one night or letting them choose their snack is just one of those "pick your battles" deals. It is not a huge thing in the grand scheme of parenting.

Sharon - posted on 10/08/2009




Well you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. But if you didn't water it before hand - it'll probably be thirsty when you get there.

Cut out all snacks or cut back on them. have more activity before dinner if you can so he will burn up what ever stores he has and be hungry for dinner.

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Mel - posted on 10/09/2009




if it was me i wouldnt let him have anythign at 5am because that is showing him that he can get away with refusing to eat dinner and will be able to snack at 5am. I would tell him it is tough and he can wiat til breakfast time whenevr he normally eats brekky and i would say maybe tonight you will eat your dinner then if you are hungry.

forgive me i dont know much about 3 years olds as mine is 18 months but at that age can you make them sit at the table until they finish their food my mother made me sit there for hours either that or serve it up in the morning and make him eat it cold another popular method to get them to eat. tell him he is nto allowed to waste the food that you have bought unless he is going to pay for it

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2009




Kimberley, A couple of things I've tried over the years and have worked (just in case you haven't given them a try):

My kids are allowed to have a treat after dinner if they eat enough (and enough is a bit subjective at times, depending on the meal, and their age). I let them choose the treat themselves when we go shopping, and then they actually look forward to eating their dinner!! They have full understanding that they don't get the treat without eating a decent meal first. Some nights, my daughter says "I don't want a special treat tonight" when she hasn't finished much dinner - its her way of saying she doesn't want any more and knows she hasn't eaten enough to earn it :) But there is no fuss!!

Another thing I do is take the kids shopping with me, and some days, I allow them to help choose what we are all going to have for dinner (obviously, I give them some options), then they help shop for it, and sometimes help me in the kitchen while I cook it. I don't do this all the time, because I don't have too many problems with my kids eating their meals, but I have noticed the ENTHUSIASM with which they eat those meals :)

Kimberly - posted on 10/08/2009




I don't give him any snacks, well besides 5 am. I guess I will just have to get tough and not give in to the whining. I always feel so bad when it has to do with being hungry but I also do not like being up at 5. I am going to be taking him in for his check up next week so I will mention it to his doctor then. Thanks!!:)

Christa - posted on 10/08/2009




Have you tried giving him 2 options for dinner? Maybe then he'll be more inclined to eat because he feels he has a choice. If that doesn't work I'd say stop giving him a morning snack. I know that will be rough for the first day or so, but then hopefully he'll figure out that it's not time to eat and he needs to eat when he's offered food. When you give in he knows he just has to keep it up until you give in, if you show him no means no, perhaps he will give up. Also have you called the doctor to make sure this isn’t more then just him being stubborn, maybe he’s sick?

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