Is this wrong?

Christy - posted on 04/29/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My kids are 20 months old and 34 months old. I put food on their tray at meal times and it takes them both an hour to eat it, (most of it, not ALL of it, BTW). It's not like I am feeding them "gross food." Macaroni, cinnamon toast, mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets, etc) We aren't talking every once and a while, this is every freakin' meal. It's like watching paint dry. Am I wrong to feel so irritated? And to compare it to watching paint dry? Don't need pointers on feeding them, I am just venting . :/

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Jodi - posted on 04/30/2010

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I had to take a food/nutrition course for opening my own daycare (in home) and they advise giving only half an hour. Not only do they ONLY have half an hour to eat, but they have to sit at the table for ahalf an hour whether or not they are done. When the half an hour is up, take the dishes away, even if they start wanting to eat. Eventually they will learn that meal time is the time to eat and they need to do it ina timely manner.

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Mandy - posted on 05/03/2010

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Totally understand. My daughter has been becoming much more pokey at mealtime for months; she's 2 3/4 yr now. I hate it. I find sitting down with her does help some, though it can be hard to do. I've never paid attention to a specific time limit, but I can usually tell when she is not very hungry anymore and is more into playing etc.; that's when I ask her if she's done, or planning on eating anymore, and take the food away. I do miss when she was younger and mealtime was fast and efficient in comparison. ;)

Annemaree - posted on 04/30/2010

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lol no i think its normal my 4 yr old can sit at the table for nearly 2 hrs every nite she so slow lol

Jennifer - posted on 04/30/2010

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The way I have always seen it is when they start school they get half an hour for lunch. From day one I would only give them exactly that. If they are not done and get mad then I would tell them next time they need to eat a little faster. It might be a hard lesson but kids are very smart I think some people don't realize how smart. If they are really hungry then they will eat and not play. I think it's important to teach your kids its not polite to play at the table and this approach worked well with both my kids. Now they are very mannered at the table. They eat and then get down. They know that if the sit there playing they won't get to finish. My son is only 15 months and he already knows it. Not saying this will work for every kid but it did wonders for mine. Now I'm not worried about sending my 5 year old to school. If they are hungry they will let you know. And something parents give their kids to much on their plate not realizing that kids don't need as much as us and then we expect them to eat it. That the cues your kids are giving you. They can teach you a lot.

Jemma - posted on 04/30/2010

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I know how you feel! My 3 yr old takes about an hour at lunch to eat until he's had enough (his call not mine)- he's not fussy with food either just slow. Dinner can go for a while too, but more quickly if we manage to all sit together (new baby so not always possible). Haven't found anything to stave boredom or temptation to get up - Hopefully they grow out of it!

Bethany - posted on 04/30/2010

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I try not to watch it. I stay in the room and adjoining kitchen, but make sure I have something to do, or eat with her and read a mag. or have a cuppa. They need the supervision, but as long as they're happily staying and eating, take the opportunity to relax.



If you're coaxing them and coercing them the whole time, maybe try only puting a tiny amount of food in front of them, for eg, one nugget and one piece of vege, and when they eat that, replenish it. I do that with Charlotte who's 15 mths, as she struggles with a bunch of stuff in front of her, so she just gets little bits at a time and will finish the lot, and quicker too. When she's had enough, she just starts to play around with it, then I get her down and put the leftovers away for the next meal.



If I need to get going, then I don't even bother with a sit-down meal, it all goes in a zip-lock baggie and she gets it when she asks for it, or when I eat, or when we get there. A cracker and a drink of milk will tide her over until then.

Charlotte - posted on 04/30/2010

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I know the feeling!!!!! My 5-year-old twins and my 2-year-old are the same! Drives me and my fiancé mad!

Sherry - posted on 04/30/2010

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have you ever tried sitting down with them or starting off saying "grace"? sometimes that's a cue for the little ones that it's food/family time and they have to eat their dinner....

another thing some mom's I know do is that after 1/2 an hour if they look like they're not interested start cleaning it up.. if they get fussy then tell them well then eat their dinner.. try that a few times they'll eventually clue in

Louise - posted on 04/30/2010

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It can be quite irratating especially when you are waiting to go out. I find switching off the tv helps as she then gets so bored that she concerntrates on her food more. My daughter also eats quicker if she eats with the rest of the family at night, which really makes me cross as it takes about an hour at breakfast and lunch!

Carolee - posted on 04/29/2010

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It's perfectly normal on all accounts! They're more interested in what's around them than what's going in them, and you're just ready for the meal to FINALLY be done with.

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