3yr old who won't eat

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My 3yr old son flat out refuses to eat his dinner every night. If he doesn't eat his meal (whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner) he isn't allowed to have anything else till the next meal. We have tried everything that we could think of from ignoring it, to making a game out of it (eg peas are dinosaur eggs), to giving him a choice between two meals (before it's cooked), to putting him straight to bath and then bed but nothing seems to work. I don't serve him things that he genuinely doesn't eat and we have quite a bit of variety in our meals. I know it is just a stage he is going through as we have been through it before (he went 5days barely eating anything) but unfortunately we seem to be back at it again. I honestly have no more ideas on how to get him to eat. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Kori - posted on 01/14/2011

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I go through this every couple months but honestly if he doesn't eat dinner or any other meal try giving him small snacks like fruit, veggies, cheese crackers, any healthy finger food really. He might be like my son and just like to eat on the go. I am on the WIC program here in my state (CA) and these are their suggestion. They will grow out of it. Chose your battles. He will eat when he is hungry.

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Ashley - posted on 01/15/2011

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I wouldnt worry too much about the not eating thing, unless he literally never eats. Get some flinstone vitamins (yes, age 2 is old enough for half) or pediasure lyte or anything of the sort to make sure he is still getting what he needs.

I dont exactly know what your kid eats, or doesnt eat... Maybe trying something different, textures tastes etc. My oldest daughter got to where she wouldnt eat anything till one day I made chicken nuggets for her... Yet again, nothing. So I gave her some bbq sauce on the side and stuck my finger in it and made her taste it. I said "dip it" and walked off. to this day she asks for "dip it" lol

Karen - posted on 01/14/2011

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A parent's is to offer nutritious food options regularly. The kid's job is to decide to eat or not. So, I agree with the other moms, don't worry about it too much.
A good idea I read once was to fill an ice cube tray with all types of healthy snacks (nuts, cheese cubes, fruits and veggies) and put them somewhere your kid passes by (coffee table perhaps). When they cruise by the food will catch their attention and they'll stop for a little nibble. You just need to teach him to be still while he eats the snack - in order to minimize and choking hazard.
Good luck!

Ann - posted on 01/14/2011

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My daughter is the same, an absolute nightmare, ive taken her to the doctors he says shes not underweight and isnt suffering so shes obviously taking in enough to sustain herself. She never eats meals and we constantly used to offer her food but i became more relaxed about it after i spoke to the doctor, and now shes still not eating her meals but is taking other things like apples and sandwiches, its just persistence and patience, good luck with it

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Honestly, I would stop fighting with him about it. He's not going to starve himself to death. I would offer him the same dinner everyone else is having. If he doesn't want to eat it, fine. About an hour after dinner, I would make some healthy snacks available for him to get on his own and be done with it. If he's hungry, he will eat.

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