dinner battle

Heather - posted on 08/19/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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So my daughter loves all food and eats it all. But dinner has become a battle ground. The only way to get her to eat is by threaten (bed, time out, no snacks, etc). She likes the food, she'll eat it, but the battle is getting old. We don't want food to be the enemy, what do we do???

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Rachel - posted on 08/23/2010

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My daughter who turns 2 in a couple of months doesnt like dinner time either!
I tried not giving her any afternoon tea and gave her tea a little bit earlier but that didnt work either.
Talked to my plunket nurse about it and she suggested i try feed her what she would have for dinner during the day as apparently it can appeal to them more then, lol.

Betsy - posted on 08/23/2010

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I have this issue with Sadie from time to time she decides that she is not going to eat her dinner. So the next day she is hungry from breakfast, and she only gets one snack depending upon what time she gets up from her nap. If it is close to the time I get home from work she does not get one then she will eat her dinner. But if we give her a snack even two hours before dinner we have a 50/50 chance that she is going to eat. The doctor told us that if she misses a meal from time to time it is okay.

Julie - posted on 08/22/2010

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Mealtime should be neither positive or negative. Meals/snacks should be fed consitently with NO snacking in-between. Offer the meal and give child 30 minutes to eat, take the food away after 10-15 minutes if they are just playing. if food is thrown in anger, food is taken away immediately. No bribery for eating, this sets up bad feeding behaviors.



I think that is most of our feeding clinic's "food rules", as I don't have them here in front of me.



Essentiall, her body's job is to say I'm hungry, your job is to offer appropriate food and let her learn to eat it when hungry until she is full on her own.



One thing they stress is that, nutritionally, the food for the day needn't be balanced, but the food over 3-5 days should (usually this is the case without even keeping track).



Meals should never be a battle and they should not be forced to eat. This could set them up for a bad relationship with food as they get older (obesity from not listening to hunger cues, anorexia from food aversion, etc...)

Lisa - posted on 08/22/2010

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Stop battling. If my kids don't want to eat they are allowed to go read a book but no other toys and movies. If they have gotten down from the table, I wrap their food and put it into the fridge, when they're hungry, I warm it up but no snacks until dinner is eaten. If they don't eat it by the next mealtime, I throw it away and we start fresh.

Clarice - posted on 08/22/2010

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dont make food an issue it will set her up for years of eating disorders.........she will eat when she is hungry. Btw how old is she i didn't see her age???

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Don't force it. Just let her eat if she is hungry. Present her with the food and if she is hungry she will eat. Maybe try offering her a gentle food such as banana incase of teething. Also, they say that after 1 its normal for them to eat less and parents worry as they always ate so much, but they grow so much from birth to 1, then it cuts down so they don't need as much food. If she has one good meal a day they say its fine. Maybe if she doesn't eat dinner offer her a piece of toast, cereal or something before bed just so she isn't hungry when she wakes up, if she doesn't eat it just say ok and not make a big deal!

Theresa - posted on 08/20/2010

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Toddlers don't want to sit still. By sitting to eat they are missing play time. I have a couple suggestions. If your eatting as a family then don't make a big deal out of her eatting, but let her know she needs to sit at the table for the same amout of time as everyone else. If she doesn't eat the food save it, when she gets hungry offer that to her not any snacks. I bribe my almost 2 year old. If she eats all her food she gets M&Ms for dessert (her favorite). That's the only time she gets M&Ms. A lot of times it works, sometimes she still doesn't want to eat. Toddlers learn that there are somethings they can control, eatting is an easy one for them. You can't force them to swallow food. Don't make it a battle. Make her sit for a certain amount of time (set a timer), don't bug her about eatting, when the time is up she can leave. Just make sure she doesn't get any snacks besides the food that was offered at the meal. If she's eaten the meal then she can have a snakc or dessert. Good luck.

Mandy - posted on 08/19/2010

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We have similar issues with our 2yo. Tonight she decided not to eat dinner. We give her a spoon full of each item on her plate. She must eat it all to get 2nds. She didn't eat any. I think our bigger issue today was that she was tired. She usually eats big lunches and has snacks too. If the battle continues for us, we'll have to take away snacks.

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