My kids won't eat dinner - advice needed please.

Yvonne - posted on 12/02/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




Hi. Both my kids love food, they are not fussy eaters. Brooke 2 yrs used to eat better then her brother, Lewis almost 4.

breakfast goes down ok, but a little slow for a bowl of cereal.

lunch is ok, but again a little slow,

but come dinner time, between 5pm and 6 at the latest - neither of them want to eat.

Brooke plays with her hands, and Lewis just sits there tormenting me with the things that he does.

I'm not much of a cook so the food they get is healthy, easy and the same kind of food - chips and chicken, shepherds pie, lasanger, pie, lots of veg, pototoes etc.

Some days they will eat - but very very slowly. Half a bowl of pasta will take over an hour!!!!. Some days they won't even pick up the fork to feed themselves with, only to play with.

I've tried everything to get them to eat.

We have a reward chart on the wall - everytime they're good, they get a sticker.

They get dessert for afters if they eat.

They get to carry on playing or watching TV after dinner so then there dad gets to bath them later on.

They get a favorite drink afterwards.

Nothing. When they don't eat

I've told them to sit in the corner for so many minutes. This worked for a very short time.

I've told them i'll take away their stickers on the chart, which would mean less pocket money at the end of week. This didn't last long with them.

They don't get dessert or a special drink after.

They don't get to play or watch TV.

I'm at the point now where they have a certain amount of time to eat up, if they don't then they go straight to bed, with only a wash and clean teeth. No bath and no milk before bed. They haven't seen their dad for 2 nights as they're already in bed before he comes home.

I don't know what else to do. I eat with them, we talk or I try to talk to them about stuff.

I've even told them Father Christmas won't come with your presents if you don't eat dinner. Thats not working.

They don't get treats during the day, a little snack about 3pm normally, but nothing to make dinner time this much hassle.

Its the same every night and its driving me mad. Actually i'm pass the mad bit now as i know that doesn't work.

Please help me. My mother in law thinks i'm starving my children. My father in law hates sitting with us at dinner, and at weekends when my husband home to eat with us, we end up in a bad mood with eachother because of the kids.

Nanny 911 or Supernanny - i need your help.

They are perfectly good kids in everyother way. - Honest.



Valerie - posted on 12/04/2009




some things that little ones like include pasta with a little sauce, pizza, mac and cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes, rice, gravy, pickles, carrots, grilled cheese ...simple not lot of things together...but to help them to eat things like lasagna and shepards pie have them help you cook...then they might have more of an interest...or bake cookies with them if they eat can use the refrigerated package cookies and only make a couple at a time...ask them what foods they like and use a few...cutout all snacks and juices...sugar takes appetite away...get curious not furious...what is it about the food that you do't like? what dont you like? what do you like?...


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T - posted on 12/18/2009




It sounds as though he is filling up on milk. Perhaps give him half of the amount and see if he eats more for dinner then.

Janna - posted on 12/18/2009




you sound alot like me. i've got a 20 month son who eats during the day but not dinner. i've stopped giving him his 3 pm snack recently. still no real luck. my add on to your question is this, is it horrible to not give him his milk if he hasn't eaten his dinner? i'm having a hard time deciding but he just begs for his milk and i don't want him to go to bed hungry, but i don't want him to think i will give in every night.

T - posted on 12/15/2009




First ditch the 3 pm snack for sure and feed them about 30 min later. If they chose not to eat, remain calm and avoid the negative actions. Just wrap up their dinner and put it in the refrig. If they are hungry, then allow them to eat it before bed as their bedtime snack. If they do eat their dinner some time before bed allow them a snack of their choice then. Be positive! It works better with kids, trust me. Also, don't allow them see you getting all upset about this. Remain calm. They will eventually get it. My daughter is going on three and she is getting it.

Renee - posted on 12/13/2009




My 4 year old is doing same thing. He used to be a great eater and really prefers vegies to meat and take away type stuff. But now trying to get him to eat at dinner..AGGHHHH. He goes to kindy each day so I know he is getting sufficient food there as their menu plans are really after awhile I gave up fighting with him...knowing he would eat if he was hungry

[deleted account]

Like previously said, kids will eat when they are hungry. But, have you thought of this...maybe they are getting too much during the day, snacks, too much for breakfast or lunch, etc? My daughter also does this (she is 2 1/2) and what i've noticed is that she really just isnt hungry. After the first year-year and a half of a childs life, they dont need as much food as they once did. Like Gillian said, give them a set time for dinner, if they eat great! if's not the end of the world!

Cassie - posted on 12/04/2009




Children will eat if they're hungry. They have a built-in system that tells them when they've had enough, so don't force the issue. The daily calories are what's important not how much they are eating at each meal. Are they healthy, in a normal weight range, no health concerns? If so, don't worry about it. Have them sit at the table with the family, but if they're not hungry don't force the issue. The "eat everything on your plate" mentality leads to weight issues later in life. Let them tell you when they've had enough!

Lady - posted on 12/03/2009




sounds as if you tried most things i feel sorry that you're having such a hard time with them. i think it's a bit of an attention thing for them right now even though it's negative attention they still want it. try not making such a big deal of it just give them their dinner sit down with them and chat a few gentle reminders to eat but nothing too much if they haven't finnished when you have tell them they have five more minutes then dinner time is over if they still haven't finnished then take their plates away and tell them to go and do whatever they would normally do after dinner. if they DO eat make a big fuss and praise them and give them sticker do this for every meal and they'll soon get the message eating gets good attention not eating gets no reaction at all and they'll want to eat to get the rewards. they won't starve and they will eat whrn they're hungry but getting yourself all stressed won't help so try and stay calm and know the less negative attention you give them the sooner they'll learn. good luck!!

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