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What do you do? (toddler not eating dinner) B♥Z 2 kids; Williamsport, Maryland 14245 posts
27th Dec '12

What do you do if your toddler wont eat dinner? Send them straight to bed? Make them something they will eat? Make them eat it? Don't let them eat anything else for the night? Or do you just not do anything?



DD is 3. I always make sure there is at least something she likes with dinner. She's been giving us such a hard time when it comes to eating dinner. Tonight, she literally chewed the SAME bite for at least 10 minutes, refusing to swallow it (no idea why, she has a speech delay and just wouldn't talk about it). It was driving me nuts.

Autumn Whisper 1 child; Utah 9977 posts
27th Dec '12

It goes back in the fridge for when he wants it, whether it is later that night or the next day.

2 Baby Girls Due May 19; 4 kids; Utah 3212 posts
27th Dec '12

Starting at about 3 years old, I make them suffer through. If they don't eat it for dinner, there are no snacks or dessert, and guess what's for breakfast!!! If it's like the one thing they hate then I'm not real stickler, but if there's nothing wrong with the food, then I'm not going to turn myself into a short order cook.

Commander Shepard 18 kids; Jacksonville, Florida 6447 posts
27th Dec '12

DD is 2.5 and at this point I make her something else. If I try to force her to eat, we both end up in tears. I can't send her to bed when I know she's hungry.

Laura [Syltherin] 3 kids; Florida 12072 posts
27th Dec '12

If it is something I know she likes, take it or leave it. She will not get snacks or anything either. If it is something she has never had and doesn't like it, I will offer a quick alternative, usually ramen or Macaroni.

the BEAST Wisconsin 15638 posts
27th Dec '12

for me, it depends on the reason why they're not eating (if it's that i made something i know they won't eat, or if they ate a big lunch for example). i won't make anything different (we do the "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" around our house) and they have gone to bed "hungry" before.



if it's my DS (7) dawdling over dinner, he gets the timer set and whatever's not finished when it goes off goes into the trash and he goes straight to bed. that's typically what i have to deal with. DH threatens sending them to bed all the time (we eat around 5:30, i'm NOT sending them to bed that early b/c (a) neither of them will sleep then and (b) then I'VE got to deal with the whining/crying/kid up WAY earlier than usual the next day/etc)

IDID-VBAC 12/09 2 kids; Alaska 44106 posts
27th Dec '12

I am not a short order cook, you eat what is in front of you or you dont eat.



If I make something I KNOW they wont eat, they will get a different meal, but that is maybe 1-2 times a year.



I do not save the meal for them to eat the next morning though, I know some people do that. I will save it for the rest of the night so if they want to eat they can, but I will toss it when they go to bed.

What if... 2 kids; Ontario 4587 posts
27th Dec '12

my daughter is the worst. it takes at least 2 hours to finish her dinner. some days I want to just scream

. , Richmond, VA, United States 74900 posts
status 27th Dec '12

I don't do anything. I wouldn't punish for not being hungry. If its something I know LO likes then I would save it for later, if she just doesn't like it then I'd throw it out. Sometimes I'm not hungry and sometimes I just dont like certain food, I wouldn't want to be punished for that. Toddlers are natural grazers anyways. I don't engage in power struggles over food or meal times, my LO eats when she is hungry and I don't have any issues with it.

user banned 3 kids; Ontario 10942 posts
27th Dec '12

Nothing. Put it in the fridge for later or tomorrow whichever comes first. I don't force or punish my kids for eating not eating etc....

LolaMcKitten Due May 30 (girl); 27 kids; Beverly Hills, California 15496 posts
27th Dec '12

I put it away for the next meal. I'm not going to force them to eat something they don't like, so if it's on their plate, it's something they have tried and approved of, so not eating means they are not hungry - it goes in the fridge for the next meal.



I had a huge issue with our then 5 year old who decided she was just going to throw fits at lunch time. So after sitting down to 3 meals in a row being presented the same plate of food, she finally ate it and the tantrums stopped.

Addi's Momma Due January 23 (girl); 1 child; 1 angel baby; Florissant, Missouri 5541 posts
27th Dec '12

I always make at least one thing DD likes so if she doesn't eat then she goes to bed hungry.

W.W. 3 kids; Arkansas 7878 posts
27th Dec '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting LolaMcKitten:</b>" I put it away for the next meal. I'm not going to force them to eat something they don't like, so if ... [snip!] ... So after sitting down to 3 meals in a row being presented the same plate of food, she finally ate it and the tantrums stopped. "</blockquote>




This!



Great strategy for the tantrums btw =).

LolaMcKitten Due May 30 (girl); 27 kids; Beverly Hills, California 15496 posts
27th Dec '12
Quoting I Love Dem Baybees!:" <blockquote><b>Quoting LolaMcKitten:</b>" I put it away for the next meal. I'm not ... [snip!] ... of food, she finally ate it and the tantrums stopped. "</blockquote> This! Great strategy for the tantrums btw =)."


I felt bad, but it was seriously my last straw. I don't give them things they have not approved of, it's just practical, so I know when I sat her down to a plate of chicken nuggets and mac N cheese and she screamed and threw herself on the floor, it was because she was having a tantrum, not because she wasn't hungry or just didn't like it. Dad got kind of pissy with me (his girls are his princesses *eyeroll*) but after it worked, he shut his mouth lol.

W.W. 3 kids; Arkansas 7878 posts
27th Dec '12

<blockquote><b>Quoting LolaMcKitten:</b>" I felt bad, but it was seriously my last straw. I don't give them things they have not approved of, ... [snip!] ... like it. Dad got kind of pissy with me (his girls are his princesses *eyeroll*) but after it worked, he shut his mouth lol."</blockquote>



Yeah my 3 and a half year old is in that stage...throwing tantrums over nothing like...getting dressed. It stresses me the hell out. Unfortunately DH needs reminded to try and have patience more often so I feel like I'm doing double the work..mentally at least.