What To Do When Your Child Isn't Hungry At Dinnertime

Feeding fussy toddlers can be very challenging and tedious for many parents. But refusing to eat at dinnertime can be even more frustrating as both parents and kids are exhausted to the core and tend to lose their temper.

Though children can amuse us with their behavior and mischief, as parents, we are always concerned about the well-being of the child both physically and mentally. We know the importance of balanced nutrition in a toddler's diet and make sure to provide it without fail. Most parents have come across situations when their child is not willing to eat at the right time, which can be a matter of concern if the behavior continues over time.

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Many parents complain about their toddler not consuming food at dinnertime and then asking for small snacks at bedtime. There are many reasons why toddlers behave in such a manner. Some of which include having the right amount of snacks in between meals, trying to put off bedtime, feeling too tired to enjoy the last meal, lacking favorite food items and trying to check boundaries like.

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Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli 🥦 I’m going to be totally honest here and tell you I’m 100% counting down the days until back to school! The summer holidays are nice for a couple of weeks but by this stage I’m always desperate to get back into a routine. Im already planning on digging out my slow cooker next week for easy post school dinners. This recipe is so easy to make but is packed with flavour. It’s also great for batch cooking too! I use a low sodium soy sauce to keep the salt levels down. INGREDIENTS - 500g / 1 lb casserole beef steak or flank steak - 1 onion, roughly chopped - 2 garlic cloves, crushed - 400ml / 1.5 cups beef stock (I use low sodium stock) - 60ml / 0.25 cup soy sauce - 1 tbsp sesame oil - 1 tbsp brown sugar - 1 tbsp honey - 2 tbsp cornflour or cornstarch - 250g / 9oz chopped broccoli Directions: 1 Add the beef, onion, garlic, beef stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and honey to the slow cooker and mix. Pop on the lid and cook on low for 4 – 5 hours (or on high for 3 hours). 2 Use a ladle to remove about 2 large spoons of the liquid from the slow cooker into a small bowl. Add the cornflour to the bowl and whisk with a fork until there are no lumps. Pour this mixture back into the slow cooker, mix well and continue to cook for another 30 – 40 minutes until the sauce thickens. 3 Steam the broccoli (use a steamer or cook in the microwave) and then add it to the slow cooker and mix. 4 Serve immediately with boiled rice and garnish with chopped spring onions and sesame seeds.

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To deal with this issue, parents should try one of the following steps.

They can increase the time between meals, thereby helping kids recognize and respond to their hunger pangs. Avoid filling them with milk and juices during the gap. Instead, develop an appetite by serving water.

If your toddler satisfies his hunger during snack time while you are busy, you can surely try out the method stated by Slate’s parenting advice columnist, “I make almost every dinner in advance, the night before (after the kids are asleep), or first thing in the morning. I happen to enjoy cooking, so doing that as my last chore of the night while watching Murder, is like … my very lame me-time. And I'm a practiced-enough cook that I can often throw a simple dinner together while the kids are eating breakfast, then shove that into the fridge before we all head out for our days." She understands that this is not feasible for a lot of families, but rearranging the day can help in serving food before the kid gets too exhausted to eat.

Let them decide what to eat. Set their dinner plate and let them decide what and how much to eat. This will improve their decision-making ability and food preferences within set boundaries. Remember to include at least one of their favorite items to see a sparkle in their eyes. But, never make the mistake of replacing the entire dinner with their preferred, yet unhealthy food, like pizza or burgers, which you know they will eat.

It would be good to set a mandatory duration of one hour (if not more) between dinner and a bedtime snack so that the toddler grasps the fact that he will not be served immediately after refusing dinner. Try to keep this snack boring so that they think twice before skipping dinner next time.

RELATED: How To Deal With A Baby Who Won't Eat When You're Not Around

They are at their growing stage and like to experiment with choices as well as boundaries. The most important thing is to figure out what the problem is and act accordingly.

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