It's not child abuse to starve them if they don't eat anyways right?!?!

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by MrsWright, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    :crazy: Help. Me.

    So here is a run down of our meal times. Wake up get a snack cup of dry cereal, cereal bar, or granola bar. Breakfast about an hour later....of which no one eats, 15 mins later "I want a snack!" No snack....lunch rolls around no one eats, 15 mins later "I want a snack!" No snack....dinner rolls around, maybe they eat this meal with the promise of dessert...but only just enough to get dessert, 15 mins later "I want a snack!"

    I'm fed up, even when they're hungry they are arguing trying to get something different. Which I'm not going to do, our house the rule is eat what is in front of you then you can have more/dessert/whatever it is your whining about. If you use bad manners or don't eat when meal is up or your plate is taken that's it til next meal. I will say I am bad about giving them a small snack of dried fruit or something some days bc I can't stand to see them living on a few bites of food and milk but seriously!?!? How can I get them to eat?!?
    They aren't picky, when they are hungry and go through a spurt I can't believe how well they eat! I just can't seem to get out of this demanding phase of wanting snacks or something different to eat than what I've made. Even if they pick a choice for their it was grilled chicken for lunch with cheddar noodles and fruit...they got to pick their fruit (watermelon, apple or banana)....Jack picked apple and watermelon, fine. Then crying for 30 mins for a banana!!!!! :headbang: Then they wanted a salad with croutons! I said eat whats on your plate and you can have some, which they did but we're at the table for 45+mins bartering over eat this or eat that or just plain out listening to crying. I know no one eles's house is this crazy at meal time! I'm seriously thinking about not feeding them one day and resetting their tummies!!! HELP! ME!!
  2. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Well, the first thing I would do would be to drop the first morning snack and replace all drinks outside of meal time with water.

    The other thing I do, is leave their meals out for an hour (or longer if it's not cooked food) and make them eat more food off of their place when they complain that they want a snack. I do not give snacks if they do not eat their meals, but I will move the meal time up an hour if they don't eat something. So if breakfast is at 8, they don't eat it, I might move lunch to 11 or 11:30 if they're hungry.

    Lastly, look at their fists. That's the size of their stomach. They don't need a lot of food at one sitting, but small meals every few hours.
    4 people like this.
  3. MichelleL

    MichelleL Well-Known Member

    I ditto Bex.

    Could they be drinking too much milk? My friend had a problem where her son would down his milk, then barely eat. I always only gave my girls a few ounces of milk, then after they would eat a sufficient amount, would give more milk if they wanted it. And they always got water between meals if they were thirsty.

    I always wrapped up their meal with Saran (when possible) and kept it on the counter. I was never a big snack giver. We did breakfast, an early lunch, afternoon snack of veggies or fruit, and then dinner. We did snacks if we were going to be out of the house for a while or if I knew a meal was going to be later than normal.
  4. babyhopes09

    babyhopes09 Well-Known Member

    First of all, big old pat on the back for the incredibly nutritious meals you give your kids..they actually will eat salad?! You have inspired me to try some new food with my kiddos! Other than what PPs have said, we have a rule at our house that if there is any whining or screaming at the table, then you leave the table immediately and sit in the playroom.. It is a lot of work at first to follow through with this, but we always tell them when they are calm and quiet they can return to the table. This usually works for us...
  5. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Ha! I don't know if they like salad or if they like dressing and croutons;). Whatever works but yes they love lettuce, cucumbers and raw green peppers!
    They don't drink a lot of milk, 2 sippy cups a day which is about 16oz and they don't get their cups right away at mealtimes so I don't think they are filling up on milk but I think I will switch to between meals as water only.
    As for offering lunch again....tried it! We've breeded some bullheads! No idea where that came from;). And we also don't allow the screaming/crying at the table we send them to their's just keeping them there that's a pain!!
    We've also made "offenders" sit at the kitchen counter alone instead of the table with the rest of us:/. I guess I'll just keep standing my ground and eventually they'll realize who rules the roost!
  6. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    When they try to get attention by bad behavior I deliberately turn away to someone else and start a conversation they can participate in. Then we move on. I try to explain a little that meals are about telling stories, sharing time and food together.

    I also try to honor what they want but if they do what you describe, I just say "oh, maybe for dinner we can have that" and move on. When they pick something and try to change their mind I just say you picked this, next time you can have that. Mostly I try to give them a little tiny bit of everything so I don't care if they don't eat much of anything.
    1 person likes this.
  7. slugrad1998

    slugrad1998 Well-Known Member

    Hey, get out of my kitchen!!! Seriously, I could have written this. It's not so much a snack that they ask for as "I want something else" or "I want something from the cabinet" which means processed crap like Chef Boyardee or just crackers/goldfish/cheez its, etc. But seriously, I feel like meal time lasts for ever because of all the battles and whining and stubbornness. I hope it's just a phase because it is exhausting!
  8. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    It's pretty much the same here. All they want to eat is snack. They have breakfast at 7.30-8am, which consists of a cup of cereal and 2 yogurt smoothies (the danimal types, so smallish), and 2 hours later they are 'hungry' again. Oh and I've read somewhere that a serving of cereal at this age is 1/4 of a cup! So they're actually eating much more than they should! So I hear 'I'm hungry' for 2 hours until lunch (it's going to suck at school frankly as they will have a snack at 10am). Then I give them lunch and they pick at it, then 1 hour later they're hungry again (I've been giving tiny snacks in the afternoon now), then 2 hours later they're hungry again, then DS never eats dinner.

    You're so not alone. At least DD isn't too bad here, I have the opposite issue at times actually when she eats everything and says she's still hungry. But DS...
  9. mummy2two

    mummy2two Well-Known Member

    Your lo's eat salad?! :clapping: Congratulations! I honestly would give in to this if they asked. (I would rush to refrigerator if they asked before they changed their minds.) How I wish my kids would eat salad.

    I agree with the PP's and would cut out some of the snacks. For you, I recommend skipping the morning snack since no one is eating the mid-morning breakfast or the lunch. I might add something to the lunch to "beef it up."

    I think your idea of asking your lo's to pick one thing they want included with their dinner is a good idea. I think you just need to stick to your guns until your lo's understand that this is the status quo and they will not be getting anything in addition to the meal that they refused to finish until it is time for the next meal or snack.

    Okay, this is going to sound contradictory, but I might have given in to the banana. In the first place, because it is a fruit. Second, I think you have to listen to your instinct. If the lo had eaten everything given and wanted something in addition because he or she was hungry, and not just because they had made the wrong choice, I think I would have given in.

    Finally, you are not alone! Our house is crazy at mealtimes too. And my husband has a guilty conscience when it comes to food ("They can't go to bed HUNGRY!"). I think you know your kids best and if they seem hungry, give them food. If they are playing you (they want what someone else has or they want the joy of a power struggle) don't give in and trust your instinct. If you are wrong, tomorrow is a new day.

    I hope this helps. GL!
  10. mommylaura

    mommylaura Well-Known Member

    I have many of the same challenges. For me, one of the biggest frustrations is feeling like I am constantly in the kitchen making something for someone. I am trying not to offer many snacks (including drinks with calories like milk) outside of scheduled meal/snack times unless we are on the road or whatever. If you are hungry before a meal, fruit is your only option. I also try to set out chopped up fruit on the table pro-actively mid morning and mid afternoon, and sometimes they just gobble this down on their own.
  11. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Well I have offered no snacks outside of the morning one and put their cups away (out of sight out of mind right!?) and they have eaten much better!! Still bouncing in their seats and having a hard time there but it's been slightly better...but we've been here before:/

    I guess I don't give in to the salad and fruit when they've already picked something bc its not changing minds...they want all of it...and then waste majority of it. I feel like if I give in to that bc it's healthy then when they pick something unhealthy and I don't comply they are confused...the don't know healthy/unhealthy...they just know yummy;)

    I'll keep you updated! I'm thinking the past 2 days were a fluke but we're also trying really hard to say anything at all...whether they eat or not. Just give them enough time and then pack up the food til next meal. We think our reactions are gauging a lot of the responses too!
  12. NicoleLea

    NicoleLea Well-Known Member

    Oh man you totally described my house! I've tried everything and my kids still don't eat. I have no idea how they survive on 2 bites of food a day. I used to give them snacks but rarely anymore since I want them to get into the habit of eating what is before them. I will give them a treat sometimes if they eat what I ask of them at lunch or dinner but sometimes they don't eat and in that case, no dessert or anything else. I too get sick of the whining and "I'm hungrryyyyyy!!!" 5 minutes after dinner has ended. Whenever they do eat some of their lunch/dinner I do praise them and feel like celebrating! LOL Even if it is just a couple bites!
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