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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:05 PM
AdinaD AdinaD is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas
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Battle of the Wills - Kid going to bed hungry ** Update at Post 45 **

I'm a big believer of only cooking one meal. And, while my lovely boy is very thoughtful, helpful, polite (thank you, please, I'm sorry, I love you, etc.) - when it comes to dinner he turns into the world's biggest BRAT. He's two, and is clearly hungry - but he won't even try dinner. He gets down from the dinner table and we plead with him to try his food. The melt downs of this past week in particular nearly have ME in tears. I'm even trying the sneaky chef recipes (not proud, and - exhausted in the extra steps this takes) so that he thinks they are kid-recipes.

Without allowing this craziness to continue, and without force feeding him, other suggestions? Up until 18-months he was a great eater. Now he's a great eater for everyone but us. He's 26 months.

Also, just because I need to vent - when my kid goes to bed hungry, do you know how freaking long that bedtime routine is? 2+ HOURS. And, do you know how much earlier he's going to wake up tomorrow because he's hungry?


I even tried to bribe - eat just 3 bites and we can share a popcicle. He hears popcicle and runs excitedly to the table. He doesn't understand the compromise of it all. So, after reiterating the 3-bite rule, I had to peel him off the floor because he was beating his head against the tile.

I'm exhausted. And, after pinning his butt down for 2 1/2 hours - and getting this off my chest: time to crack open the VPN and go another sleepless night because I have work to do.

I need a vacation from me right now.

Last edited by AdinaD; 06-09-2011 Thursday at 07:43 AM. Reason: Thanks for all your advice
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:08 PM
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Momster2Many Momster2Many is offline
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Around 2 seems to be the age when they stop eating things that they would normally eat and become picky. The rule in our house is that if you don't like what is on your plate you can have a cheese or pbj sandwich.
Tina wife to Eric Married October 2002
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:10 PM
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Crystal A Crystal A is offline
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Honestly, every night at least 1 or 2 of my boys goes to bed without eating dinner (and more often than not it's the 6 yo ). It's not a battle I'm willing to fight. I grew up in that kind of house and won't do it. They'll eventually be hungry enough to eat. At least, that's my two cents.
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:19 PM
JenniferT JenniferT is offline
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Does serving food he normally likes or including food he requests (fruit or whatever) make any difference? What about letting him "help" you cook?

Hmm, another thought - how late is your dinner? Is it possible that he's past the point of being just hungry and is tired by the time you eat?

Mom to three girls
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:22 PM
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TeriMomOf4 TeriMomOf4 is offline
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I firmly believe that you can't win a battle of wills with a two year old.

I am in an opposite camp from you though. While I don't cook a lot of different meals, I cook one, I do make every effort for there to be SOMETHING that everyone will eat. One might eat the meat, one might eat a side dish and one might get up and make themselves a sandwich (although that hasn't happened in YEARS, except on pizza nights. Joseph won't eat pizza).
With four kids and food allergies, we can't please everyone all the time.

The goal with a two year old is that they have a balanced diet over the course of a week. If that means they eat mandarin oranges all day Monday, black beans all day Tuesday and chicken all day on Wednesday...it comes out balanced in the end.

Also, when introducing new foods at that age they need to see it a BUNCH of times before they will consent to eat it and add it to their list of acceptable foods (which, of course, is constantly changing).
To this day, I will still put A green bean on Joseph's plate, just in case this is the time that he will decide to eat it.
I can tell you from four kids experience, it does not stay like this. At about age 5-6, they get very exploratory again and want to try new things (this is when we discovered all of Alex's food allergies.)
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:32 PM
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Gabrielle Gabrielle is offline
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DS has been resisting a lot of foods he's always loved. I'm not going to have a fight with our 18 mo. old over food. If he eats through out the day but refuses dinner than he doesn't get anything else. He will usually eat at least something on his plate though.
Gabby- mama to Elijah (12/2009)
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 09:50 PM
abbie'smommy abbie'smommy is offline
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to Teri. What DOES he eat? Are there things that he eats during the day and then turns around and refuses to eat at night?
Wife to J, Mommy to Abbie (05/2007) and welcomed sweet baby Caleb on 1/9/13
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 10:21 PM
nikkilou nikkilou is offline
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We have this problem with Samuel (3) and had the same problem with Charles when he was younger. I used to make them a PBJ later on, but then I realized they were not eating their dinner more and more evenings. Plus, I got tired of cooking a family meal for 4 when only my husband and I would eat it.

Now, either they eat or that's it. And I'm having better luck. Another thing I do is give them milk in the mornings and sometimes before bed. Maybe one cup of juice for lunch and water the rest of the day. That prevents them from getting too full by dinner.
I'm a busy mom with a 4 year old and 7 year old little boys!

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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 10:26 PM
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Purple Purple is offline
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Stick to your guns. I allow my kids one or two true aversions and will, of course, make exceptions for any allergies. I've got aversions and allergies, so it is only fair. I will not ever make Natalie eat green bean casserole, for example. It makes her gag, literally. Mashed potatoes seem to be an issue for Kate...

Our nephews and niece are the world's pickiest eaters (their parents have started giving them V8 Splash to ensure they get their fruits and vegetables in and they've started giving them protein bars for the protein). We decided before we had kids that we would not go down that road. I admit that Kate is more difficult for me than Natalie...but even she is learning. But Natalie eats sushi and frog legs, so we are doing SOMETHING right.
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Old 06-06-2011 Monday, 10:58 PM
artzy_fartzy68 artzy_fartzy68 is offline
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I would stop arguing with him...he won't die. William hardly ever eats supper. He's a great breakfast eater, tho! I wonder why? He's super picky and won't try things and he's eliminated almost everything from his repertoire of foods he considers edible. He's 4.5. He will not taste anything that does not pass the sniff test.

So, he eats NO vegetables. NONE. I can't think of a single vegetable he'll eat. Aldous, who's almost 3, will eat anything. Most of the time I fix his plate and when he's shoved his mouth totally full, he'll ask "is this food?" (as if..."can I swallow?)..ridiculous! Totally opposite.

Anyway, my advice is put healthy food on his plate, include one thing he likes (even if he doesn't eat) and let him sit there while you're eating. Talk about everything but food and what's on his plate. Do that at every meal. Then, when you're not looking, he'll try something. Just don't yell, don't complain, don't "notice" how much he's eaten where he can hear you. Don't punish OR reward. DO NOTHING. and, do it while you're smiling so you won't have a freak out about him wasting food AGAIN. good luck!
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Old 06-07-2011 Tuesday, 07:30 AM
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TeriMomOf4 TeriMomOf4 is offline
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I'm with Jacki!

Another thing to keep in mind is portion sizes. A portion for a 2 year old is TINY. My husband would always pile things on their plates and then get upset when they didn't eat it. If there is too much there, it can be overwhelming for them. 1-2 T. is all i would do of each item. They can always ask for more.
When they were little, one adult portion could be divided into three for all of them to share.
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Old 06-07-2011 Tuesday, 07:39 AM
justagirl justagirl is offline
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Food battles is something I just don't do. But then I have a texture sensitive child so that makes things more interesting. I remember my mom and my sister going round and round when we were little and that is just something I won't do. I make at least something he likes and then praise the crap out of him if he tries something new. I'm just not going to fight over something like that because in the end they are the only ones who truly win. You can't force them to eat.
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Old 06-07-2011 Tuesday, 07:51 AM
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Paula Paula is offline
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You have to remember that their stomach is only about the size of their fist. I am with the others on not letting this become a battle. I am lucky right now, LO doesn't refuse everything. I offer food and let him decide if he is going to eat and I go on with my life. I try to have something on the plate that he likes, it's usually berries. But he will get to the table eat some berries then try whatever else is on his plate when he sees mom and dad eating it.

Could you be eating too late? I know you work and come home and fix dinner. Do you give him a snack on the way home or right when you walk in the door? I know the more I feed LO throughout the day, the more he eats at dinner. I don't mind for him to have a snack about an hour before dinner.
Mom to one busy 6yo boy
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Old 06-07-2011 Tuesday, 08:44 AM
simplyme simplyme is offline
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i agree with the portion size, do a spoonfull of each of whatever your making and then i'd just put on his plate some other things that he likes, a few pieces of fruit, some kind of veggie, a healthy grain and just go with that. even if you're giving him the exact same fruit, veggie and grain every single dinner, fine, just so he's so he's eating something healthy. you might try frozen veggies right out of the bag, my son liked those. I wouldn't fight him with the food at all, it's not worth the frustration on either side. maybe try making him a healthy smoothie with fruit, yogurt, milk and wheat germ or some type of protein powder and serve that with his meal.
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Old 06-07-2011 Tuesday, 09:00 AM
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Julia Julia is offline
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I did not play games when it came to food. I went through hours of standoffs as a kid with my parents regarding meals and I just didn't care to do it with my kids.

I let them eat what they wanted. If they wanted to lick the ranch dressing off their carrot...I let them. It drove my husband nuts.

BUT I have kids that now eat sushi, salad, fish, habanero sauce etc... They will now try just about anything out of their own curiosity. Maybe when they are in their 20's they might even enjoy vegetables like I do/did.

People go through phases of food interests. As long as your offering varied / healthy options. Let them choose.

I really enjoyed Ellyn Satter when it came to learning about feeding relationships. www.ellynsatter.com and I stuck to her division of responsibility.
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