Battle of the Wills - Kid going to bed hungry ** Update at Post 45 **

Discussion in 'All About Kids' started by AdinaD, Jun 6, 2011.


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  1. AdinaD

    AdinaD Senior Member

    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: Jun 9, 2011


  2. Momster2Many

    Momster2Many Senior Member Plus

    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.
  3. Crystal A

    Crystal A Senior Member Plus

    :hug 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 :sigh). 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. :)
  4. JenniferT

    JenniferT Senior Member Plus


    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?
  5. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Senior Member Plus

    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 comes out balanced in the end. :p

    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. :giggle
    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.)
  6. Gabrielle

    Gabrielle Senior Member Plus

    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.
  7. abbie'smommy

    abbie'smommy Senior Member Plus

    :yeah 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?
  8. nikkilou

    nikkilou Senior Member Plus

    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.
  9. Purple

    Purple Senior Member Plus

    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. ;)
  10. artzy_fartzy68

    artzy_fartzy68 Senior Member Plus

    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? :giggle 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. :rolleyes

    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!
  11. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Senior Member Plus

    I'm with Jacki! :D

    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.
  12. justagirl

    justagirl Senior Member Plus

    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.
  13. Paula

    Paula Senior Member Plus

    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.
  14. simplyme

    simplyme Senior Member Plus

    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.
  15. Julia

    Julia Senior Member Plus

    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. and I stuck to her division of responsibility.
  16. Deb

    Deb Senior Member Plus

    I don't negotiate over food very much -we went through that stage and I just kept saying "eat what you like leave what you don't" -there were fits and tears but we kept saying it over and over. I really tried hard not to draw a line in the sand -I don't like spending dinner talking about dinner -KWIM?

    When it got really bad they always had the offer of dry plain cheerios. If they were hungry enough they would eat that. Most nights given the choice they chose dinner. It is always the back up-always an option. I never change it up. They are not hungry and I have no extra work. It is a battle for control and what they actually eat isn't that important if they are getting good food at other meals.

  17. I think you are doing a great job! I wouldn't wear myself out over 6 year old tends to have this issue and she goes to bed hungry sometimes. I am hoping that it's a phase...
  18. Mackerzgirl

    Mackerzgirl Sounding Board/Casserole Crew Coordinator

    James is a super picky eater. For his meals I always have something on the plate that is a known and enjoyed food. ALWAYS. Sometimes that means I'm throwing a handful of cheerios on the plate, sometimes it's more elaborate. I do not make a septate meal for him but I do ensure he has something that he eats. I would be pissed if someone made me eat a dinner I did not want to and left me with no options so I'm certainly not going to do it to my son.
  19. rachelbpg

    rachelbpg Senior Member

    We taste everything on our plates. Then we can just eat bread if we want.

    But more importantly for me: We have a grateful spirit. No complaining, no dramatic refusals. Someone prepared this for us and while we are not required to eat anything we would rather not, we will be appreciative for someones efforts.
  20. Susan

    Susan Senior Member Plus

    Yeah to Teri!

    Seth will sometimes just eat a spoonful of peanut butter. He's 7. Wyatt make drink on a fruit smoothie all day. Hes 3. Seth was an amazing eater until he was 5. I had convinced myself that my awesome parenting had something to do with it. I was wrong.

    I do try to make things they like. And I don't make one meal. Never have.


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