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Thread: Advice needed! 4yo eating!

  1. #1

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    Question Advice needed! 4yo eating!

    Ok - Help, advice, input needed here... Our darling 4yo son is refusing to eat all his dinner at night! he will find every excuse possible to get out of it (and its usually only his vegies left) his excuses are gotta go to the toilet, gotta hug dad, gotta tell you a secret (nothing is told), he's tired, he wants his mum, he doesnt like us, to the very new one of he has heartburn (he doesnt know what this is just heard heis grandma saying iut) Last night we cooked his fav chicken with chips and vegies - now we'd been shopping that day and brought home a special treat for him (leappad 3-4letter word thingy) and told him if he ate all his vegies he can have it, he sat there for an hour eating very slowly came to only about 2 mouthful of vegies left and said he was to tired, so he was sent to bed... without his treat... I don't know how else to get his to eat. HELP~


  2. #2

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    Does he snack alot during the day? As my 3yo doesn't eat alot of dinner at night no matter what we cook. We've been to the doctors about this many times as he eats a litte then says "bed", the doctor told us that he is very healthy looking and not to worry to much as he may just naturally be a grazer. So your son may also be the same, I would try to pressure him to eat more then he wants as it becomes a battle for you both, you are doing the right thing by sending him to bed when he says he is tired. I also personally wouldn't be offering a bribe to eat as he may come to expect it every meal time, but that's me. Also as he gets older he will start eating more, my 7yo eats as my as my DH now and he was only eating a small plate for dinner not long ago, I hope that I've help in some way.

    hugs xoxo

  3. #3

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    Kids will go through stages of eating and not eating. Sometimes Emily and Violet's dinner plates can be barely touched, so I wouldn't stress. Only rule we have here is that if you aren't hungry enough to eat your dinner then you don't have dessert (if we have it).

    Also make sure he isn't snacking too close to dinner time.

    HTH's
    Tanya

  4. #4

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    I wouldn't mind too much if he was snacking through out the day... but he doesn't -
    Amanda - I don't like bribes either - but we just don't know what else to try.

  5. #5

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    Cass, we had similar problems with Erin. It wouldn't matter what we tried, she wouldn't eat all of her meal and to make it worse she is a painfully slow eater too. It varied as to what she would leave though, sometimes it was veges and other times it was meat. We used to fight with her about it nearly every meal time and in the end we decided that it wasn't achieving anything. The key though is to choose your battles as the more you fight with them over food, it becomes a control thing and it's their way of trying to keep the upper hand as you can hardly hold them down and force it down their throat (as much as we wish we could sometimes LOL). We also stopped giving her so much food on her plate so she didn't feel overwhelmed by the amount on her plate. So at one stage her little sister was eating more than her.

    He isn't going to starve by not eating all of his meal every night. So long as he is eating something you know he'll do OK. If his eating during the day is good then he just may not be that hungry come dinner time. We have the same rule as Tanya too - you only get dessert if your plates are clean - sometimes the incentive is them seeing their siblings eating dessert while they are missing out.

    On a positive note though, for the last few weeks Erin has been eating all of her dinner, she is even eating it faster than the other two sometimes. So there is light at the end of the tunnel with it.

  6. #6

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    Hey Cassie

    I have the same problem with my 4yr old...except he will only eat sandwiches, crackers, cheese, yoghurt and fruit...

    I keep reminding myself not to be like my parents...forcing the food issue...and knowing also that kids do regulate their eating behaviours a lot better than we as adults do

    as long as we (as parents) provide a good example, and consistent method your little man will be fine...

    oh and at 4yrs (and 1yr and 2, 3 , 5, 6 ...) remember they are trying to establish their boundaries...seeing how far they can push you...

    hope this helps

    xx yogababy

  7. #7

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    We don't bribe and if James doesn't want to eat (which is very rare) or procrastinates or misbehaves, he has priviliges taken away. He's learned very quickly that we don't mess around with this and they're not idle threats. Thankfully he's happy to eat almost anything healthy and try new foods.

  8. #8

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    Personally I wouldn't worry if he didnt' eat all his dinner. I don't eat al my dinner sometimes so I don't expect my kids to. if they haven't eaten enough I tell them to put it in the fridge and if they are hungry later they can have it. Of course this is within certain boundaries. if they have taken one mouthful and just can't be bothered eating I tell them no eat at least 3 more forkfuls then you have had enough and then we get them to put it in the fridge

    My 4 yr old will sometimes not want to eat because his brothers are finished or he wants to watch tv and latelt he is just to tired at meal times because he gets up so early and doesn't always nap so he asks us to feed him. occasionally we give in and feed him..

  9. #9

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    Ok so maybe i'm over thinking the whole not eating issue... and it really isn't as big as we're thinking right? as long as he's eating something he's ok? He's complete opposite to his younger brother who will eat everything on his plate spotless!

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    Cass, that was our big problem too - our eldest is a great eater and always has been and then along comes Erin who eats like a sparrow LOL. He will make up for it in his teens - have you ever known a teenage boy not to eat?

  11. #11

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    Yeah he sounds normal, they also tend to eat more when they are going thru a growth spurt, which might be happening with your 3yr old. Just try not stress (hard I know). Big hugs.

    hugs xoxo

  12. #12

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    We also give James a multivitamin each day.

  13. #13

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    I have this problem with Kimberley and have learnt not to stress about it so much.
    Some nights she doesn't touch anything on her plate and others she'll get a more. She hates veg other than carrots at the moment before i cook them as she likes the sound.
    I've banned biscuits in the house as i found they where snacking on them nearly all day and wouldn't eat at night. It's worked a little and she does eat a bit more.

    Last night all she had off her plate was two bits of lamb and mint jelly.

    Alex on the other hand will eat nearly all his dinner and he's another one that isn't keen on veg. The only one that is at the moment is Eleanor but that could change.

    I think they all go through this not eating stage and only wanting to eat certain things.

    A few weeks ago it was jam sandwiches and before that it was chocolate spread so i stopped buying that.

    When i ask what she wants for dinner she always asks for chips and that isn't going to happen every night.

    What about getting your DS help you prepare the meal at night and see if that helps a little.
    Kimberley loves to help and that is why she now eats raw carrot. I'm trying other veg but it doesn't make the same sound which is a same but maybe one day she will try it.

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