thread: HELP!!! Idea's or tips needed to get a 3 yr old to EAT

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    HELP!!! Idea's or tips needed to get a 3 yr old to EAT

    Hi all,

    Well Evan will be 3 in a couple of weeks and the little bugger wont eat! Well he does but getting him to sit and eat a complet meal regardless of what, when or where it is, is near impossible. I am sure that he is getting enough but DH is forever making comments about how skinny he is and that he is getting thinner. I haven't actually weighed him so I couldn't say if he is or not.

    Has anyone got any tips on gettingmy 3 year old intersted in actually eating! PLEASE HELP!!

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2004


    Sorry not able to help you on this one as i have trouble getting Kimberley to eat anything. I sometime manage to get her to eat a yoghurt if she does not eat any tea. One thing i know she will eat is Pasta if i put cheese on it. Also she loves sauces anything from mint to tomato.

    Hope someone can help you. Would be nice to know what you can do.

  3. #3
    mooshie Guest


    i have had some experience with this and i sympathise so much. my first dd jessie was a terrible eater practically from when she started solids. i took her everywhere queen elizabeth centre (like tresillan) gp's and dieticians. one thing that i did which did work was create a snack box for throughout the day. in that box i put in all sorts of food cheeses, fruits, dry crackers, sultanas etc i also including 2 or 3 things she liked like sweet biscuits. each time she was hungry she would go to her snack box and get something (always the yummy things first) they ran out quickly so she had no choice as to eat whatever was left. this really worked well for us.

    also at meal times i would serve her dinner and would eat with her - i didn't make an issue no nagging nothing and after 20mins if she had not eaten or was showing no interest i calmly removed the plate without saying anything (of course i never took it away if she was eating) she did get the idea that it wasn't upsetting me anymore and eventually she began to eat the evening meal quite well.

    try also jotting down everything your son eats each day you will be amazed at how much he is eating. does he fill up on milk (that is one things my kids do tend to do) also try as hard as it can be not to make an issue cause it really can become a real power struggle and food is something to be appreciated and enjoyed not just eaten cause you need to iykwim.

    good luck again and i truly know how frustrating the problem can be.

  4. #4
    Custardtart Guest

    I agree with Mooshie, a lot of times kids browse and snack during the day and really aren't that interested in eating a lot at one sitting - this doesn't mean that they aren't eating, it just means that they have different eating patterns to an adult - which makes sense if you think about it. If your husband is concerned about him getting thinner, it's probably because he is getting TALLER!

    A couple of ideas I used to get the children interested in food at a young age was to make dinners of finger foods, sticks of salad vegetables arranged in a face with sausages cut into circles arranged around the side of the plate as hair, stuff like that. Faces of people or animals were always popular, and I still do it if I have 'fussy' kids over for dinner.

    If you are concerned about getting vegetables into him, how about making vegie fritters with a little flour and egg, with grated cheese through the mix to make it tasty?

    Do try not to get too stressed about it, these things come and go in phases and if your child is truly hungry, they WILL eat. If his intake has dropped off noticeably, it probably means he has just finished a growth spurt and doesn't need as much food right now, it will probably change in a matter of weeks.

    Good luck!


  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    May 2004


    Is he tired, looking pale, not passing urine..?? If he is physically well... don't worry about it. My DD is a skinny ribs plays fine, but sometime just won't eat.

    One bit of advise I can give is don't give any snacks an hour or so b4 meals, it will spoil his appetite. Also if you don't want a fussy eater, don't offer him anything else if he refuses to eat. I know we can fall into traps very easily.


  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Cairns QLD

    Thanks for your replies.

    He is a grazer and loved to eat fruits and vegies. He will go to the fridge through out the day and get an apple or a carrot or what ever else he wants. I like the idea of a snack box, I might make a shelf on the fridge just for him so he can get what he likes. I'm not overly concerned but it is an issue for DH. The log book sounds like a good idea too.

    I am about to make him lunch and thought I would try an island of mashed potato with some tree's (brocolli) and some peas around the base like water.

    I'm sure he will get better with time...

  7. #7
    2kiddies Guest

    My little man can also be a fussy eater, and at times I worry he's not eating enough either! When he's like this, I give him 3 glasses of sustagen a make sure he's getting some 'nutrition' of some description! Pentavite drops are meant to be good too, and I"ve been meaing to give him a kids multi vitamin.
    At times, all he wants to eat is things like 2 minute noodles, he'd eat them until the cow comes home! So I buy those packets of little frozen vegies and add them to it, so he's getting some vegie content! He loves corn I"m reaping the benefits and making LOTS of little things with corn in it...corn and chicken soup, creamed corn on toast, corn fritters etc...I also grate up vegies and throw them in things so he won't notice! He refuses to eat fruit, so I have to make him fruit smoothies with yoghurt and's annoying, but at least he's getting it somehow!
    I have also recently introduced a sticker chart to encourage him to eat more 'healthy' things. Even if he doesnt' eat ALL of it..I try and make him eat, say, 5 bites or something. If he does that, he'll get a sticker..if he gets 10 stickers, he gets a small treat like an ice cream, little car, book etc. This has really helped.
    I think we all worry at some time whether our kids are eating enough, but as someone said, if they're really hungry then they WILL eat!

  8. #8
    ok take 2 of going back to work.....

    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..

    My nephew is like this & my sister used to puree vegies into tinned spaghetti & place him in a dimly lit room to eat, he'd still not eat, but after getting angry, yelling & creaming at him & upsetting herself & him (she was really worried he was not eating) she'd make him a nutella sandwich.... For months this went on... Mum told her he now knew the routine, don't eat what your given & eventually you'll get a nutella sandwich & told her "He will not starve to death, he will eat when he is hungry"
    So she stopped letting him have anything except fruit after 3pm daily & then only a half glass of water, she'd put a small amount of food on a really large plate & he'd think it was a small amount of food & so eventually started eating it...

    He is still a bad eater, will point blan not even try anything, but will sit there asking my DD well what does it taste like etc, she says it's like a lolly here try some, but he just wont!

    I am lucky whatever we give maddy she will try & 9/10 times she likes it, her favourite is a big bowl of veggies which is usually 3 brussel sprouts, a big piece of cauliflower & broccoli, some peas, corn, pumpkin & carrots! She requests this often for dinner!

    But definately write down what he eats & dont do what my sister did & make a big deal out of it, as it's made him even more fussy!

  9. #9
    Resident Samsquanch

    Jan 2005
    Down by the ocean

    Mason is fussy at dinner and Angus is starting to be as well. I think they get enough during the day. Especially at breakfast when they are begging me for weetbix. When they ask for bikkies I tell them no and offer fruit so then I don't feel so bad when they don't eat dinner. At least they aren't filling up on junk. They have a few favourites like pasta with any kind of sauce so we have it every other day and they love scalloped potatoes.
    Maybe it is more to do with trying to assert some dominance over you than being fussy about food. I'm sure that is what's going on with Mason sometimes.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005

    I once heard someone say "The child determins how much they eat. You determine what they eat." Made sense to me. Eventually the child learns that if I refuse to eat what I'm given, I'll be offered what I want. Same learned behaviour as tantrums to get what they want.

    Works in the classroom at school too. If a student wants my attention and calls out for it and I choose to ignore it the first time, then I have to ignore it every time or they know the next time that it is only a matter of time before they get the response they want.