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Thread: And the tantrums continue....

  1. #1

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    Default And the tantrums continue....

    I am still having dinner time tantrums almost every night. DD doesn't want what I give her, just screams for 'bicky' etc. I leave what I give her on the table if she won't eat and go about my own thing. She will just scream and scream and scream. Her screams are ear piercing. My head is throbbing. This can continue for up to an hour some nights. Sometimes she will eventually eat half of it, but mostly she will eat less than half and sulk through the entire thing. She is 20 months old. I have tried adding cheese, making it fun, eating it with her etc. It just seems she doesn't learn that she eats what she is given or nothing. When she does eat it, I praise her and tel her good job and then she will get some yoghurt or the likes after. Please tell me this is completely normal!


  2. #2

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Fortunately or unfortunately your place at dinner time sounds very similar to mine in the past. Dd1 was a shocker of an eater at that age, refused absolutely everything, screamed, whinged, threw her food etc every night. And to make it harder she wasn't consistent in her tastes as well. Dd2 did the same.
    There is some hope, it got better with time. But I was persistent and consistent.

    Have you tried changing her dinner time? It's amazing what a difference that can make

  3. #3

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Thanks beansbeans! Yes i pushed it a bit later so she would be more hungry I guess if her screaming wasn't so loud and high pitched it wouldn't be so bad haha.

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Is it normal? Hell yes!!!! Well, it is my house too DS is 22 months and the squeals he is making at the moment make my ears want to bleed! He also refuses any form of dinner but unlike your daughter he won't say a stinkin' word he just hits his buckle and screams to get out of his highchair. He also likes to throw his cutlery and food across the table at me Honestly, I've given up. We eat and then get him out. It's frustrating but I guess, like everything, it shall pass. Yanno, like the no sleep, sore boobs, not listening, grubby hand prints etc

  5. #5

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Argh! It's so frustrating isn't it? From the moment I put her in the car after picking her up from daycare she starts I'm lucky to have a few minutes of happy time before she cracks it. Then it just gets worse when we get home. If I stay out of the kitchen and play with her she is a bit better, but we all have to eat! I cook easy stuff on work nights so I only need 10 minutes or so to myself to cook. I could see how tempting it could be to just feed your kids crap to keep them happy. But I just can't do that!
    Spag bog tonight, I'm cooking it now so all I have to do is cook some pasta when I get home tonight. She usually likes it so fingers crossed

  6. #6

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Is she in daycare full time? We generally don't have this issue, but DS2 is at daycare 2 days a week and on those nights he is definitely a handful and I tend to give him dinner about half an hour early than usual. If he is whinging and not eating, then I just get him out and get him ready for bedtime - which is also half an hour earlier on those nights.
    I don't stress too much if he doesn't have a big dinner, because I know he'll make up for it the next day.

    Not sure if any of that applies to you or would help, but just thought I'd share our experiences

    Just she eat well during the day? Is it only dinner that's an issue?

  7. #7

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    if we do late dinner, my kids are less likely to eat. if possible, try an earlier time.

    (no guarantees, but sometimes it is nice to have something else to try)

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Quote Originally Posted by CoNNiE_Melb View Post
    Is she in daycare full time? We generally don't have this issue, but DS2 is at daycare 2 days a week and on those nights he is definitely a handful and I tend to give him dinner about half an hour early than usual. If he is whinging and not eating, then I just get him out and get him ready for bedtime - which is also half an hour earlier on those nights.
    I don't stress too much if he doesn't have a big dinner, because I know he'll make up for it the next day.

    Not sure if any of that applies to you or would help, but just thought I'd share our experiences

    Just she eat well during the day? Is it only dinner that's an issue?
    She is in 4 days a week. The ladies tell me that she eats very well at daycare so at least she's got food in her tummy. I actually brought her dinner time back half an hour because that's what time I get in the door anyway. And yes it's only dinner that is an issue. But she tends to graze all day usually, fruit, sandwich, crumpets, etc. But i like to give her a bowl of food for dinner instead of just snack food. Maybe that's why she cracks it? But daycare always do dinner style meals for lunch and she eats them.
    It feels like she just hates being home and wants to be at daycare instead of home with me

  9. #9

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Ds2 is 18 months and lasts for about 2 minutes and then climbs down from the table. He then goes for his bath - even with 4 other kids at the table he doesn't stay, we don't make him eat or make him stay, he just goes for his bath and then has his bottle. I'd say its pretty normal - I fight more with the girls (6, 5 and 4) to eat than with him lol

  10. #10

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tasha View Post
    It feels like she just hates being home and wants to be at daycare instead of home with me
    Oh hun, I can imagine it would feel like that sometimes, but I can bet my house on that not being the case!

    She may just not be hungry. Or maybe she prefers to have her big meal/ dinner type meal at lunch?
    Childcare nights we generally just do sandwiches or something simple because they've already had their big meal at childcare.

    I think for now, just do whatever gets you all through with minimal screaming and frustration. It's most likely a phase that will pass. At the moment dinner time is just a really stressful time for all of you, just wing it and release the pressure valve for a little bit. When you think she's ready, just casually try to reintroduce proper dinners, if it doesn't work out, leave it and try again at a later date. As long as she's getting good food into her during the day, she'll be ok.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Hi Tasha, my DD doesn't go to daycare and she has dinner tantrums too.
    I moved it later which helped a bit, also try to get something ready early in the day so I just have to put in the oven later, but not always possible. I also make sure she has a savoury afternoon tea (she's a sweet tooth and would eat crap all day if she was allowed)
    She even cracks it when I am preparing dinner early and yells 'no deedee, no deedee!', even if it's 11am!!
    Hate to say it but it's also progressed to 'no bath or shower' and pretty much no anything if she is in a bad mood lol.
    I just try and go with the flow, but easier said than done, it's COMPLETELY frustrating.

    If she is having a 'meal' for lunch, maybe just give her a 'tasting plate' for dinner, little bit of carb, little bit of veg/fruit, little bit of meat, then she can have some control over what she eats. Alternatively, just do what I do when I am desperate and give her a bowl of plain pasta lol

  12. #12

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    My suggestion would be to not let her make it a battle anymore. How does she eat during the day? Does she get a good variety? Could you turn lunch into her main meal of the day?
    DD2 eats really well during the day but some days just wants a vegemite sandwhich or toast for dinner. I think we forget kids are like us and some are not as hungry at dinner time. I know I prefer a bigger lunch and small dinner.
    My DS is 22months and very involved in dinner choices and preperation. It sounds like a hassle but it actually makes it easier. It gets him excited to eat. Some nights he even sits with me with a handfull of diced frozen veggies while I cook.
    Sometimes the best option is to change ourselves and our expectations instead of always expecting it from our little ones. They do grow out of it but battling until they happens will take it out of you. Never give up trying different ways or things.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    I feel your pain. I too have had the after daycare tantrums and its sad to pick up DS who has been perfect all day only to crack it even before getting out the door Then the ride home can be challenging!!!

    What is working for me (ATM) is getting the daycare ladies to leave a late snack in his bag and when I get there getting him to do the bag, lunch bag, drink bottle, communication book, hat collection. I found if he has tasks he is less likely to crack it. Then in the car I give him the snack left from the day. When we get home I let him help me prepare dinner. He has steps and can see what I am doing and help me count things and talk about colours etc. I get DS to source things for me. I find asking him to get things for me (after teaching him everyday items) keeps him from just pulling random things out the cupboard and it helps his sense of achievement. After prepping dinner he is usually over being in the kitchen and is happy to wander and check out his room or I put Mickey Mouse on while I actually cook.

    Does he eat dinner? Most nights he does but some days he is too full and just doesn't want to eat. Especially on the days he has daycare and the give him a filling afternoon snack around 3.30pm. Sometimes they give him pasta which is really filling and I know on those days he is just not going to eat. I still try and if he is not into it I just let him get down.

    We have dinner at 5.30pm as I found waiting any longer was in the witching hour and I found it really stressful to prepare dinner.

    Could the daycare staff give her dinner? I am not sure what time you pick her up. I know a lot of bubs at our daycare have dinner there. They are pack creatures and all like to eat together

    Or can DH bath her while you make dinner? Good for all three of you

    On the nights DS does not eat I used to worry, but now I figure he is not going to starve himself and he definitely lets me know when he is hungry. Totally frustrating when dinner is over and the kitchen is cleaned and NOW he is hungry

    I also find Thursdays are not good at our house. After 4 days in care he is over it and can be tricky. I have now learned that he is just missing me and needs more connection. So usually Thursday when we get home from daycare we head straight to his room and read his favourite book. He sits on my lap and I rub his back and run my fingers through his hair and just cuddle him heaps. He only needs 10 to 15 minutes but its enough to "fill up his love tank". Then he is happy to get on with other things leaving me to do the dinner run.

    Your not alone in your struggle x

  14. #14

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    What do you give her for dinner? A close friend of mine still gives her 6 year old salad or fruit salad most nights of the week. He won't eat dinner type meals & it's not unhealthy, so better than nothing.

    If she's having meals for lunch, I'd try lighter foods for dinner. Fruit & yoghurt or similar.

    I'm not into making a fuss at dinner time though. Not one of my kids like to eat the same things on their dinner plate each night, but as long as what they do eat isn't junk, then I'm not overly worried about it. I don't give DS potatoes, because he's never, since he was a baby, eaten potato - unless it's oven fried. He's mostly meat, fish, fruit & some salady stuff. DD2 is more meat & pasta's, so I try keep to whole meal pasta's & bread etc. DD1 is a fruit, salad, vegie kid. But not fussed on mixed meals (stir fry/spag bol), DD3 pretty much eats it all lol. She's awesome when it comes to dinner time!

  15. #15

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    Quote Originally Posted by Saffy View Post
    If she is having a 'meal' for lunch, maybe just give her a 'tasting plate' for dinner, little bit of carb, little bit of veg/fruit, little bit of meat, then she can have some control over what she eats. Alternatively, just do what I do when I am desperate and give her a bowl of plain pasta lol
    Yes Saffy in her daycare book it's always a dinner style meal for lunch. I'm pretty sure this is why she is fussy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazzo View Post
    How does she eat during the day? Does she get a good variety? Could you turn lunch into her main meal of the day?
    DD2 eats really well during the day but some days just wants a vegemite sandwhich or toast for dinner. I think we forget kids are like us and some are not as hungry at dinner time. I know I prefer a bigger lunch and small dinner.
    My DS is 22months and very involved in dinner choices and preperation. It sounds like a hassle but it actually makes it easier. It gets him excited to eat. Some nights he even sits with me with a handfull of diced frozen veggies while I cook.
    .
    Our baby gate stops her from entering the kitchen. I haven't got around to putting locks on the cupboards AND she can reach the stove knobs. Plus my bin is out cos it doesn't fit in any cupboards. I am really not comfortable having her in the kitchen for too long. After about 5 minutes she gets bored and starts touching stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by vic261 View Post
    I feel your pain. I too have had the after daycare tantrums and its sad to pick up DS who has been perfect all day only to crack it even before getting out the door Then the ride home can be challenging!!!
    YES!! As said above, it's hard to get her involved with the cooking because she's too cheeky. She knows what she's not allowed to touch and goes for it But I totally agree with spending the one on one time before you start doing anything else. She does the same. But it's hard when you feel so rushed on work nights.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~clover~ View Post
    What do you give her for dinner?
    I used to cook, but now I just give her whatever. I have frozen meals (vege mash, spag bog) but usually just do toasted sandwich, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, biscuits etc. I am finding she just wants a bit of everything most nights. So that's easier cos then she doesn't have to wait for me to actually cook dinner!


    Thanks everyone. I am getting my mind away from a big meal for dinner and it's helping. Tonight I made mushroom pasta for myself and she ate some too which was a bonus

  16. #16

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    It will pass. If she eats well at daycare she may only need some crackers/ a sandwich and some yoghurt with muesli. If it's not working then perhaps a more gentle approach may help. Perhaps also consider thinking through the impact on your relationship together. She may also be tired and need to play and reconnect with you after not seeing you (and most likely missing you) all day.
    The goal is for you both not to get stressed and upset and for her to have something nutrition to get her through the night. It's also about(imho) not creating issues around food and also respecting her right to say no.
    We got through this period by offering what we were having(and eating with her) followed by fruit, yoghurt and muesli which is all nutritious and filling. In our family, second course is another opportunity for good nutrients and energy essential for a balanced diet and not as a reward for eating first course.
    Remember toddlers like to graze. We use a mental lunchbox called Lunch Bots and I fill it with something from each food group for her to snack on.
    Remember it's our job to offer a wide variety of foods and their job to decide how much to eat of it.
    Good luck!

  17. #17

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    I used to put DD in her high chAir in the kitchen and give her tastes of the things I was cooking, including raw veg. Now she's addicted to raw veg and she was safe and happy in her high chair.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: And the tantrums continue....

    I have realised that dd is a grazer. She prefers to snack all day long rather than have big meals. So now I just keep giving her snacks every couple of hours or as she asks. But I do try and put a small bowl of vege or the likes before the snacks at dinner/lunch. Her snacks are generally pretty healthy. things like dates, sultanas, fruit, rice cakes with vegemite etc.

    So that's what has been working for us. I tried to giver her a bowl of homemade minestrone soup last night and she was already tired and cranky, so she threw it all over the floor! Was not happy!

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