Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months
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If your child doesn't eat what you offer them for dinner...

Do you give them something they will eat? I'm struggling with this right now because Robbie literally will not try anything new. At what point do I stop catering to what he wants to eat? If I am making something that I know he will not like I will make him something special, but honestly I'm sick of scrambling around trying to fix something that will please him when there is nothing wrong with the chicken, rice and green beans I just put in front of him.

Re: If your child doesn't eat what you offer them for dinner...

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    We make him something he'll eat.

    At 19 months old, he's only 22 pounds. I'm SO paranoid about him not eating that I'll do anything to get him to eat *something*, you know? 

    I like privacy. A lot.
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    I do.  But, I go the easy route.  Like this morning I made this great breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and fresh fruit.  She barely ate 2 bites.  So I gave her some peach apple sauce which I know she would eat and that was breakfast.  I can't let her just not eat anything since I feel like she barely eats enough as it is.
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    I want my dd to eat dinner because I don't want her to wake up hungry at night, or early in  the morning.  (She has woken me up at 5 am screaming snack before, I am not a fan.)  I always try to have something on the plate I know she will eat along with whatever else.  Breakfast and lunch, I don't worry so much.
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    I normally try a second thing if she won't eat the first or to just give her some sort of fruit she'll eat to fill her up. As she gets a bit older and I can reason with her more, we'll probably not be offering a second option.
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    I give him a while to try it.  Or I sprinkle cheese on it in front of him, then he will usually eat.  If when DH and I are half way through our meal and DS still hasn't started eating, I might heat up of the Gerber/Beech Nut microwaveable meals for him.  I like to keep a couple in the pantry at all times for such occasions.
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    I offer the normal meal which usually consists of at least one thing he'll eat.  If all else fails he can have cereal, but I don't make a different meal.
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    We make her what she will eat, but leave other things as an option on her tray.  Honestly, my parents chose NOT to make me eat things I didn't like when I was younger and don't regret it. They found it was better for me to eat something than nothing at all.
    Brooke 10.15.08 & Molly 6.15.10

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    All of these suggestions sound reasonable :) One problem we do have is that if there is something on his tray that he really likes (like mac n cheese) he will only eat that and not bother with anything else. I don't want to force him to eat anything and I try not to push things on him. I don't want meal time to be stressful for him! (lol.. even though it is for me!) We will be trying an entire different way of introducing foods with Landon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he is not as picky as his brother!
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    We offer her what we are having and if she hasn't had it before or doesn't seem to like it, we will add something else to her plate that we know she will eat.  My DD is a horrible eater and I worry about her getting enough but she finally seems to be doing better (this didn't happen until I let it stop bothering me so much).  Her pedi told me the famous "she will eat when she is hungry".
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    I don't but usually I make things for her that I know she will eat. We are pretty lucky because her only real 'eww' food is mashed potatoes. 

    Anyway, If she chooses not to eat what I offer - she will usually nibble on fruit, cheese or crackers but I do not offer a second meal.

    This whole mother thing is so freaking confusing! I wish there was a definitive sign that we could know if the 'catering' would lead to an adult who only eats round nuggets and french fries for every meal. < - I know that guy.

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    Wow...I can't believe that I'm the hard-azz on this.  If Lucas doesn't eat dinner, he doesn't eat.  We stopped making anything special for him at 18 months.  Some nights he eats great, other nights he just doesn't eat.  And I haven't given him milk before bed in ages.  He has never woken up in the middle of the night hungry, but he is famished for breakfast in the morning.

    Kids won't starve themselves to death.  Its a power struggle.

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    imagemel41g:

    Wow...I can't believe that I'm the hard-azz on this.  If Lucas doesn't eat dinner, he doesn't eat.  We stopped making anything special for him at 18 months.  Some nights he eats great, other nights he just doesn't eat.  And I haven't given him milk before bed in ages.  He has never woken up in the middle of the night hungry, but he is famished for breakfast in the morning.

    Kids won't starve themselves to death.  Its a power struggle.

    Honestly, I am more inclined to agree with you. Of course, there are things I will make exceptions for (like when we have a really spicy meal), but at what point do you really just put your foot down? I just want him to at least start trying different things.

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    imagecbwm:

    We make him something he'll eat.

    At 19 months old, he's only 22 pounds. I'm SO paranoid about him not eating that I'll do anything to get him to eat *something*, you know? 

    This. Liam will be 15 months in a couple weeks, and he's still just 20 pounds. I just want him to eat SOMETHING, even if it's peanut butter toast, or cheese, or goldfish.

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    Owen still won't eat vegetables that aren't purees (although he will eat a Kashi veggie pocket which makes 0 sense).  He won't eat rice.  He was eating some fruits, but now he won't eat them either.  I just make him his own thing and continue to offer him what we are having.  I don't know if it is his age, the 4 molars coming in or that he is just a PITA, but the food thing really bums me out.  I am hoping to implement a different food plan as he gets older, but for now, he would starve I think.
    O 10.08 & MJ 6.10
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    He usually eats what we eat for dinner, but I always make sure to have something that he likes as a side dish (sweet potatoes, macaroni and peas, etc). There are nights when it's a struggle to get him to eat the main dish, but sometimes we can talk him into it by being silly (feeding him off our fork, letting him use his fork, we "take turns" taking bites). If he just won't eat the main dish, he'll almost always finish the side. If he ate a good breakfast, lunch and snacks that day, I don't worry about it so much.

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    she gets what we eat.  if she doesn't eat anything at all (which has never actually happened) then i would probably give her a yogurt and fruit or something, but i will not get into the habit of making an entirely different meal for dd.  i'm fairly confident she won't starve herself. 

    eta: oh and dd is 22lbs (soaking wet) at 18 months.  

     

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    DD has been like this for a while and I just dont know what to do about it.  I usually give up and offer her some sort of fruit.

    If she wasn't so teeny to begin with, i'd probably just make her wait and try to feed her again a little later...

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    I usually offer applesauce or yogurt or a fruit cup if my 19 month old is picking at his plate.  This way I don't have to actually cook something else and I know he's eating something healthy and filling up his tummy at dinner time.  Another thing that works well for us is giving him ketchup or ranch to dip his food into.  If he can dip it, he'll eat it.  Good luck!
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    usually our issue is that she wants to do it by herself. If I put something on the spoon and just leave it there, she'll usually scoop it into her mouth herself.
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    He gets what we eat for the most part.  Sometimes he may only eat a few bites but he's usually a good eater.  I don't offer him a second meal if he doesn't eat the first.
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    we are going through this right now too.  We've been giving him something else, but he's been subsisting too much on cheese and crackers. I knew he liked what we were having for dinner last night, but he wouldn't eat again. I told him that was all he was getting.  He still wouldn't eat so I let him down.  He didn't end up eating anything (I saved it in case he got hungry a little later) and he slept until 8:30 this morning.  My pedi says he'll eat if he's hungry
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    imagemel41g:

    Wow...I can't believe that I'm the hard-azz on this.  If Lucas doesn't eat dinner, he doesn't eat.  We stopped making anything special for him at 18 months.  Some nights he eats great, other nights he just doesn't eat.  And I haven't given him milk before bed in ages.  He has never woken up in the middle of the night hungry, but he is famished for breakfast in the morning.

    Kids won't starve themselves to death.  Its a power struggle.

    I do the same thing as you. He eats what we are having or he waits until the next meal or snack. That being said he either has fresh fruit or yogurt with every dinner as dessert. I know he will eat this so I don't worry. He is just 23 lbs at 18.5 months so he isn't huge. I also don't offer milk before bed anymore. He gets it with dinner.
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    Nope. She eats what we serve. She has a snack of grapes or a yogurt before she goes to bed so she won't sleep hungry but I don't care if she wont' touch her dinner. Whatever. No problem. But no I'm not making you a "chicken" honey. Sorry.
    image Josephine is 4.
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    Right now, we're trying to get his weight back up after two stomach flus, so I've been pretty leniant about giving him stuff that I know he'll eat.  It's probably creating a horrible habit though.  ::sigh::
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    imageABMcKinney:
    All of these suggestions sound reasonable :)One problem we do have is that if there is something on his tray that he really likes (like mac n cheese) he will only eat that and not bother with anything else. I don't want to force him to eat anything and I try not to push things on him. I don't want meal time to be stressful for him! (lol.. even though it is for me!) We will be trying an entire different way of introducing foods with Landon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he is not as picky as his brother!

    Joseph eats almost everything, but this is definitely an issue we have sometimes. And it's never a consistent issue. One of his favorite meals is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. But he will have times when he will eat just the meatloaf, or just the green beans, and demand more when they are done. I go with that. I never make a separate meal, though.

     

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    She eats what we eat... when I do make her something I KNOW she will eat, she usually won't eat it.  (ETA - that makes no sense... if i made her something i know she WILL eat after she refused the first meal offered she usually won't eat it anyway...)

    If she doesn't eat what is offered, it cause she isn't hungry (or so I am convinced).  She is well over 30 lbs, so its not like she will starve.. :0

     

    My reasoning is because of DH... if his mom made him something he did not want he would force himself to puke at the table until she made something he liked.  This went on for years.  So... because of that, DH will not try anything new, and basically eats the same 5 meals.  I refuse to have that happen to my child - food is too yummy!

    Rylee - 3.28.08
    Malakai - 8.3.09
    Ezra - 12.1.11 ASD
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    Do those of you that give your kids something else (cheese, applesauce, yogurt, fruit etc) worry that they'll figure out that if they refuse to eat the main meal, they'll get the "good stuff" anyway?

    I do the same as most pp, and end up giving her something like I listed above if she won't eat (which is 75% of the time), but I'm worried that I'm already setting up bad behaviours.

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    imagevioletvirgo:

    she gets what we eat.  if she doesn't eat anything at all (which has never actually happened) then i would probably give her a yogurt and fruit or something, but i will not get into the habit of making an entirely different meal for dd.  i'm fairly confident she won't starve herself. 

    eta: oh and dd is 22lbs (soaking wet) at 18 months.  

     

     

    I do this too, yogurt if she won't eat what I made and then that is it, those YoBaby Meals work because they have a fruit and veggie in them and she likes them.

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    I am totally torn. I don't want to be a short order cook, but my kid is so

    <3rd%ile for weight as it is, and will go without eating if we let him.

    Thankfully he is improving, but slowly.

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    imagemel41g:

    Wow...I can't believe that I'm the hard-azz on this.  If Lucas doesn't eat dinner, he doesn't eat.  We stopped making anything special for him at 18 months.  Some nights he eats great, other nights he just doesn't eat.  And I haven't given him milk before bed in ages.  He has never woken up in the middle of the night hungry, but he is famished for breakfast in the morning.

    Kids won't starve themselves to death.  Its a power struggle.

    Same here, ike gets what i've made for lunch or dinner, nothing special, if he doesn't eat at dinner, then i know he'll eat a bunch for breakfast, and as pp said if he eats all of his rice and hasn't touched anything else, i have no problems giving him more rice, but i'm not going to make a seperate meal or give a treat, i don't want to create the habit of holding out for goldfish.  Holy run on sentence!

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