Not to give my 3.5 yr old a snack?

(77 Posts)
NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:24:48

She is crying and whingeing that she is hungry. She is a nightmare at breakfast time and eats very little. I am sick of it because then I end up giving her a snack at 10 and then she doesn't want lunch at 1140 (has to be then as nursery at 1245). Then she cries she is hungry after school so another snack and then she won't eat tea.

So AIBU not to give her a snack now even tho she ate no bfast and is going to cry for the next hour and 20 mins that she is hungry?

Distracting her isn't working. So if I ABU can someone tell me wtf to do with her for the next while? I have tried arts / reading / telly. Nothing is working!

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 10:27:15

I'd give her a snack now and then a smaller lunch, she is too wee to go right through til lunch without anything and she maybe isn't very hungry when she first gets up.

Nancy66 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:27:39

I'd just give her the snack and enjoy the peace.

SavoyCabbage Tue 13-Nov-12 10:29:19

No I don't think yabu. I would wait 20 minutes, tell her it's lunchtime and give her her lunch. She won't know it's early so she won't have 'won'. Then remind her tomorrow to eat her breakfast so she's not hungry 'like you were yesterday'.

goingupinsmoke Tue 13-Nov-12 10:29:33

snack but just make it light like an apple.

squeakytoy Tue 13-Nov-12 10:29:42

She is a child, she is hungry now, give her something to eat!

I am not hungry immediately on waking, neither are plenty of others.. but a couple of hours later I will be ready for food.

Give her what she would have had for her breakfast.

You sound like you are tying to run her eating to your clock, which is never going to work.

Feed the child. You can't let her cry for food.

Have you tried waiting a while after she wakes to give her breakfast? My DD2 needs about 1/2hour before she thinks about food, if you feed her before she'll just sit and stare at it and won't eat it.

StepfordWannabe Tue 13-Nov-12 10:31:18

3 year olds are grazers - they don't do the whole three main meals in a day. My daughter (3 next month) eats around 5 quite small meals a day - cereal/porridge at 7, fruit/cheese/yoghurt etc at 10, dinner at 12.15, little sandwich/soup etc at 3ish and then a supper at 5.45 ish. Snacks don't have to be junk food - I regard them as a mini meal

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:32:14

Thanks. I usually give her a snack but after one snack she whines for more and more and then she won't eat lunch.

I will hold out and give her lunch in an hour

If she ate some breakfast I wouldn't mind her having a snack but she refuses everything and then expects snacks all morning. I have simply had enough of it. It spoils every morning because there is so much whingeing about food.

I think YABU, its unfair to make her wait. She doesn't understand, she just understands that shes hungry now. Whats wrong with eating little and often? Shes still only little herself

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 10:34:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:38:03

She gets up at 6.30 and we have to leave at 8.30 for the school run for her brother. I have to get her to have bfast by 8.15 to allow for teeth brushing. She won't. I have tried offering her bfast when she gets back from school at 9 but she won't eat it then. She wants it at 10. But because of afternoon nursery she has to have lunch at 11.40. If I let her eat anything at 10 she wants more and cries for more until she gets it. Then she won't eat lunch. Then after nursery she is starving and wants more food then. We have after school activities for her brother so tea isn't until 5 when we get back. I can't give her tea immediately she comes out of school.

I honestly wouldn't mind her having snacks if it meant she ate meals. But she eats snacks instead of meals and I am not having that

It also ruins every day anyway even as it is with all the whining for snacks all day. If she was happy with just snacks then maybe that would be ok. But she just doesn't stop whining and I am frankly sick of it

Should I just give her the snacks then? By snacks I am talking fruit / breadsticks and after school a cereal bar. So not junk.

Mrsjay Tue 13-Nov-12 10:40:24

maybe dont offer her breakfast first thing give her a drink and maybe give her breakfast a little later, I wouldn't be handing out snacks all morning but she is maybe a grazer I had 1 of those she wouldnt eat loads but would eat little and often, tell her to stop whinging though she won't starve offer her some fruit and a drink and say thats her lot til lunchtime,

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:40:49

To those of you who say give her a snack - what about the fact that she then won't eat her meal? And one snack results in continuous whining for more snacks and still wrecks the morning?

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 10:41:42

can you give her a huge snack at 10/1030 like an early lunch?

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 10:41:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Could you give her a breadstick or some fruit before the school run, let her have her breakfast nearer to 10am, and then give her her lunch at your usual time? As others have said, toddlers can be grazers - and as long as she is getting the right amount of food over the course of the day, it doesn't matter if it is spread into several small meals or three larger ones.

Obviously you don't want to be giving her a snack every twenty minutes, but there is a compromise to be had, and if it makes your life a little more peaceful, then I would go for it, and gradually ease towards the three-meals-a-day pattern as she gets older.

Mrsjay Tue 13-Nov-12 10:42:43

I would tell her to shush tbh I wouldn't put up with whinging all day id ignore her she really wont starve is she maybe bored tell her to go and do something then she can have lunch before nursery how long has she been like this OP ?

redskyatnight Tue 13-Nov-12 10:42:52

Why not offer her meal food as snacks? So if she wants something at 10, she can have a cheese sandwich? Or a piece of toast? Then you can give her a yogurt and some fruit before she goes to nursery and she's had her lunch (but spread through the morning).

squeakytoy Tue 13-Nov-12 10:44:42

blimey.. I cant see the issue here.. let her eat at 10 and forget the lunch... it really isnt all that important what time she eats so long as she does eat!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:45:13

She doesn't want anything to eat at all until 10am but that is then too late because of nursery. And on a Monday we have a swimming lesson at 1015 and she flakes half way through it as she is too hungry which is also really annoying. If she would just eat some sodding breakfast then she would get through the lesson. She absolutely loves swimming and swims unaided. But the experience is wrecked because she is too hungry.

On a Monday I give her lunch at 11 when she gets out of the pool. And on a Monday evening she has a flask of dinner while we wait for her brother to do athletics and she eats that at 4.30pm. But there is an hour of whingeing from school pick up until 4.30 about being hungry.

She is at day nursery weds through fri so it is then their problem. I expect she has a small snack mid morning and an early lunch but is distracted so whinges less.

Weekends are not as bad because we can have a later lunch. It is the 1140 lunch that is the problem during the week.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:49:35

She is also a fussy eater. She won't eat sandwiches or anything bread based. She will however eat full cooked meals. So what she eats is healthy but it isn't easy to pack something for her (hence a flask of hot food at athletics).

I think her preference would be for a cooked lunch at 10am! But that can't be done on a Monday and if I give her that at 10 I have the same problem after school

She is flopping in the hallway whining and snivelling. I feel so mean but this has been going on for probably 2 years now and I think I have reached the end of my tether with it

Whilst it is better at weekends it still isn't great. She doesn't actually eat breakfast so we still have whining for food all day. And when we are away on holiday / out for the day it pisses me right off! I am probably a terribly impatient mother but I am sick of it now

Mrsjay Tue 13-Nov-12 10:49:35

id give her breakfast at 10 then maybe something before she goes to nursery then she will have a snack at nursery then maybe have something for when she comes out, offer drinks instead, Tbh she sounds like a winger I had 1 not about food but about juice, she once said she may have to have a lie down because she was SOOOOOOO thirsty , It is hard but try and distract the winging, and be a bit more relaxed about lunch times, you are both stuck int he cycle of i am hungry /wait/ no/ then she wails

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 13-Nov-12 10:53:57

I would give her food when she is hungry. Don't worry too much about her eating at the 'right' time at this age. By the age of 6 or so they fall into proper eating patterns IME and eat a reasonable amount of food in one sitting.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 13-Nov-12 10:58:34

Gosh I remember this; used to drive me nuts as ds would be an utter grump if he didn't have breakfast. I was known to chase him around the kitchen with a spoon of honey grin

Would she just have a biscuit or a little yoghurt as a breakfast, and something more substantial as a 10:00 snack? Or perhaps a sandwich on the school run (ds had cheese sandwiches for breakfast for ages )?

Would she take a breakfast smoothie? Banana honey oat and a point uk of peanut butter or something? Or as suggested a portable breakfast for the journey? X

Why don't you just give her her lunch instead of snacks? If she has no breakfast, a very early lunch, a small snack after nursery, then she could probably manage tea with everyone else.

My DD(nearly 3) has just started to refuse her breakfast. Her dad can't stand food first thing either, whereas I'l likely to start eating the furniture if I don't get breakfast on waking! I just give her a drink to start with, then when she's hungry she'll ask for breakfast. It was 9 before she asked for some fruit today.

In your shoes, I'd probably just give her a drink in the morning. If she's hungry at 10 I'd give her a brunch type thing, cheese, ham, bread, brioche, fruit, yoghurt etc. On a Monday I'd probably try to get her to drink something like full fat hot chocolate, or a smoothie, then have lunch ready when she gets out. I would also give her a small snack after nursery, bread sticks, fruit or cheese, in a box like Raspberrysorbet suggests and tell that's it to last her till tea.

Also, I find that DD gets whingey about being hungry, then picks, when she's actually thirsty. I tell her she can have (whatever the snack is) if she drinks her drink first. If she's thrsty, that's the end of it, if not, I know she's genuinely hungry, and she gets fed.

TwoKidsAndCounting Tue 13-Nov-12 11:01:10

I'm in agreement with you NoNo, let her wait, block the whining out, giving her what she wants will make her fussy and spoilt! Whenever my children have a late snack and early lunch, which results in lunch not being eaten I accept it as being mostly my fault for giving them a late snack. Fruit is a great snack, grapes and blueberries etc as they are digested within an hour so they will always eat lunch. Don't give in to her demands, she does absolutely understand what's happening, it's sounds like alot of parents on here underestimate their pre-schoolers!

ewaczarlie Tue 13-Nov-12 11:02:38

cant you give her lunch now and then a snack before nursery? and the same when she comes home (dinner and then a snack later)?

valiumredhead Tue 13-Nov-12 11:02:54

Give her a tiny breakfast, small snack if she needs on and then a late lunch. Some kids need to graze rather than have big meals.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 11:04:27

it's not spoiling your child to geed them when they are hungry!

CSIJanner Tue 13-Nov-12 11:06:02

It's been going on for 2 years!? She's used to you giving in and now her digestive system is used to to food at those times. I think you should retrain for want of a better word. you have two choices:

1 - refuse to give her a snack and make her wait and hour for lunch, then remind her the next day that she needs to eat breakfast as she as so hungry the day before

2 - give her a small fruit snack now to bide her over and refuse to give her more. Or a cup of warm milk so that she's not too over fed for lunch.

If you haven't given in yet, then give her lunch soon. Hope it all settles down for you.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:06:55

She is actually 4 at the end of feb so is 3.9. Can't help thinking her brother started school at 4.2 and her eating is so far off at the moment! I know she would get through the school day because she would have no choice. But I just want to cut the whinge cycle.

She is now in bed sucking her thumb because she is tired. She probably is tired as has spent so much energy whingeing all morning

The solution, I don't think, is not to give her lunch at 10 because that screws up family eating at the weekends and during the holiday. Her brother is fab and eats regular meals and never asks for snacks. She, on the other hand, would graze on stuff all day. But it isn't like I can give her sandwiches to eat as she won't eat anything bread based or any cold protein. So chicken is fine but must be hot. Likewise sausages.

I feel like I am brewing a child with disordered eating here. She is fussy to the point of being controlling with it.

She has plenty of latitude in choices she makes. She has options (not too many ti be confusing but sufficient) and I am careful to allow her to choose her own activities / clothes etc. but this eating thing is starting to ruin family life and I won't tolerate that.

I still don't know what to do. I don't think giving her a meal at 10 is the answer because to be honest there is only one day a week (tues) where this is an option.

Anyway only 30 mins to go till this awful morning wait is over. I have hated every second of it.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:09:44

It may not be spoiling her to feed her when she is hungry, fanjo, but giving her a snack doesn't stem the whinge flow. If a snack satisfied her and tided her over till lunch I wouldn't quibble. But it doesn't. It sets off a whole new wave of whingeing. Which I have now had an absolute bellyful of (hahaha).

FreudiansSlipper Tue 13-Nov-12 11:10:09

she is hungry give her something to eat. At this age they at growing so rapidly and have a tinyntummy most children will eat little and often and should be when they want to not when it fits in with routine. Ds is in reception they have snacks morning and in the afternoon along with a hot lunch I doubt snacks are not given to those who have not eaten their lunch

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 11:11:17

My DD is actually the same and she is I can identify with the being sick of the whinging, surprisingly..however I accept it as she has a very fast metabolism and needs to fuel up little and often.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:11:28

valium - can't do small breakfast, snack, then late lunch because nursery starts at 1245.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:13:01

freudian - the difference at school is that snack is just a piece of fruit or similar. Which is fab. No problems at all with that. DD would eat the fruit then whinge, cry, tantrum for more. All morning. Clearly at school that won't happen. I don't seem to be able to stop DD from doing it though. Even if we go out for the morning she cries constantly for snacks.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:15:50

fanjo - how do you cope with the fact that the whingeing goes on all day because she never eats a proper meal? Because DD won't eat sandwiches, wraps, cheese, pasta salad etc I am restricted in what I can give her as snacks to crackers, rice cakes, breadsticks, fruit, veg and sodding pepperami. Oh and yogurts. She eats very little protein as she won't eat anything cold. Not even eggs which she loves hot. And I think that is part of the problem for her. The only thing she will eat on a cracker is peanut butter which isn't the best thing when you are out and about and is a no no in settings with other kids (eg after swimming in the soft play etc)

I'm of the "don't give in" school of thought. I also like the idea of making her wait for her lunch but giving it a bit earlier than usual today, a piece of fruit after nursery and then tea with the rest of the family. Every day you can move lunch until it is at a time that fits in with what you have to do. It's relatively easy to fit around one chil dbut when you have more than one you have to go with what works for teh whole family and not just one of them. Is there anything that she would eat for breakfast, mine are a bit older now but I can guarantee that an offer of a bacon sandwich will get a very different response to a bowl of weetabix! grin. How about the mini boxes of kellogs cereal?

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 13-Nov-12 11:22:37

I don't really because my DD also eats meals, however it is still difficult as she has severe allergies and is also a bit fussy.

homeaway Tue 13-Nov-12 11:23:07

Everybody is different and that goes for children, some need small meals often and others can go for longer. A child will eat when they are hungry there is no point imo in creating a battle ground and making your lives miserable . My dd would never eat breakfast but would have a glass a warm milk. If she is asking for food then offer a healthy snack, fruit , yoghurt, dried raisins, rice cakes. It only becomes a problem if you are offering her unhealthy things at snack times. Abroad the kids have breakfast early to be in school or creche by 8 , they have a snack at 10 or 11 and have lunch at 11.45, so it can be done. When i used to pick my ds up from school i had to have a snack for him at 4.30 even though tea would be at 5.30 he could not last that long without being hungry. I would create a nice time for both of you tomorrow when you get back from the school run, both sit down and have a snack and a drink and ask her to help you prepare lunch.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 11:27:11

Yabu....just give her a breakfast type snack. She's only small.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:31:16

Thanks for your comments

She won't eat breakfast cereal. Well not more than a few spoonfuls anyway

I am now cooking her salmon, pasta, home made veggie sauce and peas and sweet corn. She had better bloody well eat it after 90 mins of crying!!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:32:39

Oh and no to bacon sandwiches because she won't eat bread.

The only thing she will eat for breakfast are those crunch corner yogurts with chocolate balls / hoops.

She would eat eggs, beans and bacon occasionally. At about 1030!!

EscapeInTheCity Tue 13-Nov-12 11:33:49

What does she have for bk'fast? Have you tried to see if she would eat something else?

I think it's hard if she is genuinely not hungry in the morning. Ask any adult who can't stomach anything at all at 7.00am. You won't be able to 'force' her to eat if she really isn't feeling hungry.
Attractive foods might 'push' her in the right direction.

How much is she eating ion the evening too? Perhaps a lighter evening meal would also mean being more ready for food in the am?

Sounds like a nice lunch OP, can I join you?

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 11:34:42

It's annoying I know but I would go with her tbh and let her eat later. I know they have to get used to eating earlier when school begins but cross that bridge later.

My DD is 4 and a half and was the same as yours...she's just got into the habit of eating a little before school. Not much but something. It's fine imo to eat her breakfast at 10.30.

R u sure she's whining cos she's hungry or is she whining for sake of whining. 3 going in four is the wielrst time ever for this they just whinge about anything and everything. She's not gonna waste away cos u made her wait and with nursery and school in a year u really need to stop the cycle. Do u offer alternatives of she makes a fuss? Or do u present her with a meal and she eats it or goes without? I think I'd just make her wait till lunch time and just not focus on it cos sounds like food is her way of controlling things.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 13-Nov-12 11:37:03

yes but she is 3 ds is 5 and as soon as I pick him up he is hungry if he went to after school club he would be eating sandwiches and fruit

at his nursery they had breakfast, snacks of fruit and rice cakes, lunch with fruit then another small meal like soup and sandwiches so for the children that needed food little and often they had enough and also suited the children that are suited to 3 meals a day

I know nothing is more irrational that a child whining I winge when I am hungry just accept she will not always fit in with routine and relax a little the most important thing is that she is eating enough food

Marzipanface Tue 13-Nov-12 11:37:08

Give her a piece of fruit and a large drink to keep her going. Is she confusing thirst with hunger? A glass milk might do it.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:39:14

The only thing she will sometimes agree to eat for bfast is one of those crunch corner yogs. And if I don't have any left - meltdown.

When we go away it is a nightmare as people don't routinely have them in and you can't get them in travel lodges etc! And they don't keep for camping!

If this wasn't having a knock on effect on the rest of the day and on the rest of the family, I would be happy shifting all the meals to the right. But it isn't just about a later breakfast. It is the whole day which is wrecked by her whining for snacks and I am assuming this is partly due to no breakfast (and partly also learned behaviour which is harder to break)

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:41:54

wheresmycaffeine - no. No alternatives if she makes a fuss. But then I know what she is likely to eat. Eg no point giving her a sandwich. But for lunch now - she eats it or she doesn't. And nothing for pudding if she doesn't.

Her mood and behaviour isn't going to be helped by erratic fussy eating. I don't think u can solve this without being pretty hardcore and having alot of whining. Question is though is it the fussiness causing her not to eat or the fact that she's not eating and u being so desperate for her too that u r giving in and giving her carte Blanche to be fussy? X

X posts sorry. I think u may just have to be firm and consistent. Have u taken her to drs at all to rule out Anything such as sensitivities or an aversion to certain textures etc? X

FreudiansSlipper Tue 13-Nov-12 11:50:16

More irritating not irrational

ds does not like cereal he does like ready brek that he mixes with a petit filous. He had oatcakes with butter and a little honey for breakfast today with a glass of warm milk prefer him to have ready brek but he would not eat it

squeakytoy Tue 13-Nov-12 11:53:37

I think the fussiness is the bigger issue. I would insist that she eat toast with her favourite topping perhaps. Unless she has allergies to bread then the carbs are what she needs.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 12:09:12

Well she is happily eating her salmon meal. And chuckling and generally being delightful. And bossing the kittens around grin

I don't think there are any issues with her development / behaviour around textures etc. She will occasionally try bread / wraps etc. she just doesn't like them. Also doesn't really like cake. Prefers crispy / crunchy things (as do I if we are going to be honest!)

She will also eat cereal before bed so I think morning refusal is to do with not being hungry. Which is fine. So a snack of some cereal or fruit at 10 would be great. If the whingeing tide didn't ensue

I do think it is something which I need to crack from the perspective of learned behaviour.

Thanks for all your comments this morning. Has given me something to distract myself with while I ride out the whingeing.

She hasn't actually eaten all that much in the end. Some of all of it but not loads. So just how hungry was she?!?!

Just being a typical kid and whining grin

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:39

And now she is off to nursery with one shoe and one trainer. Her choice grin

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 12:28:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PoisonMountain Tue 13-Nov-12 12:29:23

I don't give my nearly 3 year old snacks unless we're at Playgroup and then I give him a much smaller lunch because I know he'll want snacks when the other children do. He has breakfast at 730, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6-630.

I would also say wait for lunch and maybe bring lunchtime forwards a bit. If she only eats hot food could you give her scrambled eggs/toast or porridge for breakfast? Or cereal with warm milk, I used to love that in the winter.

midseasonsale Tue 13-Nov-12 12:30:12

give her breakfast at 7 or when ever. give her lunch at 10 or as soon as she says she is hungry.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 13-Nov-12 12:35:32

I don't have children but it seems that she sees you giving her the snack as having given in and then thinks that she has got her own way, so demands more. Because she has more snacks so close to meals she then won't eat them, because she obviously isn't hungry.

If it was me, and I appreciate I have little experience, I would give her some warm milk first thing in the morning, then give her a small snack at 10am ish. Then be strong and just ignore ignore ignore the whinging until lunch time. With the warm drink and the snack at 10am, she certainly isn't going to starve and should have enough energy. She should then be hungry enough to eat lunch. Similarly, if she is hungry in the afternoon give her a piece of fruit and a drink but nothing else. That way you are ensuring she isn't going hungry, but not giving her so much as to spoil her appetite for tea. I think the only way to break the cycle is ignore the whinging.

The exception should probably be before and after she goes swimming. She needs to have a larger snack before swimming and one straight after. I used to do a lot of swimming as a child and had to have something to eat when I came out, otherwise I felt quite ill. I am still the same now and I believe most swimmers are.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 14:03:22

raspberrysorbet - last winter I asked DD to choose a hat and scarf before we went out. She came to the door with a witch's hat and a feather boa for the walk to nursery. She had - of course - done precisely what I had asked her to do. In her own way

That is the kind of child she is. Wilful, stubborn, quirky and utterly delightful - at times. The school run mums love her get-ups and always look forward to her combinations.

The milk suggestion is one I could try. She stopped having milk about a year ago when I refused to put it in a sippy cup. She was drinking a whole cup of it and not eating bfast so I thought if I offered milk in a mug and she drank less she might eat more. All that happened was she wouldn't drink the milk, or eat...

I actually suspect she may have a milk intolerance. She is snotty and chesty and she is also blonde and blue-eyed and pale skinned which I think makes her more likely to be intolerant to milk. I may try her with non-dairy milk (I am intolerant so drink soya) but I don't think she will have that. She won't drink flavoured milks or hot chocolate. She doesn't like chocolate flavoured things!!

She isn't starving of course. She is tall and slender. She has plenty of energy although hates walking (which I also make her do - cruel mum!). So I am sure she is getting plenty of energy from what she eats. I am not worried about whether she eats or not - as long as she doesn't bloody well whinge all day long!

StuntGirl Tue 13-Nov-12 15:49:03

She sounds just like a typical toddler tbh, whiny and annoying for no apparent reason!! I hope you can solve this though, constant whining would do my nut in!

avivabeaver Tue 13-Nov-12 15:57:14

2 years? its been going on 2 years?

stop differentiating between breakfast, lunch and snacks.

give her a substantial snack at 10 or whatever and one again when you get in. call the snack lunch or dinner as you see fit.

when she gets to school she will just adjust

Mrsjay Tue 13-Nov-12 16:48:53

t's not spoiling your child to geed them when they are hungry!

but by the sounds of it she is always saying she is hungry and winging her mum cant keep feeding her all day

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 19:57:38

aviva - would probably work if she was an only child. But she's not and I have to work around family life. That solution doesn't fit when I have other people in the family to feed. I don't want to be doling out snacks all day but I also don't want to be preparing 5 or 6 separate meals. All that washing up!! (No dishwasher!)

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 13-Nov-12 20:07:33

Does she often have cereal before bed?

I'd give her whatever little thing she'd eat for breakfast, if anything, and then move lunch a little earlier, rather than give a snack. You can always move it back a but later on.

If you do give a snack just give her some raisins or something v small. I don't believe in snacks though.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 20:12:35

No she has probably had cereal before bed about 3 times in the last year! She had some last night but it was really more of a second pudding after her tea (which she has eaten while we were at athletics)

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 13-Nov-12 20:48:52

Was only asking smile

RainbowSpiral Tue 13-Nov-12 21:15:47

I'd say don't worry too much about it all. Just make sure she is eating enough in total in a day and then define the meals a bit later. My very fussy 4 year old is now a 9 year old who is wolfing down three large meals a day but doesn't take a snack to school this year as it "interferes with playtime"!

I worried too much about his eating earlier, it wasn't worth it.

DayShiftDoris Tue 13-Nov-12 23:24:00

Have you tried:

8am - Breakfast
10am - Snack
12pm - Lunch
2.30pm- Snack
4.30pm - Tea

Have it on the wall on a chart what she is having and when. If she chooses to not eat part of it then take it away without comment. When she whinges for food send her to her food timetable to check when she is having food again - show her on the clock... this will remove the conflict from YOU to a chart as its not you saying no but a chart saying when it will happen.
Introduce the chart in a positive way - its a timetable not a reward chart
(Cant you tell I have a child on the autistic spectrum!!! That said I am not suggesting anything only that the techniques often work on NT children very, very well!)

She might well want to do all these different patterns to the rest of the house but I am guessing she is at school in September and unfortunately there will be no such leeway there. Infact if you regularly send her to school with her having had no breakfast then you are going to have issues, nevermind her not coping with the morning lessons.

I think you need to tackle it tho the whinging might get worse before better

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 13-Nov-12 23:45:45

Oh OP I have much sympathy for you.

I have a DD with a similar personality and she can be a real pain about not eating meals, although not as extreme as yours sounds.

I make a distinction between not eating meals (her choice, I can't force her to eat but neither will I increase snacks if she doesn't eat) and the constant whingeing.

I don't tolerate the whingeing and come down really hard if she tries this.

disparatefishwife Wed 14-Nov-12 07:45:50

She needs to keep her blood sugar levels, we all need to eat little and often. It's not her fault that nursery clashes with lunchtime,, can you be more flexible on nursery days?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Wed 14-Nov-12 08:11:22

The timetable is a good idea. I suspect she wouldn't respect it tho but it is worth a try

However this morning I dragged her out of bed (disturbed night. I think she is having a bit of a tough time developmentally at the moment which may explain the whingeing) and the first thing she said was 'I am going to have 20 breakfasts this morning'. grin

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