AIBU to stop giving my toddler proper lunch?

(34 Posts)
lola88 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:01:14

He doesn't eat it anyway no matter what I give him it ends up in the bin, he eats his breakfast and dinner fine but has no interest in lunch.

Today I've given him a bit of my sandwich a yogurt and some bits of chicken tikka ( because it can go back in the fridge) and some dunkers which he's ate a good bit off. Is it ok to just give him bits of mine and a snack instead of proper lunch? I've been told he will never eat lunch if I don't make him I'm making the famous rod for my own back by pandering to it but I can't afford to be throwing food away every day.

Just to give you an idea usually get would get sandwich or soup or an egg, but I've tried everything from breakfast food to dinner food and he's just not bothered. It also doesn't matter if we are at home our out or any other things like tv being on or off he still doesn't bother

lola88 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:02:03

he's 16mo btw

Sunny20 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:05:48

Have you tried giving him a picnic lunch? My daughter much prefers little bits of everything for example she may have a quarter of a sandwich with chopped up fruit a small yoghurt, cheese cubes, carrot sticks, sometimes a few crisps something along them lines. I find she eats this a lot more than if I gave her a big meal at lunch time.

wigglesrock Tue 18-Jun-13 13:08:30

Mine is 2 but from about 17 months or so she's had a bit of cheese, chicken or tuna, some fruit, tomatoes.

She's never been keen on hot lunches so she's just always had a bit of this, a bit of that.

I used to be really stressed about it, but it's just what she likes. I couldn't eat a hot/proper meal for lunch.

My son is 3 and lives off picnic lunches.

Cold pasta, coleslaw, cheese chunks, cucumber slices, slice of ham and some carrot sticks.

He will eat this. He isn't one for warm dinners.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 18-Jun-13 13:09:31

A bit of sandwich, some chicken, a yogurt and some dunkers? That is a lunch. If the sandwich had some tomato or you substituted a banana in for the dunkers I'd even say it sounds well balanced. If you prefer to give your DS a bit of your lunch at this age I think that's fine. I used to give my two a single slice of bread with a small amount of the filling and then offer more if they ate it all. Then they'd have fruit or yogurt afterwards. There's no point in wasting food.

nextphase Tue 18-Jun-13 13:09:45

Yep - what abut having a "shared platter" which you can both dig into, rather than him getting yours - same idea, different pyscology!

My 2 also adore picnics and snack plates as a quick meal.

Sounds like your doing great, and hes just not hungry at lunch time.

Ray81 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:11:08

Perhaps it's the age, my DS1 will not eat lunch either he's also 16months, I've also found that he prefers proper 'meals' ifkwim. So I just give him snacks of fruit and yogurt in the afternoon and sometimes a biscuit.
Although he also a pain because he likes to nap between 12-2 so difficult to get lunch into him at lunch time.

LST Tue 18-Jun-13 13:11:19

That's all we have ever given our ds at lunch. He's 19mo. I think he's having an omelette now (I'm faffing upstairs dp is feeding him) but I only ever give him sarnies or toast and pasta shapes etc at lunch. He always has a big tea.

B52s Tue 18-Jun-13 13:11:45

Sometimes they're just not hungry. I have a grazer and I provide 'lunch food' over a period, in packets, small bowls, just hand bits to him when I can. It's not so much about getting a 'meal' into them, more of getting something into them. Sometimes he doesn't eat any lunch at all, but will eat more at dinnertime. HTH

squeakytoy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:12:08

sounds like he is just not that hungry.. once he is running around more, then he is going to eat more

UC Tue 18-Jun-13 13:21:14

YANBU. You are being sensible.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 13:23:33

I bought a segmented plate so we always use that for a picky lunch

lola88 Tue 18-Jun-13 13:24:52

He's full of energy always running around and big for his age so I do think he's just not hungry, I've been thinking of just doing snacky bits and bobs lunches for a while things that can go back in the fridge/cupboard if not eaten but have been put off by the rod for your own back mob.

My experience with toddlers is limited to my niece who always ate 'proper' lunches and friends kids who always seem to sit up and eat a full meal while I struggle with DS to get him to eat a little bit.

ReindeerBollocks Tue 18-Jun-13 13:26:50

DD used to have proper lunches quite late in the afternoon normally around 2 ish. Nursery really messed this up and she isn't keen on lunch anymore. She grazes though and I just provide fruit and small snacks throughout the morning to keep her going.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 13:35:14

My Lo had a lunch of pitta strips, avocado, hummus, cucumber and strawberries, if tats not 'proper food' I don't know what is, why does it have to be hot? Ignore them YANB

JudithOfThePiece Tue 18-Jun-13 13:36:32

I don't see why soup or an egg is a good and 'proper' lunch, but some sandwich and piece of chicken is not. It all seems fine to me. My DD (2yo) has a sandwich most days, yesterday we both had beans on toast. Often, she has two smaller snacky te lunches either side of her nap.

Once your DC is at school, they will eat lunch at lunch time. It will either be a packed lunch or a hot meal. If they don't eat that, they will go hungry but chances are, with everyone eating around them, they will eat something. DS (5yo) will eat either option reasonably well and he's never been a very enthusiastic eater.

I think you sound like you are doing a grand job and I see no evidence of any rods. smile

MiaowTheCat Tue 18-Jun-13 13:48:29

My 14 month old firmly subscribes to the view that everything tastes better nicked off mum's plate.

JudithOfThePiece Tue 18-Jun-13 13:54:59

Miaow - that must be the same theoretical position that proves chips taken from someone else's plate have no calories grin

As somebody else said, some toddlers are just grazers. My 2.7yo charge still is. I give her a lunchbox with a sandwich, different fruit/nuts/seeds/dried fruit, cucumber, biscuit, hummus etc at 11:30ish, she eats a decent amount of everything then and for the next hour will graze on the rest of it and eat a banana too. They get into the routine of set meals later.

I have noticed that those who go to nursery seem to be more used to set meal times though, probably because they don't really get to graze at nursery dread to think of how manic a room of toddlers grazing would be grin

Emsmaman Tue 18-Jun-13 16:17:35

I only go for finger foods for DD, apart from the odd scrambled egg or pasta. Her fave food one day will be ignored the next, so I find best to give an assortment of foods covering most food groups, then see what she finishes off and asks for more of. No point wasting time/energy/food cooking a hot meal that is going to go to waste. (BTW she eats magnificently at nursery but that's another matter.)

My theory, and I have a fantastic eater at 2.6, is that they eat what they need in terms of volume. DD will sometimes eat like a horse, sometimes pick. She is active, happy and the food she eats is balanced so the amounts don't matter. Just make sure that what they eat is good food and they will regulate themselves. DD snacks on fruit and veg so the proper meals at breakfast and lunch tend to be more protein/starch.

wonderingsoul Tue 18-Jun-13 17:02:27

ds2 used to be really bad at eating, essp at that age. id be lucky to get one meal into him.

random question does he have a nap before lunch when he has milk.. or does he drink alot of milk during the day?

ds2 was filling up on milk..so wouldnt eat..which meant id give give him milk.. it was a horid circle with out me even realizing how much milk he had had.

even if thats not the case, doing what you do is perfectly fine, your not spoiling him or making a rod fo ryour own back by letting him have some of yours or just putting little bits out for him.

ds1 and 2 are good eaters now, but they prefer to eat little but offten, some days they will eat and eat and eat and eat others.. they barely have a proper meal.

Flobbadobs Tue 18-Jun-13 17:02:54

Another one here, breakfast, cold lunch Dinner and light supper. She's 16 months smile
An egg with soldiers is an excellent luch btw (and one which may be served tomorrow)

spiderlight Tue 18-Jun-13 17:05:48

When mine was a toddler, I discovered, by a long long long process of elimination, that the only lunch worth offering him was 'crackers and cheese and tomatoes and olives'. And it had to be given its full title, in the correct order: offer him 'crackers and cheese and olives and tomatoes' and the world would end!

chezchaos Tue 18-Jun-13 17:12:25

My toddler has days when he has little interest in lunch. I tend to make him a smoothie with banana, yoghurt, oats, juice, and frozen berries, which he will always devour. Incidentally he has seconds and thirds of every nursery lunch

mrsjay Tue 18-Jun-13 17:22:15

My dds used to eat bits and bobs of things dd1 was a terrible eater so if give her what I knew she would eat sometimes dunker or a bit of toast with some cold meat and some fruit just feed him what you know he will pick at

wamabama Tue 18-Jun-13 17:34:17

Mine always have cold lunches. Sandwiches, breadsticks, hummus, fruit, cucumber, carrot sticks, rice cakes, falafels, cold pasta, avocado, celery, yogurt (not all same day obviously!) etc.

I think it works best for lunch because it's right in the middle of the day when they're just wanting to go, go, go and have fun, not sit and spoon in a hot meal. Whereas breakfast and dinner they're more relaxed and up for sitting calmly to eat a warm meal smile method in the madness!

RobotElephant Tue 18-Jun-13 17:36:46

First rule of parenting: ignore anybody that uses the phrase 'rod for your own back'. (and quite often do the opposite of what they suggest)

bigkidsdidit Tue 18-Jun-13 17:41:56

I do the opposite, big hot lunch and picky dinner. DS had cheese, ham, cucumber, strawberries and bread and butter tonight. I really think it's a rare toddler who eats two good hot meals a day. Ime, anyway smile

mrsjay Tue 18-Jun-13 17:53:03

I think whatever works tbh I used to be really strict and loony about eating and trying to force dd to eat it really imo causes more hassle than it is worth that is when I chanced when she was about 2 and gave her a bit of this or that for lunch and just did the same with dd2 if it works it works

lola88 Tue 18-Jun-13 19:51:04

Thanks I feel so much better now. DS is very big for his age so I get a lot of people saying 'he must eat you out of house and home' followed swiftly by 'gosh he hasn't eaten much' when they see how little he eats everyone (including me at times) expects him to eat well because he's big and quite far forward I have to remind everyone that he's still a baby not the 2 year old he looks like.

I can't remember who asked sorry but he is a milk monster and has a nap about 10/11 with a bottle to go to sleep bad mummy he also has a bed time and morning bottle i'm trying to cut down on the amount of milk in the morning and nap time bottles he won't take a dummy so his bobo is he's comfort he has maybe 20oz a day 9 of those at bedtime

rainbowfeet Tue 18-Jun-13 20:00:36

My 16 month old is the same, so I usually give him bits & bobs at lunch time... Don't want to hijack but can I ask ... smile Similar age how many bottles of milk do you offer?!
Mine has bottle couple of hours after his breakfast (then naps) then lunch & a couple of hours later I offer another bottle then dinner & dessert & then bedtime bottle. (He doesn't always drink them all) I recently tried cutting out afternoon bottle to see if he'd eat more dinner but didn't make any difference!
I do sometimes worry he doesn't eat enough, he is bang on 50th centile but only put on 2lb in 5 months, (don't get to clinic that often) going this week to see if he has gained!

lola88 Tue 18-Jun-13 20:11:54

DS has 3 bottles usually about 7am 11am and 7pm but some days can have 4 some days, I know I should cut out the day time bottle but it's the only thing that sends him to sleep and TBH I don't have the patience to spend 2 hours trying to get him to sleep for 30 mins.

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