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To not feed DS dinner until he's properly ravenous and sometimes a bit weepy?

(141 Posts)
HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:28:27

DS is 22 months and on around the 9th centile. Eats like a bird. Few mouthfuls of cereal for breakfast, cup of milk and fruit mid morning. Lunch is non existent at the mo, today he licked some cream cheese from an oatcake and had half an Ella's fruit pouch. Then a biscuit mid afternoon sometimes. I've pushed his dinner back to 530 from 445 ish and by the time I come to serve it he is RAVENOUS. He was roaring at me today "DINNER!" And crying with hunger whilst I was making it. He eats so much more though, today he did two scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a yoghurt. He has milk before bed.

I feel a bit shit that my tiny toddler is crying with hunger by dinner time but it seems unless he is starving to the point of tears he doesn't bloody eat anything! At least this way he does eat. AIBU? And if I am, how should I jiggle meal times to try and make sure he eats?

PractialJoke Tue 24-Sep-13 18:31:29

One of mine just didn't do lunch at that age, but always ate well at tea. Do you actually need to leave him, if he's crying for find wouldn't he eat well a bit earlier?

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:34:45

Maybe, it's hit and miss though. If I leave it til 530 and the inevitable hunger meltdown, I know he will definitely eat.

guiltyconscience Tue 24-Sep-13 18:35:07

Are you deliberately trying to get us all steamed up here op . Seems to me yadbu and cruel to boot.

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:37:17

Def not doing it to be cruel... I worry endlessly about his weight and food intake. I should say its only for a couple of minutes at most, I can tell he's hungry for about 15 20 minutes before hand cos he starts to play up, but the meltdown only happens as he sees dinner about to come to the table.

hardboiledpossum Tue 24-Sep-13 18:38:01

What centile is he for height?

PoppyAmex Tue 24-Sep-13 18:38:38

Doesn't sound cruel to me - IME doesn't take much to make a toddler cry and a delay of 2 ms would probably be enough to cause a meltdown anyway.

At least he's getting some nutrients at dinner.

I'd do the same OP if DD wasn't a human hoover

Crowler Tue 24-Sep-13 18:38:39

YANBU. (mean mom)

BarbarianMum Tue 24-Sep-13 18:39:27

I think there is a fine line b/w making sure they are hungry and want to eat and pushing it too far. I think what you did today was 'too far'.

Ds1 was also on the 9th percentile b/w age 1 and 4 and I totally get where you are coming from. He hardly seemed to eat anything.

BUT if your child is generally healthy and energetic and growing then they are getting enough to eat regardless of the percentile they are on. No matter how little it looks to you.

^^Took me years to realise that. Years of wasted worry and fussing and bulking up the carbs and coaxing a few more mouthfuls down. Now I look back and think 'why?'

Ds1's appetite finally picked up around age 4 but he is still thin as a whippet and quite short. And as healthy and active as ever.

Honestly, if he's healthy and active and grows just offer him a healthy range of foods and let him eat what he needs. And don't worry about it.

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:39:44

I not sure, they couldn't do his height last time as he was wriggling too much and it's only a matter of a centimetre to take you to the next centile so they couldn't say with confidence... At his last full check at 13 mo he was 2nd for weight and 12th for height. He's just coming into some 12-18 month trousers so def not tall.

CaptainSweatPants Tue 24-Sep-13 18:39:53


Let him eat when he's hungry

Why don't you just eat when your starving & see how you like it hmm

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 24-Sep-13 18:40:15

When you say he's on the 9th centile is that how he's always been? Tbh I think they are a load of bollocks and result in nothing more than torturing the poor kid like it sounds like your doing now, and forcing them to eat more than they want. Leave him be and let him regulate his own food. Binge eating when you are starving is nothing but forming bad habits

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 24-Sep-13 18:41:10

They will not starve themselves , making an issue out of ot WILL lead to huge problems!!!

PoppyAmex Tue 24-Sep-13 18:41:14

And may I add, I find the current obsession with constantly snacking and feeding children really odd - it's no wonder so many children grown up struggling to healthy identify the feeling of "hunger".

In France and Southern Europe people don't snack at every opportunity (especially children) and I think it's healthier.

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Tue 24-Sep-13 18:41:54

I don't think you are being cruel, sometimes we just have to try different ways and like you say he isn't crying for long.

I'm sure you have tried this but can you leave bits out so he can pick at them all day? My youngest doesn't have much breakfast, ok at lunchtime but at tea time you'd think I never fed the child with the amount he eats grin

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:42:20

He's def had a bit of a growth spurt in the last couple of weeks but prior to that was still in the same trousers as he was at 11 months... I do try and be relaxed about food, I offer a range etc but in my mind a few minutes of crying and 20 minutes of being hungry and then eating a good dinner is worth it? If the alternative is not really eating anything.

Tailtwister Tue 24-Sep-13 18:42:53

IME it's a fine line. Both my boys were on the 9th centile, although one ate much more than the other.

Both mine had very variable appetites at that age and were more snackers than regular main meal eaters. I just offered a healthy variety of food and let them get on with it. I don't think what you're doing is cruel btw, but what about trying him around 5 or 5.15 and seeing if you avoid a meltdown that way.

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:44:13

He was born on 50th for weight and 75th for height. So that's also been a worry.

BuskersCat Tue 24-Sep-13 18:44:22

he is not going to starve to death in an hour, make him wait.

Nandocushion Tue 24-Sep-13 18:44:42

YANBU. He'll try more foods that way too. I eat much better when I wait until I'm very hungry as well.

hardboiledpossum Tue 24-Sep-13 18:45:12

So he is short and probably the perfect weight for his height. Stop stressing yourself and him out. Let him eat when he want to, he won't starve himself.

HarderToKidnap Tue 24-Sep-13 18:46:08

He doesn't want to eat unless he is totally ravenous though.

hettienne Tue 24-Sep-13 18:47:08

5.30 is not that late and I don't think it is a problem to be hungry. DS has always had to wait til our dinner time, I don't give him a snack 20 minutes before hand because he is hungry.

Viviennemary Tue 24-Sep-13 18:48:08

I certainly don't think it's right+ to withold food until a chil is ravenous and weepy. You yourself should know this. If you don't then it raises a lot of other questions.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 24-Sep-13 18:50:15

The actual portions that toddlers need are tiny. Many over feed their kids because it looks so mean. But really they don't need that much.

Go by your child not the chart. And don't let him fill up on milk and juice stick to water.

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