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To think a 3 year old should be able to feed herself?

(55 Posts)
timegate Mon 25-Jul-16 20:44:59

DD (3 year old) won't eat herself. She constantly needs cajoling, bribing and someone needs to sit and feed her. I'm fed up. AIBU to think a 3 year old should be able to feed herself dinner?

Kerberos Mon 25-Jul-16 20:48:16

What happens if you don't?

FruitCider Mon 25-Jul-16 20:49:27

Has she ever fed herself?

I've never fed my 3.5yo dd, apart from yoghurts. She is a messy eater but very capable of feeding herself!

ChampagneTastes Mon 25-Jul-16 20:50:19

Leave her to it.

CakeNinja Mon 25-Jul-16 20:50:58

Hmm. Does she end up eating well if you feed her?
I don't know really.
By 3, my 3 could all feed themselves using a fork/spoon/fingers, and at 4, I think if Ds needs feeding by us then he's probably not hungry.
But every child is different.
Do you eat meals with her or is she eating on her own? Maybe she wants the company if she's eating alone?

Sooverthis Mon 25-Jul-16 20:51:14

yanbu but ........ I fed my slow eater til she was about eight or nine. In fact I fed her til someone's mum said why on earth are you still feeding that child, I think it had become habit and my friends and I had just stopped noticing it. 3 is still a baby though

MummaGiles Mon 25-Jul-16 20:51:39

YANBU. My 18 month old will feed himself and has been able to for quite a few months. He picked it up at nursery. He will sometimes give the spoon to us if he is tired or being a bit lazy but generally he will do it himself because we are too slow and he wants to shovel it in like a greedy sod.

Noonesfool Mon 25-Jul-16 20:52:05

I imagine she would, assuming she physically can, if you stopped cajoling and bribing.
Eat dinner with her, the bin the remains after a reasonable amount of time. Give fruit and yogurt for pudding, don't make that dependant on eating dinner.

She'll eat if she's hungry.

BusStopBetty Mon 25-Jul-16 20:53:00

Barring special needs, yes she should be able to feed herself. Stop feeding her. She will make a fuss, but she won't starve.

doing Mon 25-Jul-16 20:54:47

Stop feeding her. She's playing you.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 25-Jul-16 20:54:58

Presumably she feeds herself at present school?

Think she is playing you think

HandWash Mon 25-Jul-16 20:55:12

Unless she had SN she can most definitely feed herself. Just plonk the food infront of her and let her get in with it.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 25-Jul-16 20:55:18


Bloody autocorrect

CMOTDibbler Mon 25-Jul-16 20:58:58

As long as she's NT, then 3 is waaaay too old to be fed imo. In fact I would be hmm about an NT 2 year old being fed

timegate Mon 25-Jul-16 20:59:32

If it's something she really really likes then she'll happily eat it herself (probably about 5 things in total). She can definitely on her own, she's better with a fork that I am (with spaghetti).

Everything else she'll just leave and won't eat, unless we sit and feed her mouth by mouth, takes about 30 min. If we leave her to it, she won't eat it. She'll either ask for a snack before bed or just wake up really early in the morning to have a big breakfast.

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Mon 25-Jul-16 21:01:50

My just 4yo dd is such a slow eater, particularly in the evenings when she is tired, that I occasionally help by loading her fork or spoon and trying to chivvy her along a bit. IMO 3 is still a baby, some help is OK, as long as you're also ensuring she practises the skills to eat independently.

Justtrying Mon 25-Jul-16 21:01:54

Dd, 5 and about to enter year one can and will feed herself, but at tea time when she is tired I normally end up feeding her the last half of her tea, she seems to get bored and give up, but I know if I don't she will be hungry before bedtime.

I'm sure soon she will do it all by herself.

doing Mon 25-Jul-16 21:05:09

Of course she won't eat it if you don't feed her, she likes being fed.

Once or twice of putting it out, giving her half an hour and the chucking it if it's not eaten should sort that one.

Missgraeme Mon 25-Jul-16 21:05:42

Maybe let her choose a new plate /bowl cutlery to spur her on? And maybe a toddler recipe book to let her help make her own meal?

Beth2511 Mon 25-Jul-16 21:10:54

My 18 month old can feed herself no way id be feeding a 3 year old!

minipie Mon 25-Jul-16 21:11:45

YANBU but my DD went through a phase like this at that age. Possibly related to new(ish) baby sibling and wanting attention. She was also very tired (bad sleeper) so I went with it for a while.

Do you sit with her at meals OP? I found that DD really just wanted me to sit with her and gradually I changed from feeding her to just sitting and chatting. Now at 3.8 she feeds herself 98% of the time ie unless truly exhausted.

228agreenend Mon 25-Jul-16 21:12:39

Has she learnt that you will feed her if she can't be bothered to feed herself?

For one meal (evening) a day, explain that you are no longer going to feed her, and if she doesn't eat, then the food will be thrown away, and there will be no snacks later. She will soon learn to feed herself.

Gradually introduce the other meals.

As someone has said, buy a special plate for this meal.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 25-Jul-16 21:13:28

My 2.8 and 12 month old DD's have never let me feed them... Not once!
You've said yourself she can feed herself, so stop doing it for her. Might take a few days to adjust but she'll realise you're not going to do it.

Believeitornot Mon 25-Jul-16 21:13:45

So she doesn't eat what she doesn't like. Well that's fair enough grin

Honestly, just take a step back. Food has become a bit of a battle by the sound of it. If she doesn't like something, fine. Let her have that snack and a bigger breakfast.

Or get her to try new foods in a different way - so give her a bit of what she likes and a small bit of something new. Do not make her try it. Just sit down and eat with her and chat. But don't try and wave a spoon in her face or persuade her.

timegate Mon 25-Jul-16 21:14:47

Thanks all.

minipie yes we sit together and eat. She just plays around and messes about. It's come to a stage where I don't feel like cooking anything else besides the 5 things she likes, as it's like a battle, and me and DH some times end up arguing about it.

I think we should be consistent and not feed her at all, and eventually she will get the message. DH thinks she is still young and we shouldn't be so strict.

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