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DD is refusing supper every night

(9 Posts)
poppy283 Thu 15-Nov-12 18:32:28

DD is 2.3, and has just become a big sister for the first time. I'm pretty sure this is all about autonomy, control, attention etc, but how do I get her to eat her supper?!

She does it whether she's had a nap and woken naturally or if she's decided not to nap that day.

I make meals I know she likes. The only one she'll happily eat is pizza.

A star chart worked for a couple of days.

I make sure she doesn't have any snacks after 3 (at the latest)

I don't go to the table expecting it, iyswim, I create a pleasant, chatty atmosphere, but it just descends into shouting, crying and shoving food away (DD) and shouting (me).

I'm reluctant to send her to bed without anything - please someone tell me there's another way?!

and yes, I've read Meals Without Tears, it doesn't refer to this problem at all.

hillyhilly Thu 15-Nov-12 19:03:33

Tale the pressure off by giving her a big glass of milk and a plain ish biscuit or two before bed to try to ensure she doesn't wake up hungry during the night.
If you're worried about nutrition, give her a bigger or more nutritious lunch. My ds was always a two meals a day boy, he always enjoys breakfast but often leaves either lunch or dinner.

poppy283 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:08:37

Thanks hilly, she'll only eat certain things at lunch time, sandwiches etc, but healthy.

I think you're right about the pressure, once she's refused it there's only one way it's going to go - both of us stressed. I need to find a way to diffuse the situation.

mamij Thu 15-Nov-12 19:16:18

Just give her dinner at the table and calmly take away if it's uneaten. Maybe offer her "dessert" afterwards of fruits and/or cheese to make sure she doesn't go hungry (wake up hungry) at night. And just make sure food during the day is healthy and nutritious.

seaweed74 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:45:22

Really difficult not to get stressed about meal refusal, especially if you've gone to a bit of effort! In my house these days my mantra is "nobody HAS to eat anything, just leave it if you don't want it". Pudding is then offered and if absolutely nothing eaten then a drink plus plain biscuit or piece of toast is offered just before bed. Since following this plan it is very rare for nothing to be eaten. We try and eat together as a family if possible, even if I'm just having a wee snack. I really just wanted to avoid getting into a fight over food which is never good! I have memories of standoffs between me (as a child) and my parents! Can't face reliving that with my dds.

Funnily enough dd1 is a little more adventurous about trying new things or things previously rejected now that dd2 is weaned.

poppy283 Thu 15-Nov-12 21:24:02

Thank you seaweed and mamij, I will give that a go.

All very helpful, thanks so much.

Pizza night tomorrow so hopefully an uneventful suppertime ...

AngelDog Fri 16-Nov-12 23:01:14

Congrats on the new baby. smile

We had this with our 2.10 y.o. when his baby brother was born. He would be awake in the night hungry. We stuck to our 'you don't have to eat anything but you do have to sit at the table' rule and offered food we thought he might eat. We also did the snack before bed and had a stash of crackers in the bedroom for when he woke up.

He was particularly yelling about the highchair so we've put him on a normal chair and it is SO much better.

DS2 is 4.5 weeks now and we've gradually been able to reassert some of the boundaries we relaxed at first eg having a taste of veg (which he hates) and getting him to eat what we've dished up rather than having something else he liked better. It does improve. smile

seventheaven Fri 16-Nov-12 23:23:50

So frustrating isn't it? Makes a time that should be the chatting about day, bonding and enjoyment hard work. I agree with the other peeps here that a snack (would suggest a banana as they aid sleep) with a glass of milk. Also it may take some of your worry about her not eating enough if you equalise the amount through out the day, eg, add a portion to each meal and snacks (last meal of the day can be a struggle, tired child). It's beneficial to eat every couple of hours, so I would add say carrot sticks to the morning snack of say rice cakes (with topping) and cut up fruit, natural yougurt and seeds of some kind to her cereal (if that what she eats for breakfast). Anyway I hope that you both can soon have enjoyable tea times very soon, and yes you are probably right that it is a controls thing on her part, try not to get dragged into that emotionally as its upsetting.

ThisIsMummyPig Fri 16-Nov-12 23:32:44

Actually I would suggest giving a snack, maybe a small portion of what you had for tea the night before.

Both my girls have gone through stages of not eating at teatime, and I think it's because they get too tired to be able to cope. I have the same age gap between my girls, and DD1 found being a big sister incredibly difficult. We swapped to having hot lunches (soup, fishfingers, pasta, baked potatoes, other easy stuff) and then sandwiches fruit and yoghurt at about 4ish. I liked getting good food during the day while I was breastfeeding.

We then had tea together at about 6pm (I think, it's 5.30 now) and I would always serve the same as we had, but not get in a stress if it wasn't eaten.
She then got her milk at about 6.30, so she wasn't going to bed hungry. She is nearly 5 now, and is allowed one piece of fruit when she gets in from school, or what's left in her pack up, so it hasn't been a habit which stuck.

You have a lot on your plate, don't let this become an issue it it doesn't need to be.

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