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Dinner refusal, don't want a battle!

(11 Posts)
findingherfeet Fri 21-Feb-14 19:19:44

My 2 year 4 month old DD has begun to kick up a fuss about sitting at the table for dinner and eating, pushing her plate away (she sits in same place for breakfast and lunch no problem but food options are perhaps more to her taste)

I'm not sure how best to approach this, if I strap her into her booster seat sometimes (esp if hubs and I carry on chatting and ignore her) she'll just get on as usual and eat but last for nights she has SCREAMED and dinner has become quite unpleasant and a bit of a battle.

A few months ago we could encourage and praise her to eat new things, now it feels like we're a bit desperate and begging (!) or getting cross - neither of which help..

I make sure I make her a meal I know she really likes a few times a week but I refuse to get into only eating her favourites (we'd lead a very limited -not desperately unhealthy but boring dinner menu) and I can't see that will help with fussiness.

I want to eat as a family and not sure what is the best way to approach this, her going to bed hungry doesn't seem right (she's not by any means skinny or unhealthy thankfully) and she has very few snacks if at all....advice please!!

Woody31 Fri 21-Feb-14 19:28:11

Keep very calm about it. Lots of children eat smaller dinner than lunch or breakfast . I always say to my sons eat what you want. If you try to give the power /control to them they are likely to respond better than you keep on asking them to try things. Do it for a week or so and see if things have changed. Do they still have milk before bed ?

findingherfeet Fri 21-Feb-14 19:33:44

Ok I will do, I think she does like to have choice/control so that sounds sensible, it's just hard!

And no she only has water or squash (just milk in breakfast porridge/cereal)

TartanBed Fri 21-Feb-14 21:16:50

Does she still nap? Or is she just tired at tea time? My son dropped his nap at the age and dinner time became a nightmare, fine the rest of the meals up to table. We had no choice but to let him eat earlier and not eat as a family, I'm sure in time we'll meet a time in the middle again! I just figured that I wanted him to eat so I let him at 4.30 ish when not shattered then had toast for supper and its still working fine. They do go a bit funny about food at this age too! I would say not to make an issue and go on about it as could make worse. We have just come out the other side! Good luck

TheGreatHunt Fri 21-Feb-14 22:28:53

What time are you eating together? I wouldn't make big deal about tea if she needs hers earlier. Its not forever. My dad and ds eat at 5. Any later and they'd be tired demons.

TheGreatHunt Fri 21-Feb-14 22:29:10

*dd not dad!

HelenHen Fri 21-Feb-14 22:47:37

If they were going to bed hungry, they'd be waking up hungry at night. Ds has always been a prob for dinner but has big breakfast and lunch so im not worried!

ianleeder Fri 21-Feb-14 23:38:29

Try bringing dinner time early and offer snack if still hungry later. Mine usually have a small dinner. Lunch is the main meal. I wouldn't stress too much as it would only make things worse. Go with the flow.

cravingcake Sat 22-Feb-14 00:18:15

In a very similar situation with my DS who is same age. We ask DS to choose who is going to sit where and he chooses his plate & cup. I always try to make sure there is something i know he likes on his plate, even if it is just some cucumber & tomatos when we have salad (he doesnt like the lettuce). That way if he chooses not to eat anything i know its because he's not hungry rather than doesnt like what is being offered.

If he doesnt eat dinner and is still hungry after dinner he gets toast or cereal. Boring but fills him up rather than him going to bed hungry. We dont want the battle either

findingherfeet Sat 22-Feb-14 10:56:18

Thanks all, she sleeps well, has about 3 hour nap after lunch, dinner is normally 6.30 then bed at 8.30.

She has barely even looked at her dinner last two nights, no snacks etc before bed and has still slept for 12 hours and woken up happy shock

I will try offering meal earlier, I like eating with hubs but maybe that will just need to be on hold for a bit.

I'm glad you all tend to take a kinder approach and offer alternatives as I was worrying I'd be creating awful habits if she had bread/fruit/yoghurt to eat instead....I clearly need to chill!

HelenHen Sat 22-Feb-14 12:05:05

I don't give alternatives and he still doesn't wake hungry! Most of my friends also have trouble with one meal a day!

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