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3 Year old refusing most meals

(5 Posts)
UnexpectedSingleMum Tue 20-Oct-15 10:17:46

I'm really struggling with my three year old dd at meal times. She's headstrong & high maintenance as a general rule but usually we get through these 'phases' but I'm just a bit stuck I this one.
So this is what happens. I usually involve her by giving her a choice of 2 or 3 options for her meal. Then keep her involved in the prep etc then serve it and she'll push it away and say she didn't want it, she wanted X, y or z. Obviously I don't give her anything other than the meal I've prepared but she simply won't eat it. I don't make a fuss and Just tell her it's fine, but there will be nothing else. I can leave the meal there untouched for hours and she only shows interest when she hears me putting it in the bin, when she breaks down & has a HUGE screaming fit because she wants her meal back.
I'm not giving her anything else except a fruit snack at normal snack time but the fact is she's doing this about 75% of meals and is simply not eating them. She's just not bothered! I can see she's losing weight but I've no idea how to stop the song and dance that occurs most meal times???

Mundelfall Tue 20-Oct-15 11:12:12

That's sounds equally frustrating for both of you sad. I would stop giving her options (she's too young for options) and just announce that this is what she is having. In this case I'd also go against my normal instinct and offer more snacks (incl the odd biscuit) so that mealtimes are less of a battle time. She must be very hungry, maybe too hungry?

If she keeps losing weight I would also take her to the GP to check her over in case there is something else going on.


TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Tue 20-Oct-15 11:21:34

I agree - don't give her a choice. Make something you know she'll like then get a bit excited about dinner.
Try telling her you're going to have to get rid of it if she doesn't want it within a few minutes.

MyNewBearTotoro Tue 20-Oct-15 11:48:44

Could you try giving her an empty plate with the foods to choose from in the middle of the table? I don't mean make two/three meals but if you're having sausages, potatoes and peas have them in separate bowls for her to choose and dish up herself? Maybe whatever the meal have a few small fail safe items you know she likes (half a slice of buttered toast, cut up apple etc) available so you know she's at least eating something.

Maybe something visual to warn her when her meal will be thrown away could help too. You can get large egg-timers set for 15/20/30 etc minutes - maybe you could tell her if she hasn't started eating the food on her plate when the sand is all in the bottom her dinner gets thrown away. Then you don't have to remind her of make mealtimes a battle against you, its up to her whether to eat it and she also has fair warning of when it's gone.

UnexpectedSingleMum Wed 21-Oct-15 06:13:30

Thanks all. Love the idea of a timer / time frame to stop the 'will she' 'won't she'. Also I thought choice would help but it seems not so I'll knock that on the head.
Would def be willing to try serving from the table & helping herself to see if it makes a difference as I often eat dinner early with them so it is a nice family occasion (& because I won't bother to eat alone once they're in bed blush
Will keep an eye on her weight, she was a good solid girl before so nothing to worry about just yetsmile

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