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Do you stop feeding your child because he doesn't finish his meal?

(26 Posts)
Fiona2011231 Sun 24-Jan-16 12:59:57

I had a row with my sister over this and would like to hear your advice.

My sister has a 6-year-old boy. She told me that many times her son just eats a little during the meal and then runs away to play. She's tired of calling him back, so she said 'If you don't finish your meal, I will remove everything. Later during the day, even if you say you're hungry, there will be nothing for you to eat."

I felt angry when I heard about this. But my sister insisted that every 'good parent' does this so that the child learns to finish the meal.

Is it true? What would you do in this case?

Thanks,

Iguessyourestuckwithme Sun 24-Jan-16 13:01:56

I take away the meal and then there's nothing else until the next meal.

At 6 I would expect a child to sit and finish a meal

thatstoast Sun 24-Jan-16 13:04:40

Do you mean she doesn't offer snacks between meals? I think that's fine. But if he doesn't finish his breakfast and then doesn't get any food for the rest of the day then that's not ok.

melonribena Sun 24-Jan-16 13:05:15

My 3 year old does this. So keen to play!
I leave his food out and he is always eat it before the next meal if he's hungry but is not offered anything else such as a snack.

Fiona2011231 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:05:48

My sister meant that between meals, the child will not get anything, whether it is the leftover meal or snacks.

Do you think it is alright?

Donge13 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:07:13

Yep! Your sister is doing the right thing imo

Arfarfanarf Sun 24-Jan-16 13:07:33

Do you mean nothing to eat for the rest of the day? God no. That's ridiculous.
You cannot decide how hungry another person is or punish them with hunger for the crime of not finishing a plate of food.

If you mean he has to wait until the next meal then fair enough.

PennyHasNoSurname Sun 24-Jan-16 13:07:46

Yes perfectly fine. It prevents grazers imo.

However my dc cant get down from the table til we have finished eating (or at least til all the kids finish and they all get down together). Sometimes that means they eat more, sometimes.not.

We dont fuss or cajole them into eating ive neither the time nor patience for it.

loobylou10 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:07:52

Yes because then he will learn to sit and finish his meal or he will be hungry. At 6 he should be able to sit and finish a meal

Samaritan1 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:08:32

At age 6 I think this is perfectly fine. He's old enough to understand and snacking but not finishing meals is a bad habit to get into imo.

loobylou10 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:08:51

It's not for the rest of the day, it's just no food until the next meal. Perfectly fine imo

Whatsinaname2011 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:09:29

Yes your sister is doing the right thing. This is easy for a 6 year old to understand. He's not 10 months old.

Good for her!

Arfarfanarf Sun 24-Jan-16 13:10:03

Xpost. Yes. A six year old is old enough to stay and eat and If they choose not to then fair enough, theywait till the next meal.

PreAdvent13610 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:10:56

Your sister's way is fine.

What is your alternative suggestion

Fiona2011231 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:12:13

Thank you so much for your kind replies. So I'm relieved that my sister is doing the right thing.

Muskateersmummy Sun 24-Jan-16 13:14:10

Yes we do this with our 3 year old. She is currently learning to ask to leave the table, if she gets down then that's it until the next meal time, unless of course she has finished all that's on her plate or at least tried everything on the plate, then she can have a pudding now or a snack later if she wants too. But certainly no eating a few bites then going and playing then returning to have a few more bites

Normandy144 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:32:37

Yes completely normal behaviour. Our rule is that they must sit at the table and wait for everyone to finish regardless of how much they have eaten themselves. I usually find that any reluctance to eat disappears when they realise they have to sit for a further ten minutes so they usually start eating again.

craftyoldhen Sun 24-Jan-16 14:10:05

I think it depends on the child and the reasons for not finishing the meal.

In general, I would expect the child sit at the table until everyone has finished. This means they're more likely to eat because there isn't the option to run off and play.

If they're just not that hungry, then that's ok but they won't get anything until the next meal.

If it's because they genuinely don't like the food offered, I'd offer something else, but it would be something quite boring.

insancerre Sun 24-Jan-16 14:13:47

Yes, that's the right thing to do
A child is not going to starve going without snacks between meals

Iguessyourestuckwithme Sun 24-Jan-16 16:08:34

Why are you relieved she's doing the right thing. If it works for her / her family then it's the right thing whether you agree or not

Amy214 Sun 24-Jan-16 21:47:50

When i was younger my parents used to take my dinner away if i never ate it, they used to put it in the oven to keep it warm and if i said i was hungry later i would get my dinner handed back to me, i would also get no treats, i soon learned that if i ate all my dinner i would get a small sweet afterwards

Amy214 Sun 24-Jan-16 21:50:42

When i type that out it sounds so cruel lol

lenibose Sun 24-Jan-16 21:52:40

Yes absolutely correct. They can identify hunger at this age. I would expect my DS who is 4 to sit and eat properly. He hasn't had a snack between meals (except at nursery) from age 2. Breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 11:30, snack at nursery at 2:30 and dinner at 5pm. He used to have a cup of milk before bed but it's a lot more hit and miss now. Why were you surprised that your sister did this? Why are you relieved? And what was the argument about?

cece Sun 24-Jan-16 21:55:14

DS2 has the meal taken away. But I leave it on the side and if he is hungry later then he has it then, however he does take medication that suppresses his appetite so I need to make sure he eats. Otherwise he loses too much weight.

Wigeon Sun 24-Jan-16 21:56:30

That's exactly what we do with the DC (7yrs and 4yrs). If they get down from the meal, they won't get any food until the next meal.

Do you have children? It is really annoying when your DC are trying to get down, do some playing, then come back to the table to continue eating, and they eat slowly as it is. If you let them do this, the meal would take an absolute age. And if you let them get down, but then an hour later start providing snacks (because they are hungry), then all they learn is that it's fine not to eat their meals because they will get snacks when it suits them. Surely that's not good for encouraging a healthy attitude to eating, being social etc? In children of an age to be able to understand.

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