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Does a 21 month old understand that if he refuses dinner he doesnt get pudding?

(37 Posts)
lollyheart Fri 18-Jul-08 18:24:45

im feeling really bad right now ds refused to eat his dinner today i told him that if he didnt eat his dinner he wouldnt get a pudding well he didnt eat his dinner and got upset when i gave dd her pudding.

when i put his dinner in front of him he through a fit and pushed his plate away so i put it back in front of him and told him to eat it he had a couple of mouthfulls and then pushed the plate away again i said if you dont eat it then no pudding but still refused so i got him down from the table he wasnt happy about that so i gave him another chance put him back up but he still refused it so i got him down again without pudding.

he is normaly a good eater im not worried about that and it was somthing he likes.
he has not had anything extra to eat today so must of been hungry.

did i do the right thing or should i have let him have pudding?

moondog Fri 18-Jul-08 18:26:28

He's too small to understand but bad idea to bribe anyone with food like this.It makes savoury stuff seem like a trila to be endued before sweet stuff which isn't good really.

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 18-Jul-08 18:26:50

no, of course not. He barely understands that he still has a penis once you have covered it up. try giving no pudding for anyone for a few days, he'll soon get the idea that nothing better is coming - but he won't understand the consequence of not eating his meal.

Anna8888 Fri 18-Jul-08 18:27:20

No, and try not to make pudding a reward or food an issue.

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 18-Jul-08 18:27:41

PS don't feel bad, you'#ve done nothing dreadful.

Cathpot Fri 18-Jul-08 18:31:00

hmm. Is he coming down with something or overtired? If he normally eats well and its a favourite maybe there is something else going on. I dont think its going to scar him for life missing a pudding, I cant remember how much verbal reasoning DD1 had at 21 months but I know DD2 at 18months is nowhere near understanding that concept,she spent all teatime going 'cow cup, cow cup' at a black and white beaker. We have a way to go before I can talk to her about missing puddings. You know him best, go with your own instinct.

HereComeTheGirls Fri 18-Jul-08 18:32:23

My DD is 21 months old and I don't think she would understand that. Also some days she refuses her meal and she is just genuinely not hungry. They eat lots some days and hardly anything on others I think. So I don't worry at all, if she only eats pudding that's fair enough at this stage I feel.

bubblagirl Fri 18-Jul-08 18:40:07

no my ds appetite decreased for a while so stuck to the one tablespoon per portion rule for age and found if portions were smaller he ate it never stopped puddings [one tablespoon veg , potatoe, meat for each yr of age]

sometimes our expectations of what they should be eating clouds the fact they may have no appetite

could he be getting a cold my ds when he cant taste food properly will not ever eat dinner so i will let him be and give dessert

my ds is 3 and will still have days of not wanting to eat dinner so we do toast before bed instead i dont push when it comes to food as i have not hungry days and would hate ds to get anxious at meal times

Shoegazer Fri 18-Jul-08 19:20:22

No I don't think he will understand, but I never felt it was a good idea to make pudding a reward as others have said. However, its a common tactic to use and as ThatGermanPrison said you have not done anything awful x

nappyaddict Fri 18-Jul-08 19:22:41

is it 1 tablespoon each of meat, potato, veg or 1 tablespoon in total?

FAQ Fri 18-Jul-08 19:23:36

my children have always grown up with - if they don't eat their dinner (or at least had a decent attempt at it - I don't expect clear plates/bowls/whatever) then there was no desert offered.

I guess I've just copied the way my mum did it. As the anecdotal evidence says "It didn't do me any harm".

As for the age - no they probably wouldn't understand why they didn't get their pudding,

juuule Fri 18-Jul-08 19:57:41

Mine eat their pudding before their main meal sometimes.

ChirpyGirl Fri 18-Jul-08 20:04:15

MIne eats her during her main meal.
She will start it and eat a fair amount, have some yoghurt, and as long as I have left ehr plate on teh table she will clean that plate too.

Seeing her eat plain yoghurt mixed with peas and roasties takes a stern stomach though...

callmeovercautious Fri 18-Jul-08 20:09:16

I don't think he will understand. DD is 22m and I can usually get her to have one or two more mouthfuls if I say - eat this then we can play xyz or we can have pudding (although I try not to use that too often). However they are still babies and know if they are hungry or not. If it is something he has eaten before many times I would just assume he is not hungry then perhaps offer a snack (weetabix or toast?) near to bedtime.

Also I would avoid giving his pudding to his Sister. It will only cause rivalry and bad feelings between them as they get older.

sarah293 Fri 18-Jul-08 20:11:42

Message withdrawn

SlowDown Fri 18-Jul-08 20:59:27

If you go for a healthy sort of pudding like yoghurt or fruit then you avoid this issue cos it then doesn't matter whether they eat pudding first or main course.

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Fri 18-Jul-08 21:03:48

so <slight hijack>, many times I've seen the advice when they are refusing to eat, to not offer anything else - when does that kick in??

tori32 Fri 18-Jul-08 21:17:08

IME definately. I minded 3 under 2yrs and all of them knew that if they didn't eat their main meal they got no treats and the same at snack time- if they didn't eat fruit then they didn't get biscuits. smile

tori32 Fri 18-Jul-08 21:20:22

if he is normally a good eater it sounds like he is coming down with something, rather than being stubborn.
I only do the no pudding routine with faddy eaters iyswim

tori32 Fri 18-Jul-08 21:25:08

phdlifeneedsanewlife I say that from about the time they start using a spoon/fork, because if it happens they don't get a pudding when they don't finish or make a good attemp at least, on their main meal, the penny usually drops very quickly between the 2. smile I did it from 13mths and never had any problems until she hit 2.4 when she became very bloody minded about everything not just food- asserting independence I think its called grin

fizzbuzz Fri 18-Jul-08 21:26:55

Can someone explain the tablespoon thing to me please? It must be a combined tablespoon of stuff for each year of her age surely?...hmm

I think 2 tablespoons of meat (dd is 2) would defeat me

juuule Fri 18-Jul-08 21:27:14

I've no idea when that kicks in, phdlife. I've not done it yet and my eldest is 21y.

As long as the diet is varied over time then I don't really think it matters if they only eat the pudding for some meals even if it's jam roly poly or such like. It's all food. As they get older you can talk to them about healthy eating and then you and they can weigh up which foods might benefit them more.

PhDlifeNeedsaNewLife Fri 18-Jul-08 21:49:02

you know juule, I think you might be my kind of parent grin

Poohbah Fri 18-Jul-08 22:02:32

This is interesting as tonight I though my son wasn't eating his tea so I just gave pudding but if I think about the days food, he seems to have a good balance of cereals, carbs, veg, fruits and meats so I won't worry too much, he always seems less keen on tea than other meals anyway. Here's todays example

Brekkie..toast, boiled egg, 2 weetabix
Snack..bowl of strawberries, milk
Lunch...cheese sandwiches, 2 of my cheese salad sandwiches, grapes,
snack...cereal bar
Tea...three pasta shells, 2 small chunks chicken, half a pot of yogurt, some more grapes.

That's pretty balance really isn't it (he is 2.5 though)

AbbeyA Fri 18-Jul-08 22:04:58

It isn't worth getting into battles with food, you don't win and it all becomes an emotional issue. Serve it up, they either eat it or they don't -but don't give alternatives or snacks.

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