Did I handle this right?(8 Posts)
I have 1 child, a ds who is 2.8yo. We had a bit of a showdown this evening and I was just wondering what someone else may have done in the situation.
ds is a very poor eater. He eats an ok breakfast, a small lunch, and I rarely get him to eat any dinner at all. It worries me horribly but I know I cant force him to eat. Tonight I made sweet potato and sausages and a handful of cherry tomatoes for dinner, all foods I know he will occasionally eat.
He ate 2 toms and a piece of sausage and announced he was done. He got up, left the table and went to play with his train set.
I told him he couldnt play with his train set unless he ate a bit more dinner. He refused, so I took the train set away. Cue hysterics. He then asked for a yogurt, which we have as dessert sometimes. I told him that he couldnt have a yogurt as he hadnt eaten his dinner.
I hate making him sad. I really struggle with this part of parenting. What should I have done here?
I usually ask him to eat one/two or three more mouthfuls depending on how hungry I think he is or how much he likes it. With a reward after. It's tricky. You dont want to make too much of an issue out of it. But definitely no dessert.
Honestly, I would've just left it.
If that's all he wanted to eat- so be it.
He will not starve himself.
If you are not offering him snacks between meals then he was likely just not hungry.
Try not to make mealtimes stress related for you and DS (though I of course can understand your gut reaction).
Really depends on why hes not eating it. If he's not hungry or really doesn't like it...fine. if its because he wants to get to dessert or play...
I'm with throwinshapes - don't ever make food a bigger deal than it needs to be. I made that mistake early on and mealtimes just became a hideous battleground - what I'd managed to do was take away any enjoyment in just sitting and having a family meal together. I was much more relaxed with the younger DCs and (bar one insanely fussy eater) it's been much less stressful - and they're all good weights/heights etc.
How is your DS in terms of growth - are you worried about his size?
I have the exact same problem with my dd. I discussed it with the paediatrician and was told to give small portions on a small plate. Buy some sort of timing device the child can understand, like a large egg timer that can time about 15 mins. Put down food, set timer and explain that they have till the timer runs out to eat the dinner. When time is up, clear plate with no comment except praise for food that has been eaten. Give no food at all between meals and no juice only water.
The advice was to remove all pressure and attention from not eating and replace it with positive attention for eating.
As yet I have not actually put this advice to the test yet but it's the next thing to tackle.
I let mine have as much as they want, and if they complain of hunger shortly afterwards they can have one yoghurt or one piece of fruit, or they can go back to their dinner if I haven't chucked it yet. If they whine about those choices, then I know they are not really hungry and I pay no attention to requests for biscuits. Works for us so far.
I agree with the other who had said try not to make it into a big deal (much easier said than done I know!).
I think you did the right thing once you'd said no playing because he didn't eat his dinner, you followed it through so he realised you were serious about it. But I definitely think children pick up on our stresses, so if you're worrying about his eating he is more likely to make it into an issue.
We have similar issues in other areas which we're trying to deal with, but with food I've always been fairly relaxed. I've cooked fairly balanced meals and let them eat what they want, if they don't want to eat it they can get down but there isn't any more food or dessert.
He won't starve, toddlers are picky with food but if you just keep giving him what you're having, he'll probably leave bits he doesn't want (usually courgette and onion in my DC's case!) but he'll eventually try it and food won't be an issue. My DS is 6 and is a really good eater. DD is 4 and still quite fussy but gradually growing out of it.
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