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When toddler doesn't eat dinner...

(19 Posts)
doadeer Thu 28-May-20 18:04:23

....Do you offer something bland like toast?

DS is 16 months... He's a good eater sometimes but some days he just barely eats. I always offered varied dinners and it's hit and miss if he eats it. Some days he wolfs down a whole curry or big prawns! But it's erratic.

Tonight he didn't want any of the chicken or Spanish omlette and cucumber. He just refused. I would usually give him fruit for "pudding" which he adores but I don't think I should if he doesn't eat savoury? He has a very sweet tooth.

I don't want him to wake hungry in the night. Do you offer some bread or something like that?

All the questions! Please help!

OP’s posts: |
babychange12 Thu 28-May-20 18:09:41

Following with interest as my 3yo is the same! We tend to just leave him to it if he doesn't want dinner and he rarely asks for more food (unless it's sweets!)

He does still have milk at night though

doadeer Thu 28-May-20 18:14:11

DS has a bottle of cows milk before bed. Just because he can't speak yet, I'm always worried that he will be really starving in the night

OP’s posts: |
Carcarcarcar Thu 28-May-20 18:14:18

Depends really, if it's a one off then sometimes I offer him something bland just incase, if he refuses that I don't give him pudding, I also judge if he's eaten enough, if he's been served a large amount so long as most of it goes I give him desert, if he messes around with it or doesn't touch it then we take it away and he doesn't get anything (this doesn't happen often) otherwise , like you I was concerned he'd just start refusing all dinners coz he knew he'd be getting desert afterwards

Carcarcarcar Thu 28-May-20 18:14:42

He is just over 2

meow1989 Thu 28-May-20 18:18:44

I tend to offer some fruit for dessert but only a normal sized portion. If still hungry re offer the dinner (ds will mix up meals a bit).

What works well for us is a big cooked lunch and a lighter option for tea (ie crumpet, beans on toast etx)

meow1989 Thu 28-May-20 18:19:29

Ds is 2 next month and doesnt drink milk regularly

SparkyBlue Thu 28-May-20 18:22:53

Honestly I think it's because they are just not hungry. Sometimes I will offer something if I think they genuinely didn't like it or maybe it was too spicy or something like that .

Microwaveoven Thu 28-May-20 18:23:22

I used to offer them fruit or yoghurt at that age. They are older now and understand that not eating dinner means you go without!

doadeer Thu 28-May-20 18:32:51

Fruit is his favourite thing to eat more than anything. So if he doesn't eat dinner and I give him fruit I think this will encourage him to never eat dinner!

OP’s posts: |
doadeer Thu 28-May-20 18:42:40

Sorry I should say I think he doesn't want to eat 1/3 of all dinners

OP’s posts: |
ScarfLadysBag Thu 28-May-20 18:49:24

I just give the usual amount of fruit she would have normally. Food is not a battleground or bargaining chip in this house or something that needs to be punished.

ScarfLadysBag Thu 28-May-20 18:53:09

If he's habitually not eating dinner, I would make sure to serve something I know he will eat along with the main course, not instead of. So I'd make sure every meal has something that he tends to always eat, even if it's just a small amount of it.

MynephewR Thu 28-May-20 18:56:16

I'll usually offer toast half an hour to an hour later, he may well not be hungry at dinner time. I wouldn't give any pudding after a dinner not eaten though. I'm not fussed about dc's eating all of their dinner but they've got to have at least had a good go at eating it to get any pudding.

Fluffybat Thu 28-May-20 18:59:34

Mine are 18 months and 3. I tend to leave them to decide then take it away. If they've eaten all of it and ask for pudding (usually yogurt or fruit) then I give. If they haven't eaten enough I don't give anything until a while later when they can have Weetabix or toast. I find if they don't eat dinner then they don't ask for pudding because they're not hungry.

nervousnelly8 Thu 28-May-20 19:02:27

DS is 14 months and going through a phase of this at the moment. I'm putting it down to it being hot and he's teething, so maybe just not fancying certain things. I still offer fruit and yoghurt, which he will always eat, but I don't think he's quite capable of making the jump from "if I don't eat x, I'll get y quicker" yet. Even if he were, I try to take the view that I don't want to make issues about food. Overall he eats a good and varied diet so if one evening he's tired, hot, sore mouth or whatever and just fancies yoghurt/fruit, I don't really have a problem with that.

theseriousmoonlight Thu 28-May-20 19:05:32

My dd can sometimes eat loads for tea, and other times eat very little. She usually eats a lot for breakfast (3 weetabix is the norm at the moment) and has a substantial lunch of lots of veg, cheese and crackers / sandwich. Tea can be a bit hit and miss, but I have offered a crumpet as a pre-bedtime snack if she hasn't eaten much.

The way I look at it is that if she was hungry, she would eat. The only time she has ever woken hungry in the night since she was weaned was at Christmas when she was far too excited to be dancing to eat anything at all.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Thu 28-May-20 19:11:42

If you’re in the UK, it’s really hot just now, so I can see why fruit and yogurt would be more tempting than a hot dinner! (I actually quite fancy it myself now!) It’s a long time ago that mine were that age, but I’d probably go for removing the uneaten food without much comment, and offering a “supper” (say toast, cereal or fruit) later on before bed.

MerryDeath Thu 28-May-20 19:23:06

no i don't. if he doesn't eat what he's given - tough. i don't know if it's my ~fantastic parenting paying off but he's not fussy and eats well!

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