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  1. #1
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    Default Dinner time battles.

    My 4 year old son hates dinner.

    me: Its dinner time.
    DS: What is it?
    me: Stew
    DS Gross! I hate stew, stew is disgusting

    me: what do you want for dinner?
    DS: NOTHING I HATE DINNER. I WANT CEREAL FOR DINNER

    I am at my wits end. If he does happen to sit down. He picks at it, i dont like this, i dont like that. I want milk.

    I tell him if he makes a good effort, and doesnt complain he can have a cup of milk afterwards. He very rarely gets the milk.

    Any hints?

  2. #2
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    OJandMe is offline I am the strength my children will have.
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    *shrug*

    In our house they have to have the same number of spoonfuls as their age... then if they don't like it they can have cereal or toast.

    Just feed him heaps of fruit and other sneaky vegie stuff during the day. It's not worth the fight I think. lol.

    What is his favourite food? Have you tried asking him what he feels like for dinner? I often find when I ask the kids first- they're more likely to eat it.

    It will get better- Oliver and Jordan (almost 8) are pretty happy to eat anything these days.

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    I asked him what he wanted tomorrow for dinner, eggs. Why does he want eggs? because he gets to have tomato sauce on them! lol. I bargained to home made chicken nuggets, but we'll see in the morning. I ask him to try each thing on his plate. Tonight it all spiralled out of control which resulted in no bedtime stories, no shower and now hes asleep in my bed

    Its really frustrating because DD starts copying him, and its hard enough to get her to sit down for more than 30 seconds to eat anything! I dont care if he doesnt want to eat it, he just carries on about how awful it is, like im trying to poison him!

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    Default Dinner time battles.

    I have DD 8, who has since about the age of 2 1/2 been the fussiest eater! After very many battles our rule is you must try a bite, if you don't like it she can have fruit/yogurt if she refuses she does not eat and there are no snacks, if she kicks up a big song and dance there are snacks the following day.

    Yes it did happen that she would have no dinner on the odd occasion, but being consistent quickly paid off. After a few months dinner stopped being a battle.

    Now as she is older if we're having something for dinner she does not like I'll do a quick side of veggies (even if it does not go with the rest of the meal) and she'll eat that.

    I think to break the cycle it's also important to stay calm, not to fall into their dinner battle trap

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    Dinner is a disaster here too. My almost 6yo ds is super fussy! We're gradually broadening his dinner diet, but it feels like pulling teeth half the time! Getting him to eat vegies is my biggest challenge. I can't even hide them in pasta sauce as he refuses any sort of sauce with his pasta! He'd happily eat pasta for breakfast, lunch & dinner! And cheese, lots of cheese! We're growing a vegie patch again this year, after a break last year and I'm hoping that once we harvest the vegies he'll eat them, but last time that failed. All I can do is try.

    I will say though that tired kids at dinner time are impossible. Is an earlier dinner an option?

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    I look for a general 'healthy food intake' over a period of 48-72 hours. If ds eats a good breakfast, lunch and snacks then i'm not too fussed on dinner. I like him to eat dinner but I won't force the issue too much. I also still only give him foods for dinner that he can see. Meat on one part of his plate, pasta on another and I will often get lettuce and carrot sticks into him by offering a small bowl first before dinner as a snack. (Or I send him into the garden to pick lettuce and he eats some whilst doing it). When he says he's full but hasn't eaten much I ask him to have 2/3/4 more bites. He will if he is not full but if he is really full he will whinge so I know he is actually full. (iykwim??)

    Don't stress too much unless your child is sickly and not eating at all during the day. It will all pan out. Dinner battles started at my house when ds was 2. He is now 5.5 years old and it's getting better.

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    My 3 year old is just awful as well, except that it lasts all day with her

    She won't eat cereal, or toast or sandwiches and heaven help me if I try and get a veggie into to her she used to be great with fruit which was her one saving grace, but now all she will eat is apples (not great when she's had constipation issues) or the occasional grape. If she had her way she would live on chicken nuggets, sausages and plain pasta.... Oh and of course anything with sugar

    I thought my now 6 year old was bad as a toddler, but she never ate junk food (still doesn't, she doesn't like it!) and she would at least eat some cereals and toast. My 3yo is a hundred times worse. All I can say is that at 6 my DD suddenly became a bit more reasonable and willing to try things so her diet is getting better. Eating a plate of veggies is still a pipe dream but she will at least have a bite of everything on her plate with no fuss.

    I'm hoping dd2 will be the same and I only have 3 years to ride it out....

    So no advice I'm sorry but I feel your pain!. Hopefully it will get better with time

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    My only other advice is what other hubbers have posted regarding their kids.

    Sometimes the battle is the desired outcome for the child. Attention is good, who cares if it is positive or negative?
    Give your child the dinner, and try not to nag and tell the child to eat. Once they realise there will be no battle over dinner, they will often eat it. We are attempting this approach with my 3 yo. He is usually pretty good, but I do find if I leave him to his own devices he is more likely to eat the food. If they realise there will be nothing else to eat, often they will eat if hungry.
    Otherwise try not to stress too much. (easier said than done). Try and get foods in over the course of the day.

    Gary Mehigan from masterchef has a great meatball recipe which uses pureed carrot to bind them instead of egg. It's a great tip to add the carrot as a hidden veggie, and you can't taste it. He grates the carrot and sautes it in lots of butter and a little water until cooked, for about 10 minutes I think, with the lid on the saucepan. puree the carrot and add to the meatballs or anything else suitable really.

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    Default Re: Dinner time battles.

    Happily ate home made chicken nuggets and some salad without a fuss. I think its meals where everything Is in together he doesn't like. But we can't have rissoles and nuggets for every meal

    **Mum, Dad, Big boy (Dec 08) and Baby girl (Feb 11)**

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    Default Dinner time battles.

    Oh I feel for you!! It used to be the same with my 4 year old DS1 ... Started when he was about 2. Before that he was the best eater!! I had several meltdowns and cranky dinner times. I hated it!!

    Eventually I just stuck to my guns. I gave him things I knew he liked then added one new thing each time. The rule was he had to at least chew it and if he didn't like it he was always allowed to spit it out.

    I also started testing his strength - a game where he would tug on my arm and I would see how strong he was. Then with each bite I'd make sound effects like he was getting stronger by the mouthful. It was time consuming and I made a point of never showing my frustration or being negative. I also used to say 'it doesn't worry me if you don't eat it - you'll just be heading straight to bed'. I think half of the problem was the power play. It has worked wonders. He has eaten so many new things and is pleasantly surprised that he likes most of them.

    We still from time to time test his strength and he often sees me making things for myself and asks if he's tried it before and gives it a go.

    Not sure if that helps you


 

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