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    Default At what age do you get strict with dinner or nothing?

    My daughter is 2.5 and eats most things. However lately she has become really challenging at dinner time, especially if it's something new. The other night she took one look at her dinner and said "I don't like that" and ran away. She often tells me she needs to check her blocks, check her babies, or ride her bike. I tell her if she doesn't at try her dinner, she won't be allowed to eat anything else until breakfast the next day. But then just before bed she's begging for yogurt or an apple or cheese or grapes. So I often give it to her because she seems so hungry. I want to stop this though, I don't care if she eats dinner then wants something else afterwards, but I don't like her not eating dinner as she's not getting enough veggies otherwise. I'm not sure if she's too young to understand that she won't get anything until tomorrow, so what age did you get tough on your kids with not being given anything else until the next day? I'm not sure if this is cruel at her age! She has really good comprehension and language skills but has no understanding of time so wouldn't understand that it will be a really long time until she can eat again.

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    I've only recently started cracking down and making DS at least try everything and eat a reasonable amount. His issue was that he wouldn't try anything new and wouldn't eat any veg (not even mash potato!). At 3.5 yrs I stopped letting him eat what he wanted and it's been the best thing ever as now he is realising things actually taste good and it's so much easier.

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    I have never done it and DS1 is 5. He has never not eaten at least part of his dinner though because I would never give him something completely new. If I was going to try something new I would add it to something I know he likes and will eat.

    DS2 will occasionally run off from dinner and go play without eating. I just give him his dinner whenever he comes close enough, which is super annoying but he ends up eating it and isn't getting anything else without dinner first.

    Instead of giving her a snack later reoffer her dinner. If she tries it and doesn't like it then you can offer an apple or something.

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    He would refuse dinner or only eat the meat and then ask for cereal or other things. I stopped that.

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    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    At 2.5 I'd give them something else but *only* because I was still breastfeeding then. My daughter is approaching 4 and only just now will I do dinner or nothing. Between weaning and now I have played it by ear depending on what she has been eating. Remember at 2 you should be looking at nutrients over the whole week, not just focusing on what they have eaten that day ie my daughter might eat 3 carrots in 1 day- I don't care if she wont eat them cooked on her dinner plate. The other day she ate 2 sticks of celery with PB thus I didn't mind last night that she didn't eat her celery in her salad before having ice cream (a rare treat). My boys are 6 and 7 and it is def dinner or nothing now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by btmac View Post
    You'll get lots of different points of view on this one! I definitely understand your frustration. DS2 will be 3 in a couple of months (omg not sure how that happened) and regularly turns his nose up at food - "I don't like that" sigh...

    Anyway I'm of the view that food should never be a battleground. So for me the answer is never. I try to ensure there is always something around that he will eat even if that is just yoghurt, toast or fruit.
    All of this exactly :-) I'm just so grateful if I can get anything in him.

    Having said that, I know DS eats his breakfast, morning snack, sometimes three serves of lunch and both afternoon snacks at cc so I don't fuss too much in the evenings.

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    My DS went through a stage around 2/2.5 when he suddenly refused dinner. I let him go about 5 nights without dinner (ie didn't give in to his requests for yoghurt/weetbix instead). Just when I was starting to feel really mean, he gave in and I haven't really had any problems since, he's about to turn 4.
    I know it's not a method for everyone but I've always stuck by the theory that if they're hungry, they'll eat. Also toddlers often aren't very hungry at night if they've been snacking throughout the day. I try to limit afternoon snacks to raw vege sticks only (mean mother that I am!). The times that I have let him have yoghurt/sandwiches etc in the afternoon he hasn't eaten his dinner.

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    Curby  (10-07-2015),Rose&Aurelia&Hannah  (10-07-2015),Sethysmum  (10-07-2015)

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    Never. I think it too traumatising if the kids have a real fear. I still remember my mum making me eat dates and it was awful. I think positive reinforcement only around food.

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    I've never really offered DS alternatives and he's just over 2. He will usually eat something but sometimes he refuses to eat anything. He gets milk before bed every night, so he never goes to bed hungry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilypily View Post
    Never. I think it too traumatising if the kids have a real fear. I still remember my mum making me eat dates and it was awful. I think positive reinforcement only around food.
    I agree. Positive reinforcement around kids mouths is really important. And any body part. While working with our speech etc she said never force the kids to 'finish the plate', try this try that. It will come when they are ready. I do just keep offering things that are healthy.

    She's been refusing her dinner like your DD which is very annoying. I offer her baked beans as alternative as I know she will eat those. And kind of filling. (I don't want to just give her fruit all the time!)


 

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