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  5. What to do? Refusing to eat dinner..... sigh

What to do? Refusing to eat dinner..... sigh Lock Rss

Emily has decided that on most nights that she just doesn't want to eat dinner. She is very good at eating all her other meals but dinner is becoming the big issue. I don't want her waking during the night hungry... god knows I am having enough troubles with Jack regressing back to that behaviour at the moment... I don't need both of them in my bed.

Last night we had baked vegies and chicken schnitzel. I sliced some potatoes thin and baked them in a little pan separately for her, some turned out like potato chips and others were like a really thin piece of baked potato, they were YUMMO! Emily wasn't even interested in them..... She had a couple of bites of the schnitzel and a few nibbles on the potato. Mind you she is happily munching on the cold schnitzel right now for lunch!

Anyway, she got nothing else except for a single piece of buttered bread just before she went to bed. We even ate a bit of icecream in front of her and she couldn't have cared less.

So, what do you do in these circumstances? Help, I just don't need all these eating hassles right now.

Thanks everyone.
[Edited on 12/05/2009]

Is OVER rude people

maybe she's eating too much during the afternoon? I have had the same problem with my nine month old, she won't eat her dinner if she has an afternoon bottle, making it 4 bottles for the day, but if she has 3 she always eats her dinner. Your DD sounds like she's older but the fact that she's not interested in ice cream sounds to me likes she's not even hungry.
I tend to agree...she might not be hungry. What does she have for lunch and does she have anything else like afternoon tea? If she does have afternoon tea/snack, how about giving it to her earlier and see how she goes with dinner?

HeartKids show courage, strength & tenacity

DD (2yrs) had a run like that. She would mostly play with her food, sometimes eat a bit but wasn't overly interested even if I cooked her favourite thing - spaghetti bolognaise.

I don't offer her anything other than dinner and if she doesn't eat it then she doesn't eat until breakfast. Sounds harsh but they are my rules. She hasn't woken up hungry once.

It could be one of two things. She is eating to much during the day and just isn't hungry at dinner time or she is too tired and doesn't want to eat because of it.

Tash
What time does she have dinner?

Maybe give an early dinner/late arvy tea time & just before bed offer her a snack to top up her tummy.
I know my DDs wont eat dinner if it gets late as they're too tired.


I have to agree with the other posters. She just doesn't sound hungry.

I know with Jed, I don't offer anything to eat after around 3.00pm. Dinner is usually around 6.30pm. If he asks for anything, I just tell him "yes, you can have some after dinner", and that usually keeps him at bay.

He is a really good eater at dinner time generally. I always try to give him food that he likes, and if I have made something different for him to try for the first time, I always make a easy back up meal of say Mac n cheese, which i know he loves, just incase.

In the instances where he doesn't eat for no apparent reason, then he doesn't get custard for dessert. Instead I will offer him a banana or some porridge. As they both have some sort of nutritional value, as well as a filling effect on the tummy.

One thing I always keep in mind is something my doctor once said, when Jed wasn't eating. He told me he has never known a case where a child has starved itself, and to work with the rule that "you as the parent decides what they are going to eat and when", and they as the child decides how much they are going to eat. Since then i dont stress so much, and Jed eats fine.

Sorry to dribble on, I hope that helps.
late arvo tea will mean my kids often wont want dinner

but sonja went through a stage at a similar age where she wouldn't eat dinner. I sent her to bed with sometimes only a few mouthfuls and sometimes nothing at all. She never woke in the night hungry. I worried the same thing at the time
This is roughly what she eats every day and she is 2 years 2 1/2 months old:

Breakfast - 1 slice of toast and a handful of dried fruit

Morning Teat - 2 Slices of cheese and a small piece of fruit (banana or half apple etc) or a small tub of yoghurt

Lunch - 1 slice of bread or a couple of Sao's or Salada's and another small piece of fruit (as above)

Lunch is usually around 12:30 to 1pm, nap time she goes down anywhere from 2pm and it back up between 4pm and 5:30pm, depending on what time she went to sleep.

If she is up earlier afternoon tea is usually a Heniz Muesli Bar (the little toddler ones) and then she has nothing till dinner.

Dinner can be anywhere between 5:30pm and 7:00pm depending on the kids sleeping pattern and hubby getting home from work.

I don't know.... is she eating too much earlier on in the day, she eats it all and I don't force it upon her?


Is OVER rude people

Michelle J has been through that stage a few times. Sometimes she has had too much to eat late in the arvo and sometimes she is just too tired as she doesn't sleep in the day. Is Emily still having a day nap? If it isn't because she has had too much to eat in the late arvo and she isn't tired then you could always try a hot lunch and something small for dinner or a hot dinner aswell if Emily wants it.
The reason I worry about her waking hungry is that we had a little incident the other night. She woke at:

1:10am and I took her back to bed
1:20am need to do a wee wee in the potty (that is fine, no issues)
1:45am there was a fly in her room.... it was pitch black.... lol
2:15am thirsty thirst water please mummy (okay........)
2:45am crying.... into our bed, gave her a brew ma ma (muesli bar, couldn't think of what else to give her at that time of the morning and didn't want to sleep in biscuit crumbs....)

She continued to muck around a fair bit so I ended up giving her a dose of Panadol, which I never do unless she really needs it. So, I felt guilty afterwards as I didn't know whether she was just unsettled as she is still getting over being sick and really needed the Panadol or whether she was just hungry.....

Is OVER rude people

All of mine have done the same at some stage, I fought with DS over it, til the MCHN said just leave it, don't offer anything else, if he was hungry he'd eat, soedays it seriously seemed like he ate nothing, but I was told by both a MCHN and a paed to write down EVERYTHING they eat for a week and you will most likely find that while daily it doesn't seem like much weekly it all balances out.

DS did it for at least a year around 2.5-3 and only in the past 6 mths or so has he started eating well again, DD1 started it around 12mths for a few months and DD2 is now doing the same, as babys I still give a bottle before bed but my older kids get nothing else to eat and its rare that they wake up hungry.

Going by what you have written I don't think she is eating too much, I wouldn't make a big deal of it and just see how she goes.

A friend of mine did find though that giving her the previous nights meal (ie the schnitzel & veg) for lunch her kids ate it better then, then they were happy to have a sandwich and yogurt for tea but its really up to you to find what works for Emily.

Good Luck but don't stress too much, its a very normal stage for them!
Tammy, she does still have a day nap, she really needs it. Unfortunately she gets up early and it means she goes to bed late because of the nap, but I just can't stand how naughty she gets without it. She needs a good 2 hour nap otherwise she is HELL ON LEGS!

I might have to try a bigger lunch and see how that goes, the downside I can see is that with such a full tummy may have a longer day nap...

Is OVER rude people

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