3-yr-old non-eating

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

3-yr-old non-eating

Postby WishingBone » 03 Nov 2012, 18:12

<sigh> I thought we'd avoided the non-eating stage with Bear, until a week ago some NCT friends came round and their daughter gave a fine display of 'don't like it, don't want it, not eating it' and was cajoled, begged, pleaded with and bargained with before eventually being spoon-fed. Bear thought this was AMAZING <rolls eyes>

She is now trying it out with us at every opportunity and it is very tiresome. We just say 'well if you don't like it don't eat it', and then when she asks for other things we tell her that she can't be hungry because she didn't want her dinner.

We're really not making a big deal of it and are very conscious of not rewarding it with attention, but she's being surprisingly tenacious about eating pathetic little portions at every meal, and she's getting as grumpy as hell in the evenings and her behaviour then deteriorates into deliberate defiance and even hitting/biting.

Just looking for reassurance that it will pass, I guess, and looking for any advice of what if anything to do differently.

<headdesk>
Bemused parent to the Bear (2009) and Smudge (2011).
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Re: 3-yr-old non-eating

Postby LucyL » 03 Nov 2012, 19:33

Aaargh, they do respond rather too readily to peer pressure, don't they?? I've had to crack down on sudden rudeness and cheekiness in Bookworm for the same reason - if the little friend can get away with it, perhaps I can too... :scream

On the non-eating front though, if you find the magic answer I'd love to know! Bookworm is not the best of eaters at the moment either, and we're handling it pretty much the same way you are: "If you don't want to eat it, don't eat it, but you can't come asking for a biscuit 10 minutes later."

This too shall pass... :)
Mum to two gorgeous boys, Bookworm (May 2009) and Little Tiger (November 2011)
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Re: 3-yr-old non-eating

Postby Mummyto1 » 03 Nov 2012, 20:57

We tended to have fruit and yogurt after meals regardless of what was eaten, mainly because it meant there was something in his tummy and the hideous bad-tempered hungry evenings weren't quite so bad. I didn't ever feel he was shunning the main course in favour of that as it always felt like more of a control thing than a taste/preference thing.

But yes, I think the only way is to not make a big deal of it and do the whole "don't eat it if you don't want to" thing.
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Re: 3-yr-old non-eating

Postby WishingBone » 04 Nov 2012, 20:55

Had some success today with asking her to serve herself instead of plating up for her. She liked the novelty and took quite a lot, then when she was just playing with it I admonished her for taking more than she wanted and scooped the untouched bits back into the dish. She was not impressed with that, so I said she could have more if she was still hungry when she'd finished what she had. So she indignantly gobbled it all and had (and ate) the rest of her original portion. Worked at teatime too. Seems to appeal to both the urge for independence and the wish to be contrary.

I'm sure she'll get wise to it and it won't work for long. But DP thinks I am a psychological genius ;)
Bemused parent to the Bear (2009) and Smudge (2011).
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Re: 3-yr-old non-eating

Postby Rosie_t_Riveter » 04 Nov 2012, 21:07

Ha ha! Yes, serving himself works on TheWriggler. We use it intermittently so I can vouch for its longevity (been doing it for a year now...)
TheWriggler - Aug 2009
BabyBean - March 2012
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