Asking for food and then not eating it?

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.

Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby BLTMama » 04 Jul 2013, 16:35

What do you do about this? Lately Badger has been asking for all kinds of food that she then eats one bite of or doesn't touch at all and then asks for something else. Normally I'm happy to give her what she asks for as it's generally healthy stuff (or at least she asks for healthy stuff after I've told her she can't have candy/cookies/popsicles). I'm just not sure how to explain to her about wasting food without going down the whole "you have to eat your green beans to get your ice cream" route (or in her case, you have to eat your cottage cheese to get your green beans).

Some of it I know is just asking for food out of boredom/attention seeking, since she knows it's something that will get a response even if I'm busy with the baby. But I still need a better reaction than "okay, but you better *eat* it this time" :oops: ...
♥ Mom to Badger Dec 2009 and Little Tarsier Jun 2013 ♥
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby Agatha'sMama » 04 Jul 2013, 16:51

So glad you started this thread BM, I've started wondering about this too after catching myself almost saying similar a couple of times lately!
Mama to A - May 2011

back on the forum after being so rudely interrupted by RL for a year
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby KateGladTidings » 04 Jul 2013, 16:56

Don't.Get.Me.Started

*ahem*

Happy Indepence Day BM!
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby Turtle'sMammy » 04 Jul 2013, 17:01

If it's just an attention thing, then I would leave the snacks you are happy for her to have in an accessible place. T has been helping himself to food since A's arrival.
That, or have her wait until you're ready.
"You're not going to die from it" is my catchphrase :D
I wish someone had taught me that it was ok to be hungry...
Mother to T, July 2008 & A, June 2012
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby Seriously_Nutty » 04 Jul 2013, 17:08

Lotty 'please can I have an apple?
Me 'yes'.
Lotty (after 1 bite) 'please can I have a banana?'
Me 'no. You asked for an apple so you can eat that for now and have a banana later'

End.of.

Does depend on the age of the child though. I might have a different tack with William depending on the situation but otherwise, no, if they have asked for something I know they like and usually eat, I will not let them have something else before they've made a good effort at eating it.
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby salj1980 » 04 Jul 2013, 17:09

I *try* to insist that if he doesn't eat it then, there won't be any more snacks offered until he does. So if he comes back 30 minutes later and wants something else I just remind him that he's already got something. If he really won't eat it but insists that he's still hungry he gets a breadstick or a dry cream cracker. To be fair he doesn't do it that often but it bloody annoys me when he does!
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby Rosie_t_Riveter » 04 Jul 2013, 17:52

Seriously_Nutty wrote:Lotty 'please can I have an apple?
Me 'yes'.
Lotty (after 1 bite) 'please can I have a banana?'
Me 'no. You asked for an apple so you can eat that for now and have a banana later'

End.of.

Does depend on the age of the child though. I might have a different tack with William depending on the situation but otherwise, no, if they have asked for something I know they like and usually eat, I will not let them have something else before they've made a good effort at eating it.


Yeah. This. And I refuse to give him a huge 2nd bowl of cereal in the morning when he will just push it around and then stop eating. If I give him a small bowl and say "if you finish that you can have some more" he actually eats more than he would otherwise?!?
TheWriggler - Aug 2009
BabyBean - March 2012
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby embee » 04 Jul 2013, 17:55

Sometimes when this happens, I remind her that she asked for snack A, and that she needs to eat it before getting something else. A common one with this is banana. She'll eat a couple bites then abandon it. I just figured out recently that she hates when it makes her fingers sticky (but insists on totally peeling it before eating) so if I give her a fork to jab it with, she'll eat it! Strange kid!!

But yeah. We are dealing with the "I'm hungry" when bored right now too. We don't usually offer snacks, and I'm now just reminding her that it's not mealtime, and that she needs to eat more at meals if she's repeatedly asking for snacks 10min later. If it's potentially legitimate hunger, I will offer fruit after trying to distract her with an activity. Sometimes (often) it seems it's more the attention she's after.

We also do smaller quantities which she can have seconds of. (well, Daddy doesn't, and wastes a lot of cereal!!) But I find the same as Rosie, she actually eats more when given in small quantities!
Munchkin - April 2010
Little Miss- November 2012
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby jvnt » 04 Jul 2013, 23:40

I have 'cracked down' on waste in general. Like pouring too much cereal or using too much soap. It really helped that he did a unit at preschool on recycling and waste. He still does it but is getting aware and getting better and understands when I say that when he asked for x and didn't eat it it was a waste. Slow progress.
jvnt, mother to The Boy, August '09, Baby Dragon, January '12 and HP May '14.
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby meerkatsmum » 05 Jul 2013, 00:56

M: my want banana (eats one or two bites, puts it down, plays for five minutes)
M: apple please!
Me: you asked for a banana, so eat the banana and if you're still hungry you can have an apple

There's no discussion. I won't waste a banana and an apple. I feel like by saying this I'm not saying "eat your all greens before you get icecream." It's just I'm saying "if you're hungry, eat the food you liked and asked for, if you're still hungry after then you can have more, if you're not hungry then don't eat it". So she still has the option not to eat it if she doesn't want to.

Also, I find if I cut bananas up, she eats more! And half at a time so I can freeze it for smoothies if she decides she doesn't want more!
DD - Meerkat (October 2011)
DD - Wombat (January 2014)
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Re: Asking for food and then not eating it?

Postby Popsie » 18 Jul 2013, 09:22

Lots of what I do already said. I talk to Midge about having a good go (eg at least half of it) so that i can portion up appropriately. If she only wants a bit, to try and remember to ask for a bit. This was very true when having milk, sometimes I'd do a big cup and she would have half and other times guzzle the lot. Now she usually remembers to ask for how much she wants. There's often still waste but marginal amounts now!
I do use the 'eat up x before y' and sometimes it's chocolate/ cake that's 'y' but the message is always not to waste rather that 'chocolate is the best'!
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