Meal time secrets

@LouRhi (1502)
Australia
January 31, 2008 6:05am CST
Is it just me or have others out there experienced the dreaded meal time fights? I have always believed that if a child is hungry they will eat but at the same time there are requirements that should be met. What tricks do you have to make meal time battle free?
5 responses
@gemini_rose (16194)
31 Jan 08
I have certainly experienced the dreaded meal time fights, with having 4 children I have had it with every one! Its always been a case of trial and error with each of them, and as each child was different it was different means with each of them, but finally after years of battles and fights, of me telling them they will sit there until they eat it, they will not have anything after their meal if they dont eat it, of me cutting out their snacks, of me sending them to their rooms, of me just tearing my hair out in frustration when I have cooked lovely meals only to have to throw them into the bin, I have finally found the way that works for us all, I only give them what they want to eat! No not junk food, but I work out my meal schedule for the week and i write it down and do the shopping for it and then I offer them the choices every day that they have and it works! They all have similar tastes luckily so I dont end up having to cook loads of different meals, but they enjoy having the choice of what meal they have and they seem to eat it all better because they have chosen it. But I do also believe like you that if they are hungry they will eat so I just also limit the amount of snacks that they have between each meal and that helps too.
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
1 Feb 08
yes limiting snacks is very important in getting dinner eaten without to much fuss. Sometimes you feel like starving them all day just so they will eat dinner without complaining! Thanks for sharing
@formy3 (31)
• United States
1 Feb 08
Hi, Mealtime has been a battle off and on over the past 9 years at my house. Not really getting them to eat, just getting them to eat the same thing as the whole family. I have 3 children with 3 very different tastes. It is hard because I don't want to force them to eat something they don't like. I just try to make simple foods as much as possible that I know they like and make sure they are eating healthy foods that they like even if that means they all eat different things some nights..
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
2 Feb 08
yes finding something that everyone wants to eat can be tricky. Thanks for sharing
@cydzzj (356)
• Australia
1 Feb 08
It is quite common for toddlers to exhibit unco-operative behaviour at mealtimes. Many parents have trouble coaxing their toddler to eat; you haven't done anything wrong. Try to remain calm. The situation will improve eventually. I think there are some ways you can try: Congratulate him on what he does eat. You'd be surprised how many picky toddlers turn into older children (and adults) who love their food, so try not to worry or lose your patience. Be as relaxed as possible. Try other foods. He might also like to help in the kitchen. Even quite young children enjoy making a sandwich-of sorts!
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
1 Feb 08
Yes it is amazing what a difference helping can make. Surprisingly though my toddler is not the one who gives me a headache. It is my older child who delights in pushing meal time boundaries. I am sure it is just a phase but I can't wait for it to pass! Thanks for sharing
• United States
31 Jan 08
I had trouble with my daugher when she was between 2 and 4 years old. She would eat when she wanted. When she started school it became easier for meal time. Of course her day care center had a set schedule with there meals. I would try and figure out what time in the evening she was hungry and set it around that time where we would all sit down and eat dinner. I am not sure how your household is, but when her favorite tv program came on it was easier to sit at that time and eat. She would be still and be focused on the television so eating wouldn't be a chore.
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
1 Feb 08
I to have found the power of tv for getting kids to eat but I don't really like using it. I am anti tv! especially at dinner time. I think it is a time when everyone sits down together to share part of the day. Thanks for sharing
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
31 Jan 08
Actually mealtime has NEVER been a battle for me wiht either of my kids...First off I try to make foods that the family enjoys...secondly when I DO make a new dish OR want the kids to try something different that they've never had before I ONLY require that my kids (and husband) try it with an open mind..if they don't like it thats fine, so long as they've at least tried it..And finally I long ago got in the habit to ask my husband and kids more often than not what they are in the mood for for dinner...
@LouRhi (1502)
• Australia
1 Feb 08
you are very lucky I am sure many will envy you. Thanks for sharing