How do you get your child to eat?

@asyria51 (2870)
United States
December 30, 2010 5:48pm CST
I have resorted to putting the TV on because she will sit there and not eat dinner. We have tried different times of day, dinner at 4, dinner later at 7. She will not eat. We have never watched TV for any meal, and I know that my sitter does not have TV on during meals, because I have shown up during meal time and the kids are in the kitchen listening to music. I have tried saying we can watch tv after. I have tried just sitting there until she eats. I have tried everything. She just wants the tv on. She only wants it on at dinner. Breakfast she is perfectly content, lunch too. I just don't get why dinner is such a difficult time.
2 people like this
8 responses
@PDBME2 (1023)
• United States
31 Dec 10
Kids go through these phases of not wanting to eat. I think you might be starting a bad habit if you agree to have the tv on but if its something that is important to have her eat then go for it. I think all my kids have gone through times when they just don't want to eat certain things, times, etc. If the doctor says she is ok then I wouldn't worry.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99194)
• United States
31 Dec 10
Sometimes it is hard to remember that we are the parents. We make the rules and the children need to follow. From this discussion it seems that the child is eating at other times and so should be okay. It will not take very long if the parents are consistent in establishing rules and expectations and routines.
• United States
31 Dec 10
My daughter was born three months prematurely. She weighed 3 pounds at birth and went down to 2.7 lbs. When she was released from the NICU she was only 5 ls. She struggled to learn how to use a bottle. Since the beginning I was consistently concerned about eating and weight gain. There was a time when she didn't want to eat much at all and I became very concerned. The doctor told me not to worry she wouldn't starve herself. Well, he was right. When I stopped worrying she started eating much more! She eats very well now, but there are those times when she doesn't want as much. I don't worry as much as I did. I encourage her to eat, but never force her to. Some mothers do things differently. I don't want to make eating a chore so I approach it as something she needs to do, but in a very easygoing way. By the way, I know a little girl who did not like to eat anything, but for a few things....she's in Harvard now. I think she liked Chinese food and that was it!!!! Talk about not eating. She's brilliant. Moral of the story: what we eat and how much does not define who we become! FriendlyGirl777
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
31 Dec 10
I appreciate the advice. Unfortunately, my husband does not get concerned about most things in life. his blaise behavior makes me worry a bit more when it comes to our child. i told him we are not going to give in, and went so far at to cover the TV with a sheet and saying that the TV was night night last night for dinner. I am forcing her to sit in her high chair if she tries to run off. Since she is eating at other times of the day, I am not going force her to eat with us, but will offer her some of mine. i will find out on the fifth when she goes in for a well baby visit, if the doctor seems to think she has put on enough weight. She has always been on the low weight end, but tall comparitively. She does not appear and skinnier since her summer visit.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
6 Jan 11
It honestly could really have nothing to do with the television at all. It really could be simply that your daughter is not hungry. Kids are very different than adults in this way because they will typically only eat when they are hungry and not at other times when food is offered to them. What you need to do is eat the way that the family has always eaten and if she doesn't eat, don't worry about it, she will eat when she is hungry.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
31 Dec 10
Getting your child to et is not always an easy task to perform. With small children, it can even become more difficult. parents have to learn the little tricks to get their children to eat. it can seem deceiving, but it is for the good of the child.
• Philippines
31 Dec 10
here's another idea, and based on my experience...feed her in front of the computer featuring videos on kids eating (youtube perhaps!)and inspire her to be like on the kid on the computer, delightfully eating and showing big mouth when feeding! i bet this works, coz it works on my kids too!
• India
31 Dec 10
The best way to get your child eat is to make them sit in front of a TV and just feed them into their mouth. They will eat as much food as you give... :)
@GardenGerty (99194)
• United States
31 Dec 10
I would still not put the television on for the meals. Her age may make a difference in what you can do about it. If she is old enough, have her help you make the dinner. Do not give in sometimes as that will just make her more persisitent, thinking that if she keeps on, this might be the time you give in. If she is eating breakfast, and eating at the sitter and at all other meals, she is not going hungry. Other things you can do, that might distract her and cause her to co operate would be to do something like have candles lit on the table. Give her something different to see there.
@bounce58 (17526)
• Canada
31 Dec 10
I am also having the same trouble with my 4 year old. Since it is the holidays, and there are lots of things to eat at the cupboard, I am finding it harder and harder for him to eat at proper times. Dinner is such a problem too! This past few weeks, we've resorted to cooking mac 'n cheese at 11pm just to get him to eat something before going to bed. He'd be hungry when it's time to sleep, and he wouldn't stop nagging until he gets the mac n cheese. Hopefully, after the holidays we'll get back to regular eating habits.
• Spain
31 Dec 10
If I were in your position I would let her watch tv before having dinner and then, after (if you don't really want her to watch it while dinner). You can also talk about stuff that she likes and gets her attention while you both have dinner and that way she won't be bored. If she doesn't want to, just tell her that's the way it's going to be. But I also think it's just a phase, and she'll get over it in a while.