Saturday, October 15, 2011

Advice for the Parent of a Stubborn Eater

An old friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night

"Any parents out there with helpful hints on how to get a stubborn toddler to eat some dinner?"

My response?

"Are you kidding?! I write a whole blog about this! I'll send you a message."

Here's what I sent,


Hiya sweetie,

You know, something I learned about Lorelei when she wasn't wanting to eat is that maybe she just wasn't hungry. Sometimes that's ok. Eat your dinner and let him (her son) do his thing. If you don't pay attention to what he's doing he may very well sneak in a nibble or two. Sometimes if you make a big deal out of something, toddlers, who are learning what they can do for themselves and how to give us gray hairs, will not do something because you want them to do it.

Another thing you can do is just say to him, "Ok, you're all done? I'll clear your plate for you." Then see what he says. If he's ok with that, then maybe he's done. If he asks for it back, he'll eat it.

After dinner is all done and you and Nick are away from the table, if Gabe says he's hungry, be firm and say that he can have a glass of milk. If he asks for more, tell him that dinner has come and gone and that he should have eaten when it was served; stick with a glass of milk!! Trust me, it will only take a time or two of that lesson for him to catch on. Anyway, he won't starve.

Good luck mama.



Truth be told, most of the other sixteen comments that were left before mine said the same thing; toddlers won't starve, they'll eat when they are hungry, and it's important for the parent to be firm and steadfast in their mealtime rules. Relax and enjoy your meal.

I'll add one more thing, I don't cater to my daughter's tastes. I won't make a meal for her and one for me. Of course I make things that she likes, but when I plan out a meal I make something that will serve us both; then I just give her a smaller portion. Se does eat liver, in the form of paté (it's really high in iron), and Brussels sprouts.

Be strong my fellow parents-of-a-toddler! We'll all get through it soon enough... too soon, really. I'm afraid of the tween years. Eeeesh


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