130 Answers

“I have a problem I was wondering if you could help with. I have a 3 1/2 year old boy who has trouble eating. He is fine at lunch time and will eat sandwiches all day. Breakfast is always a fight and despite what I get him will take a lot of coercion and bribery and at least an hour. Come dinner time even if he is complaining about being hungry, even if he is involved in preparation or tells me what he wants it is a fight to get him to eat. He would rather go to the naughty wall or bed than eat dinner. I am at my wits end. Any ideas? He will not eat what we are eating and I am still cooking him a seperate meal of veges and fish fingers or chicken nuggets or the like and even then he doesnt eat. All my friends kids of the same age eat what they are eating… please help” Do you have any tips on how to get a child to eat?

Posted by Monica, 30/04/13

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  • I have a two year old, almost three daughter and she is the pickiest of all.
    At least your son eats sandwiches, mine will pick at whatever you put in front of her
    She’ll ask for noodles then when you give them to her she no longer wants them! She’s always sick and I think it’s because she just doesn’t eat.
    So yes, advice on this would be so good.
    Noting even if she helps prepare the food she would rather feed it to the cat than eat it.

  • First of all, kids can survive on little for a long time. Kids go through stages. You say he will eat sandwiches all day, in which case I wouldn’t worry too much. Maybe you can play around a bit with what’s on the sandwiches; Peanut butter is a great protein source, a fried egg is too, real butter on the sandwich for milk protein. Does he drink milk for you ? Alternatively you could make home made ice cream with Greek yoghurt for milk source. Set fruits out and present dinner. Encourage to try but don’t force; give the right example and eat your fruits and veggies yourself

  • I have a fussy eater too. Any tips are helpful

  • no, sounds like my child. he hardly eats anything! likes his milk though..

  • Start again with fresh outlook. Sit on floor with him and bread board and cut celery sticks, capsicums, colorful raw exciting foods. Have a munch. Encourage him too. You’re both tired from mealtimes. Get back to basics.

  • My son is almost the same age and the same, involving him with what we do to prepare his food though usually works. Sometimes though it can end up with him just eating a bowl of fruit, which is good for him but I do worry it is not enough.
    I am just continually trying new foods, letting him choose from a couple of options.
    Maybe just stop him eating anytime throughout the day and just have set times then maybe by dinner time he will be too hungry to argue.
    I have had to tell my son that we aren’t doing anything for the day until he has breakfast and if that means not leaving the house or going to the toy room then that is what I have had to do. Good lick

  • Love finding good advice hidden in an old question! Thank you x

  • Some kids can give their parents so much grief at meal times and it can be genuinely distressing..for both parties too. There is not really a simple solution and what works for the child (and the family) will generally be unique, but try everything from bribery and negotiations to ignoring him. I personally think the less fuss over meals the better, its a battle of wills more often than not

  • They go through phases… Check his weight and growth.. If he’s still growing, he is obviously getting enough food.

  • I hope your child is eating a bit more these days

  • Im currently having this trouble too, the 7 yr old eats it even if she doesn’t like it but the 15 month old and 3.5yr old are so fussy it drives me nuts and they are not getting enough nutrients into them from the foods that they like.

  • How did you go? Eating issue fixed yet? Kids can be quite defiant sometimes.

  • I was concern with my LO and after speaking with my mum she said if a child is hungry they will eat. She said when my sister was little (11 yrs older then me) around 3 -4 age group all she would want to eat was vanilla ice-cream. The doctor said that’s fine let her eat it, she will eventually grow out of it don’t stress.
    My option is as long as they aren’t eating chocolates, lollies, that side of food. Don’t stress it will work its self out. We don’t let him having any junkie sort of food until he has at least had some fruit, cheese, yogurt, toast etc for the day. He gets a small little trip for his afternoon tea if he has eaten well. I find with my little one he will constantly eat throughout the day. Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon dinner, He sometimes will not eat dinner and before he goes to be he gets a cup of warm milk.

    Good Luck

  • My daughter stopped eating breakfast so we got her a toddler table and she will sit and eat her breakfast there. Thankfully she only ever wants what we are having for dinner!

  • i hope you’ve had success

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