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    « "While we have you open." | Main | Awake, o sleeper. Rise up. »

    Monday, March 04, 2013

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    larmar

    I was totally the mean mom that cut out snacks. The rule was, if you didn't eat dinner, then snacks for the NEXT day were gone, and that usually assured that they would either be hungry enough to eat by dinner, or worried enough about their next day's snack that they would grudgingly take a few bites. I don't make them separate dinners either, because AIN'T NO ONE GOT TIIIIME FOR DAT! Then it was just about hunkering down and bearing for the fight. Be more pigheaded then him, and he will give in. Especially if he is getting food in other times in the day. I say, go easy on breakfast and lunch, give him what he will eat, then bear down on dinner. And send his butt back to bed hungry at 4 am! :) Good luck, Manda!

    A'Dell

    I choose not to care in favor of having pleasant days. Claire is extremely picky though, and always has been. I make "meals" for them but if they don't eat I don't make another meal. They can have a bowl of cereal or whatever and here is where the not caring comes in. Because yo, this is not a restaurant. I provide nutritious food; it's their job to eat it. I don't actually care if it's consumed in three formal table meals.

    Rachel

    I have a very stubborn just turned 3 year old. She'll refuse foods she likes at the supper table (ones that I couldn't keep her hands out of while I was cooking). If she won't even try it, I give it to her again at the next meal. And yes, if she wakes up at 2am hungry, she gets her warmed up supper. We don't make it a battle, it's just what I fixed, I don't like wasting food. I do give her small portions of foods she doesn't like or that are new. It takes kids on average 12-15 times of trying new things to like it. In a stubborn kid like mine it might be 20. So don't give up.

    I'd also cut out the snacking. If you are giving him a good breakfast and lunch he may need a small afternoon snack, but he shouldn't need to be snacking all day. If he is hungry, he will eat.

    A great book is "French Kids Eat Everything..."

    As far as the booster seat, my son quit using his at 2.5, my daughter at 2. I let them sit on their knees. If they get down from the table, back into the booster with the seatbelt they went. They caught on pretty quickly.

    Dr. Maureen

    This sucks. I *think* your best bet is to remove snacks and stick to your guns at 4am for a night or two. Which is haaaard, because it's 4am and he's crying and wailing and gnashing his teeth. Or - oh, maybe only give him his dinner at 4am? If you can't stand withholding food? And then there are all the old stand-by pieces of advice: Make sure there's something he does like, only give him small bits of new stuff, it takes 1387901327 times before a kid will try something, yada yada yada. I do think making sure there is something he does like available at dinner is a key feature for preventing 4am hungry wake ups, though, even if he eats nothing else.

    How old is he again? We started playing the M&M game that @indigogirls talked about on Twitter, where they get 3 M&Ms at the start of dinner and if they lose one for each rule they break: no getting up, no talking with their mouths full, no interrupting. Is he old enough to understand that concept? You could do it just for getting up. Because I bet if you could just keep him in his seat, he'd eat enough of the thing he likes to at least keep him sleeping all night.

    Jesabes

    A while ago, Margaret started requesting a bedtime snack every night. We didn't like the idea, because it seems like we shouldn't teach our children you HAVE to snack before bed, right? Not a good habit. But, for now at least, we can give them anything and it counts. If we hand them each two grapes and say "bedtime snack!" they're cool with that.

    This also means if they don't touch their dinner, I can get a bunch of greek yogurt into them at bedtime and hopefully they have enough protein to sleep through the night. It's really nice, actually, to have dinner not be the last chance to feed them for the day, so I don't have to care whether they eat or not.

    Also, we're early dinner eaters and late bedtimers over here, so bedtime snack is two hours after dinner. No snacking is allowed in those two hours, so bedtime snack hasn't become a "I'll just skip dinner and eat that instead" kind of thing. (Thankfully.)

    Caroline

    I stopped giving snacks this past summer at all. None between any meal and I am wife of a personal trainer/marathon runner who knows 4-5 small meals is the best. However, not with them. The only snacks they can have are fruits and vegetables.
    At dinner, when we eat as family, and the meal isn't a favorite, they get a very small portion. And if they don't eat it, they don't eat til breakfast. We don't make a big deal out of it, it just is what it is.

    HereWeGoAJen

    I'm with A'Dell. I don't care. Eat it or don't. (For example, Elizabeth didn't eat much lunch today because we had friends over and is currently wolfing down snacks at 4:00pm. There is no way in hell that she's going to touch a bite of dinner tonight. I opened the pantry for her so that she can reach her approved Elizabeth snacks and I am letting her go at it.) Food is just not a fight worth having at this point in my life. When she's six or seven, we will see. Four? Nope. Kids have so little control over their own lives and food is one thing we cannot make them do. It's just not a battle I have the energy for. It's temporary.

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