Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Friday, December 3, 2010

Getting my kids to eat.

Isn't eating a requirement to live?
As most of you know, I have two kids. My daughter Sydney is 5, and my son Denny is 2. I'm not sure they are going to make it to adulthood because they don't eat! I have to fight with them every single meal to get them to actually put the food in their mouths, chew it up and swallow it. Sometimes Denny ends up throwing it, and sometimes Sydney wrinkles he nose at it and just sits there. I don't understand this behavior. I know for a fact that as humans they have to eat in order to stay alive. Plus, their parents both love to eat. Where this comes from is beyond me.
  See, he doesn't actually eat the food. He just smears it all over his face so it is no longer on his plate and it looks like he has ate it.
They don't seem to be wasting away.
Neither one of my kids are what you would call skinny. They are to over weight like their Daddy either. When they have gone for checkups, the Doc never seems worried about their body compositions. They just won't eat when we sit down to the table. They do eat snacks throughout the day of course. I give them yogurt a lot, and they love that. I try to stay away from the cookie and junk food type of things at snack times, but sometimes cookies find their little hands. So, I've tried to eliminate the snacks all together. They still just won't eat at meal time. I'm starting to think it's just a power struggle between them and me. Well, how do I win that one? I just can't bring myself to make them go hungry. I have to make sure they've eaten something before bed. I'm really at my wits end when it comes to this. Maybe they just don't like sitting at the table, I just don't know.
I've thought that maybe they don't like what I serve, but then again, I always ask them what they want. I try to make sure they have input into what we eat. Of course if I let Sydney decide, we would eat grilled cheese and tomato soup for every meal! She will eat when I make her that, but I can't just feed her that can I?
Does anyone have any tips on how to get my kids to eat? I'd really like to know how get them to eat at meal time. Please help! 


  1. Maybe just don't feed them snacks in between meals. They'll scream and cry and, so what? The most important thing is that they will not die. I bet they will learn to eat whatever you put in front of them. Just make sure that you daughter doesn't have the number for Child Protective Services or you're big trouble.
    Your Friend, m.

  2. Bribery my friend---find something the REALLY love, even if it isn't the most healthy of nutrients, and use it to get them to eat something else...

    Gummy snacks have ALWAYS worked for me. They're not completely unhealthy and I can get my kids (8 and 6) to rebuild a engine if those things are involved.

  3. Don't give them snacks until they eat their food. They want a snack, their food on their plate is a snack.

    If they're hungry, they'll eat.

    Disguise the food they don't like. LIke for instance, my daughter wont eat chicken because she says it gets stuck in her teeth. But if I grind it up and disguise it as ground chicken, she will.

    Also let them help out when you're making meals like lunch. They feel accomplished and will want to partake in their creations. Usually.

  4. Eric and Mark, I've cut the snacks out and ChopperPapa, I've started to use gummies as a bribe. So, I'm using my readers advise to the best of my abilities. I think it's starting to work as the plates have been cleaned the last couple of days. It helps that I've told them that they get no snacks if they don't eat what we put in front of them. If they don't want to eat it at meal time, I'll save it for them and they can eat it later. Seems to be working, at least until they try something new on me! Thanks guys.

  5. Don't stress it (easy to say but hard to do), and don't turn it into a battle otherwise they will always win because they ultimately choose what to put in their mouth. Once they learn it is a way they have power and control, that takes not eating to a new level.

    One thing that has helped us is to monitor what they eat over a week instead of from day to day. Put out good food, let them choose what to eat, and, if you look at what they eat over the course of a week you'll see they are probably doing okay. My son fluctuates wildy from day to day with what he eats, but still seems to be thriving.