Dinner Time! Let's Chat...

I'm telling you what... I think that if my little girl tells me ONE MORE TIME that she doesn't want to eat dinner... I might just LOSE IT!  My husband and I have tried EVERYTHING (I'm pretty sure)!  Here's a list of what we've tried... don't judge ;-)

-bribing her with a 'sweet treat' (MOST success with this IF she can SEE the treat... but what kind of habits are we setting?!  It still is not 100% successful though... I'd say like 40%...)
-punishing her... no TV time before bed (She usually gets to watch one 30 min. cartoon to wind down before bed) or no game time
-giving her the same meal at lunch and/or dinner the next day...
-'No Thank You Bite'- The idea is that the kid HAS to take at least 1 bite BEFORE they say 'No thank-you!'  Because she usually DOESN'T EVEN TRY IT!!
-Just letting her be excused from the table with no dinner.  Take a bath... and go to bed :-(
-No snacks after lunch

That's all I can think of right now... but I feel like there are 234,454,342+ other things that we've done.  Come on y'all, tell me I'm NOT alone!  What have YOU done??  You veteran parents... WHAT WORKS??

I know when my babies were little and they didn't eat, I would tell myself that they'll eat when they're hungry.  I know that I sneak in veggies in their V8 splash and other foods that they DO eat.  But, should I stress?  Should this be something that we argue and deal with (ending in tears) EVERY night?!?!?!  AHHHHHHH!!!

Ok... well, here's what I'm going to be doing in the meantime.  In college, I read a book (for those of you who know me, you know that that is a RARE occasion) titled Setting Limits in the ClassroomThe book played out scenarios where kids are being defiant.  I decided to look it up... (I loaned my college copy out and never got it back... No worries!  Amazon had it) and I found another title that seemed VERY appealing to me... Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child and Setting Limits: How to Raise Responsible, Independent Children.  Needless to say, I bought (and have received) both.  Now, I'm reading them... and hopefully soon, I'll be the PERFECT parent with the most well behaved children... bahahahahahaha!!! WHO AM I KIDDING?!?!  I'd just like to be able to control things a little better that's all!  Kids will be kids and frankly, life is TOO short to really stress about this stuff...
Alright, let's hear YOUR dinner advice! 
Let's Chat....


  1. Oh we have all sorts of trick we use with Kaley. Last night I made spinach and I wanted her to at least try it. She has been on this Land Before Time kick and so I told her it was tree stars, dinosaur food. She ate everything I put on her plate! HAHA :) The other thing I do, she has this friend that she LOVES called Jack. I will put something new on her plate and say, "This is Jack's FAVORITE!" she will eat every last bite because it's "Jack's favorite". Ok so this probably doesn't help you but I thought it was funny to share anyways. Lol. Kaley is a pretty good eater. When we have our rough times I just cut out juice and snacks so nothing else will fill her up! When she complains I say, well you didn't eat dinner so no snacks. So she ends up just eating at meals and usually starts eating well again soon after that. Maybe you can try some new recipes? I know Kaley has favorite that is sure to be a hit every time.

  2. This is a nightly struggle at our home. There are usually tears and time out involved at dinner time EVERY night. What has been working great for us is, at lunch and breakfast he is great he eats with out any complaining so we have been majorly praising him during those meals. Example :" See how nice it is sitting here with mommy and daddy. We love sitting together at dinner. Isnt this nice? " We are getting there slowly but I think that he is learning who is boss. HAHAHAHAHA ! Keep us posted about what knowledge you learn from the books.

  3. I read a book earlier this year by Dr. James Dobson (of Focus on the Family) called "Dare to Discipline" and in it he addressed meal time struggles. He basically said that meal time should not be a battle. If the child doesn't want what they're offered, they don't eat. Simple as that. Next meal time comes around they get the food they rejected last time until they're hungry enough to stop arguing and eat it. If a child knows they're going to get something special (like hot dogs or chicken nuggets while everyone else has to eat pot roast & broccoli) they'll keep being defiant because they know you'll cave. I know you didn't say you give Addison what she wants or any special dinner, I was just saying that as an example. I don't quite have the heart to give Claire leftovers of everything she won't eat because some of it is pretty nasty leftover & I just can't do it to her. If what I made keeps okay then I'll give it to her at the next meal, but if it doesn't she gets no snacks, juice, or milk (only water) until the next meal. And I DO NOT cave. If she doesn't eat breakfast at 8am, she doesn't get a single thing until 12:30 when I fix her lunch. Most of the time it sucks because she whines about "STARVING!!" but I just try to keep my cool & remind myself that she will eat a good lunch. It's a work in progress but she'll get there eventually! :)

  4. I had a similar frustrating time with naps. The struggle and fight would just ruin the whole afternoon for us. So I gave up. We stopped with naps. Obviously you can't do that with food, but when my boys give me a hard time about meals, I don't let them eat anything else BUT their meal for the day. The meal will sit on the table or in the fridge, and when they say they are hungry, I very nicely and enthusiastically remind them that they have this food right here. I don't make a big deal about it, I just put it out and say that is what they can eat. And when they finish that, they can have dessert. Sometimes they eat it and other times they don't. I have gone many hours with this back and forth, and I usually win, ahem, I mean, they end up eating ;)
    Then they get dessert and we go about our day. Good luck though,I KNOW that frustration and it's awful! I'm a new follower from vB. Love your blog!

  5. Thank you ALL for your input. I know that it's just a 'phase' BUT it is SO frustrating!!!! I mean, if she'd TRY it I would feel a LITTLE better. But she just pushes the food away and turns up her nose :-P I just need to take a deep breath and remind myself that 'This too shall pass'...

  6. I cut all snacks and you get what you get. If you dont want it, you go hungry. They wont starve. THey may complain... cry... pitch fits.... set meal times, adhere to the schedule, cut all snacks/juice and just let it go. Like you said... not worth the stress. They wont starve themselves. :)

  7. I have not had to deal with a picky eater. Mine were all so good about eating. I would love to hear if the books helped at all.