My four year old is on a dinner strike. She eats all of her day time meals and snacks, but when it comes to dinner, she refuses to eat, sitting at the table whining about how she does not like the food she has not even tried! (And yes, she has eaten it before with no problem.) We try to incent her with desert and rewards if she has a few bites with no luck. When it is time to go to bed, she complains that her belly hurts and that she is hungry. The first few times this happened, I would cave and give her carrot sticks before bed, but I have since stopped and now I tell her she should have eaten dinner. Is this normal? How do I get her to eat dinner with us with out it being a total fight every night?

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asked 18 Apr '12, 18:46

TammyZ's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Apr '12, 14:38

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

Sounds like she's tired. Is it possible to move the meal slightly earlier? If you know she'll eat carrot sticks, can she have some with her dinner every day?


answered 01 May '12, 10:02

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

What time is her last snack before dinner? You might want to cut off snacking in the last hour to hour and a half before dinner time so that she'll be more likely to be hungry.

You can also institute a two bite rule. She has to try two bites (you determine the size of the bite) before she can declare that she doesn't like a particular food.

It may be necessary to offer condiments to get her to eat. My son (who is also four) likes ketchup. Not only does he dip fries in it but also apple slices. There are occasions when ketchup is the only way we get him to eat meat. If he sees us using ranch dressing, A1 Steak Sauce or bbq sauce, he will sometimes allow those in place of the ketchup.


answered 25 Nov '12, 13:46

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

Dipping sauces are also a great resource in our house. Our 4 year old will rarely eat any type of meat without dipping it in something.

(26 Nov '12, 10:27) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 18 Apr '12, 18:46

Seen: 3,959 times

Last updated: 26 Nov '12, 10:27