At lunch time she will say "yummee" which usually means she is hungry, but when we put her in her high chair and put her meal in front of her she doesn't touch it. Then an hour later she wants snacks. Should I:

  1. leave her in her high chair until she eats proper meals?
  2. avoid giving her snacks ?

any other suggestions ?

asked 07 Feb '10, 18:43

oo's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 14 Feb '10, 19:27

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson


This sounds like a "power play" situation. Our son is too young for that(fortunately), so I can't offer any advice though...

(07 Feb '10, 18:48) brandstaetter

+1 Great question, my friend also had a similar phase with her daughter.

(07 Feb '10, 22:32) Emi

My son is almost four, and we have the opposite problem at meal times - he doesn't want to eat, and he doesn't want to sit at the table with us. I'll admit this is partially my fault, because I allow him to eat lunch in the living room. At dinner, though, I require him to sit at the table with my husband and me (my son is our only child).

The real problem is that except for breakfast, my son argues and resists eating at meal times. He'll take a few bites (sometimes) and say he's full (and I know he's not). Then an hour later (and all afternooon) he'll keep saying he's hungry. I've tried telling him that if he's not a good eater at meal time then there won't be any snacks - no more food until dinner. They say a kid won't starve himself, but I truly beg to differ with this. I've had days where he won't eat lunch, I hold out and don't let him snack in the afternoon, and then at dinner he still refuses to eat what I've made (and I do make an effort to always make things I know he likes, but he'll still say it's yucky). He actually wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes, or very early in the morning because he's hungry. Obviously what I'm trying isn't working. How do I get this kid to eat more at meal times? :(

(11 Sep '11, 03:15) kurlikew

@kurlikew As this cite is designed to be in question and answer format, you are more likely to get responses if you ask a new question. You can do so by clicking on the new question link in the top right corner.

(11 Sep '11, 08:54) Tammy ♦♦

I see no other place to ask the person who did it directly, so why was my post edited? There was nothing inappropriate in it. >:o(

(11 Sep '11, 10:36) kurlikew

@kurlikew is not a forum, where threads are conversations. The comment area can be used for that purpose. If you would like ask something of the original poster, I can change your answer to a comment. If you ask a new question then you will get responses from other users. As another answer there is no guarantee anyone will look at it. I suggest you read the faq, including the back it up principle.

(11 Sep '11, 12:50) Tammy ♦♦
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments


From my experience, toddlers appetites decrease as their rate of growth slows down, and are often too busy to sit and eat a meal, Offer a nibble tray. Toddlers like to graze their way through a variety of foods. Use an ice-cube tray, a muffin tin, or a compartmentalized dish, and put bite-size portions of colorful and nutritious foods in each section. Call these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate, such as:

  • apple moons (thinly sliced)
  • avocado boats (a quarter of an avocado)
  • banana wheels
  • broccoli trees (steamed broccoli florets)
  • carrot swords (cooked and thinly sliced)
  • cheese building blocks
  • egg canoes (hard- boiled egg wedges)
  • little O's (o-shaped cereal)

Place the food on an easy-to-reach table. As your toddler makes his rounds through the house, he can stop, sit down, nibble a bit, and, when he's done, continue on his way. These foods have a table-life of an hour or two.


answered 07 Feb '10, 19:16

Phil%20Seller's gravatar image

Phil Seller
accept rate: 9%

edited 15 Feb '10, 02:44

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦


+1 Great answer - I would just add as another suggestion that you sit down at the table with your toddler and enjoy the meal/snack time together. You may find that her eating habits could start to change.

(07 Feb '10, 22:30) Emi

+1 This is pretty much how my almost 3 year old get's most of her nutrition still, she sits with us at meal times, but it's mostly a social thing for her, she doesn't eat much, and gets a "snack tray" later on. All three of her brothers are more "Mom made food, must eat now!" (The 16 year old actually says that!) Teenage boys around food are scary! And their baby brother loves to emulate them. Sigh.

(08 Feb '10, 08:28) Neen

Excellent suggestion. In my experience it's not worth stressing about meal time habits too much at this stage. So long as she is getting good nutrition, and she sees you eating meals, she'll want to join you eventually.

(14 Feb '10, 19:30) Meg Stephenson

I just want to second Emi's comment here. We had trouble with our son recently and we found that all he wanted was to share dinner time with us. Sitting down at the table and eating our meals together seemed to improve his eating habits a lot.

(15 Feb '10, 19:57) Rick

I agree with the comments made so far. I especially agree with the shared mealtime. I had a similar situation with my daughter, and her pediatrician said I should think about her nutrition in the scope of a week, and not per day.


answered 16 Feb '10, 02:31

Nancy%20B.'s gravatar image

Nancy B.
accept rate: 0%

My 4 year old and a half only eats snacks (yoghurt, fruits, cereal, healthy rice sticks or veggie sticks) He drinks a milk full of vitamins in the morning. He loves muffins and I cook them healthy but he doesn't eat sandwiches, nor warm food except for CHIPS! which I do in the oven... he eats carrots... No meat, no rice, no lentils, no beans, no soups, no spaghetti... drives me insane and has been like that since he was almost 2! Before, he used to eat everything! it was amazing! he is a strong Leo, so one track minded... he doesn't want to TRY things... He is growing well, hight, weight, everything but he doesn't eat properly and that is affecting me as a mum... I feel guilty giving him all those snacks to fill him to avoid him getting slim. I've tried twice to not giving him food unless he eats proper food and had no effect. He wont eat in 2 days and I can't starve him for more than that...



answered 04 Feb '14, 19:28

Lara's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Lara - see the above responses to answer your question

(13 Mar '14, 13:15) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 07 Feb '10, 18:43

Seen: 27,811 times

Last updated: 13 Mar '14, 13:15