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Lo went to bed hungry
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amother




Cerise
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:45 pm
In my house, the rule is, "If you don't like it, you don't have to eat it."

The pickiest eater in the house is me. My kids happily eat all kinds of proteins, vegetables, and fruit with no bribery necessary.

You could say I'm just lucky, but I think that my no-power-struggle eating philosophy has really helped.

OP, maybe consider just letting your kids eat what they want, and stop offering dessert as a prize for eating. You may be surprised at what happens.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:45 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I ask him before I warm something up if he'll eat it and he says yes. And then I give it to him and he won't eat it. He's smart knh its not like he doesn't understand when he answers yes he'll eat it.



That is typical three year old behavior. My three year old is also smart and also changes his mind like this all the time. My job as his mother is to ensure all his needs are met, which includes being fed. Encouraging independence is also good. Child doesn't like dinner? "Is there something else that's healthy you'd like instead?"
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amother




Black
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:46 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't eat much when he got home today at 1230. And I don't think he had lunch at school today. So he was probably hungry. But there's only so many times I can put on a puppet show for him to eat. Or get myself upset about it.


Sorry but that’s cruel.
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amother




Violet
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:46 pm
Horrible.
I remember sitting at the table and chewing the chicken for a half hour until it tasted like plastic, it just wouldn't go down.
How would you like to only get food you despise? Who cares if you were fed up?
There are so many other options you could have given as protein.
Why is it better to put him to sleep hungry than to be missing some protein?

At least give him a cookie or something before bed.
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amother




Ginger
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:46 pm
Nutrition is cumulative. Nobody really must have protein at every meal. At that age if they decided they are eating a pile of noodles and zero chicken or veggies I allowed it. And if there was a dessert, they still got that too.

What I did not ever do was cater new meals if they didn't get the meal they hoped for. If it's spaghetti and meatballs and they were hoping for chicken nuggets and fries, too bad.

I never had a kid go to bed hungry. There was always something in the meal they could deal with.

Even now, I have teens and pre-teens coming out of bed past bedtime telling me they are hungry. Even though I suspect it may be a stalling tactic to stay up later, I still let them go into the kitchen and find something to eat. The idea of a kid maybe going to bed hungry is too upsetting.

OP, it happened, it's done, but I think next time don't make eating protein such a big deal because for one meal, it really isn't and not worth a child being miserable.
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honey36




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:48 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't eat much when he got home today at 1230. And I don't think he had lunch at school today. So he was probably hungry. But there's only so many times I can put on a puppet show for him to eat. Or get myself upset about it.


Still doesn't mean for sure he's hungry. Sometimes my toddlers will barely eat anything one day, and then the next day they won't stop eating. I dont stress about it. I know eventually it will even out. I will give a few choices, but if they refuse all, then I assume their not hungry, even if they barely ate that day. One of mine is still like this even at 6 years old. She has days she will barely touch food and days she'll eat everything. Its assume its just the way her metabolism is...
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:50 pm
He didn't even ask for any other food tonight. He saw the chicken, chose not to eat it and continued on with his night. I guess he wasn't hungry.
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Redbird




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 7:50 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I ask him before I warm something up if he'll eat it and he says yes. And then I give it to him and he won't eat it. He's smart knh its not like he doesn't understand when he answers yes he'll eat it.


When my 4-year-old does this I tell him "you told me you'll eat it so take three bites and then we'll find something else"
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amother




Purple
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:03 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't even ask for any other food tonight. He saw the chicken, chose not to eat it and continued on with his night. I guess he wasn't hungry.


What else was available? Surely there was more than just chicken for dinner. Rice, broccoli, cucumber slices, potato wedges, anything. He wasn't interested in any of that?
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nanny24/7




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:03 pm
OP I apologize I just curtly criticized you in my first post without asking for more info or understanding you may just be misinformed. You sound caring but very burnt out and frustrated. I still stand that you should never ever repeat this scenario.
There are 2 issues here. A nutritional one and a behavioral/psychological one.
A 3 year old needs very little protein IMHO.
And chicken is the least preferred since it has the most unbalanced aminoacid profile with higher amounts of the ones that are harder to digest and a relatively small amount of saturated fat which toddlers need a lot of.
I don't have the time now to go into detail.
Children that age need lots of saturated fat from animal sources.
butter. beef. eggs. liver.
From vegetable sources coconut oil is good too.
Fish and chicken are okay if toddler wants but most definitely not something to push.
Red palm oil is awesome as it's very high in vitamin A and many other nutrients even more than vegetables (but with all the same nutrients too).
Honey and Maple Syrup are very rich in minerals.
If he ate a homemade pancake that had a heaping amount of butter and egg in the batter, and then had it dipped generously in pure maple syrup he will be just perfectly nourished. You can even include some red palm oil in the batter too.
Don't use those immitation pancake syrups. They are harmless but just not nutritious.
Peanut chews made with mollasses and red palm oil has all the nutrients needed too including enough protein. Molasses is just more bitter so I use that more for recipes rather than plain.
Cupcakes or muffins lightly sweet and made with a lot of the ingredients I mentioned are great.
As far as behaviorally, using sweets and less healthy foods as rewards has been researched and shown to be miserably ineffective at best, or harmful and setting up bad eating habits at worse.
Kids are smart. They realize that if you pose eating chicken as a "required task" and the yummy food as a "reward" that the yummy food is desirable and the chicken is not!
Besides this emotionally teaches a horrible and detrimental relationship with food. When the child grows up if they ever are overly self critical or harsh on themselves they will learn to either "punish" themselves by depriving oneself of yummy food or use food as comfort but then hate oneself for making such "bad" food choices.
Eating and food choices should never be assigned moral or ethical value. And it should never ever be posed in a way that allows for a power struggle.
I promise you if you let go and from now on let you child eat whatever they want things will be just fine and you will still be an amazing mother who cares about her child's health and nutrition! As long as the child is not hungry.
In fact, you will be even better than you were before!
And the ideas of fish sticks and chicken nuggets are totally fine too if your DS wants those.
I didn't write my nutrional ideas to imply that's what he must eat.
I just meant to point out the irony of you forcing a 3 year old to eat chicken no less, a fairly lean protein source and a hard to digest one (for many people) too.
Good luck OP and feel free to update us!!
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:03 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't even ask for any other food tonight. He saw the chicken, chose not to eat it and continued on with his night. I guess he wasn't hungry.


Or he knew that he won't get anything else so he didn't bother asking. If you know he doesn't like chicken, offer other things right away. You can say "what do you want to eat today? chicken, a sandwich, oatmeal, or a yogurt? Choose one thing."
My doctor told me that my picky kid can eat cookies for dinner, at least something. It's hard and frustrating, but it's part of being a parent. When you give up on the power struggle, you'll have much an easier time.
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nanny24/7




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:07 pm
OP I just saw your last post.
If you commanded him to eat chicken before anything else he may very well hsve decided to "win" the power struggle battle by showing you, "You think you can force me to eat chicken? No way! you will see I will go to sleep hungry and I win with my freedom intact."
I don't think it's possible he wasn't hungry from what you describe he ate.
It literally sounds like he almost fasted all day. I don't mean to alarm you but that can be immediately dangerous for a 3 year old!
I would keep him home in the morning and let him eat anything to make sure he eats a really big breakfast!
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nanny24/7




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:14 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't even ask for any other food tonight. He saw the chicken, chose not to eat it and continued on with his night. I guess he wasn't hungry.

I want to point out how you have 2 opposing beliefs.
when you were trying to force the chicken you were convinced he MUST eat it or else he seriously would be undernourished or missing protein.
But suddenly when you are fed up and let him go to sleep with nothing he is just fine and dandy and probably just wasn't hungry?
which one is your true opinion?
I know this is all probably unintentional and subconcsious. I am just putting the contradiction out there.
You can reflect on how what happened was mostly about your authority over his food choices as a policy thing and little to do with actual nourishment or nutrition.
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number




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:15 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
He didn't even ask for any other food tonight. He saw the chicken, chose not to eat it and continued on with his night. I guess he wasn't hungry.
Give him more choices so he can decide what to eat.
Easy proteins: eggs, peanut butter, dairy, canned fish, even fish sticks and chicken nuggets if he won’t eat anything else.
You’re only 3 once
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amother




Lawngreen
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 8:47 pm
What works for us is 2 dinner shifts- one as soon as we get home (around 5) and the other when everyone else eats. One of those is favorite foods, the other is try something new. This way she's eating a real dinner, but also has time at the table with only real food
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 9:13 pm
I'm sorry for all those mothers out there that think this is horrible. No wonder there are so many picky eaters. If the kid is generally not a picky eater I would probably offer something else. Your kid will not starve from skipping a meal. My sister in law will not give her children something else if they don't like dinner. She has been doing this for a long time now. Her children know they won't get something else and eventually they eat dinner, no matter what it is. My mom has had this experience a few times with some of my sibling and some of the grandchildren over the years. When they are super picky she offers them food by meal time, if they don't take she leaves it alone, they may skip a meal here or there, but eventually they start to eat everything you give them. None of the children I know are malnourished. I'm sure I will get criticized for this, don't really care. You are not a horrible mother.
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amother




Pumpkin
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 9:16 pm
OP read about Ellyn Satters division of responsibility in eating.

Also, zinc and thiamine have worked well here to regulate appetite and decrease pickiness.

Also, some kids restrict themselves to addictive foods like gluten, dairy, corn, soy, msg and then you literally need to remove those foods in order to expand their palate
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amother




Aubergine
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 9:16 pm
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
I'm sorry for all those mothers out there that think this is horrible. No wonder there are so many picky eaters. If the kid is generally not a picky eater I would probably offer something else. Your kid will not starve from skipping a meal. My sister in law will not give her children something else if they don't like dinner. She has been doing this for a long time now. Her children know they won't get something else and eventually they eat dinner, no matter what it is. My mom has had this experience a few times with some of my sibling and some of the grandchildren over the years. When they are super picky she offers them food by meal time, if they don't take she leaves it alone, they may skip a meal here or there, but eventually they start to eat everything you give them. None of the children I know are malnourished. I'm sure I will get criticized for this, don't really care. You are not a horrible mother.


Kids are allowed to have taste buds and don't have to eat everything given. Of course a kid that knows they won't get anything else to eat eventually eats the dinner, they know they don't have another choice and they don't want to starve. They gave up trying to ask for something else. I don't know why you think this is a good thing. It's cruel to force a kid to eat chicken and if they don't eat chicken they can't have anything else. It's also cruel to force a kid to eat only the dinner you made and nothing else. Options and choices are good for everyone. It teaches the kids to have a good relationship with food.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 9:18 pm
Give him a nice big breakfast in the morning.

And try playing with the timing of his meals. Sometimes, it's a matter of finding that sweet spot. My 3 year old grandson eats much more at 5:00 than at 6 or later, go figure.
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tichellady




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Feb 15 2021, 9:20 pm
I didn’t read everything but my toddler rarely eats anything for dinner and her pediatrician said most kids don’t really need dinner so not to worry about it. We do offer her whatever we are having and try to have something at the table we know she might want.
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