Oh more..........

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Oh more..........
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 10:42pm
It's me again.

On top of my 1st post I have another issue tht I need to vent about!

For dd to eat a full meal is impossible. When I make dinner or dh does (it doesnt matter who makes it) she will sit and eat a little bit, then she says she is full and leaves the table.

THEN half an hour later I hear "what is there to eat?" ALL DAMN day I hear that! It makes me soooooooooooo mad. I tell her "I made you a meal. You had meat, veggies, fruit and bread and milk with your lunch or dinner and proper breakfast food. And she will have a snack during the day. She also helps make the meals too, so she has her part in it and we know she'll like it!

But every half an hour to an hour I hear "What do we have to eat" fianlly one day I lost it after hearing that damn phrase ALL day........I told her that when a meal is made and served she is to sit and EAT what she is given, NOT get up and run around, go to the computer etc. I told her this is NOT A RESTERAUNT and what she is served is what she is to eat. I have told her that if she says "I'm done or full" that she will not ask me "what is there to eat" becuase if she does she is not getting aynthing.

She is not heavy/chunky she weighs 43lbs and is tall and thin!

I have given her more than enough chances to realize that when food is served that it is to be eaten. We make things that are "kid friendly" and she likes but she just will not eat a full meal. I will sit with her at the table..........I give myself a time limit to sit there I go for 1/2 hr. to 45 min. If she isn't done and has messed around then I take it away. The tv is off most of the time. It is frustrating. And the portions are just her size! And she knows that she can have more if she wants to!

I told her that when she starts school this fall that at lunch she has to eat it or she will not get anything unitl afterschool, she cannot ask her teacher "what is there to eat" becuase she MUST EAT LUNCH when it is served to her!

Any suggestions?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 3:00pm
You may not like my answer, but here goes:

My DH and I have argued sooooo many times about what and how our DS eats. My DH grew up in a house where there were three meals a day, not very many snacks, and you HAD to eat everything on your plate b/c sometimes that was all you got to eat in a day. He thinks that is the right way to go. I, on the other hand, grew up in a house that taught very different values. We never HAD to clear our plates...we ate until we were full and my mom was smart enough to make sure we were not malnutritioned.

What parents often don't understand is that the principle of "clearing your plate" or "eating what's on your plate" isn't had by a 5 y/o. They eat to survive. Plain and simple. They will eat what they're body wants to eat and as much as their body will allow at the time.

Remember that your child's stomach is only as large as his fist, so servings really do matter! There is a general rule of thumb out there that I believe in. It's that a child should be able to eat one tablespoon for each year of age. So your 5 y/o should have 5 tablespoons of food on his/her plate at one time. Doesn't seem like much, does it? Well, it is plenty! If I follow this rule, my DS will sometimes ask for seconds!

Next, remember that if your child isn't falling behind in height or weight, there's usually nothing to be concerned about. My DS "grazes" all day. He never eats one big meal like adults do. He will eat small bites of things all day long, but I've learned to just feed him healthy snacks and then I dont' mind one bit! (He is allowed one or two snacks per day that have sugar in them, such as cookies or ice cream. Of course, it depends on the day.)

I hope I've given you some insight. Children are not adults. We shouldn't feed them like they are! I think parents lose sight of this so often and that's what causes frustration!

((( hugs ))))


Loving wife to David (3-2

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Tue, 06-24-2003 - 3:37pm
Thanks for the info.

I serve her the proper size portions (i know the 1T for every year of age) but she will eat a bite or two then leaves. And stomach size/

And when she asks 1/2hr or less wht else is there to eat, i will give other stuff but then it gets wasted becuase she wont finish ANYTHING. We waste more food becuase she asks for stuff, we give it to her and she'll take it and let it sit, and it & it gets forgotten.

She wates milk, fruit, veggie everything. And we tried talking to her, sitting with her god anything.

I don't mind her "grazing" but she wastes what she gets. I give her a very small serving of stuff and it all gets wasted, even if I put it in the fridge, and try to give it to her the next day.

But she thinks that she needs to eat all day......like every half an hr to hour she is constantly asking for more food. I told her that if she ate when she was given a meal, she would not be so hungrary during the day. She knows she can have a snack but not have a lot of food then waste it.

I dunno, i hope she'll out grow it!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:40pm
Yikes, it sounds like a struggle at your table! We have some similar problems, mostly based on DS being a pretty picky eater. Here are two options:

(1) Food is served only at meals and snacktime. Say you have lunch at 12 and your DD says she's done at 12:10. Remind her that there will be no eating until snack at 2:30 (or whatever time *you* have previously decided). When she says "What is there to eat?" tell her that the kitchen is closed until 2:30 when she can have a snack. Try to keep the conversation short and keep repeating that the kitchen is closed. Water to drink should be available any time she wants it, however.

(2) Let her help herself. Make a spot in a cabinet for dry, nonperishable snacks and a spot in the fridge for cold snacks. Make plastic cups and plates and paper napkins accessible to her, too. When she wants something to eat outside of mealtime, show her how to help herself. Expect her to eat in a spot you have chosen (preferably not in front of the TV or while playing) and show her how to clean up after herself.

Your daughter sounds like she's really smart and will figure out either system if you stick to it.

A note about school lunch: My DS brought a bag lunch to preschool once a week last year, and it did take him several weeks to learn to eat it in a timely fashion. He had afternoon pre-K, so if he chatted away during his lunch hour and didn't eat his food, he would get hungry during class. I had to explain this to him several times before he "got" it.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:55pm
WHooooooooooo Hooooooooooo!

Good Idea!

I will try both! She is bright and should catch on quickly!

She has access to juice/water when ever she needs it. We have those nice little jugs that have the water cooler type spouts on them. ans she only fills her glass hlaf full!


Avatar for kansascity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 3:29pm
IMHO, it sounds like you're both "obsessing" (for lack of a better word) about food. You, by worrying so much about what she eats, how much, when and where. And her, for wanting to eat every half hour. I would give her a "break" and stop worrying about her eating habits.

DD can be a pretty picky eater and dinner times used to be AWFUL. DH would constantly be on her about what she ate, how much, eat 3 bites of this, etc., etc., etc. It really became a battle of the wills (as it sounds like with your DD). Kids often don't have a lot of choices and eating is one area where they can feel in control. I finally challenged DH to leave her alone at dinner time for 1 week and see how she does. I now give her food and it's up to her to eat what she wants. Our role, as parents, should be to provide the food and let them know when to eat. It's up to them to eat. Our dinner time has become a MUCH better eating experience - a family time (which is the most important aspect, IMHO).

I've suffered from eating disorders and so have the women on DH's side of the family. Girls these days are FAR more apt to develop eating disorders at a younger and younger age. I refuse to make food an "issue" at my house. I provide healthy options and let them choose to eat - or not. I do let them snack through out the day, if they want.

Good luck!

Kathy, Alexandra (6/19/97) and Christian (12/22/99)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 10:16am
Do not feel that you need to have each food group included in each meal. If you think of snacks as "mini-meals" instead of "treats", your DD will still have a healthy diet. This can eliminate some waste. (Waste drives me nuts too!) For example, my DD is not a big breakfast eater. Today she had some blueberries. A couple of hours later, I'll give her some toast with a glass of milk or some yogurt. Look at DD's diet over the course of 3-5 days instead of at each meal.

Kids go through streaks when they eat very little and at other times they are like eating machines. They are much better at listening to their bodies than we adults are. We would all be healthier is we ate 5-6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones!

I would eliminate free access to juice. That may increase her appetite when she does eat. Give her free access to baby carrots, fruits, yogurt, cheese for snacks...designate a snack shelf in the fridge for her.

I think a lot of us measure ourselves as good moms by how our kids eat. And I think we should worry about it less. Our job is to provide healthy choices and our kids job is to decide which of these choices to eat and how much. Less talk at the table about what they're eating, how much they're eating tends to get better results. Don't focus on the food at meals, focus on relaxing conversation. Much better for everyone's digestion! Good luck, JoAnn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-28-2003 - 3:32pm
What you want her to do is regulate her eating so she gets what she needs, not what others think she needs to have. One of the most important things to do for Kindergarten is pull back with the control a bit. Yes, she will have times to eat, and if she doesn't she will be hungry. That is a natural consequence that she must learn. If you try to help her learn that NOW it will be better than learning it in school, and have her feel negatively about school. This is what I suggest:

Have breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks for her daily. You can put snack out for her to pour if you want, but I wouldn't have it out for her all day. If she "chooses" not to eat, tell her, "The next meal will be.....and you may have somthing then, honey." She will protest and offer you the guilt of a century. Stand firm. At five, life is about making good choices when mommy and/or daddy aren't around. When our babies are toddlers, we allow them to make some smaller mistakes so them can learn how things work. For example, figuring out how using a spoon without the food falling off. This is the same type of lesson, only it is with the food offerings rather than the method of getting it into the body.

If she gets up from the table after a few bites, you could give her a warning like, "This shows me you're finished. Are you ready to put your plate away?" She may think twice and say no and finish eating. If she doesn't, just say, "OK. Please put your plate away. The next meal is...... You can eat something then." Stick to it. She is bright and will get it.

Remember our goal is to get her to eat when she is hungry and when it is offered. If you do it this way, she will have to think about whether or not she CAN wait until the next serving, and determine whether or not to eat NOW.

AS long as you offer good healthy food at a steady rate throughout the day, she will get what she needs. It's just a matter of getting her to realize she really IS in control of that, and when she is hungry, it is SHE who decided to stop, not mommy.

PS Juice really doesn't have nutritional value to it. It is primarily sugar, even if it IS all natural. Offering fruit pieces is much better for her, as it contains fiber that juice doesn't.

Hope something helps!

Janet =)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 06-29-2003 - 11:10pm

Very very good points. I completely agree with you and I just wanted to add to it. You know all those over weight adults we see. A lot of it is because they no longer eat because they are hungry. They eat for soooo many other reason, and they eat until they are stuffed instead of until they are full.

I don't force my children to eat if they aren't hungry. I do however stop snacks prior to a meal so that they will eat more at a meal instead of junk. Offer a lot of healthy options for snacks. School isn't so long that if a child doesn't eat all his lunch that he/she will starve or even be extremly hungry by the time they get home. Don't get me wrong my kids always are hungry and ready for something to eat when they get home from school. However, they do usually eat all or most of their lunch because there isn't snack before hand.



I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on t