Not to give my 3.5 yr old a snack?

(77 Posts)
NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:24:48

She is crying and whingeing that she is hungry. She is a nightmare at breakfast time and eats very little. I am sick of it because then I end up giving her a snack at 10 and then she doesn't want lunch at 1140 (has to be then as nursery at 1245). Then she cries she is hungry after school so another snack and then she won't eat tea.

So AIBU not to give her a snack now even tho she ate no bfast and is going to cry for the next hour and 20 mins that she is hungry?

Distracting her isn't working. So if I ABU can someone tell me wtf to do with her for the next while? I have tried arts / reading / telly. Nothing is working!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Wed 14-Nov-12 08:11:22

The timetable is a good idea. I suspect she wouldn't respect it tho but it is worth a try

However this morning I dragged her out of bed (disturbed night. I think she is having a bit of a tough time developmentally at the moment which may explain the whingeing) and the first thing she said was 'I am going to have 20 breakfasts this morning'. grin

disparatefishwife Wed 14-Nov-12 07:45:50

She needs to keep her blood sugar levels, we all need to eat little and often. It's not her fault that nursery clashes with lunchtime,, can you be more flexible on nursery days?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Tue 13-Nov-12 23:45:45

Oh OP I have much sympathy for you.

I have a DD with a similar personality and she can be a real pain about not eating meals, although not as extreme as yours sounds.

I make a distinction between not eating meals (her choice, I can't force her to eat but neither will I increase snacks if she doesn't eat) and the constant whingeing.

I don't tolerate the whingeing and come down really hard if she tries this.

DayShiftDoris Tue 13-Nov-12 23:24:00

Have you tried:

8am - Breakfast
10am - Snack
12pm - Lunch
2.30pm- Snack
4.30pm - Tea

Have it on the wall on a chart what she is having and when. If she chooses to not eat part of it then take it away without comment. When she whinges for food send her to her food timetable to check when she is having food again - show her on the clock... this will remove the conflict from YOU to a chart as its not you saying no but a chart saying when it will happen.
Introduce the chart in a positive way - its a timetable not a reward chart
(Cant you tell I have a child on the autistic spectrum!!! That said I am not suggesting anything only that the techniques often work on NT children very, very well!)

She might well want to do all these different patterns to the rest of the house but I am guessing she is at school in September and unfortunately there will be no such leeway there. Infact if you regularly send her to school with her having had no breakfast then you are going to have issues, nevermind her not coping with the morning lessons.

I think you need to tackle it tho the whinging might get worse before better

RainbowSpiral Tue 13-Nov-12 21:15:47

I'd say don't worry too much about it all. Just make sure she is eating enough in total in a day and then define the meals a bit later. My very fussy 4 year old is now a 9 year old who is wolfing down three large meals a day but doesn't take a snack to school this year as it "interferes with playtime"!

I worried too much about his eating earlier, it wasn't worth it.

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 13-Nov-12 20:48:52

Was only asking smile

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 20:12:35

No she has probably had cereal before bed about 3 times in the last year! She had some last night but it was really more of a second pudding after her tea (which she has eaten while we were at athletics)

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 13-Nov-12 20:07:33

Does she often have cereal before bed?

I'd give her whatever little thing she'd eat for breakfast, if anything, and then move lunch a little earlier, rather than give a snack. You can always move it back a but later on.

If you do give a snack just give her some raisins or something v small. I don't believe in snacks though.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 19:57:38

aviva - would probably work if she was an only child. But she's not and I have to work around family life. That solution doesn't fit when I have other people in the family to feed. I don't want to be doling out snacks all day but I also don't want to be preparing 5 or 6 separate meals. All that washing up!! (No dishwasher!)

Mrsjay Tue 13-Nov-12 16:48:53

t's not spoiling your child to geed them when they are hungry!

but by the sounds of it she is always saying she is hungry and winging her mum cant keep feeding her all day

avivabeaver Tue 13-Nov-12 15:57:14

2 years? its been going on 2 years?

stop differentiating between breakfast, lunch and snacks.

give her a substantial snack at 10 or whatever and one again when you get in. call the snack lunch or dinner as you see fit.

when she gets to school she will just adjust

StuntGirl Tue 13-Nov-12 15:49:03

She sounds just like a typical toddler tbh, whiny and annoying for no apparent reason!! I hope you can solve this though, constant whining would do my nut in!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 14:03:22

raspberrysorbet - last winter I asked DD to choose a hat and scarf before we went out. She came to the door with a witch's hat and a feather boa for the walk to nursery. She had - of course - done precisely what I had asked her to do. In her own way

That is the kind of child she is. Wilful, stubborn, quirky and utterly delightful - at times. The school run mums love her get-ups and always look forward to her combinations.

The milk suggestion is one I could try. She stopped having milk about a year ago when I refused to put it in a sippy cup. She was drinking a whole cup of it and not eating bfast so I thought if I offered milk in a mug and she drank less she might eat more. All that happened was she wouldn't drink the milk, or eat...

I actually suspect she may have a milk intolerance. She is snotty and chesty and she is also blonde and blue-eyed and pale skinned which I think makes her more likely to be intolerant to milk. I may try her with non-dairy milk (I am intolerant so drink soya) but I don't think she will have that. She won't drink flavoured milks or hot chocolate. She doesn't like chocolate flavoured things!!

She isn't starving of course. She is tall and slender. She has plenty of energy although hates walking (which I also make her do - cruel mum!). So I am sure she is getting plenty of energy from what she eats. I am not worried about whether she eats or not - as long as she doesn't bloody well whinge all day long!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 13-Nov-12 12:35:32

I don't have children but it seems that she sees you giving her the snack as having given in and then thinks that she has got her own way, so demands more. Because she has more snacks so close to meals she then won't eat them, because she obviously isn't hungry.

If it was me, and I appreciate I have little experience, I would give her some warm milk first thing in the morning, then give her a small snack at 10am ish. Then be strong and just ignore ignore ignore the whinging until lunch time. With the warm drink and the snack at 10am, she certainly isn't going to starve and should have enough energy. She should then be hungry enough to eat lunch. Similarly, if she is hungry in the afternoon give her a piece of fruit and a drink but nothing else. That way you are ensuring she isn't going hungry, but not giving her so much as to spoil her appetite for tea. I think the only way to break the cycle is ignore the whinging.

The exception should probably be before and after she goes swimming. She needs to have a larger snack before swimming and one straight after. I used to do a lot of swimming as a child and had to have something to eat when I came out, otherwise I felt quite ill. I am still the same now and I believe most swimmers are.

midseasonsale Tue 13-Nov-12 12:30:12

give her breakfast at 7 or when ever. give her lunch at 10 or as soon as she says she is hungry.

PoisonMountain Tue 13-Nov-12 12:29:23

I don't give my nearly 3 year old snacks unless we're at Playgroup and then I give him a much smaller lunch because I know he'll want snacks when the other children do. He has breakfast at 730, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6-630.

I would also say wait for lunch and maybe bring lunchtime forwards a bit. If she only eats hot food could you give her scrambled eggs/toast or porridge for breakfast? Or cereal with warm milk, I used to love that in the winter.

Raspberrysorbet Tue 13-Nov-12 12:28:04

<wishes one shoe and one trainer was acceptable workwear. And a hat with a feather> grin

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 12:21:39

And now she is off to nursery with one shoe and one trainer. Her choice grin

Just being a typical kid and whining grin

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 12:09:12

Well she is happily eating her salmon meal. And chuckling and generally being delightful. And bossing the kittens around grin

I don't think there are any issues with her development / behaviour around textures etc. She will occasionally try bread / wraps etc. she just doesn't like them. Also doesn't really like cake. Prefers crispy / crunchy things (as do I if we are going to be honest!)

She will also eat cereal before bed so I think morning refusal is to do with not being hungry. Which is fine. So a snack of some cereal or fruit at 10 would be great. If the whingeing tide didn't ensue

I do think it is something which I need to crack from the perspective of learned behaviour.

Thanks for all your comments this morning. Has given me something to distract myself with while I ride out the whingeing.

She hasn't actually eaten all that much in the end. Some of all of it but not loads. So just how hungry was she?!?!

squeakytoy Tue 13-Nov-12 11:53:37

I think the fussiness is the bigger issue. I would insist that she eat toast with her favourite topping perhaps. Unless she has allergies to bread then the carbs are what she needs.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 13-Nov-12 11:50:16

More irritating not irrational

ds does not like cereal he does like ready brek that he mixes with a petit filous. He had oatcakes with butter and a little honey for breakfast today with a glass of warm milk prefer him to have ready brek but he would not eat it

X posts sorry. I think u may just have to be firm and consistent. Have u taken her to drs at all to rule out Anything such as sensitivities or an aversion to certain textures etc? X

Her mood and behaviour isn't going to be helped by erratic fussy eating. I don't think u can solve this without being pretty hardcore and having alot of whining. Question is though is it the fussiness causing her not to eat or the fact that she's not eating and u being so desperate for her too that u r giving in and giving her carte Blanche to be fussy? X

NoNoNoMYDoIt Tue 13-Nov-12 11:41:54

wheresmycaffeine - no. No alternatives if she makes a fuss. But then I know what she is likely to eat. Eg no point giving her a sandwich. But for lunch now - she eats it or she doesn't. And nothing for pudding if she doesn't.

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