How this stay-at-home mum stays sane and has fun one day at a time.

Guess who’s not coming to dinner?


18 Month Old Henry wasn’t happy unless he could make a beard with his food.

Today’s topic is driving me cray-cray. My son, 26 months, will not eat dinner. He’s not fussy. In fact he eats everything, loves fruit and certainly isn’t going hungry. It’s just that at dinner time, he refuses to join us at the table and will not look at anything we offer up. I have tried everything including:

  • Experimenting with different meal times
  • Cooking him special meals
  • Bribing him with juice in his favourite Dora cup
  • Tough love of the ‘eat dinner or you’re not getting milk’ variety
  • Food shaped like things, smothered with sauce and covered with cheese (these last two ideas were introduced by his father, of course)

And other mind-numbing, frustrating freaking things! All of the advice I find is for fussy eaters, not for kids who simply don’t ‘do’ dinner. We’ve let it go on a bit now, mainly because he has a big bottle of milk before bed, sleeps for 12 hours without fail and normally eats well at other meals. But the bigger he gets, the more active he becomes, and I want to make sure he’s getting three square meals a day and lots of delicious veg like the rest of us.

Can you offer any advice, dear friends?


4 Responses to “Guess who’s not coming to dinner?”

  1. Meredith Street

    The best advice I ever got about kids and food, was to never make it a battle. I know you’ve tried so many different attacks, but here are a few things we tried with our kids when they’re not playing ball at dinner time:

    – Breakfast for dinner – this is always a hit and I pull it out when they are tired and whinging and I know they might fuss at something more complicated I attempt to make. I’m talking pancakes (get them helping with making them, which increases their interest and excitement in eating dinner ‘they’ made), bacon, an egg in whatever form they like best, maybe some toast, and some berries or fruit on the side.
    – Food faces – whatever we’re having, I somehow construct a face out of the elements and present it ‘voila’ style. Then you can gruesomely shout “You just ate his nose! How about an eye next?” and keep them focused on the fun, rather than the food. Similar to your food shaped like things though, so you may have done this.
    – Read his favorite book while eating, and require a bite of whatever you’re having for dinner before you turn to the next page.

    That’s all I can come up with off-hand – I’m lucky in that our kids are pretty great, generally adventurous eaters, but I struggle with keeping Arlo focused and staying on his bottom. We try to get all his wiggles out before dinner with a quick run around the deck or a dance to one of his favorite songs before we start. ā¤

    • delbryson

      Awesome ideas Meredith šŸ™‚ I now just need to find energy to put some of them into action lol! Our wee man is hit and miss at dinner esp – though recently letting him experiment with his “full” cutlery set (ie the kiddie knife) has worked wonders.

  2. kellyburnie

    Love these ideas Meredith. And I love the cutlery idea Del. Putting these into play ASAP.

  3. kelly

    Lots of choo choo trains, moo moo cows, racing cars, Elsie likes to pick the animal and I make that sound until the spoon/ fork gets to her mouth!


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