There is a lot of excellent advice already posted. I'd say try it all! However, if this continues and you don't see an improvement then you may want to see your doctor. He/she can see if the eating habits is causing any health issues. If they are, then the doctor can refer you to a specialist. (Hopefully this isn't necessary, but it's something to keep in mind.)
I deal with the same thing for dinner with my 2 1/2 year old. He just doesn't eat. He might play with it but usually does not actually eat a meal. I might be in a different situation - not sure if you're with your daughter all day (I'm not) so I don't know exactly what and when he ate all day.
Some days he will sit at the table when we do and won't eat... some days he might eat... and some days he wants down and runs around and plays. I'm ok with whatever.
But one thing I did go through for about a week is that he wouldn't eat dinner and then he was "suddenly" hungry at bedtime. I gave it at first b/c I didn't want to put him to bed hungry... but now I do. If I keep letting him eat right before bed he knows he gets to stay up longer.
I'm with everyone else... she won't actually starve. I firmly believe it's just a phase. DS just has to learn that he eats at dinner time because there will be no options at 8:30.
I know it's not the most encouraging thing I could tell you - but I'm sure she'll pass through this soon.
Fitness Minutes: (3,316)
29 7/18/12 8:56 A
Thanks to everyone who responded. I really appreciate it. I have been letting her drink milk between meals, but we haven't had any issues before with her not eating. I will cut that out, and try some of the other suggestions here as well. I am probably overreacting to the whole situation. She runs around like a madwoman all day long-a starving person would not have that much energy, lol.
Fitness Minutes: (18,134)
821 7/18/12 8:13 A
If your daughter is drinking a lot of juice or milk during the day, she might not be as hungry at meal times. Is she filling up on snacks?
What we think isn't a lot of food at a meal, might be enough for her little tummy.
Try not to make it a battle or a reward situation. If she is hungry, feed her. If she is not, don't. If she doens't eat breakfast-offer her a snack a few hours later. Even in 5th grade, my children were still given a morning snack at school.
Any major changes happen or coming up? Maybe she finds comfort in you feeding her. When my son was turning 5, everyone kept saying how he was going to be a big boy. He got really upset-he thought he was going to go to bed and wake up a grown up!
The best parenting advice I received was "this too, shall pass".
Fitness Minutes: (1,200)
82 7/17/12 9:50 P
It's natural to get concerned with a little one who won't eat. I had a friend at school who's little girl was a slight little pixie and suddenly stopped eating. A couple months later the entire family's life revolved around getting her to eat. Mama cooked special meals for her, different from what the family ate, fed it to her spoonful by spoonful, talked about her eating constantly. Papa kept running out to the store the instant Pixie mentioned a food. Big brother was basically ignored. The sad thing was my friend couldn't see that it was more about attention and power than food. And she was getting her masters in psychology! The little girl had no intention of controling the family, and was probably freaked because the people she depended on were so weak! There's a big scary world out there she knows little about, and she was probably just going through a pause in growth when her metabolism slowed down and she wasn't hungry, and she was learning to exert herself and what did she get? Too much.
I'd recommend you just fix meals as usual, invite her to eat, and completely ignore her if she does not. BUT, refuse to give her food between meals, even milk. No need to get angry or lecture. In fact, give her more hugs and smiles. And only tell her once or maybe twice. Don't get in any arguments or discussions about it. Just smile and don't reply. Any hunger she has because her body needs nourishment will build up and she'll eat at meals, once she figures out that's the way it is. If she has some other problem, you'll know that in a few weeks. Good luck being consistent and hopefully successful.
BTW, you don't have an outsider eating with you, do you? She might just not want to eat around that person.
Edited by: LJ32920 at: 7/17/2012 (21:53)
Fitness Minutes: (38,155)
1,693 7/17/12 6:48 P
Unless she is a 3 year old bulimic, I doubt she is going to starve. 3 year olds can be very taxing for anything you do, it is a power thing. But if you give into her now, it will only get worse as she gets older. They need to learn early that YOU are the parent and they will abide by your wishes. I have a few friends and family members that did NOT set the rules down early and they are still paying for it with adult brats.
I would make sure that she can NOT run around and eat or eat when she wants. She needs structure and disciple in eating as well as other aspects of her life. Make sure the food is appealing but NOT just food she wants to eat. Don't give her too much and make sure she finishes it before she is allowed to play or do other things she enjoys. Once they know this and it is firm and consistent, they will eat right and on time. In between meals you teach them to ask for a snack or set a time for a snack and again, make them sit at the table to finish it.
This goes for nap times and bed times and bath times, etc. Once the youngster knows they run the house, it only gets worse as they get older. Keep the faith.
Fitness Minutes: (18,134)
821 7/17/12 2:51 P
i thought the threes were way tougher than the twos...
i don't think you need to "get her to eat." she will not starve.
she knows you want her to eat, so she can manipulate you into doing it her way.
when my twins were younger, they ate about 6 times a day. (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack.)
there were days when they didn't eat much, and days when they ate a lot. they are 11 and there are still days like that. i tried to strive for eat when your hungry, stop when your full. if you aren't hungry, don't eat.
if this continues you are concerned with nutriton, ask your doctor for suggestions.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
13 7/17/12 2:02 P
I'm not at that stage yet, but it's a control thing. Maybe give her two options and get her to help you prepare them or give her a time warning before you are going to eat ("You have 5 minutes to finish up playing before dinner... ok you have 2 minutes.... you have 1 minute... ok, time for dinner! You can come back and play for 5 minutes after dinner and then bath").
Fitness Minutes: (3,316)
29 7/17/12 12:56 P
Does anyone have an idea how to get a 3-year old to eat. I have been fighting with my daughter for the last 2 weeks to eat a meal. She will take one bite, then run away from the table. Even when I give her foods that she loves, she refuses to sit down and eat. The only way I am able to get food into her is to sit her in my lap and order her to open her mouth and bite something, and she fusses the whole time. Where did this come from all of a sudden, she never had a problem with eating before. Please help?
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