How can I get my 4 year old to eat his meals?
April 13, 2005 2:18 PM Subscribe
I have a four year old son who simply refuses to eat his meals in a timely fashion. This has been an ongoing problem since he was two years old and we've been trying various approaches, but have mainly been hoping that he grows out of it. But it's at the point that every single meal has become unpleasant because of his refusal to eat.
posted by Lactoso to human relations (56 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Basically he will sit there and eat, but extremely slowly. When forced to speed up he'll just keep the food in his mouth until told to chew. Then he'll chew for ten minutes before swallowing. By the time everyone else has finished their meals, he has consumed maybe two to three spoonfuls of his meal. According to the doctor, he's fine, maybe a bit skinny, but also tall for his age. The doctor assures us he'll grow out of it, but it's a struggle to make sure he's eating enough to fend off anemia.
We've tried everything we could think of. Even asking him what he wants prior to his meal and then preparing that specifically for him has no effect. Forcing him to sit at the table until he finishes has no effect either as he will stay there for hours.
My other son (who is eight years old) is (and always has been) just the opposite. He'll eat his food and the plate it was served on.
I've read that this is usually a control issue for children, as they feel so little control in other aspects of their lives, they feel the need to control whatever they can - even if that means regulating food intake. This is the only real issue we have with him (developmentally-wise).
If anyone has experienced this before and/or has insight or suggestions as to games, techniques, whatever to get him to eat, we would be enormously grateful to hear them.