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What do you do when your kid won’t eat?


Secret Agent
Staff member
What do you guys do when your kid won’t eat? I mean, you can’t just shovel food down their mouths, and that wouldn’t be good parenting anyway.

For us, we ALWAYS find ourselves in a situation where our son will leave half of his food. If we give him a lot, he leaves a bunch. If we give him a little, he leaves a bunch.

So we’ve gotten used to giving him a little more than we’re ok with him eating. Then we save the leftovers for lunch the next day if needed.

And I’m not going to lie, I’ve counted to three more bites with him and sometimes repeated a number of he loses track... lol


Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
Reward, reward, reward. And avoid the power struggle.

"That's fine, Turdbreath, but you can't have a snack tonight if you don't eat a nutritous meal first."
"Yes, Bratula, it is your choice to not eat this meal. It will be ready for you when you're ready to eat." -put it away in front of them, and don't allow any other food until they finish.

The key to these situations is that you reward them with praise (or in my house, tokens for our token economy), a small snack, or other satisfying reward. He needs to know that finishing his nutritious meal is the right thing to do.


Secret Agent
Staff member
@Doc, I’ve pulled the “Ok if you’re not hungry, we can save the rest of your food for breakfast” routine before. He’ll usually just eat it for dinner when I do that. It at lest score a negotiation and a compromise, which again, is a great reason to give them a little more than you expect them to eat to start. That way they feel like they are winning by not finishing, but you know all they skipped was the extra credit. 😏
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Reactions: Doc


Registered Member
When I was real little, like three and four years old, I didn't eat much either (unless it was goodies) because I didn't like the taste of most foods back then, for some reason.

But by the time I was six or so, I ate a lot of food, fortunately.


Wait until they get really hungry, then make the idle threat that you're still not going to give them anything because they just won't eat it. Wait for the inevitable promise that they will, then feed them. When I was a kid you ate what was put in front of you and didn't gripe about it or you learned what real hunger feels like.


Free Spirit
Staff member
Don't worry about it unless they are starving themselves. They will eat when they are hungry enough but I wouldn't allow dessert or snacks. If this was a sudden change in appetite you might want to consult a doctor.

Sounds like you are handling it pretty well Mirage.