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How can I get my 3 y.o to eat meals and go to bed w/o a fight?

2 answers
How do I get my 3 y.o daughter to eat dinner? My husband is a chef so, we can get pretty creative. But whether it's mac and cheese or pizza or spaghetti, she says she's hungry but as soon as we sit down for meatime she won't eat. Then 2 hours later she says she's hungry. Usually at bedtime. We have discovered it is a stall tactic to prevent having to go to bed. She does eat ok during the day at other meals...just dinner is a struggle. Secondly, that leads to bedtime. EVERY NIGHT is a struggle. We have had the exact same routine since she was about 6months old. But she still fights us and constantly calls us back to her room for one thing or another. I don't know what to do? Any suggestions?

answers (2)

I have been going through the same thing, I work full-time and count down the seconds to get home to my two boys only to walk in every night to a high stress dinner time.  It's usually over an hour of my boyfriend, mom, dad and foreign exchange student brother trying to get the three year old to eat some dinner, as he continues to refuse.  We bribe, we punish, we get frustrated, we try everything.  Finally after a very long time in time out that wasn't working, I made him make his own dinner (with my guidance)  I thought it tasted terrible but as we encouraged what a good job cooking he did he ate it.  The next night we had him construct his own meal again, once again it worked.  I don't want to jinx it, but by giving him ownership of the dinner preparation he has been eating with us every night.  As for bedtime, that's still hit and miss at my house, all depends on who tucks him in (I usually fail)
Have you asked her what she wants to eat?  Giving  her some ownership that way helps as well.  I had trouble with putting my son to bed as well, until I put a tv in his room.  I let him watch one show (usually something low key).  This gave me a lot of leeway, I could take away his one show if he gave me a hard time about nightime.  Also, don't give into your daughter when she asks for something.  I let him have a sippy cup with water in his bed.  You can also give her a half an hour warning before bed, tell her if she wants a snack, now is her chance.  Hope that helps

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