Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The great dinner dilemma

Eric refuses to eat dinner. This has been going for at least a week, maybe longer. He did eat a couple of bites of pizza on Monday night, but that's the most I have seen him eat while seated at the table at dinner time in a while. I'm not really worried about the not eating part--he's clearly growing and gaining weight, per his recent doctor's visit. He seems to eat well at daycare for lunch/snacks and does okay at those meals during the weekends at home. Now that I think about it, maybe he's just not eating at home? Anyway, I'm not worried about him going hungry or suddenly becoming malnourished--he drinks as much milk as we will give him and then water after that.

So what am I complaining about, I'm sure you want to know.

What do I do with the kid at dinnertime? We start every evening the same, everyone at the table with a plate of food (his portions are getting smaller and smaller)...we pray, we eat and talk about our day. Eric slugs down his milk (also a small quantity) and promptly asks for more. We refuse to give him more until he has eaten something and that's it, he's done. He pushes his plate away until we finally remove it and tell him "If you push it away, you're all done, ok?" And he nods his head and says "Ok. Down please?" We've tried keeping him at the table and sometimes he's fine and sometimes he screams. Either way, he repeatedly asks "down please?" knowing that's the only way to get down. I've tried getting him down as soon as he refuses his plate and having him go into the living room, but I'm worried Evan will get the idea that he can skip eating for playing and he (usually) eats pretty well.

And if we have fruit after dinner (which we try to do)--Eric comes back to the table and wants to eat it and I go back and forth on giving it to him. I'd rather him eat the chicken/rice/veggies, but on the other side it IS fruit. And if he wants to eat it, that means he must be hungry so why in the heck won't he eat the regular dinner?

I know this isn't just my cooking, because 1) I am an awesome cook :-) and 2) this has even been happening with things I don't cook like pizza and dino-nuggets. And he LOVES dino-nuggets and pizza. We've been making dinner a little later since the time change with the hopes he'd be hungry by then, but much later and the kid will have to eat in his pajamas.

Sigh. These are my dilemmas in life.


  1. That was also a long post.
    I have the same dilema. I make Tommy sit at the table as long as I am eating. Then he can get down...and I often put his fruit on his plate with dinner. Usually once he starts eating - he'll just pick his way around the plate. But then again, I only have one kid to deal with. John gives in MUCH faster than I do to the demands of "DOWN PLEASE.ALL DONE PLEASE."

  2. I believe the not eating comes in waves so have given up fighting it. I make the girls stay for a "reasonable" period and participate in some conversation and when they ask to be excused they are excused - but that means they must leave the kitchen until everyone else is done and can't talk to anyone in the kitchen :) they choose to be done, they go away! HA, I am a mean mommy.