Some kids can be really picky eaters. Here are five times that it’s “ok” for your child to be hungry and why you should let them without guilty about it.
Here’s a popular post of mine called 5 phrases to stop dinnertime battles. But if those still aren’t working, this may be for you.
Mealtime can be a battleground… if you have picky eaters or kids who want to snack all day long, this if the post for you!
Note: I don’t mean to imply that any parent should EVER let their children go hungry to the point of lacking in nutritional needs! This article is about happy, healthy, eating routines.
I’ve heard it time and time again. “My child only wants to eat junk food during the day and then refuses to eat the healthy dinner I cooked.”
If this is the condition you’re in, don’t worry. Many parents work to appease hungry kiddos and make the common error of habitual feeding.
The truth is, children are little people who will form habits and conditions just like us. It’s healthy for parents to draw some dietary lines in order to help guide children into healthy eating habits.
In order to accept this concept, it’s important to understand two basic truths:
- Just because your child wants to eat doesn’t mean they are really hungry.
- When your child says he/she doesn’t like it, it could possibly mean that they aren’t used to that particular food.
In our tendency to parent based on guilt, we get twisted up inside at the thought of refusing our children anything. This is especially true when it comes to food.
Furthermore, images of starving children around the world make us feel grateful we can feed our kids whatever we want whenever we want. And… so we do.
But instead of that gratitude passing down to our children, they start Developing an Entitled and Picky Attitude towards food. Oops!
They start to believe that no matter the cost or availability, they can eat whatever they want whenever they want. And… sometimes this is okay with us.
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
“Mom, I’m Starving!”
But, you just fed them lunch… that they didn’t finish.
Nope, sorry honey that isn’t starving. Maybe it’s time to have a heart to heart with your precious little one?
Part of installing gratitude in the lives of children is shining a light around the world into some places where life is different than what they experience.
There are some places in our world, where families have a hard time providing food for their children:
- Starving children would be thankful for a nutritious meal.
- Children who don’t have the blessings that we have would be sure to eat all the lunch on their place, so they wouldn’t be hungry right away.
- How could you change the way you feel next time I serve you lunch?
Children who are picky (or who want to eat even though they aren’t hungry):
- Children who are being picky will refuse food they don’t like.
- They may go long periods without food in order to get their preference.
- Picky children turn down an entire meal, but come back asking for A Snack Pack 30 minutes later.
Finding a Balance & Deciphering when It’s “OK” for a Child to Be Hungry
Now, of course, we should offer our children a lot of healthy and filling foods. Fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, good fats, and whatever else.
We absolutely don’t need to make our children go hungry to “teach them a lesson” or “make them appreciate food.“
However, just because your child says they want to eat doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the balanced nutrition you have planned for a spur of the moment snack.
I could spend $50 on fruit and watch the kids devour it all in 2 days if they got their way. There are more considerations than just, “I am hungry at this very moment,” and we have to stop feeling like horrible mothers if we make our children wait.
5 Times It’s Okay for Your Child To Go Hungry
I offer my kids 3 square meals and 2 snacks a day. Fruits, vegetables, fats, meat, treats and anything in between. This is not about being dictatorial, it’s about being wise and setting boundaries.
But even with the best boundaries, kids will sometimes try to push them to get their way… especially when it comes to food. The following is a list of five times that it’s wise to say “no“:
1. They refuse what you’ve offered
If you consistently offer your children filling and nutritious food , yet they refuse to eat it… it’s okay to let them feel hunger.
For some people, learning to “feel hungry” is a needed biological response that needs to be assimilated into lifestyle. This will in tern, allow the natural need to crave “fuel”, not “junk.”
So… the consequence of refusing a meal is an empty stomach. I can think of another important skill this teaches – cause and effect.
How does this work?
- The key here is NOT only force your children to eat things that aren’t appealing to them.
- They key is to teach appreciation of nutritious foods in a joyful, calm, and consistant way.
- When there’s a simple system of cause & effect, the child expects consequences each time and the he/she will behave correctly to food.
When a child crosses over into being “super picky,” even what they enjoy is inconsistent. Furthermore, a child who is super picky may also be fickle in their decisions.
For example: One day they love spaghetti, the next time they slide their plate away in anger. At this point, it’s unwise to jump through hoops to please.
I tell my kids, “If you didn’t buy it or cook it you can’t complain.“
2. Mealtime is approaching
My kids get really hungry 30 minutes prior to dinner time. I understand this… I am hungry as well…
However, it’s okay to make them wait until dinner is served. Yes, they may become hangry (I do too), but that’s a part of life.
What are you teaching here?
- Family Bonding
- Appreciation of Meals
- Natural Hunger Responses
You aren’t depriving them of food by making them wait half an hour. On the contrary, you are taking the time to prepare it.
Sometimes I think, “If they can’t wait 30 minutes for a taco casserole full of melted cheese to come out of the oven… then I just don’t know.”
3. You’re not at home
It happens often…
We’re running errands, finishing an appointment, or just doing life, and the kids get hungry.
Here’s what I have learned: Just because your children are hungry doesn’t mean you have to spend $37.00 in a drive through or provide a consistent stream of goldfish. Yes, I am talking to myself here!
What skill is this teaching? I’m glad you asked! First, let’s understand this basic precept: It is part of life to finish one thing before you start the next.
Teaching kids that we must finish what we’re working on before taking a break for a snack/meal is just good training!
If it’s going to be hours and cross over mealtime, by all means, feed the kiddos. But if they are demanding a treat at 10:00 am in the bank, it’s okay to make them wait.
Someone really smart once said, “no time like the present to learn self-control.”
As an adult, I have to do the same. In fact, sometimes, I have to eat things I don’t much like for days on end until I’m able to do a proper grocery shop.
This is not self (or child) abuse, this is life.
4. He’ll only eat junk
If your child consistently refuses well-rounded meals but asks for snacks, treats, and junk food… the problem is clear.
When they snack they get satisfied enough to say “no” at meals, they aren’t very hungry at the dinner table. Those little tummies may be able to hold out until another junk food snack is provided.
If you want to cut out junk food and treats to give your child a better-balanced diet, cut out the junk food and treats.
Offer round meals, set snacks, and if they refuse them, it is okay if they are hungry.
Just because they are hungry doesn’t mean you are starving them.
5. They’ll snack all day
Some children do well with three meals and set snacks. Others will stand at the door of the refrigerator all day and demand snacks.
Perhaps you let your kids get food whenever they want, that is up to your family. But… if you find your kids won’t eat your meals and waste food put in front of them, the time for incessant snacking should probably be over.
You’re child will quickly learn a picky-eating behavior without putting this in check…
Check off critical household, social, and hygiene skills for your child so they’re prepared (not petrified) of growing up!
Tips to Avoid This:
- Offer a hearty breakfast that will sit in the stomach,
- Give a substantial snack,
- Serve a hearty lunch,
- Then, another substantial snack,
- Finally, a hearty dinner,
- Understand that this is enough for growing children.
If you want to feed your kids anytime they ask, go ahead, it is your house. But if you feel guilty making them wait or letting them go without dinner (even if they refused it) I just want to encourage you…
You are harboring false guilt.
Making your child wait 2 hours before dinner is no more a crime than only being able to afford one meal a day.
If a child can hold out 12 hours until you give them a Pop Tart, they can survive until the next meal.
Food may grow on trees, but your kids didn’t plant, harvest, or package it so teaching a little self-control is okay.
Really, it is.
Thank you for this article. You are completely right. I’m slowly learning these things with my 4 year old. I tell him he isn’t allowed to say “I don’t like… (whatever the meal is)” because he says it almost every day, and once he finally takes a bite, he usually really likes it. But what’s for dinner is what’s for dinner, so if he’s going to refuse to eat it, he can go to bed without dinner (that only happened once so apparently it worked) :)
Rachel Norman says
Therese, it really does! I think that so many moms struggle to start this type of thing, but it really doesn’t take long before a child equates picky eating with no eating.
Hello i have 2 grown children 1 just turned 18 and the other is 23. I can’t for the life of me get them to be here at dinner time to eat but then they come home at 8,9, and 10 oclock n think they can eat there dinner when ever they want, I dont know what to say to make them follow my rules. I am a single 50 year old parent, who gets no help around the house from either of them. I am strongly weighing on the side of pay your own way buy your iwn food and clean your own dishes or get out of my house. Am I being wrong for wanting to handle them this way
Dads struggle too!!
Monique Escobedo says
Just want to start off by saying, thank you for this article, it is a big help.
I have a 7 year old, she eats 3 meals a day and snacks in between, as soon as it’s bed time she’s crying she’s hungry. Usually I will give her another snack sometime I don’t. Is it wrong to let her go to bed even though she is crying she is hungry? I feel bad because she is saying she’s hungry, but then I think it’s late she had dinner. I feel like the bad person not giving her anything.
Rachel Norman says
It’s your call, girl, but if she’s eating tons of food at dinner and a bedtime snack and still wanting to eat at bedtime, you have to ask yourself is that much food necessary or even good for her? Or is she just trying to stall bedtime? SO MANY QUESTIONS, ha
Abraham Alrai says
OR just throw away the leftovers because they are disgusting
I believe most young adults don’t appreciate their parents until they move out. Same as I. Not once cooked or clean around parents home until I moved out for college, and had to cook, clean for myself and saw it was hard. So I felt very greatful. Moved back in with them for a few years before moving out again. During those times, I cook and share some of the chores several days a week. Wish I had helped when younger but the thing is I just don’t know how to do those essentials until someone taught me or I have to do it myself to survive.
High Five! I totally agree. I’m in the same boat, especially with my youngest (2) and she’s an improving fussy eater by using the eat it or nothing else principle. And no dessert if main isn’t eaten or a few spoons tried at least. I was so close to being caught in the many menus trap. I also always know that she always eats a good heart proper breakfast every day so I’m not worried if she doesn’t eat purely because of sheer stubbornness. Thank you! x x x
Can you give me an idea of what you give for a hearty snack?. I mostly have this approach but I am fighting a battle with my kids right now. I feel like the constant snacking is not ok. We have always had a help yourself to the fruit bowl policy but it’s getting out of hand.
Rachel Norman says
I guess when I say “hearty” I mean if it’s filling. so, for example, I wouldn’t consider 3 strawberries filling, but a whole banana… maybe. Or if there is two hours until lunch, a piece of toast with peanut butter is still maybe a snack and it’s filling, but it’s not too much. does that make sense? It depends on the child’s appetite too, but I am so with you. Things can get out of hand quick and we always need to re-evaluate!
I think this might work with older kids, but not as much with little ones. If my 2 year old is hungry enough to ask for food, I give him food. Usually it’s me who notices he might need a snack because he’s getting grumpy. Really it’s the same with my 4 year old. So maybe elementary aged kids are different, but until then I’ll keep snacks handy :)
Rachel Norman says
I’m not against snacks, Kim, not at all! Just not at times when they’ve refused proper food or dinner is coming in 15 minutes. Believe me, we got a house full of snacks. Ha!
I will never forget the day my youngest brother (around 2 years old at the time or less – I was 12) refused his Swiss Birchermüesli (Muesli with yoghurt) and ate nothing for 48 HOURS!! It started in the evening, he refused to eat it then, the next morning, lunch, dinner and then the following breakfast and lunch and finally gave in for dinner, not having eaten for 48 hours! I remember being (and still am!) so impressed by how my mum did not fledge despite the situation getting really critical in my eyes! (Though I now know a child will never let themselves starve to death – they all have an internal survival instinct). As far as I know, my brother has never refused any meal since then. He’s now 21, strong, healthy and sporty. Hang in there, mamas, it pays off and your kid will know you’re more stubborn than he is and that you will win in the end!
Rachel Norman says
Lisiane, hahaha. I would have been simultaneously proud of my child (for asserting such strength) and shocked. Ha. These kids. They are so much fun even when they are hard :)
Oh, I remember another example where a mum told me that in the beginning, she cooked something different for her son each meal time and now he will never eat the same thing twice in a row.
Rachel Norman says
Ha, oh my goodness. I’d lose my mind!
Why does your article seem to cater towards ‘mothers’. Is being a father a thing of the past? If anything in my marriage as a father I’m the one who ‘lays down the law’ so to speak.
Rachel Norman says
I very much hope being a father isn’t a thing of the past. I cater to mothers because I am a mother, that’s all. :)
Hey Trent, some moms are also the ones who “lay down the law.” And just because an article doesn’t specifically mention a dad, it doesn’t mean they’re not included. But that said, I love that you’re the one cooking three meals a day for your kid and for your wife! It’s great seeing some stereotypical gender roles get moved around. And as this article is primarily written for the caregiver who provides food, it absolutely seems like it would include you, too!
I just want to say this is an excellent article. I agree on all points. I also want to add, parents are the adults here, not the kids. Your “job” as a parent is not to wait on hand and foot to your children. If a child cannot appreciate the efforts the parents took to prepare a healthy meal, then said child can go hungry.
What age should you start working on ‘if you don’t eat dinner, then you go to bed hungry?’
Rachel Norman says
Great question, I probably wouldn’t do it before 2 years of age and honestly we’ve only ever done it once or twice per child and they quickly catch on! And lots of liquid to drink too will help them. I only do it when they are obstinate, not just because the don’t prefer it.
Ellen Williams says
Thank you so much for posting this! I needed to hear it. I’ve been having horrible mom guilt and crying for the past two hours over my daughter going to bed with no dinner because she refused what we told her she could have. She went to bed fine, but the mental obstacle is huge to overcome, feeling like you aren’t caring for them or are abusive.
I truly admire and respect this article! I am printing this article out for my husband to read lol
On a side note you have a typo that it seems no one has pointed out.
Under the picture with a yellow back ground and the girl in pink it says “4” Times it’s okay….I know the article is about 5 things. Can’t wait to read more articles on your website :D
I came across this article and i think is so great. I have 2 picky eaters at home. My daughter is 9 and she has always been a picky eater, but i have no one to blame but myself because am the one who provides the food for her. As her being my first i always listen to other people tell me “Well as long as she has something in her stomach than is ok” and i always believed that, so i used to give in to whatever she wanted because “Hey at least she is eating and not hungry anymore”…right!. But the reality is that I was hurting her and now things are worst because i feel that i can’t go out to many places because feeding time is always a problem. Things like “What’s that”, “Eww i don’t like that”, “Nope i don’t want that” always come out of her mouth. Now my 5 year old is following her steps. So, what i started doing is cooking what i know is healthy for them and NO more giving in. Eat what is given and that’s it because there is no other choice of food. Is not easy and they give me a hard time, but it has to be done. Thank you for this article, it gives me hope.
Thank you so much for positing this! I currently nanny a child that consistently eats junk food all day with their parents. All the snacks, besides some fruit, are processed bags of junk. It makes it so difficult to do anything without the child begging for food seriously every 20 min to half hour. I’ve been looking for ways to make her meals more sustainable with what is available in the house. I’ve tried some of the things you have mentioned about offering healthy choices, and I immediately can tell if she’s actually hungry or not! I feed her a big breakfast, a 10 am snack, lunch, and then a large snack (practically another lunch) after her nap, and one small afternoon snack (usually a treat of some sort). After that, I make her wait until her parents get home for dinner time. It’s been a slow process with tantrums here and there, but she’s getting the flow with it and is starting to realize she can’t be eating junk all day! Thank you for this article! I’m currently pregnant too, so all the knowledge I can get with proper nutrition and eating habits for children is wonderful and interesting to me!
This was an excellent read! Thank you for posting this, such a practical and true perspective! I’ll definitely be using some of this logic and explanation with my daughter. She’s typically a good eater, but she has her off days (where she seems overly picky even with her favorites) and I’ve not really known how to address her refusal of meals. This seems like it will be helpful moving forward! Thanks again for the perspective and encouragement!
Thanks for writing this. My 2yr old always says she is hungry but never eats somedays…others she eats great. There was a great article by Utah.edu that mentions children age 1-5 slow down in growing…their appetite doesn’t pick up again until they typically start kindergarden. Lots of great info for that age.
My son is 5 years old. The fooditems he will eat are so limited I can count them on my 2 hands ?
He will say „no“ to every meal the is not pizza or chicken noodle soup.
He wont eat a single vegetable, rice or potatoes oe any meat.
This is day 9 going to bed with an empty stomach because he WILL NOT TRY…
This is becoming an issue between mom and dad because dad doesnt agree to the stragedy.
I don’t know what else to do!?!?
I would recommend you research a condition called ARFID. It’s possible your child has aversion and fear of certain tastes/flavors/textures.
Does your child gag on food often?
In the school holidays, my mom doesn’t make breakfast for me and my brother, because we’re 15 and he’s 18 years old. I think that’s good so we can make it ourselves. But today, she had to leave early to take my younger brother to class in the morning. She didn’t make breakfast for my dad, and he’s now very angry. I don’t know why he needs to be soo angry, because he can make some himself.
I should’ve got on her car this morning because I bet they’ purchased a takeaway and is eating it now in the car. (;-;).
Thank you for this post. I don’t know how old this article is but I’m reading it in Oct 2018. Just sat down and Googled four year old refusing to eat dinner. He is currently in bed 10 mins to 7, for refusing to eat. And while sitting at the table ready to pull my hair out, I decided that extra snack he gets after coming home from daycare has to stop. He gives his dad and I a hard time for dinner at least 3 times a week. I felt so guilty putting him to bed without eating. Especially after making him change his clothes he started saying he was hungry now and wanted to eat. I gave him a hour to eat and he just kept saying he wasn’t hungry. This article makes me feel better. And hopefully that I can get my family dinner time back and less heart burn and indigestion from fussing while eating. Thank you
Elsabe Coetzee says
My daughter is 6 years old… Tonight (19 Nov 2018) is the first night I sent her to bed without dinner. She is extremely picky because when she goes to visit her dad it’s takeaways from start to end and when she comes back home after the weekend it’s a struggle to get her to eat healthy meals. So I gave her 2 warnings tonight to eat her veggies etc or I take the food away. After warning 2 I followed through. It wasn’t easy to send her to bed without dinner… She cried herself to sleep saying she is hungry. But dinner time is there for a reason… I don’t allow her to fiddle around for 2 hours and miss bedtime. Sorry… No more… So hopefully tomorrow night will be picky-free…
Aliyah Jones says
This is the best parenting article I’ve read in a LONG time. I never really comment on anything, but it makes me so happy to see a Mom reassuring other parents desperately searching (the internet) for answers to the questions that haunt is in our sleep! My toddler only wants to eat potatoes and bread. We are at the stage where if you are hungry, you will eat. So again, thank you for saying what bed to be said!
My 3 year old is the exact same. Potatoes and bread nothing else, apart from the junk like crisps, chocolate and crap. Today I have given her egg on toast for breakfast and she didn’t touch it. Nothing till lunch which was a cheese sandwich.. wouldn’t touch it. Nothing then till next meal which was pasta and sauce.. wouldn’t even touch it so have sent her up to bed hungry. Hoping that she will be hungry enough to at least try porridge for breakfast in the morning.
I’m so grateful I found this post! I’ve been battling with my almost 4 year old, who refuses to eat a well-balanced meal and prefers junk food and snacking. Thanks for the guidence!
Pam Windiate says
Should a two and half year old be sent to bed without food. He didn’t eat lunch or supper.
Rachel Norman says
Certainly not if he’ll eat something!
Wow I’ve really been looking for something like this! And I have been searching Google and Youtube for months! Talking to dozens of parents to try and find one kid that’s similar… Love your article. My 2 year old won’t eat any nutritious meal, fruits or anything. The only foods he likes are chocolate, certain juices, sweetened packaged yogurt and limited spicy dry snacks.
He will cough and might even vomit if we try to feed him softer foods and I guess that’s what’s got a little fear in him about other types of food. We have never b force fed him. He also had been hospitalized at around 1 year of age and had a Riley’s tube for a very short while but putting it itself was a very traumatic experience. I’ve kept him hungry and it’s been over 24 hours before he’s agreed to eat chicken with some chapati. In fact he ate almost an entire Chicken breast. But the next day it was the same and the day after.. 24 hour Gap in between each meal.. no milk or anything in between just water. I did not have the heart to continue plus summers here are really dehydrating and you really need to have more than just water. The next time we tried it a few months later he could not sustain beyond 8 hours… And was physically weak, probably hypoglycemic and very lethargic, so we let him have what he wanted. During the initial 24 hour hunger strike at least he was active.
I’m at a loss of what to do now…
Martin McCain says
If you act like a restaurant, your child will treat you similarly. His is what we’re having this evening; three meal opportunity and two snacks. That’s it. No more. No less. Any parent who negotiates with their child is an idiot and a weak parent as long as the child has suffice to meal opportunities and snacks. Get real. Don’t be stupid. If ru is hurts you’re feelings, it should.
I had a first time mom tell me that it was child neglect for me to allow my 12 and 14 year old to go 3 hours without eating after my daughter (14) asked her if she could have a snack…to add insult to the problem i had already told my daughter prior to the moms reply for her to wait till we gotten home to eat since we were only at the “first time mom’s” house to simple take a swim in here pool even after explaining to the “mom” that my child had already eaten before coming and how i needed her to respect what i had told her since i am her parent and how my kids are my responsibility and not hers she went on to stick to here “first mom” rules that she looked up from google about how it waa neglectful to not feed them when they ask for food…you can imagine how pissed i was about her statement i am a mother of 3 and never ever been the type of parent that rushed to my kids needed every time them “WANTED” something mind you this was coming from a first time parent whos one kid ran her near crazy but for some reason she had all the right answers for me that day and it got to me like hell until i saw this article dont get me wrong i remember how i was when i was a first time parent and im not saying first time parents are bad it was just this particular parent that crossed the line everyone will not see making your child wait as being a form of neglect i see it as discipline respect of authority figure and of parent as well as self control what makes since to me will never make since to another and if you dont know your boundaries of what not to say to a parent about whats right for that parent or their kids you should not say nothing at all i felt really mind blown for days over her statement but to really see that its other parents out here who agree to the way that i think is best for me and my children this made me feel like i walked on the moon thank you so much for this insight it was well needed <3
You’re a lot stronger than me, I would have left her house and not swim that day, not a parent yet but snobby parents like that ticks me off
Thank you soooo much for writing this. I believe everything happens for a reason and finding your page was no accident. My son who is going on 8 has been a picky eater for 7 years. Tonight was the first time I put my foot down and stuck to my word that if he didn’t eat dinner, he will have to wait until breakfast. Right before bed, I offered his plate once more and he still refused. Of course I feel horrible as he only had breakfast today but I offered lunch and dinner. I really needed to read this, thank you again!
This was so helpful to read today! My 18mo daughter is the opposite of picky – she ALWAYS wants to eat! Every 30 minutes it seems she’s signing to eat. I don’t think constant eating is okay but I do my very best to always make sure her snacks are healthy (fruit, hummus, yogurt, cheese, homemade mini-muffins)… perhaps our snacks aren’t hearty enough? When I say no, she often throws into a bit of a fit. Half the time I can distract her out of it and move on to something new, other times I end up waiting out a tantrum. Even keeping her busy doesn’t seem to help – I have to pack at least two snacks! It’s helpful to hear that my mom guilt about refusing her is relatable!
My worst time of day is that half hour before dinner. I’m hungry, the kids are hungry, and we’re all holding out for dad to be off work. Instead of us all being hangry together, I’ve started giving raw veggies to eat. Amazing how many carrots and cucumbers my kids will eat when they are really hungry. Also, I have a 5 year old son who is on his way to being a very tall, very big man. He regularly eats three eggs from breakfast and his hungry mid morning. I keep meat sticks around for him. They aren’t cheap, but they are handy and will bring him back from the brink of a melt down until the next meal. I call him my paleo kid because he won’t eat cheap carbs: healthy but inconvenient.
Rachel Norman says
OH YES this is a perfect strategy. Hungry children will eat and if it’s raw veggies and they eat a serving or two then they’ve had that for the evening! :)
I am a mother of a 15 month toddler. She is starting to be picky with lunch and dinner foods. But she usually eats breakfast & afternoon tea foods well as she likes them.
I am always concerned that if she doesn’t eat a good lunch or good dinner, she is more likely to wake up during nap time early because she’s hungry, or wake in the middle of the night hungry. I don’t want hunger to disrupt her sleep? If she has bad sleep due to hunger, I feel like I am being punished!
So what would you do here? Let her eat the foods she likes, but become a picky eater, so she sleeps well? Or take the lunch/dinner food away if she doesn’t like it, and I have the pay the price because she doesn’t sleep well due to hunger?
Rachel Norman says
It does all go together and sometimes causes a lot of stress. First, I’d test and see if she actually WILL wake up early from naps. If she isn’t eating much she may just not want it. One of my sons has never eaten tons but it didn’t affect his sleep! You can always have a few things on her plate and then make sure she likes 1 or 2 so she isn’t getting NTOHING as well
My son (almost 5) would rather be hungry than eat a lunch or dinner he doesn’t want – even if it involves food he likes. I’ve done the hunger strikes, and he just wakes up hungry at 3 am and then doesn’t go back to sleep after I give him a yogurt pouch. It’s becoming a nightmare and we’re seeking pediatric feeding therapy to rule out underlying issues, but I feel like I’ve failed at parenting! How does a hungry kid say no to eating just based on preference?