Each week I carefully plan out wonderful dinners for my family. Every night, I rush home from work so that I can get dinner on the table before 6:30 pm. I usually can accomplish this successfully and that is a pretty awesome thing. But then IT happens.
The dinner time DISASTER!
I truly believe that our kids just don’t like the word dinner. Each night, the kids come to the table screaming and kicking. We have even tried saying it was snack time but they just don’t seem to believe us.
After I finally get them to the table and they will carry on for about 10 minutes saying they don’t like dinner or they aren’t hungry. When they are all done screaming, sometimes I can get them to eat some of their dinner on their plates. There are also times when they will eat nothing at all. I know that the kids aren’t going to like everything I make, so I always put at least 1 thing on their plate that I think they will eat. Some nights my littlest munchkin will push her plate away without even trying anything. These are usually the nights when I am like, ‘Oh come on,’ just try it.
I don’t like to offer them something different because they just don’t like what I have served. This seems like it is setting the stage for a time when I am making 5 different meals for everyone. I just don’t have enough time to do this and I really don’t want to either. My kitchen is not a restaurant.
I am always trying to figure out different tricks to get them to eat. Sometimes I wonder if they have had too much food during the day. So some day I won’t give them a snack during the mid-afternoon. Do they eat dinner because they are soooo hungry? Nope. Leaving out their snack doesn’t make them famished for dinner. We have also tried leaving their drinks off the table and then they only get their drinks if they eat some of their dinner. Does this make them eat dinner? Nope. Still doesn’t work. Bribing with dessert works sometimes for the 3 year old but the 2 year old really doesn’t understand bribing yet and this is probably a good thing.
What is it about dinner that is so different from breakfast and lunch that they just won’t eat it? I wonder if I ever will understand why a dinner is such a rough meal for toddlers.
Question: How do you get your little ones to eat dinner?