How long does it take for your toddler to eat a meal? - Mothering Forums

How long does it take for your toddler to eat a meal?

BabyHaysMama's Avatar BabyHaysMama (TS)
02:59 PM Liked: 0
#1 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 199
Joined: Aug 2007
I'm having a few difficulties with my 31 month old. He's taking forever to eat his meals. I'm thinking about giving some time limitations at meal time just so that we'll be able to get on with our day.

So my question is, how long is a reasonable amount of time to give a toddler to eat? How long does it take your little ones to finish their meal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
GardenStream's Avatar GardenStream
03:09 PM Liked: 20
#2 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 1,878
Joined: Aug 2007
He just wants to sit there and eat for a long time? I can't even imagine that.

I would say that it takes between 5 minutes and 15 minutes for DS to eat his meals. It really depends on how hungry he is. Sometimes he'll come and sit, play with his food, take a bite or two, and then he's off to play. Other times he will eat everything on his plate and ask for more.

I don't make him sit if he isn't eating, he is welcome to go off and play. The food will sit there though and when he is hungry he knows that is what he gets to eat. If it's still sitting there by the next meal, then I toss it. Most of the time he eats it.
ShadowMoon's Avatar ShadowMoon
03:32 PM Liked: 39
#3 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 1,390
Joined: Oct 2006
It depends on the day and how hungry he is. Sometimes he'll sit and eat within 15-20 mins, other days he'll graze for an hour. We don't do big sit down meals so it's really not a problem for us if he takes a while. Sometimes offering smaller portions more often throughout the day will solve this problem. If you have time.
leximom's Avatar leximom
03:34 PM Liked: 0
#4 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 3,041
Joined: Jul 2005
Oh my gosh, my 2 year old is such a diner If we have no time limitations I will let her sit at the table and she will finish her meal usually in 45 minutes. We are talking no tv distractions, at the table and limited food choices on a plate (maybe 3 at a time).

I feel bad rushing her if we don't need to be and I don't want to limit her food intake just because I think she sat at the table long enough.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid
04:00 PM Liked: 91
#5 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 7,595
Joined: Sep 2004
Depends on the food and how hungry he is. Never more than 20-30 minutes though. If we do have to go somewhere, I will tell him he needs to eat now if he wants to or we won't have time. It isn't real effective at this point.
Robbins0614's Avatar Robbins0614
04:41 PM Liked: 0
#6 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 726
Joined: Jul 2006
Anywhere from 5 minutes to 45-honestly! It really depends on his mood, what we're doing, time of day, what's on his plate, etc. We just try to go with the flow, although it can be difficult since I'm a slow eater and occasionally I'll still be getting my food ready when he's decided he's done.
kirstenb's Avatar kirstenb
07:25 PM Liked: 15
#7 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 5,243
Joined: Oct 2007
He probably isn't at the table longer than 15 minutes. He shovels it all in pretty quickly then starts playing with it when he's done- that's how we know he's finished eating.
franklinmarxmom's Avatar franklinmarxmom
10:22 PM Liked: 12
#8 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 630
Joined: Nov 2007
Oh, I have another slow eater here! DS just likes to savor his meals, I guess. He sits at the table for at least 20 minutes, usually 30-45 at dinner time. He is in daycare for lunch, and he is always the last to finish his meal. I have been there for parties, and watched all the other kids leave the table and go play. DS just sits there, slowly enjoying his cupcake all alone. And he doesn't even usually finish everything--he just takes his time.

So, no advice here on limits. If he is taking an excessively long time (like over 45 minutes or even an hour), I will try to lure him away with promises of playing together with favorite toys or something.
nalo's Avatar nalo
11:20 PM Liked: 15
#9 of 11
04-01-2009 | Posts: 2,566
Joined: Oct 2005
5 minutes to an hour. just depends how hungry she is and how much she likes what is being served.
savvybabygrace's Avatar savvybabygrace
01:06 AM Liked: 5
#10 of 11
04-02-2009 | Posts: 641
Joined: Feb 2007
It takes my 21mo dd 18,000 years to finish a meal. It takes her 3.5yo sister even longer.

We usually get fed up with trying to have them sit and finish and they get down to give us some time to eat in peace. We're working on it...but honestly, dinner is always a struggle. Sometimes we just let the littlest one come up and get bites from us after she's done. It also depends on the meal - spaghetti and meatballs is never ever left for very long. They're too busy gobbling and asking for thirds and fourths.

Sorry no advice...seriously, meal time can be so difficult!!!
Nicole_ac's Avatar Nicole_ac
07:08 AM Liked: 0
#11 of 11
04-02-2009 | Posts: 256
Joined: Mar 2008
Originally Posted by nalo View Post
5 minutes to an hour. just depends how hungry she is and how much she likes what is being served.
Same here
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