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Ok so my 3 year old son...

585 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  01veganmamma
Ok so my 3 year old ds does not sit at the table and eat. He sits for about 2-3 mins eat then wants to run and play. He'll come back while standing give him a quick bite then goes and plays etc.... I think this is normal? My take on this is he is to busy,has too much energy to sit there and eat. Also he nursed for 17 months. So while I nursed him I ate at the table. So i'm thinking maybe that has something to do with it? My mil says I should take away a snack. I doint see that working at every meal take away 2 snacks. i tried to tell her that i'm not into taking away things away from him. Any other mommys have a situation like this?
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DS is like this. If I REALLY want him to eat a full meal, I will hold him in my lap and let him eat from my lap. Weird I know. I'm a complete sucker for DS right now...

Don't take away the snacks. In fact, I have read that it is healthier if they graze on Nutritious Snacks all day as opposed to them eating a full meal.
I don't think you should "take away a snack" (as in, we've always had a snack at three o'clock, but now we're not), though perhaps restricting snacking right before the meal would help (as in, "Mommy, I want some crackers." "Not right now, honey, dinner's on the stove.")

It is too much to ask a child that young to sit still and calmly for the entire course of an adult's relaxing meal. But, I don't think it's too much to ask him to sit for ten minutes and eat a reasonable portion, then go play. Not having him be full from snacking when dinner time comes will definately help, but again, it's different from "taking away a snack". Role playing to practice table manners may help. Also, tell him that cruising by and taking one bite then running away disturbs the rest of the family's meal, and it's therefore not acceptable. He may go play and come back to eat later, but in doing so he must come, sit in his chair, eat a reasonable portion, then go back to his playing without disturbing everyone. All coming and going from the table is to be done in a way that's respectful. And hold him to it.
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I agree with the above. 3 kids and a daycare later, I've learned to let that one go. I absolutely insist they sit to eat at restaurants and anyone's house if we are a guest, but at home the toddlers always ate on the fly. And they always knew the difference!
My mother told me we all did this, and grew up to have impeccable manners regardless. My dd (2.5) sits longer than your ds, but not by much. She has a slide to do 'acrobatics' on in the dining room. I think if I could afford a kinderzeat, or the like, she might stay longer, as it is she sits on her knees in the chair.
DS wiil be three in three weeks. If he sits 2-3 mins for ANYTHING I am amazed. A friend of mine once told me that children at this age were so darn cute tomake up for all their other issues. At up to 4 cups of coffee a day now I'm a believer!
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At almost 4, my DS is like this too. We are trying to instill in him that he needs to sit until he finishes what is on his plate, and it's working b/c I put about a spoolful of each item on his plate. It takes him about 10 mins to eat, if that.

DD is a grazer too, she's even a nursing grazer. She'll eat for 2 mins get down and be back in 10-15 for another top off. She's 14 months.

I let the kids eat all day. Our amazing ped said that it's far healthier and will instill better eating habits for life if I let them graze all day. They've always got something ok to eat where they can reach it.

There's always the alternative to make your meal a lot smaller too. Most of us eat far more for dinner than we should, so maybe making dinner a casual thing (bigger meal at lunch) and making sure that everyone can be done in 10-15 mins with a smaller, lighter meal would help you feel better because then he's not getting up too much before everyone else. We are heading in that direction too, not just because the kids don't want to sit, but the smaller meal at dinner is more health conscious.

Hope this helps!

Oh, and I stop allowing snacks of any sort from 4-6. This gets me a good 15 mins of DS eating dinner and sitting with us without much fuss. Dinner is nearly always ready by 6pm.
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Newmommy- I do the same thing ds will sit on my lap and eat. Sometimes it's the only way he will eat. My guess he see's his 1 year old sister on my lap nursing. He'll want me to fork/spoon him. So no you are not a sucker.

tboroson- yes i'm w/you on the snack thing!! if i take away snacks gosh he would go hungrey. i think what mil meant was when hubby was little, if he didnt eat his supper he would not get a snack. well me i would never do that. going to bed without a snack from 7 to the next morning is a long time for that little belly to be empty.

stinkerbell- my oh my you should of seeing my ds this past sat. night. we went out to dinner w/my mom and my inlaws. of course ds sat maybe 5 min but when dinner came around he was to busy coloring or running in the restaurant(thank god we had the back room to us). he did eat some food bit not much. he also ate that day cheese and crackers for lunch. stir fried tofu for brackfast. so him not eating dinner not a big thing to me. at my sil every sunday for dinner not a good thing eather. he'll maybe take a few bites then go play w/there toys. which i cant blame him for. his 2 older cousins 1 is 8 and the other 3 2.5 years have the "fun toys" talking dora,rescue heros. t.m.t. barbies. the toys we doint and never will have. also his fav cars and trucks( which he loves to play w/at home and there) i was thinking about taking away some of there toys when we are there if he didnt stay at the table and eat. but that would be hard to do. to many toys to count.

kater07- thanks i'll try the smaller portions and see if that helps. the more i think about it when ds was a baby and young toddler when he nursed he was a snacker. he would nurse longer at night. so maybe thats why he's more of a eat and run? i will try to cut out snacks an hour before dinner.

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Oh, I misunderstood you about the snacks. I was reading it as cutting out snacks before the meal so he'd be hungry and sit for his meal. No, I'd agree with you, refusing him a snack before bedtime isn't a very realistic or kind solution at all.

I've been having difficulty lately with Talia, who's four, demanding "treats" constantly. She'll eat the meat portion of her meal, but not touch a single vegetable (unless we serve sweet potatoes, but girl cannot live on sweet potatoes alone...). If I serve a vegetarian meal, forget it - she frequently won't eat anything. She then immediately demand treats - either junk food (cookie), or foods that in moderation aren't bad, but not good enough to fill out her diet (commercial yogurt). I've begun to limit what she may have for a snack if she doesn't eat at least a reasonable portion of her meal. No treats. She can have some fruit, plain milk, sliced vegetables, hummus but no chips. If she goes back and eats more of her meal, she can negotiate for a treat.
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If she likes chips, how about making them homemade in the oven. Or crackers and cheese in the micro. What we do is bland veggies in the blander on puree with tofutte sour cream and spread it on crackers or use it as a dip for our veggies.

Oh no problem about the confustion. This sunday were skipping the inlaws and going to the park
w/other ap families. The inlaws are not an ap family
so of course they doint understand what we do is right and healthy for our family.
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I jusy wanted to say thanks for all your input. I've been trying all these ideas and they seem to be working

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