ANSWERS: 70
  • No, it isn't. If the only way they learn is by punishment, then they will learn not to waste any more food and you won't have to punish them any further.
  • I would let them eat later, once they realized how hungry they were. I wouldn't let them go hungry for the rest of the night. But I would make them eat what you made for dinner... put it in the fridge and save it for later. Tell them that their only option is to eat the same dinner when they get cranky and hungry. If they get upset at that, then too bad for them! Don't let them eat any snacks if they refuse dinner a second time.
  • Can you save their supper for later when they are hungry? You could just reheat it.
  • it absolutly is the best thing to do, if you let them eat again they'll know they dont have to eat dinner and still get yummy snacks.
  • A child has never starved because they missed one meal. I would put the food in front of them and let them decide if they want to eat it. If they choose not to then the kitchen is closed until morning. This might be difficult at first but you have to be firm. If you kids are still little you might want to try smaller portions. If they are still hungry when they are finished they can always ask for more.
  • welcome to my world! Here is what I do per the advice of my ped. He said... the food battle is a losing battle. To constantly raise it as an issue is a lost cause. He does not suggest eliminating snacks but the snacks we give when my son doesn't eat supper is more like yogurt, bananas, etc. He doesn't get the yummy stuff (chips, cookies, etc) unless he eats his supper. And we try very hard to not make a huge issue of it at meal time. Good luck!
  • The best thing to do is to take their meal away after a given number of minutes, having told them that you will do this. (even put a timer or clock on the table to let them know how much time they have left). But no snacks even if they are hungry. You can give them the option of eating the food they wasted...once. But tell them next time it will be taken away for good.
  • No, it's not unfair..let them go "hungry" a couple of times and they will probably eat their dinner, or at least enough so it isn't wasted. They are not going to starve in the few hours before breakfast. I would also either reduce or cut out any afternoon snacks, so they will maybe look forward to dinner.
  • Uh no. They just have to learn to eat enough at dinner so they aren't hungry later. Otherwise, maybe do as Siddharma says (if you don't mind them eating late at night).
  • I am a teenager and I think you have the right approach to this whole issue. Do not back down on your word and do not let your children control you. You did give them something to eat and they chose not to eat nearly all of it. Do not give in to their whining. It's not crying if they are only doing it to get what they want. It's whining and whining should never be awarded. It is an absolute mistake to award whining. They can't just choose to eat and change your rules whenever they feel like it. You are the parent. They are the children. Set rules and stick to them.
  • I am unwavering about this. My daughter eats what's in front of her or she doesn't eat. She knows this. The only condition is if she honestly doesn't like something (like onions). If she does choose to go to bed hungry, the next meal is the warmed up meal she didn't eat last night. Again, she knows this. Why are letting your child snack after dinner anyways? The meal should suffice until breakfast. We're raising fat kids. Stop it.
  • It is important for you to stick to your decisions and set the example for them. This is just a normal technique kids use in "testing" a parents boundaries. If it becomes a regular scenario, I would examine *why* it is happening. Dinner too early? Are they seeking a reason to delay bed time? When you let them eat before bed, do they get dinner left overs or some sort of "snack" item that they prize? I wouldn't change your rules at all. Your kids are not going to starve to death. But I would look a little closer at the issues behind the problem.
  • You don't offer enough information. example if your allowing them snacks between lunch and dinner then they most likely will not eat dinner. If your feeding them dinner too early in the evening it is possible they will most likely will not eat dinner. some suggestion that may help. 1. make dinner time a little later 2. do not allow snacking between meals and never as a reward for eating all their dinner. 3. create some physical activity a hour or more before dinner, to build up their appetite. No one, adult or child should consume snacks two hours before bedtime because they can lay in the stomach all night causing problems with weight gaining and illnesses. It is not unfair of you to control your children's food consumption as long as you offer them with balanced meals. most of the time when a child cries they are hungery at bedtime does not always mean they are hungery but trying to postpone bedtime. Best of luck.
  • well its what use to happen to us (me and my brothers) when we were kids ...and it did us no harm at all... just be firm and let them know again why its happening and if they don't want it to happen again they had better eat their food , but as some of my fellow ABers have suggested make their potions a little smaller and if they are still hungry later give them something else
  • i dont think that its unfair. i do the same to my children when they dont wanna eat their supper and just waste it. they dont get nothing untill morning
  • As long as you aren't giving them unreasonable portion sizes. Children cannot eat as much as we do and should not be expected to. If the portion sizes are reasonable, then they won't die from going to bed hungry. What I do if I feel my son hasn't eaten enough at dinner is to say "I'm going to save this. If you're hungry later, I'll warm it up for you." That way, he isn't being forced to eat if he isn't really hungry, but he also knows he can't get away without eating what was made for dinner and think he can get junk food later.
  • Wrap their plates and put them in the fridge and warm them up later. And make sure they don't snack before dinner. If they're not eating and just screwing around, they're obviously not hungry.
  • I had a situation once where the child knew that when he finished all of his dinner he could get a piece of cake. So he decided to be sneaky and dump his food in the trash just so he could say he was finished and could get the cake. Guess what,....I made him a brand new plate of food and he sat there and ate every bit. I think that parenting is half of the problem with society now days, parents let their children get away with way too much and as they get older they are given an inch when in reality they EXPECT a mile. Now, I'm not saying become a drill sergeant at all, children just need to learn the correct way to deal with things other than taking the easy way out all the time and neglecting responsibilities.
  • Is it because they aren't hungry at your dinner time? Maybe you can fix dinner later?"
  • I just offer their unfinished meal to them when they are complaining that they are hungry yet again.
  • It's not unfair, it just isn't one of the fun things to do as a parent. Just give them their dinner again later when they complain about being hungry.
  • That's a tough answer. Kids need their daily intake. However, they also do need to be structured, and not just do things on a whim. That's how people get fat. Quick meals usually are less healthy meals, and that includes snacks. It's definitely not good to eat right before bed time either. That's a very sure way to promote fat gain. Try to do something creative. I don't know if you change up the meals, or how often you do so, but maybe they're getting tired of the "food they do like." I'd definitely let them know that if they don't eat now (dinner time) they won't get any desert, or any food later on. Maybe compromise with them a little, but don't give in on the eating right before bed time thing.
  • Nope it's not unfair, it's precisely what I'd do. They need to learn that if they want to eat, they'd better do it when you're feeding them. If you let them waste their dinner but then snack later, you're just teaching them they can push you around and get whatever they want. Stick to your guns, they'll learn :)
  • I wouldn't say it's unfair, but it's usually not very effective. Perhaps you're feeding them too often or giving them too much to eat. Try limiting their intake strictly to mealtimes with nothing in between, and making their portions smaller.
  • Not at all. It's not like they didn't have the opportunity to eat and not be hungry. You're doing the right thing, absolutely. Don't feel bad about it.
  • I don't think its unfair to let them go hungry. They need to know that food cost a lot of money and there are people in this world that don't have the advantage of snacks and full meals. I have been going through this same battle. Everytime I make dinner I get complaints from my children. It usually starts with the oldest and then the youngest starts in too. I have just started to wrap up their dinner and put it in the fridge. When they come to me around 8:30pm and say they are hungry I reheat it and put it in front of them. They have gotten the message.
  • No. I am doing thru the same thing w/ my 4 y/o daughter. The only time that I giver her something to eat before bed is when she ate a significant amount of her dinner. If she eats more than 1/2, then I let her have something NUTRITIOUS. She can have an apple or a yogurt, but nothing heavy. I noticed that when I cut her back from snacking (which she likes to do ALL DAY), at least 2 hrs before dinner, she's hungry & will eat. If she still won't then she goes right to bed & might sit in her room for 2 hrs before she falls asleep but has learned to stop asking for food when she knew that I was upset about how much food I had to throw out since she didn't eat it.
  • No snacks at all, unless they ate their dinner the night before. If they don't get the after school snack(really needs to be healthy, not chips) they will be hungry at dinner. No snacks for eating dinner. Never reward a child for doing what they are supposed to do in the first place. Punish them for not doing what they are supposed to do.
  • I wouldnt let them go hungry, I would take what they didnt eat for dinner, save it, and if they get hungry later, they can have what they didnt finish eating. Sometimes people dont get hungry at the same time.
  • I never made my kids eat..I was forced to finish my plate and it usually made me sick.. My kids stopped when they were full. If they needed a small anack before bed, fine. No sugar at night though.
  • I have a slightly different but similar suggestion. If they complain about being hungry after not eating a meal they like, make them eat something they DON'T LIKE or go to bed hungry. Pretty soon, they should decide that they'd rather eat what they like voluntarily rather than be forced to choose something they don't like or nothing. You can't always cater to the kid's every whim just because they don't like something. If I did that, my kid would be crawling on the floor naked at eleven months old and someone would call CPS on me.
  • Try not putting so much on thier plates. If they finish their 1st serving and want more, so be it. There shouldn't be wasting if you start out with single servings at first.
  • Never allow your kids to go hungry even before bed.Learn to adjust the servings and the menus.Cook what they like best as long as its healthy food.Suggest that you ask them what they would like to have for dinner. Sometimes what they usually like may not be repeated.
  • What time is dinner? How soon is it after their last meal (lunch or after school snack?). It might be that dinner is too early. I agree with you that its important that the kids understand that there is a routine and that they can't just eat on demand. As other posters have suggested, why not reheat the meal later but at a set time, so they don't start to feel that they can demand food whenever they want. For example, if dinner is at 5pm, you could reheat the dinner food again at 8pm and then the kitchen is closed for the night. But whatever you do, don't be inconsistent! If you sometimes give in and let them eat at night and sometimes don't that just trains them to be super persistent.
  • No, it isn't because they have to learn it isn't right to waste food. Wasting food is one of my pet hates. But, it would also be a good idea to watch how much they are eating before dinner and to think about putting dinner on a bit later. They shouldn't be allowed to have a bedtime snack if they didn't eat most or all of their dinner.
  • Maybe their hunger patterns don't fit into the your definition of "dinnertime". Some places in Europe they don't eat dinner till very late. Maybe you should give them a snack at regular dinnertime and give them their actual dinner food right before bedtime. My son fits into this pattern, too. I think at "dinnertime" he's still too wound up from his day to eat a lot, then he eats like a madman right before bed.
  • It's not unfair. Save their dinner that they wasted and offer that. If they won't eat it, then they aren't really hungry and they can just sleep without it. And you're right about withholding snacks. Teach then the way you want your household to be run and what appreciation for meals and family dinnertime is all about. You either eat together or not at all in the evenings. They will not starve. They may be quite the headache until the message sinks in but they will learn eventually.
  • When my son does this I save what he hasnt eaten and then when he cries hungry I make him eat it. I dont think what you are doing is unfair. I think that is one way in which our children try and test us to see if they can get what they want.
  • the way little minds work is oh if i cry and say i hungry i get to stay up longer with mummy little ones dont starve themselfs having a set time for supper helps this is what i do half an hour befor bed they know their not going to have anything eles if they dont eat it they not hungary
  • I don't think that is unfair at all. I have 4 kids and at supper time if they dont finish I tell them they wont be getting anything to eat later. If you give in and let them snack before bed with out having finished their dinner they will waste all the time. They will think its ok cause "we will get a snack later."
  • You're doing the right thing. It's tough love! and it's definitely tough for the mom, I know :)
  • feed them smaller meals? save their dinner to reheat later when they say they are hungry? You shouldn't starve your kids and you shouldn't force them to overeat. Either of these can ruin them especially if you force them to overeat.
  • Don't be manipulated. If you provide a decent tasty meal and they get hungry later, it's called manipulation. Kids are very good at this.
  • You keep doing what you are doing!! Do not cave. They will eventually learn when it is time to eat, they better eat. This keeps you in control, not the kids. You are doing the right thing. Stick to your guns and they will eventually learn. They have a choice, let them learn to make that choice.
  • You keep doing what you are doing!! Do not cave. They will eventually learn when it is time to eat, they better eat. This keeps you in control, not the kids. You are doing the right thing. Stick to your guns and they will eventually learn. They have a choice, let them learn to make that choice.
  • What we have done is save their supper and then when they complain about being hungry retrieve the plate from the fridge and tell them bon appetite! Then you will find out how hungry they really are. Most of the time it is a ploy to stay up longer.
  • If I were you I would probably feed your kids something quick to make like peanut butter and jelly or a turkey and cheese sandwich, and if your kids don't want to eat it just tell them that there is nothing els tonight and leave them in the refrigerator and they will probably eat it.
  • Well ,, i threaten to do the same ,,but i usually give in to the spoiled brats ..but i don't blame you if you don't give in ,, With such modern items as a fridge ,microwave ,,,save it til they decide to eat it ,,instead of some junk before going to bed ,,give them a 2nd chance at supper.
  • Some people have different views on this. I think it is fair because you shouldn't waste food and if they really wanted the food, they wouldn't waste it. If they really want a toy badly, just tell them that you don't have money to buy it because the food gets all wasted and that you spend tons of money on food. I would ask them, are you hungry and if they said yes, I'd give them the food but when they wasted and want more, I'll say, I gave you food and you wasted it, so the answer is no.
  • They'll live. The law at our home when my kids were little was, "Take what you want, eat what you take, and don't ask for anything other than what your mother fixes for meals."
  • Captian Harley's answer was good! I don't think you were being unfair at all. Grats on not caving in. Food shouldn't be a fight. It creates too many issues. I think constancy is very important. My number one rule. This is a kitchen not a restaurant. Food was made with consideration but with three children ones favorite was not the others favorite. So, along with take what you want eat what you take was this rule; if you don't eat what you take you won't get anything else. With new foods there was a little more leeway. If a food was new or if they did care for it they could only try just one teaspoon of it and be off the hook. Still, I didn't make them something else. I cooked a variety of foods including many dishes from around the world. Almost everything I made was from scratch and my kids were involved in age appropriate preparation chores in the kitchen. Getting kids involved in cooking makes them more likely to try things, teaches important skills and helps them develop confidence and pride in contributing to the household. They also might develop a little appreciation for the work that you do to prepare a meal. My three kids are all adults and all thank me for insisting that they try new foods and helped them learn to cook. Try it it might work for you.
  • The answer is right there. Wait till they are actually crying to eat, and then give them the food. I would never let them snack after they acted the way they did, because it will reinforce that behavior. They have to learn that food is eaten at certain times, but that doesn't mean it has to be at the time you are serving it to them at present.
  • I make my daughter save her uneaten dinner, then if she gets hungry later that is what she can eat. I do not like wasting food...
  • My mother when I was growing up use to make us eat out oatmeal we did not eat at breakfast at dinner time... when it was glue and nasty cold. I HATED oatmeal and just did not want to eat it lol... we laugh about it now but I HATED it as a kid... but if they just wont eat.. Do what my mom did... I learned fast! lol
  • "unfair" is in the eye of the beholder. It's "unfair" to them, because they "weren't hungry" for supper. (Is that because they snack before? If so, don't allow them to.) It is "unfair" to you that they won't eat "normal food", but want snacks. Too bad. YOU are the parent. Leave their plates on the table, or as soon as you know they aren't going to eat it, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. When they cry they are hungry, tell them that they MUST eat their supper before they get any other snacks, and if it's TOO late, then they JUST get the dinner. Now, don't make them eat the plate clean, if they've eaten most of it (unless you only give them a couple or three of their bites). There are a LOT of chubby and obese adults because they were forced to eat everything on their plate - "Starving children in China would LOVE to have that food" (change "China" for ANY known 3rd world country or one where we know kids are starving). Kids will NOT "starve" missing a single meal. And it will do them good to skip snacks just before bedtime, too. ;-)
  • not wrong at all they are not going to die eat dinner or go to bed no questions asked maybe come to an agreement like half the plate or X bites
  • Perhaps you need to review the whole eating schedule. It is best to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day, with snacks scheduled at mid morning, mid afternoon and just before bedtime. The actual times would depend on school and other schedule, but the important thing is that each meal should be at the same time every day. Then their stomach anticipates the meal and is hungry. For example, breakfast at 7am, snack at 10am, lunch at 12:30, snack at 3:30, dinner at 6:30. Evening snack - fruit is good - at 9:30. They should not be forced to eat anything, but if they are not eating enough, I would stop serving desserts or any kinds of cookies, cakes or other junk food through the day so they are hungry for meat, fish, chicken, grains, vegetables, etc.
  • no, go for it. They will only go hungry once or twice before they learn to sit down and eat their dinner. I make a special effort to not give my little one too much to eat, because he does typically have a small appetite. But, he MUST eat what is put in front of him, or he will not eat until breakfast. I never had to do this with the older two kids.
  • The world has enough hungry kids yes i think you are wrong
  • -good for you -it will not hurt them to be a little hungry when they go to bed
  • If it's food they like and they are wasting it, maybe they're just not hungry when you're feeding it to them. Maybe change the schedule to a bit later when they typically complain of hunger? there's always a reason behind a behavior. Otherwise, I wouldn't feel bad about letting them go hungry if they waste food once in a while. It's a passive way to teach them.
  • Its fine. they are not going to starve between lunch and breakfast. If they were really hungry they would not waste the food next time. You could also save the food. Make them eat it rewarmed for the next meal. No need to waste it.
  • I think that is how you eventually raise fat adults.Teaching them to eat when they are not hungry by withholding food when they are, is teaching them to eat whether they are hungry or not. Just a thought to keep in mind. Perhaps let them eat when they are hungry and they wont waste food. They say it is better (more natural) to eat several small meals rather then 3 large ones.
  • if you make the supper food available even after it's off of the table, i actually applaud you for not giving in. some parents have trouble saying 'no'. if they get hungry ENOUGH they'll eat what you've already prepared. if they don't, then they're not THAT hungry.
  • No,they are probubly just testing the boundry line.
  • Here and I thought the person posting would be reamed by some idiots!! Nice to see many parents stand firm and have nifty ways of encouraging their children to eat right and healthy. You parents rock!
  • Not unfair at all. They have to learn that they need the good nutrition of a meal which snacking does not provide and they must also learn that food is expensive and should not be wasted.
  • I applaud you for standing firm on the rules of the house. I do wonder why they are not hungry at meal time though. You may be standing firm on the eating at meal time but negating your own discipline by allowing them to snack too late in the day. But if its just a kid being too picky to eat whats served, I applaud you for stiking to your guns. Make them eat what is prepared. I see too many times, parents jumping through hoops to make several different meals, just so little johnny and june are happy with what they are eating. Hell, its nutrition and time to eat. Welcome to life kid, eat or go hungry..
  • No not ar all.
  • Having a kid eat more than 1 or 2 bites of foods they hate is pointless except to torture the kids. Everybody has foods they absolutely hate (including you) and that might not ever change. One or two bites will help a kid see what food really tastes like and that's all you can (or should) do.

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