Magazine article Working Mother

Q: Our 3-Year-Old Refuses to Eat at the Table. What Can We Do?

Magazine article Working Mother

Q: Our 3-Year-Old Refuses to Eat at the Table. What Can We Do?

Article excerpt

A: Preschoolers are often a confusing mix of baby and big kid. During mealtimes, your child may want to be part of the family but probably isn't able to tolerate sitting for extended periods. He may resist staying in his high chair but may climb out of a regular chair, too. Since we know the importance of family meals, try these tactics:

Adjust his table time. A typical 3-year-old can usually sit still for about five minutes before he gets fidgety, so bring him to the table when the food is all ready and everyone has gathered. That way, those five minutes of patience are spent eating rather than waiting.

Avoid snacks one hour before meals. A child who is hungry will stick around to eat. Space out snacks so that he is neither too hungry nor too full at mealtimes.

Speak his language. Young children don't find adult conversations very interesting for long. …

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