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He won't sit at the table to eat any more

Samuel had always been a good eater, but he really hates sitting at the table to eat now. We used to bribe him with colouring in but even that doesn't work now. We just let him climb down and he cries as he wants the TV on.

He would happily eat on the sofa in front of the telly but I don't him to get into a permanent habit of doing that. I let him snack on chopped fruit in front of the TV as it's not to messy.

Most evenings we let him go without any dinner rather than cave in, but other eves we'll let him eat in front of the TV - largely if I don't have the energy to resist or if I know he hasn't eaten much that day. I'm sure consistency would help.

Our dining table is in the kitchen/diner btw with no TV (just a radio). The TV is in the living room.

Any tips? Really don't know whether to go with the flow or dig my heels in on this one. Hope it's just a phase....


  • I am sure you all thought I would have some great ideas but I am afraid not! My kids eat breakfast and lunch in the kitchen diner and have a tv on. I am all for getting them to stay at the table and eat as much as possible. Flor dinner I do get them to sit and eat with us and talk at the same time. I don't allow the tv then. We talk and chat and once they are done they are allowed down even if we are not done.
    I hate meals been a battle ground. My husband had a strict upbringing and hated meal times as he had to stay at the table and eat it all.

    I try to stay relaxed and let them eat as much as they want/ If I dont think they have eaten enough I take it away and tell them they get no supper Usually that is enough to get them to eat a bit more. However, a Dr once told me that children are much better than adults at listening to their stomachs and knowing when they are full.

    Sorry I dont have any words of wisdom!

    d xxx
  • Hi jo

    Will try and make this reply a bit more coherent.

    I struggle with dd and most nights resirtcto eating on the sofa as I fought with high chair
    And table till a few months back. We saw dietician yesterday and she said the key is consistency and to differentiate between play and food time. With this in mind am starting with the table again after our two week holiday. Not easy and especially when you got new arrival round the corner. Have you tried new placemat plates etc. Getting dd1 to choose new stuff whenever she got bored seemed to help but then she was loads easier than dd2!!

    Good luck and will be watching for answers!!


    Sleepy xx
  • Thanks all! At least it sounds like this is definitely an age thing as they're all doing a similar thing.

    I agree Dee - we've always wanted to make mealtimes relaxed. I've always let Samuel get down from the table as soon as he's had enough rather than try to push more on him, as I know that fighting will get us nowhere and prob do more harm than good. I do ask him to eat another carrot and potato before he can have an ice lolly / yoghurt / jelly etc, though and this usually works. On the otherhand, I think it's not difficult to be laid back about mealtimes when your child is generally a good eater, and we've been blessed on this front.

    Lara / Sleepy - we gave up on the higchair about a year ago! We have one of those booster seats at the table which Samuel has now learnt how to climb out of. He's such an active, physical little boyimage

    Maybe it's time to buy a TV for the kitchen. I think having it on for brekkie/lunch but off in the evening is a good comprimise Dee.

    I have noticed some days that if Samuel climbs down and demands the TV and we totally ignore him, he will return to eat about 5 mins later. All these different phases eh!

  • Hiya,

    We've got a through lounge dining room so the kids do tend to haveTV on at breakfast time~anything to make mornings easier lol but I have put my foot down at teatime. LUnch times aren't really an issue for us as we're generally out and about. Totally agree with you about it being easier to be laid back when you've got good eaters. Hope the phase passes quickly for you!
  • Thanks CB! He's actually been better this week already, so yes, it looks like another phase. Still considering a telly in the kitchen though!

    J x
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