No one has less fear than a child who asks for a snack right after they refuse dinner.
I love this quote! I think every parent can have a little chuckle reading this, knowing their child is very very brave...
Let me share with you the 3 things you can do to discourage the "I wasn't hungry then but I'm hungry now" saga that may be playing out after dinnertime when everyone is tired and your patience may be running low.
1: Serve the snack with dinner.
Yes, you heard me. Chances are your child is "holding out" for the yogurt/piece of chocolate/bread that they get after dinner. The anticipation is overwhelming and they are not interested in dinner. All they can think about is the snack they will get when dinner is over. The snack is way more interesting than what is going on on their plate. Remember, fussy eaters can be very stubborn! (I didn't need to tell you this did I?)
Take the snack off its pedestal and put it on the table, no comment (this is important). Your child can choose to eat it before, during or after dinner (again, no comment from the parent as to when it should be eaten).
On day one this may be met with a big smile and immediately gobbled up, but by day 3 or 4 your child may decide to eat it after their dinner or just take a few bites and come back to it. You have succeeded in giving them the means to concentrate on their meal and not be distracted by what is coming after.
2: Only offer a small amount.
It should not take over the meal but instead form a small part of it. For example, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, a piece of chocolate. If your child usually wants fruit after dinner, serve 1/2 fruit chopped up. If they want bread, serve 1/2 piece cut into squares.
3: Always serve at least two foods (non-snack foods) that you know your child will eat.
I love this quote - "Be considerate without catering". This means that you serve the food that the family will be having, but you also serve 2 foods that you know your child will eat. That can be pasta, rice, noodles etc. Not a separate meal, but a simple food that is easy to prepare or serve separately. If the family is having stir fry with noodles, your fussy eater may get plain noodles with the veggies and meat separate.
In this way you help to set your child at ease and ensure that there are fewer tantrums at the dinner table because there is a food that they will eat, and also ensure that they will eat something.
Try this strategy this week, be consistent and let us know if you find it helpful!