Almost every night, Sam refuses to eat dinner. Doesn't usually matter what we are eating, he is just not a dinner eater. At all.
We typically eat dinner between 5:30-6 pm. Sam typically goes to bed between 7:30-8. If he doesn't eat, our rule is that he gets no treats and nothing to eat or drink except water before bedtime.
Then every morning Sam demands that we all wake up as soon as he wakes up (usually between 6:30-7) and go downstairs and "eat some brep-pest." Some days I feel a little guilty letting the boys watch a show so I can sleep in a bit because Sam is always demanding food and I know he hasn't eaten since he woke up from naptime the previous day and had a snack. (and trust me, I have eliminated the snack and extra drinks in the afternoon and still...he doesn't eat dinner.) So we come downstairs and I make the boys scrambled eggs and cinnamon raisin toast or Kashi waffles with strawberries...etc. A good breakfast. But every morning after making me feel like a horrible mom for not getting up as soon as he does and making him breakfast immediately, he eats only a few bites of breakfast, puts his plate in the sink and declares himself done and cannot be coaxed back to eat another bite. I could accept that maybe he just isn't going through a growth spurt right now and so doesn't need much food, except that a half hour later he is begging me for juice or a "spe-shal treat" or some kind of junk other than what I served for breakfast.
I hold strong. I don't give him what he wants, except to offer him water (which he HATES). He throws a major temper tantrum and goes to his room. Yesterday he came right out of his room, and disregarding my warning, asked me for apple juice AGAIN when we reached the bottom of the stairs. Of course, I made him give me the scripted "What does no mean?" answer.
(When the boys ask us repeatedly for things after we say no, we make them give us the scripted answer. It goes like this, "What does no mean?" "No, and stop asking." It was adapted from the scripted answer my grandmother used to make us say when we'd visit her for 2 weeks over the summer and became exasperated with us. Back then, no meant, "No, and SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!" lol)
Anyway, you know what happened next. He threw a screaming fit, and back to his room he went.
I am so frustrated to start my day this way every day! Most days I have been awake for less than 45 minutes when I have to deal with this kids temper tantrums, and if it isn't daily, it is at least 5 days a week. And I am NOT a morning person, so this has been trying my patience.
I will say that by the time lunch rolls around, he usually scarfs it down, then has a drink and a small snack after nap, like I mentioned earlier, but that is it. A few bites of brakfast and a drink. Nothing till lunch time. A big lunch and a treat for eating it all gone. A snack and drink after lunch. And then? Nada. Unless they go outside to play, in which case, they get a small glass of water or juice, because...well, it's Texas and it is HOT!!!
He is a picky eater, but it has come a long way. He does much better now about eating more of a variety of fruits, veggies and meats which he mostly used to refuse no matter the mealtime. I used to have to be tricky about getting him to eat things. But now he either eats it willingly or finds it hidden, and picks it out if he deosn't want it. I have seen him refuse things for breakfast and dinner that I KNOW he loves! He just doesn't want to sit down and eat dinner and doesn't eat much breakfast. Okay, and also, despite all this, my child is not in any danger of poor health and nutrition. He is about average when it comes to both height and weight and doesn't have any digestive problems or bowel movement issues.
Anyone have any supermom suggestions about things I could try to help him eat appropriately?