How do you get your active kids to sit and eat?

How do y’all get your active kids to sit and eat? When he does actually eat well is usually breakfast, and I sit with him to ensure we are BOTH eating, but lately, he rarely wants to eat, only wants to snack, and every time I offer him his food instead, I get a big fat NOOOOO AND RUNS he will be 2 in December & I’m truly just looking for the kid to eat he’s about 32 lbs very tall and big for his age but still feel he isn’t eating enough

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My daughter does this and I just say whatever. I guess she’ll eat when she’s hungry. I think the hardest part for me is wasting food. I’ll prepare foods that she normally likes just for her to refuse it. If all she wants to eat is fruit and yogurt I guess that’s all she wants to eat right now. I can’t force her to eat stuff so it’s whatever :woman_shrugging:t2:


My daughter does this. But she is cutting her back teeth. Sometimes if they have teeth coming in they may not eat as much.

What I did was have little snack bags of meat cheeses and veggie sticks and allow mine to grab and go. Like have a veggie bag next to a little dipping cup of greek yogurt that way at least he was getting protein and veggies in instead of sugary snacks. Maybe add in a pediasure :woman_shrugging:


I let my toddler eat how she’s comfortable and she’s 15 months and crazy I just put food on the side of her high chair when we are up stairs or on a specific plate for her if we are downstairs. N she grazes.

Unless she’s on our laps sitting and eating for more then 5-10 min isn’t happening

Maybe try getting a tray and putting finger foods in it and set the tray in a neutral spot. My son would eat like a bird and this helped! They think they’re too busy at that age lol

My 4 year old is like this he has autism and somedays he will barley eat doc has me giving him protein shakes during the day to try and get him to gain weight

tolld mine they would ger fat feet

Both of my kids went through this for a while. I faught and faught at meal times and eventually just decided to let them “snack” all day. But instead of snacks I would give a part of whatever meal it was close to time for. They come for another snack… another part of that meal, dinner was a struggle but as long as they ate what I felt was a healthy and substantial amnt throughout the day I would be more lenient with dinner, and of course there is the option for a dessert after dinner if you eat what you have been given(which is usually a good motivator :yum:)

Kids are naturally snackers, as all humans should be. We aren’t actually designed to have large meals. What I did when I kids were small is give small meals and only offer healthy snacks.

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I used to worry about my youngest not eating enough but let him listen to his body. Eventually I saw a pattern tho, he would eat very little for about three days then he’d eat and eat and eat for a day or so. I just always made sure that the food was healthy and let him listen to his body. He’s been like that his while life and is very healthy.
There’s some really great advice here, I just wanted to add that maybe watch for a pattern.

My son is 3 now n has been like that since about 2. He’s tall n skinny the dr said he’s perfectly healthy and fits well on the growth chart. He is a busy boy and I can rarely get him to eat anything. He now gets a carnation good start once a day and 1 cup of whole milk before bedtime. Usually when I do get him to eat its only when I’m eating and feeding him passing bites meaning he’s literally running past as I give him a fork full lol


My son did this too. His pedi said he’ll eat when he’s hungry. Don’t force him or push it on him. And he’s a very healthy 17 year old now.

Stop with the snacks until he eats his meals.

I don’t, I let him take bite in between play. He eventually finishes his plate. He’s three and that can be a long time to sit :woman_shrugging:

Its the age. They will eat when they are hungry. Hang in there momma🥰

He won’t starve himself trust me :woman_shrugging:t3: he’ll eat when he hungry . Don’t force him to eat if he doesn’t want to eat

My son has sensory issues so most days it’s just giving a ton of snacks in between meals because he just isn’t up to sitting long for dinner or lunch or even breakfast. We do add paper and crayons or a tablet while he’s sitting and eating to keep him in one spot and also use a booster seat with straps for the kitchen table so if I’m busy I can just buckle him in and do what I need to do. He’s happily sat for up to an hour with some crayons and his lunch. It’s not a battle worth fighting for us. As long as he eats we just leave it alone since he’s had plenty of food and stomach issues since birth. He’s now 3 and started back to being super hungry all the time and even tasting new foods. As long as the kid eats and you can kind of mix it up with the snacks and what not I say just leave it alone. Pushing and fighting to get them to eat only stresses everybody out more and causes nobody to eat.

My 5yo does this and has since he could walk. As long as your son is meeting weight/height and developmental milestones, I wouldn’t worry. Kids eat when they want, just like adults. Not everybody eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner and at the exact same times every day. I’m sure some days you’re hungrier or not in the mood for food at noon. Kids are the same. I let mine graze on healthy snacks and offer meals but don’t fight if he declines. It’s not worth the hassle to me. My 5yo is only 38lbs now, but he’s perfectly healthy and in the 50th-ish percentile and has a normal BMI. I really wouldn’t stress it unless the dr said something.

Let him snack. When my kids get like that I give them snack portions for meals

I let my son stand on the chair at that age up till he was tall enough to stand at the table. He’s 17 and still does not sit still.

Its a phase. He’ll eat when he’s hungry. Seriously, try not to worry.

My daughter just turned 3. And we still have to make bites on the fork or spoon, make it fun, and help her eat daily.
She picks some days, and gorges others. I just go with the flow. Give a vitamin daily. Pediasure meal replacement drinks

Its up to you… your the parent. I personally don’t let my kids snack all the time so they will eat… and when they do eat, they got to eat everything on their plate before they can get a snack or desert.

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Take him in the kitchen with you while you prepare food and let him taste everything.
My daughter will be two next week, she loves to help make scrambled eggs, and some days will only eat that for breakfast lunch and dinner… :woman_shrugging:t2:
I give pediasure also.
As long as it’s not junk, you’re good!

Tape lol ok no my boys were in their high chairs till almost 3 now they both sit nice n eat at 6 snd 3 it’s a process lol

My lo will be 2 in March and she’s doing the same exact thing she will eat a pretty decent breakfast not everyday but most but after that she’s on the go non stop she used to be a great eater so I take it this is just a phase and hopefully it ends soon

They go through stages. My son turned 2 in august and sometimes he eats normally other times snacks all day and other times doesn’t want to eat much at all. I know certain food I can almost always get him to eat, like chicken Kiev for dinner so we have that at least once a week.

Since my kids were little when it’s time to eat it’s time to eat even if you’re not hungry you will still sit there until we are done as a family. Sometimes kids would rather play than eat but that’s not a choice that they get. They can always play afterwards. Remember you set the standards.
To me if you tell him to eat and he runs off and yells no that’s rude, you want to allow him to do that for other things why does.
And it’s not that it’s a huge deal but it will lead to other things that may be a bigger deal so if you can control this situation, it will help you control other situations in the future.
If I were you I would give him two options you either sit down during meal time or you go in timeout but there’s no playing during mealtime.
We play after.

I lock my kids into those high chairs. Tell them they cant go till all the food on their plate is gone. Half of it usually ends up on the floor lol. But hey their tray is empty so I feel like I did my job and I can even eat too

Two of my kids have been/are this way. My youngest is two. If she doesn’t eat with us, I just leave her food on the table a little while and she will go get up there and eat and then get back down and play. The days she doesn’t eat much I will give her a pediasure to make up the difference. My daughter in the 90% on height and weight so she’s healthy. I make sure any snacks I offer her are always healthy choices so she doesn’t try to just eat junk food. My boys outgrew it and they eat fine now.

My son did the same thing and still does as long as he is snacking on healthy things its better than nothing i even asked his dr about it and she said as long as he is going to the bathroom like he should and if he doesn’t want to eat he isn’t going to starv himself


Ever heard of take it or leave it… don’t give him junk between meals…

Teach them from the beginning.

I’m not criticizing you at all. I’m just saying what I did. Regularly scheduled meals, little to no snacks. Running off was not an option. My 2 children and I sat down together and ate.
The one big mistake I did as a parent is allow bad habits to develop. Like children sleeping in their own beds. Dont start and you wont have to stop.


He won’t starve himself. Keep HEALTHY options available for snacking maybe string cheese, cut in half grapes, maybe open a lunchable and leave it on the shelf in the fridge where he can reach, make all food you offer are healthy. Keep up with sitting and eating breakfast if you can.


We always ate dinner together, so no one was up and walking, and at daycare they had scheduled routines. At home now that they’re a little older they still have to sit at the table if they’re eating, if they get up, it means you’re done and we clear the table. If you’re still hungry, too bad wait until the next meal. They dont get up often. Lol (not judging, this is just how we do it at home) also because we have a puppy that likes to steal stuff off the tables!

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My son is the same way right now. Refuses anything other than breakfast unless I’m sneaky and have his dad or grandpa act like they are eating something so the little turd gets to think he’s eating “their” food

Stepson is 4 and grazes all day. Just offer healthy options and maybe try pediasure too just to get him the needed vitamins

As long as the dr doesn’t express any concern just let him snack. Quick healthy stuff, crustables, gogurts, fruit, veggies, meat sticks. My 1.5 yr old eats pretty much nonstop, but getting him to sit still and stop everything else lmao, unless it’s something he really likes/wants (mac and cheese and hot dogs is a big fan favorite), hes eating on the go.

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He’ll eat when he’s hungry. My kids are always grazing lol. A few bites here and there. Just be sure to offer healthy snacks.

My Grandson started doing this around three. I said he didnt have to eat but that he WILL sit with us while we eat. Most of the time he would eat some of what was put in front of him. A FEW times he ate it ALL. As someone mentioned they wont starve themselves. Just be consistent.


Its a phase. My toddler just turned 2 on the 9th. She started that a few months before she turned 2 and is still doing it. She actually tried mac n cheese and ate a while bowl last night though so I feel like it’s progress…

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I have my son on a schedule. I keep snacks where he can’t reach so if he needs anything he has to ask. It makes it easier for me to control what he is eating.

Sitting with them is a good idea and not leaving till its finished even better. Getting everyone one on board with it aswell helps. My sons 3 and does the same thing but convincing others to help and do the same…some people are just to set in their own ways. So…I put my foot down on all parties involved. Teaching kids table manners is getting easier now when I raise my voice and show who’s boss.

Ask your pediatrician but this is normal. I would make small pb&j sandwiches he could take on “the run”. Uncrustables are awesome! He’s definitely not starving himself, just to busy to eat. My 8 brothers and my son were all like that.

I never had any problems with my three boys sitting down and eating all their meals however my two year old grandson same way he doesn’t want to eat we have to make him sit down if we don’t pay attention he’ll get down and run around it’s not easy

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My pediatrician always told me they will eat when they are hungry and to make sure they knew it was always available. They are phases and when he starts a growing phase will eat you out of house and home!!


My daughter is 6 months and already doesn’t want to eat cause she wants to play :rofl: i can’t even look at my phone while she’s eating or she wants to see what I’m looking at it.

They don’t get a choice cause I’m the parent, let them do it now and it gets worse when they’re older. They sit till they’re finished in my home lol


Following; struggling with the same issue with my 2 1/2 year old!

Sorry but I had to laugh at trying to corral a 2 year old to be cooperative about most anything!! Laugh and take videos and enjoy the ride! They grow up so very fast and you’ll miss these days.

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Pretend its your plate he will then eat it

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The best thing I ever did was get a high table. Also two years used a booster chair with a atrap

He will eat if he is hungry. You may think he is not getting enough but he won’t let himself starve. This is what kids do, he will come back to the plate when he is hungry. Just keep offering healthy snacks.

I’d cut down on snacks, and create a routine for meal times. My kids eat breakfast around 8:00 AM, have a snack around 10:00 AM, have lunch around noon, another snack around 3:00 PM and we eat dinner around 6:00 PM. I also keep snacks light. They have baby carrots, string cheese, apple slices or something of that nature. It has always worked for us, so I hope you will be able to get your meal times just the way you want for you guys, too. :relaxed:

My two year old is still strapped in a high chair or booster seat to eat. She has a set breakfast lunch snack and dinner time. We do not allow eating away from the table for anyone at all. Children do what they see. I’d you’re running around to eat they’re going to want to too.


I have 5 girls and I’ve had 2 that I’d joke and call them cows. Not because they were overweight, but because they’d casually graze all day. No big meals. Just snacks. So I kept their choices healthy. They didn’t starve and were healthy toddlers. My oldest is 14 and still snacks like this. She’s petite but healthy. Your kids will be okay too momma. You are doing a great job!

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Stop allowing snacking

I make my kid sit down no toys no TV no anything but the food and dont let him have a drink until hes done or else he will slam omit and want more and wont eat m he is 5 and weighs 35 lbs

It’s called grazing. It’s perfectly normal. And quite frankly would be healthier for most adults too.

ITs normal… they have these phases. Just keep do it and he will eat when he is hungry.