Sending 2-year old to bed without dinner

Toddlerhood can be a time of struggle, frustration, and self-doubt for parents. In simple words, it can be a test of your parenting skills. 

You may have a toddler who won’t have dinner. It is a situation that many parents have been in, and it is the fight at the dinner table. It is common for toddlers to refuse to eat their dinner. 

But what about sending 2 year old to bed without dinner?

If your toddler is a picky eater, you may be engaged in a struggle when it comes to eating dinner. Your toddler sits there, refusing to eat a meal, and ultimately, mom gives up. You either end up giving them something else to eat or send them to bed without dinner. 

If this is happening in your house, this article is for you.

Sending 2-year old to bed without dinner

It is not good for your little one’s health to send them to bed without dinner regularly. Ensure that your child doesn’t have an empty stomach. A child who goes to bed hungry is going to have a tough time getting to sleep. If you are sending a toddler to bed without dinner as a punishment, keep in mind that it is an ineffective way to punish your kids. However, skipping meals occasionally is pretty normal for young kids and particularly toddlers and preschoolers who naturally respond to variations in appetite. While it is not ok to send your 2-year-old to bed without dinner, it is good to calm down and not panic. You should look for ways to get your toddler to eat dinner.

Why is it important for children to eat dinner?

Your child needs to eat dinner. Kids are constantly growing and their bodies need raw materials in the form of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from the food they eat to keep developing. 

When there are long gaps in meals, the raw material supply will not be enough and your kid’s growth is compromised. There is already a gap of over 10 hours between dinner and breakfast. 

Not having dinner further extends the gap to 14 to 16 hours which is more than half the day. So it is not ok to send your kid to bed without dinner.

Reasons Your Toddler Won’t Eat Dinner

Here are some reasons your toddler won’t eat dinner and what to do about it.

Snacks are too close to dinner

With a toddler, the hour right before dinner can be hard to pass. Your kid is hungry and you are in rush to get something to eat. Giving him a glass of juice or milk, or a few crackers can be an easy way to get some time to prepare dinner. But even a few bites can be enough to spoil your toddler’s appetite, so they will not eat dinner.

Solution: Give them a healthy snack of at least two food groups 2 hours before dinner so they can comfortably wait.

Your toddler is eating all afternoon

This is another reason why your toddler doesn’t eat dinner. They may have eaten enough calories throughout the day to last them till morning, so they don’t eat anything at dinnertime.

Solution: Stick to a single balanced and planned afternoon snack and ensure it is not too close to dinner.

Snacks are fun, dinners are boring

You serve veggies, rice, and chicken for dinner and cookies, juices, and crackers for snacks. Then you expect your kid to eat dinner and not ask for a snack. It will not happen.

Solution: Mix up things a bit to improve dinner status and lower the temptation of snacks. Try including your toddler’s favorite treats in meals and serve more regular food for snacks.

Sending 2-year old to bed without dinner


Sending 2-year-old to bed without dinner is one of the biggest feeding challenges when it comes to toddlers and it frustrates the parents. 

While it can be a source of daily stress, there are ways you can use it to increase the chances that your little one will eat dinner. 

The important thing to keep in mind is that you have to get into a routine and be consistent with your responses so that your toddler knows what to expect. 

They love predictability and routine, so use it to your benefit and understand that in a few days their new strategy will become the new normal.

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