View Full Version : Holding out for snacks

05-17-2005, 07:25 PM
Hi! DD will be 2 years old next month. Recently she has decided that she doesn't want to eat lunch but instead hold out for snacks. I think she's figured out that at daycare, they won't force her to eat lunch but will allow her to stuff herself with graham crackers at snack time several hours later...which then makes her less hungry for dinner. At home she is refusing to eat most snacks (yogurt, fruit, etc.), which sometimes means that she goes from breakfast to dinner with nothing to eat and is Miss Grouchypants all day as a result.

Is there anything I can do about this situation, or is it just one of those toddler things? I agree with the general policy of not making a big deal out of it if she refuses to eat, but I'm afraid her daycare providers are unintentionally rewarding her for skipping lunch. I'm a psychologist, so I tend to interpret parenting issues in terms of reinforcement, and I'm stumped at trying to think of a way to eliminate the "skipping lunch now = more cookies later" connection. I don't want to make getting a snack contingent upon eating lunch, because I don't want to set up the idea that lunch is something to be endured in order to get to the snack. Should we ask the daycare to limit the amount of crackers she gets at snack time? (They do have other types of snacks, but graham crackers are the most common.) I'm not worried about her nutrition per se at this point, just the establishment of good eating habits and the prevention of grumpy toddlers.