Sending 2 Year Old to Bed Without Dinner

Sending 2 Year Old To Bed Without Dinner

As a parent, dinner time can be one of the most challenging times of the day, especially if you have a picky eater on your hands. Many children are notoriously fussy eaters and getting them to eat healthy food can be an ongoing struggle. So, what do you do when your child refuses to eat dinner, and you’re worried about sending them to bed hungry?

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of sending your 2-year-old to bed without dinner, and offer some tips and tricks to help you deal with picky eaters and mealtime woes.

Why is it A Struggle to Eat Dinner

For many parents, dinnertime can be a stressful experience. After a long day at work, you want your child to eat a healthy dinner, but all they seem to want is junk food. You try everything from preparing creative and tasty meals to setting firmer limits, but nothing seems to work.

If your child is a picky eater, you’re not alone. Many parents struggle with this issue, and it’s not uncommon for children to refuse certain foods. However, it’s essential to make sure that your child is getting the nutrition they need to be physically healthy and grow correctly.

Should You Send Your Child to Bed Hungry?

One common tactic parents use when dealing with picky eaters is to send their child to bed without dinner. The idea is that if your child refuses to eat dinner, they’ll go to bed hungry and learn to eat what’s put in front of them. While this might seem like a reasonable approach, it’s not always the best idea.

Consequences of Sending a 2-Year-Old to Bed Without Dinner:

First of all, sending your child to bed without dinner can create an empty stomach, making it harder for them to fall asleep. Additionally, going to bed hungry can cause your child to wake up in the middle of the the night hungry and looking for food, leading to sleep disturbances and a grumpy, irritable child in the morning.

Furthermore, children who regularly go to bed without dinner may start to associate food with negative feelings and develop a negative pattern around eating. They may also begin to fear judgment around food, leading to further eating issues and potentially even disordered eating.

Being sent to bed without dinner can be a scary and upsetting experience for a young child. It may make them feel as though they have done something wrong or are not loved by their parents. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Sending a child to bed without dinner can strain the parent-child relationship. It may cause the child to feel resentful towards their parent and may make them less likely to follow rules in the future.

Encouraging your Child to Eat Healthy Food and how to deal with Fussy eaters

While sending your child to bed without dinner might seem like an easy solution, it’s not always the best option. Instead, there are a few things you can do to encourage your child to eat healthier foods.

  1. Make mealtimes a positive experience: Try to create a loving manner around the dinner table. Avoid getting frustrated or angry if your child refuses to eat, and instead, focus on the positive aspects of the meal, such as spending time together.
  2. Offer healthy choices: Provide your child with a few options for dinner, all of which are healthy and nutritious. This way, they feel like they have some control over what they eat while still getting the nutrition they need.
  3. Introduce new foods: Encourage your child to try new foods by introducing them in small quantities. Offer a boiled egg or a piece of homemade pork schnitzel and see how they react.
  4. Stick to a routine: Try to establish a routine around mealtimes, with set times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This can help your child develop healthy eating habits and avoid going too long without eating.
  5. Be a good role model: Children learn by example, so if you’re not eating healthy foods, your child is less likely to want to eat them. Set an example by choosing healthy options yourself, and your child is more likely to follow suit.


Making Dinner time Fun and Stressfree

Making dinner time fun and stress-free can be a challenge, especially when dealing with picky eaters, hungry kids, and a limited budget. However, there are several strategies you can use to make dinner time more enjoyable for everyone involved.

One important strategy is to prepare creative and tasty meals that are also healthy. This can involve introducing new foods to picky eaters, such as boiled eggs or homemade pork schnitzel, while still respecting their preferences and dietary needs when preparing food. It’s also important to make sure that everyone is physically healthy and well-fed before dinner, so that they are not too hungry or tired to enjoy the meal.

Another strategy is to involve children in the meal preparation process. This can help them develop empathy and a love for cooking, while also encouraging them to try new foods and make healthier choices. For example, you can place tortilla chips and healthy dips on the table for children to snack on while they help with the cooking.

In addition, it’s important to create a relaxed and loving atmosphere at the dinner table. This can involve setting firmer limits on negative behavior, such as refusing dinner or throwing tantrums, while also allowing children to express their preferences and emotions in a respectful manner. It’s also important to establish a family tradition around dinner time, such as Friday night dinners or tea time, which can help to create a sense of routine and stability.

Finally, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to dinner time. For example, if you have an evening work event or your child is simply too tired to eat, it’s okay to have a smaller meal or skip dinner altogether. Ultimately, the goal is to create a positive and enjoyable experience around food and eating, while also respecting each individual’s needs and preferences.


Some Healthy Food ideas for a 2 year old

food, sweet, delicious

Preparing creative and tasty meals for your toddler that are also healthy can be hard while still respecting their preferences and dietary needs. It’s also important to make sure that everyone is physically healthy and well-fed before dinner so that they are not too hungry or tired to enjoy the meal.

Here are some healthy meal ideas for a 2-year-old to help you :

  1. Sweet potato and black bean quesadilla: Mash cooked sweet potato and black beans, and spread the mixture on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with shredded cheese and grill until cheese is melted. Cut into small pieces for easy handling.
  2. Turkey and vegetable meatballs: Combine ground turkey with finely chopped veggies like carrots, zucchini, and onion. Roll into small balls and bake until cooked through. Serve with whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce.
  3. Mini turkey and cheese sandwiches: Use whole wheat bread and lean turkey breast for a healthier twist on this classic sandwich. Cut into small pieces for little hands.
  4. Yogurt parfait: Layer plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola for a healthy and delicious breakfast or snack.
  5. Chicken and vegetable stir fry: Cook diced chicken breast with mixed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and snap peas. Serve over brown rice.

Remember, picky eaters may need to be introduced to new foods several times before they will try them. Also, it’s important to set firm limits around meal and snack times to encourage healthy eating habits. Avoid sending a child to bed when she’s hungry, but also try not to extend dinner time too much. Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with meal ideas to make them both tasty and healthy!

What is considered Junk Food for a 2 year old ?

Junk food for a 2-year-old would typically refer to foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, but low in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These types of foods can include items such as candy, soda, fast food, chips, and cookies.

During dinner time, it is essential to offer healthy food options for the child, even if they are picky eaters. It is also important to encourage good eating habits by providing creative and tasty meals, such as preparing new foods, to avoid boredom and to keep the child interested in trying different foods.

For example, during kids Friday night dinner, the dinner table should be set with a variety of healthy food choices, such as boiled eggs, homemade pork schnitzel, and vegetables. While it is understandable that the child may sometimes refuse dinner, it is not appropriate to send them to bed without dinner. Instead, parents can try preparing a healthy dinner that the child will enjoy eating.

Junk food should not be the go-to solution, even if the child seems to have an empty stomach. Eating dinner extends beyond just filling up the stomach, but also helps with the child’s physical and mental growth.

While some parents may argue that junk food is more affordable than healthy options, the child’s health should not be compromised for food costs. It is possible to prepare healthy meals on a budget, which will help the child maintain a physically healthy body and a fine and happy moods throughout.

It is crucial to note that every child’s appetite is different, and some may be picky eaters or have specific food preferences. However, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the child’s diet consists of healthy choices, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Ultimately, it is important to avoid giving in to the child’s demands for junk food and to set firmer limits on certain foods. It is possible to create a loving and positive mealtime environment that encourages the child to eat a bit healthier and gives them so much energy for the evening’s activities, such as attending an evening work event or playing with friends.


Which Mealtime is most important for a 2 year old ?

Depending on their family’s traditions and the child’s eating patterns, many parents may have varied perspectives regarding which mealtime is most crucial for a 2-year-old

Some parents may choose to start with a big breakfast or make healthy choices throughout the day, while others may place more importance on lunch time or tea time.

Yet, it’s generally agreed upon that a balanced and healthy dinner is crucial for a child’s growth and development. Having said that, it’s crucial to fully respect the child’s dietary preferences and any potential medical conditions.

Generally speaking, parents should encourage their children to try new foods and strive to establish empathy and understanding of their eating patterns.

.This will make mealtimes enjoyable and stress-free for everyone

In the end, it’s critical to enforce stricter boundaries, steer clear of bad habits, and motivate the youngster to eat in a caring way. For instance, if a young child refused to eat homemade pork schnitzel the night before, her mother could provide a somewhat better alternative while urging her to eat. It’s crucial to avoid making the child fear criticism or fostering tension over meals.

Final Thoughts


While some parents may believe that sending their 2-year-old to bed without dinner will encourage their child to eat healthier foods, it may actually have negative consequences on their physical and emotional well-being.

Denying a child food can leave them feeling hungry and tense, leading to negative behaviors and potentially creating a negative pattern in their eating habits.

It’s important to set firmer limits around mealtime, but also to be creative and tasty with the meals we prepare for our children, in order to develop empathy and respect for their needs and preferences.

Withholding food as a punishment is not a loving manner to deal with picky eaters, and can even be seen as a form of child abuse. Rather than forcing certain foods on children, parents should encourage healthy choices and introduce new foods in a positive way.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to prioritize a child’s growth and physical health by ensuring that they have access to healthy dinner options, rather than punishing them for their eating habits.



Can a 2 year old skip dinner?

Even though it’s not ideal for a 2-year-old to skip dinner, toddlers frequently object to food. It’s usually alright to let a youngster skip a meal as long as they have eaten enough throughout the day and don’t show any signs of hunger or discomfort. But it’s crucial to provide nutritious options and make sure the kid isn’t often skipping meals, as this can result in bad eating habits and health problems.


How many kids go to bed without dinner?

It is challenging to pinpoint the precise number of children who skip supper because it varies depending on a number of variables such cultural standards, socioeconomic level, and parenting styles. But research has shown that skipping meals, particularly dinner, can harm a child’s physical and emotional health. Regular meals and snacks throughout the day are generally advised for kids to help their growth and development.


Should I let my 2 year old go to bed hungry?

No, It’s generally not recommended to let a 2-year-old go to bed hungry, as it can affect their growth and development. However, it’s also important to encourage healthy eating habits and not give in to picky eaters by offering junk food. Offering healthy food options, creating tasty meals, and setting a consistent dinner time can help establish good eating habits. If your child refuses to eat, try offering small portions of healthy food and avoid force-feeding. If you’re concerned, consult with your child’s pediatrician


What to do when your 2 year old won’t eat dinner?

If your 2-year-old is refusing dinner, don’t panic. First, make sure they’re not filling up on snacks or drinks before dinner. Offer a variety of healthy foods and let them choose what they want to eat. Encourage them to try new foods and involve them in meal preparation. Keep mealtimes positive and relaxed, and avoid using pressure or bribes to get them to eat. If your child consistently refuses dinner, talk to their pediatrician to rule out any underlying health issues first.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.