Tip 2: Don’t offer anything else

Does your child refuse to eat what you’ve prepared? Don’t serve them anything else, like a sandwich. If you give in, your child will probably refuse to eat next time as well.

Don’t worry too much if your child eats a bit less than usual sometimes. They won’t starve. If your child is really hungry, they’ll eat, even if they’re not too keen on the food. Still worried? Head to your local healthcare centre for a consultation.

Nicolle, mother of Rinske (4 years old) and Pieter (2 years old):

Dinner is the same story every single day. The children refuse to eat. I’m not very strict, so I don’t feel like arguing and negotiating about food. Of course I try by saying, “Just two more bites.” You know what I mean? If they don’t want to eat, too bad. I won’t make them a sandwich or something else, no way. They’ll just have to eat a bit more the next day. I refuse to give in; they won’t starve.

Does your child refuse to drink water or tea? Then don’t offer them anything else. Is your child already used to sweet drinks? Then slowly reduce their intake of sweetened products, for example by using less syrup in their lemonade or using less sugar to sweeten their tea. That will slowly get your child used to less sweet flavours. You can also make water tastier by adding a slice of orange or some other fruit. Discover how to make your very own flavoured water here.


Don’t give up! Don’t show your child they hold ‘power’ by deciding not to eat or drink. Don’t make a fuss if they don’t want to eat.