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Dinner Habits

I'm having trouble trying to get my 3 (almost 4) year old son to eat his own meals. I'm pregnant with our second child, and I would prefer not to have to feed both children at meal times.
We've instituted eating together as a family, with everyone at the table and other distractions turned off, and we've also tried sitting at the table with him during the entire time it's taken to eat maybe half of his dinner (about one hour).
He insists on getting up during meal time, asking for every distraction possible (Potty, drink, getting a toy and setting it next to the table).
I have a rule about drinks and that he needs to have a certain amoutn of food before taking a drink, and potty is not allowed during table time, it must be done before or after.
I'm frustrated because I've seen him eat his whole dinner on his own without being asked only once and I know he can do it again, I just feel like I'm going about it the wrong way.
I just don't know what else to do, and I really dislike having to repeat myself in asking him to eat, and telling him that we are not to get down from the table during meal-time.
Eventually we just give up, or someone feeds him the rest of his dinner.
Can someone give me some suggestions on how to get him to eat?

Re: Dinner Habits


I have exactly the same problem with my son (he'll be 3 in April) I have our second due in May and mealtimes are a nightmare. I have tried everything from sitting with us at the table to letting him sit on his own in the kitchen. I have to literally turn mealtimes into a game to get him to eat anything, which can take over an hour. He'll also need the toilet every 5 minutes during mealtime.

I am now trying which many people won't agree with, sitting him at his little table in front of the TV watching his favourite programme. He will sit and wolf down his dinner and even ask for more. Then my husband and I eat later. We're all a bit more chilled out and I actually enjoy my food whilst its hot. Its not ideal and not really how I was brought up but for the time being its giving me a break and he's eating all his dinner!

If anyone else has any ideas I'd be grateful to hear them too!!