View Full Version : aagh feeding a toddler...help me
02-15-2006, 10:39 PM
DS was such a great eater, and I knew he would start refusing to eat but I thought I had more time. He's not quite 14 months old and he self feeds - he'll only take cereal or yoghurt from a spoon. He'll take a few mouthfulls and then the rest of the food goes on the floor. I normally give him some protein, some vege, and some fruit/yoghurt. I've got all these recipes for really yummy toddler food and I'm beginning to feel it's a waste of my time cooking/baking as it just ends up on the floor. It doesn't matter what I give him, he barely eats and after I put everything away, he them makes the eat baby sign over and over again. I offer him what he didn't eat, and he just pushes it away. I refuse to be a short-order cook and I do always offer something I know he likes, nor will I just give him cheerios at every meal, which is what I think he's wanting.
I know I shouldn't make meals a battleground, but DS has just started to gain weight steadily after a year of constant weight checks. It's just so frustrating. Any advice to help me through this?
02-16-2006, 08:48 PM
I think you are right to offer him healthy choices and if he eats great if he doesn't you can try again the next meal. I have heard over and over that it can take up to 15 exposures to a new food before kids will come to like or tolerate it. They aren't going to starve they will eat when they are hungry.
We didn't do very well teaching our oldest to eat healthy. She is now 3 years old and going to Occupational Therapy for eating issues. She was/is a very picky eater and when she wouldn't eat what I was offering I gave her something I knew she would eat. Most of the time what she would eat wasn't very healthy. And now all she wants to eat is junk food or babyfood. She still eats babyfood sweet potatoes from a jar. The Therapist said much of her issue was behavorial and she was manipulating us to get the food that she wanted. She had just always been small and then had issues with tonsils and sore throats so we gave in and let her eat junk because we thought she needed to eat something to grow.
Well I won't make the same mistakes with my youngest. I am not one of the no sugar for my kids type of moms but the junk food has become much more limited and is only given after they eat something healthy.
02-16-2006, 09:34 PM
You're doing exactly what you need to do. Keep on offering him healthy choices and if he refuses, then say, "Okay, I guess you're not that hungry." And end the meal and take him from the high chair. I know it's so hard to end the meal when you're worried about them not gaining weight, but he will shortly learn how to manipulate you into giving him the cheerios.
Now at almost 2, Kaya will have days when she eats very little, and then suddenly, like today, she will eat a ton. (Today she ate a huge amount of yogurt (more than she's eaten in a loooooong time) and a bunch of cereal for breakfast, then she snacked on more cereal and nuts (can you believe she likes cashews?), then she had two eggs and a bunch of smoked salmon for lunch, then she had a bunch of strawberries and more cereal, plus a few noodles and half a banana. Oh and she nursed a long time this morning.) I try to keep in mind what I keep reading on these boards over and over--it's not what they eat at a meal or what they eat in a day or what they eat over two days. But rather, you keep track of what they've eaten in a week and hope that they've eaten a balanced group of foods. :) It's definitey not easy, especially if your kid is on the lower end of the weight charts (Kaya has probably been 23 pounds for a few months) and doesn't seem to be gaining. But as long as she seems to be thriving otherwise and we mostly give her good foods, then I try not to worry about it. I'm guessing as long as we don't make meal times a stressful time, and we keep offering healthy foods, she will eventually develop good eating habits.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/candle.gif for Leah
Kaya's a cousin! 10/1/05, 5lb13oz
02-18-2006, 01:47 AM
Thanks Holly and Eileen. I've been more relaxed about DS's eating and I ignore the times he drops any food. He already seems to be eating more. I also noticed his milk intake increases a little when he doesn't eat so well, but it's still within the rec. limit for his age. He's fine, I need to chill.
02-18-2006, 10:26 AM
Nicci, I'm glad that things are going better. If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend Ellyn Satter's book "Child of Mine." It is such a good reality check on the feeding relationship.
Missy, mom to Gwen 03/03 and Rebecca 09/05
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