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-   -   tips for toddler undereating and pickiness? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1036913)

Koolio11 07-25-2010 06:22 PM

tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
I'm not sure if I should post this as "in the kitchen" or parenting", but I'd love any tips from others for how to deal with toddler undereating and pickiness. DD was 8lbs 6oz at birth and quickly lost a tonne of weight and has struggled ever since to gain weight. She usually hovers between the 1st and 3rd percentile. We found out at about 8 months that she has severe allergies to dairy, soy and egg- although I do think her allergy to egg is lessening. So, many of the traditional childhood food gainig foods are out for her. But, she has ALWAYS eaten so much more food than her peers- even despite her slow weight gain. She could truly eat all day! She has always loved almost all fruits and veggies, all her meats, everything... until this summer. She is now 2 years 9 months old and, especially for the last few weeks says "I don't like that" to EVERYTHING! More often than not now, I find myself saying "If you eat this many bites of this, then you can have a treat", something I'd sworn that I'd never say to my child. I am truly of the opinion that treats are to be enjoyed every once in awhile as a treat in and of itself and that healthy foods can and should be enjoyed with no condition of an unhealthy food as the reward.... BUT, I also need my daughter to eat! I do NOT want to have a role in any unhealthy attitudes towards eating and food! I also know that she truly won't starve to death but, when your almost 3 year old weighs about 22 lbs, it's not a good thing when they decide to stop eating.
What do other parents do? Do you have a so-many-bite rule? What if your child doesn't want to try a new food? What if they say they don't like a food you know they do? I would just love to hear what others say! Thanks!

ariannasmommy22 07-25-2010 06:50 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
I have an 18 month old...and what I do with her is put the food in front of her, sit down with her, and we eat together. I don't force her to eat, I just encourage her to try this or that. If she doesnt' like it or won't eat...then she can wait till the next meal. I don't think children will starve themselves. So, sometimes she won't eat anything...but at the next meal...she gobbles everything down. I limit snacks in between meals to just yogurt, cheese, or fruit...nothing too filling.

COmpared to my friend who was over just a minute ago having dinner with me...I am much more laid back. She runs after her child forcing food in her mouth and I just turn away and chuckle. But, I can understand with you why you are worried since she is in the low percentile. I think kids just go through stages.

Koolio11 07-25-2010 08:01 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Yeah, I should have mentioned that snacks araren't big at the moment wither- and have always only been fruits or veggies... And I totally agree with the eating WITH your child thing.. that's always been a big deal for me, even now with DS here too...

Koolio11 07-25-2010 08:02 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ariannasmommy22 (Post 10815446)
I have an 18 month old...and what I do with her is put the food in front of her, sit down with her, and we eat together. I don't force her to eat, I just encourage her to try this or that. If she doesnt' like it or won't eat...then she can wait till the next meal. I don't think children will starve themselves. So, sometimes she won't eat anything...but at the next meal...she gobbles everything down. I limit snacks in between meals to just yogurt, cheese, or fruit...nothing too filling.

COmpared to my friend who was over just a minute ago having dinner with me...I am much more laid back. She runs after her child forcing food in her mouth and I just turn away and chuckle. But, I can understand with you why you are worried since she is in the low percentile. I think kids just go through stages.

And on the days she eats nothing or almost nothing do you allow ANY snack, no matter how small, before the next meal? Even overnight?

katie's mom 07-26-2010 12:43 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
My daughter has always been tiny. She hit the 5% line for weight for the first time on Friday. Our ped has told us not to restrict calories or fat in anyway. We do offer fruit for snacks but usually after a higher calorie/fat food has been eaten, usually cheese in our case. I'd up the calorie and fat value of your snacks and meals and worry about getting your child gaining weight first and then worry about lowering the calories and fat for long term later.

Koolio11 07-26-2010 01:06 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by katie's mom (Post 10820841)
My daughter has always been tiny. She hit the 5% line for weight for the first time on Friday. Our ped has told us not to restrict calories or fat in anyway. We do offer fruit for snacks but usually after a higher calorie/fat food has been eaten, usually cheese in our case. I'd up the calorie and fat value of your snacks and meals and worry about getting your child gaining weight first and then worry about lowering the calories and fat for long term later.

Oh trust me- I've NEVER tried to restrict calories or fat with her! Cheese is out because of her allergies- cheese is by far the easiest high fat food out there otherwise. My challenge is just finding high fat/calorie foods out there that are safe for her!

deezee02 07-26-2010 01:37 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
What kind of "milk" does she drink? Almond milk does not have many calories,but could add scoops of hypoallergenic powder formula to it to fatten it up?

DS is a picky eater, and due to his heart condition, we need to keep calories in him. I spent a few days letting him eat when he wanted,then I started to plan meals around those times. SO the kids eat dinner at 5, instead of 6 or 7 with DH and I. He is not a big breakfast eater, but will eat a ton around lunch time. (11ish).

For dinner, I give him a choice of the sides that I make. He cannot stand meatloaf for example, but will eat peas and potatoes. I do not force the food, but I put a little of everything on his plate, he can eat or not eat and have seconds if he wants. If he wants a snack after dinner that is fine, as I do not keep junk food around the house. He usually wants fruit. You can also get coconut yogurt, but I am not sure where yet (friend told me about it.)

Also, try the book deceptively delicious for ways to get veggies/fruits into regular foods.

Finally, some kids are just small. As long as she is developing and following her own growth pattern (even below the line) she is more than likely fine.

ariannasmommy22 07-26-2010 02:39 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Yes, I always have a morning snack (cheese & fruit) and an afternoon snack (PB on banana w/ raisins). Healthy snacks help to fill in the gaps. I also would recommend trying to get off the Almond Milk. We drink raw milk in our family and it doesn't bother my lactose intolerant belly at all. Many people are able to drink raw milk who can't handle dairy. Do some research on it if you're interested. Also, things like Kefir are very tasty to little ones...add some maple syrup and fruit to it and he will eat it up. Kefir is also very tolerant on lactose intolerant bellies and filled with probiotics. You can find it in the natural food section next to the milk.

ariannasmommy22 07-26-2010 02:40 PM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Yes, I always have a morning snack (cheese & fruit) and an afternoon snack (PB on banana w/ raisins). Healthy snacks help to fill in the gaps. I also would recommend trying to get off the Almond Milk. We drink raw milk in our family and it doesn't bother my lactose intolerant belly at all. Many people are able to drink raw milk who can't handle dairy. Do some research on it if you're interested. Also, things like Kefir are very tasty to little ones...add some maple syrup and fruit to it and he will eat it up. Kefir is also very tolerant on lactose intolerant bellies and filled with probiotics. You can find it in the natural food section next to the milk.

elioraimmanuel 07-28-2010 08:42 AM

Re: tips for toddler undereating and pickiness?
 
Your daughter has learned how to manipulate you. If there were texture issues or things she's never liked, I'd say different. But, she's learned that if she won't eat what you've made then you'll give her treats or make only what she likes.

Kevin Leman's http://www.amazon.com/Making-Childre.../dp/0800731050

I picked it up at the library.

In our home if you don't eat, then your plate gets wrapped and you have it the next day until it's gone. My kids hover between -4th and 4th percentile. They are tiny, but they eat. They also play...very hard. We have a farm with a pool, with swingsets, animals etc. I'm only 5' 2 and DH is barely 5' 6". We do not have large kids. But, they are soooo healthy. I don't get mad, I don't argue, plead etc. C3 is my strong willed one and he will buck veggies or whatever, but he always eats it the next day. Between 2.5 and 5 he was soooo difficult, but, it is getting so much better.

Over and over again I've learned that little children will not starve themselves. Going 12-18 hrs without food (not water) will not cause starvation at your DD's age. If you are not completely consistent, she will hold out longer and longer, complain more and more and it will progress to fits. If you eliminate the battle by not allowing her to make you into a short order cook, then you'll not pull your hair out. If you don't, this battle over food will transcend into every other area of your lives. Your life will become a battle ground.

Big Hugs. I've BTDT. You can have peace at the dinner table and in your home!


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