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!