2yo slooooooow eater
My DD is 2 years 4 months old. She eats SO slowly for most meals. For example, yesterday at lunch she took an hour to eat a small bowl of hummus, some pieces of rice cake, and a few snap peas. And that was with me actively paying attention to her, offering another bite when she's finished chewing one, encouraging her to eat faster, having cantaloupe (her favorite) as a "bribe" that she could have when she finished, etc. Of course, once she was finally done and got the cantaloupe, she gobbled that up super fast!
She feeds herself about half the time and asks for help sometimes. And other times she sits there and plays with her food. I KNOW she is hungry. And I also know her food isn't that exciting to her. She has a lot of food allergies, so her diet is pretty boring and limited, but she is also not very open to new foods I keep trying with her.
She spends a lot of her time during the meal playing with the food or her sippy or her utensils. She melts down if I take them away. And she also holds the food in her mouth so she isn't ready to take another bite after a loooong time. She is REALLY stubborn, but she does work well with incentives and rewards. Yet even the promise of a bit of fruit after several bites of her other food doesn't really work anymore.
I have thought of setting a timer and she has to finish eating by that time, but I don't think she'd understand that concept yet. I've considered just letting her be done when she starts losing interest, but the thing is, she NEEDS to eat (she has had low weight problems in the recent past) and isn't a fan of eating, so she isn't ever going to be eager to eat unless I only feed her fruit, which is her favorite. Obviously, she needs to eat more than fruit, especially with the digestive issues she has. (As far as the digestive issues go, they are mostly under control, and I am pretty sure she does not feel pain or discomfort from eating, so that isn't a factor.)
Any ideas on how to get her to eat faster?? What works for your LO??
Wife to my supportive DH
and SAHM to DD Bug (06/10) and DS Buddy (07/12)