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Old 03-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #1
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My Toddler Won't Eat!

DS is 2.5yrs old. I know it's pretty normal for a toddler to go through a phase where they eat very little or refuse to eat, but I am getting so frustrated with DS For breakfast, he'll eat a piece of white toast with butter, then he'll have cheerios as a mid-morning snack. If I'm lucky I can get him to eat a couple grapes or half a banana. Lunch, usually hummus and pitas. Dinner, we're lucky if he'll eat anything. Dinner is the biggest battle. We tried the whole, try one bite of everything, don't leave the table until we're all done eating, etc, but nothing works. He'll sit down for dinner pick at the food then push it away and say all "done", unless it's french fries or potatoes and that's all he'll eat. DH wants to put him in time out if he doesn't eat. I don't want to force him to eat or make meal times a battle, but I don't know what to do. He's already a small guy and he doesn't really seem to eat anything of nutritional value. Any tips on how to get him to eat? I feel like I've tried everything and I'm so frustrated

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Old 03-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

Sounds to me like he gets a LOT of attention for not eating. Perhaps ignoring him when he's not eating and instead focusing on praising him for eating (and eating a variety) will help.

And toddlers do go through phases where they live on air-- my son eats the worst when he's behind on sleep. If he wakes up too early in the morning-- such as when he pees through his diaper, but it's too late for him to fall back asleep-- he basically won't eat lunch. And sometimes even dinner. So we bump the bedtime back up and in a day or so, he eats us out of house and home.

(Our son is VERY sensitive to the slightest disruption in sleep-- though everyone else just tells us that just "normal" toddler behavior, as they marvel at how much sleep our son gets. To us it's obvious he needs that sleep to be a happy, health boy.)
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

Don't make food a battle. Ignore that fact that he is not eating. Punishment is a bad idea imo.

My kids like anything that is in muffin form. Banana bread muffins that type of thing. They also love smoothies and you can sneak spinach in there. It affects the color but not the taste. Also, make some popsicles out of the leftover smoothie.

Let him pour some of the ingredients in. They love that. Toddlers typically don't like casseroles or soup type things. They like to see each thing on it's own, so try straining and separating those things. You can sprinkle or mix in flax seeds and chia seeds into a lot of food. In time he will come around.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

personally I dont fight with him... I give him lots of chances and lots of things he likes and give him a meal replacement drink instead of milk if he doesnt eat and just dont talk about it.

I do let him graze, I do let him come back and eat later, but I dont make a new meal unless he tried it and honestly does not like it.

hell drink smoothies pretty well and they are very healthy in our house, hell also drink his meal replacements without proding, he eats the little mini cliff bars alot, and is a pretty good fruit eater and fair veggie eater... and he LOVES rice and corn so when in doubt rice is on the table hell never turn it down.

I always put something he really likes out at a meal, I give him chances to choose something for the meal be it the side, the meat, the carb, whatever.. it gives him some control which I find hes seeking...
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #5
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Already a lot of good advice.

Just only offer nutritional choices. I promise he won't starve. And resist the urge to try a force a bite or two. It is not worth it to create that relationship with food.

Most toddlers don't eat a lot of dinner. They're tired, they don't need the energy to sleep. They usually eat more the rest of the day.

There's a book that I've never actually read, but comes highly recommended for parents in your situation: 'How to Get your kid to eat... But not too much'.

Get it, both parents read it.

Never punish for meals. You just create a battle you cannot win. You cannot make a person eat, sleep or poop. You can only increase how much they fight back.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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Totally typical. Try not to freak and stay relaxed. Just keep offering him things he usually likes and he will eat when he is hungry.

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Old 03-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

also and something i remind myself his stomach is only the size of his fist its pretty darn small and doesnt need as much as we think sometimes
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

I wouldn't worry about this at all. Hummus, cheerios and fruit are all giving him some of the good stuff he needs and if you leave him alone he'll come around. If you're really worried about nutrients, I second the smoothie idea.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #9
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

Stop trying to get him to eat, and just make the healthy food available for when he does want to eat. Now, if he's refusing dinner and then 5 minutes later asking for something else, then you offer his dinner food again. But if he's just refusing and moving on, then don't worry about it. He will eat when he's hungry.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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Re: My Toddler Won't Eat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
Already a lot of good advice.

Just only offer nutritional choices. I promise he won't starve. And resist the urge to try a force a bite or two. It is not worth it to create that relationship with food.

Most toddlers don't eat a lot of dinner. They're tired, they don't need the energy to sleep. They usually eat more the rest of the day.

There's a book that I've never actually read, but comes highly recommended for parents in your situation: 'How to Get your kid to eat... But not too much'.

Get it, both parents read it.

Never punish for meals. You just create a battle you cannot win. You cannot make a person eat, sleep or poop. You can only increase how much they fight back.


love this!!! so true

I just make sure my DS has a balanced diet for the week each day is different for us consumption wise, so I just let it be and make sure he has a variety of nutritious food offered to him food is not a battle I'm willing to take on. He doesn't love to sit for meals, he is a grazer and will eat when he is hungry although we always sit for dinner as a family whether he eats or not, i don't care, it's the together time I am encouraging.
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