2 year old milk monster and tantrums over food..any advise please?

(15 Posts)
NessaWH123 Sat 30-May-15 15:33:09

hi I have had great advise on here before and wonder if you can help me today? My LO 2.3 years and has always been a poor eater with a small appetite. As a baby he had silent reflux and a suspected milk protein intolerance so was given prescribed milk which he hated so wouldn't take much of. He has now been cleared of both. He takes movical for constipation problems and has been told to continue with this for a number of years. The problem is his attitude towards food is getting worse. When given a meal he starts creating and carrying on and rarely wants to eat it/will eat it. For a long time we have tried to get him to eat at the table/highchair but he just shouts get out as he wants to leave. As a last resort we have resulted in letting him watch the TV sometime to get him to eat as this distracts him and he will eat (but I don't really want him to get into that habit) we don't offer lots of choices and if he wont eat we calmly say fine as we don't think forcing the issue is helping in anyway and we don't want him to start to have a long lasting problem with food. He doesn't like sweet products like chocolate, cakes etc so that isn't an issue. He does ask for cheese and milk ALL day but is only offered them as part of a meal or snack. In fact we have tried to limit milk to bedtime as he would live on that alone!! (cows milk) He does wait for the milk though and still paddies and tantrums from about 4 o clock until he finally gets it before bed. We hoped by sticking to our guns for a long time now it may have changed his behaviour to waiting for milk (instead of eating his tea) but it hasn't. He would drink 3 bottles before bed so we have tried hard to dramatically cut it down...but he still tantrums for more every night and has done for many months. Not sure how to change all this? Help!! I know the phrase he will eat if he is hungry and look at what he eats over a week rather than a day but any other advise to reducing the tantrums related to food and milk. Thanks

feekerry Sat 30-May-15 21:58:51

Will he eat stuff like toast and crackers etc?

NessaWH123 Sat 30-May-15 22:55:10

Yes hun x

Millie3030 Sat 30-May-15 23:39:08

It might be helpful if you list exactly what he does eat and drink in a day and at whats times as then we could compare to our toddlers. I think you are right to not make a big issue if they don't want to eat, being relaxed around food will help them see foods as yummy And not stressful. And no child has ever Intentionally starved themselves, but he may be full on milk more than you think.

Think I remember reading somewhere they should haven a minimum 12oz and a maximum of 21oz of milk a day.

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 00:49:31

So today:
Didn't eat breakfast at all 9am
Eat two slithers of pear 1030am
Eat one very small piece of fish finger and two mouthfuls of potato 1230pm

Asked for milk all afternoon and didnt get it!
Tea at 530 pm one piece of cheese and one mini breadstick (Annabel karmel)
Milk 8oz bottle x2 at 7 pm for bed

What do you reckon? And that was a good day! X

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 31-May-15 02:45:17

Could you try changing the milk in evening to be in a cup, and offer less?

It does look like he's trying to fill up on milk in the evenings to compensate for not having eaten very much.

Also, can you give him the same food as you're having for lunch and dinner, and eat it with him? I find this can help encourage them to eat as they can see you doing the same.

Does he drink water with meals or during the day?

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 08:53:23

Hi I will try giving milk in a cup again at night but he gets very upset still that it isn't a bottle sad he drinks water during the day and a lot if the time when we can we all eat the same at the same time but he isn't bothered still about it unfortunately. Not sure if worth going to doctors as I'm sure they wouldn't b interested ?x

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 31-May-15 09:46:04

I wouldn't allow his upset to stop you giving milk in a cup, he may well be grumpy about it for a while. You will need to be consistent and firm about it, and he will eventually accept it.

I would also decide on an amount of milk you're happy with (eg the 300ml that is often recommended as a suggested amount), and give only that much milk. If he asks for more after that, then tell him he can have water instead and then stick to that.

With my DS, if he says things like "I don't want water!", I will reply with something like "that's ok, you don't have to drink it if you don't want it", and then repeat that every time he says he doesn't want water. If he asks again for milk, I will simply repeat "you've had x amount of milk, you can have water instead now". And repeat it every time I'm asked.

With regard to food, again I would just stick with giving the food you've decided to cook and no alternatives. You could include one element you know he's likely to eat, but also include a normal range of food. If he says he doesn't want it, again reply with a phrase like "that's ok, you don't have to eat it if you're not hungry". Repeat as necessary, and don't offer any alternatives or replacements if he doesn't eat it. Offer the following snack/meal as normal, whether he's eaten the meal before or not. Try not to comment on whether he's eating or not, and try not to ask him to eat, encourage, cajole etc - just leave him to it and eat yours. Clear away after a reasonable amount of time, and give a 5 minute warning before you do so he knows that's what's going to happen.

It may well take a long time for him to calm down around meal times, so you will need to be persistent. Try as much as you can to take any emotion and stress out of meal times. If he doesn't want to eat, then that's his choice and that's ok. But there are no alternatives or extra snacks. He will get there eventually!

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 11:17:26

Thanks very much your advice makes akot of sense and I need to toughen up with it. I guess because of his awful tantrums over everything at the moment it is the thought of another battle which is exhausting but I do need to start. Thanks I'll start your ideas today ...x

Millie3030 Sun 31-May-15 14:17:37

What did he have between wake up and breakfast at 9am? Did he have a lot of milk/drink? it does sound like he is thinking he can have little food and instead have lots of milk. Which probably isn't good for digestion and bowel things (not a doctor but he probably needs more solid and less fluid)

It's so hard though when you want to pick your battles, but at this age everything can seem like one!

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 14:37:42

Just a drink of water first thing in the morning he is never bothered and do sent ask for anything . he did have milk in the morning but I knocked that out a couple of weeks ago I know what u mean about everything being a battle millie3030 x ( just realised I'm talking to u on another postsmile x

Booboostoo Sun 31-May-15 14:38:14

I think that is too little food and I would be trying to get more help with how to deal with this situation. Would it be possible to visit your GP and see if he can refer you to someone who can help? I'd also ask about iron deficiency as it might be worth getting him tested.

Is he at all interested in cooking? Might he be more interested in eating something he has helped cook? Would it work better if you offered food very often and gave him a choice of 3-4 things each time?

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 14:51:03

I did wonder if he needed to be seen by a doctor he isn't interested in cooking yet and wouldn't really understand how t help x

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 31-May-15 14:53:50

I think a general check up by a GP might be a good idea, but unless they think there is a medical reason like an extreme food aversion, an issue with textures or similar, then I'm not sure what they'll be able to do.

Have you had a 2 yr check yet from the HV team?

NessaWH123 Sun 31-May-15 15:08:39

Yes had that. They didn't really do anything and didn't really bother when I talked to them about it. He is just been referred to salt for delayed speech and a hearing test x

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