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DD 15 Month Old, only eats while being entertained, is this normal?

(14 Posts)
dwhite Sat 17-Mar-12 20:00:06

Hi Mums,
My DD is now 15 months. Shas has never been too enthusiastic about food and meal times or trying new foods...
I find myself constantly entertaining her and trying to distract her attention during meal times so she doesn't think about the food or else she spits everything out and just wants to get out of her high chair.
So I bring out bowls and spoons and tell her to mix or ask her to put things in a box and open and close things... in order to feed her while she is distracted.
Mealtime has become very stressful and exhausting.
I know this cant be too great but, on the other hand I don't want my DD to snack all day.
What do I do? Please any tips would be really appreciated.
Thanks Mums.

OP’s posts: |
eggtimer Sat 17-Mar-12 20:02:31

Don't do it.

Offer food at meal times. If she doesn't eat it, in a reasonable time, take it away. DOn't comment, don't cajole.

Offer a snack (eg fruit) between meals if you are worried she is hungry.

Children don't starve themselves. she'll get the message.

dwhite Sat 17-Mar-12 22:04:38

Thanks for your help, i just feel very helpless and worried that if I just stop, she will not understand and will not eat properly.

OP’s posts: |
Dee03 Sat 17-Mar-12 22:16:40

Children will eat if they are hungry....they will not starve to death.
You need to stop the games and entertaining in my opinion and teach her how to behave and eat at meal times. Maybe sit and eat with to her but no more 'entertaining' her....good luck

nearlytherenow Sat 17-Mar-12 22:48:01

I agree, don't do it. I did this with DS1 and honestly I just feel it stored up so much trouble. I eventually cracked down on his eating habits aged about 3, but even then he's still pretty "passive" about eating, would ideally like to be fed, and very rarely enthusiastically enjoys family meals.

I took a much more BLW approach with DS2, I mainly put finger food in front of him which he could eat, or mush into the table, or ignore, and spoon fed him (if what we were having lent itself better to spoon feeding, e.g. soup) only when he was willingly opening his mouth and looking for the food. Some meals he eats nothing at all but happily plays with his food, sometimes he whinges and we just take him away from the table. But at a guess over 80% of the time he eats enthusiastically and well, and overall I think his food intake is about where it should be. It's a much less stressful way to do it and she will hopefully surprise you with how much she does eat.

If you want to break a habit, how about some picnic meals (carpet picnics if too cold outside!) just to change the scene? Or even try moving to a different room for mealtimes a bit?

mrspepperpotty Sun 18-Mar-12 07:23:08

I agree with nearlytherenow that BLW might work for you, have you tried it? It's not for everyone, but it sounds like it might make mealtimes less stressful for you.

AngelDog Sun 18-Mar-12 13:32:16

What eggtimer said.

If you feel anxious, you might be interested to read My Child Won't Eat - the author is a paediatrician. Basically it tells you that children will eat if they're hungry. Trying to persuade them to eat doesn't make them eat any more and just leads to stress.

nearlytherenow's suggstions for breaking the habit are nice ones.

Encouraging more finger-feeding will probably also help.

dwhite Sun 18-Mar-12 18:51:58

Hi Mums,
Firstly wanted to wish all of those who have replied a Happy Mothers Day!
Our job is an extremely fulfilling one and is the best in the world but, at times not easy... I appreciate all your replies and will definitely try to stop the entertaining during mealtime.
I have tried BLW with certain foods but my DD choses to throw most of the food on the floor except Fruit, Corn and Peas which she loves.
But, I defiantly agree that by feeding herself that will keep her busy during meal times and hopefully, I wont need to entertain anymore.
Do you mums recommend to start with finger foods? And approximately at what age did your children start feeding themselves with spoons?

Thanks again for the time and great tips.

OP’s posts: |
EmmieA Sun 18-Mar-12 20:23:42

I guess I did this to a degree when getting him to try new foods but not as a rule. I agree with othres, stop it or at least reduce it down a bit, just sit in front of her and actively feed and be playful but no more. When she is hungry, she will eat!

mrspepperpotty Tue 20-Mar-12 10:10:28

OP, using a spoon is one of those milestones with a very wide range of "normal". Some children can use a spoon fairly well at around 14 months, while others still prefer eating with their fingers at 2 and a half!

Iwantapig Tue 20-Mar-12 10:14:12

Argh! Don't do it! Please! My DH does this with our youngest and it drives me mental. He gives him everything to play with. Everything is covered in dried food, wii remotes, books, nail varnish bottles, you name it. Our housekeeper loves clearing up after him hmm

When I'm feeding our youngest it's mainly finger food and if he lets me spoon feed him (without the silly fussing) then fine, but if he doesn't then I don't bother. if he's hungry enough he will let me.

HappyJoyful Tue 20-Mar-12 13:00:15

DD is 15mo too - I have always been relaxed about food and eating etc and probably also commit a variety of things others would consider 'wrong' eg; the tv is invariably on when she's eating and we don't eat at the same time, etc etc.
But, she is a great eater and will happily eat spoon fed or with her fingers... She will happily eat broccoli florets, carrot batons, fishcakes, boiled egg etc with her fingers, pasta is another fav.
However, like others say, when's she not hungry, no chance - she'll shake her head and just clamp her mouth together. I therefore just wondering..
Are you sure your dd is always hungry at meal time ? have you tried changing times ? Is she over-tired ?
I have always been relaxed about the mess and let her explore / play with her food (within reason, when she's had enough and starts throwing things then plate gets taken away)
Not sure if any of the things we have done have made her a good eater or that's just how she is but I know from others that have got anxious and it's become stressful battleground then they have had difficulties - as I say, doubt its all about that but worth a try to see if you can just turn the experience into something more fun and enjoyable for both of you.

HappyJoyful Tue 20-Mar-12 13:04:54

ps - she doesn't use a spoon herself however a friend gave us this as a gift and she loves it...Airforkone (google it sorry can't link but widely available!) Might help solve problem. She's hasn't fully mastered it but its fun and combines distraction with eating.

justasfast Tue 03-Sep-19 07:41:35


We have same problem. If he doesn't eat, soon he demands breastmilk, so he never gets too hungry. When he wants breastmilk, it is impossible to offer solids. And if we don't give breastmilk, god help... :D we stuck in that circle and we don't know what to do.

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