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2 year old will not eat/drink

(10 Posts)
AlCookie Wed 26-Feb-14 10:22:30

My 2 year old son just wont eat - when i feed him he say he wants to eat on his own but lands up taking just 2-3 bites. he is being very stubborn and impatient (i think i just described a toddler!!). whether we have meals together or given separately, he just plays with it, barely eats 2-3 bites n shouts 'done done' and beyond this point anything is useless and only leads to a battle. he never took to the bottle, was exclusively breastfed till 16 months. so no question of guzzling down milk.

he was always very low in weight, so i had been feeding him myself for quite a while (until i realised no matter how much i may b able to feed him, his weight will just never go above 5th centile). i know to some extent i have contributed to the problem by feeding him 'by hook or by crook'. though he does not have any habits like eating in front of the tv n all but still he just wont eat.

for the past week, i have left him hungry for long stretches - because he just wouldnt eat when i presented the meals n i did not give an alternate or try feeding with any distraction. i dont think its about whats on the menu - its about something else and i m not sure what! he was never picky...mostly ate whatever i gave him. now he is not even eating things he really liked. nothing has changed in our lives....only that he will b 2 years old next month. normally he wont eat n i get so worried because he is so tiny that i feel like doing anything to make him eat. i want to be able to break out of this. its very stressful for me. from the moment i wake up, till he sleeps.....i m so stressed and its mainly because of food.

i just want to know that if i let him be, will he eat on his own? are there kids who dont respond to this technique or can all kids be made to like eating in this way? i dont even know how to go about it....

i really want suggestions - if u just leave aside the whole story above, can someone please tell me how they won the food battle with a stubborn 2 year old. i want him to eat on his own, i m prepared that he may start with eating small portions but i just want this entire food war to end once and for all. Any mums who got stuck in a food war?? and how did it end????

Dukketeater Wed 26-Feb-14 10:26:18

Do you offer snacks or squash? If you do, i would be cutting them out and giving just water because they can fill him up and mess with dinner time.

phoolani Wed 26-Feb-14 10:28:46

Try getting him involved in the cooking?

AlCookie Wed 26-Feb-14 10:44:04

unfortuntely i tried these 2 things. i will continue but for now its not really working.

i used to keep him out of the kitchen but over the past month i have involved him in cooking almost every evening.

snacks - he loves fruits so i would give it to him in between meals, but for sometime, i m not giving him snacks in between meals. its 3 meals n 1 snack (thats when he wakes up from his nap). i give him juice and thats with breakfast. with lunch he gets water (water in between meals also). and at night he sometimes takes only water and other times a rose flavored drink. no chocolates for quite a while now.

do u think i should resort to some method n just feed him?? like sit him with the ipad/tv/toys n just feed him? though i m not sure if he will eat even then. i m so worried he is not getting enough fats/nutrients!

ianleeder Wed 26-Feb-14 11:05:23

Chill out. Make eating fun again,start by all of you eating together as a family on the table, talk about anything else apart from food. If he's not bothered, put the tv for a bit so he eat something then gradually no tv. Make meal time fun. Cut cute sandwiches such as car shaped etc. does he eat better with a buffet style food?How about laying the table with nibbles and just leave him to get on with it? Is he unwell? My daughter is prone to mouth ulcer so that stops her from eating too.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Wed 26-Feb-14 11:07:19

my dd 20 months has started this as well recently since teething and being unwell. she was always brilliant at eating . she does eat quite a few snacks (fruit etc)

does he have multivitamins? if u are worried about nutrients.

smoothies? and hide veg in sauces so there's more nutrients per bite/mouthful.

ianleeder Wed 26-Feb-14 11:08:55 winkread this blog, useful tips on eating. Also books such as: my child won't eat and take a bite.

Bangonthedoor Thu 27-Feb-14 20:34:25

Just wanted to say my 22 month old DD is exactly the same. It's so frustrating! She's always been a good eater but for the last 2 months she's barely eaten a meal, just has one bite then says "finished".

I've tried many things too like eating together and getting her to help me in the kitchen but I haven't tried cutting out snacks so might try that tomorrow. You could always try a sticker reward system? Not quite a sticker chart just a single sticker if he's eaten well(ish)? I was also thinking about this for DD.

It's not nice at all but you're not alone smile

bellini1 Fri 28-Feb-14 03:36:38

Definitely don't make it a battle . It's all about control . Eating is one of the few things toddlers can kind of control as they know you aren't goibg to strap them down and force food in ! They like having the power . Just offer the food and if its refused say "ok", smile and move plate away . If yiu are eating at same time, then continue to eat and they can get down when you have finished . If you aren't eating with them then let them sit there for a minute or 2 and then get down and the day/ evening carries on as normal but without anything really nice that they like e.g tv . But don't say " right no tv because you didn't eat dinner". Just don't talk about it . This may mean they go without food but tough shit . ! If you really can't cope with the no food idea then they can have 1 piece of boring fruit like an apple not a sweet exciting fruit like pineapple .

We tried this with our son and now he will always always eat even if its a few mouthfuls . Another thing we do is have a couple of nights where he can have a picnic supper e.g crackers, raisins, cheese, crips etc . So they feel like they've got a choice abd its not a big overwhelming plate of food .

Batbear Fri 28-Feb-14 07:06:54

Picnic lunches work well with our very fussy 3YO and have been how we have introduced new things.

Lots of positive reinforcement when he tries something new and ignore the unwanted behaviour.

We've still got a long way to go though too.

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