2 year old eating alone?(4 Posts)
My DD has just turned 2 and for the past couple of months, we've been trying to have more family dinners and eat round the dining table in the evening. We were hoping to encourage better eating/social skills for the future. Previous to this, she was pretty much exclusively fed in her high chair, with DH and I eating separately later.
However since we've moved to more family meals my DD refuses to eat her dinner. She demands that she uses mine or DH cutlery and to eat from our plates and we have been letting her. But once she has our plate/cutlery she just isn't interested in doing anything with them.
For the past couple of nights, I've went back to feeding her separately (more to do with DH work schedule at the moment than anything else) and she's went back to demolishing her dinner again.
What should I do? Should I continue with family meals as I know how important this is for social development and accept that she's unlikely to eat or go back to high chair feeding when I know that at least she won't be going to bed hungry.
Could you do both? So give her her dinner earlier in the high hair and then get her to sit with you when you have your dinner then gradually move from high chair feeding to family feeding.
That or go cold turkey - if she's hungry she will eat so call her bluff so to speak.
DS - just 2 also sometimes eats with us, sometimes on his own at the table with me chatting to him and sometime in front of the tele (bad parents I know!). I try not to force the issue of food and mealtimes.
Rip... l'ts a good idea to have family dinners as much as possible as that is when all children learn their manners....but set rules and stick to them, your meals are yours as is your cutlery, her meals are hers.
Do not worry how much she eats, no child will starve themselves!
The demanding is unreasonable she is 2, you are the adults, some firm no's when she demands are called for, don't debate, negotiate, cajole.. she is clearly able to eat well when she is eating alone so there is no reason she cannot eat well when you eat together as a family.
I had two dc's 1 year apart, and we sat and ate at the table from 1 year old, they never got to take from our plates or touch our things, we had a rule if they wanted something and the answer was no, that was the end of the conversation, any bad behaviour meant time out on the bottom step!
It is our relaxation time too and very quickly mealtimes were enjoyable rather than stressful as yours soon can be, family meals are one of the nicest parts of the day and the sooner you can all eat together and chat the better.
Now my two can be taken anywhere and l know they will behave well, and always be polite, so stick to your guns it is so worth it!
I'd agree with lighgreenglass that it would be worth going back to food separately to take the pressure off, then gradually start having her at your meals as well (with a bit of food, but doesn't matter whether she eats) to start introducing social eating and put in place boundaries like sticking to her own food and cutlery. The key thing is to keep it relaxed, and not turn it into a battle - that's why I think feeding her separately as well would be a good idea initially so that YOU aren't stressing about how much she eats.
I don't agree with the 'kids don't starve themselves' idea that people often say. A highly strung child might well get so upset by it all that they can't eat anything, then get into a horrible cycle of feeling grotty because they're hungry all the time, but being too wound up and upset to handle meals. Believe me, you don't want to go there.
If your daughter eats well, that's fantastic. The rest will come gradually if you introduce it in a relaxed way, being clear in your own mind about what behaviour you'll let slide and what isn't acceptable.
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