2 year old barely eating(5 Posts)
My son has just turned two and is a very active, generally happy little boy. But we have had quite a bit of disruption over the summer with holidays, visitors, etc and now are in a situation where he hardly eats anything at all. He was never a great eater but had been improving and would pick at vegetables, meat, etc. he previously would reliably have a big bowl of porridge in the morning also.
I know some of his increased fussiness was a control thing linked to the new environments on holidays and he was also spoiled by visiting relatives with sweet treats etc. He is now largely well settled back home with good sleep patterns and a return to his usual routine. But the food thing is getting worse and worse. It has been weeks since he ate a vegetable of any kind. He does pick at some fruit, won't take porridge any more, just tiny bits of toast. Won't eat meat or cheese. I am at my wits end. I've been filling him up as best I can with the few things he will eat (though these change regularly too) but I am getting worried by his overall intake and his nutrient balance. We do regular family meals at the table, I have also tried offering all kinds of hand snacks throughout the day but he usually refuses. His main staple is now milk once again.
Does anyone have any advice for helping me to at least get back to where he was? I've read some strategies online about encouraging him to take just one bite, etc, but he is still too young to be reasoned with. His speech isn't very advanced either so he can't express what he wants very well, just a resounding 'no' when he doesn't want to even see food, let alone eat it.
I have started giving him a multivitamin supplement. But I know that is not a solution. Any help is greatly appreciated.
I have a similar challenge, it varies in intensity DS is now 2y 9m. I wouldn't say he is fussy exactly but has a very variable appetite sometimes just a few mouthfuls of food in a day it seems. Other days he eats well.
Breakfast is often good and I cling to that for reassurance! I find it difficult to know what is best, I don't want food to become a massive battleground.
Maybe take mealtimes down a notch for a while? It might be that sitting at a "family" meal (and sensing your anxiety) is blocking him a bit. I've found that a good way to encourage DD to eat is to have a treat TV meal - honestly we don't make a habit generally of eating in front of the TV but the focusing on something else seems to relax her and then she often absent-mindedly eats things she wouldn't normally touch! We make her comfy sitting with a small table in front, and then put a plate of small snacky things in front of her cut up very small - quartered cherry tomatoes, tiny pieces of chopped cucumber, tiny cubes of cheese, pieces of ham, chopped olives, a few blueberries etc. - sometimes made into a picture or a happy face. Not too much on the plate so it's not overwhelming. Perhaps a few small breadsticks or a handful of Pom Bears. She then works her way through them no problem! If there are only a small amount of carbs, she then starts eating the little pieces of salad, veg and cheese. Sometimes it takes her quite a while to eat them - if we were sitting at a table I'd have got fed up and removed the plate by that point, so it's good to see that if you leave it a bit longer they might decide to take a bite! Don't worry about bad habits - you can always go back to proper family table meals when he's relaxed a bit more about eating. The key is to take the anxiety out of the eating situation.
Could you try this or other relaxed meals in unusual places? A picnic in the garden on a rug or doll's plates with similar tiny pieces of food? mini sandwiches made into shapes with biscuit cutters? Mixing up savoury and fruit snacks on the same plate? The key is to make them relaxed and offer something small and appetising but not overwhelming. Be as relaxed as you possibly can and if the food is left make no comment but just remove it.
Thanks for the replies and the useful ideas. We have already dabbled in some of them but I've gotten some good inspiration - thank you. I do try not to let him see my anxiety. Fingers crossed some of these ideas will help. Any other experience or advice also very gratefully received.
My daughter had a terrible time with food for a period in her twos actually lasted months. Tried all the strategies that could be found on the Internet ....nothing worked for us. She was virtually down to milk only, maybe yogurt too.Then one day she just grew out of it. She is the best eater in the family now. Easier said than done but maybe just try to ride it out.
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