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21 MONTH OLD AND FEEDING ISSUES

(8 Posts)
knat Mon 08-Aug-05 20:26:31

my dd very rarely feeds herself with spoon although she can do it (even if it is with the handle end of the spoon). She also needs constant distraction when it is mealtimes (ie singing counting etc). Over the last couple of days she is taking one or two spoonfuls and then refusing food. Tonight she took one mouthful ate that and then pushed her plate away. Gave her an alternative tea to eat with her fingers and she ate that ok. Normally she's not a good finger food child picks at it rather than eats it well. Any ideas as to what to do. I feel like being strict and not giving an alternative or snacks at any other time but I don't want her to be hungry especially at bedtime!! Help!!!

Lizita Mon 08-Aug-05 20:46:20

Most important thing is not to make a big deal out of it. My dd is almost 2 and she has a tiny appetite and is very picky too. I don't offer her alternatives if she's not eating something, particularly if it's something I know she likes. Toddlers don't starve themselves, so if you take away the food without comment, end mealtime, she is bound to eat something at some point. Plus I find with my dd, given that she does have a tiny appetite so it's v noticeable when her appetite wanes!, she goes through phases where it seems for a few days she hardly eats a thing (even worse when she's a bit under the weather). But rest assured appetite will pick up again. It is simply impossible to force them to eat if they don't want to!

I went through a phase of several days when I was getting angry with my dd for not eating, and I really don't want to be putting pressure on her to eat, so when i caught myself, I stepped back completely and didn't say a word, and hey presto, a couple of days later she started eating again, so there you are.

Also, don't worry too much about her use of cutlery. Just give her the opportunity. Do you eat with her? It might help for her to see what you do. My dd sometimes uses cutlery, sometimes her hands, I don't care right now how she eats as long as she eats somehow!

Lizita Mon 08-Aug-05 20:47:58

Oh PS just remembered I also realised part of the reason my dd was hardly eating anything was she is addicted to her cup of milk. Since cutting down on her intake of that, she has increased the amount she eats at mealtimes. If that's the case with yours, re snacks too, maybe it's worth trying that for a few days to see if it works. I do understand though, I had the same paranoia about letting my dd go hungry but as I said, they don't allow themselves to starve!

hermykne Mon 08-Aug-05 20:50:07

knat
my dd was terrible at eating from about 10mths til after her brother arrived! i would be distracted tryig to get food into her and did as oyu do.
she will come round, as so many said to me, she will not strave. one thing though does she get alot of milk, i went to a homeo/naturopath for my dd, and she said reduce her milk intake drastically (she loved it) and you ll see a diff, she said to me milk is a drink but a food also, but it quenches appetite. it certainly helped with my dd.
hth

Nbg Mon 08-Aug-05 20:52:42

DD has just gone through a similar thing. I agree with what Lizita has said about no comments as eventually it does work. I've even known dd to take the food back off the worktop and eat it when she thought I wasn't looking!


I also just put the food in front of her and let her get on with it. I think she prefers it like tht sometimes.

knat Tue 09-Aug-05 20:16:14

thanks everyone. I do eat with her but that doesn't seem to make a difference. As far as milk goes she has about 6-7 oz first thing in the morning and again 8-9 oz at bedtime Otherwise she drinks very diluted juice (and not that much really). What are your thoughts onthis amount. I have to say that at the moment she does seem to really want the one first thing in the morning and usually she eats an ok breakfast. Its lunch that's the worse and again tea can differ. Today has been good and she's eaten really nicely although no cutlery and wants me to feed her. If yours don't eat their lunch/tea do you offer anything later on or let them wait till next mealtime?

Lizita Tue 09-Aug-05 20:36:37

I don't offer dd anything extra if that's what you mean, just her usual snacks and her milk. I'm even ashamed to say that a couple of times she has changed her mind once she's got down from the table and wanted to come back to continue eating but because I've thrown her meal away she doesn't get any . I'm in two minds myself about whether or not to save her meal in case this happens, but worried that it'll encourage her get-down-get-up-again behaviour! (trying to get her to learn that once she says "down" that's it, meal over. Table manners and all that... too much to expect from a 2 year old? Would also quite like it if she waited till I finished eating but I know that's too much to expect! )

Milk- My dd drinks far too much milk anyway, as I said. I think they're supposed to drink just under a pint a day, is that right? Which I think includes other dairy products, yoghurt, cheese etc. Correct me anyone if i'm wrong. So I think your dd is drinking enough milk.

hermykne Tue 09-Aug-05 21:27:04

knat, that amt of milk seems ok to me, but maybe if u could test it for a few days,you could dilute it.
really be assured that she will come round. anotheridea: maybe offer no lunch even for a day or 2, and see what her reaction is. i did this with dd and she eventually asked for a banana or a yogurt, it was a start. sometimes then she'd get hungry around 4pm so i would give her dinner early and then she might take toast or cereal prior to bed, not always.

people used to say to me oh give her something junky, but i pointfastedly refused to that, because i didnot want to blemish her tastebuds, now she will eat guacamole, homemade nuggets, paella (she thinks prawns are chicken!) and her curiousity is growing. not huge amoutns but the taste buds are curious...she 3 in october.
hth

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