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Help needed with 2 year olds mealtimes please(3 Posts)
My 2.3 year old DS is beginning to drive me crazy at mealtimes with his reluctance to feed himself. He has a huge appetite but gets bored easily. He can feed himself he just takes a few spoonfuls and stops. I know he's not full as he will happily eat and eat if I continue to feed him. The thing is I know I need to stop feeding him but don't know how to get him to take more food for himself. He is much better at feeding himself for longer periods with finger foods for some reason. In trying to stop feeding him myself I have found myself constantly reminding him to pick up his spoon throughout the meal and this leads to an uncomfortable and naggy environment .
I have looked online at other peoples stories and I can see the most common advice is to leave them to it and if they don't eat within a certain time frame to take the food away and let them go hungry. I'm not happy to take this approach as a first approach but will consider it later if necessary. We have a history of severe weight loss as a newborn resulting in hospital admission which has made me (over)sensitive to his food intake levels.
So I was thinking of some kind of reward chart or similar but have never done one before so am not sure how best to implement it. If anyone has any ideas on this or other different suggestions that would be great. We are getting into a cycle of me threatening no pudding, no toys etc if he doesn't eat by himself. I find myself getting cross too and I know none of this is healthy.
What about letting him eat by himself for 2 of the meals, and then help him with the last meal of the day? Or even all 3 meals, and give him something healthy and filling just before bed (banana and wetabix sort of thing?)
Could you have a finger foods meal every day to allow him to regulate that way?
I think he's too young for a reward chart and also - are you sure you want him to eat for reasons other than hunger? This is not the basis of a healthy relationship with food.
Perhaps you could offer some finger food and some cutlery food with each meal? My own DS (3.3) gets a bit fatigued by having to concentrate on operating cutlery; it's tricky and tiring for small children IME. We let him eat with his fingers or drink out of the bowl to finish, we sometimes help, but the thing is he WANTS to be like us so keeps working on using his fork etc. without us really saying anything.
Have you read this ? It may help you relax about the whole food thing. It's basic message is no child will starve themself when there's food available - it takes years of difficulty around food plus adolescence for that kind of problem to kick in...
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