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AIBU?

To hate spending time with my almost two year old because he WON’T EAT?

105 replies

Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 12:14

I know people will make suggestions and I don’t think there’s one I haven’t tried, making meal times relaxed and sociable, trying a variety of foods, even giving up on meal times and just a variety of healthy snacks. Booster seat, own table and chairs, high chair.

Nope. Getting nowhere. The mystery continues when he seems to eat really well at nursery.

He is looking rather thin.

I don’t know what to do.

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Mxyzptlk · 04/09/2022 12:22

Eat at the same time as him. Don't draw attention to him or his food at all. Don't try to encourage him to eat.
When you're finished eating, ask if he's finished then take his away.

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basilmint · 04/09/2022 12:27

It's incredibly frustrating (as someone with a very picky eater) but try not to let it dominate your whole relationship with him. Go out, do an activity at home together etc which has nothing to do with food. Hard as it is, try not to make a big deal at mealtimes. If he eats at nursery then at least he is getting some food. If you are concerned about his weight, speak to GP/Health Visitor.

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mistermagpie · 04/09/2022 12:32

I'm not being flippant because I've been there twice (and currently have a non-eating two year old), but have you tried just not worrying about it?

With my first non eater I drove myself insane and felt like you do. It made absolutely no difference. He could go a full day on half a weetabix at one point and me nagging, offering a billion alternatives, worrying and Googling made no difference at all. Randomly when he turned four he suddenly started eating and now eats really well.

My middle child ate normally, but my youngest is the same as my oldest. She does like toast so will sometimes eat that but honestly hardly eats anything, and nothing like proper meals. I've just decided not to worry this time. She does eat at nursery (peer pressure?) and although she's slim, she's developing normally and seems happy enough. That will do for now, I'm mainly just hoping she will magically start eating like her brother did! Not worrying about it has saved my sanity and it hasn't actually changed a

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mistermagpie · 04/09/2022 12:34

Ha pressed send too soon!

Hasn't changed anything about the outcome was what I was going to say.

She gets given a plate of whatever the rest of us eat, obviously, and then offered toast when she doesn't eat it. Other than that I do nothing and don't think about it much.

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 12:35

Thanks. I wouldn’t mind if he just wanted toast or whatever … well of course I’d MIND but at least I’d know he’s eating. As it is, he seems to have a really poor relationship with food and I don’t know why.

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Bonkerz · 04/09/2022 12:37

For a 2 year old it's all about ego and control.
(Sometimes it's sensory too)

Eat or don't eat is my motto. Small amounts served including foods they reject previously.

Make snacks small and nutritious so they atleast eat small amounts regularly. Many 2 year olds prefer small snacks 2 hourly than meals.

It really is usually just a phase and eventually they come round.

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CallMeByYourUsername · 04/09/2022 12:40

Poor relationship with food is often connected to too much emphasis being put on it. I had one who refused to eat for a while. I gave it no attention - just provided small portions of whatever we were having, then threw them away when they weren't eaten. In an attempt to ensure that this particular DC was not in fact physically unable to eat, I also left things out in the kitchen like bread sticks, fingers of cheese, carrot sticks etc if the other DC were at school. They were always eaten, so I suspect it was an attention thing. It was basically a phase, and it passed.

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 12:53

Everything suggested we’ve done, as I’ve said. Tried ignoring, doesn’t eat. Tried making mealtimes happy and relaxed,
doesn’t eat. I mean, there’s not a lot I can do about it, but it really is worrying me to death.

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mumonthehill · 04/09/2022 12:54

My youngest ds ate very little for a long time. He was not fussy at all but just did not seem to want food. In the end we were under the paediatrician as he got very thin. We kept eating a normal activity, fed him high calorie everything so full fat milk, cream etc. I would offer food and try not to stress if he said no. School was great as they encouraged him but did not force. He slowly began to eat more and now at 15 eats a varied diet and has no issues. It is very hard to deal with but try and monitor what he does have, so if he had eaten at nursery then he has had something and perhaps get them to get him to eat a larger portion. Milk shakes and smoothies are also good at getting calories into him.

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Stripyhoglets1 · 04/09/2022 12:59

When my child had anxiety around food we ate watching telly as that distracted them.

If he really won't eat and is underweight then ask for a referral to a dietician as there is support for parents with very difficult eaters which is affecting development.

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GhostFromTheOtherSide · 04/09/2022 13:02

OP, what does he eat? Because he obviously must eat something even if it’s very little.

I was the picky eater growing up. And when my mum took me to the GP he said that parents worry so much about how little their children eat but rarely give any thought to the size of a 2 year old’s stomach, and that really they can manage on very little.

Rather than worrying about what he isn’t eating, keep a diary for a week on what he is eating, and then go from there.

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:03

That’s my worry, that it is going to long term effect his development and that he won’t grow well.

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Sirzy · 04/09/2022 13:08

Move the focus away from eating. Provide food but make no comment.

include him in cooking, make no comments about eating what you make but help him get used to the textures/smells etc.

same with shopping, give him a list of things to find (photos) and let him be around food in that way

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:14

Yes - we have done so Sirzy. It makes no difference. He will not eat.

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:14

And LOL at him finding food in the supermarket.

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MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 04/09/2022 13:16

Mxyzptlk · 04/09/2022 12:22

Eat at the same time as him. Don't draw attention to him or his food at all. Don't try to encourage him to eat.
When you're finished eating, ask if he's finished then take his away.

This.

He clearly is eating enough or he'd pass out.

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AliceW89 · 04/09/2022 13:16

The mystery continues when he seems to eat really well at nursery

How many days per week is he at nursery?

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buttons123456 · 04/09/2022 13:18

Does he drink much milk? Stop it aside from a bit at bedtime .

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:18

Three days at nursery every week

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:20

He doesn’t now as I was worried he was filling up on it.

It’s hard though. There was a brief stage where he ate reallY well and it was so enjoyable to cook for him. Now it’s just refusal to eat and a mess.

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WagathaChristieMystery · 04/09/2022 13:20

What does he eat at nursery? If he eats well at nursery, just wondered if you can ask them what he eats there and then try and replicate it at home? Realise you may have already tried this though!

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MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 04/09/2022 13:21

Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 12:53

Everything suggested we’ve done, as I’ve said. Tried ignoring, doesn’t eat. Tried making mealtimes happy and relaxed,
doesn’t eat. I mean, there’s not a lot I can do about it, but it really is worrying me to death.

He is at home 4 days a week so what does he eat / drink because there's no way a kid starves himself for 4 out of 7 days.

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qpmz · 04/09/2022 13:23

Does he have milk still? That will be giving him nutrition and hydration as well as his nursery meals. Letting him find his own food might help. Eg place a snack by the car seat when you're going out or on the coffee table when you're playing in the lounge.

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Hatemealtimes · 04/09/2022 13:23

It feels like that @MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Sad

Today he had maybe a quarter of a banana and two teaspoons of Rice Krispies. Refused lunch.

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Marvellousmadness · 04/09/2022 13:23

He eats at nursery
So theres your answer

It is a monkey see monkey do situation with him

Let him eat in front of the tv. Whilst watching other kids eat insert whatever food.

Put his food in front of him and ler him eat
or start chatting about the kids what they are doing how they look how the dress or whatever really but
take the stress out from talking about him not eating . Kids pick up on stress too.

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