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11/02/2014 at 20:45
Sorry, ago with another needy post! Honestly I feel like a useless mother - if its not my little refluxer stumping me its my toddler and her tantrums.....
.....which leads me to this. The current battle is over mealtimes. She won't sit at the table, she wont eat off her plate or use her own cutlery (she wants ours) she's refusing to eat what she's given but would happily snack all day if I let her (which I don't!) At least one of us (both at tea time) sit with her. I thought it might be a case of her trying to assert her independence so I try giving her 2 options she can chose from (ie cereal or toast) but that hasn't seemed to help. She has 3 meals and 2 snacks a day but all she seems to want is to snack and not eat meals. I do babysign with her and she has mastered hungry, eat and more!
H is adamant we shouldn't give in to her - she eats her meals and her snacks when we give them to her or she has nothing and I kind of agree that she has to learn but then I'm worried she's going hungry. It kills me when she's signing and asking for food. H says she has to learn she can't just pick all day but I'm worried about her going hungry and that she'll start to lose weight.
What do I do? What would you do or have you do in this situation? Any advice gratefully appreciated!
11/02/2014 at 21:17
I'd go with what your H suggests. She won't starve waiting till mealtimes.
Can you get her involved in preparing food? Let her use "grown up" cutlery if it helps.
My friend cut out her little girl's snacks until she started eating her 3 meals then gradually reintroduced the snacks.
I have no experience on toddlers to offer, however as a grazer myself I struggle with big meals and graze all day. I get what I'd eat in meals but separate it out, so one snack might be a sandwich, and a later one might be a piece of toast and I might have a small meal for tea, but then eat an apple later that would have been dessert iyswim. I get where your H is coming from but my Mum used to make my brother and me sit and eat meals and it was just stressful.
You're not needy and you're not a rubbish mum. I hope you're feeling better about the other thing we talked about, I've been thinking about you xx
11/02/2014 at 21:23
I agree with your H too. G was a terrible eater but my hv reminded me that no toddler has ever starved themselves. With G we cut out desserts too and even now she only gets dessert if she's eaten all or most of her meal. She loves getting involved with preparing meals as Weekender suggested. It doesnt always have to involve cutting - helping mash the spuds, tipping pasta into a saucepan, layering lasagna, washing veg. It really helped with G. We also stopped giving G attention when she was naughty at mealtimes. If she was playing up we ignored it. We would tell her she had 10 then 5;mins to finish and after that if she clearly wasnt going to eat it we just took it away, no fuss, no telling her off etc, just said nothing. A reward chart also helped massively. She got a star for every meal she ate nicely and when she had 10 stars she got to pick an activity.
11/02/2014 at 21:40
Sounds like C. She spends all afternoon creating for food, then won't eat her dinner. I've realised that most of the time she's not hungry, but bored or attention seeking, so keeping her busy helps distract her. She also doesn't get pudding if she's not ate most of her dinner, which is generally only small anyway. Limit her snacks to certain times and try to give things that will make her feel full for longer. It's hard though as C does really create and it's easier just to give her a snack to keep her quiet. I bet your h doesn't realise how relentless they can be. X
11/02/2014 at 22:10
Zoe went through a phase of not eating. I found putting her in front of the TV worked as it kind of distracted her from what she was doing. Unfortunately 3 years later she still likes to watch TV but we are slowly weaning her off it. However she was never offered an alternative meal. I would make sure that once a day I gave her something I knew she would eat, but if she didn't eat it there was no alternative. The majority of children will not starve themselves.
I'd let her use your cutlery. Can't see the issue with that really, but then I have a 5 year old who still prefers to use her hands to eat so I'm probably not the best to advise on that aspect.
11/02/2014 at 23:04
My toddler uses adult cutlery (he flat out refused to use toddler cutlery). If he doesn't eat what I put infront of him, he goes without. So I definitely agree with your H.
I never give in to my boys. They have to learn.
12/02/2014 at 07:17
O was similar and I was at my wits end, so cut out snacks and he suddenly started eating his dinner! He was filling up too much during the day. Now we've reintroduced snacks, but smaller healthier ones (for example yesterday he had dried cranberries am and grapes pm)....don't worry about them going hungry, they'll take what they need whilst learning they can't always get their own way x
12/02/2014 at 09:09
Thanks for all you replies - some great suggestions! I'm a total soft touch I know so I'm just going to have to toughen up. As you say, I shouldn't give in! She's already told me she's hungry since breakfast but I know after a bowl of cereal and some toast she's not! I gave her a normal teaspoon instead of a toddler spoon and she seemed quite happy with that! Will also try your suggestions about getting her involved in the prep and using our cutlery and see if that helps. I will also think about cutting put snacks if she continues to see of that gets her back on the right path! JellyBaby, this morning she ate about 2 mouthfuls and said she was finished so I remembered what you said and put gigglebiz on for her and she sat watching that and surprise surprise sat and ate all her cereal! It's not something I want her to be doing long term but it might get her into the habit of sitting and eating her meals! LWO, my H has definitely not endured her full on tantrums when I've said she can't have something - it's really hard when it sets the baby off crying and I know i have given in sometimes to keep the peace (bad mummy!)
Babylonglegs, thank you for thinking of me. Yes, I have been feeling better about things. He still drives me to despair sometimes but I know the love is still there and he seems to be trying a bit harder too!
12/02/2014 at 09:14
As others have said don't worry about them starving, if they're hungry they'll eat.
I would stop any snacks in between for now so she is properly hungry at meal times.
W is 26 months and doesn't get snacks in between except if we're at toddler groups.
She tends to be most picky at tea time. But if she doesn't eat it she doesn't get anything else. And when she asks for pudding I say "no because you wouldn't eat your tea. " She then starts crying very dramatically ( as a two year old she's good at this!). But she has to learn.
When she does well eating I'll tell her "well done you've been very good at eating your tea so would you like a yogurt/ apple etc."
I really would try to stand your ground and definitely don't start making different meals if she won't eat what you first give her.
12/02/2014 at 09:29
Disco has good and bad days but I have noticed that bad days often co incide with a cold or teething so don't worry about them.
We don't do big snacks here and he tends to eat reasonable meals 80% of the time the other 20% of the time he is a toddler with no logic as to why he doesn't want dinner.
For us if we have had a bad breakfast and lunch I usually make sure dinner is something I am 90% sure he will eat (such as pasta) so he has had at least 1 meal. I haven't ditche puddings if he doesn't eat yet though. As long as some of the meal has been attempted he will be offered a yoghurt or piece of fruit.
I think cutting out snacks is a goo
d place to start (or make them smaller) also as others have said toddlers will tend to eat if they are hungry so don't worry to much.
12/02/2014 at 18:43
Glad the TV worked for you too. I was adamant that she was not going to sit and eat with the TV on, I've now decided there are worse things. If we are all eating together then I will turn it off but if it is just the two of us then hey, I can spend more time surfing the internet ... such a good example ;-)
12/02/2014 at 19:59
You definitely have to pick your battles! She started to play up at lunch to so I did the same and she ate the whole lot without any fuss!
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