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Another eating thread.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

Dd is in a phase where she basically doesn't eat. Anything. Ever. Ok, that's not true, she'll have a bite here and a bite there... that sort of thing. My concern is that she's on the tiny end of the spectrum (5th or so percentile for weight/height). She used to eat TONS - really pack it away, and she was STILL tiny, so it worrys me when she doesn't eat much. I guess I feel like if she was more average size I'd ignore it and let her do her thing, but I'd REALLY REALLY not like to be questioned about her size by doctors/cps, whoever. I was a tiny kid, too, (and my husband is tall and very thin) so I guess I expect it's just normal for our genetics :

Anyway, it's not as simple as just "feed her what she says she likes/wants" because I'll ask her what she wants, get it (make it or take out, whatever) for her and she still only has like 2 bites. Plus, what she "likes" varies by the day. It's extremely frustrating, and I find we get into power struggles over it, which I hate, and obviously she doesn't like it much either. I just... I don't know how to handle it, really. I've tried just laying off for a week or so and she still doesn't eat The only thing that's been "working" lately is bribery ("if you eat your dinner all up, you can sleep in your big girl bed [which is new to her], if not, you sleep in the toddler bed," basically). I'm just really really unhappy with this situation : Please no flames, I'm not real happy with the bribery or power struggles which is why we're here. Suggestions?

Thanks!
post #2 of 3
First off my disclaimer is, the only time I've had to deal with this behavior was when dd was sick, so my experiences may not be applicable and take my advice for what it's worth (i.e. possibly nothing, lol).

I was going crazy trying to offer her anything that might be tempting, junk food, cookies for breakfast, giving her total free choice out of the kitchen, buying both varied and familiar things... only to have her ask for something then take 1 bite and toss it on the ground, or tell me "hungry" over and over only to have her say "no" to each of the (literally) 20-30 things I might offer.

Then one day when it seemed like her tummy issues should have been over from a physical standpoint and this was just an unfortunately behavioral pattern we'd gotten into, I went back to my regular method, which is:

-Three meals a day, she has what I have. I have 3-4 options at a given meal (say, pieces of roasted chicken, a cooked veggie, a fruit, and brown rice at lunch), and she is welcome to have as much or as little of any of those options as she chooses (3 bites of all the choices, tons of chicken and nothing else, etc.). I will not make anything else. She understands this and doesn't protest. At least 1, usually 2-3 of the options are things she usually likes.
-Two snacks a day, she can have whatever she wants out of the entire kitchen, carte blanche, any amount she wants. This is signalled to her by feeding her in the kitchen rather than at the dining room table, where we do meals. It makes me feel secure that she'll never get too hungry even if she should choose to completely skip a meal.

Like magic, with a few hours we were back to our happy meals. I think the overwhelming amount of choice I'd been giving her was actually backfiring in some way.

I don't know that this approach would work for everyone, because probably some toddlers would just hold out and skip meals endlessly, but for us it just makes things so much better.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotopaxi View Post
First off my disclaimer is, the only time I've had to deal with this behavior was when dd was sick, so my experiences may not be applicable and take my advice for what it's worth (i.e. possibly nothing, lol).

I was going crazy trying to offer her anything that might be tempting, junk food, cookies for breakfast, giving her total free choice out of the kitchen, buying both varied and familiar things... only to have her ask for something then take 1 bite and toss it on the ground, or tell me "hungry" over and over only to have her say "no" to each of the (literally) 20-30 things I might offer.

Then one day when it seemed like her tummy issues should have been over from a physical standpoint and this was just an unfortunately behavioral pattern we'd gotten into, I went back to my regular method, which is:

-Three meals a day, she has what I have. I have 3-4 options at a given meal (say, pieces of roasted chicken, a cooked veggie, a fruit, and brown rice at lunch), and she is welcome to have as much or as little of any of those options as she chooses (3 bites of all the choices, tons of chicken and nothing else, etc.). I will not make anything else. She understands this and doesn't protest. At least 1, usually 2-3 of the options are things she usually likes.
-Two snacks a day, she can have whatever she wants out of the entire kitchen, carte blanche, any amount she wants. This is signalled to her by feeding her in the kitchen rather than at the dining room table, where we do meals. It makes me feel secure that she'll never get too hungry even if she should choose to completely skip a meal.

Like magic, with a few hours we were back to our happy meals. I think the overwhelming amount of choice I'd been giving her was actually backfiring in some way.

I don't know that this approach would work for everyone, because probably some toddlers would just hold out and skip meals endlessly, but for us it just makes things so much better.
Thanks for your reply! Yeah, that's basically what I do. I'll ask what she wants, but usually she'll say something like "pizza" which, we DO get sometimes, but it's not every night or anything. Usually I just make what we're having and she either eats it or she doesnt. One week, she LOVES lentil curry and porks it down, the next week it's "ew, I don't LIKE lentil curry!" Same with whatever we have. It's completely hit or miss (mostly miss), even if she ASKS for it, that day. :

I've also tried getting her involved in what I'm cooking or having her dish out her own food, but it's still a struggle to have her EAT it. At this point, I just have my fingers crossed that she'll get out of this phase soon, but I'm not counting on it because of how much of an issue dinner is almost every night.
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