Our DS is almost 17 months. He has had numerous ear infections (8 I think) and other illnesses. Right before Thanksgiving he had tubes put in. We've had a couple of ear infections, but we've also had a few weeks of him being well.
Because he refuses to eat when he's sick, we've been in and out of the 1st percentile. Over Christmas his doctor recommended that we begin whole milk and Pediasure to put a little weight on him. I began the whole milk (he's still nursing a few times each day), but I couldn't bring myself to start the supplements. He has had all natural food to this point, with no sweeteners (Although I'm sure he's had his fair share of corn syrup from the antibiotics). The supplements are nothing but chemicals and sugar. So instead, I began giving him oatmeal made with full fat coconut milk before he goes to bed.
Here's where the question comes in... I've also been more adamant about him eating. For example, if he refuses to take a 1st bite, I'll smear it on his mouth so he gets a taste. Often he'll begin eating at that point. Maybe just a few bites, but it's something. We'll also try to get him to stay at the table longer by singing or playing. I've never forced food in his mouth, but I feel like we might be starting bad habits.... But even if we are, I'm not sure there is an alternative. I feel pressured to get him to eat, but I don't want to send him the wrong messages about food. What are your thoughts?
On the up side - we have seen progress. In the 2 1/2 weeks after starting the whole milk, oatmeal before bed, etc. he gain 1 1/2 pounds, grew 1/2 inch in length, and 1/2 inch in head circumference. The growth in height and head really surprised me!