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#1 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2yr old is having some issues with eating. He pretty much refuses to eat. The doctor wants to send him to Praireview. i know that they will simply say lets put him on some strange medication which I refuse to do. The doctor says right now I should simply feed him whatever he'll eat. It's hard to allow him to eat other things that aren't being served at that meal, as all of my other children are wondering why they don't get the same treatment. It's also hard when he roams around and doesn't actually sit at the table for meals. I don't want to make all of these things habit, but I also need him to eat. i'm not sure how to get him to eat normal healthy meals, seated at the family table.
ideas?
thanks in advance!
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#2 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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What will he eat? Many children are snackers and have difficulty sitting down for a meal. Do you offer him lots of snacks throughout the day? A good variety including lots of different colors, textures? Can he be more involved with food preparation?

It's hard to answer based on, "he won't eat." Can you give a little more info? Surely he eats some stuff. Is he not eating healthy? Not a wide enough variety? Is he very underweight?
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#3 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i truely mean he won't eat. If he eats 1 meal a week we are doing good. He won't eat anything. He won't eat meats, veggies, sometimes he'll eat fruit, he doesn't like sweets, etc. Once in a while he'll actually sit down and eat a meal but not often. He will snack sometimes but not much. His idea of a snack is 1 animal cracker or something. Sometimes he'll eat pb& j's. sometimes he'll eat some blueberries. He used to love bananas, but won't eat them lately. He'll eat cheerios sometimes. He'll eat a otdog which i absolutely hate giving him. Rarely will he ever eat meat. He won't eat veggies at all. I'm at a loss. We serve him up food just like everyone else and he simply gets down says he's all done and that's it.
i hope that gives you a bit more info! thanks!0
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#4 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 09:28 AM
 
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Hmmmm. Why do you feel like he needs to be eating more?

I've noticed with ds (3 years, 5 months) that he goes through periods where he eats next to nothing and I'm left wondering how the kid isn't starving. Then he'll hit a growth spurt and I can hardly feed him enough. I try to keep the trust that ds knows how he feels and knows how much he needs to eat. It can be hard sometimes when we have ideas about how much children need to eat, or when they should eat, and they have completely different ideas!

My ds rarely sits down to eat meals and if he does, he's up and down from the table about 10 times a minute. He almost never eats supper. He tends to eat a ton during the morning hours, then gradually tapers off during the day. Oh, and my ds won't touch meat either, (much to my hunting father's dismay.) He went through a period where he couldn't get enough kiwi, so I bought a big basket of them only to have them all go bad because he decided to be done with his kiwi kick.

Unless your ds is seriously and dangerously underweight, I would try to relax about this a little and really try to trust that he knows his body and what it needs. If he's not eating much, he probably doesn't need to eat much. Offer healthy foods, and a variety of them, then leave the rest up to him.

HTH.

ETA: Welcome to the forums!
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#5 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 09:41 AM
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Hmmmm. Why do you feel like he needs to be eating more?

I've noticed with ds (3 years, 5 months) that he goes through periods where he eats next to nothing and I'm left wondering how the kid isn't starving. Then he'll hit a growth spurt and I can hardly feed him enough. I try to keep the trust that ds knows how he feels and knows how much he needs to eat. It can be hard sometimes when we have ideas about how much children need to eat, or when they should eat, and they have completely different ideas!

My ds rarely sits down to eat meals and if he does, he's up and down from the table about 10 times a minute. He almost never eats supper. He tends to eat a ton during the morning hours, then gradually tapers off during the day. Oh, and my ds won't touch meat either, (much to my hunting father's dismay.) He went through a period where he couldn't get enough kiwi, so I bought a big basket of them only to have them all go bad because he decided to be done with his kiwi kick.

Unless your ds is seriously and dangerously underweight, I would try to relax about this a little and really try to trust that he knows his body and what it needs. If he's not eating much, he probably doesn't need to eat much. Offer healthy foods, and a variety of them, then leave the rest up to him.

HTH.

ETA: Welcome to the forums!

I agree.

Is your son dangerously underweight? Is he lacking energy? Is he complaining of being hungry? Is there a medical or sensory reason he may not be eating?

If not, if he is okay with weight and has energy/good color -- it may be a sensory issue (many children, especially around this age have issues with textures/temperatures/colors of food) or it may just be he is going through a pretty common phase.

I would give him what he does eat, as much as he wants. If the other children think it is *unfair*, let them have a bit too.... it is not going to ruin anyone.... -- will he eat soy dogs (soy hot dogs). I have been a vegetarian for 11 years so I don't remember what hot dogs really taste like but if I recall, it tastes pretty close. They are somewhat *processed* and contain soy, but are much healthier than hot dogs.

As far as the sitting at the table and eating as a family, all children are different. *Most* children, unless made to, don't naturally sit at the table the whole meal by choice. That will come with time imo.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Would a snack tray be helpful? If you leave it out a while, he may be more likely to eat something. I never thought too much of the idea, but there's a thread in the nutrition forum about snack trays for kids, and I got hooked on it.
And, you wouldn't necessarily have to serve him something special for dinner, and perhaps your other kids wouldn't feel like he's getting special treatment.

Other than that...I know my ds didn't eat much at 2yo. More than your ds, but still just a few bites here and there. I agree with the pp- if he looks healthy and feels good, don't stress too much quite yet.

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#7 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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A 2 yo who eats normal meals at the family table? Is there such a thing?
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#8 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't mean to say that we force meals at the dinner table. that has always been our family tradition to all sit together at the table and the kids have always loved it. It's been a time to talk about the day, chat and hang out as the 6 of us. Up until recently it has never been an issue and the kids have never been forced to do it. We are not making him sit at the table and are allowing him to get up and down when he pleases. that doesn't help him eat though, he just doesn't eat.

The doctors have been wanting to have Ben tested for along time and he has spent a good chunk of his life in physical and speech therapy. The doctor has wondered if he is slightly autistic. i don't think he is, but that has been something the doctor has wondered. This no eating thing has affected him some. He is getting incredibly skinny. His ribs and shoulder blades and such stick our very noticeably. He craves sleep. He is tired quite a bit. He can take a 4 hr afternoon nap. I'm not saying that is bad but when it is all put together i wonder if it is really normal and healthy.

I will try a snack tray and will look in to the soy hotdogs! That would make me feel a bit better about serving hotdogs!
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#9 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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Two year olds are not designed to eat a lot.

Is he still nursing?

At that age dd would have little bites (*little*) of things through the day. It is STILL unusual for her to eat a "normal" meal-sized meal.

-Angela
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#10 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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If you want some snack tray ideas, here's the huge thread http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=257621
Lots of ideas I wouldn't have thought of.

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#11 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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Well here's a couple of suggestions - you can take them or leave them....

My DD is a sensory girl (meaning she has sensory integration disorder) and one of the things her OT mentioned to me is that sensory issues are important in eating too...for her, since she is a sensory seeker, that means foods that are chewy (they suggested jerkey which she loves) or crunchy/crispy...so I've tried to find as many of those foods as possible. Maybe figure out which textures your son loves? (Creamy? Lumpy? Crispy?)

Also, there is a great cookbook called "the sneaky chef" which we bought which tells you how to hide lots of "good" food in the traditional toddler fare (spaghetti, chicken nuggets, etc)....I've tried several of the options in there and they are pretty good - now if only my DD would eat them! LOL

Anyway, hth - I know it's so hard. It's the only area where I have a really hard time just saying "well she'll self-regulate" - she is also a skinny minny!

good luck!
peace,
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#12 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well here's a couple of suggestions - you can take them or leave them....

My DD is a sensory girl (meaning she has sensory integration disorder) and one of the things her OT mentioned to me is that sensory issues are important in eating too...for her, since she is a sensory seeker, that means foods that are chewy (they suggested jerkey which she loves) or crunchy/crispy...so I've tried to find as many of those foods as possible. Maybe figure out which textures your son loves? (Creamy? Lumpy? Crispy?)

Also, there is a great cookbook called "the sneaky chef" which we bought which tells you how to hide lots of "good" food in the traditional toddler fare (spaghetti, chicken nuggets, etc)....I've tried several of the options in there and they are pretty good - now if only my DD would eat them! LOL

Anyway, hth - I know it's so hard. It's the only area where I have a really hard time just saying "well she'll self-regulate" - she is also a skinny minny!

good luck!
peace,
robyn
Sensory eating. I've honestly never thought about that but i wonder. there are certain things he will almost always eat if offered. i am going to start watching the things that he eats and seeing what they might have in common sensory wise. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking about that, and even dumber that sitting here I can't think of all of the things right off the top of my head.
I will also look for that cookbook! thanks!
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#13 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 04:30 PM
 
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Is he still nursing?
This is a fair question when you're talking about an underweight child, I think.

My dd was not on the scale initially, and has never been over the 10th percentile on weight. We bottle nursed due to her adoption, and continued giving her whole milk in the bottle at naps and bedtime to this very day. She gets about 20 ounces of whole milk per day, that I know she would never approach getting if she were offered that in a cup or sippy.

We like her to sit for a brief time with us at the table and share our meal, but are understanding that she's a young child and can only sit still for short periods. Often we give her a particular side dish that only she likes, if we know she may not like the rest of the meal so much.

We also let her snack in a pretty unlimited fashion, aside from the fact that we don't buy foods with dyes and preservatives. So if she wants ice cream at 10 in the morning, that's fine. But she gets natural ice cream which has as it's ingredients: cream, sugar, and cocoa.

The other day she ate five hard boiled eggs in a row, because she felt like it. That's all fine by me.

I strongly believe that she would be extremely undernourished if we weren't so attentive and flexible with her eating, because she is tiny and a very light and picky eater. But as it is, we've kept her at about the 25th percentile in height and 10th in weight consistently, and I'm happy with that.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry I forgot to answer the nursing question. He isn't nursing anymore sadly. The doctors convinced me to quit nursing him because of his weight issues and not gaining weight. Stupidly back then i agreed and did as they asked, because they made it seem so detrimental to his health.
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#15 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've gone to the snack thread and copied down the list and have printed it for shopping trips. i'm definately going to be trying that. my only question is how do you handle the snack tray and meal times? do you still try and get him to eat meals as well? thanks in advance!
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#16 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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How long ago did you stop nursing? Would you consider re-lactating? That is what is missing from his diet.



-Angela
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#17 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How long ago did you stop nursing? Would you consider re-lactating? That is what is missing from his diet.



-Angela
he stopped nursing when he was about 8 months old and he is now 27 months old. i'm already lactating as I'm currently nursing my 7 month old. I have no clue how I'd get my 2 yr old to start nursing again though. And I'm not a pumper. I've never been able to get a darn thing with a pump, and don't even own one because of that reason. open to ideas though!
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#18 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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I would definitely recommend looking into sensory stuff. And before writing off an outside consultation, I would ask what kind of assessment they are thinking of doing. Most eating/feeding therapy that I know of is done either by Occupational Therapist or more rarely, Speech Language Pathologists. They are not licensed to prescribe meds, and they are generally good at working with kids.

Definitely look into the sensory aspects - not eating AT ALL is one of the hallmarks of a sensory disorder. Two books I would recommend:
Sensational Kids
The Out of Sync Child

You might also look into the book:
Just Take a Bite -it's about dealing with kids with eating challenges and food aversions. If your child has food aversions and is not gaining properly, then you might need to do more than just snack trays and feed him a lot.

You can explain to your older kids that your 2 year old is having some trouble growing, and while you figure out what's going on, his meals are going to look different. Most kids can handle that without too much whining.

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#19 of 20 Old 09-14-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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he stopped nursing when he was about 8 months old and he is now 27 months old. i'm already lactating as I'm currently nursing my 7 month old. I have no clue how I'd get my 2 yr old to start nursing again though. And I'm not a pumper. I've never been able to get a darn thing with a pump, and don't even own one because of that reason. open to ideas though!
pumping is sort of an acquired skill by your body, I think. The first time around I didn't need to pump, so I tried it, and I thought I really suck at pumping! The second time it became part of my routine because I needed to do it.

If you ARE at all interested in pumping you would be able to, it may take your body a little time to adjust to the pump suckle, vs baby suckle
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#20 of 20 Old 09-15-2007, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was able to pump alot with my first, 16-20oz every 2 hrs. She was a preemie and my supply was set with a huge hospital grade pump. It worked great. Ever since though with all 3 of the next kids I haven't been able to pump even an oz. So I'm not sure what i'm doing wrong there or what to do different. i would be willing to try pumping again, but hate to spend the incredible amount of money on a pump, to simply have it not work again.
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