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Discussion Starter #1
hello,<br><br>
my daughter is two and a half and i swear she has an eating disorder already.<br>
she absolutly refuses too eat and now all meal times are a war.She hates eating for me or daddy,what little she does put in her mouth she holds in her cheeks for hours,no joking here she does.<br>
but yet when we go out too say a friends place,she gobbles down twice as much food as me with no fuss,or fighting or crying ect,,let me give you an example,for two weeks now my daughter screams and cries and says"done eat nite nite now"after she's taken two bites she won't eat anymore then i get mad and force her too eat but she won't i've taken toys away from her,i've sent her too her room for time outs,i've tried everything too get her too eat but it's a huge war,then today a friend of mine takes us out for lunch(in a restraunt)and my lil girl finished a huge bowl of soup,then eat most of my fries then wanted more crackers after that.there was no screaming and crying,no fuss,no refusing nothing.now what's up with that?she eats very well for others and when others are around but when it comes too meal times with me or my husband the war is on?Help please anybody got and suggestions?
 

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You can't "win" this one. She ultimately has control over what she eats.<br><br>
I would suggest you stop fighting her. I would think that when you are eating with friends, you don't push her like you do at home because others are around and you don't get as frustrated. She sill not starve herself! Just offer healthy foods for meals and snack and put her in control over how much she eats. She doesn't need as much food as you might think, and, once she adjusts to not having the strife at mealtime she will eat on her own.<br><br>
Trust her to eat when she needs to. There have been studies done that show that toddlers, when offered healthy choices and given freedom to eat what and how much they wanted, ate a very balanced diet over the course of the week.
 

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I agree w/ sagewinna whole heartedly. I would limit afternoon snacks to fruit and maybe a slice of cheese. Maybe, if she won't eat dinner, could you reheat it and serve ot for breakfast or lunch, so she gets the food you want? Also, if she's saying "nite nite now." maybe she's too tired to eat/cooperate?<br>
Really, I would just lighten up. It's no fun battling everyday about it. I have 3 boys. One is very underweight, but he ultimately decides. I just offer nutritious high fat foods for him when he does want to eat. If I make eating an unpleasant and a power struggle I'll never win. Ya know that ugly saying "Kill 'em w/ kindness?" Try it. if she says no, say okay. After a few days she may just eat.<br>
GOOD LUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hello,<br><br>
ok i understand what you both are telling me and belive me both my husband and i have been kind with her and lightened up and not pushed her,but what do you do when it goes from skipping one meal too eating only one meal a week?i'm very serious here.<br>
if my daughter could have it her way she'd never eat and i mean never.i don't want too have a battle with her and no she's not tired when she's saying "nite nite"cause the second i "lighten up and let her go"she's running around the house laughing and playing with the kittens,dog,toys and she goes and goes and goes until it's her bedtime which is 9pm i try and give her supper at 5pm.i've also tried at 4pm and 6pm.<br>
i'll gladly take more tips from anybody and will listen especially if one of you happen too be a pediatricain.
 

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has she always been this way? coul she have some kind of reflux, etc? I'm grasping at straws here....<br><br>
Does she still nurse?
 

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Does she really eat <i>nothing</i>? or does it just seem like that?<br><br>
Do you ask her what she would like to eat?<br><br>
Do you let her eat on her time table, or do you "make" her sit up to table when you decide it's time to eat?<br><br>
We let our kids eat when and what (ever is on the table) they want to.<br><br>
Sometimes they don't eat, or eat very much. They are alowed to trot back and finish off later etc.<br><br>
There are some threads on non-coersive parenting at the moment. Why don't you post in Gentle discipline or Parenting? More helpful suggestions are bound to come in.<br><br>
Hope this helps<br><br>
a
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you for your suggestions,<br><br>
my daughter has been not wanting bottles,food ect basically since she was born but she did eat a bit at a time and the doctors told me not too worry since she was drinking,but since the past 6 months i'd say she's really not wanting too eat and fights not too eat and she's getting worse.<br>
no i don't breast feed her and haven't since she was a week old.<br><br>
now in reguards too does she really not eat.if i let her have it her way 100% then yes she would not eat at all not even a nibble.<br>
i get her too eat at least a few bites.<br>
Do i let her pick what she wants too eat?always i always ask her what she wants too eat and she tells me then she takes a bite or two and says"done now"i leave it out for her too come back too.will she come back?no she doesn't i can leave it out all day and she won't come back for it unless i make her.<br>
i ask her like every hour if she is hungry?does she want something too eat?her response too me"no thanks,no eat,done eat."too give a better example of what she eats i say in a week she's had a bowl of ceral,a carrot stick,half piece of toast,bannana,and three chicken fingers and like 6 hashbrowns.<br>
now that's in a weeks time not a day's feeding.can a two year old survive heathly on that alone in one week.also remember inorder too get her too eat that much i had too make her.Would she eat it on her own in her own time and pace,no she would not.
 

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Tough one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
And my sympathies are with you.<br><br>
With the greatest respect, it seems you have turned meal time into something that your dd finds trawmatic instead of fun. Force now is clearly counter-productive.<br><br>
While some might say "It is no use clenching you buttocks after you have farted" (Japanese proverb) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> you can possibly re-wind the clock with a dramatic new approach.<br><br>
Meal-times are meant to be F*U*N, not for eating at at all. If you came and saw what went on in my house you would think that you had walked into a looney bin, but it is child heaven!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I suggest you try things like:<br><br>
1) a doll's tea party, with her teddies and dolls sitting around. She can help feed them the ham sandwiches, strawberry milk shakes, banana cakes with icing sugar sprinkled on the top etc.<br><br>
Resist the temptation to tell her how to eat if she starts "eg don't just lick the iceing!" etc. Put her in charge as much as possible.<br><br>
2) Play choo choo with her food on a fork. "Little train is going in . . . . your ear!" / nose / tummy / eye / bottom! what-ever, it makes kids laugh, and usually they say "NO, In my mouf!"<br><br>
3) Find stuff that she really likes. Jelly etc that is not junk. Put her in charge of feeding herself this.<br><br>
DON'T say to her, "you can have the jelly when you're done with the chicken!"<br><br>
That is not putting her in control.<br><br>
Hope this helps<br><br>
a<br><br>
PS Our dd lived on practically air at that age. some kids do.<br><br>
PPS How's her weight / height?<br><br>
a
 

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If she's eating for others, and not for you, then it sounds like a power struggle with you and her father.<br>
I'm not a pediatrician, but I say just let it go. What does your pediatrician say? Is she underweight? Can she survive? It sounds like she is surviving. Is she lethargic? Is her growth stunted?<br><br>
My trusty daycare provider with 5 of her own grown kids and 30 years daycare experience tells me that her policy is to put the food in front of the child and then not say a word about whether the child eats or not.<br>
My son is very lean and small boned, and doesn't like to eat much for me at all. We've never made food an issue at this early age, because it can become a very serious issue when kids get older (obesity, anorexia, bulimia). I started giving him a multi vitamin with iron because he rarely eats meat.<br><br>
He does eat well for other people, so I comfort myself with the thought that he gets 3 or 4 square meals a week at daycare. You could have your child go to daycare or eat with a friend 3 or 4 days a week just so you know she is eating a few good meals. Who cares who she eats with, as long as she eats occasionally.<br><br>
Have some snacks available that she can easily get into when she wants- such as dry cereal. Put it in some kind of easy to open container that is easy for her to reach and then don't say anything else about it. Give her healthy but small snacks when she asks for them. Give her a multi vitamin if you are worried about her overall nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
just wanted too say thank you and i will try the suggestions.i will give them all a try and let my daughter "be in charge"and see how it goes.I'll give it a week then i'll post a message again and let you all know how she is doing.<br>
my daughter's height and weight are good but that's cause the mean mommy ogar makes her eat at least two bites each meal.<br>
but i will loose up and do what you all suggested then i'll get back and post a message next week
 

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I have to slip one more post in here. I can sence your frustration. If I may.....<br>
Food should be a NONissue. It is a fact that no young child will literally starve him/herself. It's your job to make sure you're providing healthy, balanced choices at meal times. Whether she eats should be completely up to her. You should say nothing about it----you'll want to(likely because you heard your parents making a big deal about it while you were growing up), but don't.<br>
Turning food into a power struggle or attaching emotions to food is a very bad idea.<br>
I promise, your daughter will be just fine and much better off in the long run if all of this is dropped.
 

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Bojana,<br>
Good luck. I know it's frustrating and scary. I'm looking forward to your checking back in a week. My son's the same age, and also was a "social eater". He only liked to eat around other people. We were never the type to push the food issue and he finally got over it. I'd suggest you just leave plenty of food within reach, even in places where she won't expect to find it, and don't say a word about it. She might be surprised by the discovery and just have to try it. (How'd those strawberries get on that shelf? Who put that organic cereal bar in my toy crate? Soy chips on the step stool?)
 

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sounds like you've got some great advice bojana, good luck with this<br><br>
i love the idea of hiding exciting snacks around<br>
maybe once she senses the pressures is off you could make it really fun - when my babe's sleeping i put stuffed toys in her bookshelf all reading books, maybe you could set them up with food<br>
also, if she eats with other people and you really are worried about her health, why not get other people to take her out for a picnic? or to a healthy restaurant?<br>
i have also heard that some toddlers eat barely a thing for awhile, and they're f i n e, if she's that energetic she is probably doing great and would love not to struggle and have the suggestions made about food<br><br>
sometimes when i'm having trouble coping with my toddler's developments, i read tcs theory, which alexander makes reference to, and i take some rescue remedy and go give myself a break as soon as possible (maybe while your daughter is out for lunch with a friend)
 

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Just wanted to suggest a book, Feeding Your Child with Love and Good Sense, which I think is by Ellen Satter. She's a nutritionist and she talks a lot about food issues, particulary battles like you're describing. The book has some suggestions for how exactly to "back off" and give your child more, but not total, control. Good luck!
 

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I completely agree with EMom about that, and highly recommend the book! I can see that you are a loving, concerned mom, but you've got to give up the battle. You can't control how much a child eats, and the damage you can be doing by forcing her to eat...well, would she really starve to death without those two bites? The key is to stop worrying, because as others said, no child will starve herself. She will eat if she is hungry, and if she seems to have days where she eats almost nothing, she may be trying to assert her independence as retaliation for the pressure. You are only responsible for what foods you offer your dd. She is responsible for how much, and even whether or not, she eats. Don't make her feel she has to eat to please others.<br><br>
Try changing your definition of "a good eater" from someone who cleans her plate, or someone who eats three balanced meals a day, to someone who eats when she's hungry, stops when she's full, and chooses fairly healthy foods.
 

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Here's a question that I haven't seen addressed. Does she drink a lot of juice? If she is, that could be filling her up and she just doesn't have room in her belly to eat anything. Milk too....<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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My best trick to get my dd to eat is to sit on the living room floor while she is playing and eat someting myself, all the while telling dh how good it is and ignoring dd. DD will practically catapult herself into my lap to get a taste and will eat much more than seated in her highchair. I usually use this to get her to try new foods and feed her the old favorites when she is in her highchair. If she has been ill and not eating well (we all just did the stomach flu thing), I can usually coax some whole milk yogurt into her this way and feel reassured that she has at least gotten some fat and protien.
 

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If you haven't already read this book, you might find something helpful...<br>
"Feeding the Picky Eater" by Dr. Sears<br>
It's a newer (2001) little paperback.<br>
"The Family Nutrition Book" also by Dr. Sears could be helpful, too.
 

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I agree with what others have said about making food a non-issue. If this were my child, I wouldn't let her have sweets or junk food until this problem is way in the past, and the only thing I would let my child have outside of a planned, healthy snack or meal is water. Other than that, I would let go of the issue<br><br>
Unless there is something medically wrong with your DD, she will not starve herself to death. Really. It is your job to serve your child a variety of healthy foods; it is your child's job to eat.<br><br>
One idea from Sears is to use a muffin pan and put a different kid friendly food in each section, such as sliced cheese, baby carrots, chopped fruit, boiled egg, ect. and then leave it where you child can help herself. This never really worked for us because of our dog, but it might work for you.<br><br>
It is totally normal for kids this age to skip meals. The rule at our house is that you have to come to the table for meals and you have to have a little of everything on your plate, but you don't have to eat anything.
 

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After a long and demanding day with our 13 month old dd, the simple things in life are often the most needed (ie. a nice warm meal). It seems that whenever we either sit at the table to eat, or sit on our laps to eat, or put dd in her high chair next to us and give her what we are eating, she instantly plays up.<br><br>
She actually wants to be right on our lap (well my lap actually) holding my fork and flicking my food out of the plate. Other nights she just wants to be held. Other nights she will just whinge while we are eating etc. I am getting really tired of wolfing down my meal and getting indigestion each night!<br><br>
I have tried giving her a fork and her own bowl to play with, tried getting on the floor and giving her toys to be interested in, the high chair contains her for like a minute. What are some ideas that have enabled you to eat a meal in piece or is this another of those pre-parenthood pipe dreams? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 
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