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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't even know where to start. I wanted to post in this forum so many times but I could never find teh right way how to express my problem.
So I am just going to do it this time because I really need some input on this one.

Meal times - whether it's breakfast, or lunch or dinner - it's just impossible to make my son eat. And for some reason it makes me REALLY mad that he won't eat. I have been trying to wean him for very long time and I have not been very successful, actually, at all. I think he knows it - I don't think - I KNOW he knows it and that might be the reason he is boycotting (sp??) food. Because he knows if he does not eat there's always the boob. I don't wanna talk here about why I am trying to wean him because that's another topic. Let's just say he is 26 months old and I am NOT taking nursing that well any more, mentally, and it's doing more harm then good at this point.

I don't really know how exactly to describe the problem we are having so I'll just give you an example from todays dinner.

I don't even try to make dinner for him anymore, because he won't even take one bite and I am so sick of making different food for him just so he can eat something. So tonight I was making him a sandwich for dinner when he came into the kitchen and opened the fridge and pulled out yogurt. He is VERY picky eater and I know he will NOT finnish his yogurt if I open it for him. BUT he insisted on having it so I told him that if I open it he MUST finnish or he will be in trouble and mommy is going to be really mad. So he sat down at the table, take one bite and leaves the table. So I got really mad and put him back to the table and told him he was not gonna leave the table until he finnished eating the yogurt. And of course he starts to scream. I was raising my voice and was not very pleasent to be around at that moment. (I wonder if I have experienced something similar with my won parents, because meal time has ALWAYS been an issue with my son
: )
So he screamed and screamed and I sat there and told him he was not going anywhere until he ate it. Few minutes later I finally got him off the table and told him he was not gonna get any other food, or boobie until he eats his yogurt.
So we go on with out nighttime activities and time to time he ask to nurse so I nicely remind him what I already told him. Then he falls asleep without nursing ( to my big surprise).

And EVERY meal time is like this. He barely eats anything. If I was not nursing I really would not care (well, I would of course, but IKWIM) but since I am still nursing it makes me really crazy, because I know he will wake up at least 4 times at night and will wanna nurse. And I am SO TIRED to it! I just wanna get some sleep.

It's really hard for me to be patient with him and trying to explain things to him because he does not talk back to me and feels like he does not even hear me.

I really don't know what to do. What do you do about picky eaters? How do you do mealtime without threating that if they don't eat their food there will be no desert etc.? I don't wanna be that negative all the time.
I grew up being abused all the time and I really don't know otherwise. I don't abuse him, but I don't know any nice way either.
I am learing so much on this forum and sometimes I can't believe how "simple" your suggestions sound and why I could not come up with such ideas myself. I was NEVER given choice as a kid. I was dominated by my father. I am trying but I am going to need some more help, some more input from you here.

Thank you!!!
 

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I try to be very careful about what I say to dd about food & eating. I have a couple of good friends with food/weight issues and they stem from their parents holding food over their heads as either a punishment or reward. Eating should be neither punishment or reward IMO. If our dd only wants a few bites of something, no big deal. She'll eat when she's hungry enough. And we *never* say, "if you don't eat your dinner you can't have any dessert." Matter of fact, the word dessert is never used in our house. If she wants a snack later, fine.

Maybe your ds's need to nurse so much is a reaction to your struggles at mealtimes; not really so much a need for something in his tummy but a need for emotional closeness.

Can you try to just relax about the mealtimes? Can you say to yourself, oh well, when he's hungry, he'll actually eat something? I know there's the wasted food issue too but to me, a little wasted food is worth my dd's healthy mental attitude toward food kwim?

Good luck!
 

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My 1st DD was a non-stop nurser. Never a nursing strike and always interested. It seemed like nursing was the one thing she ALWAYS wanted to do, even when she was 2.

I started nightweaning at 18 months. That helped my sanity, and it really helped DD sleep better. (She still slept with us-- she still does and she's almost 4.)

Then, I started nursing her only at home when she was about 2. Then, I nursed her only in a certain chair. When I was TTC, I stopped nursing her completely once I found it was preventing me from conceiving. Weaning wasn't just for TTC, but because nursing became a source of resentment. Like you, it just was doing more harm than good . . .she'd feel the resentment and want to nurse more, I think, which ended up being a bad cycle for me.

Anyway, now she is almost 4. Mealtimes are not battletimes, though she has weeks where she barely eats. But, I know she will eat when she's hungry. I never insist she finish anything, because I don't want to set her up for an eating disorder. (For yogurt, scoop it into a different dish and that way it won't get icky.) I give DD a variety of food and let her eat whenever she wants, unless it's really close to dinner (but she's older than your DS-- he wouldn't be able to wait much).

The easiest way for this to not be an issue is to not make it one. Serve him a variety of food (inc. always things he likes), let him eat when he's hungry, and don't use dessert as a reward. Don't label food as good OR bad. My DD is older, but I encourage her to eat many different colors (OK, I know M and Ms are multi colored!) so that her body gets what it needs. That helps a lot, but again, she's older.

I was a picky eater as a child, and now I like many types of food. You are doing no damage to let him eats as he pleases (maybe just keep sweets to a minimum within the house) but you CAN do damage by turning this into a battle. I think if you combine this with gentle weaning, maybe it will get easier. Maybe you won't even need to wean if the food issue isn't an issue anymore.

ETA: When I weaned DD, it wasn't like her need for constant attention went away. She still always needs me, though she is slowly managing to be on her own more. So, even if you wean DS, he will need you just as often, but you won't be nursing him.
 

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Ok let me start by telling you to take a DEEP BREATH!
You have so much anxiety over his eating and he sees that and it makes it WORSE! You cannot help it while it is so important to you. He will pick up on the stress. He will respond in the only way he knows how.

First of all, you cannot make him eat. Period. Just like you cannot make him sleep. If you recognize that it is impossible to do,(really really drum this into your head) then you can stop trying, and stop stressing. If he is so picky and you make him something special and he still doenst eat. That causes you stress because you put special effort into "making him eat" and now he proves once again that you cant. The more you try the more he has to prove to you that you cannot. You make it an issue, he makes it an issue right back.
Ok so dont make him anything special. SIt down to breakfast/lunch/dinner, you or with yoru spouse. And offer your dc a little of what you are eating and maybe one thing (easy) he usually likes.
Give him tiny tiny tiny amounts. (less stress for both of you) and dont look.
Dont tell him/bribe him/coerce him or even suggest he take a bite or eat a "little more" or "just one more piece"
Seriously, offer and dont look.
If he wants yogurt and he will only eat one bite. Put some in a tiny bowl for him and put the container back in the fridge for later.

Your job is to offer him a variety of nutritious foods. His job is to eat it.
This job does not change whether or not you are nursing.

Nursing is another issue. It is causing you so much stress to continue nursing. I respect that. I really had a hard time nursing my ds1 after he was 2 for many reasons and was very glad when he weaned at 2 1/2.
Try as much as you can to not make the nursing/eating the same issue.
If you need to night wean him for your sanity. THen night wean him. My toddlers often wake 4x to nurse at night and they are good eaters. The nightwaking may be due to true hunger, due to the stress, or any of a million of reasons.
If he wakes offer him a drink of water or even whole milk or a snack of apple slices if you think he is waking due to hunger.
You dont have to wait till he is eating tons of food to do what you have to do with your nursing relationship.
His nutritional needs at this age are also smaller than a year ago because he is growing much more slowly. SO a few bites really do go a LONG way.

If the nursing is the real issue then deal with it on its own. If you continue making his eating an issue, it will be that much longer until he no longer feels stressed and pressured by food. If you let it go and make what he eats a non-issue. I would bet he will start eating more sooner rather than later. Because it is HIS choice and not a reaction to your attempts to control.

Good luck mama! You can get through this.
Joline
 

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I agree with the PPs. Eating is one of the things your ds can control. Trying to "make" him eat will only backfire. I'd highly recommend _How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much_ by Ellyn Satter. I wasn't thrilled with her bfing info, as I recall, but since you want to wean anyway, that probably won't matter in this case.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/091...books&v=glance
 

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I agree with the pp's especially about "How to get your kids to eat, but not too much" by Elly Satter.

I would though first work out a plan your are comfortable with about weaning as her advice might not be to your liking on this.

But her stuff about feeding older kids is just brillant (and not paying attention to whether or not your child chooses to eat is a BIG part of it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for your help and advice! I will get the book. it looks really interesting.
This morning I tried making breakfast fun and Sebastian helped me make it and then I just put it on the table and did not say or do anything and he ate quite a bit (but it was his favorite thing to eat though). At lunch time the same and to my surprise he did eat by himself and a lot of it.

What really opened my eyes for this sentence:
Your responsibility is to provide the food and his responsibility is to eat it.
I really like it and it brought me a big relief that I don't have to make him eat.
In past I have done it with other things and people. I took that from my mother who takes the responsibility for the WHOLE BIG world and then she is really frustrated because she does not wanna do it. Then I read some really great books and it said that we are all responsible for ourselves - I know it sounds too simple not to know, but once I saw it black on white I dropped that responsibility and that second EVERYONE around me was happier including myself.

Sometimes it takes one little sentence to open our eyes....

Thanks again everyone!
 

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I can totally relate. I regularly have to repeat to myself that it's my responsibility to present healthy foods and hers to decide what, how much and even if to eat. DD is almost 2 and still would nurse around the clock if I let her. I did nightwean her about 2 months ago (after a couple of failed attempts earlier). That and the fact DH puts her to bed now have been total sanity savers for me (no morel lying in the dark for 1-2 hours while she chewed my nipple). Back to food though, it is soooooooooo frustrating to make something they ask for and have it ignored. DD was enjoying smoothies for a while and still asks for them daily but it turns out she just loves to watch the berries go bye bye in the blender! ARGH! Most days I cope ok, but it's hard especially when all my buddies iIRL have supereaters.

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one! Best to you, and I hope it gets better for both of us! *deeeeeeep breath!*


Erin
 

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My son was a picky eater until about age 4 and then he started doing so much and growing so rapidly --- and suddenly I can't keep enough food in him. At 5 and half he eats more than I do!

Its really best to just back off. Provide very small servings for him -- don't give him a whole yogurt. Pour 2 tablespoons into a bowl and wrap the rest up for later. It also helps to give him things he can eat on the run. Things he can hold and run around with. Yogurt frozen into popsicles. Baby size muffins. Little bits and peices of grilled chicken. Things that you can store in containers, and give him very small portions of. And things he can eat without sitting down.

Go ahead with weaning, but don't expect big changes in his appetite for food until after you are done. One helpful step I took at that age was to limit nursing to a certain time of day. "We will nurse at naptime sweety. You can wait until then. Want a muffin instead?"

And relax. He's not doing this to get at you!
 

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My first ds didn't really start eating solids in much quantity until he was two, so I feel your pain! You've gotten great advice here. It can be hard to let go of the anxiety and the power struggle, but it will change your life, and your son's. You can do it!

I also wanted to recommend a little change to the sentence you bolded, which I think is more in keeping with Satter's book. Yes, your responsibility is to provide nutritious food choices at frequent intervals. His responsibility, though, is to choose what to eat AND what not to eat - he may choose not to eat anything, and that's still his choice.

I also wanted to recommend cooking together. My ds really enjoys eating food that he's helped prepare. Banana bread and smoothies are favorite around here.

Good luck,

Becca
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by beccaboo
I also wanted to recommend a little change to the sentence you bolded, which I think is more in keeping with Satter's book. Yes, your responsibility is to provide nutritious food choices at frequent intervals. His responsibility, though, is to choose what to eat AND what not to eat - he may choose not to eat anything, and that's still his choice.

Becca

Exactly, Satter says it's children who must decide which of the foods you give them they eat, whether they eat it at all, and how much of it they choose to eat.
 

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If he doesn't eat, oh well, Stick it in the fridge till he's ready to eat it. I wouldn't make him anything different. I dont make my DD anything different for her meals unless I KNOW it's something she will not touch at all.

I'm not a short order cook. We do NOT have the money for extra food just to toss away. or just make and make and make and make till we finally figure out what our DD wants to eat.

Nope. She gets what we cook. and if she doesn't want it then, in the fridge it goes, till she is hungry enough to eat it.

Authoritarian, yes, not GD, I guess. But we DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY.

I'm defensive. I'm PMSing...so any "But that's so cruel" responses will be met with sarcasm and passive aggressive remarks.
 

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Mom of picky eater here. He's nearly 5 now and it took us a looong time to get where we are so hang in there.

When he was your dc's age our only requirement was that he sit at the table with us at mealtimes. He could choose to eat or not to eat what was on his plate but he had to sit with us. I wasn't as concerned about intake because he was still nursing and I wasn't quite to the i-can't-stand-it-stage yet.
We night weaned him at about 2 1/2.

After we weaned him (on 3rd bday) intake became more of an issue. After firmly establishing myself his short order cook I decided one day that this would stop. He literally went two days without eating a drop...and didn't seem to mind a bit. < sigh >

So now we have gotten into a routine. We agreed on a kind of a list of healthy choices. He gets broccoli for every darn meal because its the one veggie he'll eat consistently. He gets whatever starch we are eating, but plain. And if he's game, he'll get mini carrots or cucumbers...the other two foods he'll eat. He can have fruit or yogurt for dessert....or ice cream. We are all major ice cream addicts
....but only if he eats his broccoli, which he will always do for ice cream. About once every three months he'll say, "Mom I love chicken!" eat a few bites and that is that with the chicken.

I always make him a plate and he is always required to sit with us. We always offer tastes of other things. Occassionally, very very occassionally, he'll try a bite...or at least smell something.
It's the little things.

If he doesn't start out eating, he will typically get there if we just leave him be and don't talk about it. We distract him by talking about his day and such.

I think its extra important with picky eaters not to make food a huge issue. It just seems logical that if they already have issues with taste and textures of food that all kinds of other issues could easily develop. So we've attempted not to make food the issue and instead develop the expectation around being a part of family dinner time. The rule is that he sit at the table with us while we eat. His eating is not in the equation but ends up being a positive result of sitting there more times than not.

Another piece that has helped us is that ds has always been in day care (with the exception a year when dh was a sahd). He would try many more new things when in the company of his peers than he'd ever consider at home.

Hang in there. I know its hard!!!
 

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My pediatrician used to tell me (with my first), she's not gonna starve.....dont worry about how much she's eating or not eating...just offer nutritious choices....and honestly, I have not had any problem with any of my kids....because I have never let that be a source of stress for me. They eat what I make for dinner or I have an alternate choice for them (like cereal, pb and j, something simple but nutritious)
If you ds only takes a few bites of yogurt, that's ok.....that's all he needs for now.....maybe later, he'll want more.....but i know for me if i engage in a "power struggle" with my kids over anything, everyone loses...

It's gonna be ok......you're doing an awesome job!!!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pandora114
..so any "But that's so cruel" responses will be met with sarcasm and passive aggressive remarks.
I don't think it's cruel at all. In fact, I think it's THE NORM in most cultures. It's only that we have so much exce$$ in the U$ that we think differently!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Yin Yang
Meal times - whether it's breakfast, or lunch or dinner - it's just impossible to make my son eat. And for some reason it makes me REALLY mad that he won't eat. I have been trying to wean him for very long time and I have not been very successful, actually, at all. I think he knows it - I don't think - I KNOW he knows it and that might be the reason he is boycotting (sp??) food. Because he knows if he does not eat there's always the boob. I don't wanna talk here about why I am trying to wean him because that's another topic. Let's just say he is 26 months old and I am NOT taking nursing that well any more, mentally, and it's doing more harm then good at this point.
I haven't read all the posts but am passionate about not forcing food. We 'unschool' food. By that I mean that we don't enforce eating habits; we are life learners about *listening* to how our bodies feel when we make different food choices. I have learned most about how to eat healthfully as an adult despite being forced as a child to 'eat one spoonful of each item at every meal', 'no dessert before eating a meal', 'only one sweet', 'sit at the table until you clean your plate' etc. I had significant self-image issues related to weight and with controlling my caloric intake because that was one of the only ways I could have personal body control.

Because of my personal body space integrity issues, I also had difficulty with extended and frequent on-demand nursing when our son was 18-24 months old also. So, I really empathize with the frustrations that you are having. Additionally, our son is highly sensitive and has some sensory behaviors which effect his comfort with different food textures. I don't know if this is an issue for your son or not from your post. I have learned of quite a few young children who won't and can't tolerate textured foods to varying degrees. Some can only tolerate liquid nutrition even well beyond your son's age. It is a significant nutritional dilemma.

Our son has had food intolerances (dairy, wheat, soy, corn, etc.) since he was about 8 weeks old so food has always been something we have discussed. However, our son has free access to all of these foods and chooses to rarely consume them *because* he doesn't feel healthy when he does. We also avoid corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors and at four he is quite knowledgable and articulate about these ingredients in food.

We have no "rules" around food at all. If he wants a popsicle for breakfast, he eats it. Or spaghetti, or pizza. Or cereal for dinner. We are grazers all day long, whatever suits our taste and hungar. I do offer standard 'breakfast' type foods but also have many alternatives in our cupbords in an open door access policy. And I willingly help to meet any dependent needs for any special meals or preferences to the best of my ability. Sometimes, we just are out of whatever and write it on the grocery list for next time. We do eat very healthy alternatives. We have no corn syrup products in the house, and few artificial colors/flavors/preservatives. We buy limited trans fats, and eat organic and whole foods as the norm. I offer and prepare lunch and dinner and he does or doesn't eat at that time. I provide a healthy buffet of alternatives and he picks what suits him. So, I find that by providing an unlimited but healthy variety of foods, our son self-selects and self-regulates his dietary intake.

We also do have plenty of sweets, unlimited access. Most without wheat or dairy and I bake some too. It has taken a significant amount of effort to find foods that meet his dietary limitations and are pleasurable. We keep working to find new alternatives to add to the variety of his choices. We do discuss his and my observations when he eats several sweets and isn't hungry and he keeps getting hungry; and then he is usually ready to eat something with protein, often asking for it. But he is just as apt to eat only half a popsicle or refuse cookies as eat them. WITH NO STRUGGLES!

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And EVERY meal time is like this. He barely eats anything. If I was not nursing I really would not care (well, I would of course, but IKWIM) but since I am still nursing it makes me really crazy, because I know he will wake up at least 4 times at night and will wanna nurse. And I am SO TIRED to it! I just wanna get some sleep.
I found that our son's frequent waking was related to his wheat intolerance. He too would nurse every 60-90 minutes at night even at 18 months. The 'No Cry Sleep Solution' also helped me to wean him from falling asleep with a nipple in his mouth and needing that prop to resettle at night. The more wheat he ate the more frequent his night waking too. I have heard dairy can do this too. Our son is more aggressive when he consumes dairy. It is most noticable about one hour after consumption and lasts for 1-6 hours depending on quantity consummed. He likes to test this reaction about every few months to see if it still occurs.

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It's really hard for me to be patient with him and trying to explain things to him because he does not talk back to me and feels like he does not even hear me.
I am not clear if you have concerns for your son's ability to hear in other instances or does he 'tune you out' about food?

Quote:
I really don't know what to do. What do you do about picky eaters? How do you do mealtime without threating that if they don't eat their food there will be no desert etc.? I don't wanna be that negative all the time.
I grew up being abused all the time and I really don't know otherwise. I don't abuse him, but I don't know any nice way either.
We don't use any threats in our family whatsoever, certainly not about things that don't impact others negatively. I can see how this is impacting you because of the frequent nursing. But, I would imagine if your son had free access to healthy foods, he would consume a variety over the course of a week but that food has become a power struggle, it sounds like. And I don't know many adults with the degree of myopic perseverence of any 2 year old! lol The ole adage 'if you make it an issue, it becomes an issue'. A favorite book of mine is 'Kids, Parents and Power Struggles' or 'Raising Your Spirited Child'. They helped me to see my part in the stuggle and how I could make it lessened and still find mutually agreeable solutions.

Quote:
I was NEVER given choice as a kid. I was dominated by my father. I am trying but I am going to need some more help, some more input from you here.
I had the same father it seems. I am sorry to hear this. It has been really a challenge not to rely on his tools of threats, fear and intimidation and to continue to nurture a non-adversarial relationship that I worked so hard to engender with my AP philosophy. You just need new tools. The books I mentioned and 'How to Talk so Kids will Listen, How to Listen so Kids will Talk' and 'Living Joyfully with Children' were some of my first and most valuable lessons in finding a different way to interact with our son than what I experienced.

HTH, best wishes,

Pat

P.S. Have you tried smoothies? I make them with rice milk, protein powders and whole fruit. I have even put nuts, peanut butter, and deli sliced turkey in them. The turkey kinda tasted funny but the protein was optimized that way. I have added grated fruits and vegetables to breads, cakes, cookies. And I add the protein powders to about anything I bake. There are many different protein powders and a variety is preferable.
 

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yup...my 2.5yo is the pickiest child on the planet, i'm convinced. i've been through all of the same feelings you have. it is REALLY hard. and i REALLY understand where you're coming from. i really just had to let go, honestly. that's when things started improving. no pressure on myself OR on him. i make him food, and he does or doesn't eat it.

i am different than others in that i WILL make him something else if he asks for it because with our specific issues (he also had some severe gagging/choking stuff that would make him vomit often and made him afraid of eating for a while) it was really essential that i empower him to make the choices. he didn't always get it right on the first try (i.e., would ask for something and then not eat it) and i had to let go of that too...i often felt like a failure...i often wondered WHY *I* had the kid who wouldn't eat...

when we go to restaurants i still have to accept the fact that he won't eat 99% of the things off the menu. he'll eat fries, fresh fruit, shredded cheese and pancakes. that's all he will eat at most restaurants. i try to go to places that have salad bars because i can get fruit, yogurt/pudding, cheese, etc...

anyway...i'm going off track.

you're not alone. there are other kids like yours who are so picky it drives their moms insane.
my son still nurses (although my milk dried up about 4mos into this pregnancy)...when my milk returns we might see a drop in how much food he eats again...

but honestly, i have to think in the long term. i want my son to learn that HE can choose when HE is hungry and when he is not. i want him to feel confident that HE chooses what goes in his body. there are 3 things that i offer him that are not really nutritious. fries, goldfish, and cake. everything else that he eats has nutritional value. some more than others. but he is allowed to have ANY of them at ANY time. i don't differentiate btwn breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert. those are arbitrary distinctions and don't matter in the long run. if he wants sauteed tofu for breakfast, that's what he has. if he wants pancakes for dinner that's what he has. if at 5:30 he's really hungry for mandarin oranges, he eats his fill. if this means that he's not hungry for dinner, then that's what it means. for me, RIGHT NOW, it is MORE important to me that HE regulate his food intake and that he learn that it doesn't have to be scary, doesn't have to be a power struggle, and doesn't have to be an issue at all. food is just food - it's not a battle. i refuse for it to be. and over time, he's gotten so much better i can hardly believe it.

it will get better, momma...just hang in there, try not to let it ruin your whole day (although i know how it can really really really do that), and try to just relax about it. i know it's hard. but it can be done and it will make things so much better for all of you. i promise.


oh, and when possible i absolutely agree that you should put food on his tray/plate and walk away. don't hover. DON'T hover! be around, but don't stare. LOL it's so hard not to when you want to encourage him, but it is counterproductive!!! check in with him after a few minutes and maybe make a comment about how he's eating really well if you want. but then walk away again. or turn around. or sit next to him but pay attention to something else. he'll feel less pressure. and so will you.


hang in there!!! you can do it!!!!
 

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Pat - great idea about the smoothies!!! my son gagged on the first few that i made and i sort of stopped trying.
i really should try again now that he's gotten better with the gagginess. thanks for the reminder!!!!!

oh...and to the OP - if your DS will eat mac & cheese, you'd be surprised what kinds of pureed veggies you can get in there. if it's the same color your kid won't be likely to notice if you start out slowly. we use the nasty processed Easy Mac (mr. picky won't eat anything else yet...we're slowly moving toward Annie's organic..slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly) which is orange-ish. so i add pureed squash or carrots...works like a dream!!
 

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Yogurt smoothies are a staple in our house. My son is 3 and weaned at about a year (regret, regret) and some days he'd still rather drink than eat.
When he is in a "I won't eat" mode I will just put small portions of food I know he likes in front of him, usually some of what I'm eating anyway. Then if he doesn't eat it, I don't stress too much. This is important at dinner time. I always cook a meal from scratch and I used to get stressed if he didn't want it and I had to make him 2 other choices. Most of the time he wouldn't eat any of the food I prepared, including the 2 other choices. I stopped giving him a choice at dinner. He eats what we're eating. If he doesn't, I know he won't starve. I will give him something quick, like fruit and cheese or a piece of bread and butter as an alternate, not something I have to get up and cook in the middle of dinner. That seemed to take the stress out of it for me. I let him choose what he wants for lunch and breakfast is usually finger foods anyway.

Also, like MamaDuck said, small portions work well. As in the yogurt, I don't see a problem with putting a few spoonfuls in a bowl, and if he eats it, give him more. That way the whole container isn't wasted.
 

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I am going to say this as gently as possible-- as you are obviously struggling and want to do better.

Here-- Stop. Relax. Chill. Do not engage.

You are getting yourself upset and it's not going to help your child wean any quicker. I know you know that or you would not have posted.

Food is not a fight. Food is nourishment, and it also gets all tangled up in emotions.

Let your child eat as much or as little as he wants. You can not control what he consumes and you will kill yourself trying.

Buy food that won't be wasted- meaning yogurt in large containers, or smaller containers that can be stored- so he can take as much or as little as he wants. You can scoop one tiny teaspoon onto his plate. You then close the container and put it back in the fridge. You give him a quarter of a sandwich. You use one piece of bread cut in half. One tiny peice of whatever it is you're putting inside. You cut that in half. If he eats the small quarter, fine. if he wants more, you put the other on his plate, or he takes the other piece from the serving plate. You cut one tiny piece of cheese and tell him he can have nmore if he's hungry. You give him one cracker etc etc. At dinner you put three pieces of pasta on his plate, or one small bite of chicken and 2 peas. You can leave the rest out and help him get more, or he can get iit. You say nothing- not great you're eating, not eat more. Talk about the weather, what your plans are for today, what story to read next.

You have to get off this train, sweetie, or it will be the death of you and a life- long moral battle over eating for him.

Two year olds are not often big eaters. They seem to survive on air. Many are overwhemed by the appearance of large portions. They are comforted by what is familiar in a world were each day brings something new to deal with. That's just the way it is. Time and patience are your friends.
 
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