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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PAK, so i'll make this as short as possible.<br><br>
Okay, so tonight I made spaghetti for dinner and for the first time in MONTHS dd (19.5 months) absolutely refused to eat. I know that she loves spaghetti, that is one reason I had made it. Long story short, she played in it, threw it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">, and then attempted to chuck the bowl in the floor three times. We tried feeding her and letting her feed herself (which she normally does) but still flat out refused to eat.<br><br>
DH said to just not make her eat and she'll have to make do with her two bottles of BM she gets at night (10oz).<br><br>
The problem is, I feel so mean doing this! She isn't acting hungry at all, but I just want to make sure i'm doing the right thing. I do not want to become a short order cook and neither does DH. We were both raised that you eat what you parents cook or go hungry. Anyone BTDT?<br><br>
Help?<br><br>
Oh, before I forget she did have a snack 1.5 hours before dinner, so it's not like she hasn't had any food since lunch and her naptime bottle.
 

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My son is younger than your DD (he is nearly 15 months), but he will have entire days where he does this. He doesn't really seem to nurse any more than usual on those days either. He just plain doesn't want to eat.<br><br>
Today actually was one of those days. I made his very favorite meal of rice pasta twists with some olive oil and an organic seasoning mix that I sprinkle on with some strawberries on the side. He played with the pasta, crumbled it in his hands, tried to fling it around the kitchen, and eventually chewed up one strawberry, spit it out and signed "all done".<br><br>
I was incredibly frustrated, but I figure he knows his own body and if he really doens't want to eat when I have given him, then he must not be hungry. I did offer him a few crackers after dinner and he ate those, but he didn't ask for more, so I figure he has days where he just doesn't need as much food. I don't really understand it, but I feel like I need to respect his knowledge of his body more than mine.
 

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All you can do is offer the food; she'll either eat it or she won't. Toddlers go through phases where they are very hungry (preparing for a growth spurt), not hungry at all (usually right after a growth spurt), and somewhere in between the two.<br><br>
Trust HER; she is developing that "sense" of hunger and fullness. If she goes without a meal or two, so be it. If she goes without three or four, I might be more concerned and look for alternate causes. Chances are, though, that she will be hungry at breakfast; you can improve those chances by offering a favorite breakfast.<br><br>
Another consideration is that children's favorites change as they grow and learn. For a long time, my son's favorite breakfast was two whole bananas mashed with cinnamon and oatmeal, then warmed. Then there was a time when he refused to eat <i>any</i> bananas at all.<br><br>
Lastly, you're a couple of years away from being a short-order cook. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">: Here are a couple of ways I dealt with it:<br><br>
1) DD throws her plate. "Oh, how sad." Then start her wipe-down routine and take her away from the table. This <i>instantly</i> lets her know that throwing her plate is not acceptable behaviour.<br><br>
2) As you notice her becoming disinterested: "If you are finished eating, you may push your plate away." I modeled it for my son the first few times I realized that he was full, then just used the words and eventually he learned just to push his plate away on his own. This gave him an acceptable way to communicate to me that he was full or just not interested in eating without having spaghetti all over the kitchen.<br><br>
HTH,<br><br>
Minxie<br><br>
P.S. She won't starve overnight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Completely typical for that age, even if it is frustrating.<br><br>
If your DD isn't hungry, don't feed her or make a big deal of it. Put her portion of dinner -- especially when it is something she has eaten and liked before -- in the fridge. If she gets hungry later, bring it back out. Play it cool and don't make a big deal out of it. You don't want this to turn into a power struggle. There is no reason to try "tempting" her with alternate foods either. Then you are sending the message that if she rejects dinner, then she might get something better.<br><br>
This way you don't become a short order cook and she only eats when she is hungry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I agree with Minxie, they certainly won't starve and they all go through "stages".<br>
All my kids have done this at one stage or another, they have their good days and their bad days.<br><br>
Did your daughter happen to have a late snack that made her not hungry? My daughter can find food anywhere and snacks all day which can be a pain.<br>
Just keep doing what you're doing, offering her food and not making a big deal about it.
 

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I have to agree with most of the replies. so my quick opinion about it:<br>
1. snacking decreases the appetite<br>
2. if they start playing with the food, then they are usually done<br>
3. if they don't eat, don't worry they come back later if they want to<br>
4. trust them - they have a better intuition then us<br>
5. respect their right to say no.<br>
My son tells me now what he wants to eat from the plate and because we cook healthy, I don't care what he picks because it is all good!!<br>
so don't worry - all is well
 

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My DD who is 21.5 months has done this same thing for awhile now, it's completely normal toddler behavior. Some days she eats a ton(enough for an adult) and then other nights it play time, no eating and acting uninterested in food. I know that for us it's become a non-issue, if she's not interested she's not going to eat. We just say that it is ok, but mommy and daddy need to eat dinner and not play, and if she wants to play she can leave the table.<br><br>
I know that I have days where I'm not hungry then have those starving days where I want to eat everything and anything, so I can understand. My DD tonight had salmon for the first time and devoured it, I couldn't believe how much she ate, and ate. Don't feel badly, there are many days where DD has only had her bottles, and she's just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for all of your replies!<br><br>
I'm guessing she just isn't very hungry tonight, which is really unusual for her. She did have some yogurt and cheerios for a snack, and we did end up eating an hour earlier, so i'm guessing she just wasn't hungry.<br><br>
I'm sure her appetite will catch up with her tomorrow, i'm just not used to her refusing food since she hasn't done that in quite some time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My dd does the same thing. Some days she barely pecks at her food and then she makes up for it a few days later. One day she had two packets of oatmeal, a banana, 1/4 of my egg sandwich and 2 glasses of milk. All before 10:30 am. They know their bodies.
 

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No worries. She will let you know if she is hungry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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This is a great book <a href="http://store.llli.org/public/profile/160" target="_blank">My Child Won't Eat!</a> It should put your mind at ease.
 

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aahhhh yes, our son was a killer eater from about 11 months until 18 months. Would eat anything you put in front of him. Then, I swear he woke up on his 18 month bday and realized, "hey, I don't have to eat this is I don't want!".<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> It was all over after that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Toddlers won't starve themselves, but I don't blame you for being nervous. I was too when he first started doing this, but now I am use to it. We will have weeks where it looks like he is trying to eat us out of house and home and then we will have weeks where he will only eat fresh bread, fruit and water.<br><br>
I definitely agree with PP who said that the food favorites change and they can change at the drop of hat too. It usually happens after you just went grocery shopping and stocked up on that favorite fruit or made a big batch of their favorite meal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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DS is 3 yo and quite often will refuse to eat or eat minimally. It's been like this...well, since he really started solids. In the beginning I felt soooo guilty...but thanks to wise mamas here and the fact that ds is happy and healthy, I've gotten over it (dh on the other hand can't seem to get it). Now, I just give him smaller portions and dance a jig in my head and heart when I need to give him more.<br><br>
DS goes through some tasmanian devil type stages where I can't seem to supply food fast enough-and that tends to be around growth spurts.<br><br>
As long as you LO looks and is healthy, just try to feel less guilty and know that she will eat when she is hungry.
 

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Dude. My guy rarely eats. He probably only gets in one really "normal" toddler meal every other day. I've found that forcing the issue only makes things worse. Don't draw too much attention to it or it'll just be a way for her to get your goat, you know? Kids pick up on those things and she might do it just because it gets a rise out of you.
 

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Maybe she just wasn't hungry?<br>
We offer food, if they eat it, great. If they don't, they don't get more, but they can come back and have the leftover meal until it's time for the next meal.<br>
If they throw food on the floor, they're done, period. They can come back and try again later.
 

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I'm curious to know what happened last night and today - anytime my DS has refused to eat, he's been sick later (vomit/diarrhea/fever).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Limabean1975</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11552900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm curious to know what happened last night and today - anytime my DS has refused to eat, he's been sick later (vomit/diarrhea/fever).</div>
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Well, she had her two bottles of EBM last night and seemed content with that. Today however, she has been chowing down on anything I offer her.
 

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That's how my DD is, she will refuse food sometimes and then go hog wild eating everything in sight, she also has been an awesome eater and when she first did it we were like "whoa, what's up w/ this??" She will have days where ALL she wants is milk, milk and more <i>milk</i>. Then the next day she will eat so much, I have seriously seen her eat a whole yogurt(not a kids one either), a whole sandwich and then eat a huge dinner, I have no idea where she puts it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">, but it is going somewhere in that little body. She has out eaten me quite a few times, and I love to eat<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">:.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bright-midnight</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11553215"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Today however, she has been chowing down on anything I offer her.</div>
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This is what happens with my DD (2.5 years) too. She'll have meals where she eats as you described in the first post and then the next day she'll make up for it! Sometimes she has a few days where she just picks at food and doesn't seem hungry, then there will be a few where she about empties our cupboards. I use the days where she chows down on everything as a time to introduce new meals/foods since she is more likely to try them then.
 
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