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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So how much did/does your 19 month old eat? And what?<br><br>
They claim he eats just fine at day care, but at home it's another story. He will eat fruit, sometimes cheese. Occasionally oatmeal. Not much else. We don't like the idea of being a diner and making things until we find something he'll eat, but at what point do you say "OK, he needs to eat SOMETHING?" At night he really doesn't want to sit at the table and eat with the rest of us, he'd rather run around and play. DH will dispense cheese to him as he runs by, and I am totally not down with that. I want him to learn that we all sit down to eat (not to mention I don't want him to choke on something while he's running around.) I get that toddlers often consume most of their calories during the day and not so much in the evening, and I constantly hear "they'll eat when they're hungry". Put an Annie's Cheddar Bunny down in front of him and he'll gladly eat that, he just doesn't want what I'm offering. Weekends are a constant battle to get him to eat. He used to eat anything, now, not so much.<br><br>
I'm worried day care has ruined him a bit with a taste towards more processed stuff and sugary to boot. I'm fairly happy with what they prepare for lunch, as it's often made-from-scratch, but the snacks are often not at all what I'd feed him at home. Cinnamon rolls for morning snack, rice krispy treat for afternoon snack? Why would they want to sugar up a bunch of kids and have to deal with the aftermath? I really don't care that they're made in their kitchen, what is wrong with a piece of fruit? (I know, it's expensive...)<br><br>
So anyway, tell me your stories - would a table and chairs his own size help? Do I just keep offering our boring old healthy food until he finally gets hungry enough to eat it? Any recipe ideas for me? Do they grow out of it? Help!?!
 

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It's reasonable to expect him to sit and eat with you. He may only be able to sit for 10 min. Some kind of chair that gets him eating at the table is good. We have a chair that hooks on the table and has waist straps for my grandson. It's a Regalo.<br><br>
Studies show that sugar doesn't make kids wild. I know all parents think that. It doesn't make kids not want healthy food. I'm in my 50s. I grew up before fast food and the town I grew up in had few places to go out to eat. We always ate at home. My family always grew veggies, picked fruit, canned, ect. My mom also baked desert every day. That was common. Kids ate sugar and veggies & fruit. I don't think day care has ruined him.<br><br>
My grandson is 14 mo and has a genetic problem that makes it hard for him to gain weight. We have to feed him as many calories as we can. That means giving him things I would rather not. Yesterday I took him out and fed him most of a hot fudge sunday. We came home and he ate sweet potato and roast beef.<br><br>
I take care of my grandson a lot. What I do is save things from meals for him. Then I try to give it to him in ways he can feed it to himself. I've found he likes cold food. He likes left over meat cold. I'll slice it very thin and serve it in a pile and let him dig in.<br><br>
Kids are only supposed to have 4-6 oz of juice a day. If your toddler is having trouble gaining weight you can do more juice and smoothies or yogurt or milk shakes. I make frozen yogurt.<br><br>
He eats what we eat and I enjoy doing special things for him. I fatten up his foods by adding butter or olive oil. He eats sitting with us and on the run. We are relaxed about food and don't make an issue out of it. He loves going out to buffets and is a big hit with older people.
 

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Sounds pretty normal. You need to look into Ellyn Satter's work, it will help reassure you. Barring any medical issues, it is your job to offer the food and your child's job to eat what they need. He seriously won't starve himself. Stop the battles - you do not want power struggles over food. Offer 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks with no food in between. Add good fat to everything (I think Ellyn recommends 1 t of fat per child size serving of veggies). You mention your "boring" healthy food, make sure it is not "boring". Food should taste good. Use salt, spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar, dips, fats, whatever, but food should not be "boring".<br><br><a href="http://www.ellynsatter.com/" target="_blank">http://www.ellynsatter.com/</a>
 

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My 2.5 year old DD eats her meals at a kids'-sized table next to our table, and it does seem to help her eat more. She's not a very active kid, but just being able to get up and down, scoot around, and move while eating keeps her interested in dinner longer. Occasionally she'll hop up with us, but we don't press it.
 

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Hey, we were in the same DDC! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
Our DS has never been a huge eater either, and has gotten progressively pickier and pickier, to where the only things we were fairly sure he would eat were sausage, cheese, and yogurt. Oh and Cheddar Bunnies. Until two days ago. He woke up with DH in the morning and plowed through bowls of baked oatmeal, ate some clementine (SHOCK!), later ate an entire banana...I hardly knew what to think. He's kept it up, too. He'll eat nearly anything I put in front of him. So it must be some kind of stage they're going through with the pickiness? Maybe yours will turn it around soon too.<br><br>
About daycare, I wouldn't like the sugary treats much either, and I personally would tell them not to serve them to my child. I'd bring in something different for him if need be. People can believe whatever studies they choose about the effects of sugar, but if you as a parent don't like it you should be able to say so.
 

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Just popped in here to say exactly what deditus already said. I read Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter, and we've been following what she says. DD (20 months) eats everything we eat. We don't make her special foods and she basically will at least taste everything. We have stopped being surprised at what she will eat - tonight it was hummus served with pita, tomatoes, cucumber, feta and kalamata olives. She took some of everything. We don't make a big deal out of eating... she eats what she wants, of the foods that are offered at meals and snacks. Sometimes she eats a lot, and sometimes she eats very little. I second that you need to make the food taste good, not boring! We all should be eating because it's pleasurable and tasty, not because it's "good for us." I think what's most important is that your child sees you enjoying your food, and he'll want in on it too... if not immediately, then eventually after seeing it for a while. Check out Ellyn Satter, it's good advice.
 

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We eat dinner at set times. DS (19 months) sits at a high chair with us around the table. We supply him with various sizes spoons, forks, two bowls, and some water if he wants. This way, he can play with his food. (We did not want this at first, but I now see that he really enjoys this and I don't see the harm in it; if anything, it teaches him a lot in the sense of mixing stuff together). We have a mop handy too!<br><br>
DS does not enjoy bland foods! Spicy food is much more to his liking. He likes white fish in spicy coconut sauce. Or, cooked veggies quickly fried in a home-made curry sauce. Most days, as a backup, I have cooked fruit (apples and pears) spiced with cinnamon. Old bread soaked in egg/cinnamon concoction and then fried is a favorite too.<br><br>
I think that it is important that DS is part of the cooking process. He really enjoys watching us cook. He gets to smell and name spices. He gets to see steam coming out of pans (from a safe distance). He knows what the procedure is of making our breakfast oats. By way of a great illustrated cookbook that he loves leafing through, he is familiar with all sorts of food and how it is made/ where it comes from. He comes shopping with us and is involved in that process too. He gets to put (throw) the cutlery on the table. Sometimes, he gets to take some fruit/veggies out of the fridge. At the dinner table we remind him that such and such came from this or that store and that this dish has such and such spices. It seems to make a meaningful connection then for him and he is proud/content to try and eat it.<br><br>
We don't fuss if he doesn't want to eat. We try to make dinner a nice event every night. I have noticed that DS will try most everything once to tree times before deciding if he likes it. If he really doesn't, I don't cook it for a while and then reintroduce it. Often, he'll like it again. He really disliked zucchini for a long time. Then, he saw this veggie featured in his cookbook and his dad made a funny show of saying zucchini with an Italian accent. DS repeated this and had fun with it. Now, when he gets this veggie, he is so into it. I hope this helps.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Picard</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14720913"><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 think that it is important that DS is part of the cooking process. He really enjoys watching us cook. He gets to smell and name spices. He gets to see steam coming out of pans (from a safe distance). He knows what the procedure is of making our breakfast oats. By way of a great illustrated cookbook that he loves leafing through, he is familiar with all sorts of food and how it is made/ where it comes from. He comes shopping with us and is involved in that process too. He gets to put (throw) the cutlery on the table. Sometimes, he gets to take some fruit/veggies out of the fridge. At the dinner table we remind him that such and such came from this or that store and that this dish has such and such spices. It seems to make a meaningful connection then for him and he is proud/content to try and eat it.</div>
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I totally agree that it's very important for kids to be involved in preparing foods, but for us, it hasn't made a big difference in how DD eats. She'll help prepare new foods, talk about them, say that she likes them and wants to try them, and then.... won't. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ladies. Someone told me that "a child in your house will not starve. The reptilian part of your brain will get upset that he doesn't eat, but you have to ignore it." I think that's a big part of it, that innate "you must eat, there are starving children in China" voice that (I think?) pops into every parent's head at some point.<br><br>
I should say that our food isn't actually boring, we make a lot of well-spiced food in our house and have a lot of variety. It just isn't overly sweet or salty. Didn't want you all to think we were sitting around eating dry whole wheat pasta or something! LOL That was a big part of it too, we make really good food at home, and I know this sounds silly, but it seemed like he was "dissing" our food in favor of the less-than-stellar stuff he gets at day care or for more processed foods. I know I shouldn't take it personally, it's that reptilian part of the brain again...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>deditus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14717559"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sounds pretty normal. You need to look into Ellyn Satter's work, it will help reassure you. Barring any medical issues, <b>it is your job to offer the food and your child's job to eat what they need.</b> He seriously won't starve himself. Stop the battles - you do not want power struggles over food. Offer 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks with no food in between. Add good fat to everything (I think Ellyn recommends 1 t of fat per child size serving of veggies). You mention your "boring" healthy food, make sure it is not "boring". Food should taste good. Use salt, spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar, dips, fats, whatever, but food should not be "boring".<br><br><a href="http://www.ellynsatter.com/" target="_blank">http://www.ellynsatter.com/</a></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"> And isn't it developmentally appropriate for toddlers not to eat very much? I say, just keep doing what you're doing. If the daycare snacks really bother you, then I would talk to them about an alternative. Otherwise, just keep offering good food at meal times. And don't forget cutlery or water glasses or whatever else you think would interest your LO.
 
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