Getting My 2 and a Half Year Old to Eat.....

Updated on March 15, 2007
L.M. asks from Garland, TX
5 answers

I am having a hard time gettimg my son to eat. He is very picky. We are woring on getting him off the bottle ( which is hard ) and sometimes he just want's the bottle and nothing eles. He has days that he does pretty good and then some day's I worry. The doctor say's that he won't starve himself and that it's just something they go through.
Any advice??

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C.F.

answers from Dallas on

I worked in a family practice for many years and we had so many parents come in with the same concern. Your doctor was right, kids do go through this stages, we as parents hate it, but soon you will see that you child will start eating well. Something that really helped a lot of parents that I got to know was having a family meal together. Avoid treats or snacks between a meal. If he begs, simply say that you're out of that particual item. As bad as it may sound, you have to let the hunger build up, and then bring out something with a yummy smell that would be hard to resist, like roasted chicken. Following those steps you can start introducing new foods.

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P.

answers from Dallas on

I suspect so many Americans are fat because we were told to clean our plate - ie ignore our bodies' signals we aren't hungry and eat anyway. My daughter is now 3. She went through the same stage and is in the 75 percentile. Just make sure the few things he does eat are nutritious. Don't waste any of that tiny space on junk food. A good and yummy chewable multivitamin with iron is called Lovebites and can be bought at Sprouts.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

L.-
He really really needs to be off of the bottle. At this age it is for comfort only not nutrition.
You are mom- just tell him "sorry, no more bottles" and then stick with it!
Your job is to feed him healthy food, his job is to eat. The bigger deal you make out of it the more he will resist eating. Kids will get attention in anyway they can- positive or negative. Eating is the one thing he has control over in his life- and he will exert that control. DO NOT FIGHT HIM. Give him a reasonable time to eat his meal. If he doesn't finish it is done. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but STAND FIRM! When snack time comes around it can be leftovers or something different- but same routine.
I have been a Pedi RN for 14 years- I have never seen anyone become malnourished when decent food was offered. Plus I ahve 4 kiddos of my own- so I promise I am on the same road you are!

Good luck
D.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

L.,

Perhaps you can try helping him build some friendships with other boys his age that have been weened from the bottle and eat healthier. If he is not already in a preschool program, perhaps try that. Then he can observe their "big boy" behavior and will be more likely to mimic it. I think your doctor's right. He will not starve himself. Just continue to offer healthy meals and snacks. Soon he will eat. I would also ween him from the bottle ASAP. Encourage him with positive words and rewards to continue his big boy behavior. Good luck!

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

All kids go through a picky stage. My oldest daughter (6) protested milk until her little sister was born all because we took away the bottle. It's better to nip the pickyness in the butt early. Cook the dinner. If he doesn't eat it save him a plate. He'll eat it when he gets hungry enough. Kids really don't go that long. They just test you to see if you'll give in to them. We're going through the "I'm not eating meat!" stage with my oldest. She usually gives in after about an hour but not longer than that. Use positive reinforcement. If there is a desert or toy he likes then tell him he can have it if he eats his dinner.

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