Saturday, January 1, 2011

My daughter will be 2 in February. She really hasn't eaten well for the past year. She would usually eat about 8 things and that was it, but she loved healthy stuff for the 8 items so I didn't worry too much. But now she will hardly eat anything! We are lucky now to get her to eat a bite of toast at breakfast, a few chunks of apple at lunch, and some crackers and peanut butter on a spoon at dinner. That's pretty much what she'll touch these days. Any ideas??? We ask her if she wants this or that and she just freaks out screaming and gets mad. She is starting to learn to talk a tiny bit but she does knows signs for a lot of foods and no matter how we approach meal time she freaks out! All she's had today (almost 11 am) is a bite of toast, her vitamin, and a cup of milk.

Do you have any brilliant ideas of new ways we can approach mealtime with her to get her to even try something new? We offer whatever we are eating and she swats it away and says no without even tasting it. I just don't get it!
Answer:  Generally young children while not necessarily eating what and as much as parents would like, do eat as much as they need at that time.  It may go down for a couple of days but usually picks back up again.  Anytime the lack of eating much lasts more than a few days it is worth talking with the pediatrician about.  Observe for other things like stomach discomfort, lethargic behavior, etc.  Is she sleeping well?  Is an appropriate amount coming out reflective of what has gone in?  How is her weight?
If is was just finicky eating then "no thank you helping" help (small amounts that the child needs to eat before moving on.)  How much is she drinking?  Look at how she reacts to choices (fresh fruit bits versus fruit flavored snacks) (animal crackers versus graham crackers).  All of your observations should be shared with the doctor.


  1. Yay! My question made it to your blog!

    She doesn't seem to have stomach issues, she is quite energetic, she sleeps awesome (nap abt 2 hours a day and sleeps 13 hours at night), she has regular diapers, she is gaining weight (I think due to her loving cheese and milk so much!).
    She drinks 3 cups of milk a day and about 1 cup of water a day and occassionally some juice. She doesn't care for choices yet but I keep trying to offer them. I think I just have a finicky kid that likes to test me!!
    However, Ian has been able to get her to eat more these past few days and we are thrilled!

  2. I noticed that the bigger deal I made of the situation, the bigger the deal became. Just keep food around that's healthy and allow her choices. We used the phrase, "Would you like a teeny or a lot?" If it was a dreaded green bean or peas, they could have as many as they were old. I tossed a lot of food (teeny amounts) before the kids became good eaters.

  3. On the lighter side: I had a Mom I worked with once that told me her son would not eat fish sticks (he was two years old). She wanted him to eat them but he always refused. Her husband in the parent/teacher conference said, "I think it is because you eat McDonald's hamburgers and fries and tell him to eat the yucky fish." Mom hated fish but figured it would be good for her son.

    As long as kids are gaining weight appropriately there is generally not a concern. Just like adults don't like some foods, kids are the same. I still can't figure out how people can eat liver, tapiocca, bread pudding, and a few other things.

    As long as a child will drink a chocolate milkshake there is nothing physically wrong. : )

  4. so what you're saying is just give her a daily choco milkshake and everything will be okay? I like that theory! :) Today's been another fabulous day of hardly eating....grrr. I just remind myself that one day she will eat and this too shall pass!