Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You can lead a toddler to the table...

But you can't make them eat...

When you have a baby you constantly worry if they are getting enough food. For me especially this was always on my mind. If you want to know the whole story you can find out about our challenges with nursing and weight gain here and here and here.

Now that Phoenix is a toddler that worry is even more prevenlent in my mind. He's a rambunctious toddler who never, ever, ever stops moving. Even in his sleep he is literally ALL OVER THE PLACE. So I worry he is burning more calories then he's taking in.

He'll go through periods where he'll eat really well. Al three meals and tons of snacks. And then as soon as it starts it stops and he's back to eating nothing for what seems like weeks (but in reality is probably only 3 days at most). 

I learned last week that part of the problem at dinner was he wanted our plate and utensils and prefers sitting at his table or in the booster at the big table instead of the highchair. Not even the toddler kind. So now he gets a small glass salad plate and a real fork (the small kind) and surprisingly he's pretty coordinated and we have had no problems with it.

I was just complaining to my mom last week that he went the entire week barely touching any of his meals. It was the week of the mah-jay snow storm all he choosing to consume was Cheez its. It got me thinking that maybe I should start buying like all the nasty organic cardboard tasting snacks since that's all he seemed to want to eat.

But would you know that Valentine night when we went on our family dinner date he ate his entire plate of chicken fingers and french fries. And in fact when his plate came he started exclaiming "Wow! 
Wow! Oh Wow!"

Blackberry Disney Channel TV shows saves this night out!

And then last night when I thought it might have been a fluke he whined to get out of his seat and carried his plate of quesadillas and juice into the living room to watch his choo-choo movie.

I normally wouldn't condone TV/Dinner watching like that at such a young age (although sometimes we do have dinner &  movie night) but he ate the entire plate so whatever it takes!

Do you have problems getting your toddler to eat? How do you delicately "force feed" them?


  1. My oh my. What a similar story we have. Both of my children are tough at the table. And I tried to fight it for the longest time. Eventually, I've learned that I'm less stressed if I just go with the flow. THey'll eat if they're hungry. My son last weight and dropped in percentiles, so the dr. put him on pediasure. He did 2-3 of those a day for a month, and now he does 1 a day. My girl is just going to be tall and skinny. Not great now since she's a preschooler, but she'll love it later in life I guess. Good luck getting your little one to eat. It's such a fight!

  2. I have four kids...the last is 18 months. ALL of them went through a phase around 18 months or so where I wondered how they survived on so little food. It's crazy, isn't it? I think I should go on the toddler diet! LOL.

  3. Oh my goodness... it sounds just like my son! I never used to worry about him eating, he used to eat like a horse! Now, at 2.5 yrs old, he's picky, he rarely eats and the only things I can count on him wanting are Goldfish crackers, Fruit Loops and apple slices. Then, suddenly, out of the blue, he'll eat 8 chicken nuggets, or he'll eat "real food" right out of my dish or from my husband's dish. I can never guess what or if he will eat.

    He is in daycare and his teachers tell me that its common for all kids to go through a phase like this and to keep offering him different foods whether he eats them or not. Eventually, he will come around and eat normally. I even mentioned it to my pediatrician and he said the same thing, but added that boys tend to go days at a time barely eating and only wanting to play and then they will decide to chow down all at once.

    I let him eat in front of the TV. We live in a small apartment and we can see the TV from pretty much any place we are sitting, so it happens quite often.

  4. When I read this post and your posts related to "failure to thrive" I felt like I was reading my daughter's story. She, too, has had trouble gaining weight (although certainly very healthy, etc.). We've gone through tests and weight checks--enough to drive me insane! I often feel like I've thought more about her gaining weight than anything else since she was about 9 months old. And of course, being a toddler (21 mos.), eating isn't first on her mind anyway! I stress about every meal; getting better about this though. And she's FINALLY gaining a little weight (at least she's a bit higher on the chart). Of course I'll continue to be paranoid about it for awhile. It's sad how happy it makes me when she eats a decent amount!


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