Feeding a toddler

sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
Here is a typical dinner for my son, as of the past couple weeks:

I prepare a serving of pasta, chicken and rice, or whatever we're having for dinner. I put DS in his high chair, put a bib on him, and try to feed him.

He takes a few bites, then clamps his mouth shut and shakes his head no whenever I bring the spoon near his face. I do a few airplane noises, which entices him to eat a couple more bites, then he refuses.

I put the dish on the high chair tray, so he can look at it intently and feed himself individual grains of rice, meanwhile I manage to sneak a few more bites into his mouth with the spoon.

I give him some finger foods (e.g. bananas or crackers). He feeds himself a bite, chews it a couple times, then takes it out of his mouth and puts it into one of the compartments of his high chair tray. Fifteen seconds later, he picks it back up and puts it back into his mouth, and may or may not actually swallow it this time.

I finally give him a carton of yogurt, which he loves and eats willingly. When I take him out of his high chair, he goes over to DH and looks up at him imploringly until DH gives him some of his pasta or whatever the original food was. Apparently it's much better off someone else's plate.

Is this normal for children this age? Will he get enough to eat?
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Comments

  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It's totally normal. If I can get one yogurt or one applesauce in Xander, I consider that a huge success. My doc and the lovely ladies here have assured me that he will eat when he wants to eat and will not wither away. You are also supposed to take note of what he is eating over the entire day rather than just one meal. When I do that, I realize that Xander eats great. Just not in my house.
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  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Babies and toddlers go through all sorts of weird eating stages. Babies mostly rely on instinct of what they need, so they eat when they're hungry, stop when they're not. As long as you're offering plenty of healthy things for him to choose from, you're doing all you can.

    Sometimes they want to only eat stuff they can chew, or things they can pick up and feed themselves. They can go on strike from all spoon fed baby food, or refuse to eat if you try to feed them. I swear my daughter ate nothing but yogurt for 6 months.

    When Bailey got to the age of being able to feed herself, I could only give her things she could pick up with her fingers to eat. Pieces of cooked carrots, green beans, peas, handfuls of cut up pasta - it's a messy time when they get to this stage. Just know that the playing, or finger painting with their food is actually a part of learning and development, so don't fight it. You'll just drive yourself crazy.

    Keep a washcloth handy, expect to do baths after meals, and maybe get one of those floor mats to put under the highchair.

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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Totally normal. I wouldn't fight it or try to force him to eat. If he prefers to feed himself, then give him finger foods. If he likes to eat what you all are eating, give him the same or let him pick off your plates.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    [ When I take him out of his high chair, he goes over to DH and looks up at him imploringly until DH gives him some of his pasta or whatever the original food was. Apparently it's much better off someone else's plate.

    Is this normal for children this age? Will he get enough to eat?/QUOTE]


    Totally normal. The best way to get toddlers to eat is to set a good example for them. This means actually sitting down and having your meals with them, not just sticking them in a high chair in the middle of the kitchen alone and trying to get them to eat. That's usually a futile effort.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Glad to hear your responses. I thought it was probably normal, but it's good to hear reassurance.
    The best way to get toddlers to eat is to set a good example for them. This means actually sitting down and having your meals with them, not just sticking them in a high chair in the middle of the kitchen alone and trying to get them to eat. That's usually a futile effort.

    Due to our schedules (DH teaches evening classes), we end up eating dinner at 8:00 or 9:00 several nights a week. DS goes to bed by 7:30 or 8:00, so I don't have much choice on those evenings. I wish I could come up with a better routine.
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  • deedlesdeedles Posts: 2,467Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    this is one thing that I am totally blessed w/Liam.. He is an avid eater... He loves pretty much anything I put in front of him

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  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    Sarah - we are on the same schedule, DH or I typically work until 8 or 9, so we eat dinner later.

    What I have started doing is S and I eat dinner around 6pm, we have leftovers from the night before. Then I put to bed (7:30/8) orlet him play. Then DH eats when he gets home, after S is in bed.

    On nights we are both home, we eat together, but that is just not possible everynight.

    S is also a snacker, he is 16 months old and his schedule looks like...

    8am bottle
    8:30 breakfast (cereal or yogurt with fruit)
    11 am puffs for a snack and a glass of milk
    12:30 lunch - dinner left overs or yogurt (if he did not have yogurt for breakfast)with fruit and a muffin)
    3pm - muffin (if he did not have for lunch) or more puffs, maybe some cheese, or a yogurt
    6-7pm - dinner, left overs from the night before, or a gerber graduate meal, spagetti-o's or easy mac is DH and I are running around. and pudding for dessert.

    He does not eat a lot at meals, but he will eat until he is full

    If DH and I are eating later and he is still awake, he will eat from our plates also, so if he starts to and scts like he is hungry, i make him another plate and he will have another meal
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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    deedles wrote: »
    this is one thing that I am totally blessed w/Liam.. He is an avid eater... He loves pretty much anything I put in front of him

    :)

    I'm so jealous Deedles. I feel like Chas lives off of steamed veggies, pb&j, yogurt, mac n cheese, bananas, applesauce, mash potatoes and cheerios.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Glad to hear your responses. I thought it was probably normal, but it's good to hear reassurance.
    The best way to get toddlers to eat is to set a good example for them. This means actually sitting down and having your meals with them, not just sticking them in a high chair in the middle of the kitchen alone and trying to get them to eat. That's usually a futile effort.

    Due to our schedules (DH teaches evening classes), we end up eating dinner at 8:00 or 9:00 several nights a week. DS goes to bed by 7:30 or 8:00, so I don't have much choice on those evenings. I wish I could come up with a better routine.

    Even if you don't eat a full meal - you could try sitting with him and having a small amount of whatever you prepared for him. I do this with DS and talk about his day.

    Eating habits - totally normal. Sometimes DS eats a lot, sometimes he eats very little. One thing I don't do is keep making and offering food until he eats something - I'm not a line cook and I don't want to get in that habit.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Glad to hear your responses. I thought it was probably normal, but it's good to hear reassurance.
    The best way to get toddlers to eat is to set a good example for them. This means actually sitting down and having your meals with them, not just sticking them in a high chair in the middle of the kitchen alone and trying to get them to eat. That's usually a futile effort.

    Due to our schedules (DH teaches evening classes), we end up eating dinner at 8:00 or 9:00 several nights a week. DS goes to bed by 7:30 or 8:00, so I don't have much choice on those evenings. I wish I could come up with a better routine.


    You should still try to sit with him for all his meals, and at least eat a little bit. Example is extremely important for little kids. It's the primary way they learn...by observing you.
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users Curl Novice
    My daughter liked to throw food, too (she still will occassionally), until she started sitting in a booster seat at the table. Now, we have a lot less food tossing and more actual eating. She still makes a big mess and wants to eat the stuff off of our plates more than her own, but at least she's eating at the table. She grazes all day, too. She always wants to eat fruit, veggies, or cheese...lol! She's not shy about asking, either.
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    He's still very, very young. I wouldn't even call him a toddler really. He's still getting used to all of this! Just make sure he's getting plenty of milk. ;)

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