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Mealtime of a toddler - Need advice!!!

  1. #17
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all your advice and encouragement! I think I should, the very first thing, just RELAX!!!!
    I understand a 14-month kiddo has very short attention span;
    I understand he won't be starved by missing out one or two meals;
    And I know he is healthy & energetic and I should be worry-free!

    BUT, as a mom I still WISH my kid eat 3 healthy meals a day!!! I guess I am expecting too much of him at this stage, hahaha....

    Well, the underlying cause of my "worry" is that my son refused all sort of "milk" since he's turned one. He was never a big fan of formula (changing brands of formula didn't help as he simply dislikes MILK!) Two months ago I started giving him fresh milk & soy milk but he is willing to take very little, I.e 10ml each time!!! But he can finish a bottle of 250ml of diluted orange juice in one go! On the back of my mind I always worry if a 1-year-old is in lack of some kind of nutrition by not taking any formula/milk. To replace milk, I ensure he has one cube of cheese and some yoghart down to his stomach every day and I hope he will get what he should have got from milk. It's sound all peculiar to me a baby dislikes milk???!!! None of my friends have experienced this with their child. Is my son a bit odd?

    Anyway, I will do what Carang suggested for a week and see how it goes. What I did before, in order to make him sit in his high-chair I used all possible ways to get his attention, e.g. threw different toys/things on his table (all toys/things available at home have been used and he lately lost his interest in them all), dance&jump around to distract him from wanting to get down (I always felt like a clown that way). I am tired and that's why I lost a bit yesterday morning~~~~

    RELAX RELAX RELAX. I must admit he does eat pretty well, he just doesn't want to sit still to finish a meal.

    What he is fed on daily basis are:
    Breakfast: a half bowl (sometime a whole bowl) of cereal/oatmeal mixed in fresh milk / a slice of bread+a cube of cheese / a slice of bread+a small jar of yoghurt
    Lunch: half to one bowl of rice/pasta mixed with fish/chicken + vegetable. Sometmes go with an egg yoke
    Tea/Snack: Fruit or cheese or some bread
    Dinner: similar to lunch
    If he eats small dinner, i will give him 30ml of milk or yoghurt (if he hasn't had one that day) before putting him to bed.

    Take a look at what he eats a day I know I should relax... Thanks all mamas!
    Last edited by OX Jess; 08-18-2010 at 09:25 AM.

  2. #18
    carey is offline Registered User
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    Wow, looking at what your son is eating and comparing with my 14 month old, your bud is definitely eating a lot more solid than mine. Mine takes about 700ml of formula in 24 hours still though. I guess that is why I am not worried that he is not eating enough.

    We all noticed that he is eating less solid at lunch and supper when he was around 13 month old. But I wasn't worried because I read that they will eat less at this age and if they do, just make sure that they get lot snacks in between. Many mothers have mentioned this in their reply. Like Cara say, toddlers are more of a grazer because they have a smaller stomach. I learn not to expect they eat three meals a day like we adults do. Knowing it helps me to relax about that fact that he is eating less although my helper (a Chinese lady) makes a big fuss about it. She would really try to get food in his mouth even though I told her many times that when he is done, he is.

    We are also cautious about not running after him to feed. But sometimes we just have to bend that eating at the high chair rule. Other mothers suggested in another post to have a “TV dinner” sometimes or a picnic in the living room. These have all work for us. But the key is he would have to sit still in the coach or at a spot in the living room when eating.

    Many parents worry about their kids eating. I’ve seen so many Chinese families have helper chases their little ones in the play area live to feed them. One family even moved back to their old home because they think that their 2 year old is not eating well at the new home.

    Good luck.

  3. #19
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    I used to be such a stress case about my son (who is almost 17 months old) not eating. But my husband kept telling me that he'll eat when he's hungry and I am starting to relax a bit more considering that he is a healthy and super active boy. He does weigh less than your boy - at one year old he was only around 22 pounds, but he's always been on the lighter side since birth so I'm not worried. When we feed him meals in his high chair, luckily he doesn't always complain to get out after a short while. But sometimes it does require all sorts of little toys and ultimately my iphone to get him to sit through a meal. Sometimes he eats a lot during a meal and sometimes he barely eat anything - but that only proves to me that he does eat when he is hungry. We have a rule in our house that we won't chase him around to feed him because we don't want to make that a habit for him or make him think that is acceptable. The only sort of exception that is made is sometimes, after he finishes (and by finishing sometimes it just means he's stopped eating and won't continue) and we start eating, if he is playing in the living room and then runs over to the dinner table to take a bite of what we are eating as he is curious, we will give it to him. So it's always him coming to us and never us going to him. We just think that would set such a bad precedent to let him know that he can just run around during dinner time and we will chase after him with the food.

  4. #20
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    PS: About babies disliking milk - my son dislikes fresh milk and will only drink soy milk if it has sugar in it. But he drinks formula....I have heard of plenty of babies who don't like formula - so it's not that odd to me that he doesn't like fresh milk or formula.

  5. #21
    OX Jess is offline Registered User
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    Ha, FutureHKmum: Yes, iPhone is a great invention when it comes to making my son sit down in his high-chair for 10 more minutes. I've uploaded some Nursery Rhymes videos with kiddies singing and dancing in the video. He LOVES it but after watching the videos 10~15 times, he is bored and demanded to be released from his chair (I'm not surprised. I am bored myself too!)

    After reading advice from all mamas here, I will first try to tell him he should sit and finish his meal (95% fails however!) then if he demands to go I will let him. Let him run around for 15-20 minutes I will try to put him back to the chair and feed him more... and I will certainly STOP chasing after him.

    Talking about having interest in adult food, he shows great interest in our meals. Say he's just finished a big bowl of his meal he still comes over and demands soemthing from our plates! He is just a curious tod.

    Some of you say "when he's done, he's done." Yes, I understand the concept.. but how can I believe he's really done, after he's taken two tablespoons of rice? And that's why I keep demanding...

    This morning, he is a good boy (he is a good boy one day a week!) He sat in his chair and finished almost one slice of bread and 25 blueberries. :))

  6. #22
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    :-) but he's only got a little tummy!

    Many babies just don't need the same amount of food every day. My boy is 12 months old and eats way less than that on most days and then some days he just eats and eats - it's up to him. I still offer him milk three times a day and again, sometimes he wants it sometimes he doesn't.

    Great on the stopping chasing, but honestly I wouldn't bother putting him back in his high chair after 15 or 20 minutes. He's old enough that you can tell if he's hungry so just feed him his meal, let him get down and if he's hungry several hours later (and I bet it will be several hours not 15 minutes!) as Carang said you can offer him a substantial snack. Putting him back after 15 minutes running around is such a faff and really, not how meals normally work so why teach him that it is.

    As you said yourself, it's you who wants him to eat, and making him eat is making you feel better, not him. Why not let him get used to the new routine and then trust him to know when he's full for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

    And if he likes adult food - why not let him have that :-)

  7. #23
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    My son, at 19 months, is turning out not to be a great eater. He's gone down hill a lot since 12 months, in fact, ate more then than now.

    My eating philosophy for my child is that he sits down in his chair to do so. I have actually tried the chasing thing from time to time, but he doesn't really eat any more than in his chair. I've been giving him toys at the chair for a long time now. Sometimes I turn on the TV (cringe) when I'm desperate. But this is the boy who will eat no more than 1 pot of yogurt OR one jar of pureed fruit for breakfast (always had problems with breakfast) and lately with nothing or up to 5-6 bites of lunch (dinner is usually ok). So I have been at my wits end lately.

    I think a lot has to do with teething. Little dude has been getting in sooooo many teeth these past 2 months, but I just wish he'd hurry up and get them all so he can eat again.

    The reasons I don't like chasing are #1 - it's DIRTY. More for me to clean up. #2 - it gives him the impression that he can just go and do whatever he wants and I will cater to his every whim. #3 - it gives him the idea that mealtimes are not important, nor is table etiquette.

    The reasons I like him in his chair are #1 - this is normal life - most people sit at a table to eat. It teaches him that. #2 - it's cleaner and easier for me to control:) #3 - it gives him limits, which I think are very important.

    I'm not even a big fan of grazing. I just would like him to sit down and eat. And yes, he gets tired of it SUPER quick, that's why I feed him as fast as I can and distract him with toys, talking, songs, (TV), whatever, because it STILL is important that he eats. And I get freaked out, and sometimes I lose my temper, and last week I started bawling when he refused his lunch completely (pregnancy hormones:).

    Ah, it's an ongoing battle. If it's not one thing it's another. But for everyone's sake, I think you made a good choice to stop chasing him.

  8. #24
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    Jess, i think you are just going to be creating more frustration for yourself if you put him back 15-20 minutes later. besides, it is only teaching him to graze...he knows he doesn't have to eat his meal because you will put him back in the chair in a few minutes anyway.

    how can you believe he's really done? he's telling you! you just aren't willing to accept the answer. he will not let himself starve to death. of that you can be sure. it's REALLY difficult, i know, i struggle with it myself. my eldest is just 1 lb heaveier than his sister who is 2 years younger! he is skin and bones. but, i do not chase him around. i do demand that he sit at the table (he's 5.5, so mummy's demands are usually met!LOL!) he KNOWS if he doesn't finish his meal, he'll get nothing else, so he usually finishes it. it just takes a really long time....

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