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2 year old not interested in eating

  1. #1
    Gemma is offline Registered User
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    2 year old not interested in eating

    All of a sudden my 2 yo's mealtimes have become a nightmare. He gets distracted, fidgety, looks around, plays with the buckles, calls out to anyone who's around, basically does everything but eat after the first few mouthfuls.

    I have tried to vary his foods and he only seems to pick up if we literally starve him beforehand or we eat stuff like BBQ pork buns or spring rolls. Mealtimes ate taking in excess of 45 minutes and he only finishes half his plate.

    Does anyone have any advice? Do they all go through this phase?!

  2. #2
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Mine has been going through phases like this since he was about 18 months old.

    He is in a good appetite phase at the moment (at 22 months), but who knows how long it will last. Sometimes he makes a fuss about eating anything, including meals he has happily eaten many times before.

    I just don't worry too much about it anymore; I used to though. He has formula still in the morning and milk at night, and he will always eat bananas and yoghurt, so I can be sure he is getting some good nutrition. I hate to encourage bad habits, but when I really want him to eat (like if he hasn't eaten well for a couple of days) I'll put one of his favourite program's on YouTube, on my laptop at the table, and he will usually eat. Seems he gets immersed in the TV and will automatically accept food being shoved in his mouth. I try not to do this too often though.

  3. #3
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Sounds like my 2yr old. We literally starve her in between meals so she is hungry at meal time. She doesn't need snacks so it's not really starving her. She eats well when we do this.

    Threats to the bathroom work. She likes to keep her food in her mouth and not chew so now I tell her I will count to 10 and if she doesn't eat by 10 I will take her to the bathroom (where she will cry, fuss and still be made to eat her dinner, but in the bathroom...yes not hygienic but it works). If she starts to chew I stop counting, if she doesn't chew I start counting,,,it's simple, and use your fingers when you count so she can visualize the numbers and where she is in terms of getting to 10.

  4. #4
    thundacatchergo is offline Registered User
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    Kids will eat whem they are hungry. They will eat more during a growth spurt and less at other times. Starving them or freaking them out is not going to help anyone.

  5. #5
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    I read in a book that toddlers' appetites go down around this time.
    When they are infants, they are basically doubling, even tripling, their weight. They eat an enormous amount compared to their body size. (Imagine at tiny baby drinking 8 bottles of milk a day)
    But at some point they have to stop growing at this rate, or else we'd all be 10-feet tall!
    Parents who are used to their kids eating more and more might find it awkward when the appetite drops -- but it's perfectly normal, so long as your child is still a normal weight and size.

    With my daughter, we have a half-hour rule.
    If she's just slow eating, that's fine.
    If she's fussing, screaming, throwing things, etc., I let meal time go for half-an-hour. During this period, I will try to coax her the best I can, or even offer different foods.
    But if more than 30 minutes have lapsed after we've begun, I just take the food away -- and there's no more food till the next meal.
    In a developed place like HK, none of our kids are going to starve.
    My daughter eats breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and bedtime milk. There's never more than several hours between meals, so I don't worry she's not getting enough.
    So far, this has worked. I don't worry if she has a smaller breakfast and a bigger lunch.
    But we haven't gone down that slippery road of needing to bribe her with ever-more treats and distractions for her to eat.
    marie313 and evgreen like this.

  6. #6
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    my 7 year old is still the same.... he's also underweight... but short of feeding him intravenously, there's not much i can do. he's been getting better lately though, especially when i cut snacks out completely.

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    My son started doing this when he was about 1-year-old. But, it goes in phases and I've noticed that with my children it is usually related to their growth spurts. I have a younger child now who is 18-months-old and sometimes she can eat 2+ bowls of dinner and seems like she just can't fast enough. But, other times she is distracted and not interested in food. And I really think this has to do with her growth. When she's getting ready to grow taller she eats more, she kind of gets chubbier and then she grows a bit taller...same thing happens with my 4-year-old. So, I say, don't force it. Actually, we've taken a pretty laid-back policy toward this in our house. If my son doesn't want to eat dinner, we first encourage him to eat but at a certain point we just ask him, "Are you full?" If he says yes, we let him know that if he gets hungry before bedtime he'll be eating the same thing he was served at dinner.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #8
    Gemma is offline Registered User
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    Thank you all, glad to hear of other's experiences and that I'm not the only one having a headache. Sometimes it's a battle to even get him to eat one mouthful! I am trying to cut out snacks in between meals, and also increase his physical activity and burn off all that energy, so hopefully he will improve.

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