My two year old doesn't eat. Or seemingly very little. I swear our friends with children around a year-old or little less eat more then her or at least better. I'm not sure what we did or are doing wrong.
The other issue is she doesn't want to even try anything, not even one bite.
As a baby we exposed her to a wide variety of foods. We made her own baby food when she started on "solids". So she had vegetables and fruit etc.
What she eats now
Now though she likes very few things: milk, rice, peas (occasionally), meatballs, chicken, and for a time brocolli but now even that, yogurt. No potatoe in any form. No cheese. No sauce of any kind. Some select pasta. The sauce thing I could care less about. Thankfully she is almost equally disdainful of "bad" food (chocolate, cake, etc).
How we eat
We sit down to eat as a family every night for dinner at the table. No TV etc. She doesn't get options. It's a small amount on her plate cut up in little pieces. She helps set the table. She climbs into her chair. Then she doesn't eat.
She has a multivitamin every day, and she'd live on milk (3.25%) if she could. We try to limit juice intake as much as possible and she will drink water sometimes.
I've read in a lot of places that not really to worry, record what she eats across a week and see if she's getting all the nutrients she needs. I need to do this yet, but I'm fairly certain due to a complete lack of fruit and almost total lack of vegetables she's missing some important things.
Also, she's at the 25-th percentile for weight at last check, and our doctor has said that we can't just let her get away without eating. So I'm not comfortable with let her eat when she wants to. Also, if she doesn't eat any dinner, she gets hungry later, and will not go to bed, as well, she's hungry.
What can I do? What am I doing wrong?
It could be a lot of things. Sometimes it's just a phase (you didn't indicate how long this has been going on, or whether she's actually lost weight since she stopped eating), sometimes it's just the normal terrible-twos rebellion, and sometimes there is a medical reason for this.
We've had to deal with the first two of those situations, and have a nephew that has a medical problem with food.
In each case we tried several things:
We did have short phases where a kid would seemingly not eat for several days at a time - several bites at each meal, but these lasted for only a few to perhaps several days, and then they've be back to their normal self.
The above will really only help when it's a issue of motivation or independence.
It's important that you don't ignore the possibility that there's a medical problem. Keep track of your child's physical activity, weight, and intake. If they aren't consistently gaining weight, or if they are lethargic or sleepy most of the day, or seem to have frequent bouts of illness, consult with your physician about their diet and share your tracking information. 25th percentile isn't bad, and is generally well above the line needed to be diagnosed as Failure to Thrive, and due to the curve on the weight chart there's a big difference between 1% and 25%.
If your child is otherwise happy, active, and gaining weight, then they may well be eating what they need.
My first comment is it is not something you are doing wrong. When my son was 18 months he started to not eat his dinner, Fortunately he ate quite well at other meals. I took it as something I was doing wrong and my attitude made things worse. I think my reaction was compounded by being 4 months pregnant. My son is now nearly 4 and is a reasonable good eater.
Now my daughter nearly 2 has started the same thing. We are trying to be a lot more relaxed but I am also concerned as she is also on the 25%.
It is definitely a stage thing. Just about every child I know seems to go through this stage. I have read in several places (can't find any online support at present) that it relates to kids growth slowing and so their energy needs change. I also wonder some kids also realise that they can extert some control over mum and dad through food.
A few suggestions base on my experience or friends:
Hope this of some help. Just try not to let it get you down.
answered 17 Mar '10, 02:16
My son is at the 7% and they want him at the 30%. He won't eat dinner. So we just make sure the rest of what he eats is high in calories
answered 03 May '11, 12:11