Hunger strike

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stillsurprised's picture
Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 68
Hunger strike

So do any of you have a TERRIBLY picky eater?
Well Sam isn’t as much picky, as she WON”T EAT ANYTHING. Drew is almost 14 month old, and he eats everything, except meatloaf. I’m starting to become intensely frustrated with Sam. She is pretty well behaved, but she is a willful little rat. I noticed, about 3 months ago, that she was drinking most of her calories. (The Ovaltine, juice and smoothies) Since then, I’ve been really watching what she is (or Isn’t) eating. I tell her that she can have juice WITH her lunch, WITH her dinner, and not before. I’ll look at the clock and realize that it’s 1:00, (nap time), and that all she’s had was a glass of milk and 2 bites of a cereal bar . I feel like, if it becomes a battle of the wills, she always wins. -I feel like this with potty training too, but that’s another issue all together.—
I’m always riding the line of “Give her this Pediasure, for piece of mind. That way I know she at least has SOME nutrition” and the other thought, “No, she can’t have a Pediasure- she’ll eat this chicken and peas, or nothing at all. That’s what we’re eating. She’ll eventually get hungry and eat”
She’s grown considerably taller, but hasn’t gained any weight. She’s now tall and skinny. Her ped isn’t concerned, but I feel kinda blown off. She just writes it off with a “Oh, Sam’s just being a 2 yr old!”
I’ve tried so many tactics. I can’t even bribe her with a dessert or candy, because she doesn’t eat it!
What are you guys doing to encourage better eating habits?

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

Yep, that's Miles!

We give him Carnation Instant Breakfast to get extra calories in him. He eats, but not a good variety, and not much at all. Definitely no veggies and next to no fruits. I buy baby food fruit and mix one of those in w/his apple juice daily. His idea of eating a snack is 7 goldfish crackers, or 1/4 yogurt, the outside edges of a graham cracker, etc. he just doesn't eat much at all.

At meals lately he's been doing really well with "Eat 2 bites of ______". As long as it's something he likes, he'll eat those bites that we tell him to.

Sam probably hasn't gained because she's gotten so tall. I think as long as they're still gaining, she's happy, has energy, and is sleeping well, she's probably fine. These 2 year olds are weird!

One wish I have for the new baby is that she will be a better eater than Miles. That shouldn't be too hard to beat! LOL!

Oh, I also find that if I just don't stress about it, it's way better. But yeah, it is stressful because they eat multiple times a day, and it's such an important part of LIVING! I totally hear you.

hotdiggit's picture
Joined: 10/17/07
Posts: 400

We are in the same boat. I swear Coraline could out eat Lyla. Cora has ate everything we offered her (even meatloaf, lol). We have enrolled Lyla in an early preschool, and are paying extra for her to stay and eat lunch with them. I am hoping when she sees her peers eat, she will too. I think the routine will help her a bunch too.

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

Deacon isn't as much picky as he is too busy to eat. He definitely eats less of a variety now than he use to but there are some things he will eat a lot of, mailing stuff with tomato sauce - even thought he gags while trying tomatoes. :rolleyes:

We do Ovaltine too and just hope this passes soon.

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

We're also in the anti-food boat. I've stopped trying to cater to Ava. (just the last few days) There is no reason for her not to eat what I serve, Expecially when I'm serving toddler friendly food. I try to serve 3 choices with each meal and 1 of those is something I know she will eat. I'm also being careful to not let her fill up on liquids. I give her water to drink through the day and only give a half a cup of milk with her meal. If she wants more (as she always does) it comes after she's eaten a few bites.

It is a battle of will and it's hard. Ava only weighs 24 lbs. She is teeny tiny but my Ped also is not concerned and she is thriving in every other area, away from the table, so I'm being a hardass. I'm also offering nutritious snacks (pears and cheese, vegggies and hummus etc. as snacks.) I have to remind myself she is not eating because of lack of food. When she gets hungry she'll eat.

As much as I hate to say it, it really is a toddler thing. Just make sure what they lack in quanity they make up for in quality.

stillsurprised's picture
Joined: 04/21/08
Posts: 68

Well, I'm sad to hear that you all must be as frustrated as me-- but really, misery loves company. Wink It did feel good to read that my kid isn't the only one trying to assert herself and manipulate mom. Smile
I can't help but think that I'm the one to blame here. I was so caught up in Sam eating "clean" and not eating the same crap that DH and I eat, that I didn't realize how much I was catering to her. I always made her special meals. Her food was well balanced, and mostly organic. DH and I would eat pizza or cheeseburgers, and would never feed what we ate to her. I think that started the whole path we're on right now. She eats yogurt, Bocca chicken (vegetarian), peas, Z bars (organic Cliff bar), mac n cheese. That sums up 98% of her diet. Occasionally I can bribe her with an Oreo or a gummy bear.

Ashley- that is exactly what I thought with Drew. I wasn't going to let my second dictate my menu. So far, we give him everything that we eat, just in smaller pieces. He loves all food. 2 nights ago, he had garlic bread and shrimp scampi! He's so easy to feed. Just as long as you don't skimp him on portions, he's perfectly happy.

Jen- the Ovaltine started as a special treat, but now it's become dessert..every night! I'm still iffy on giving her sugar after 6, but it's one of those battles that I'm not passionate enough to wage against her.

I guess this is something I just wait out?? How do you get your kid to TRY something in a way that makes them think it's their idea?

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

Tammy, that's our thing too. We can't even get Miles to try ANYTHING. And we don't feed him anything strange! It's all stuff I know he would love if he'd just give it a try. If we even try to get 1 bite in his mouth it's pure TORTURE, he's screaming, gagging/almost puking, etc. so we just don't even try that anymore because we don't want mealtime to be like that. I can't wait until he's like 4 and can understand more.

Joined: 06/03/07
Posts: 623

We're lucky in that we have enough options that we know she likes (when she wants to) and is good for her. So, those are the only choices she's given. I admit, I'm totally fine with letting her go hungry if she wants to be a pill. We're lucky that after a meal or two like that, she's pretty hungry and she'll eat what I give to her.

If she's refusing food, or dawdling too long, I tell her she has 1 minute (or whatever, 5 mins sometimes) to eat, otherwise, that's fine and she's done with dinner. I will take the food away and eat it in front of her. She hates that, and is usually screaming at me if I have to resort to that. That lesson really sticks with her.

I didn't start this way. She's very small for her age, so before, I would do anything to get her to eat. But my pedi said she's healthy, and I should not worry about her weight. I know she's not going to starve.

I don't know what I'd do if she went on a real hunger strike, meal after meal. Or didn't eat anything. Cave real soon, I'm sure.

Lauri V.'s picture
Joined: 03/14/08
Posts: 69

These kids come in all types and varieties, that is for sure.

My kids aren't picky, they eat mostly what they are given. Brandon is following what the girls do for the most part. I wanted to mention that my first was extra sensitive to the texture of mashed potatoes. She wouldn't touch them. I didn't force it because she ate everything else. But she grew out of her extreme dislike of mashed potatoes and now loves them. Just keep offering the foods that you eat, and the kids will likely start trying them and liking them. Just keep it low pressure so that it isn't the battle of the wills. It isn't worth the fight. My second just started loving cooked spinach. Really loving it. Brandon watched her eat it in delight and he tried several bites. He doesn't love it, but it will grow on him. We tell him food will make him strong like Daddy. We told the girls that the food that was the same color as their eyes would make them bluer and greener. LOL. Encourage your little one and praise him, she make want some of that praise too.

Brandon also sings this song from a Nick Jr commercial. "You are what you eat, la la la laaaa."

Tanylisa's picture
Joined: 08/30/07
Posts: 770

Jack is pretty picky and went through a "no eating" period, he's now eating more of what I give him but refuses to try anything new so he eats the same things over and over. I try to sneak in veggies into pancakes and his mac & cheese since that's what he eats most of. Sometimes he'll request to eat but once I make him something he'll act like he's gonna eat and then announce he wants down, it drives me nuts!

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

Can you sneak veggies into her macand cheese? I hear squash is a good one to blend in undetected. I have no personal experience with that though, since Mac and cheese is not one of the 3 things Ava will eat. :rolleyes:

We put everything into pancakes long as it blends smooth I can stick it in there and she'll eat it. Granted, it has to be covered in syrup, but at least some vitamins go in.