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  #1  
October 3rd, 2010, 11:17 AM
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I know we have kiddos of every age on this board, so I'm looking for some advice on my 2 year old.

Ethan has recently become very, um, opinionated about food. For example, earlier this week he absolutely refused to eat anything other than pancakes. Some days it's chicken (he now only recognizes chicken in nugget form). He used to be such an awesome eater & then about a month ago, he started getting picky & it's grown to a ridiculous level.

I have really started to dread meal times. He fights me & throws a fit at EVERY meal, even if its something he likes. Last night, he was sitting at the table & when I gave him his plate, he screamed "No, Mommy!" and knocked it on the floor. I totally lost my temper, grabbed him off his chair & put him to bed with no dinner at all. It was a late dinner because he was out playing & after I calmed down, I felt really bad about putting him to bed without dinner. However, I will not tolerate that kind of behavior. This morning at breakfast he asked for pancakes, but when he saw me put them on his plate, he started to cry & threw himself on the floor. After a stint in time-out, he ended up eating 3 big blueberry pancakes & said "Thank you, Mommy. I like pancakes." WTH?!? I am at a total lost & have no idea how to handle this behavior; the idea of sitting down to dinner makes me want to cry. Any advice would be greatly appreciated before I lose my mind.
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Last edited by AmandaEliz; October 3rd, 2010 at 11:21 AM.
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  #2  
October 3rd, 2010, 12:59 PM
Kelllilee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Sounds pretty typical at that age, but VERY frustrating. My suggestion would be to get him involved in meal prep. Even if it's just helping choose what you're having (give him options). Let him dish his own plate (with help as needed). If he throws a fit, remove him from the table and just let him know when he's ready to eat he can come back to the table.

Don't make him special meals or snacks other than at normal snack time. Children will not starve themselves, eventually he will eat. If he complains that he's "still hungry" after refusing his dinner, tell him he can eat what's still on his plate.

It is a very frustrating phase, but don't worry too much about how much he is or isn't eating right now. He'll be okay It'll take some time, but stick to it and he'll learn.
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  #3  
October 3rd, 2010, 01:43 PM
Kathode's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelllilee View Post
Don't make him special meals or snacks other than at normal snack time. Children will not starve themselves, eventually he will eat. If he complains that he's "still hungry" after refusing his dinner, tell him he can eat what's still on his plate.
Ditto...if you start catering to him now, it'll just get worse. It's a control thing, may be you could let him have more control in other areas (such as choosing what to wear), it could help. But stay tough! You have the right attitude, and it's really just a phase. When it gets really frustrating, just remember that one day he'll be 16 and eating you out of house and home...
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  #4  
October 3rd, 2010, 02:07 PM
Angel.Eyes4351's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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HUGS, I know this is frustrating. I think you're doing a good job and I agree with PP's that it's definitely a control thing! I am definitely no expert... we still struggle at mealtime sometimes. I just try to get him to at least try new things... I am not a short order cook... (I refuse to make him a peanut butter sandwich while the rest of the family eats whatever I've cooked for supper) But also I try not to put too much on his plate, it overwhelms him. If he wants more, he'll ask for it.

And I do try to bribe him.... idk if that's "against the rules" or what... but he gets a treat for a clean plate award! I was a picky child... and am still funny about some things, so I try to be reasonable.

HTH
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  #5  
October 3rd, 2010, 03:17 PM
monica8's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I agree with not making him anything special and getting him involved in meals as much as possible. As hard as it is to not react, that's the best thing you can do. Offer, then if he chooses not to eat, nonchalantly end the meal. There's always the next meal if he's hungry.

HUGS though! The kids I nannied went through phases of this. Very typical, but super frustrating when you put love into a meal that is just screamed at, then thrown away.
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  #6  
October 3rd, 2010, 05:14 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I don't have advice, basically in the same boat with struggles to eat. Cadie used to be the best eater. No more! She was basically eating nothing for a while, she has been a bit better the past week. So frustrating.
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  #7  
October 3rd, 2010, 06:46 PM
QueenCrafty's Avatar Courtney
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Yep, we have our days like that too. For lunches I let her have a choice out of two possibilities (sandwich or quesadilla, peas or banana, juice or milk). That seems to help. If she refuses to eat, then the meal is over. She usually eats fine at the next meal.
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  #8  
October 4th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I just need to take a deep breath when he's being difficult & remember that he will eat eventually.

Dinner went much better last night. I let Ethan help me make the chili. I put the spices in a plastic measuring cup & let him pour them in. I also let him pick which plate he wanted (Lightning McQueen or the tractor). He ate 2 big helpings of chili & some garlic toast. We'll see how today goes with Mike home; sometimes he's worse when Mike is home. No idea why.
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  #9  
October 4th, 2010, 06:30 AM
Tiff802's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelllilee View Post
Sounds pretty typical at that age, but VERY frustrating. My suggestion would be to get him involved in meal prep. Even if it's just helping choose what you're having (give him options). Let him dish his own plate (with help as needed). If he throws a fit, remove him from the table and just let him know when he's ready to eat he can come back to the table.

Don't make him special meals or snacks other than at normal snack time. Children will not starve themselves, eventually he will eat. If he complains that he's "still hungry" after refusing his dinner, tell him he can eat what's still on his plate.

It is a very frustrating phase, but don't worry too much about how much he is or isn't eating right now. He'll be okay It'll take some time, but stick to it and he'll learn.
Totally agree! VERY typical and VERY frustrating! Kieron (4) is just getting to the point where he will try new things again. Callum (2) is in the "I'm not going to eat anything" stage and he goes to bed without touching his food most nights. But, he does eat when he's hungry enough. If he throws a tantrum I take his food and drink away and he has to sit at the table until everyone else is finished. Good luck!
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  #10  
October 6th, 2010, 11:47 AM
Army_Wife's Avatar Blessed times 3!
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My 4 yr old is a VERY picky eater, and the phase I thought would only last for a few months when he was about 2 hasn't ended yet. He's still incredibly picky and will through the biggest fit over what I cook. The other day I took the mac-n-cheese out of the oven (previous one of his favs) and he literally threw himself on the floor and screamed, "NOOOOO! You put onions in it," which I hadn't. He just wanted to say I did so he did have to eat.

What I've learned to do is offer him a breakfast and lunch that I know he'll eat. He gets to choose his breakfast (cereal, pancakes) and I'll offer him 2 or 3 choices for lunch. Then he gets 3 snacks throughout the day. I refuse to cook him something different for supper. I offer him whatever I've made, and if he doesn't eat it, that's that. He'll get a snack before bed. The pedi said as long as he's eating 2 solid meals a day along with 3 healthy snacks, he'll be okay. And so far, the pedi is right. More days than not, DS doesn't eat a very good supper. There are a few things he'll eat that I cook, but most often he'll graze. Maybe take a bite or two and that's the end of it. Some nights he doesn't take a bite at all. DH and I encourage him to try it, but we don't punish him for not eating. For awhile there, I dreaded supper b/c it usually ended with yelling and forcing him to teat. Now supper is usually peaceful. He'll sit with us and tell DH about our day. He'll drink his milk and maybe take a few bites. And I don't stress it. I know there will come a day when I can't make enough food to fill him up. He'll probably always be picky, but he is eating enough to grow and what he does eat is healthy. So I'm not going to worry about him anymore. He'll eat when he's hungry.
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  #11  
October 6th, 2010, 12:44 PM
bostoncreampie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I personally wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Make sure he gets a vitamin, and maybe get creative with adding purees to your pancakes. I don't think that giving in to it a little is going to damage him or make him a terrible, controlling child.

Toddlers are little people, with preferences, too. My personal rule in the house is if my 2 year old doesn't want something that I KNOW he likes and has loved before, that's all he gets and he can get heated leftovers before bed. But if it's something new and he doesn't like it, I respect it and let him have PB toast or yogurt or something.

I assure you he won't eat pancakes forever. If anything, he will get sick of them and his body will crave something else. Still offer other things, but I don't think it's a good idea to power struggle over food. I'd suggest a more gentle approach.
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