My son is 2 1/2 years old. He refuses to eat table food. If you give him something new to try, you have to work and work and practically force him to and then he gags until he just about throws up. We have had a swallowing study done and it showed he had no problems swallowing. He just has problems with textures. He will eat goldfish, frutloops and mini-cookies. He used to eat masked potatoes and french fries, but now refuses that. I don't know what else to do. It has been sugested my several to just take the baby food away and let him eat what I put in front of him. I know children won't starve, but I feel like a horrible mother whenhe "skips" a meal. PLEASE HELP!!!
His weight is between the 90-75th percentile for his age which is very good considering his eating habits. He should be eating finger foods, on his own with his fingers. Suggest let him eat food with his fingers and give him the same food you eat cut up in smaller pieces and then relax. Is he drinking milk? That will give him protein and you can add ice cream to it as a milkshake (for additional calories and protein) if his eating decreases when you start finger foods. Mealtimes can be a battlefield when children do not have an interest to eating or eat very little. It becomes the battle of the wits between the child and the parents. Remember meals need to be joyous for parents and the child. If he will not eat a certain food, do not make a fuss over it. Give him some other food alternatives and let him eat what he wants. Then let it go and enjoy the meal. Slowly introduce new foods, and if he does not want it, do not make a fuss over it. Let it go and enjoy the meal. Try again in a few months.
DO NOT take away your son's baby food until he tries what you offer, whatever you do. The confused look he will give you as the one he trusts to provide food, shelter, and unconditional love, will haunt you for the rest of your life. When my son was 3 yrs old his dr told me that the reason he refuses regular food is bcz he knows he will eventually get the food he wants. When I asked if I was suppzd to let him starve he said, "Offer him the food and continue to re-offer it if he does not eat it. He won't refuse it forever and he won't starve himself." Well, at the end of the 2nd day of not eating anything else, I gave him his mac & cheese and hotdogs. I have never forgiven myself for trying to bully him into eating and still wish I could take those 2 days back. I have never forgotten the way he ate that food –as if he were starving, because he was. Today my son is 23 yrs old and, though better, he is still a picky eater. Perhaps I didn't know the ‘art’ of introducing foods to a child, and with my other 2 kids nevr having a problem eating or gagging on ‘normal’ food, it was even harder. My son forever used eating as a combat weapon between us, and I was nevr as glad as the day I didn't have to deal with preparing his meals anymore. For years I felt it was a personal attack on me as a parent –though at the time I didn’t feel it was that. “I just want him to learn how to eat,” I would say. I look back and see that what I wanted was for our mealtimes as a family to be easier and more pleasurable. Other families had this, why not mine? To this day he eats neither fruits nor vegetables of any kind –I cannot stop wondering what kind of stress he must be putting his intestines/body through and how I am to blame for this. And now, guess what? I am raising his son and am once again going through the same thing. I guess you can say I have a chance to redeem myself. I’d like to think it is God’s way of giving me those 2 days back. I see my son when my grandson refuses a food. However; since I am older, hopefully wiser, and he is the only child whose meals I oversee, I make sure (while I still can) that the foods available in the house are healthy, and I will offer the blended baby foods (foods & vegs have to be stage 2 only!) and baby cereal with milk –in a bottle or not. I try not to overcompensate so that I do not somehow harm this child, yet sometimes I cannot help it –so his sleepy time bottle still goes, just not to bed with him. If I'm going to err in his upbringing as well, then I will do so while making him a happy camper. He is 28 mos old and does eat cookies, crackers, chips, raisin bran (sans the raisins) or other flaky cereal with milk, French fries, ice cream, cake, and he loves chocolate (courtesy of his 16 yr old auntie). This month he’s tried rice (appx ½ tspn –divided into 5 sections!), and 2 teeny bites from a cordon bleu nugget, but who cares? It’s an accomplishment! So far still no fruits or veggies except jarred –so he’ll continue to get them jarred while I continue to offer the real fruit… still, this is 4 more foods than my son ate at 5 yrs old! My advice to you is to enjoy everything else about your son and leave him to enjoy his food. Just keep his options open, –and if junk foods are out of the house then let him eat what he wants. He will eventually eat when eating is no longer the focus. Experience had to teach me that –and that was a hard lesson to learn. Hope this helps.
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