Posted By HFHS.M.D.L.M. on January 24, 1999 at 09:36:50:
In Reply to: Toddler eating habits posted by Tanya on January 13, 1999 at 09:58:15:
I have a two year old child that I cannot get to eat anything. He has not gained an ounce in over 5 months. He does everything and anything to get out of eating. I took him to his pediatrician to see if there was anything wrong and now she wants to run a bunch of tests to make sure he does not have a thyroid disorder or is not anemic. I am very worried that he may have a growth disorder. Could you give me some advice on trying to get him eat or even what the possibilties that this may be a more severe problem then what it may seem.
Dear Tanya :
Thank you for your question .
If your child is dropping off centiles on the Growth chart for weight or has an abnormal physical exam , then tests are probably warranted
If your child has a problem eating his/her food during meal times , but enjoys his favorite snacks , chocolates , ice-cream , candy and juice and never hesitates to take a second portion of those , then your problem is not organic ( i.e. : your child is not sick ). You have a feeding problem .
Here are some tips that can help you through meal-times :
1. Always have your toddler sit and eat with the rest of the family , or at least sit next to him/her and feed before or after the main meal .
2. Repeating a fancied diet is not harmful , as long as its nutritious .
3. Try not to use bribes . They commonly work . With time , they will not accept to eat unless you bribe them, even if they like the food , you end up being the loser .
4. As soon as your toddler shows signs hes not going to eat any more , clean hands and face and allow him/her to get down from the table .
5. Dont show anger if the food is not eaten , but put the untouched food in the fridge and bring it out later.
6. If the toddler refuses his/her meal , he /she should not be allowed to fill on juices or milk immediately after .
7. Make food fun .Transfer the meal place to the garden , the balcony . Use a colorful straw for milk, a lunch box for lunch. Make funny faces out of pancakes. Use some butter or margarine or even jam to make familiar shapes or favorite characters on the toast or bread . Cut the cheese and hot dogs into triangles and circles . Bake the cookies into alphabet shapes or numbers .
If you still have questions , you can arrange to get advise from a nutritionist through your doctor especially in regards to the amount of calories for his /her weight for height and how to divide those calories on the different food groups.
On note of the helpful hints from Cyndi and Lacie , may I add that pediasure is a good source for proteins. You may try to make it into a milk-shake as most children have difficulty tolerating it's taste.
Disclaimer ; this information is for educational purposes only. Your physician is responsible for your health , diagnosis and treatment .
Keywords : Eating habits-toddler* ( behavioral -developmental pediatrics)