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2 year old won't eat its complicated

he is underweight by the dr standards..20 lbs just now. he does feeding therapy 1x a week to get him used to textures. He doesn't do good with chunks yet. We puree everything for him. Now he just doesn't want to eat at all; it is a battle at every mealtime. He just can't afford to be skipping meals. We are frustrated and worried. Any suggestions on how to get him to eat?

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Asked by michiganmommy11 at 12:06 PM on Feb. 6, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • Part of the problem with making sure a two-year-old eats is that the child has discovered that he/she can say, "No", turn the head when food is being presented or spit it out when they don't want the food. Since I don't know the whole story about your son, I can only go on what I have been through. My son was hospitalized at 4 mos. for infant botulism and was released at 6 mos. The neurologists and pediatricians all told us that we would have problems getting our son to eat or drink anything. He refused the bottle and sippy cup and any food that was offered. I was desperate to get him out of the hospital. I, finally, begged the doctors to let me try to nurse him. Not only was I talking to the doctors about his eating, the speech therapists and dietician/lactation consultant would come to his hospital room to observe when he was given a bottle, sippy cup or spoon with food on it. I tried all of their suggestions.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:00 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Contd.
    Nothing worked! I was so frustrated. I even asked my husband to come one evening and try to feed him. No success. My mother-in-law made a suggestion. She had to force feed my husband when he was 1 or 2. She had to gently squeeze on his cheeks, where the upper teeth and the lower teeth come together. When he opened his mouth, she would spoon the food in. I talked to the doctors, the dietician, the speech therapist and the social worker that was on staff at the hospital about it. They agreed to let me try it. But first, I tried to plug his nose to get him to open his mouth. It worked once or twice and then he figured out how to wiggle just right to get the spoon away from his mouth. I tried squeezing his mouth. Finally, success! It was a real struggle to get him to eat his food. There were many times that I would get frustrated. When I got frustrated, I would get up and walk away.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:10 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Contd. I didn't want to hurt my son. The first solid food that I got him to eat was carrots. After he ate, the nurse and I gave him a bath. He left an orange ring around the tub. Thereafter, I would shut the door when I fed him. The nurses and other parents could hear me say, "You will eat this food." The nurses were there for me when I needed help. After my son was released from the hospital, my husband and I did not eat at a restaurant for a very long time for fear that someone would think that we were abusing our son. After all, it was a life or death situation. For a year and a half, my son was below the bottom line on the weight chart. Now, his weight falls some where between the 5% - 50% weight range on the chart. Every now and then, I have to squeeze his cheeks.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:20 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • When your son is finally able to eat solid foods (not pureed), be sure to give him healthy snacks in between meals and before bed time. That is what really helped my son to gain the weight.

    I hope that my experience will help you. You are not alone. You can always send me a message. I don't care if you are venting. I have been where you are right now. I know how frustrating it is. You are fighting for your son's life. Good luck.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:27 PM on Feb. 6, 2009

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