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Do I feed him on demand??

Ok, so when Isaiah was little he was fed on demand. He will be 3 in May, and I'm starting to wonder if i shouldn't just do that with him now. I'm really starting to be concerned with his eating. I mean, seriously he's gained NO WEIGHT since he was 18 months old. Yes, he's gotten taller, but still. He seriously will pretty much not eat all day - he'll take a 2 or 3 bites out of each breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I dont' know what do to. I try to tell myself that it's normal picky toddler eating, and I've never been concerned about it until recently. When he DOES come to me tho and say he wants something in particular, he'll eat it all. But if i do breakfast, lunch, and dinner at regular intervals, I can pretty much count on him not eating. So do i just keep at it on a schedule? Or start feeding him when he tells me he's hungry? :/

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Asked by sweetevilness23 at 3:08 PM on Mar. 26, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (8)
  • Keep him on a schedule, offer him a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a morning snack and afternoon snack.

    Two yr olds are notorious for eating very little.

    I highly recommend the book MY CHILD WON’T EAT! HOW TO PREVENT AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM, by Carlos Gonzales, M.D.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 3:17 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I would not feed him on demand. Babies are fed on demand for the first few months because there's little way of explaining a schedule to them lol. Also, their stomachs are only the size of their fists any they're hungry more often. The best way to know when to feed an infant is when they tell you to. A 3 year old that has the ability to communicate his or her needs and understand when you say "yes, "no," or "wait." Children should not dictate their own diets. They need to learn to eat when everyone else does and eat what they're served. A huge purpose parents serve in this world is guidance. A child does not understand how to make the best food choices for themselves. It is a pain and hectic but you need to stick with your schedule. Don't end up like the moms that get so tired their toddlers eat waffles and gold fish all day long just so they'll eat. There's no nutrition in that and the kids aren't learning to obey.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 3:26 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Don't worry about him. Their growth slows as they get older. Look at the weight charts and see how he compares. My dd has gained a whole 3 lbs over the last year. It seems odd after tripling her birth weight! But that's just how it goes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:02 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Schedule is best. Be consistant. Only give him one snack during the day, between lunch and dinner because that is normally the longest time interval inbetween meals. If he eats good, give him a sugar free popsicle after dinner. My son is almost three and gets a popsicle after dinner, but ONLY if he eats ALL of it. It works great, and he eats good. Good luck. Hope this helped =]

    Answer by mommykayti at 5:21 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Keep him on a schedule, he is too old to eat on demand. He will not starve. He is only 3 so he won't eat big portions. If he likes shakes, try Pediasure 2 times a day with his meals. Served ice cold and shaken well they taste like shakes. My sons doctor had me do this with him at that age and it helped. He gets breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and maybe a snack before bed. Don't let him drink all day long either, he will get full from the liquids. IF you are really concerned then call the doc for more ideas.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:26 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • I just finished reading the Healthiest Kid in The Neighborhood and Dr. Sears says that raising a grazer( a kid who eats healthy foods all day in appropriate portions) is the best way to go. He has some very good arguments and studies that prove this in his book. I see no reason why you couldn't feed him when he asks to be fed. You could even make a tray of healthy snacks and leave it in the fridge or on the kitchen table for him. I don't think schedules are the best thing. Pick up a copy. It may help your situation.


    Answer by Pauline3283 at 8:10 PM on Mar. 27, 2009

  • keep a schedule and stick to it. If you have trouble getting him to eat things you know he needs to eat then reintroduce it first. He wil not starve himself. He has to know that what you make is what he gets. Ideally we should never be hungry when we eat so keep him on a schedule.

    Answer by SylviaNCali at 2:45 AM on Mar. 28, 2009

  • I have a grazer and I simply keep a muffin tin with various healthy snacks on the dining room table for both kids (3.5 years and 22 months). We do make them sit down with the family for breakfast, lunch, and dinner though and those are substantially larger portions for them. I also limit the amount of juice and milk they get throughout the day. They are however allowed to have as much water as they want. I agree with Dr. Sears book and would highly recommend it.

    Answer by aeneva at 3:00 PM on Mar. 31, 2009

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