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How can I get my kid's attention to eat?

My little girl is 18-month-old. Whenever I offer her food she says "NO" or if she has couple spoons of meal, refuses to have more and constantly says "NO, NO, NO" then runs to play with her toys. As if she is doing a favour for me! Tried many times to let her get hungry then offered her food but that also didn't work, again after 2 or 3 spoons saying "NO, NO, NO" not sure how I can help her in this matter, she's getting too skiny plus this is going to be a bad habit for her, appreciate if you mothers can share your experiences with me and assist me what to do?!

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Asked by NasMoj at 5:59 AM on Feb. 17, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (43 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • take her to the pediatrician and tell them what's going on. if she's losing weight and refuses to eat much there could be some sort of medical reason. Most children that age are prone to eating a few bites and getting full. It happens. Next thing you know there eating all of it and asking for more it's just a child's metabolism, but she's losing weight and that's a health risk. Get her to the pediatrician. In the meantime, feed her her normal food and let her eat what she can. Some is better than nothing. Make sure you AREN'T feeding her over-processed foods or candy or juice with a lot of sugar. They like the taste and don't want real food. Cut the juice with water.

    Answer by Comfy at 6:03 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • Like the PP said, make sure she's not filling up on juice. Also, you could try taking her to a restaurant where's there's nothing to focus on but food. My she's just too easily distracted. The losing weight can be a worry, unless she just went through a growth spurt. I've noticed with all kids, they get chubby in the face right before a growth spurt and then all the sudden they look skinny again. Def. take her to the ped. if she losing weight. Oh yeah, look on line for some fun kids food ideas. Maybe if her food looks "fun" she'll want to eat it. GL

    Answer by jreneei at 6:09 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • deep breath in... it's normal for her to look like she's getting skinny, around the two yr mark toddlers elongate and "grow legs" She is going through a normal tricky time. Relax and let her have it! Offer lots of choices as often as you want. No kid is going to starve to death from rice bubbles for brekie, lunch and dinner for a month! Please try to not stress, take the emphasis off "three meals a day" and move to a grazing approach, half a sandwich cut into sticks, some cheese, watermelon cubes, crackers and hommus... at this young age it is largely about encouraging trying lots of new tastes and textures, and it is very normal for them to eat little amounts very often throughout the day. I have heard it referred to as the "grazing year" like sheep grazing in the paddock, Keep drinks to water only with a milk drink before bed to avoid feeling full on milk- if she is otherwise happy, sleeping okay don't bother with the dr.

    Answer by myheartx4 at 6:20 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • PS Mum to 4 kids 15, 13, 11 and 5, all went through it, all healthy and happy eaters now. Remember there are NO rules!!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 6:22 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • you said it perfectly myheartx4!

    Answer by Comfy at 7:00 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • Try telling her a really interesting story that will peek her likes or dislikes. I use to tell my girls really gory scare stories that kept them memsmerized until their food was gone, and after they were finished they wanted to put an end to my story, try it out!

    Answer by older at 7:51 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • MY son is 16 months old and he as well is a very picky eater. Try making food fun like in little shapes. Also try making her a separate meal instead of what you are making for your self. Make her foods that she loves to eat the most just to get her to get the hang of eating more often.

    Answer by iliana90 at 8:09 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • "says "NO, NO, NO" then runs to play with her toys."

    It might have something to do with where she's eating. If you are trying to feed her while she's up and able to run off then of course she's going to choose toys over food. Maybe being in a high chair or booster seat at the table to eat (especially if you were eating a little something too) would help her recognize that it's meal time rather than just a break from play time? Sorry, that's the only thing I could think of (my 13 month old eats better at the table than he does "on the run" ) Good Luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:02 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • There's probably nothing seriously wrong, there are quite a few toddlers that Ive seen going through that. mine including. I took mine to her pediatrician , and he just saids that as long as her weight and height are fine . not to worry about it. that my daughter will eat whens she's hungry. a child will not starve herself. after a couple years she started eating normal. AND NOW SHE'S A teen and eats like no tomorrow and she's still on the thin side. But if there's more to this then I would go see your pediatrician.

    Answer by incarnita at 9:07 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

  • My son is the same way. We just limit snacks throughout the day so he is hungrier at mealtimes. We also make a point to sit together as a family at dinnertimes. Does she eat better in the mornings? My son is a hearty breakfast eater but picks at his lunch and dinner. I expect him to sit in his chair for ten minutes minimum at mealtimes and take at least three bites of everything. I make a game out of it. He loves to count, so the three bite rule has been working for us so far. He refuses the high chair and flips if I strap him at the table. He is not allowed to play with his toys at mealtimes. Although I do not see harm in letting him bring a toy to the table and "share" his meal with it. He will do this with his plastic people toys. This is quite normal.

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 2:58 PM on Feb. 17, 2010

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