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How can I let my 2-year-old daughter eat her meals on her own?

I have 27-month daughter who wants me only to feed her. She does not eat anything if I'm not there, am a bit worried because going to enrole her in childcare which is going to be a long day and if she does not eat on her own she's going to get sick. Tried to put small amount of food in front of her when she was really hungry but she refused to have that by herself and asked me to feed her instead. How can I make her interested in eating on her own? Thanks for help and support in advance.


Asked by NasMoj at 5:59 AM on Nov. 28, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (43 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • That happens when you spend too much time worrying she can't do it, with the result that she won't. She has gotten used to you feeding her, and now you suddenly expect her to be able to do it herself. You have to help her along and encourage her. Start with something she can eat with a spoon, help her to hold it, and praise her every time she manages to use it successfully. This is something your daughter should have been able to do a year ago. You need to nurture a better sense of independence in her, from what this problem sounds like, you smother her too much. Whether or not she's good at it, whether or not she might not do it right to start out with, you have to let her do stuff on her own, but you've got to show her how.

    Answer by FluffyMamaBunny at 6:58 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Have some cousins or bigger friends over. Put them at a kid table. She will want to be like the others. Have finger foods for a snack while they play and let the kids eat as they go. Leave her a cheese stick while she is playing. Give her a snack in her carseat while you are driving. Maybe a piece of luncheon meat. When she gets to preschool she will eat like the other kids. She will want to fit in and do like they do. Just keep giving her opportunity. Do not sit next to her at the table. Good luck. Make her most favorite food and put her at the table in her highchair with the plate in front of her. Then get busy behind her in the kitchen. Do not let her drink before meals. She will be hungrier.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 6:09 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • Wait, she is able to ask you to feed her? NO! That needs to have a stop put to it! She can either eat on her own, or sit there until she does. (That's what I do to my son if he doesn't want to eat. He sits there until he does.) Just an opinion though...

    Answer by AtHomeMommy-3 at 6:03 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I think once she is in daycare and sees no one feeding the other kids that she will start feeding herself. Peers can be a big influence. I am surprised you are still feeding her though because they usually start finger foods at about 8mths also 2yr olds are typically crazy independent.

    Answer by wentworth99 at 7:17 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • 2yrs old and not feeding herself. wow i have the opposite problem. my dd wont let anyone feed her even when she obviously needs help. what i do is i help her along and then just leave a fork and spoon her size on her dish or bowl. i don't know its going to be extremely difficult at 2 to start the process but i think once she is in daycare it will change. good luck.

    Answer by lambdarose at 8:11 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I like wentworth's idea. Do you have any friends with kids the same age or close? You can get together, and let them eat together, and see how that influences her. Use peer pressure to your advantage!
    Also, don't give YOU feeding her as an option. Just put the food in front of her, and let it sit if she doesn't eat it. She'll whine, cry, whatever, but tell her that big girls feed themselves. See how Mommy and Daddy are feeding themselves?
    Do you all eat at the table together? If not, that may help. Kids want to mimic Mommy and Daddy, so if she sees you guys doing it, that might encourage her. Good luck!

    Answer by musicpisces at 2:36 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

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