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what can I do to get my son to eat????

My son will be 2 years old next week. He does NOT eat ANYTHING! I have had to puy pediasure for him to drink before bed cause I am afraid that he's going to be hungry through the night! My MIL feeds him nothing but ho dogs, and thats the only thing I can get him to eat at home now. He won't even taste anything! I have to literaly hold him down just to make him taste new things. However, as soon as my lovely MIL puts sweets in front of his face, he scarfs it down! We don't do ANY sweets at our house, because I don't think you should have it if you aren't going to eat anything else.
somethings we have already tried:
1. put the plate where he can reach it and maybe he will come back to it later.

2. Don't make him what he likes just cause you know he will eat it, give him whats for dinner, and if he doesn't like it, tough!

3. reward good eating with sweets.



Asked by usdragonflies at 10:03 PM on Dec. 5, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 17 (4,442 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Everything you have tried is very good, the thing is he is young and while he doesn't control much in his life he can control food. I think what has happened is you have made him afraid and angry. If you are holding him down to try new things he is never going to try them. At this age kids will never starve themselves and while only eating sweets is not okay it is also not bad for his age. When my son was this age he only ate mac & cheese, pizza, ice cream, peanut butter and maybe some fruit. At this age it is okay. It is when they get older and can reason more that you do the I'm not making anything else. Remember his belly is smaller then yours so he will eat less and maybe more often.

    Also in my house we always have a trying plate. We put different kids of food on it and let the kids try as they like. At this point don't force because it will backfire and he will eat even less.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 10:09 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • Keep him away from the MIL!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 10:04 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • NO MIL. NO hot dogs. No sweets period.

    You can't force him to eat. Food is not a battle you can win, you will lose. Do NOT force him or hold him down. However, you do not have to provide crap to eat. All you can do is offer up and he can choose to eat or not. Have out fresh fruit and veggies and a variety of healthy foods for snacking out in his reach and for dinner offer up what the family is eating. If he wants it he can eat it, if he doesn't he doesn't. You can also try things that are self serve and fun like hummus with veggie sticks to dip, or guacamole and pita bread, tzatziki is nice too. Try fun shapes: mango spears, pineapple rings, starfruit (expensive but one makes a fruit salad fun), kiwi circles.

    Eating should be enjoyable not a battle of wills. Also try looking at other areas of his dailylife. Does he get to have choices or is food the only thing he has control over?

    Answer by amileegirl at 10:11 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • boy are we in simliar situations. my mom gives me 14 month old boys bottles all day even though we're trying to get off them.
    which is a joke ok

    but even if they are hungry they dont each much. taden hasn't had much to eat in like a week. i think its teething, but still, he just wont eat.

    i hope its a phase... im just letting them eat (healthy versions of) pizza and spagetti (with mac and cheese type noodles) yeah they love their tomato sauce

    have you tried yogurt? my boys LOVE yogurt

    good luck!

    Answer by ElsaSalsaaa at 10:17 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I do not agree with "rewarding good eating with sweets". That's the wrong approach. It turns it into a punishment reward system which is not effective. A better way is to not have dessert attached to the meal at all. Dessert should be something more random at some other part of the day as a treat separate and distinct from meal and not a daily thing, or a thing to be expected for good behavior. You shouldn't even mention it. If you don't feel there was enough nutrition had in the day simply do not offer it nor mention it. However, if you think everyone could use the fun powers of a chocolate chip cookie then offer and indulge together. Also, watch how you react to his eating. Have a NON reaction. Instead of at dinner "if you don't like it tough", think "if you don't like it that's okay, you can choose a healthy snack instead (ex. an apple)"

    Answer by amileegirl at 10:18 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • I agre with you about me making him scarred or angry. I have only resorted to doing that recently because I am desperate, but I really do feel awful about it. It just makes me feel like such a bad mom that I can't even get my child to eat anything, much less healthy!

    Comment by usdragonflies (original poster) at 10:18 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • im going through this with my step son only eats sweets!!!! and it makes me upset because his real mom lets him eat it all the time! now my biological son he will eat anything but wont eat veggies !!! he LOVES batman so i got him to eat veggies finally by saying batman eats his veggies to be strong, i asked my son if he wanted to be batman he needs to eat his vegies so he can be strong like batman and he ate his veggies (peas and carrots) so maybe you can try something like that!!! with a hero your child likes

    Answer by kris8525 at 10:25 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • well, if he likes hotdogs, they do have some healthy options for hotdogs.....try a couple of different brands and see if he will 'take the bait'. i know it's hard, but honestly they won't starve to death. i often wonder how my 2yo is still alive (and growing!). he hardly eats a thing most days. gl

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 10:27 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • My son is very picky too. Try fresh fruits in bite sized pieces and just leave it where he can find it on his own. Dry cereals. Yogurts. V8 Fusion Juice works wonders. ^_^

    Answer by leasure0911 at 10:43 PM on Dec. 5, 2010

  • we do V8 alot! He won't even look and fruits or vegatables. Dry cereal he will eat at snack time, and he eats yogurt for breakfast sometimes. None of these are meals though.

    Comment by usdragonflies (original poster) at 10:45 PM on Dec. 5, 2010