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How can I make my 2-year daughter finish her meal? adult content

I have a 28-month-old daughter who is very playful. As I remember she's never paid attention to foods, more wanted to play rather than sitting and eating even when she's hungry prefers to have small piece of something to play and bite on go, so give her piece of apple or veggies in this case but those are not enough nutrition for child's growth, sometimes I get SO frustrated and do not know what to do. Because she was not eating her food I had to make her occupied with reading books and fed her which went well, but for how long I needed to do that, she was old enough to eat herself so had already asked Mothers regarding how to let her eat by herself and got the best answer that "to encourage her with every spoon she takes until she finishes it" but this takes long time like 3-4 hours and sometimes she says I don't want any more, I don't put lots of food in her plate just small amount to encourage her to finish that but she never does…tonight I made her favorite dish with nice decoration and knew that she was hungry enough to finish her meal but took only 4-5 spoons and also each spoon with great difficulty….always we have meal together with her, my husband and I to let her see that we finish everything in our plates soon so she also can do the same but unfortunately this does not work…hope you mothers have ideas to help me out, right now am out of any ideas and so frustrated, worried about [her health, becoming fussy eater and under weight.] Appreciate your help and support.


Asked by NasMoj at 9:15 AM on Dec. 12, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (43 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • First don't make it a power struggle, if she says he's done, let her be done. BUT don't offer a snack later if she doesn't eat well... kids will learn they can skip their meal and then fill up on snack foods. Usually if my son eat half of his meal we call it "good" and he can have a snack later if he wants... but anything less than half he has to wait. Also, watch her milk and juiceintake, especially before meals so that she's not getting full on fluids.
    We find that "ignoring" my son usually helps... if we aren't making a fuss over his eating he usually takes off and eats well while DH and I just chat... if we keep bugging him to take a bit or whatever then he shuts down and stops eating.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 10:47 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Simply give good nutritional food at mealtimes, and require her to sit at her place and eat. She may only eat a few spoonfuls and then feel full, that's ok. Supplements and multivitamins are not usually necessary if you are providing nutritious meals and teaching your child to eat at mealtimes. And the answer is not snacks between meals - snacks can cause a child not to be hungry at mealtime. Also, limit fluids during meals - you don't want the child filling up on a large drink when they haven't had anything to eat.

    Answer by justnancyb at 9:21 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Like justnancyb said, it's ok if she only wants to eat a few spoonfuls. Just don't let her have a lot of snacks, or she won't be hungry at mealtimes. And not too much to drink at meals either, it makes you feel less hungry so you'll eat less!

    Answer by Gaccck at 9:26 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Let her eat until she wants to stop. Kids know what their bodies need. They will not starve, nor will they become unhealthy unless you are giving her junk in between meals.
    I supplement pedia-sure 1 time a day along with a multivitamin. That way she will still get all she needs without fighting over meals or snacking in between each.

    Make sure that you are only giving healthy snacks in between meals.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 9:18 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • All 3 of my girls were like that. Don't worry, she'll be fine. Give her good meals at mealtimes and don't let her "graze" all day long - if you graze all day long, you don't learn to recognize and listen to your body's hunger signals. She won't starve, and she'll learn to eat at mealtimes (which is certainly a skill she'll need as early as preschool, when they don't allow children constant access to food and eating is allowed at designated times only). With you teaching her when and how to eat, especially by modeling this same behavior yourself!, she'll do just fine!

    Answer by caseyandkids at 9:44 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Meals at mealtimes, no snacks between meals.
    Don't try to force, bribe, tease, coax, etc. her to eat, allow it to be her choice.
    When the meal is over, it's over ... and she can eat again at the next meal.

    Answer by snivic at 9:48 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • Like justnancyb said, it's ok if she only wants to eat a few spoonfuls. Just don't let her have a lot of snacks, or she won't be hungry at mealtimes. And not too much to drink at meals either, it makes you feel less hungry so you'll eat less!
    I agree with this.
    Please don't make meal time a battle and don't force her to finish that will cause more issues than it will "fix"
    She isn't going to starve herself.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:54 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • First kids will never starve themselves and they have small stomaches then we do. So if you are having dinner together, I would make her sit at the table and eat with everyone. I don't know that I would make her eat everything, I would let her eat what she wants, although I would not let her get down until everyone is done eating. Also don't ut to much on her plate because it might look like she isn't eating a lot when she really is eating a lot for her age. When my middle son was this age he was a grazer, He would eat a little bit at a time and he would eat all day. He is still that way. If she is doing everything developmentally that she should be then I would not worry to much.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 9:35 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • She's 2. Let her play. She'll be fine. If you force her to sit and eat she may have issues with food later.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Dec. 12, 2010

  • She won't starve! Just set up meal times and stick with them. Only give small snacks in between and don't over do the milk and juice between meals.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 10:15 AM on Dec. 12, 2010