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She's not eating

My 18 month old daughter is having very little vegetables lately. Dinnertime is terrible. And it's been going on for at least 2 month now. Sometimes she takes a few bites and then it's just "no". Sometimes she refuses it straight away. I cook myself every evening, because I want her to have healthy food. A few times I gave in to it and she had just dessert (she loves yogurt), a few times she went to bed without dinner. I thought, well, she won't let herself starv, right? On the other hand she needs to grow. What do I do?
Also having arguments about that with my husband, which makes it even worse. He's also for "no dinner - no dessert", plus he tells her "eat!". Which in my optinion has no effect, but he needs to let her know, that mommy and daddy are the boss.
I am very insecure about this whole thing aswell as I have an eating disorder and that's the last thing I want her to inherit. Any advice? I'd be most thankful.


Asked by BeachMom81 at 5:58 AM on Jan. 2, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • Mine is doing the hunger strike also..It has been happening a lot.But i do know that most children do this so im not that worried.She will eat carrots,cheese and yogurt.But everything else is just a hassle.So i make her a plate and set it down.I dont pressure her into eating because i dont want to to HATE it after being forced to eat lol..She is fine and healthy also.

    Answer by ryanlynn at 8:16 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • First, you cant inherit a eating disorder...if your talking bulimia or anorexia. second, she is at that age where she will pick and choose what she likes and dont like. try giving her regular food. sometimes some babies just dont like baby food..NONE of mine did..but also she wont starve herself. and daddy needs to not be so pushy about eatting....or else she'll just be stubborn all the more and not eat! ahhhhh rebellion..gotta love it.

    Answer by ChaoticSoul at 6:49 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Don't worry she won't starve herself, my little sister is like this. I would try looking into different foods, as in try everything that you can think of, not just a few vegetables, well providing it's suitable. Tell your husband not to be so pushy. It could help if you just put the food in front of her and obviously help her but don't give her so much attention and if she doesn't eat, she doesn't eat, she will when she gets very hungry. Good Luck with all this.

    Answer by tripletmomtobe at 7:34 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Be in touch with your own feelings and habits when it comes to eating. Food and mealtime are good power struggle issues. Your husband is right to say eat what we have made for supper or don't eat - and that does include dessert. But, let her to decide to eat what is for supper or not. She will not starve herself. If she was in danger, different story. Allowing her to pick and choose by giving her choices give her the power. Forcing her to eat isn't healthy either because that is an attempt to contorl here. Our children need to listen for their own good but I belive even at the age of 2, will struggle for autonomy and to help them, they should be given choices. One of them is will I eat what has been prepared or not? She will learn by experience that it is better to go along with mommy and daddy . That's a healthy alternative to having a power struggle over food.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 7:57 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I agree with "no dinner, no dessert". Why give a reward for not eating?

    If she's not eating her vegetables, then make fruit a part of the meal. Our pediatrician told us to continue to always offer vegetables and let them see us eating them...they will learn what is expected...but that if they're making up the difference with fruit right now, that's okay.

    We also have a "bite per year" rule here. Even at 1 year, they had to take one bite of everything on their plate before they could say they were done. (rule relaxed when they're sick of course!) My 4 year old now has to take at least 4 bites of each thing on his plate before he can get down from the table. (basically, eating a serving for him lol) Even my 2 year old knows this rule...but he does put up a fight.


    Answer by TiccledBlue at 8:03 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • don't worry. At this age, she doesn't need as much food as she used to. If sh'es eating healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks, she may not be that hungry for dinner. Also, if there's too much juice or milk during the day, she may not be as hungry for dinner either. Look at the big picture and make sure she's getting good food *all* day. If no veggies at all, try a veggie juice or snacks that have veggie servings in them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:53 AM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Maybe you and your DH could compromise. She has to eat atleast one bite of everything before dessert. It sounds like even dessert is healthy in your house.

    Answer by AmandaH321 at 10:11 AM on Jan. 2, 2009