Toddler eating issues — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

Toddler eating issues

Hi everyone, DD is 2 1/2 and very small, she has never made it on the growth chart. On top of that she doesn't have a good appetite. As a result my husband and I are still hand feeding her 3 meals a day in order to get her to her recommended caloric intake. If we left it up to her to feed her self she wouldn't eat nearly enough. We offer her a ton of different food options and always have her favorites available but she just nibbles on them and never consumes enough to count as a meal. So my question is this, what do your toddlers eating at meal time? I'd like to see how she compares to her peers and just how far "off" she is. Thanks so much.

Re: Toddler eating issues

  • jms2010jms2010 member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited August 2014
    Thanks for the reply. She has always maintained her growth curve so the pedi isn't overly concerned with her size. She is 22 lbs and 31 inches. Neither my husband or I are very big and she attributes her size to genetics since she has tested negative for other conditions. Pedi is also aware that we still feed her and offers advice but has never had a nutritionist get involved because we are so careful about getting her calories in. We actually have an appt with a speech pathologist in two weeks to evaluate her "situation", but in the mean time I'm getting anxious and want to try your approach just so afraid of her loosing weight. I should also mention she drinks a supplement to guarantee at least 500 calories per day. Thanks again.
  • My DD is in the same boat as the PP- she is 97th percent and has 3 meals and 2-3 snacks a day. Dinner is tough. And it sucks. But that's all I offer.. I used to make her 2 or 3 things a night for dinner just to get her to eat but now I only offer the one meal (protein, veg, startch) and sometimes can bribe with teddy grahams ;)

    I make at least 2 things I know she likes- she loves corn, sweet potatoes, chicken, and fish.

    The other night I made a mexican casserole with turkey and she wouldn't touch it. She tried a couple bites but sometimes I feel like it is a texture thing.

    What kind of things will your DD eat? I would absolutely talk to the pedi as well.

    Also not sure if this is the same for you, but my DD is all about doing stuff herself. "I do it." or "myself."  Has your DD tried to eat for herself using utensils? Perhaps switch it up and let her try it.

    Good luck!

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  • It's comforting to hear we aren't the only ones dealing with a picky eater. She will use utensils to eat the things she likes but again only a few tiny bites, and even though she wants to do everything else herself, eating isn't one of them. I know I just have to get over my fear of her loosing weight and give her the chance to take over feeding herself. Both responses are reassuring and give me better idea of what I should be expecting. Thanks ladies : ) ...and GL to both of you as well!
  • DD is about the same size (22.8lbs & 32.5" at her 30mo appointment). It took awhile for me to finally let go and just realize she was going to eat if she was hungry and stop pushing her. I do tend to make things I know she will eat, but I'm fairly picky as well (mostly texture issues). Her ped said lots of kids are fairly picky at this age and just to keep offering new foods.
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  • It will be good to have a speech pathologist take a look at her overall eating.  If you're supplementing I'd definitely schedule an appt with a nutritionist as well.  But I think you might need to step back and let her take a bit more control of her eating.  Her weight doesn't sound worrisome to me and if she is showing a growth curve I can see why your pedi isn't too concerned either.  

    I'd try giving her 3 small meals and 3 small snacks each day for a few days and see what she does on her own.  Good luck  
    [Deleted User]jms2010aditigirl
  • jms2010jms2010 member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited August 2014
    Baloneydisc- having a "tiny" kiddo adds so much extra stress to an already stressful situation! DD's slow growth prompted a specialist to recommend a feeding tube when she was and infant. Husband and I pushed back and vowed we would do whatever we had to to keep her growing with out it, and we manage but now it's impeding on her progress with self feeding. Like you I feel like I will offer her the things she likes because I can't afford not to. Thanks for letting me know you relate, I think it's time to do as you did and let go a bit.
  • Ashiscute- yes hopefully the speech pathologist can offer some guidance and I'm thinking she may refer us to a nutritionist once and for all. And thanks for the advice, I think that is exactly what I am going to do.
    [Deleted User]
  • Nicb13- I think that's a great rule of thumb! Thanks : )
    [Deleted User]
  • Bellaxanthe- Thanks for sharing your experience. We constantly offer snacks as well and completely hear you on doing any little thing to bulk up calories. I like what you said about not thinking meal by meal but focusing on the bigger scope of a week. It can become so overwhelming otherwise.
  • I totally get your stress. DD's pedi was concerned about her weight around age 3. He wanted us to do the Pediasures but the dairy seriously constipates DD. We tried to add fats at every turn- butter or olive oil on veggies, peanut butter on waffles or crackers for snack, at one point the pedi told us to let her eat whatever she wants- Little Debbie cakes, bacon, sausage, extra butter poprcorn- pretty much anything that would raise another mom's eyebrows in the grocery store. DD is still tiny, hovering right around 30lbs at 5, but DH and I are also pretty petite. As long as she is following her growth curve and not losing her pedi isn't quite as concerned. I still struggle to get her to eat and feel like I"m always begging her to eat or letting her dictate what we eat for meals, but it's hard not to worry!
  • LSU628- I know exactly what you mean, I can't believe the things I serve to DD just for calories sake. We want so badly for them to eat healthy but there just aren't enough calories in a small meal of fruits/ everything gets a pad of butter or cream cheese and my cupboard is always stocked with double chocolate snack packs haha!
  • DS was about 14 months, he went from the 50th percentile to 5th percentile in 5 weeks, which lead to a failure to thrive diagnosis and us seeing a pediatrician and a nutritionist.  We were told to focus on getting him good fats and protein and cut back on the carbs - lots of meat, lots of olive oil and butter in everything, unlimited fruits and veggies.  We were also told that kids eat better earlier in the day, so we did 2 breakfasts, big snack, lunch, big snack, and dinner.  We offered him everything we were eating and also offered him unlimited quantities of his favourites (yogurt, cheese, roast chicken, cauliflower, carrots).  My pediatrician did stress that we shouldn't get into the habit of giving him junk-food like snacks so we never did that.  I totally understand how stressful it can be to try and get your child's weight up.

    After much effort, DS went back on the curve to about the 10th percentile and has staid there since.  DS is not a picky eater but he only eats 1 food group at a time - for example, for one meal he'd eat only pasta, and another he'd eat only meat, and another he'd only eat veggies.  He seems to "balance" it all out himself so we've stopped worrying about it, even though we offer him all 5 food groups per meal.

    To answer your question, this is what he typically eats in a day:

    Breakfast (one of the following) - bowl of oatmeal cooked in whole milk and fresh fruit; bowl of whole-fat Greek yogurt with fruit; a full-sized scone; 4 breakfast sausages + fruit;

    Lunch (one of the following) - bowl of pasta with diced chicken; 1/4 of a chicken; 3/4 of a hamburger; or bowl of carrots and peas.

    Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch, with him eating about 75% of what he'd eat for lunch.  We offer him a banana, cheese, or some sort of filling fruit for snacks.
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