Eating problems: DD is way too slow! — The Bump
Pre-School

Eating problems: DD is way too slow!

Thank goodness our kids are really fantastic eaters and will eat almost anything.  So I hate to make a big deal out of their eating.  However, my older daughter eats so slowly.  It is a constant battle to get her to eat faster.  It is mostly dinner time - but some days we struggle with breakfast and/or lunch.  We have tried taking away privileges, taking away certain toys, setting a consistent time limit to her eating, hoping that she would learn that she has to eat more - only we would cave when she would wake up saying she was hungry (I felt like I was starving her, even though she was eating plenty throughout the day).  I have tried explaining to her that when she starts school next year, she is going to only get s short amount of time to eat lunch.  I am worried that she's going to go through her days without eating.  It is currently happening to my friend's daughter who started kindergarten this year and she comes home with almost all of her lunch still in her lunch sack.  Anyone else deal with any similar issues?  If so, what have you done to try to make meal time a little easier?  I feel like DH and I have told ourselves that its a phase for way too long, as its been going on for quite some time. 

Any advice?  TIA

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Re: Eating problems: DD is way too slow!

  • DS is also a slow eater.  During the hour we have to get ready, he's picking at his breakfast almost the whole time.  Then I'm rushing to get him dressed and out the door for school.  His teacher actually said he eats really good at school and maybe brings home a thing or two in his lunch.  If he didn't eat all of something and I ask why, he'll tell me "it was time to clean up".  He's also slow at dinner...he sometimes doesn't eat much either.  I will save his dinner for later, or make sure he has a healthy snack before bed.  Some days he can't eat fast enough...I give him his plate and before I know it, it's gone. While it's frustrating, I try not to stress about it. 
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  • Oh boy my son is the slooooooowest eater ever!

    For his school lunch I try to only pack 3 things, and I make sure to pack protein that I know he will eat and veggies/fruits too. Today he had a ham and cheese roll up that he ate all of, plus carrots and strawberries that he gobbled up. He left a few of his cherry tomatoes, but I am sure he ran out of time.

    At home I stick with breakfast faves on school mornings... greek yogurt, steel cut oatmeal, eggs. On school mornings we just focus on breakfast and getting out the door. Other days he can watch a show or we can read books, but not on school mornings. 

    I have found there is no successful way to rush him, it's all about putting a small amount in front of him so that he can successfully eat his meals. 

    GL!

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  • Thanks for your replies ladies!  VT - that's what I keep telling DH that we need to just give her smaller portions and let her try to eat that.  I will have to try a small snack before bed, I guess - we just eat so late (6:30ish) since DH gets home around 6:00.  DH gets on her a lot - its the Portuguese in him...they're not happy unless someone is always eating.  LOL
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  • My kids both struggled with this as preschoolers although they were also fairly picky eaters.  It was hard to tell whether they were just getting legitimately distracted, dawdling, avoiding eating, or what.  We used a timer, nagged, ignored it, everything!  Nothing worked.  They just had to outgrow their pokiness, which they did sometime between age 5 and 6.  They also became MUCH better/less picky eaters at around that age.  All the food struggles seemed to melt away around that time.

    My preschool was 1/2 day, but for kids entering K the next year, they did a once a month "lunch bunch" so that kids could get used to eating lunch with other kids, managing their own ziploc bags and containers, and eating on a tighter schedule.

    If your preschool doesn't do this, you could mimic this at home by "playing school" with her. Pack her a bag lunch and practice eating in the "cafeteria" with some teddy bears and dolls, or invite a friend over for a playdate.

    I have also found that smaller, easy-to-eat portions help my kids.  

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • My daughter is an incredibly slow eater at home, but she seems to manage to eat within the time given at school. I don't know if it's a matter of peer pressure or just having learned that if she doesn't eat fast, she'll be hungry, but she eats enough at school to satisfy her teacher and myself.
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  • imageneverblushed:

    My kids both struggled with this as preschoolers although they were also fairly picky eaters.  It was hard to tell whether they were just getting legitimately distracted, dawdling, avoiding eating, or what.  We used a timer, nagged, ignored it, everything!  Nothing worked.  They just had to outgrow their pokiness, which they did sometime between age 5 and 6.  They also became MUCH better/less picky eaters at around that age.  All the food struggles seemed to melt away around that time.

    My preschool was 1/2 day, but for kids entering K the next year, they did a once a month "lunch bunch" so that kids could get used to eating lunch with other kids, managing their own ziploc bags and containers, and eating on a tighter schedule.

    If your preschool doesn't do this, you could mimic this at home by "playing school" with her. Pack her a bag lunch and practice eating in the "cafeteria" with some teddy bears and dolls, or invite a friend over for a playdate.

    I have also found that smaller, easy-to-eat portions help my kids.  

    This is a great idea - I will definitely have to try this.  My 1 year old eats faster than she does!  LOL

    Thanks again ladies!

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