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PREGNANCY & BIRTH » June-December 2011 Babies » Eating Habits of a 2.5 yr old
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 Eating Habits of a 2.5 yr old

03-05-2011,9:27 AM      
Join Date : Jan 2011
Location : Awapuni Palmerston Nortgh
Posts : 4

My wee 2.5 yr old used to be a great eater... now she is fickle, and a grazer... I know she will not starve herself but she is frustrating.. we have starting to give her smaller portions and then taking her plate away if she will not sit still at her table and eat. (mean huh!)

She gets upset for a minute or two then she is off and not even asking for food...

Do you have suggestions please... she loves Carrot and Chips (not that she gets them often but am starting to disguse food for her)! she will eat most things but in small doses like - a bite of banana, and a 1/4 of an apple.

ideas? suggestions??? help please...
03-05-2011,11:50 AM      
Join Date : Dec 2010
Location : Halswell
Posts : 118

Ahh fussy feeders! Our son sounds exactly the same! What we do at dinner time if he refuses to eat is just say "okay", move his plate slightly out of reach, and keep eating our own dinner. If he gets bored and asks to get down, we tell him he has to wait at the table until everyone else is finished. Sometimes my husband takes bits off our son's plate and that usually gets him wanting to have it back! It used to REALLY frustrate me how little he'd eat, how fussy he was and how much of a battle it was. But honestly, giving up that frustration and just saying "okay" has changed everything! Maybe he can sense that I am not going to fight him anymore? I think that sometimes toddlers just want to do something because we tell them they can't! So I guess my only advice is to stop trying to get her to more, and maybe once she realises you aren't going to enter into battle with her, she might just comply!
03-05-2011,11:53 AM      
Join Date : Mar 2010
Location : Titirangi
Posts : 549

Hi there, as your daughter is only 2.5yrs she is still only little. It is most likely that she is just a grazer, as many are at that age. I work with children and this is quite common. If she is eating, even if it is only small amounts at a time, then she is probably just not a big eater. It would be more concerning if she wasn't grazing, and was fussing about the foods that she was given.
One mistake that I come across with parents is portion size (not saying this us you, but i thought i would share as i come across it quite abit). If you take the example of an apple for example. A whole apple is a snack for an adult, so for a toddler, a quarter of a apple would be a suitable size. Or at dinner time, where we give ourselves a huge spoonful of mashed potato, and toddler would only need say a quarter of that.
Last month i was questioned by a parent as to what was wrong with their child, as she wasn't eating very much at dinner. When asked what they usually serve, the answer was a chicken breast, a few roasted potatoes and some broccoli or similar. Now, that is alot of food! in fact more than what i would serve myself. The struggle they were having is that she wouldn't finish it all, and this lead to her not even starting to eat. Once we cut the portion size down, and provided a bit of positive encouragement, she started eating, all of her meal.
My 3 year old is a grazer. She doesn't really eat meals. She snacks almost all day, which is typical for someone her age. Her stomach is not big, and as she is a busy wee thing, she gets hungry alot more often. She is happy with a few peices of apple, a few grapes, a box of raisins, a few crackers etc. At lunch she will eat a small sandwhich, and usually by dinner she is not interested and will only eat a very small amount. Last night she ate a fish finger, about 10 peas and few mouthfuls of pototo and was full!
03-05-2011,9:06 PM » updated 03-05-2011, 9:07 PM      
Join Date : Jan 2011
Location : Awapuni Palmerston Nortgh
Posts : 4

Thanks Sarah. I think you are right - portion size is important.. and yes she is grazing habit throughout the day... Your observations are very helpful.
 I tried a new trick tonight... I got a cooking timer from one of those $2-$5 type shops and set it for 20mins. I told her when the buzzer went her plate would go. so she had an understanding of events... rather than Just eat or I will remove your plate. It worked well. A small portion (as we started to be very concious of last week) and an established visual time frame, this meant that she actually remained at her table the entire meal, and she ate fairly well (with encouragement of course) and when the buzzer went and I took her plate  (nicely) she was happy about it.
Will keep trying this, and see how it goes. one of the the hardest things is keeping her at her table, but with the timer running she knew she would be allowed down "soon" and that then she could play.
She is pretty easy going, very low maintenance with everything else, so I should not worry I know.. it is just setting a proper routine I think.. which I think we might have cracked (until the timer is no longer a novelty I suppose!)
but other thougths - welcome too!
Oh 0 and sorry I posted this in the wrong section! By the time I realised I had to go out and I don't want to remove it now with replies attached!
28-07-2011,4:26 PM      
Join Date : Mar 2011
Location : Rangiotu
Posts : 8

Hi, I havent read all the replies, but i also have a 2.5  year old girl who is abit of a grazer, or was i started to get worried when she wouldnt touch any meal at all, but would just eat during the day, i asked plunket about it and they told me not to even worry about it, we stopped stressing and trying to g et her to eat meals and you know what happened, within a wee while she started to eat dinner, and breakfast, then lunch now she has a huge appitite, plunket made the point of reminding me, they are working out their own wee personalities etc and food can be quite a issue for some children and parents, i always forget that my children are actual people in a way and they have thier own idea's sometimes, not saying that i let them run thier own lives just yet but it made me sit back and worry about other things and then shes turned it all around her self, she would never touch veges before, esp potatoes now she has them most nights........... im not an expert at all just passing on the info i got, we also noticed she had this behaviour with big changes, moving town and then 6 months later a new baby sister.....
30-07-2011,8:18 PM      
Join Date : Nov 2009
Location : Parklands, Christchurch
Posts : 14

I know exactly how you feel.  I used to be tearing my hair out.  I'd spend a few hours making tea and he'd just say "don't like it' and not even taste it.  Argh....  It did get to the point where we'd make him sit for hours at the table until he ate it - still didn't the stubborn little thing.  We sent him to bed....  Tried all sorts.
Thankfully, a year later he is starting to try things again.  Phew.  Makes life so much easier but try telling them that.  Patience is the only thing I can offer which is easier said than done.  They'll come right eventually.  At least your little one likes some thing.
31-01-2012,3:02 PM » updated 01-02-2012, 12:35 AM      
Join Date : May 2010
Location : Churton Park
Posts : 5

My LO is a grazer too. Sometimes, we had to 'bribe' him with treats just to get him to eat. There's been plenty of times when he'll have fruits (which he loves) with chicken (which he's not very keen on). We've got some success with mixing the food he likes with the ones he doesn't. But that don't always work, though. LOL At least, we got him to eat something.
19-05-2012,6:45 PM      
Join Date : Sep 2010
Location : Raglan
Posts : 224

We are the same in our house with little Miss 2.5.  I am getting fed up with her not eating dinner lately.  Last night, I fed her while she was in the bath!  And she ate most of her small bowl of dinner!  A bit unusal, but it worked!  I'm not keen to do this all the time though, but I was pleased she had eaten well last night at least.
05-10-2012,12:49 PM      
Join Date : Sep 2012
Location : Unspecified
Posts : 5

when my son was that age i often took the foods he liked and tried to make more things like them... like if she likes chips try cutting other veg into chip form and baking them in a hot oven with olive oil.. you can start with pumpkin and kumara, parsnips are a good one too!. if she likes carrots try giving her some hummus to dip them in..chick peas are great for you! my son got 75% of his nutrition from fruit/yogert and veg smoothies at that age.. he couldn't get enough and i loaded them with all the veggies he normally hated, but the sweet fruit hid the flavor. if she's a grazer try and turn her grazing into more of a routine... small breakfast, small morning tea, small lunch, small afternoon tea, small dinner. just a couple healthy things with each sitting. drinking anything besides water during the day is also a reason kids wont eat as much..keeping a special water bottle cold in a reachable area keeps them drinking it. hope some of that is helpful!
05-10-2012,6:31 PM      
Join Date : Jan 2011
Location : Whangaparaoa
Posts : 51

My Mr 2.5 is a snacker too and fussy about what he eats.  His favourite food is pasta, pizza and pikelets (yes all the "p"s).  So for pasta I grate up pumpkin, carrots, courgettes etc and put them in the sauce and same for the pizza - courgette is very sweet when cooked.  And have just discovered he will eat jam sandwiches if i cut them into small circles (I use and egg cup).  I figure that if he's hungry he'll eat!
06-10-2012,11:13 AM      
Join Date : Sep 2012
Location : Rerewhakaaitu
Posts : 3

Peer pressure.  My daughter and children around me always eat well around their peers - this includes family.  My niece taught her to eat - although I recall one recording of her putting all her food on my neices plate, coz sharing is caring.  I wouldnt stress about it.  Always give her what you are eating - add cheese, sour cream or "dippy" to help her. 
She will soon have a growth spurt and eat like a horse. 
I run home-based care.  The kids eat for me, but are fussy at home.  Just how it is. And my daughter was the same :)
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