View Full Version : How do I encourage eating without creating a battle?
09-27-2005, 10:49 AM
DD was just at her 2 year old check up. Her height has remained in the 25th percentile, but her weight has dropped off the chart. She has actually lost an ounce from 18 months and weighs the same that she did at her 15 month appt. The pediatrician isn't too concerned yet, but she has to go back for a weight check in 8 weeks. He said that most disorders will also affect height, and since she's still getting taller, he'll give her a little more time to show some weight gain. Other than keeping her on whole milk, her said not to change much of what we're doing (she refuses meat, but otherwise eats very healthy- lots of fruits and veggies and carbs). Any suggestions on how to encourage her to eat a little more without causing a battle?
09-27-2005, 11:29 AM
I really don't have any info on this, but what about maybe giving her a little Pediasure here and there just to help with any missed nutrients and some weight?
Also, sometimes reverse psychology worked for my niece and nephew. I would say things like "Ohh no....i'm gonna eat it!" and they would be so into NOT letting me eat it that they would eat.
Good luck :)
09-27-2005, 11:34 AM
Is she a picky eater? Just doesn't eat much quantity-wise? Has super-fast metabolism? It might help to know more specifics on why she isn't gaining.
As someone who's struggled w/helping my DD gain weight for the past year, going to weight checks at the Ped's, keeping food diaries for her, etc. I know your situation quite well! My biggest recommendations in addition to the obvious one of keeping her on whole, full-fat dairy, is to make sure there are lots of opportunities to eat throughout the day - snacking is key for toddlers. And, the Pediasure works wonders as does mixing some whole yogurt in w/milk to make yogurt smoothies'. Fortunately, your DC eats fruits & veggies so the 'binding' properties of the other stuff I mentioned shouldn't be an issue.
09-27-2005, 12:09 PM
We have not had this problem with Gabe, so far, but since I was a picky eatter I tend to read article on eatting issues assuming I would or will have them at some point. You might try adding other high fat foods to foods she eats already, when you can. Avacodo in yogert or mashed banana or as part of a fruit salad. Guacamoli as a dip or spread. Flax seed oil or seeds in apple sauce or hot cereal. Olive oil in a pasta sauce. Oriental Peanut butter based sauces if you do peanut butter. Give her dips for her vegis to making them higher calorie. Salad dressing, cheese sauce or hummis might work well. My mom used to make us ice cream shakes to up our calories and she added raw eggs. You can't do that today but you might be able to add an egg subsitute and maybe use frozen yogert instead of ice cream. Offer lots of cheese and other dairy for snacks. I actually do alot of this with Gabe anyway since he is a light weight at 25% and I want the fats in his diet for brain development.
09-27-2005, 12:14 PM
DD is definately picky in some aspects. She eats many fruits and veggies. The rest of her foods consist of perogies, toast, cereal, pasta, mac and cheese, yogurt and soup (I'm sure there are a few others, but those are the majority of foods that she eats). We always offer her what we're eating first for dinner. If she doesn't like it (almost always) we offer her what we have left over in the fridge or cereal and milk. She typically snacks before bed and after nap (occasionally before nap too). I try and hold off on a mid morning snack since that often keeps her from eating lunch. Instead of a snack at 10 or 10:30, I'll give her lunch at 11 if she hungry and then a snack before nap. I don't know about her metabolism- she's very active though. There's no such thing as sitting still for most of the day. Her quantities seem to vary like most kids- usually one large meal a day and snacks and grazing at most other meals (pediatrician said that it's pretty normal for toddlers to eat that way).
Yogurt smoothies sound like a great idea for some extra calories.
09-27-2005, 01:09 PM
One thing you might try (and it may or may not work better than what you are doing already, just another thing to try) is not distinquishing between meals and snacks. Just let her eat when she wants all day, and whatever amount she wants, and see if the amount she eats on that non-schedule is more than what she eats when you make a "real lunch" and a "real dinner) plus snacks in between. The foods should still all be health and as high calorie as you can make them of course. She can still sit at the table with you as a family but if she is not hungry at that point she can just "talk" to you or color or whatever. This of course may not teach her things you want her to learn about meal times and manners and such. So you have to weight what is most important at the moment.
09-27-2005, 01:15 PM
Just a little trick I used...
when DD was not gaining much, I started to sneak butter into her meals. Let some butter melt in her hot cereal, spread it over her veggies, etc...
09-27-2005, 01:19 PM
DD is also very small, and I've tried to add calories to her meals by sneaking butter in (mentioned above), or simply not offering low calorie snacks. Instead of just crackers or Cheerios or plain fruit, I offer egg salad with the crackers or cheese with the fruit. Since DD loves pasta, I've taken to adding a touch of oil to the noodles before adding the sauce, which helps some too.
In our case, the biggest boost to calories has been whole milk. DD couldn't have any until she was nearly 18 months, and once we added milk and other dairy products, I noticed she chunked up a bit.
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