Thursday, November 8, 2007

Because I have no brain

For the last two months, Porgie has been extremely difficult at meal times. As soon as I strap her into her booster seat, she starts fussing and whining. She repeatedly says, "down," while pointing to the floor. Being the obsessive mother that I am, I refused to let her down without eating.

How do I get her to eat? Toys. Yes, toys. I started giving Porgie various little trinkets to play with - Pez dispensers, crayons, ink pens, books, etc. At first, it seemed like a fabulous idea. Porgie would eat whatever I placed in her mouth, with nary a peep. Life was good.

But somewhere over the past few weeks, things have gotten a little hairy. Porgie is now refusing to feed herself, which is fairly annoying. She is also requiring more and more toys at every meal, which is also fairly annoying. Additionally, she has started spitting out most of the food we place in her little mouth, which is incredibly annoying.

I know that her horrible eating habits are directly related to my behavior, but I am having a very difficult time reversing this tend. I want her to eat, so I end up catering to her. I seem to have forgotten that meal time should be about offering her food to eat, and not about tricking her into eating.

Honestly, I think most of our meal times problems would be solved if we ate dinner as a family. Porgie is usually always interested in eating whatever John and I are eating. However, John has an unpredictable work schedule, so a family dinner isn't a realistic option. Additionally, Porgie usually eats around 5:00 pm, and I am usually not hungry that early in the evening.

So, is anyone else having eating issues?


Suz said...

I am having these EXACT eating issues with the twins. What's really annoying is that they'll accept a spoonful of food, chew it around, and the mouth, extend the tongue, and let the food fall out.


And so very annoying. Apparently, however, if you're a toddler, this is very, very fun. More fun than actually eating the fooe, which is our problem.

Suz said...


Eva said...

The Penelope Leach book on kids birth to age five has a lot of information about toddlers' eating habits, so I recommend it. It helps make sense of their craziness. When the new baby comes you'll be too busy to worry about this, so I'm sure Porgie will just have to suck it up and eat for herself if she's really hungry!

We also don't do a family dinner because she eats so early (and we eat so late, well after she's in bed), though it's a good idea.

S said...

We've been dealing with it too, however instead of simply spitting out the food, K begins to wail and get red-faced.
We've found a handful of foods that he will eat without going over the deep-end and even then it's a crapshoot as to whether he wants to feed himself or have us do it.
I don't have any suggestions, just the reassurance of "been there, done that...still there".

Chas said...

I also made the mistake of trying to calm Lila down at mealtime by using toys (and I even tried TV once...but only once). Anyway, she doesn't let me feed her anymore, so offering her the toys did calm her down,but it also distracted her from eating her food. I eventually had to put my foot down and just put the food on her tray. She had a few meals where she didn't eat a single bite. It all worked out in the end though, no lost weight, and she seems pretty satisfied with just eating while she's in her chair.

As for the eating as a family thing. We eat dinner every night as a family, but it's usually a late dinner. We normally don't eat dinner until around 7 PM. She eats breakfast around 9 AM, snack around 10:30, lunch around 12:30, then she naps, snack again around 4 PM, dinner around 7, bedtime at 9:15, and she usually wakes up in the morning around 8:45-9. It works for us. I know a lot of people want their little ones in bed very early, but if we did that my husband would never get to see her.

Anth said...

My main eating problem right now is that Baby E mostly just wants to eat Pepper Jack cheese. Should I just indulge this? I'm sure the fat is good for her...She eats Cheerios with milk for breakfast, but lunch and dinner tend to heavily feature cheese.

Misguided Mommy said...

my child never eats!!!!!!! one in a while he eats pan cakes or macaroni and that is it

Rachel said...

Well you could make mIss Porgie a yummy smoothie-with soy milk or rice milk and then some druits and veggies in there as well. It must be so tough. I know Max likes to eat when we are eating too. BUt he loves to feed himself for now. Is she teething?

Anonymous said...

We were at the Dr's office last night for flu shots. THere was one of those **FREE-TAKE ONE** pamphlets featuring the article, "Your Picky Eater and You"

Basically, it nothing. She will eat when she's hungry. Do continut to offer a variety of foods. Stuff you know that she likes and will eat, then a few new foods. Make it fun, arrange red bell pepper strips, a carrot and peas into a happy face on her plate.....

If John is usually not there for a family dinner, then just you & her have dinner together. When John comes home, you can both sit at the table with him, to catch-up and enjoy each others company. This works at my house when Joe has to work late or is stuck working a middle shift.
The kids & I eat together at 5:30 - 6:00, then if Joe gets a break before they go to bed, we will sit with him (Usually just me & Will, Maggie is in front of the tv)while he eats to talk & let him have some good old fashioned family time with us.

I'm sorry I commandeered your blog.

MN Clampits said...

Hi, my hubby reads your blog, so I thought I better check it out.

We have the same problem here. E eats a very good breakfast and lunch, but when dinner gets here she really isn't all that interested. We've kinda just let it go. It did worry me a little, but after reading the comments you've gotten on this post it makes me worry less. I realize this is probably a phase she'll grow out of.

She has been doing a lot of the putting it in her mouth and spitting it out thing. The other thing she does is she'll refuse to eat her food. So we get her down from her chair and then we eat. And even though she wanted nothing to do with the food on her plate, she wants bites of ours! So frustrating at times!

I can't wait til this passes!