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13 Responses to 10 Things *Not* to Do to Help Your Child Eat

  1. Melissa P  

    Also, helpful hint, my son choked and gagged on carrots.Turns out he is allergic to some types of carrot and also sprays. Keep that in mind if your child has an odd reaction. The dr said he juts didn’t like it and to try again, but because he had other allergies we didn’t. As a toddler he got rashy and coughed a lot after carrots were reintroduced. Try and try again, unless it appears to be a food allergy. Great article btw!

  2. Sarah

    Also if you know your chidl likes something,a dn is hungry, but they don’t want to sit, find ways to work with them.

    For us, our kids pretty much don’t stop eating all day long, until supper. Then 2 bites and they’re done. BUT we’ve discovered that for them it’s like the end of sumer – they must stuff every oz of playtime into the last hour before bed. For us we eat supper,t hen they have roughly 30-45 min to play, then snack, then we begin bedtime – so they just try to skip eating supper to play (and no, just telling them to stay at the table and withholding the play does not get them to eat more)> BUt then they’re hungry at bedtime or the middle of the night.

    So what we do is we pretend to be a fuel station (hahaha) and they’re cars/airplanes whatever – and they dash around the kitchen while we eat, but every lap they come for fuel. We give them a bite and off they go. We still get the family connection time, they still eat, and we have no fights. They let us know when they’re full and it’s a win-win over all.

    And a slight twist on one of the above – Dh and I will get some food on our fork, but then pause to chat to each other while we hold the fork out toward one child or another (while looking away from the child) Dh and I discuss how yummy the food is and how much we enjoy eating it and then “wow, where’d the food go” (giggle giggle giggle) our children absolutely love the games and I’m less inclined to end up with hungry children plus there are more smiles as we head to bed each night.

    (Note our children are 2, 4.5, and 6 – over time they each gain more ability to actually sit at the table and eat vs playing – but it’s still fun to do with the biggest on occasion).

  3. amelia

    What do you do with a kid (18 months)who stuff her mouth full, barely chews, but will not swallow? When she starts to get full she keeps putting food in her mouth to the point that she can’t close it and just sits there. Sooo frustrating!

    • Emily Bartnikowski  

      I’d forgotten about that stage! Baz *definitely* went through that- to the point of choking on his food. I started regulating how much he could put in his hands between swallows and often scooped out what was sitting in there. I also encouraged swallowing and removed distractions so he would focus. Our pediatrician called it “chipmunking” and it’s a totally normal stage. I feel like it didn’t last that long and is not a problem at all now. Good luck!

    • Sarah

      We also just put one or two pieces in front of our littles at a time to prevent full blown chipmunk cheeks. It is a short phase, but frustrating non-the-less.

  4. Jennifer P

    Love your game Sarah! We have very serious issues with lack of appetite and practically zero weight gain with our toddler, but I am completely against the pressure/intense games/reward options many people have offered to get him to eat more. It’s absolutely not worth the cost to his long term relationship with food and his parents. I am relieved that we’ve done all kinds of testing and determined nothing is actually wrong with my skin and bones little guy, and determined to keep trying to breathe through meal times with a little playfulness and a little cajoling and a minimum of anxiety.

  5. Gretchen  

    Just the post I needed to read tonight! Thank you!!!

  6. Bridget Palkow

    My daughter is 6 months old and breastfed. I love this article! It has definitely helped educate me and has taken alot of stress out of what it will be like when my daughter starts to eat solid foods. And the responses from other mom’s helps knowing even more situations that can happen. Thank You!

  7. Birdie Skolfield

    These are great uplifting tips for me & my lil fussy eater im getting a lil impatient lately as hes wasting a lot of food thx these will help wish I could print em off & post of my fridg thx again