View Full Version : Lazy/slow eater

23-10-2009, 11:31 AM
So P is 2 yrs and 2 months old.

She is a lazy and slow eater unless she is being fed - which mum does at home. I dont here.

But how long do I leave her to eat her lunch?

So far today, she has been sat there for 30 minutes and has eaten 1/4 of a slice of toast - she hasnt touched the rest of the toast, carrot sticks, ham or cheese cubes.

I have been leaving her for 30 minutes and then she is sent on her way to play. But she is not eating that much but I also dont know whether leaving her there any longer is going to get her to eat either.

Advice please!!!!

23-10-2009, 11:45 AM
Hi, oh my goodness! I have one of these too! She is 2 years and 11 months and is an absolute nightmare.

At tea times we also have her two elder siblings which seem to distract her even more. Last night I was at the end of my tether! The amount of food I serve her as reduced so dramatically that I now use teaspoons to serve hers! Last night I warned her that if she didn't eat I would move her to the other table which is in the kitchen, she asked me to help her, which she resorts to often but like you, I refuse, my own son who is 18 months feeds himself! In the end I moved her and she sat at the table for over an hour, pulling faces into the oven window! I was determined not to let her leave, everyone else had eaten their pudding and was playing but she was not bothered.

I told mum what had happened and she laughed. I did think though that if I try that again I could make her frightened of meal times, and I know it sounds abit far fetched but could I make her have an issue with food? So tonight I am going to try a different method...I thought I would give her an alloted time such as 40 minutes, and I will keep reminding her that you have 10 minutes left, (I know she won't understand time length but its her warning I suppose) and then once 40 mins is up, remove the plate and if she has finished give her pudding and if not she gets no pudding and is to get down from the table once everyone has finished?!

Ill let you know how it goes! xx

23-10-2009, 11:58 AM
Thanks for that.

I, too, am concerned of handling in such a way that she doesnt end up with it becoming a big issue.

Mum feeds her at home as its quicker and less messy! But I cant feed her here as I have a 9 mth old and 18 mth old too.

The 18 mth old feeds herself and does well even with a fork and even the 9 mth old feeds himself finger foods. I have placed the 2 yr old and 18 month old so they are facing one another on the table hoping P will follow suit, but she doesnt.

I have tried offering hot lunches and cold lunches to see if she prefers one or the other but she takes her time on both. Some times she just nibbles at the corners of things.

The other day the 18 mth old had done rather well, so I allowed her a few Pom Bear crisps hoping this would inspire P on, but she still sat there!!:angry: Even when the 18 month old's pudding came, she didnt seem bothered at all.

I feel like I am sending her home hungry although she doesnt seem bothered. But I dont want to get into the habit of feeding her just so she has had something.

23-10-2009, 12:16 PM
If the other 2 are feeding themselves surely its quicker to feed the reluctant one rather than sitting with her for 40 mins.If thats what she is used to could you both have a spoon and encourage her while also feeding her, taking turns. Have a bit of finger food as well and you spoon some food in as well.
If she doesn't want to eat thats not your fault but not worth a battle. Perhaps just offer a snack and mum can feed a meal at home.

green puppy
23-10-2009, 12:24 PM
I would be quite upset if my child was being sent to sit somewhere else because she wasn't eating! Toddlers have small stomachs, apparently the size of their fist. On top of three meals a day they also need high energy snacks, atleast once a day. I look after a 15 mth old, a 20 mth old and a two year old daily. The two year old has never been a great eater although feeds himself very well as do the other two. But I wouldn't refuse to load up the spoon every now and then if it encourages the lo to eat! These children are still young. As long as you are trying to encourage them and ensure they eat something through the day, then tell parents what has been eaten and they can top up at home. But refusing to help or moving them is not the answer as they are not doing anything wrong!

23-10-2009, 12:27 PM

I thought I would give her an alloted time such as 40 minutes, and I will keep reminding her that you have 10 minutes left, (I know she won't understand time length but its her warning I suppose)

Perahps you could get a wind up timer with a bell and put it in front of LO so they can see the time ticking down?

With my own children I used to transfer what they said was too much onto a bigger plate and then it appeared less, if they ate it all up great - loads of praise and pudding. If not then little attention and no pudding. In my experiance children go through fazes and are too stuburn to eat but eventually they will when they get hungry enough!

Good luck. x

23-10-2009, 12:28 PM
Sorry! I totally cocked that thread up - I was trying to be clever and single out a sentance to quote!!!!!!!:blush:

23-10-2009, 12:33 PM
Green Puppy has a point. If you're effectively punishing a child for not eating it's not a particularly positive way to deal with things. I also have a child who eats only tiny amounts - the ham from the inside the sandwich, for instance, then says he's full up. He is slowly improving and I just give him little bits of sandwich, then keep on reminding him that if he eats that he can have his yoghurt or raisins or whatnot. In this instance he can feed himself (very messily!) with a spoon but generally eats finger foods here

23-10-2009, 12:54 PM
I think unless you have a plan of action that will involve how mum feeds the LO at home...trying to teach them slowly to eat by themselves you are on a loosing battle I think
LO will know at home she will be fed anyways so why bother ...
I see how frustrating it is though...my dd was feeding herself pretty much since she started to eat and is doing really well now.

I have a 3 1/2 year old and she doesnt want to eat herself but she loves food. So I help her eat but as I have another 14 months old who cannot hold his own spoon or anything and my dd who still needs a bit of help sometimes although she can eat herself...oh and there is myself to feed...so I usually take a bit longer to get back to her turn and she will eventually eat...not she will always try to eat and then I will help her to finish it off...
but if the child is not wanting to eat you could probably have them sitting somewhere until the cows come home....
I would feed them to make sure they get the food they need and continue to encourage to eat themselves...give them a spoon too...take turns....make it fun..

I think the problem with eating is that it so easily can turn into a battle you can never win and they know it. And it can effect their eating altogether and make mealtimes a nightmare..

I would agree on a strategy with the parents and if LO is not ready to eat or doesnt need to eat alone at home I would continue feeding and try again in a couple of days/weeks. If old enough I would explain to them that they are big enough to eat themselves now and maybe even do some kind of reward chart..sticker thing..where they get a lot of praise for eating themselves...
or make their favourite food and hope they are hungry :laughing:

23-10-2009, 01:02 PM
I have a slow eater, I take turns with them, I do a spoonful and then they do. I ask them all to eat half their dinner as a bench mark.

They know if they eat at least half they get a dessert (fruit or yog)

If a child is refusing or very reluctant I help them with one spoonful per year of their age (up to 10 years!)

So with my own 4 year old she knows she has to have 4 spoons as a minimum. She knows that as she hasnt eaten half, they get nothing else until the next meal even if the next meal is breakfast.

A couple of times she has come back later crying because she is hungry but I dont give in and she waits for the next meal.

These days she knows the score and will happily eat at least half.

The other thing I do when introducing a new meal or vegetable or something is say they have to "try" everything on their plate but if they dont like it that is fine. It is amazing how often they like something they werent expecting too!

23-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Dont forget as well Oops Daisy that telling a 2 year old they have 10 minutes to finish their food is a bit like asking them to do algebra - they do not have any concept of time at that age. I have a difficult eater at the moment as well, and am finding it far more difficult to mange than my own DS1 and 2. Hope things get better for all of us with iffy eaters!!