Posted in Behavior, Food & Cooking, Toddlers

Does anyone still spoonfeed/forkfeed their 2 year old?

Anonymous

My 2 year old will literally eat nothing. Not a single bite. He will ask me to feed him certain things. But I had enough of that and so I’m refusing to feed him (he has a plate of his usual foods in front of him) but he will just sit there and wait for me to put the food directly in his mouth. Then eventually he will say he’s done and that’s the end of it. My husband is home by his afternoon snack and dinner so he sits there and feeds him. I’m fine with helping him with half his meals (loading up spoon/fork or encouraging him) but it’s starting to become a whole meal and whole chore for me to sit there and feed him every single bite. To me, I don’t think it’s age appropriate that he still sit there like an infant while we feed him when he is perfectly capable and even wanting to eat the foods. My husband thinks that it’s ok. I don’t know what to do... I’ve been taking away the plates hoping that he will eat on his own eventually but my husband comes in to rescue him at night 🙄

  • Cathy
    Apr 20

    Your husband has to stop. He’s enabling the behavior. Get on the same page - even if it means hearing it from your pediatrician to get your husband there.

  • 2Boys&aDog
    Apr 20

    Yes, two year olds are capable of feeding themselves and I can understand your frustration. My son is 4.5 and feeds himself 90% of the time, the only time he needs “help” is when it’s a food he doesn’t like or thinks he doesn’t like, vegetables for example. I am guilty of giving in to this demand (while my husband refuses) but only because I just want to get the meal over with and ensure that he is getting some greens in him. I need to stop as well so thanks for posting this reminder! Good luck to you.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 20

    Thank you both. I’m glad I didn’t get blasted for being a terrible mom and getting comments of “just feed the poor child!” But seriously... I can’t believe he’s this lazy. He wants to do everything himself. He’s a pretty independent kid but when it comes down to food... he’s a baby again (but can verbalize what he wants in his mouth next 🙄)

  • Camille
    Apr 20

    Don’t do for your child what they can do for themselves. Something I struggle with too. I have a 2 year old. I try to recite that quote in my head whenever I realize I’m not helping him by doing everything for him. It’s actually doing them a disservice.

  • Ivy
    Apr 20

    I have an almost 4 year old like this. Actually started when he was 3. Before then, he was fine feeding himself but it was mostly him using his hands and not utensils. He can feed himself but when he tries, he often messes up or makes a mess, so that upsets him and he would rather an adult feed him. I try to tell him it’s okay to make messes and it’s okay to drop food when you’re trying. We’ve been really working to get him to feed himself. One thing that’s like a baby step but I’ve seen help, is to talk his hand in mine, and feed him. I explain the motion we’re doing together, show him how food falls off when tipped this way or that. His 2 year old brother has been self feeding since 1 and makes the worst messes. He refuses to be fed and has always been independent about his food.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 20

    Having the conversation with my husband again and he’s saying it’s child abuse to offer food then take the plate away after a certain amount of time (I said let’s give it an hr). Just sent an email to the pediatrician. 😪

  • Anonymous
    Apr 20

    I’d ditch the silverware for a bit and encourage him to eat with his hands. Maybe that will start the habit.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Apr 21

    I agree your husband doing it doesn’t help. My now three year old went through a phase like this around 2.5 where he would beg us to feed him. What I did was two things: 1) sometimes I’d make a deal, I feed you one spoonful and then you do one and we take turns. Then i slowly increased how many turns he has before I went again. The other thing I did was called food races. We’d each take a bite at the same time and whoever got it in their mouth last was “stinky”. So I would let him win 8/10 times, he would laugh and call me stinky and when he was ready for another bite ask me to play again. He loves that game. And bonus I get to actually eat my meal. Haha.

  • JoyMarie
    Apr 22

    Has your son always struggled with feeding? My son has sensory processing disorder and isn’t quite 3 but has feeding issues so I do help spoon feed him when he wants bc he also has fine motor issues with spoons that go along with it. You might read up on symptoms of this and see if he has any other things on the list and possibly ask your doctor about it. All toddlers are picky eaters but kids with sensory processing problems struggle with typical things that other kids don’t but yet are very normal in most other areas so it’s hard to see sometimes 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Apr 22

    So our pediatrician did respond and she asked us how we felt about working with an OT, for feeding therapy. My husband is against it 😒... he says that our son doesn’t have a problem with chewing, or fine motor skills using a spoon or fork. He has demonstrated that he knows how to use it. Just out of nowhere he just started to sit and stare at his food. We expect this at dinner because he’s always been difficult with dinner but for breakfast and lunch he usually feeds himself. Slowly.. but he does it. So it really seems like a laziness issue.. and I know we might be partly to blame because when we are in a rush we help him a lot. So I wonder if he’s in the thought process of.. why should I feed myself if my parents can do it for me? However he is very independent when it comes to other things. He’s always telling us that he wants to do it himself. My sister-in-law works in OT so we called and spoke to her about it last night. I sent additional questions to our pediatrician about what the OT can do for us. But I’m on the same page as the dr in that I don’t see how an in-home evaluation by a professional could do any harm in helping our son be more independent when it comes to food. Hopefully the pediatrician comes back with a response good enough for my husband to agree to an evaluation.

  • Marika
    Apr 22

    The evaluation won't hurt for sure. Still over all your LO seems to do amazing on the independent route for most things most of the time. May be just go with the flow a bit. If it is only during dinner it seems not bad at all. May be 6 months from now it will be different. And may be there is other motives too for your LO, such as enjoying the "extra" pampering by dad in evening time etc. So if he gets his quality time otherwise that behavior stops. Or something else and ones he can clearly communicate it that type of behavior disappears? Again the therapist probably will be helpful either way.

  • Anonymous
    Apr 27

    I spoonfeed/forkfeed even hand feed my daughter. She almost 2. She knows how to use spoon and fork but I sometimes prefer to feed her so she’ll eat good. I’m just happy that my picky daughter is eating.. Well every parent has its own way on how to feed their kids. Do what’s easier for you and your child. Your kid will eat by himself properly soon. He’s only 2. He’s only be 2 yrs old once.

  • K
    May 04

    Don’t give in, stay strong and offer him foods that will be easy or fun for him to eat. You should also try getting him some fun utensils. My son loved his construction site plate and utensil set. It’s really, really important for him to work in fine/gross motor skills at the table. Keep at it!!

  • prplgrl1
    May 04

    My granddaughter is 2 years 2 months. She is pretty good at feeding herself and my daughter and I will give her a tooth pick that only has a point on one end and she loves to use that to pick up her small bites of food, this is a method we use only when we are sitting with her keeping a close watch. She finds it “fun” to use her “pick”. May not be an option for some children and never without watching them. She has been using a pick for at least 6 months. We began with cheese cubes, blueberries, strawberries, grapes cut into quarters, small chicken bites, any vegetables cut into small bites and steamed with a little grated cheeses on top, pieces of bread cut into cubes that she uses the pick to then dip the bread cube into her spaghetti sauce. It keeps her busy and also develops her small motor skills. Supervision is key to make sure they get the idea of it.