Posted in Food & Cooking, In-Laws, Toddlers

Feeding issues - picky eater

Anonymous

Long story short, our daughter has some weight gain issues at 15 months and my mother in law moved in for the next month. We’ve been told to try not to make meals “about the baby” and stare at her and clap when she eats etc... While it’s cute and clapping make she smile and she claps as well this could also being causing more issues since she is like on display or performing. I know it’s amazing and cute to cheer the baby on... I tried to tell my mother in law and sister in law that we’ve been told by many people that it’s important to NOT make meals about the baby etc... that went over well as I received “stink eye” and they said oh and listened for maybe 2 mins and it went back to applauding, cheering, and promoting food for the next 30+ mins to not much avail. Our daughter was engaged, smiling, clapping but I wouldn’t say she ate more maybe the same maybe less. My wife and I have seen positive eating when we try to talk about other stuff and we saw our daughter eating through the corner of our eyes and we don’t make a big deal etc... Doctor I wouldn’t be so worried about feeding and eating but the weight gain issue identified as a concern from our doctors is real and we need to see some actual weight gain progress or we may need to do more a more invasive procedure. Questions How do you do feeds? How much focus is on the baby and on the meal vs ignoring it acting more natural. When my in-laws, mother in law or sister in law are around which is quite often it’s this infatuation with the baby that they can’t focus on anything issue. — How would you address this? Any advice would be so appreciated!

  • Lady D
    Feb 05

    My son only eats rice, spaghetti, french fries, crackers and fruit. He refuses to taste anything else. I look for recommendations too

  • Bailey
    Feb 05

    Oh boy! So my daughter has been barely gaining enough weight at each check up and she’s always been in the lower percentile for actually weight since she was born. I feel like I am being defeated by food! And it makes it so much harder that infants/toddlers in general are picky eaters! So one day she’ll eat eggs the next day she’s throwing them to the ground. It’s a daily struggle to get her to eat, what I feel like is enough. When we finally have a routine and I think she’s eating well, BAM here comes my family to mess it all up. My parents do the same thing. They make meal time a game. And it’s bothers me so much. When we’re at home we all sit down as a family and we eat and talk. I make sure I have something I know she will eat along with something new or something she doesn’t eat as often. I’ve tried to explain to my family many times that eating isn’t a game and that they either need to sit down with her and eat with her too or give her snacks throughout the day. She hates being in her high chair for too long and she barely eats when they’re all hovered around her making a scene. She literally spits out her food because she knows it will get my dad to laugh. So when I know my family is in town or I’ll be at their house, I try not to stress it. I just let her snack all day on healthy foods and give her a little more formula (she’s 11m old)

  • Raji
    Feb 05

    My husband and I like to encourage our kiddo when she puts food in her mouth by clapping and cheering. She doesn’t like to feed herself much as most of our food is hard for her to pick up. She smiles and eats. We try to do as much family style eating as we can. She loves avocados, bananas, oranges, puffs, cucumbers, bread, yogurt and Indian food. And we do still feed her ourselves when we feel like she isn’t eating enough herself. Encourage ur in laws to feed her and model as they cheer her on if they can’t help themselves

  • A
    Feb 05

    I like not making eating a big deal. There are milestones such as when LO doesn’t throw cup off table or gets the hang of utensils which should be fussed about for a moment( at least I think so). I also feel like reassuring them if they ate something they weren’t previously fond of is a + I’d want my son to know I’m happy for him stepping out of his comfort zone and trying/finishing something new...

  • B
    Feb 05

    Sounds like you need to do three things 1) talk to your wife and see what she thinks 2) sit down with your in-laws and explain your parenting preferences. 3) give them other options if you want them not to clap. For example, maybe they can read baby a book while she’s eating. And eat with her. Or song a song with her I also agree with Bailey that when family is around we tend to pick our battles and be a bit looser.

  • Julie
    Feb 05

    Hmm. This is tough. In laws are tough. It’s not okay that they didn’t listen to you, you should make your wife talk to them and make it clear to them that they should listen and respect you as the father. If my husband corrected my mom she of course wouldn’t like it but she’d do what he said because he’s the dad. My mil is another story and requires more assertive behavior than just a gentle reminder but we still work it out. Your mil should NOT think it’s okay to only listen to you for a few minutes. Having said that, we are a family of 3 and dinners are all about the baby. She likes interacting, she loves when we sing about the food she’s eating, she loves praise when she eats, and she expects to be talked to throughout the meal. It sounds like your child is staying at home with you guys. One thing that has helped my daughter get a good appetite for solids is daycare. She eats so much better at school than she does at home. My pediatrician says this is 100% normal and it’s because she’s eating around all her little friends at the same time. If possible, see if your daughter can get some similar aged friends to eat with every now and then and see if it works for her too. My pediatrician says it’s basically toddler peer pressure, if they see other kids their age eating they tend to want to do the same so they all sort of encourage one another in this way. Another thing that may help is smoothies. Pack them with healthy fats and proteins (like nut butters, coconut and avocado oils, bananas, etc). My daughter isn’t super picky, but when I notice she’s been sluggish on eating I make her a smoothie and she loves it. Good luck!!!

  • Julie
    Feb 05

    Ps, my daughter is almost 18 months old.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    @bailey... Wow food intake and not liking the high chair seems just like our daughter. We start with the high chair and end up on the floor as a picnic! I’m going to just try to let it be for the next month since my MIL has moved in as of Sunday until March 5. I just hope whatever we do with feedings (cheer her on or try to let her eat without us over stating etc...) will lead to weight gain in the coming month!

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    @raji thanks! I admit that when we feed our daughter and she eats in her own or if we feed her she gets happy and claps when we show excitement. I just hope this doesn’t lead to needing positive clapping to eat all the time. Not sure why the doctors have advised trying to not make her feel pressured but instead let her eat as we eat etc....

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    @A agreed. I think cheering and celebrating milestones is great and I don’t mind getting excited when our daughter does eat well etc... Likely part of my issue is that I’m going to be with my MIL for a month and every meal will be like this performance! Not sure about that... I know she just loves her and thinks it’s cute!

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    @B Thanks. I’m likely just going to step back and let it be. Not good to battle on anything since she just arrived Sunday and I am headed home from a business trip now.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    @ Julie... thanks! Yes, our daughter is home with us but we are hoping to do meal play dates since she liked to watch other babies. She really enjoys it! I think I’ll be looser with the idea of cheering with meals as I know she gets happy and loves to clap and be playful with us all. I just need to adjust to having a MIL living with us for a month... small house, limited time alone with me and the baby or me and my wife and the baby which I think will annoy me the most!

  • A
    Feb 05

    Ultimately you are the parent and have the right to raise your child as you please. Maybe gently (or if need be add some firmness) talk with MIL and express that you want to teach your daughter that meal time is for family to interact and not just fun and games