I once swore that I'd never pressure my baby to eat. I honestly never thought I'd do it. I have read how dammaging it can be, and how it can lead to all sorts of food related issues down the road.
But I think I've been pressureing my 13.5 mo ds to eat lately. He doesn't seem to like veggies at all anymore, and often will also refuse meat and fruit. He used to eat beans and seemed to love them, but now he just spits them out, even when he was the one who put it in his own mouth. It seems like if he had his way, all he'd eat besides breastmilk is cheese, yogurt, breads, pasta, crackers, rice, and cereal.
I've tried tricking him into eating veggies, but he's getting so smart, he usually figures it out.
Also, where is the line btwn encouraging a child to eat and pressuring him to eat?
It's so frustrating because he'll yell and reach for the fridge as if to say he's hungry, but will outright refuse to eat what I offer him.
Some days, he pretty much nurses like a newborn because he didn't eat much if any solids. Not that I mind nursing him; in fact, that's one thing I can't ever feel guilty about feeding him "too much" of.
And I keep getting such mixed messages about what and how to feed him. I keep hearing, "Don't try to force your child to eat;" children who are allowed to choose what to eat and how much are healthier than children whose caregivers pressure them to eat. But then I also hear it stressed over and over again how important it is for children to be eating a ballanced diet, especally including vegtables and fruits. But if all he'll eat is grain and dairy, should I really just keep giving him that until he fills himself up on two food groups?
So, for the expert moms who've been there, help please?
Just a thought, have you tried the coloured pasta that is supposed to be made with veggies? (Spinach, tomato, etc...)
the colored pasta is a great idea. my 16 month old dd loves it.
i really wouldn't worry about him gravitating to only certain food groups at this age, especially if you are still breastfeeding. my dd also loves grains and dairy, and will only eat a couple fruits and veggies and even then, comparatively speaking, she eats way more cheese and bread.
it's good to offer, maybe he'll take an interest again, but personally i wouldn't pressure or make an issue out of it. if you are breastfeeding he's getting all the missed nutrients that fruits and veggies offer from your milk, and one serving of breastmilk has more calories that one serving or fruits and veggies.
if it were me (and this is just my opinion), i would just go with the flow and not worry about it. it's probably just a phase. my dd won't eat any meat. even if i try to sneak it in with her other food, like lentils, she immediately spits it back out. she's been this way for 6 + months now and it hasn't affected her health in any way, as she still breastfeeds on demand and gets plenty of iron from other sources.
so, in short, i would continue to offer but if he refuses i wouldn't force. btw have you read LLL's publication "MY Child Won't Eat"? it's a great read!
Thank you for your replies. :)
I think you're very right. I do just need to chill out and go with the flow, which is what I wanted to do anyway, I just got sidetracked the last couple of weeks for some reason.