Carolyn - posted on 09/23/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )
Should I still be feeding my 16 month old or should I get tough and let him decide how much to eat? I always give him finger foods to start with (i.e., cut up pieces of: grilled cheese, PB & J, french toast, french fries, corndog, etc, etc.,). He will usually eat 3-5 pieces on his own and then the rest goes on the floor. Generally, I will walk by and put a piece in his mouth, then walk away. He sometimes eats it, but more often than not, chews it a bit and then pushes it out of his mouth. I have yet to see the instance where he eats 80% of something I put in front of him. Even if it is cut up pieces of pancakes with syrup, he eats very little on his own.
After giving him 10-15 minutes to eat his finger foods, I then come along with something more blended (i.e., oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce) and he will almost always finish that.
My questions are: Do I just put his finger foods in front of him and let him decide how much to eat? Is he just passing time toying with his finger foods because he knows I always follow up with something soft? If I stop feeding him after he decides how much finger foods to eat, won't his stomach growl? Will he eventually catch on that if he doesn't eat his ration, he will go hungry?
I read somewhere that a 16 month old should be feeding himself by now and don't exactly know how to feel confident that after 3 pieces of a cut up sandwich, he could really be getting his nutrition.
If I were to spoon feed him those blended Gerber jar dinners, vegetables, and fruits, he would eat 100% of them. That's what I have been doing up until 2 weeks ago when I decided he need to start doing a little of the feeding too. He just throws his spoon on the floor, everytime I put it in his hand and guide the food from the bowl to his mouth. I thought he would like his independence by now in using a spoon, even if he wasn't proficient at it, but he just throws it on the floor. I don't want to enable him, but don't want him to grow up to fast either.
Any information or examples of those who've been in this situation would help.