how can i get my 2 year old to want to eat herself, without my feeding her?

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Sarah - posted on 04/27/2012

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I would just put a plate of food in front of her and one in front of you. Both sit down and eat. Tell her she is a big girl and can feed herself. Then start eating your food. Throughout your meal give 1 or 2 encouraging comments about how she is a big girl and can feed herself on her own, but then continue to eat your food. If she starts to eat her food on her own give her a complement on how well she is doing. Once you are done eating if she has not started to eat her food then clear the table and just let her know that she can try it again at the next meal time....don't give snacks inbetween meals if she did not eat her meal. If she has started to eat her food allow her time to finish it. Then repeat at the next meal time. If she is a strong willed child it may take a few times of not eating before she figures out that you are not going to give in and feed her.......then she will give in and start eating on her own.

Janice - posted on 04/27/2012

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Most children show interest in self feeding as babies. However, if they never get the chance to try they sometimes lose interest.



Does she eat finger foods, but doesnt try utensils? Or does she just refuse to eat in general?



Either way here are some ideas:



1.I would have her pick out her own utensils at the store. There are lots of fun colored ones and character ones that may get her interested.

2.During snack time let her pick a finger food or something that needs a spoon, when its her choice she may be more willing to try.

3.Take turns. You feed her one bite and then encourage her to do the next one herself.

4.Don't be afraid of messes. If your daughter is fearful that making a mess will upset you she may be less likely to try.

5.When she does try focus on the positive and praise her effort, even if she completely misses her mouth.

6.Tell her about how big she is and how feeding herself is what big girls do. Make it a fun accomplishment.

7.As a last resort, refuse to feed her. If it just seems like its a battle of wills, which can happen with toddlers, just tell her she needs to feed herself (with or without utensils) and if she is hungry enough she will put the food in her mouth. *If it is not a battle of wills type issue then this is not the way to go.



Good luck!

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