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I have a 2 year old boy (2 leg child) that does not like to feed himself. I have tried just about everything that I can think of to get him to eat by himself and you guessed it...he still wants Mom (me) to feed him. Ohh and he still prefers mushy baby type food. Anybody have any ideas on how to get him to eat "real" food by himself?
 

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OMG That's funny...and that one I haven't tried yet.
 

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OMG That's funny...and that one I haven't tried yet.
Have you tried giving him cheerios or some of those "fun" treats like the little cheese pinwheel treats, that look like hamster treats but kids love them? I remember when Chris was little he loved it when I would pretend to eat his cheerios and he would watch me and then do the same thing. We would giggle together. I dunno how else to get him to eat more solid foods. What does your doctor say?
 

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Its been along time for me, but I remember starting my kids out with finger food, fruits, cheerios, small pieces of chicken, cooked veggies etc. I always remember the Doctor saying "they wont starve themselves" so guess I would put the food out and let it set there, when enough time has passed pick up the tray,and no treats in between meals. Next meal you would probably get a different outcome- so in a funny way I think Cam had the right idea. Now there is a difference in "he can't feed himself" and "he wont feed himself" Don't worry to much, I'm sure he will be feeding himself before he goes to school:)
 

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Id just leave him to it, my friend had this problem with her 4yr old in the end she just left her too it..ok she screamed etc but they soon get the message
 

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My mum used to make vegetable men for us. hehe... and she'd say "ooh look! lets eat <veggie mans name here> eyes!!" or she'd say "wouldnt it be funny if we ate his legs! Then he cant get away!!"

We used to eat our veggies every single time!! It's one of the solid memories I have from ages 3-4 too actually.

Just an idea... it worked great for my brother and I
 

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I have to agree with the suggestion thus far. Cut out the baby (mushy) type foods, offer him only finger foods (Cheerios, small bits of meat or veggies). Give him those & if within a set time (15 minutes) he does not eat, take it away.

Like everyone has said, he is not going to starve himself. He'll eat when he gets good & hungry.

Whatever you do, don't give in and keep feeding him & giving him the mushy baby food. If he realizes you'll give in, then you get nowhere.
 

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Does he look at your food when you're eating it? If you're eating a meal together, maybe you could just take some from your plate and put it on his plate (or highchair tray or whatever you're using) and see if he wants to try what mom's having. Most kids are interested. Other thing you could do is figure out what he really loves and start with that. My daughter LOVES cheese for example...bits of cut up cheese are something she'd never refuse.
 

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Yes, he will eat Cherios. As far as veggies, meat and such no he does not pick them up and eat them. He does play with them (pushes them around and stuff) but they don't go in the mouth. And yes he does sit with us at the table. If I put a small piece of meat or veggie in his mouth it just comes back out. Doctor just said let him sit in his chair longer, she said alot of the time parents don't leave kids in front of food for long enough. At one time he was eating but he would only eat the meat, then he just quit eating that. When I do give him food I do give it to him off of my plate.
 

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Will he eat grown-up food off a fork or spoon if you feed it to him? Or does he only eat mushed up baby food?

If it's the second, I would have him checked out by a certified nutritionist, occupational therapist, or speech therapist. It's possible that he could have a texture aversion, or even have a muscle weakness that doesn't allow him to chew properly. A 2yr old should definitely be able to eat solid foods. If it's a matter of him not wanting to do it, that's one thing, but if it seems like he can't, then I would get him assessed. I hate to sound like a nervous nelly, but if there's something wrong, the earlier you get help for him the better.
 

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Will he eat grown-up food off a fork or spoon if you feed it to him? Or does he only eat mushed up baby food?

If it's the second, I would have him checked out by a certified nutritionist, occupational therapist, or speech therapist. It's possible that he could have a texture aversion, or even have a muscle weakness that doesn't allow him to chew properly. A 2yr old should definitely be able to eat solid foods. If it's a matter of him not wanting to do it, that's one thing, but if it seems like he can't, then I would get him assessed. I hate to sound like a nervous nelly, but if there's something wrong, the earlier you get help for him the better.
Excellent advice...my 2 yr old would starve himself when we tried to switch from baby to solid foods. My doctor said he wouldn't starve but he would go days with only a few bites of food and then cried all day. His weight began to drop off the chart and was close to being a "failure to thrive". Doctor then order me to supplement his food with pedisure. We also found out he has sensory intergration issues...he just doesn't like certain foods due to shape or color or texture. He is better about eating now but is so picky...we tend to give him alot of the foods he will eat, like those chedder fish crackers, fruit snacks, and of all things Mcdonald french fries. Our Occupational therapist has made us try new foods every day and even if he only plays with it we have made progress.
 

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I have a two year old little girl here in my daycare. In 17 years of daycare I have never seen such a strong case like this one. I believe that in alot of two year olds, the issue is control. They know they can control us when it comes to food. She will not allow me to feed her at all. Every week i try new things with her and slowly she is starting to feed herself. I care for her older sister and from what she tells me, its the same at home. Her parents are alot weaker than i am tho. They give in to her cries for cookies. If she wants a cereal bar for dinner, they give in. But these are parents that think a package of fruit snacks falls into the fruits catagory. The older sister has issues with vegetables too and she is six years old. I have made smoothie drinks for her, packed full of veggies and then told her about it later. Or i make blended soups in the blender. She eats it, loved it and She was so proud of herself. Anyways back to your two year old. You said that he will eat cheerios, thats a good start. I think he is holding out for mom to feed him because he knows you will. He is in control because he knows you will give in. Its hard really really hard, but he won't starve. When you make dinner, prepare his plate before he sits at the table with you. Talk alot about using a big boy plate. His choice is to eat it or not, its that simple. If it turns into a crying thing, don't worry he'll get it and he won't starve. Sorry to go on and on, but believe me, i could type more and more. I hope you find a solution.
 

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How much milk and juice is he getting. I know if I let Heather have too much milk, she won't eat much of a meal.
 

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I have a two year old little girl here in my daycare. In 17 years of daycare I have never seen such a strong case like this one. I believe that in alot of two year olds, the issue is control. They know they can control us when it comes to food. She will not allow me to feed her at all. Every week i try new things with her and slowly she is starting to feed herself. I care for her older sister and from what she tells me, its the same at home. Her parents are alot weaker than i am tho. They give in to her cries for cookies. If she wants a cereal bar for dinner, they give in. But these are parents that think a package of fruit snacks falls into the fruits catagory. The older sister has issues with vegetables too and she is six years old. I have made smoothie drinks for her, packed full of veggies and then told her about it later. Or i make blended soups in the blender. She eats it, loved it and She was so proud of herself. Anyways back to your two year old. You said that he will eat cheerios, thats a good start. I think he is holding out for mom to feed him because he knows you will. He is in control because he knows you will give in. Its hard really really hard, but he won't starve. When you make dinner, prepare his plate before he sits at the table with you. Talk alot about using a big boy plate. His choice is to eat it or not, its that simple. If it turns into a crying thing, don't worry he'll get it and he won't starve. Sorry to go on and on, but believe me, i could type more and more. I hope you find a solution.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of a kid at 2 years old having "control" issues. If it is anything, it would be a sensory thing. 2 year olds don't have the rational thinking it takes to "control" their situations as far as food and textures go. I'm sure there are some that disagree with me on this but if you feel like it might be a texture or sensory thing, like others have said take him to see the doctor.
 

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Connor has texture and sensory issues with food and he just turned 3. If he looks at something and doesn't like the color or the way it looks, it is not going in his mouth. This is from a kid who ate everything in the babyfood department when he was at that stage. I keep bringing up my concerns with his doctor and his doctor isn't concerned. We give him a multi-vit. daily and he gets enough milk and enough iron. That's all doc is ever concerned about.
I would say if your still having to hand feed, like the others said, stop doing it and put the plate down for only so long. Connor's doc also says they will not starve.
 

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Excellent advice...my 2 yr old would starve himself when we tried to switch from baby to solid foods. My doctor said he wouldn't starve but he would go days with only a few bites of food and then cried all day. His weight began to drop off the chart and was close to being a "failure to thrive". Doctor then order me to supplement his food with pedisure. We also found out he has sensory intergration issues...he just doesn't like certain foods due to shape or color or texture. He is better about eating now but is so picky...we tend to give him alot of the foods he will eat, like those chedder fish crackers, fruit snacks, and of all things Mcdonald french fries. Our Occupational therapist has made us try new foods every day and even if he only plays with it we have made progress.
My girlfriend's little boy was exactly like that, even to the foods he would eat! He would not eat anything with bright colors, it had to be beige or yellow or dull orange. She was able to get him to eat a certain brand of chicken sausages if she took the casing off after it was cooked - but they had to be boiled. That was the only meat he ate.
 
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