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What can I do to transition her to eating meals with us

Hi Leanne,
My daughter is 2 and a half years old, and is very fussy and lazy with her eating. i have no troubles with her eating her vegatables but she will not eat them unless they are still mashed up partly. she has tea before we do, if we sit her up at the table with us she will not eat, she has been a very routinal child with sleeping etc and her meals have fallen the same. i was wondering what i can do to transition her to eating meals with us and me not having to cook seperate meals for her, as i am still cooking all of her vegatables and a variety of meats for her. i will put food in front of her be it finger foods or foods with a spoon and she will just sit there, but will let me feed her i find her very lazy.
can you please make any suggestions
Melissa

Leann...
Answer: Hi Melissa, Now that`s a new question, nutritionally you might question her transition through textured food. As a bub she may not have moved from baby food to lumpy food for what ever reason and hence may not have developed the oral muscles to cope with chunky food. Though I have to say that is sounds more like an issue of preferring the attention of being feed. If you feel she has an issue with swallowing chunkier food a good place to start is a paediatric speech pathologist (see local hospital or even in the yellow pages). He or she can detect any oral issues that are getting in the way of her eating. You mention only dinner so I am wondering if it is just this meal and hence really is more related to the following? If you feel it is more an issue of habit, I would recommend popping into your CHN or buzz an early childhood consultant. The latter more so can give you some behavioural tips to help progress her to self-feeding. You may also like to try some things below in the meantime:
  • Involve your daughter in the meal preparation, setting the table, choosing her plate or bowl etc. You are swapping attention at one time to another and then trying to her towards your meal time.
  • Move your meals closer and closer together in time till you are eating together
  • Read a bed time book about eating together
I hope that helps. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 08 Feb 2009