Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hammer Time

I am setting my foot down. Finally. Ethan has been sick for the past several days, and his eating habits have suffered. I know it's miserable to try to eat and chew and swallow when your nose is congested and your ears probably hurt and your throat is sore, but then shouldn't drinking from a bottle also be difficult? He has given up on food almost entirely over the past few days, preferring to take only liquid, and only from a bottle. After perusing several online forums where parents are lamenting their children's eating habits (or lack thereof), I decided to take a stand-- and a tough one. No more bottles. Period. And the only time he will get milk is at his three mealtimes, and then it will be out of his sippy cup only. The only time he'll be offered juice will be with his snacks at snack time-- no more offering the juice cup throughout the day, and no more bottle of milk to help him get sleepy and take his naps or go to bed at night. We'll still offer him water during the day, but no juice and no milk except at meal/snack times.

And guess what? It's already working! This morning, he wouldn't eat breakfast, even after offering him food and then leaving it on his tray for him to eat or not eat. After about half an hour, we took away the food and then gave him his first 4-5 oz. of milk in a sippy cup. He drank it down. Then, no more food until snack time-- at which point he finally ate something and drank his watered down juice. After that, nap time, with a catch: No bottle first. He had a tough time with that one, cried for a bit, and then boom! Out like a light. When he woke up, it was lunch time, and guess what? He actually ATE! Not a ton, but enough to make me believe in this new strategy. He also ate his p.m. snack and juice/water just fine, and then went to nap again without a bottle first-- but no crying this time. Yahoo! So nice to see success right away. It may still be a bumpy ride for a little while, but this really feels great so far. Look, if he loves eating lemon rind, can real food be far behind?

CIMG2670 (Medium)

1 comment:

  1. I am in awe of you being able to put your plan into action so quickly and with such success! I would give in way too quickly. I have always worried about eating habits, but I remind myself daily that our children will never starve themselves. I also have a little chart that shows the actual size of a toddler/preschooler food portion in comparison to everyday objects like dominoes and golf balls, and it reassures me that the little bit of meat and vegetables he eats at a given meal is really ok.