How to explain to DH...
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Post Tue, Oct 19 2021, 11:45 pm
My husband helps a lot with the kids. But omg at meal times I can’t deal with his way. Somehow the kids don’t eat with him or he offers them the entire fridge and they take one bite of each thing. There is something with men and food. I have no advice it’s so frustrating.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 1:56 am
You do mealtimes and DH can do other things, to make feeding easier for you.
Changing child's clothes afterwards, sweeping floor, etc.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 2:20 am
I really don't think you need to be worrying so much about organized meal time at this age. And I think you're definitely letting your own childhood experiences affect this. You're overthinking it.

I hardly ever bothered with organized high chair meals. Frankly my toddlers ate a lot of their meals while sitting on the floor. I gave them healthy, balanced foods, and if they lost interest and walked away, then fine. If they came back ten minutes later still hungry, I gave them a bowl of cucumbers. No biggie.

The other thing here is, in general, whether it's about food or diaper changing or whatever, you need to let go when it comes to your dh. It's unfair to demand your partner parent exactly the way you do. Each parent has their own approach and does what works best for them. It's one thing if he fed your child nothing but cookies and ice cream, but if he's feeding them healthy food, just in a different way than you do, then I strongly suggest you just let it go.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 2:42 am
There seems to be something deeper from your childhood. Generally speaking humans have hunger cues, for example even newborn babies have hunger cues, babies cry, kvetch until they get food. It's an instinct.

It's abnormal for a toddler to not listen to their instincts to eat - unless they've been trained to ignore their instincts, or have other things that disturb hunger cues (for example kids with autism or ADHD may forget to eat and not even feel hungry). Or if there's stress around eating, or just stress in the house a toddler may not want to add more stress and push their instincts and feelings down.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 2:46 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Perhaps I didn't explain well. I tried the system recommended by our pediatrician and I wasn't able to sustain it, physically or mentally. I have a physical challenge and do not have the energy to put him up there, wash the tray, clean the floor, and change his clothes (inevitably) 5 separate times a day, in addition to everything ls. I can only manage do it twice a day. The third meal I give him on my lap. He gets snacks in between.

Given this limitation, how would you make the feeding work??

Your making it very difficult for yourself.

Why can’t you feed him on the floor while he plays?
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 2:48 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
So what should I do when, fifteen minutes after the short meal, he is already asking for more food?

Do my instincts as a mother - and - I want to be honest - my horrific experience as a malnourished child in a no-force-feeding home - play any role here?

Sorry if this is naive but I am quite serious. Thanks.

Sit him down to play. Put a plate with a variety of healthy foods near him. This gives him control of when he wants to eat and what he wants to eat and you can be sure that he will eat.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 3:02 am
I've also heard that smaller meals are much better for toddlers. I try to put my 18 month old in the high chair with a variety of healthy foods and leave her as long as she's eating. After that, I take her out and clean her up. She gets really messy sometimes (if there's tomato sauce especially), and I sometimes take her to the bath straight from the high chair. But that's not usually more than once a day- the others are less messy things, as others have said.

Sorry if this is insensitive- how did not force-feeding you as a kid lead to malnutrition? I understand the premise of the method to be that kids will not starve themselves and will eat what they need on their own. Was that not the case? Were you not offered enough food or healthy enough food? Were you not allowed to eat when it was not mealtime? Why did you not eat enough when offered?

I've heard that children will not be picky if they are offered only healthy food- they'll just eat it so they don't starve. I have young children who will not eat a meal if they don't like it, even if they are really hungry. I think they would just stay hungry until the next meal if I didn't give them something else. So I'm not sure about that theory and I guess that's why I'm really wondering how the no-force-feeding theory went so wrong.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 9:44 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:

BUT neither he nor I are capable of following pediatrician's full system, which is 3 meals and 2 snacks in the high chair a day, all formal and nutritious. I tell him that if we're not willing to do that, then we at least have to give him more food at each meal so he gets the proper nutrition.

He says that's force feeding. I tell him that I also didn't want to force feed, but it became impractical when I realized we have to stick to a schedule, make sure he's fed before he goes to activities, that he isn't still hungry at naptime, etc. (I'm the one taking care of him the rest of the day, so it all falls on me if mealtime doesn't happen.) Also, I personally grew up in a strictly no-force-feeding family, and the results for me and my siblings were pretty awful, and lifelong. I can say more.
How can I finally explain to DH that I need mealtime to be a real meal?

I agree it's force feeding.

Why is your pediatrician so rigid?

A regular pediatrician will just say something like, a kid this age needs to eat the amount of one full meal a day. It can be scattered throughout the day. So a little dairy (1/4 c. Yogurt), a little fruit (applesauce, grapes cut in half, pieces of peaches) a little vegetable (vegetable soup),some protein(chicken,lentils in soup), and carbs (crackers for snack, or pasta, or rice) is just fine!!

I think it's amazing to feed in a high chair, but...
They can eat in the stroller while pushed on a walk. They can eat while playing at the park, sit on a bench. They can eat while playing in the house, too, if it's not too messy.

I do not force feed my kids (not toddlers). I try to encourage them to eat the chicken, rice, and string beans, but if all they eat is stringbeans, it's okay!

What were the results of your parents not making you sit for30 minutes to eat?
I don't think your baby will starve, unless you are so rigid that you won't give him an applesauce pouch he is playing a little after your official time.

20-30 minutes for a baby to eat a few spoons of yogurt is very controlling and for your sake and your child's sake, I think you should go for parenting classes and private therapy.

I recommend you look at this website:
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 9:56 am
I can keep a kid at the table for a long time. It's called "entertaining while feeding". Be fun! Be interactive! Get off the darn phone!

Have a variety of foods on the plate. You should be eating at the same time, preferably a version of what they are eating. Offer a bite, take a bite of your own food. Repeat.

People forget that it takes babies a lot longer to chew and swallow solids than it does for adults. If you're coming in with that second spoonful and the baby is not ready, they will push it away and it will look like they don't want to eat. Slow down!

If it looks like the baby is about to toss the plate on the floor, act fast and take it out of reach. Then say "All done?" If the baby reaches out for the plate, resume feeding. Repeat. Hopefully this will help break the habit of throwing food on the floor, but I'm not giving any guarantees.

If your child is dropping weight or not gaining nicely, ask your pediatrician about supplementing with a bottle once or twice a day until your child is mature enough to handle sitting for a regular meal.

BTW, kids are allowed to not like things. If they spit something out and make a face on a consistent basis, stop serving it for about a month. Try again later. Something they hate now could become a favorite food later, but not if you push it.

If DH is genuinely incapable of being patient and interactive, is there anything he could be doing for you while you feed the baby? Tell him you'll trade him for doing the dishes or something. He'll probably agree to just about anything if it gets him off the high chair duty.

Can you afford a mother's helper for the evenings? Someone who can handle dinner time, baths, and pajamas? It can make a world of difference, and it doesn't need to be expensive. A girl with experience with younger siblings could easily do the job. (If you're in Beit Shemesh, I'm available on Mondays and Wednesdays!)
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 10:04 am
I agree that your pediatrician seems very rigid.
Many pediatricians encourage 3 meals, 2/3 nutritious snacks but with the full knowledge that they won't eat tons at each meal
A few things.
1) of everything that pops out, the one thing to really talk to your husband about is not giving junk when the toddler kvetches. But I'm more of the opinion that Bamba is nutritious enough- protein, fat, whole grain corn.
2) many kids don't have an hourly nutrition requirement. They ebb and flow by the week.
So a kid who only eats cucumbers one day is not a concern as long as over the week they get enough.
3) it's ok to teach a child to eat when hungry, not bored. And at 19 months, it's ok to say "now is not meal time. We will be eating lunch after Lego. If you're really hungry, here are whole wheat crackers. Or something.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 10:06 am
The best advice I got was to average your child's nutrition over 1-2 weeks. Some days they ate only chicken, others only carbs. It's fine *** long as over the course of a week they got all the food groups, you're good.
Toddlers need about 1 1/2 cops of food a day. That's 1/4 cup 6x a day. Sometimes they eat more, sometimes less. I found my kids ate best themselves. A few different foods on bite sized pieces that they could choose.
Always offer them food when you're eating.
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Post Wed, Oct 20 2021, 10:07 am
I found when I tried long meals by the time kid was done dc was hungry again. Toddlers are slow eaters, loose attention quickly, does your toddler nap? My day was breakfast: cheerios and milk-kid ate 3 bites then I bought out colorful cereal or multi Cherrios, cherrios for high chair while I fed the rest. Out of high chair if child was still hungry they got a sliced up banana cut in circles on a low chair, basically fun food. That was also good for sensory. Bigger meals were saved a little before native and bedtime so dc would not wake up hungry.
Next would be a yogurt or lebon with a straw great for oral development. Mashed potatoes rolled in balls. With older babies and toddlers its all about finger foods, they are always on the run.
You made a valid point about your baby being hungry when your husband feeds him/her. If that is the case your husband should see the difference on his own. Point it out and let him make changes that can work for him. Maybe 1/4 of a peanut butter sandwich cut into small pieces while he eats Bamba. My toddler liked eating out of a ziplock bag. I put in very littler at a time it shouldn't spill. Toddler can snack, but snack should be filling. Toddler also have tiny stomach they need to eat often because there is just so much they can hold down at once. I think its healthy for toddlers to know they're are meals called breakfast, lunch, supper. But only how long child can focus on it. Or less than 10 minutes whatever is longer. Also maybe make it your job to feed dc and give your husband a list of what has to be accomplished during that time.
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