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Thread: Really hungry, but still does not eat much

  1. #1

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    Default Really hungry, but still does not eat much

    I just don't know what to do with Maggie at the moment. Many times a day she claims that she is "really hungry" and rubs her tummy. Other times she will be hysterical and tantruming. When asked if she is hungry she will say yes.



    The problem is when I give her food she does not eat much and begins to muck around. It is becoming a problem when we leave the house as she will carry on in the car that she is hungry when she only just had breakfast, well a few mouthfuls anyway. She carries on when we visit, amazingly she will eat more when out. It is also a problem at bedtime, I am not sure if she is really hungry or just trying to avoid sleep, normally I will just get her a cup of milk at this time.

    She also wants different food, so she will have a few mouthfuls, say that she is finished, then ask for something different to eat. I am wasting so much food as I don't know what to give her and how much. When out I tend to try to share food with her, so if she does not eat something, then I eat it. Guaranteed a couple of hours later she will be asking for that food again and crying as it isn't there.

    How do I handle this? Do I just become very strict with meals and make her hold out in between? If so how do I deal with the tantrums? I just don't want her back to demanding a breastfeed when I am close to having her weaned. This is so confusing.

  2. #2

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    Default

    Astrid,

    This is such a tricky one, and an issue that I had with Olivia for a while.

    Personally, and in my experience (and I am happy to be shot down regarding this issue!) I am pretty convinced that it is a 'phase" that is all about control.

    Kids see their Mummies get totally wound up over food/food wastage/food choices/mealtimes, and quickly realise that it is a means of control. (I hate to make kids sound manipulative, I am sure it is all subconscious!) But they MUST sense that most parents are naturally concerned over food/nutrition intake, and they get an immediate reaction......does that make sense?

    My MIL is a clinical dietitian, so I have asked her help with regard to this, and I think/hope my approach is working! (It worked for my MIL......she has 3 children who all have a fantastic approach to food, are all slim and fit, and eat very healthily through instinctive choice!) (Also bear in mind that I am vitally aware of my need to break the cycle of the past generations of women in my family who have all had emotional control issues with regard to food. I want to break that cycle for my daughters........)

    So, I offer a well balanced choice of meals and snacks that I know Olivia likes. She is also allowed to snack on fruit and carrots etc from the fridge. Nothing is "forbidden". She gets her fair share of lollies and chippies too. No food is banned.

    If she chooses not to eat a meal, I leave it on the table for around 10 mins, then it gets fed to the dog. No snacks until the next meal, unless it is fruit or veg. No juice, only water.

    She can sometimes go all day with just a carrot, LOL! BUT, other days she will happily tuck into 3 full meals and snacks!

    The key issue here is MY REACTION.....whatever she does, whatever she eats, whatever she refuses, I am just happy smiling Mummy. No reaction either way to be honest. (This was really really hard for me BTW. Now I have it down pat.)

    I don't "congratulate" her on eating. Nor do I "scold" her for not eating.

    I do however, praise her for good table manners, and mealtimes at our house are always fun in as much as we play music and chat a lot......we all sit round the table together.

    I do notice that she eats much better when I eat with her. And of course it makes it an awful lot easier to "lead by example" in relation to nutrition when I am eating wholesome food right next to her.

    In relation to the breast feeding, I can see how tough that must be. (And Olivia weaned at 6 months, so not something I have had experience with.) But in terms of dealing with the tanties, I would offer distraction. A firm but fair "No, and I am not going to respond to a tanty" then distract.

    I have waffled here.

    This issue has come up before recently and it became heated (hence I won't link to it!) So I hope I haven't offended anyone this go round!

    HTH Astrid.........and good luck! xx

  3. #3

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    Thanks Lucy - it helps a lot. I thought I was not reacting to her eating, but maybe I am. I think we do praise her a bit too often when she does eat. I don't make a big deal of waste in front of her, I either eat it, chuck it or put it in the fridge (if still safe to do so). Don't tend to have had food restrictions here, but it does get hard when all she is asking for is chocolate so I do end up saying no and I suppose that is where she getting a reaction from.

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