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Eat your Veggies!

photo from webMD

My 11 month old son decided one day that he didn’t want to eat his vegetables. Up to this point he has loved them, more so than even fruit. I panicked. Fortunately he gained a pound last month, but we need to keep it up so he continues to gain weight. I really don’t want to take him to an endocrinologist when there is nothing developmentally wrong with him.

Questions ran through my mind (Is this just a stage? How do I get him to eat?) as I tried to figure out how to solve this problem.  So I went to the internet for solutions.  Everything I read indicated that at this age they are starting to assert their independence and not to worry.  Site upon site said to keep offering, even if they don’t eat, and set a good example (there were lots of other suggestions, but those were the most popular).  Well, we don’t have much wiggle room on the first point, and we always try to set a good example.

What to do now? I figured it was time to try to experiment, get creative, pull out all the stops. We tried ‘hiding’ the vegetables in foods he liked such as eggs and rice, but he’d always pick them out. We always eat dinner together, but he would just shake his head and refuse. We let him feed himself, but he just threw it on the floor. Finally, one day, I was so frustrated I set the whole plate of food in front of him and let him do what he wanted while I made my own lunch, ate and pretty much ignored him. I kept taking glances at him and noticed that he was eating. When I finally looked at him head on, he had cleaned off his plate! My conclusion, it was all about attention. So now if he throws food on the floor or he refuses, I don’t say a word. By not reacting, I’ve taken away his need to refuse.  So far, it’s been successful, but we’ll see how long it lasts. For now, I’m just glad that he is eating his veggies again.

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