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Q: Training Babies/Infants To Eat ( No Answer,   13 Comments )
Subject: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
Category: Health > Children
Asked by: lwc1234-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 24 Mar 2006 11:16 PST
Expires: 23 Apr 2006 12:16 PDT
Question ID: 711533
I have a theory about how to get an infant boy (~1 year old) to eat. 
Throughout his life, he has been a bad eater.  He might take a few
bites of food per meal if you're lucky.  My theory is a bit like sleep
training applied to eating.  I would propose sitting the boy down, and
giving him a fixed amount to eat (like a small bowl of oatmeal), and
until he eats it, keep him seated in the chair.  I could imagine going
several hours until he realizes that unless he eats, he won't be able
to get up.

I'm wondering if there's respected medical or scientific articles that
would support such an approach.  I'm looking for 2-3 good articles
from trusted publications in the medical or scientific community that
would lend credence to such a position.

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 24 Mar 2006 11:52 PST
Hello lwc1234-ga,

Would you accept an answer that contradicts your beliefs? My
preliminary research shows that the medical and scientific opinion is
not is synch with your theory of how to feed a baby transitioning to
solid foods. I look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: steph53-ga on 24 Mar 2006 11:27 PST
Your "training method" sounds to me like "child abuse".

Making a baby sit in front of a food dish he has no desire to eat and
not letting him get up, will only make him associate food with

My 2 cents,

Steph53 ( mother of 2 who grew up as "picky" eaters )
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Mar 2006 11:38 PST
Even if this method resulted in the child eating more, I would expect
that it would cause a psychological link in the child's mind between
food and the punishment of being restrained. Food viewed as an
accompaniment to unpleasantness: sounds to me like a good way to
create an eating disorder.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Mar 2006 11:40 PST
If your question is referring to an actual child, rather than to a
hypothetical situation, I urge you to take the child to a
pediatrician. If he is truly not eating enough, he needs medical
attention, not homemade behavioral experimentation.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: probonopublico-ga on 24 Mar 2006 12:30 PST
Maybe he doesn't care for the food he's been getting because I know
that, as an infant, I jibbed at getting oatmeal.

Why not try him with other offerings?
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: roxrox-ga on 24 Mar 2006 13:16 PST
This is about control. 
Your child is not eating and you want him/her to eat. 
Who wins (controls), you or the child?
Don't make it be lke that, please don't.
As a parent you have to give in, the kid is going to eat what the kids
wants to eat.

Your child is their own little person with their own wants and desires.
Don't go down this road. If you love your child you will need to
understand that at times the kid does have the control. If you are so
inflexible that you always must have the upper hand at all costs, then
I will refer you to Nancy. A good friend of my daughters, staight A
student with an over controlling mother. Nancy's mom, was a dicator,
not a mother.
Nancy killed herself when she was in college, went to her dad's took
his gun and blew her bains out.

When raising, nuturing children, it has to be give and take. 

Don't go down this road I beg you!
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: cynthia-ga on 24 Mar 2006 17:51 PST
Are you serious?  Force a baby to sit at a table for hours?  How?  

Helping Your Toddler to Eat Well:
Sharing the Responsibility
According to the BC Ministry of Health:
1) Parents decide what and when food is served. 
2) Children decide whether and how much to eat. 

This article explains the power dynamics of baby/toddler eating.

Please reconsider, this doesn't sound like a good theory at all.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: clock2502-ga on 24 Mar 2006 18:13 PST
I regret to state that current research contradicts your approach.
Your approach, "I would propose sitting the boy down, and
giving him a fixed amount to eat (like a small bowl of oatmeal), and
until he eats it, keep him seated in the chair.  I could imagine going
several hours until he realizes that unless he eats, he won't be able
to get up".
Behaviour theroy states, "Reinforce small gains". In other words reinforce gains.
To extinguish a behaviour one needs to "ignore it". Your approach is
"punishing it".
My feeling is that your approach will be counter productive. Please do
not follow through with your approach. In the short term you may "win"
because the child will eat after "several hours". This practice will
land you in jail in some States and your child will be taken into
State custody.
There is no literature to support your apporach except for short term
gains (in adult only) which does not seem to be your objective.
Children at this age need to be fed more frequently and their "senses to realize
it" are not developed.
Please do not commit a crime.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: byrd-ga on 24 Mar 2006 18:45 PST
As a mother of two and grandmother of two, and a veteran of the "food
wars," I whole heartedly agree with the advice and plea to NOT force a
baby to sit in a chair for hours in front of a dish of food.  YOU
cannot feel that child's hunger or lack of it. Create a power struggle
over food and you will regret it, no question. Matter of fact, I'm
still dealing with this food issue in the person of a 9-year-old
granddaughter who will voluntarily eat NO vegetables or fruits,
whateover.  Sigh.........  But we're making a little progress. Last
week she ate 3 beans, and this week one small piece of a lettuce leaf.
But believe it or not, she's reasonably healthy, and WILL grow out of
it, as did her father, my son, as did his mother -- me. So just relax,
try to make mealtimes fun and enjoyable, encourage the child to take
ONE bite of anything objectionable, and let it go. Really. The baby
won't starve -- instinct will take care of that -- and you'll all be
much happier if you just chill out.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: nelson-ga on 24 Mar 2006 22:30 PST
Giving the child an eating disorder won't solve your problem.

Let me give you a sneak preview from my upcoming book "The Gay Man's
Guide to Child Rearing":

Children are like cats.  When they are hungry, they'll let you know. 
Just listen for the meow.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: probonopublico-ga on 25 Mar 2006 07:27 PST
It now occurs to me that my elder daughter soon took a great liking to
Frosties and my younger one to Coco Pops. Amazingly, their likings
have persisted through to the present day.

So, even sisters like different things. 

I guess that it's a question of experimentation until you hit on
something that appeals to him then ...

Watch Out!

You will have to start worrying about his eating too much.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: nkamom-ga on 25 Mar 2006 12:14 PST
One other thought - if you are having trouble getting your kid to eat.
 It is possible that he has sensory issues relating to food.  Some
kids are adverse to certain tastes, smells, textures, etc. (not
talking just stubborn here, but truely, physically not able to do it).
Have a look at a book called "Just Take a Bite," or speak to an
occupational therapist if you think this might apply.
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: myoarin-ga on 25 Mar 2006 15:41 PST
"Throughout his life, he has been a bad eater."

Like at ca. one year he  - and you -  have much experience?  Especially the
"and you".  
"Bad eater"  "Bad" is a moralistic judgement.

Every comment here has been to the point, different ones, but all appropriate.
I wanted to comment every time I have seen your question.  Now I think
you need some positive support (after having also unloaded my negative
thoughts), though I am not the best one to try to do so.

Kids are great, a wonder that God or nature lets us create and
nurture, and they are human individuals in their own right.  Sure, we
have to bring them up, but the better we learn to respect them as
individuals  -as we do with adults -  the more acceptance and respect
we will get back.  There are so many stories by people that tell how
much they loved and respect one or another adult because he or she
treated them as a child like and adult, with respect and listening to
them.  And there is the saying the the first child has to raise its
parents  - in their new role.
It starts now, for both of you.  
Maybe your son is already picky with his food because of your expectations.  

"seated in the chair."  
Maybe he is big for his age, but feeding time for one year-olds is
still very much mothering and cuddling.  In many cultures, infants are
not yet weaned at that age.  Just hold him on your lap, love him, and
feed him what and when and as much as he wants.  Mealtime is family
time, a time to enjoy each other.

I wish you both all the best, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Training Babies/Infants To Eat
From: irlandes-ga on 25 Mar 2006 19:25 PST
I have seen that approach, and only the laws against domestic violence
kept my hands from the throat of the woman doing it.  That was my
ex-wife, and she also abused my daughter until she was old enough to
hit back, and then needed therapy in the military.

It does not work.

Many studies show that left to themselves, the kids will take enough
food of different types as their body needs it. Not left to
themselves, they develop serious eating problems.

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