Toddler Parenting Question

I suspect this is totally normal, but I’m wondering if anyone has any advice for me.  Meals with PJ have become something I dread.  He eats relatively well for a two-year-old, but it takes him FOREVER to eat.  He’ll take a bite and then find some way to play with his food or his fork, or both.  Then he’ll take several huge gulps of his drink before finding some way to play with that.  Every few minutes I attempt to re-focus him on the task at hand (“PJ, eat it!”), but it rarely does the job–and when it does, it only lasts for one bite.  Last night, M had to resort to feeding him one bite at a time, like we’re doing for BabyN.  Even then,  he tried to stall between each bite.  If we let him, he would sit at the table all day, just moving from one meal to the next. But then he’d get bored–long before he got full–and ask to get down to go play.

Has anyone else dealt with this issue?  I’m guessing it’s fairly normal, but I don’t know how to address it, how to encourage him to actually eat at mealtimes and cut the eating marathons a bit shorter.  Does anyone have suggestions for me to try?


4 Responses to Toddler Parenting Question

  1. Erica says:


  2. Becca says:

    It’s normal. We deal with that too. Ava has her own little table in the kitchen, and she will take a bite and then go in the other room to watch TV, and comes back for a bite at a time. At least you are getting him to sit down and eat! Our pediatrician also said that I would be lucky to get her to eat ONE good meal every 2 days so it looks like you are heading int he right direction.

  3. Kristin says:

    We’re there too. I often remind myself that if Logan’s hungry, he’ll sit down to eat. He pretty much eats a decent breakfast & then snacks during the day rather than eating lunch & at this point, hardly eats dinner.

    We sit down at the table to eat as a family & I don’t fight with Logan about getting up & running around during dinner (because it’s pointless). However, when we’re finished, we’re finished. If he was too busy messing around to eat, too bad. He’ll have to make up for it at the next meal.

  4. erin says:

    I think that’s normal at his age. We sit together at meal times at the dining table (unless she’s eating like a yogurt for breakfast and then she just eats at her little table in the living room) and that cuts down on the time some since she can’t see the TV from the dining room. But she does play with her fork or get her feet “stuck” in the bars on the dining table and ask us to help her get them out–which she could pull them out fine on her own. Sometimes I resort to the “airplane” method which most of the time works pretty well. Especially with green beans. Sunday we watched my two nephews and while the 8 month old sat on my lap eating a rice cracker thing I had to airplane Hailey’s green beans into her mouth, then hamburger helper into my nephews, then green beans for Hailey again etc. etc. til I was satisfied that they’d eaten enough. If Hailey finishes dinner before we’re done I just clean her off and let her down to play so I can eat in peace 🙂 I can tell if Hailey’s not really all that hungry…she draws it out even more and plays more. If you encourage him to eat by reminding him of the task at hand and try to feed him and he still just plays around, I’d say he’s not really that hungry anyway. Don’t know if that helped any, but that’s my two cents 🙂

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