20 Answers

Hello, I have a 2-year-old who is very picky and may sleep without having dinner if she doesn’t like the look of it. She’s not a fan of veggies and fruits. Her doctor recommended she eats at least 2 full fruits each day. I have tried to get her to eat by letting her use my mobile as long as she’s eating and it worked great! And when she eats well, I feel so good and satisfied! However, she is starting to ask for the mobile before she eats anything and this is worrying me. I don’t like it when she uses my mobile even though she’s only using apps specific to toddlers. I don’t want her to be obsessed with it as I see many have become nowadays. What do I do? Should I stop and get back to a toddler who wouldn’t eat?

Posted by Huda, 21st October 2014

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  • Another thought is to replace your current choice of reward ( your mobile) for something else that she likes. Btw that doesn’t have to be a tangible reward but can be an activity together

  • It’s not wrong to reward a child for doing something positively, certainly when it’s something the child struggles with. Rewards can be many things like a praise party, a sticker, a medal, an activity, an object. Of course you don’t want to give your child rewards for this behaviour for years. It’s good to adjudst your expectations as your child grows older.
    In your case I would stay consequent and don’t give your child reward until she shows desired behaviour , in your case ipad / mobile. And you could shorten the time she has the ipad / mobile after showing desired behaviour for for example 5 minutes and set the timer. You could also make a reward chart with stickers and agree on for example 10 stickers for a surprise.

  • Don’t go cold turkey, but start weaning her off. I used to give my son the iPad to sit on the toilet. We then went on holiday to my parents house and I said that he couldn’t have iPad at grandmas house. When we got home, I just didn’t give it to him again and he was used to not having it.

  • i would stop,i think its a downward spiral. kids go through phases were they wont eat as much. if you are relly worried substitute there milk with a toddler formula.

  • I agree with the posts so far.

  • If you feel that it is appropriate absolutely!
    Maybe not every night. You could draw up a chart & each time she eats an appropriate meal she gets to put a sticker on the chart. At the end of the month if she has collected all her stickers maybe let her pick a small prize from a little lucky dip you can make at home?

  • I see no problem with letting her use your mobile while she’s eating if it encourages her to eat. As long as it’s only fir these times, it shouldn’t cause any foreseeable problems

  • Some great answers here, good to follow this q&a as I’m aure you’re not alone with thjs dilemma!

  • Only let her use the mobile when she has had so many mouthfuls. You can bribe her with it every few mouthfuls. You have leverage, use it .

  • I dislike seeing adults with their phones on the table at restaurants, so I really don’t think a toddler should be playing with one while eating. Maybe after as a treat :) Many children can be picky and it is exasperating ! Try and get her to help , make fruit kebabs, ice-blocks,etc. My 14 year old only eats apples and the odd bit of orange but will now eat blueberry muffins. At least he liked vegies. You can make vegies into all sorts- grate them into pikelets, muffins, frittas, make spaghetti from vegies, bubble and squeek, cauliflower and broccoli cheese and add heaps of veg into sauce. Sometimes a divided plate or special fine china bowl and silver ware will entice, or even setting the table just with a pretty placemat. Don’t cook separate meals for your daughter, and try and eat with her.

  • No, eating is everyday life, I believe that all children should have sit down meal times, have their meals presented to them with obviously allowing them choices and input into what they may want and allow them to assist with the preparation, no distractions, no tv and I am a great believer in family meal times, If the child chooses not to eat the meal so be it, but nothing else to compensate, no child has ever starved when food is available to them, and it is just a matter of perserverence and any child will attempt to con you, if you lose this battle be prepared to lose many more. I know it sounds harsh but it only goes on for a day or so, so be prepared for the tantrums, implement timeouts, and you will have a well behaved child in no time. good luck

  • Might be time to try and find another way of rewarding her :) Good luck toddlers and veggies are not always a great mix

  • not many 2 year olds like healthy stuff! try different types or fruit and presentations? a fruis salad? a smoothy? ice poles from fruits? maybe food rewards? like a little bit of icecream? try avoid too much screen time, but no what ever works. I just give my toddler multi vits

  • If you find the mobile usage every time is too much. Give her another way of rewarding her like a massive hug each time she eats her fruits.

  • I would try taking away the phone, its just making another problem you’ll have to fix later. All kids will eat if hungry. Look at some food games you could play with her, as in see if she can find a piece of cheese on her plate like mummy has etc. cut food into interesting shapes and put a little container with dip in it. just try and make her have more fun and interact with food.

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