My toddler stopped eating last week

You would think that after having 4 kids, and keeping all of them alive for a number of years…… that I would not be phased by a recent decision by my 18 month old to quit eating.

But I hate it. I really hate it when they don’t eat. I NEED her to eat a meal again!

Mentally, I’m a mess.

This may go back to my initial post partum depression/anxiety after I had the kids. I noticed even after feeling “better”, that I had this thing about them eating. I did everything around their feeding schedule in the beginning-which is normal…. but then even later I put way too much emphasis on what time they needed food.

Even taking Sammy to Boston right before he turned 3, I remember my mini anxiety attack as we were unable to get somewhere to feed him lunch fast enough for my liking. He was fine, not even asking about food….but I was melting down, like he was going to absolutely shrivel up and blow away without a meal in his stomach right NOW.

So, the kids eating seems to be really important to me. Must tie in to that whole sustaining life thing…..

Logically, I KNOW that it’s normal for toddlers to decide not to eat. Or only eat cheerios for a week, things like that. Sammy went a good month or so at this age refusing everything unless I coated it in applesauce.

But with Jenna, this just came out of nowhere. She loves food!  She eats EVERYTHING, always has. Even ethnic foods, she’ll try anything. It’s not teething, she’s done, everything is in. I’d like to blame it on her cold, which she’s had for literally a month now….but why stop eating this far in?

I think she’s toying with me.

All her favorite things, no longer interested. Weirdly, she’s always loved veggies more than fruit. So it’s not surprising when she tastes mango or banana and just lets it drop out of her mouth. But brussel sprouts??? Asparagus and green beans?? If I try to get her to eat a bite, she will tell me no. Try it again, she yells at me and literally bangs her head on the back of her chair. I want to bang my head too.

The old tricks don’t work anymore, like Katy Perry videos on Youtube to distract her, or lately we are watching songs about colors and numbers in Arabic. She still likes them, but that mouth stays closed.

I know I’ve gone through this before. Why is it still so frustrating? Why haven’t I figured out how to handle this gracefully yet?

Seriously. She refused a chocolate chip cookie today. There is something wrong.

I’ve taken to googling phrases like “my toddler won’t eat”, “my 18 month old hates food”, “my daughter hates me”….. and find nothing more than other parents who are scratching their heads as well, pretty much saying the same things, but so far no one has THE ANSWER.

Ok. I know the answer. She’ll eat when she’s hungry. Keep offering her healthy choices. Don’t give her a bunch of crap between meals to ruin her appetite for good food. She won’t starve. Get your head out of the oven. I know… I know…..

But it sucks!!

She is not starving. She is not losing weight. She still has a chubby belly, and fills her diapers like nobody’s business. I know this will pass, one of the less fun aspects of raising a toddler. But I would still like to bitch about it, just this once.

You know that feeling you have when you KNOW your child has a full tummy of good food? Yea, I want that again. I want to feel like I’m doing a good job and nourishing my babies.

She just needs to know this and cooperate. Dammit.