Q. My 2-year-old’s idea of a meal is a bite of grilled cheese and 15 minutes of turning potatoes into mush. Should I try to make him eat more?
A. Probably not. It’s common for toddlers to seem more interested in everything on the table besides the food. If he’s maintaining his place on the growth chart, he’s probably getting his fill, says Robert Baker, M.D., chief of gastroenterology and nutrition at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY.
Besides, your child doesn’t need to eat all that much. During the first year, a baby will triple his birth weight, so his calorie requirements are very high. But as the growth rate slows, he needs to eat less in relation to his size. It’s partly a matter of perception too. You may not realize just how much your child takes in throughout the day. See that he gets healthy snacks, and make dinner a fun time. That’s just as important as how many carrots he’s cleared from his plate.