(Closed) Force feeding a one year old?

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 17
2319 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I really doubt that a kid can starve themselves to the point that they are no longer hungry. That has NEVER happened to me as long as I have memory. Even from my childhood. And another thing I also don’t remember is anybody force feeding me. My mum also says that a kid will eat when s/he is hungry. And that’s that.

Having said that, I have seen my DH’s bro and his wife do the exact same thing you are describing. They stuff HUGE, LARGE spoonfuls of food in to their kid’s mouth. Their reason? “He doesn’t eat so we try to give him as much as possible with every spoon”. WTF!? Lol! And when I say a big spoonful, I mean that. My spoon is 2/3rd or at the very most 1/2 of the amt. No jokes.

Post # 18
7643 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

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@nonapkns:  Oh mylanta! The image I got in my head when I “saw” this kid with his arms pinned down and having applesauce shoved at his mouth disturbs me. I am not a mom yet, but I would assume you wouldn’t force a child to eat. I say try a few times, but if he/she just doesn’t want to eat why make them? They will eat when they are hungry. Poor thing.

Post # 19
5473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Ummm… yeah no.  Not ok.  Not only will your child be more likely to choke on something being shoved into their mouth against their will, they’ll have a negative relationship with food in general because it will have always been a stressful experience.  So sad 🙁

Post # 20
2478 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

He’s at the classically picky age so far as eating is concerned and certainly, pushing food on him won’t help. If anything it’ll set him up for eating disorders later in life.

At 13 months he’s perfectly capable of feeding himself so I’d be inclined to worry less about set meal times and instead, offer him plates of tasty little titbits that are cut to size. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, little pieces of chicken, wholemeal bread with butter, chopped up hard boiled egg. Then a yoghourt in a little pot for pudding. That sort of thing. Then leave him to help himself. Sometimes he mightn’t eat much. Sometimes he’ll wolf it down. But it is a far better system than forcing spoonfulls of food into him. 

Also he doesn’t really need 3 bottles of formula either. Formula is very filling and will take the edge right off his appetite. At 13 months he could drink fruit juice from a trainer cup with just a night-time bottle. 

Post # 21
1022 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Yeah, this seems a bit extreme. Did they get this recommendation from their doctor? Unless it’s to the point where he is wasting away and they don’t think he’s getting enough to fill his nutritional needs, I think I’d just let him eat when he’s hungry. I’d think force-feeding would just give him a negative association with eating, which would make feeding even more of a challenge. If it is to the point of  being worried about nutritional needs, I would talk to my pediatrician.

Post # 22
4430 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

this made me so sad to read! I would say something….i’m not sure how to word it but I would

Post # 23
8035 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Force feeding = not a good thing to do IMO.

However… at least in Europe, giving the kid more “adult” type foods at that age is more acceptable. I like that approach because it means the kid will be a less fussy eater and you’re not always making separate meals pandering to him/her.

I’d never force feed a kid, though… that seems like a very bad idea.

Post # 24
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@nonapkns:  Disgusting and I call that child abuse!

Post # 25
2673 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

This seems like a terrible idea for many reasons, but I would be very concerned about him aspiratinhe when flood is being shoved in his mouth against his will. Also, the fact that it made him vomit, seems counterproductive to say the least, if the goal is to get him nutrition and help him put on weight. 

Post # 26
1285 posts
Bumble bee

OMG NO!! No force feeding!! 

I have 2 kids…they’ve both went through “not eating” phases and “eating” phases.  Kids do that.  They will eat like pigs, then not eat, then eat, then not,  no meat and only veggies, then eat only meat and not veggies…then eventually eat anything like my 11 year old. My almost 7 year old is finally liking meats again. I’ve never pushed food on them.

 But our rul,  they will eat what we make for dinner, or they don’t eat at all.  We refuse, and always have, to make separate meals for the kids to satisfy them.  My daughter, 11, is not a picky eater because she eats what is put in front of her.   


Post # 27
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My one year-old has a TON of feeding issues (in that he is stubborn and doesn’t want to, but we have had a lot of weight gain issues as well). I do everything I can to ENCOURAGE him to eat (and I will force a single bite–not by holding his arms down, but by being persistent with the spoon–of new foods), but I wouldn’t force feed. If he doesn’t want to eat a meal, I try again in 20-30 minutes, or switch to a food I know he likes if we don’t have time to wait (like at bedtime). At 1 year-old, he probably needs to drop some of the daytime bottles if they want him to eat more solids. 

Post # 28
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@nonapkns:  Jesus.  I worked for a child protection agency and what they are doing borderlines on child abuse imo.  Unless the doctor is concerned for the child’s health and welfare, it’s okay to not worry about a missed meal here and there.  I can just imagine the issues this kid is going to have with food when they’re older as a result of this treatment.

When I was cooking and feeding my former stepdaughter I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t clenaing her plate.  After weeks of arguing with her and her dad about it, I found a pamplet at her daycare that explained the amount of food an average child aged 2, 3, 4, and 5 would eat at a meal.  It was way less than I expected!  After that I cut her portions signifcantly and made sure to keep her favorite healthy foods on hand.  We never had another food problem after that.

IHowever, I don’t think there is much you can say.  But you can walk away and refuse to eat at the table when they are force feeding their child.  If they ask just tell them that what they are doing upsets you (who wants to eat at a table with a screaming 2 year old anyway?)

Post # 29
2861 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

What they are doing is not normal. Are they first time parents? They might be paranoid he will starve and be too uptight to understand a child will eat when it’s hungry- it’s not going to starve itself. Not to talk shit on first time parents, but if they are inexperienced they may not understand that. I highly doubt they are knowingly doing this to cuse harm. There really isn’t anything you can do, it’s their kid and it’s up to them how they parent. 

Post # 30
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

No way. Offer as many times as you want but even at that age, a baby knows when he is hungry and will eat when he’s good and ready. My son is six months and I can’t even imagine doing that. 

Pretty much all the literature I’ve ready says not even to do the whole “just one more bite” thing. Provided they are stopping because they’re full and not bored/distracted, they can meter their own feeding. Christ. That’s scary.

Post # 31
3336 posts
Sugar bee

I sometimes find asking questions and playing dumb works well in these type of situations.

“Oh SIL, so obvioulsy I know nothing about kids, but how do you know he’s hungry?”

“Do kids his age typically drink 3 forumlas and 3 full meals? I don’t have any clue about how much kids eat”

“Does having to do that upset you? What else should I prepare myself for?”

“What else have you tried, What other options are there, cause you know I don’t know about kids diets?”

“Did you learn about this from your doctor/mother/the internet? How do you learn so much about babies?”

It lets them know you aren’t questioning what they are doing, but perhaps plants a seed in their mind that there are other options.  And gives you insight into what they are thinking.  This works well for me because I am always asking people questions.  So it’s just natural curiosity.

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