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My 21-month-old overeats
Q: My 21-month-old daughter is not overweight, but she’s an overeater. Whenever she sees someone eating something, she has to have it. It’s embarrassing. Also, she drinks hardly any milk: one cup every five days. Is that because she was breastfed for 13 months? Ever since she was weaned she won’t accept a cup.
Zeinab Bell
A: Actually, Zeinab, it sounds to me like your daughter is interested in trying new foods, a complaint we don’t usually hear from parents of toddlers! As long as she’s not offending others by demanding a taste, I don’t see this as a problem. If she’s having tantrums in public, which can be very embarrassing, observe the foods she appears to like and carry a snack bag with you to offer when she starts to fuss.

As for your concerns about milk, many toddlers don’t like fluid milk at all. You can still get the calcium into her with cheeses, yogurt, pudding, ice cream and cream-based soups. Breastfeeding her for 13 months has nothing to do with her refusing the cup. I congratulate you for nursing her for so long and passing along all that wonderful life-long protection. Try a cup with a straw. Many breastfed children love straws because the sucking is similar to breastfeeding.