3yr old refuses to feed himself - help!


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Just wanted to see if anyone out there has similar experience & possible solutions. My 3 yr old is perfectly capable of feeding himself but refuses to do so. All meals has to be fed to him whilst he plays, reads or simply distracted. We've managed to wean off the playing and reading but if we leave him to eat by himself, he will not eat, instead plays with the rest of the family (talk talk talk). I'm trying the method of leaving food to him and if he's done, just removing it without mentioning. Unfortunately, we're at day 5 and no food is getting into the lad. I've removed milk at lunch and dinner and this has had no effect. Frankly, a little worried at how this will turn out. (we've tried the persuasion, bribing and threatening methods previously to no avail). He simply keeps food in mouth or swallow food whole with hardly any chewing. I've cut snacks in the hope of making him hungry enough but unfortunately haven't worked either!

I'm wondering whether to give up and do it the old fashioned way - can't leave table until all done!

Does anyone have any ideas/ experience of this? Would be very interested to hear about them.

p/s: meals have always been delivered by feeding. As he got older, he does eat himself but for the first 2 bites only.
i'm in the same boat, with a 2.5 y.o. tho you've been much better that you actually tried weaning him off reading and playing. and cutting milk and snacks etc. i don't even think i'll have the heart to do that. we are still feeding, even still on specially prepared food her, she doesn't eat ours.

it's pathetic and it's pretty much our fault that we allowed it to get to this. but she's just not interested in eating. i have no idea how we're going to get out of it. i'm hoping that by 7 y.o., she'll be embarassed enough in front of other kids to eat like an adult. good luck, keep us posted on how it goes..
My 3yo has to have lunch one day a week at his school and there, he pretty much feeds himself with no problem, maybe because he sees other children feeding himself. At home, he would still sometimes need to be fed. I was lamenting this fact to a friend and she just waved off my worries saying that she still has to feed her 7yo (!).

I'm trying to pick my battles here (oh so plenty at this age!), so I actually don't fuss too much about the feeding, although I do occasionally remind him that he can feed himself, so he should. I do believe that he'll get there (hopefully sooner rather than later).
Keep up with what you are doning by not feeding him. He may not eat hardly a thing for a few weeks, but a healhty child will not starve themselves. It sounds like it is just a habit thing. I would just put his food down for him, with no talking about how he is supposed to eat and please eat your food now, etc, etc, and when the meal is over take the food away. Make as little of a fuss as you can and he will learn to eat like everyone else does. I haven;t had a problem with self feeding, but when my one year old went to full time care and had to drink out of a cup (he BF all the time prior to this), even though he knew how to drink out of a cup, he went a good 2 weeks where he barely drank anything at all while in care, and several more weeks until he drank a lot while there.
Dont worry Glee abt that.He knows how to feed himself u say so its really okay.
In time he will feed himself.Till then enjoy th etiome with him.
I second Buckeroo.Sooner or later they will do it.
So cheerio :-)