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  • "Natural_Horse" started this thread

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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 1:08pm

How to deal with a fussy eater @18 months

Hi all,

I know toddlers go through a fussy eating stage. Mine is 18 months and is not at the age yet where I can reason, cajole or bride her to eat her food. She used to be such a good eater and would gobble up everything.

Nowadays she eats breakfast fine, lunch 50% of the time and 90% of the time won't even touch her dinner. She refuses to taste it, and often it is her favourite food (spag bol) that she refuses one day on sight and then gobbles up the next day.

Where possible, we all eat together but as both my DH and I work, we only sit down to eat as a family three days a week. She does, 1 week out of three, eat at the childminder's with other kids but none of this makes a difference. In fact she eats better by herself when she has a meal I have prepared ahead of time and frozen.

At the moment if she doesn't eat what is given she doesn't get offered anything else. Then before bed she has her milk and something to eat (ie toast or a banana) so she is not going to bed starving.

How have others dealt with the fussy eating stage? How long did it last and what helped with your LOs?

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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 1:16pm

Good thread NH, similar happenings here, will watch replies with interest.


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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 2:07pm

Hi

Just keep doing what you're doing, don't make a big fuss over it, lots of smiles even if she wont eat her food but don't give her too much attention for the 'not eating food' behaviour is my suggestion. As you say she's not starving and it is a phase that will pass. My lo goes in fits and starts, one week she eats up everything and other weeks barely touches a thing. I find it really hard because you slave over nice food for them (fresh ingredients aren't cheap either!) and then they refuse it and you just want to force it in their mouths. Just stay calm and ignore them to some extent. Potter around the kitchen, chat away to her about what you can see out the window, sometimes distraction works and Meg will then pick up her spoon and eat without realising it. I also try to cook some food that she can stab with a fork and eat herself which she enjoys. Meg is a little bit older so I can try to persuade her to at least take a lick of food which does help, even if she doesnt then eat the food I feel at least I've won a tiny battle by getting her to lick it. Silly really.

You're doing all the right things, the main thing is try not to let it stress you out and keep mealtimes as happy and carefree as possible. (I used to love a programme called the house of tiny tearaways where Dr Tanya Byron worked with kids who refused to eat, it was really interesting).

Keep doing what you're doing and don't lose hope!

2 ectopic pregnancies - 2005 & 2009
beautiful daughter born Sept 2010 thanks to IVF
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "LalaZig" (Jun 26th 2012, 2:10pm)


JENSQUI

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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 2:46pm

Don't make a fuss is my advice. Often this isn't just about picky eating but how hungry they are, hence one day they gobble something down that the next day they don't touch. Some days M doesn't stop eating, some days she hardly has anything. Even when they are old enough to reason with, doesn't mean that getting them to eat what you want to do is going to get any easier....often harder! personally I think breakfast is as important as any other meal so if she is eating that I wouldn't worry. I have a friend who was really worried about her 5 year old's food intake, particularly variety, but when the dietician looked at the food diary she wasn't at all concerned. Just keep presenting the food and if she eats it great but if she doesn't don't worry or show her that you are concerned.

I have found that M eats a lot more variety now than she did 6 months ago but there are still days when nothing in the world would persuade her to eat a forkful of something she was happily throwing down her throat a week before. But she is growing, is hardly ever ill and full of energy so I'm not worried.


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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 5:05pm

I was just about to write pretty much what Jensqui said, don't think I've got anything much else to add!

Freya drives me mad some days as she faffs with her dinner or makes a fuss but I try very hard not to let her see that and if she doesn't eat it then I know she won't stave. Generally she is pretty good, loves pasta, eggs and fruit but isn't so keen on veg. Some days she'll hardly touch a thing and the next she'll eat loads. I think a lot of it is to do with them focusing their attention on food and not other things and also whether they can get attention (albeit negative) from you if you fuss over them too much.

Often I will serve up her food first and just potter about the kitchen before sitting down with mine and by the time I do this she's cleared her plate more or less, ignoring seems to work a treat! Also, I've learned there are certain ways she wants to eat certain things. For instance, I cut up a nectarine into slices the other day and she wouldn't entertain it. So I cut it a bit smaller, put it in a bowl and supplied a fork and it was then duly scoffed. Wish I understood, I'd make a fortune!

Anyway, try not to worry and just keep on keeping on. Freya is also hardly ever ill and has more energy than she knows what to do with so despite what I think she must be eating otherwise she just wouldn't keep going!

xx






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Tuesday, June 26th 2012, 8:51pm

You know what my lo is nearly 3 and I give up. I've got to he state that theres no point making a fuss and he won't starve himself. He very often eats breakfast, hardly anything for dinner thn a good tea. The more I stress the more he plays up.

Just keep doing what you doing and I know it's hard - oh believ me I do - but don't make a big fuss bout it!

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Wednesday, June 27th 2012, 7:06pm

Oh Gemma, wise words from a more experienced Mummy! Freya has driven me to distraction today! She wouldn't eat her breakfast because she wanted mine - she then ate a few bran flakes. She did manage an egg and a bit of pear at lunch, wouldn't eat her banana this avo and left most of her dinner. I had to leave the house as I could feel myself getting more stressed and I know that doesn't help. I then put her virtually untouched yoghurt in a different bowl, left the room and she ate the lot - go figure!?!?!?!?! I'd just like to point out that DH was in the room with her the whole time before anyone sends out for social services! :snigger: And yet yesterday she ate up everything I put in front of her! Why, why why?!?!?!?! :pullhair:

You are right though, they won't starve themselves, I know this, but my trouble is that I so tired at the moment as I sleep really badly (restless leg syndrome) and it's not helping my patience levels!

Thank goodness it's nearly bedtime! (possibly for me as well as Freya!)

x






Me - 40 AMH 1.79, DH - 45
TTC since 04/06
6 x TX to date, inc 2 DIVF in Barcelona

One early loss, 04/09
Freya Grace arrived on 6/11/10 - Perfect at 6lb and 1/2 oz

Amazing natural :BFP: on 12/02/12
Poppy Ann arrived on 13/10/12 - Born at home weighing 6lb 12oz

We got there in the end! happydance

  • "Natural_Horse" started this thread

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Wednesday, June 27th 2012, 9:00pm

Thanks for all your replies everyone. I am glad to know that I am not the only one. I'm with you Gracie - sometimes it's so hard not to get worked up. Especially as my little darling makes a big show of throwing her food off her plate. I just think - why did I even bother stressing about preparing something for you that is fresh, balanced, healthy and tastes good and you won't even taste it but throw it straight on the flippin floor! Oh and we use a massive plastic dust sheet under her highchair and she still manages to get in on the cream coloured rug and stain it!!! Arghh!!!

Yes I walk out of the room too and ignore her. The little brat.

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Thursday, June 28th 2012, 7:02am

Gracie they really are funny things. I was told its like adults somedays they could eat and eat and eat and somedays we don't want as much - so true.

Keep a record of what they are are eating and you'll see this and that they are probably eating more calories than you think.

My lo goes to nursery once a week and when they send his book home I am sure they are writing about a different child. He eats it all by himself and seconds and things he won't eat at home. Do you all eat together? I know this can be really hard and we struggle with it but they really do like eating as a family.

Also watch portion sizes. I always fall in to this trap. For instance if I do kj a bagel with butter and cheese for breakfast I like him to eat the whole thing. But how realistic is that when he is having the exact same thing as me??? If he eats half then really he has done very well.

And as long as they aren't losing weight, getting plenty of exercise and are well in themselves then they are eating what they need. Most children won't overeat or undereat.

God I really should listen to myself lol

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Thursday, June 28th 2012, 8:56am

Hey

Yes, we all eat together. I've always eaten with Freya, right from the start.

It's funny isn't it. I know she is fine, she's fit and healthy and can now easily walk to the local shops with me - about a ten minute walk if not on toddler time - and the rate of her learning is exhausting me so therefore, she must be eating enough otherwise she'd just be laying in the corner looking tired all the time. I need to try and remember that when she's refusing to eat her dinner! Aarrgghh!!!! :snigger:

I guess we are all just programmed to worry about this stuff, regardless of what are sensible heads say eh?






Me - 40 AMH 1.79, DH - 45
TTC since 04/06
6 x TX to date, inc 2 DIVF in Barcelona

One early loss, 04/09
Freya Grace arrived on 6/11/10 - Perfect at 6lb and 1/2 oz

Amazing natural :BFP: on 12/02/12
Poppy Ann arrived on 13/10/12 - Born at home weighing 6lb 12oz

We got there in the end! happydance

Gracie

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Thursday, June 28th 2012, 8:08pm

OK, so tonight I served up home made lasagne, completely ignored all her various pleas for this, that and the other and she ate the lot! Clearly this ignoring lark is the way forward!!! :)






Me - 40 AMH 1.79, DH - 45
TTC since 04/06
6 x TX to date, inc 2 DIVF in Barcelona

One early loss, 04/09
Freya Grace arrived on 6/11/10 - Perfect at 6lb and 1/2 oz

Amazing natural :BFP: on 12/02/12
Poppy Ann arrived on 13/10/12 - Born at home weighing 6lb 12oz

We got there in the end! happydance

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Thursday, June 28th 2012, 8:31pm

I got told that today was the first time in a long while that Lily gobbled up her dinner at the childminders. Ate the lot and ate seconds and thirds. Problem is it was pizza! Hmm not the healthiest of meals!

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Monday, July 2nd 2012, 2:36pm

Served up a lovely roast dinner yesterday where Lily surprised me by eating the lamb. A first! Of course the roast potatoes and veggies got chucked out. She also was given icecream and jelly. Jelly she had tried before and hated, icecream she has tried ours but never had a serving of her own. Well she loved it!! Jelly's a great one to help develop spoon-to-mouth co-ordination because she found it impossible to pick up!

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Monday, July 2nd 2012, 4:24pm

Ah, the roast dinner! I tried a different tactic yesterday as F just won't eat the veg, she won't even try it, never has done. So, I gave her the chicken, a roast potato and mixed it with one of her veggy sauces that I make and it went down a whole lot better!

Jellies are great, I've discovered that the sugar free sachets are better than the 'traditional' packets as they don't seem to set quite as firmly so are easier for Freya to manage on her own. I also make them up with a goodly portion of pureed fruit (I spend ages straining raspberries through a sieve to get rid of the pips), rather than all water, so they are healthy too.

Ice cream is a big hit here too! :snigger: I guess at least it has calcium in it eh?!?!?!

I sometimes wonder if they know what they need to eat, Freya wouldn't entertain the shepherds pie my DH made on Saturday (she's eaten it perfectly fine in the past) but filled up on baked beans a massive portion of strawberries and a yoghurt. I give up! She likes bran flakes and mushrooms, surely those aren't normal things for a 20 month old to like, go figure...............................






Me - 40 AMH 1.79, DH - 45
TTC since 04/06
6 x TX to date, inc 2 DIVF in Barcelona

One early loss, 04/09
Freya Grace arrived on 6/11/10 - Perfect at 6lb and 1/2 oz

Amazing natural :BFP: on 12/02/12
Poppy Ann arrived on 13/10/12 - Born at home weighing 6lb 12oz

We got there in the end! happydance

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Monday, July 2nd 2012, 5:07pm

Today we had pasta with 5 veg sauce. In fairness she ate about half of it before it was flung to all corners of the room. Yesterday's jelly was sugar-free, my attempt on being a little bit good.

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