Join us at Workfest for expert advice on kickstarting your career ×

DS is now down to ONE dinner he will eat - wwyd?

(33 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Tue 22-Apr-14 12:39:09

I'm sure this must have been done a thousand times but I really do think I have a very fussy eater. He is virtually surviving on fresh air. Sometimes he'll eat porridge or cereal for breakfast - maybe half the time he eats a decent breakfast. Lunch is almost always virtually rejected, even foods I know he likes, or did like recently - he just picks. I judge how much he's eaten in numbers of mouthfuls. And dinner will now be rejected unless it is fish baked in passata with either pasta or rice - that is it. No chicken, no beef, no other meat whatsoever, he will only eat fish, though he will eat different sorts of fish so at least I can vary that.

Until recently I was serving up different dinners anyway even though I knew he wouldn't touch them, but have recently got a bit beaten down and am now just serving salmon, trout, cod, haddock on rotation but it always looks the same as it has to be served the same way. I think I must be doing something wrong here but I CANNOT get him to eat anything else. I honestly don't know how he keeps going on so little. Have spoken to health visitors several times and they are always extremely breezy and unconcerned. His weight is pretty much bang on average and he doesn't look skinny. But HOW? Any thoughts? Every mum I seem to speak to in real life seems to say theirs loves their food etc and I feel like throwing a tantrum myself.

itsonlysubterfuge Thu 24-Apr-14 06:51:25

Yes Penelope, I have cut down her BF to three a day she is not impressed and I can tell she's hungry, but she still refuses to eat. Hopefully we'll both get there in time.

Kundry Wed 23-Apr-14 22:19:15

Absolutely nothing wrong with him breastfeeding but that's why he can afford to be so fussy about food - he isn't hungry!

He has lots of lovely nutritious milk, pasta, fish and vegetables. This is a great diet! But his portions will only need to be tiny - he isn't living on air, he's actually having lots of all the right foods but he's cottoned on to your mummy worries and now getting lots of lovely attention from you as you are so anxious about what he eats.

Could you try writing down everything he eats (and drinks!) for a week - I suspect it would be more varied and nutritious than you realise as currently you can only see the stress.

If you try offering other things and he won't eat it, don't panic - children don't starve themselves. He'll either try it eventually or find other things to eat (which is what he is doing now with fruit). Whilst making you anxious and worried because that it the job of kids smile

reindeesandchristmastrees Wed 23-Apr-14 22:06:32

My DSS at 8 only ate - weetabix, p'nut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza, macaroni cheese, apples (rarely) and not a lot of any of it. He drank Sunny D. He was so skinny and we really worried about him. At 13 (he came to live with us but I take no credit) he started to eat a bit more, by about 15 he ate everything in sight and had a preference for highly spiced food. Now at 21 he is fully grown 6' and a sensible but enthusiastic eater. If you had told me he would have changed and developed so I wouldn't have believed you

Coveredinweetabix Wed 23-Apr-14 22:02:34

For lunch, why don't you give him a snacky plate of things you know he'll eat (pepper & cucumber) & some things he might eat like cubes of cheese, strips of pitta bread etc

justwondering72 Wed 23-Apr-14 21:53:13

Try also 'My child won't eat' by Carlos Gonzalez, especially good for still bf toddlers.

Ds 2 was still having a lot more than three bf a bay at that age. Tbh as long as he's bf I don't worry about what he eats, BM is a more complete food for a baby than any meal you can offer him. Keep offering, keep food fun, and be assured that the BM is filling all the gaps, if there are any.

Beastofburden Wed 23-Apr-14 14:20:27

Toddler taming is the business. As the great man said: Toddlers eat like birds. Some like sparrows; some like vultures grin.

It's one of the most reassuring and sane books you will ever buy. I could not have got throgh those years without it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 23-Apr-14 14:01:57

3 BFs a day at that age is going to be giving him a fairly significant amount of milk - I'm not disapproving, my own just-3 year old still has one BF a day.

So with all that milk, plus what sounds like a good dinner - albeit the same thing over and over - and fruit and the odd mouthful of cereal, he is getting enough calories.

The fussiness is really normal at that age, my two both went though it. They do get better eventually!

PenelopeChipShop Wed 23-Apr-14 13:54:13

Toddler I mean!

PenelopeChipShop Wed 23-Apr-14 13:53:45

Oh and thanks for the book recommendation of Tiddler Taming, hadn't heard of that but it looks good

PenelopeChipShop Wed 23-Apr-14 13:51:22

itsonlysubterfuge I didn't mention it but I'm still breastfeeding ds too, I did also wonder if that's part of the problem, so to speak, but the health visitor I asked about it said no need to wean entirely, maybe just limit a bit more so it can't affect meals, so I'm trying to stick to first thing in the morning (6am ish), nap time (AFTER lunch) and bedtime. You could try that maybe? I know how hard it is to say no though!

Thanks everyone for your replies, it is reassuring to hear his diet doesn't sound too bad, I just seem to know people with very hungry toddlers then as compared to almost every other small person I know he barely eats! I guess if he is growing out of clothes, something must be going in... I guess I'll just given mainly fish but keep offering something else every so often as otherwise he'll never relent will he!

milkysmum Wed 23-Apr-14 07:24:13

sounds pretty good to be honest! I wouldnt worry too much he is only little and his taste likely to change many times yet in next few years

justwondering72 Wed 23-Apr-14 07:18:22

Oops

You are doing great!

justwondering72 Wed 23-Apr-14 07:17:55

I thought you were going to say he was 6 or 8!

Honestly, he's very very young. From experience and reading on here it's very normal for children to narrow down what they will accept from about 18 months onward.

Are you eating with him at the table? Seeing you and family eat other foods may help. My approach would be to serve a little of what you know he will eat alongside something else.

Don't make it a battle. He's gaining weight, eating healthy food, you are do

firesidechat Tue 22-Apr-14 19:54:09

My very fussy child lived on variations of chicken for years. She survived perfectly well and is now an adult who will eat almost anything.

The most important thing is to not make a battlefield out of mealtimes.

tobysmum77 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:48:44

I wouldn't stress but I wouldn't give fruit instead either. If he won't eat dinner time over.

sixlive Tue 22-Apr-14 17:27:43

My DD really didn't eat much until she turned 3, at least the stress made me thin. She was breasted until she was 2 and never drank milk afterwards. She is now much older and eats just about anything. My DS would eat anything as an under 3 year old now he is down to a handful of acceptable meals at 6.

I made progress by just giving meals that included her favourites then slowing adding new food which would I never comment about. Also I used to leave little pots of food around the playroom. Is would suggest ditching the high chair as there may be an association with disruptive meals.

itsonlysubterfuge Tue 22-Apr-14 17:22:24

I am having a problem with my 21 month old DD as well. She is breastfed though. She hasn't had a proper meal in 7 weeks. For the first 5 weeks she was only eating yogurt or cream. I spoke to the health visitor and she suggested cutting out yogurt for 2 weeks, so we did and then she ate nothing for 1 week, refused every meal. Finally she started eating bread, but only bread. She will drink a smoothie and does very occasionally eat some cheese. So now we've stopped giving her bread. We spoke to the health visitor today and she suggested that I stop breastfeeding her so that she'll be so hungry, she'll just eat anything. I don't mean to hijack your thread, just to reassure you that there are other toddlers who don't want to eat either.

Whereisegg Tue 22-Apr-14 14:17:24

Although he is eating very well imo, is he filling up on milk?

RiverTam Tue 22-Apr-14 14:16:01

so, he eats fish (protein), pasta (carbs) and some veg and fruit. That's where he's getting his energy from! His needs are being met.

PenelopeChipShop Tue 22-Apr-14 13:53:55

Oh sorry he is 22 months, don't know why I forgot to say that!

You have done really well getting him to like fish so much! There is a huge variety of fish around, just offer him a good selection. Try not to worry, at least it isn't only fish fingers or chicken nuggets he will only eat!

Beastofburden Tue 22-Apr-14 13:49:37

As he is in his high chair and not yet talking, we are dealing with a v small person here grin.

Stop worrying about it. He sounds fine. If you need reassurance, keep a food diary for a fortnight.

Have you read Toddler taming by Christopher Green? I can recommend it on this topic. There are lots of cheap copies secondhand online.

weatherall Tue 22-Apr-14 13:46:57

So he's eating milk, porridge, cereal, a variety of fish, passata, pasta, rice and fruit.

That's a much healthier more balanced diet than most kids I know!

Blend some veg into the passata and it's absolutely fine.

WhatAHooHa Tue 22-Apr-14 13:46:37

DS (2) isn't great at eating new foods, he won't eat anything in a sauce so he has a rotation of various veg, pasta, potato, and meat with no real flavour hmm .

He has his own little meal at about 4.30, then he gets back up to the table with us (mum, dad, brother and sister) at about 6 and is given a little plate of what we're eating. Sometimes he tries a bit, sometimes he doesn't, sometimes he eats loads - but if I tried the same meal while he ate on his own he wouldn't even look at it. Oh, and I hide the fruit bowl at meal times grin

Have you tried breaking the cycle - going out for a picnic, having one of his friends around for lunch. Could he help you prepare a simple meal? Perhaps trying the food as you make it so he doesn't feel like it's a meal, but is trying those new flavours?

RayPurchase Tue 22-Apr-14 13:42:23

At least its a healthy meal, have you tried making a hidden vegetable tomato sauce? Also has he tried cous cous, bulgar wheat, quinoa, buckwheat etc? DS could be fooled into eating all these things and rice if I called them 'cous cous'
DS is four and a half and has just recently started eating meat reliably - although sometimes he just can't seem to swallow it! I don't think its unusual for children to not like the texture of meat.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now