please help - toddler eating problems

(10 Posts)
ithoughtofitfirst Wed 30-Apr-14 17:14:51

Any advice would be really really welcome here.

My boy has decided he is nil by mouth when I'm the person presenting him his food. I'm a sahm currently so with him 100% of the time. He makes himself genuinely starving and then eats my friends out of house and home when he's at their place. then when we get home... nothing. I am trying so hard not to give in and make him something I know he'd eat (like porridge for tea) because my brother in law was a fussy eater (and still will only eat things like chicken nuggets and he's a grown man) and this was the mistake his mum made with him. Apparently ... not that I blame her!! I'm worried he'll become unwell from how little he eats. I've tried all different foods, different ways of presenting it... only to be told off by my husband for giving in. I can't win sad

Please help, Ive got to the point where I dread mealtimes and get lump-in-throat horrible anxiety about it.

If he eats for other people then it's just a control/attention thing for you.

I'd hold out. No reaction just plonk food in front of him and remove if he doesn't want it. No coaxing, pleading or whining. Don't make it into an issue.

He isn't going to make himself ill. He will eat. No stubborn toddler died through stubbornness.

Sirzy Wed 30-Apr-14 17:22:12

How old is he?

I would try to avoid going to the places he normally eats for a few days, as travelling said it is just a control thing.

Present him with foods you know he likes at meal times, if possible you eat the same thing at the same time. Talk to him normally but don't mention the food, praise him if he is eating nicely but otherwise just don't mention it. If he doesn't eat it take it way.

He will eat when he is hungry, its not nice but he won't come to any harm.

ithoughtofitfirst Wed 30-Apr-14 18:00:58

Thank you !

I already sit and eat the same thing at the same time but only recently started doing it. He's 22 months. But I admit I do try and coax him and he just gets pissed off.

Should I ban snacks for a bit? I just mean like a banana inbetween meals type of thing.

So just porridge for breakfast, plonk it in front of him, eat mine and then take it away after a while if he hasnt eaten it ??

What I'd give to just see him eat a sodding sandwich at lunch time. So sick of cooking spaghetti for lunch.

ExBrightonBell Wed 30-Apr-14 19:27:21

I would echo what others have said.

Offer a healthy varied diet, put the food in front of him and then eat yours. Don't discuss or interact with his eating, except perhaps to praise him using his cutlery well. Take the plate away after a reasonable amount of time. Give a pudding if you have planned to have one, irrespective of how much main was eaten. Don't have puddings every day/meal.

Give snacks as usual, again stick to healthy foods.

If you can remove the emotion and anxiety from meal times it will improve. He may have days of eating little and then days where he eats lots. Don't worry about this, just let him eat to his appetite.

ithoughtofitfirst Wed 30-Apr-14 20:40:10

Thanks exbrightonbell that's really useful.

I should add, it will probably take a few days for him to "break". Just persevere. Show no emotion or reaction to his not eating. I have a 23m old. He eats fantastically but if I start to show that I want him to eat a particular thing he clamps down and won't touch it. It's a toddler thing they are desperate to be contrary! If I say "ok fine I'll take it away" suddenly he wants it.

So don't cave, be aware it will take a few days.

redcaryellowcar Thu 01-May-14 05:08:43

i think similar to pp, give meals three times a day, with you if possible, not too big portions so not overwhelming, eat with him, don't talk about the food or coax, just let him get on with it, my ds likes a bit of a medley lunch, so small sandwich, babybel or cut up cubes of cheese, pepper or cucumber with houmous.
i in terms of snacks i wouldn't offer anything but i would offer fruit at each meal irrespective of the amount he has eaten, i used to give ds everything at the start, so if he wanted he could eat fruit first, but you may prefer a two course style meal.
ds is now 29 months, usually eats really well but when presented with something new starts with what he knows e.g broccoli followed by potatoes followed by trying mummys new concoction!!
also worth thinking about what he is drinking as lots of children fill up on juice and squash so never truly feel hungry, if you only offer water, all day and at meal times he will drink for thirst not because it tastes nice and sugary.
if he starts eating well you could reintroduce a small fruit juice with breakfast?

unintentionalthreadkiller Thu 01-May-14 08:36:55

I found what really helps is to put the food on a serving plate in the middle of the table and let DTs choose what they want, they seem to get overwhelmed when there is too much on the plate. If they don't eat, I completely ignore it and likewise I don't go overboard with the praise if they do. If they're hungry they can eat and if they aren't they can choose not to.

Absolutely no snacks at all, I think a hangover from the weaning process is three meals a day and two snacks thing, mine just don't need that much food.

Also, if they are having a couple of off days I just do them something like spaghetti on toast or dippy egg, then when they don't eat it I don't feel like crying over the wasted food that I've spent ages preparing!

ithoughtofitfirst Thu 01-May-14 08:44:55

Aww thanks ladies these are all fab tips. I wrote off yesterday and started fresh today and... drumroll.... breakfast went really well. We all ate porridge and be just got on with It . I helped him load up his spoon a few times. I think I need to get him on a non-slip bowl or something. I'm going to try jam sandwich for lunch with cut up banana on the side or Apple and see how he gets on with that. I'll eat the same. And see how it goes! Xx

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