What would you do?

(18 Posts)
Taler Mon 10-Aug-15 19:32:59

21 month old DD used to be such a good eater. She's gradually getting more picky, more difficult and takes a lot longer at meal times.

At what age "should" you take the attitude 'if you don't eat that there isn't anything else'??

We offer dinner around 5:30 and then cereal just before bed (about 7pm). Where she hasn't eaten her dinner (like tonight, which was hugely frustrating as it was her favourite (well used to be!!!), I would have assumed she'd gobble up her cereal but again just wasn't interested.

This sort of thing is happening more and more.

The only 'change' has been from moving her from a high chair to a booster seat at the dinin table. The straps are not at all right and can't see at all how it could be uncomfortable so really don't think that's the issue (plus I would have thought she'd love sitting at the table with us?!).

Any tips/advice on how best to handle these situations?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 10-Aug-15 19:36:13

Take the straps off. If shes not hungry let her leave the table. No cereal - ever whether she eats or not. You are saying she can eat later. What time is lunch. Any sancks?

Taler Mon 10-Aug-15 19:41:09

Can't take straps off as it wouldn't b safe. Sorry didn't understand your comment about no cereal???

Lunch is around 11:30-12 with nap at 1 usually for a few hours. A snack when she wakes up (piece of toast, blueberry muffin, banana etc) and then we usually go out somewhere and whilst out I tend to give her a rice cake or some raisins

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 10-Aug-15 19:46:04

Why offer cereal at bed time, its not necessary. She either eats dinner or not. 3Rd world kids are lucky to get a meal every few days, if shes not hungry let her go without. I assume there milk involved too?

Queazy Mon 10-Aug-15 19:56:46

Bit harsh Sally, I think if we brought the 3rd world argument into every mumsnet post, we might as well close the site down.

I don't do snacks before bedtime but I know mums whose kids eat at 5pm tend to give something tiny at 6:30ish. My dd has become really picky recently. I definitely wouldn't make alternative dinners or anything like that.

I can't imagine it's the seating arrangement, and wonder if it's the heat or maybe just a change of appetite as she's not maybe going through a growth spurt. Are all her back teeth through? My dd got v fussy when that happened.

My dd has decided she doesn't like pasta now, when it used to be her favourite. Plain of course, no sauce allowed (grrh!). I just keep offering but it's amazing what they suddenly go off. Sorry I don't have any better advice, but I think keep offering at dinner, and maybe a small snack (nothing sweet) before bed. I do remember when my dd would have a few Cheerios before bed and she'd definitely leave dinner in anticipation of those smile

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 10-Aug-15 19:58:45

I always have taken the attitude that if what's offered isn't eaten then they're not hungry and that's that.

I'm afraid I also think that cereal at 7pm is not necessary. It may well be teaching her that she doesn't need to eat her tea as she will always have cereal after any way. A big snack like that isn't necessary with three meals a day and one or two daytime snacks.

Velociraptor Mon 10-Aug-15 20:07:15

I think it is worth bearing in mind that the amount small children want to eat varies massively. I have noticed that my Ds goes through phases of eating absolutely loads, and then seems to hardly eat anything for a while. I think it depends on whether they are having a growth spurt, or not at any given time. If she is not hungry, then it really doesn't matter what you do, she is not going to want to eat.

Playthegameout Mon 10-Aug-15 20:36:24

My 22 month old ds has days where he can eat us out of house and home and then the next day barely touch a thing. My hv said it's pretty normal and he won't starve himself. We just offer the regular meals, he has a cup of milk at bedtime, but that's it. I do think it might be worth not offering the cereal, maybe scrambled egg or toast or something bland? Just in case she's dodging tea to get to the cereal.

purplemurple1 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:50:18

We do dinner at 5pm and milk at six but still offer a small snack with the milk. Its normally more boring than dinner and is carried every day so ds cant learn to wait for something better. I've never found he skips dinner and eats a big snack, he is either hungry or not each evening.
Also he has been on a normal dining chair from 18months so not sure what's unsafe with the booster you have. The first few months on the chair he was up and down a lot but is settling into it a lot more now (he is almost two).

purplemurple1 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:51:34

Carried =varried

InsertUsernameHere Mon 10-Aug-15 21:00:34

It's a normal but intensely annoying developmental stage. There food requirements drop off a bit at this age and they become fussier. If they kept eating at the rate they do when they are little we'd all be giants. Also we go through a fussy stage to keep us safe, evolutionarily speaking. In the mists of time it stopped your little one eating poisonous berries when they became more independent. As a parent it is annoying because you have just gone through the smug 'my child is a good eater phase' and then they demonstrate they can get through the day on a single rice cake. Let her appetite be your guide, try not to fall into offering more tempting options (hey I'll eat chocolate even if I'm not at all hungry), and don't take it personally.

RabbitSaysWoof Mon 10-Aug-15 21:02:32

Could you drop the when you go out snack so she is more ready for dinner? We have never done any snacks in my family but when ds is picky (even only having 3 meals doesn't always want the next meal when it comes) I tend to make the dinner later if it's consistently refused over a few days.
I agree with others a regular bedtime snack takes away the insentive to eat dinner.

DangerGrouse Mon 10-Aug-15 21:46:59

Definitely drop the snacks. At least for a trail period to see if it means she will eat dinner. Bring dinner half an hour forward if needs be but deffo no snacks if you want her to eat in the evening.

Taler Mon 10-Aug-15 21:53:03

Id surely need to do the snack when she wakes up from her nap around 3 ish? Otherwise the gap between lunch (11:30/12) and dinner (even I brought forward half hour) is too big??

If she sat on our dining chair she wouldn't see over the table, that's why she she needs the booster. And if she wasn't strapped in she'd just get out too easily (or if not looking she could slip out but could hurt herself on the drop down to the floor)

mummytime Mon 10-Aug-15 22:01:03

Lots of children go from eating everything at 18 months to becoming fussy at 20 months +. Its normal.

You can try the "you eat it or you get nothing" but if they are very fussy, they just won't. How many days do you go with them not eating a proper meal before you make what you know they will eat?
How much of a fuss do you make over foods?

There are foods I can't eat (these include Crab and Lobster). There maybe foods your DC can't eat.

To introduce new foods get them to try a little, and keep trying (5 times or so I think I've heard).
But sometimes they will just go off something - have you ever loved something and then gone off it?

sometimes food just won't taste right - I had a whole summer when I was about 9 or 10 (maybe even a bit older), when pretty much everything I ate tasted as though it was covered in oil. It was horrible for me and my Mum, but at least I could explain. We reckoned I must have had some kind of virus or something. Fortunately it went away eventually.

Try to make dinner times a calm time. Insist on sitting still for a while even if she won't eat (but realise 3 minutes at this age can feel like hours). And don't allow alternative snacks.

I'd probably steer away from cereal at bedtime, more towards bread or bananas or even potato, as less sugar and more likely to promote tiredness.

CultureSucksDownWords Mon 10-Aug-15 22:20:47

If she's not eating her tea well and then needing a bowl of cereal at 7pm, then to me that is saying that the snack at 3pm is not helping. Snacks aren't compulsory, and if meals aren't being eaten then to me it says that there's no need for snacks as well. If she's eating well and still flagging mid morning/afternoon then that's when I would introduce snacks as well.

murphy36 Mon 10-Aug-15 23:01:37

My DS is the same. Isn't bothered about meals at the mo unless it's his favourites. But then every few days he eats a shed load of whatever we put in front of him. It's not a big deal, his favourites happen to be meat, yogurt and fruit. Veg would be nice, but it's not worth the stress IMHO he used to eat any veg and I'm sure he will again.

If they're hungry, they eat. Less snacks, less milk only one option if you want to encourage them to eat something specific. But, it might not always work... My DS is v. Strong willed and he decides if he eats something or not and then fills up lots on what he likes

DangerGrouse Tue 11-Aug-15 14:20:00

When she wakes at three give her something like 5 raspberries and 10 blueberries and a drink of water, or just a glass of juice. That way she will have a nice sugar hit of energy and be rehydrated, but nothing that's filling or stodgy. Bananas and rice cakes are both of these things no wonder she isn't hungry at supper. Then do loads of distracting fun things for two hours and then give her tea.
At least try it for a day or two she won't starve.

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