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Please help me feed my very fussy toddler

(13 Posts)

DD is nearly 18mo. During weaning she would eat anything. Now she is a nightmare! She can spot a piece of carrot at 20 paces. She won't eat fish (unless its in a finger). She likes breadcrumbed stuff in general like chicken kiev type stuff. She loves beans. She will eat pasta bolognese and maybe a bit of cottage pie (but in both of these the mince needs to be blitzed a bit so it doesn't have much texture or she spits out the carrot/onion/mince (!)
She won't eat cheese but she'll eat cheese scones. She won't eat sandwiches. She doesn't like chunks of meat so roast dinners aren't great. She likes dipping so will have soup with bread and will generally eat a couple of mouthfuls of the soup too.
I worry because she just will not eat veg. Have tried everything. She picks it up and as soon as she touches it she knows its veg and won't let it near her mouth. She will eat pear until she pops but not really any other fruit. Refuses berries/melon/grapes etc.
other than feeding her fish fingers and beans forever what can I do?! Please help!

dreamingofsun Thu 08-Nov-12 18:59:27

traditional thinking is that you shouldn't make a fuss as this encourages bad eating. i have always served food up and then if they don't want to eat it fine, but its left there till they do. no desert if you aren't hungry enough to eat your main.

your comment about eating cheese but not cheese scones suggests to me that she's playing you along or has just decided she doesn't like certain things - for no sensible reason.

My PIL and BIL are cases in point -the only thing BIL will eat from a chinese take-away is chicken balls, sweet and sour sauce and plain rice. this is because my MIL has pampered to his food demands over the years

obviously helps if she sees you eating the same things and you eat together as a family

We eat together as often as possible. DH is home after DD is in bed. On the weekends all meals are together and I eat with her at lunchtimes.

I try not to make any fuss about her food, not sure the understanding is there for it but I do say that if she doesn't eat her meal there's no pudding - and I stick to it. When this has happened and she still won't eat I have just lifted her down from her highchair and mealtime is over. A few times I've managed to feed her the rejected food after 10 minutes or so and a change of scenery.

My main worry is that she's just not getting the vitamins she needs...she'll drink smoothies but should I be concerned about no veg??

mrsvilliers Thu 08-Nov-12 20:02:51

It's just what they're like! I've had a fussy eater since beginning to wean (toast, banana and cheese only from 6-9 months if you please. And I didn't even want to do BLW!) He's now 20 mo and I've been documenting what he eats online at www.toddler-recipes.co.uk. It's sorted by prep time so you're not going to kill yourself making a meal that's then rejected. You might find something to try there. Otherwise just try and relax, they can smell fear at ten paces. When she can talk it'll get easier, I personally don't buy into the 'That's all you're getting' frame of mind, I always offer a second choice and then if that's rejected I take it he's not hungry. Chunks of meat are also apparently difficult to chew before the age of two.

The only other thing is that I do think it helps sitting down to eat with them (although I can only bear to do this at lunch!) My little boy will have proper fresh tomato soup now.

NapDamnYou Thu 08-Nov-12 20:04:43

I take the plate away and give him forkfuls me at a time to put in his mouth. Sometimes he gets a bit overwhelmed.
Also use a plate that separates everything, broccoli in one third, potato in the other, meat in the other etc.

mrsvilliers Thu 08-Nov-12 20:10:34

Our comments clashed smile. You could put sweet corn in the cheese scones if they're homemade? Homemade veg soup, hidden pasta sauce either by itself or with mince instead of the bolognese?

dreamingofsun Thu 08-Nov-12 20:13:13

offering a second choice encourages rejection - you are saying, if you aren't wild about something i'm happy to waste that and give you something else.

have you tried serving veg up when she's most hungry, or serving it in different forms, eg a raw carrot rather than cooked ones?

chill and keep serving a variety of food..........i read somewhere it takes something like 8 times of trying new foods before kids like them.

have you tried eating lots of veg or whatever food you want her to eat at lunchtimes? maybe having it on your plate first, eating it and then offering to her? (suggestion being that its special grown up food but she can have some as a treat )

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 08-Nov-12 20:19:12

I'm in the "take it or leave it" camp too. I would serve up lunch/dinner and if it's not eaten then fine ok, no pudding but fruit is always available.

If you're worried about veggies etc then why not make your tomato sauce for a bolognaise by itself, blitz it until smooth and then put in with the mince as normal. I do this sometimes as some of my cm children aren't keen on veggies but it means I can put all sorts into the sauce. The same sauce is good for dipping breadsticks into at lunchtime.

Tubs of frozen fruit are great for smoothies and if she'll have those then that's great.

carolinecordery Sat 10-Nov-12 21:33:27

I steam broccoli (stalks as the green tops leave tell-tale green flecks, and cauliflower, and blend it very smooth once cooked. Then I freeze it in a lidded ice cube tray and add it to things like gravy, soup, and also ice lollies made largely of shop-bought smoothie. Sounds like a faff in the preparation but you feel gleeful when you see them eating it. In the case of the ice lollies I just puree a batch of the veg and add it to the smoothie before freezing them in the home-made lolly makers. Start with just a little veg.
There's also the book 'The Art of hiding vegetables' which has good ideas.
I also sometimes only take out healthy things in the lunch bag when we go out for a long day in the pushchair/park etc. Then when they're really hungry you can say "I've got cucumber or apple." Eventually they pick one.

lolalotta Wed 14-Nov-12 06:04:08

The only advice I can offer crazy is please don't get so fed up you stop offering certain foods!!! (easier said than done I know) My DD didn't like stringless runner beans for months and months and months and now apparently they are "yummy"!!

lolalotta Wed 14-Nov-12 06:12:15

How do you cook you veg? Do you use fresh or frozen? We buy frozen peas and sweetcorn, the rest we buy fresh and steam. I find steaming really helps the veg taste good compared to boiling. My DD won't eat overlooked mushy broccoli but enjoys it when it has been steamed so it is just cooked and has a nice bite texture to it!!!!

lolalotta Wed 14-Nov-12 06:12:43

Overcooked!!!!

SavoyCabbage Wed 14-Nov-12 06:15:32

I agree with the others. Don't give up, keep offering her everything and anything, don't offer second choices.

I always tried to give my dd a wide variety if stuff from early on. Rhubarb yoghurt instead of strawberry, sesame breadsticks instead of plain, oregano on the pizza so it had green bits on.

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