2 year old refusing to eat: am I doing the right thing or being mean?

(13 Posts)
Chucklecheeks Thu 27-Dec-12 19:37:54

My just two year old DS is refusing to eat anything but plain pasta and the odd bit of fruit. He stopped eating cereal about two weeks ago and most days doesn't have anything other than a drink of milk for breakfast.

For lunch unless given plain pasta will eat nothing and the same for tea. He was ill about three weeks ago and it was the only thing he would eat at the time along with rice pudding. At the time I was happy to get anything down him.
He isn't ill now, he is very sleepy but I think that is because he seems to be living on fresh air.

I am torn between just giving him what he wants or putting what i made in front of him and if he doesn't eat it so be it.

He doesn't eat bread so dinners can be a nightmare as I end up having to make something hot. I feel like he is taking advantage but DH thinks I'm being mean.

He eats at nursery unless ill (wont eat toast or bread there so I know he doesn't like them) so I think he is thing his luck.
Am I mean or do I need to see this through?

PrincessMononoke Thu 27-Dec-12 19:43:04

He is probably still recovering, it can take quite a while. The excitement of Christmas has probably effected his appetite too.
I would just carry on giving him what he is eating for now, maybe offer some of his old favourites, I can't see what else you can do really.

tumbletumble Fri 28-Dec-12 09:07:20

I know this is a pain for you, but to get through this stage I would give him a mixture of things. So I would follow through with your policy of 'this is your lunch and I am not going to offer an alternative if you refuse it' but I would make sure there is at least one item on his plate that he likes (even if that means pasta for nearly every meal!).

If he eats at nursery at least you know he is getting some food!

Try not to stress. He'll start eating again soon.

amirah85 Fri 28-Dec-12 09:24:03

I would keep doing what u r doing,if he eats at nursery no resason why he can't eat at home.make him pasta once in a while but not for every meal.

KatAndKit Fri 28-Dec-12 09:53:18

I think tumbletumbles idea is a good one. If there is some pasta on his plate as well as some other things, if you try not to make a fuss about it he will hopefully start eating the other things too.

QTPie Fri 28-Dec-12 09:57:52

I have always done "this is your lunch/dinner" and that's that. If it is refused, then it stays on the side for a while. Fruit for pudding if he makes a reasonable attempt. Lots of variety. He is quite a toast fan, but I wouldn't give it to him every meal (might have it with pâté for lunch, but then a proper meal in the evening).

If he doesn't want it, then I just accept that he isn't hungry (everyone has stages like that - especially after illness). I really don't stress. I will encourage him by saying something like "aren't you going to eat you dinner? Yummy yummy!" and then remind him "no dinner, no fruit". But that is it. I don't make an issue of it.

You could always get some toddler bit and mineral drops if worried.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 09:59:03

What kind of illness did he have? If it was a cold, esp. with an ear infection, it may have made eating uncomfortable. Do check whether he has glue ear as well - incredibly common in small children and often undiagnosed for ages and ages.

I'd do what princess suggests and offer him what he wants but add a couple of other foods so he can try them.

I found this really useful:
https://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/why-toddlers-refuse-food DS went through a phase like this recently when he was ill, it lasted a few weeks, before that he'd become fussy but was now refusing almost everything. I just persevered with giving him a small plate of whatever we were having but adding something that I knew he'd probably eat. I do think toddlers know what they need. If he's been ill recently his stomach has probably got smaller. I think it needs to be handled with as minimum fuss and rules as possible, I'm sure it's just a phase and for what it's worth DS has got a huge appetite back now, until the next phase!

LaTrucha Fri 28-Dec-12 10:11:34

My own personal feeling, based upon my ffing up royally with my firstborn, is to mke as little fuss as possible. I would offer meals that include at least one thing they like and put no pressure on for the rest.

I do know that recently 2 yearold DS had a very innocuous cold but was out of sorts for about 6 weeks afterwards. I took him to the doctor and apparently in a post-viral state the glands in theri abdomen can swell and stay swollen and this can be very painful and make eating difficult. He told me to just give him what he would eat.

Pantomimedam Fri 28-Dec-12 11:16:45

That infant and toddler feeding forum is great, nicecupoftea, am sure that link will be very helpful to lots of MNers.

Chucklecheeks Fri 28-Dec-12 17:47:04

Thanks for th advice ladies. He has grommets in both ears so its definitely glue ear. The link given is fab. Just passd to in to my friends.

rrreow Fri 28-Dec-12 20:44:38

DS (19mo) had a stomach bug about a month and a half ago. He took about 1.5 weeks to fully recover and it took even longer than that for him to regain his trust in food. I think it was just the bad association with food (any food) that made him really wary. What worked for him was really no pressure, and no feeding (just letting him feed himself, maybe putting something on a spoon for him, but never us putting the spoon in his mouth. I think it was all about trust)

KelleStar Sun 30-Dec-12 18:47:46

that link is fab. I've taken some really useful tips from them.

DD is a sometimes picky eater, somedays she eats very little but fruit and water and then she'll have a day or two of eating like it's going out of fashion. It seems to bother DH and his family more than me, as I remember being like this as a child. She's 0.4th centile for weight and 25th for height and is 2 years old.

I must admit that I find it hard to eat some foods after bringing them back up. I can understand how a toddler must feel.

Sorry can't provide any actual advice though.

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