She just won't eat! Every mealtime is stressful and with floods of tears! Please help.

(109 Posts)
LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:09

Dd (almost 11months) pretty much survives on milk. That's it. I make her homemade food from scratch for one meal a day, and a punch for the other meal (plus breakfasts like museli, cereal, scrambled egg, toast, fruit etc). Apart from breakfast which she eats, she will not touch lunch or dinner. I have tried not giving an milk bar one morning bottle and she just screams as she is hungry all day and still won't eat.

She has been like this for 2 months now.

Hvs won't help me, they keep saying milk is their main nutrional until 12 months. Well we're approaching 12 months then what? This is a typical meal planner for us, what am I doing wrong??

7am 200mls milk
9am breakfast (toast, museli/wheatabix/cereal/scrambled egg, with fruit)
11am 100mls milk
1pm lunch (today was homemade grilled salmon, with humous, tomato, sweet potato, cous and pasta, with the following finger foods banana, melon, tomato and rice cake) all she ate was the rice cake
3pm 50mls milk
5pm dinner - an Ella's pouch or sometimes a homemade soup with bread.
7pm 150-200mls milk

So she has about 500-550mls of milk a day and solid wise a bit of breakfast and a rice came. Al day.

I eat with her, I make homemade food, I try to get her to be interactive, I try to make it fun, I try ignoring her to see if that makes a difference.

Nothing. Nothing works.

Everyone comments on how thin she is - she is the 75th centile for weight.

Please help me. No one will help or seems concerned but I think a baby approaching 1 years to just have milk and a rice cake in the day isn't right.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:37

ETA that should read POUCH not punch.

What happens at mealtimes? Whats her reaction to food? Whats your reaction to her not eating?

I know it's hard, but let her get on with it. You are just offering her tastes of food of this age. It's hugely frustrating when other people's babies eat shedloads and yours just wants milk but she will get there. I used to start eating apples, and pass them over to DS partly eaten so he could suck the juice, and sit him in the middle of a pool of cold spaghetti, so he got used to the texture and could play with food.

Ultimately, you won't get her to eat if she doesn't want to, however hard that seems, she may just have cereal and snacks all day but that at least is getting her some calories. there's no shame in giving her weetabix for tea if you can't get her to eat anything else. bitter experience talking here

WheresMyCow Fri 05-Oct-12 14:46:39

How well does she eat at breakfast?

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:52:54

She purses her mouth tightly shut and thrashes her head side to side. After 5mins of trying to pursuade her to eat she starts to hysterically cry. Mst of the time she starts to cry at the sight of the kitch table or at me preparing food. Inside I am crying, but I put an act on and do a sing songy voice 'come on, lunch/dinner time!" or "Oooh yum yum!" I always eat at the same times and try her food too. I give her after 30mins to try and take away any bad associations with food time but nothing works.

We had a break through a month back where I distracted her loads and would eat then, buts nothing works now.

I did TW and BLW from the start so she has always been used to finger foods and lumps but around 8.5 months she just stopped eating, pretty much anything.

Should I completely stop milk? I reduced to 200mls a day once and she continued her hunger strike.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:55:51

Thank you fire maybe I'll try that for dinner tonight. I just feel like such a huge failure at being a mother. I am sitting here crying into the iPad feeling like she's approaching 1 and still refusing to eat solids. I worry much she will develop an eating disorder or be one of those freaky eaters that just eat cheese. I try so hard to prepare her delicious healthy meals and it all goes in the bin. I am a huge failure!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:57:59

wheresmycow she will eat some breakfast usually one adult wheatabix with 3oz of formula in it, mixed with a quarter of a banana and a slice of toast. Or maybe a scrambled egg with melon and toast. But then thats it, she isn't eat anything else bar a bit of toast or rice cake until the same time the next day.

Am I giving milk at the wrong times?

I think you need to just calm down completely with it. Shes getting loads from the milk. Dont fret about food.

Make the lunch. Set it infront of her. Sit down and eat yours. Dont comment. Dont encourage. Dont even try to be happy about it. If she doesnt touch it just take it away and clear up.

Try to take the stress and emotion out of it. She will continue this cycle if you dont break it!

Btw, could she be teething?

You are not a failure as a mother. Please please stop being so hard on yourself.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:02:39

She doesn't seem particularly teethy at the moment, but like I said this has been going on mice 8.5 months old and she's now almost 11 months.

During meal times I act completely blasé and sometimes completely ignore her but the food just gets thrown on the floor, so I've tried distraction and singing with she might take half a baby spoonful then spits it out and screams. Every mealtime is the same, floods of tears, her thrashing her head pursed mouth or her screaming.

Shall I not give spoon fed mashed food anymore maybe?

hlipop Fri 05-Oct-12 15:04:31

keep calm and don't push food too much - make it as relaxed as possible - try do finger foods as much as possible as usually children enjoy the feel of different foods...also 75th percentile is relatively good - average is 50th

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:05:17

I feel like a huge failure that almost 11 month of survives on toast,rice cakes and milk. Every other mum I talk to makes food from scratch (I sometime use pouches because it all goes in the bin) and their babies eat three hearty meals a day plus drink loads of milk (from beakers not bottles) and sleep with no prompts.

I can't persuade dd to even have a few mouthfuls of solids, feed to sleep (reverted back to this after 6 months of going to sleep awake) and still using bottles.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:06:43

She is dropping from the 75th though and the hvs keep saying they're not worried until she drops 2 centiles. But I'm worried.

She pushed all finger food off her highchair table onto the floor on sight.

hlipop Fri 05-Oct-12 15:11:23

hmm - yes hv are not worried until two centiles have dropped as some children dont like the initial weaning stage - the foods that she likes e.g. toast could you try jams/spreads to introduce her to different flavours? you sound like you are trying everything, keep encouraging fruit too. wouldn't worry about bottles too much mine both came off bottles closer to 16months when they started pointing for a beaker rather than a bottle as i gave the choice. have you tried doing plain pasta on its own? my youngest loved this and it helped her go from below the 2nd centile to almost the 9th

lambinapram Fri 05-Oct-12 15:11:41

I know this is not a good habit to get into, but have you tried feeding her in front of childrens TV? My daughter would not eat much either, but seemed to relax and eat a lot more if baby TV was on. I suppose it took the focus off the food and me. She is now a relatively good eater, although still has tiny portions.

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Oct-12 15:12:01

Breakfast sounds good. Lunch sounds quite overwhelming, what about just putting out the rice cake and one other finger food, e.g. a banana? I wouldn't feed her any more, let her take what she wants. Dinner could be more finger food if she wants it.

Have the TV on during problem meals so that food isn't the focus and she might feel less threatened?

Some children eat lots for breakfast then less for lunch and less again for dinner, don't get fixed on the idea of a big evening meal, or of needing to force food into her. Give her control over what goes into her mouth.

Yes, I think stop with the mashed food and spoon. If she's developed an aversion to that image then probably just putting some of your food onto a plate she can reach without comment either way is probably better.

Could she be allergic to/intolerant of something? My little brother went very funny wrt food when a baby due to his milk allergy as it had made him feel ill.

Given that she can cope with just milk for now, probably best to stick with the standard protocol for food phobias which is not to push it and to just normalise sitting at the table. Maybe don't even give her her own portions and keep your plate in reach. But think about whether she could have an intolerance or something if her next attempts also go badly.

FWIW I have a friend whose daughter had severe GERD and got very funny about a lot of different foods due to that. She's growing perfectly well now! I've also known babies who didn't swallow food until nearer 18months and they're pretty solid too, just keep up the milk until she doesn't need it.

TheHeirOfSlytherin Fri 05-Oct-12 15:16:40

Read this book: My child won't eat.

And relax. She won't starve herself. Believe me, my 2.2 year old did the very same thing as your dd at around the same age. He has still grown, gone up sizes in clothes and appears to have more energy than a durcel bunny!

Put the food infront of her, take it away once the mealtime is over. Don't push her, don't ask or beg her to eat. Eat with her when you can and eat the same meals where possible. Let her feed you if she wants to. Don't offer alternatives and try and keep to a schedule; breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, tea.

Ds always eats loads in the morning then eats less and less throughout the day until teatime when he rarely eats anything.

Don't stress about her not eating enough veg (ds still doesn't eat any so I hide it in bolognese sauce now).

She may start to get better as time goes on but my ds didn't. In the last month however we have had two major breakthroughs; he tried a piece of baked potato in September and last week he ate one mouthful of chicken. This is a child who has not tried anything new since he was around 11 months old.

Ds has a small list of foods he likes to eat so I try and work meals around them - lots of pasta, rice, cheese, scrambled eggs and potato wedges!

The most important thing is not to worry or force her to eat as it will just enforce the idea that food = bad.

I get through it by reminding myself that he won't always be like this. At some point he will be a teenager who is eating me out of house and home....

You say "she's approaching 12 months" well, one year is not a magical number meaning that her nutritional needs will change overnight! Milk will still be her main source of food at 13 months, then 14 months (by then, a little less, but just a little), and so it goes.

Remember that each child is different, maybe she will be fine with a diet based in milk for a bit longer. Talk to the GP, see if she's healthy, if poos and wees are what they should be, and try to relax.

And don't believe in what other mums say their children eat.

Mollydoggerson Fri 05-Oct-12 15:22:03

I think you need to just sit her in her high chair and let her get used to textures, let her stick her fngers into the food and maybe a little will end in her mouth. She needs ten tastes before she gets used to each food.

They only need about 500 calories a day and virtually all of that comes from her milk, so you are only getting her to try new tastes at this stage. It's not so much about nutrtion.

Don't let mealtimes turn into a nightmare (much, much easier said than done). Just give her a few bits of food and offer her some of yours if she is watching you eat.

Don't worry too much about her weight, she will eat when she wants to.

PropositionJoe Fri 05-Oct-12 15:22:25

I would give her breakfast three times a day until she is less stressed about eating.

AnitaBlake Fri 05-Oct-12 15:23:12

I noticed that with DD she eats more when she is ignored. I try to sit with her at every meal I can, and we eat the same things, we often share plates, she feeds me and I feed her. I'm wary of trying to encourage her or use food as a reward (I have weight issues and she has allergies!).

Perhaps have a read of Dr. sears website, or googling babies won't eat. I'd forgotten what tiny tummies they have, and I've realised that she really is eating a lot for her size.

We've tried to be as relaxed as possible with her, and she definitely eats more in social situations, or with us. She adores things like pasta, rice and couscous, but i never make special meals for her, she gets what we get.

NatashaBee Fri 05-Oct-12 15:27:12

DS is like this sometimes... I hate it and find it very hard to hold back from throwing hundreds of different options in front of him until he eats something. I think you're doing all the righht things (being enthusiastic about your food, not giving her milk immediately before meals, taking the food away if she doesn't want it without any fuss). Will she eat better if you just let her pick up handfuls of the mashed food with her hands?

OneHandFlapping Fri 05-Oct-12 15:27:46

It sounds luike you're making a lot of effort to provide interesting meals for your DD. I always found that the more time I spent creating beautiful little balanced meals for the DCs, the more stressed I got when they refused them - and I found it hard to hide it, I wanted them to enjoy my food so much. It was a fairly toxic combination. I would suggest not doing ANYTHING special for your DD's kunches and dinners at the moment. Pouches are fine, and so much less effort.

Have you tried any reverse psychology eg putting her in her chair when you're eating and not giving her anything? Maybe she will begin to ask for stuff.

marthastew Fri 05-Oct-12 15:27:54

Agree with the advice about the TV (but don't tell my DM). You could also try putting the high chair next to a window with a good view or a bird table in sight or something.

Another thing that got my little one eating well was going to nursery and copying the slightly older children. He wanted to be like all the other kids and have proper food. If you are friends with a slightly older child, how about inviting them round for a few meals?

Have you tried her sitting on the floor (on a plastic tablecloth) instead to the high chair?

Does she have a favourite toy who could show her the way? My son will do anything that Teddy tries.

How about giving her the pouches for first stage weaning with the resealable tops to eat from by herself? When my son has been teething badly we would give him these to slurp the food from himself. Not good manners but it meant we got some food in him!

DairyNips Fri 05-Oct-12 15:30:03

My ds1 was like this. The best tips I have are, as the others have said, put the food there then ignore her. Even if it doesn't seem to be working you have to consistently do this over a long period of time.

Don't worry about her weight, honestly, its not worth it! She is a really good weight, when my ds was like this he was at the bottom of the chart, so I did have cause to worry a bit but tbh, he is still at the bottom yet he eats well now and is healthysmile

If she throws everything on the floor then only put 1/3 on her tray at a time or 1/2 of the food. That way, if she swipes it there's a 2nd or 3rd chance and she won't be too over faced by too much food/ too many options at once.

Stop spoon feeding, she obviously has a negative association with this now (not saying that's your fault btw, many babies don't like to be spoon fed). If you think about it, being spoon fed is actually quite awful, get your partner to spoon feed you an you'll soon see how out of control it makes you feel. My ds2 stopped letting me spoon feed him after a month or so so I just stopped and let him get on with it, he was finesmile. You can at least try stopping for a while anyway to break the negative association, she might well let you again in the future or spoon feed herself!

As well as ignoring her when she eats try and distract yourself, if there's someone else there talk like you normally would. Maybe have a look at the internet on the iPad or read a book if you've finished eating?

Kids pick up on our anxiety and stress very easily, it's really hard to stay calm and worry free when you're worried they aren't eating enough or enough variety. She's still young though and this doesn't mean she will end up a freaky eater, honestly! My ds1 was really hard to feed in every way but he's 4 now and eats a good variety of food and even asks for food when he's hungry! It's taken a long time to get to this point and I wish I could just go back to myself at that time and tell myself to chill outgrin Please don't panic, she will be just finesmile

She's chucking food on the floor because you react to her doing so, and because it falls to the floor - it doesn't float, bounce back up or swirl around in the air. Isn't that amazing? Let her get on with it.

Agree with ignore her. DS is 3.2 and even now can have days where he eats loads (maybe 1 day in 10) and the rest where he eats bugger all after breakfast. Last night he ate half a cracker. On Tuesday he ate his own body weight in mash. It varies so much. If your DD goes to nursery, she'll probably eat there and not at home - we'll be sending DS to nursery between Christmas and New year this year because he visibly lost weight last year when he was away from nursery for 10 days. It's so hard, particularly when you've spent ages making something that they won't even consider but ignore, ignore, ignore. when you've finished eating, just take the plate away.

Also, don't go too bland - my DS loves garlic bread, loved humous at your DD's age we stopped buying it because of the salt content and he won't eat it now, loves curry and chinese noodles, partly because he can try and use chopsticks.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:32:55

I've tried feeding in front of ceebeeies and it's always the same reaction- mouth pursed, head thrashing, screaming.

If I no longer give mashed food nd just finger food, and she still protests ( and refuses to eat (as she does when I offer her finger food now alongside mashed) what then? How long do I leave this until I should be worrying then? She's dropping weight already.

FriskyMarkCavendish Fri 05-Oct-12 15:35:13

That could have been me and my dd 14 years ago. She survived on milk, ready brek, bananas and small cans of heinz tomato pasta bake. (She was diagnosed with leukaemia at 2.6 yrs so I held off pushing new food at her)
Then, one day she saw me cutting up carrots and asked what it was and nibbled a bit. The next week it was apple and so on. Now at nearly 15 she enjoys trying new food and is happy and healthy and complains to me about her fussy, faddy friends!

TheHeirOfSlytherin Fri 05-Oct-12 15:38:44

At around the age your dd is, babies just don't need as much food as before. They aren't growing as quickly but they are much more active than they used to be (so will you be with all the running around after them!) so what they do eat needs to provide them with the energy they need (so bananas, porridge etc are good).

So, growing less + moving more = a lanky toddler instead of the pudgy baby you had before.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:43:22

Dd won't be going to nursey until she is 5 and going to school, mil is looking after her as we can't afford private daycare, so she will never see older children at and copy them.

I have tried ignoring her and she screams for my attention - I've tried doing to washing up. Looking at the iPad, eating in silence she jut screams and throws everything on the floor.

I will stop spoon feeding and hope tht makes a difference.

I can't believe I gave got this so wrong I tried so hard to make feeding times calm and basically the complete opposite of what they are.

Graciescotland Fri 05-Oct-12 15:43:39

I'd agree with a previous poster that it sounds overwhelming with DS I'd give him one thing (like a broccoli floret) which he'd eat or not if I gave him two he'd throw them both on the floor.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 15:43:58

Thank you all for your replies and for being kind.

ZZZenAgain Fri 05-Oct-12 15:44:04

maybe with the milk and the breakfast she has enough and really isn't hungry. When she is moving around more, her appetite will increase. When my dd was small, she used to like mozzarella and if I was having a salad with it in, she would reach across and pick bits out to eat. I wasn't thrilled about this, especially after she had refused to eat something I had made specially for her but a wise woman told me she probably assumes, if I eat it, it must be good. To this day my dd snacks on mozzarella.

She is hungry in the morning so she eats a good breakfast, she gets a variety with that already and I think I might try a second breakfast in the evening. She is just eating what she knows a second time and add one new thing to try every time. So if it is scrambled egg and toast, maybe add long strips of cucumber and show her how to dunk them in a dip first maybe. (Also perhaps do this yourself, whatever you are eating).

I think, hard as it is, you need to take the pressure off both of you wrt food, even though this is hard when you are worrying about it.

Mollydoggerson Fri 05-Oct-12 15:46:03

my ds1, who is now 4 was a really picky eater, he is much better now, not perfect but better.

When he wouldn't eat, I sometimes gave him meal replacement drinks (ensure plus). He loved his milk and these taste like a milkshake.

It put my mind at ease to know he had 1 or 2 of these a wk.

DoubleYew Fri 05-Oct-12 15:53:54

ds was like this and at 15 months he started eating. I did nothing different at that time he was just ready

Don't cut the milk or she will be getting less calories. She is thrashing and screaming because you are trying to force it, sorry. Put the food down, Salmon and coucous can be eaten with hands, eat yours and leave her to it. If she ignores take it away and offer a snack later say oatcake and cheese squares. Carry on. Keep an eye on her weight and keep talking to hv.

It is stressful I know but by forcing and getting upset you are only going to make it worse.

OP - I feel your pain and believe me, it can change overnight. My DS was the same - around 14 months he decided to go on some kind of self-induced hunger strike for days at a time, with the exception of milk and dry carbs like rice cakes.

He was otherwise healthy. It used to reduce me to tears of frustration and worry until I read that an otherwise healthy baby / child won't starve themselves if they're hungry.

It took some time - I ignored him and didn't react to flinging food or playing with it (through gritted teeth!)- very gradually he started to pick it up, hold it, nibble it, etc.

Also, I tried taking him out of typical situations - e.g. having a snack in his buggy in the park, or cake ina cafe etc. to remove the association of a stressful place.

Please don't beat yourself up - your DD sounds healthy and she'll resolve it her own way if you keep offering her different things and chill a bit (so much easier to say I know!)

my DS still has the odd pouch at age 2

If you're concerned about her losing weight give her more milk. For now, as long as she's getting the nutrients she needs that's the most important thing.

Then switch to just letting her take bits of finger food thatmatch what you're eating if she wants to and not if she doesn't.

You can use the milk to keep her nourished while she slowly starts to chill out about food; that's the only way to deal with a food phobia really. (I've seen clinicians say "just feed him chocolate bars then, and let everyone chill out for a couple of weeks before you add in a carrot".)

Loveyou - I experienced the same feelings you describe, when I didn't manage to breast feed any of my three dses, and my heart is aching for you right now. You are most definitely NOT a failure - you sound like a very loving, involved mum who is doing her best for her baby.

Please go easy on yourself.

I've had 3 dcs who didn't eat much at that age. ds1 I think didn't eat anything till about 10 months, and now, aged 4, is keen to try lots of new things.

best strategy I have found is to back off. No pressure. perhaps sit on the floor (indoor "picnic", the idea being to change the situation from the highchair which is now associated with stress). put food on your plate and give her an empty plate and spoon to play with. then just let her play whilst you eat. she may choose to come and investigate what you're eating - mash it in her hands, possibly taste it - though this make take several goes. this is what worked, eventually, for ds1 with whom the stress really had got out of hand.

the other thing to remember is that at this age growth naturally slows down, so they can survive on what appears to be sparrow portions. but survive they do!

MarianForrester Fri 05-Oct-12 16:12:06

My dd could be funny about eating when watched- I don't mean you sit and stare at her, or anything! But she was much better when left to own devices,

I know it seems much nicer to eat with them, but maybe worth a try? She eats really well and almost anything now, btw, so there is hope smile

DS was huge, but just loved milk! Spat out my lovingly prepared puréed veg, rice, etc, but little traitor yummed up jars. Sigh, swear they sometimes try to make you feel like rubbish mum!

sybilvimes Fri 05-Oct-12 16:14:04

Try not giving her a meal at all, and don't put her in the high chair. Let her sit on your knee while you eat and then ignore her. I found that ds would scream the instant he saw his high chair and throw his plate on the floor, but sat on my knee and ignored he would often try things from my plate.

I found this to be particularly effective if I ate with dh and we chatted together completely ignoring him.

The problem is she now associates meals and her high chair with stressful mealtimes and you need to break that link. I ended up getting rid of my high chair his reaction was so bad!

rufus5 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:25:03

Loveyou, I could have written your post myself (and did write similar ones) almost year ago. My DD (now 20 months) was a total food refuser until she was over a year old. I tried everything as well, ended up with a freezer full of various purees as I kept trying different flavours, nothing worked.

I was really upset and felt like a failure as well, especially as her cousin (3 weeks older) was an absolute bin and ate everything within reach, but eventually (although it took a long while to get to this stage) I just accepted she would eat when she felt like it.

My DD is still fussy and has days when she will eat next to nothing. She is still on a bedtime bottle (as it is the only thing I'm sure she will take) and I don't foresee taking this from her for quite some time.

I ended up just leaving her to it as lots of posters have suggested. I'd set food down for her, if she ate some of it I was delighted, but very often she just played with it. Eventually over a period of about 6 months she gradually ate more and more, until it is only now that I would say she is eating a normal amount for some meals.

It is very hard not to worry but please try to be as relaxed as you can. Keep an eye on her weight, it's only if there is substantial weight loss that you really need to worry, but if her weight is maintained reasonably well she is getting all the nutrition she needs.

Just keep offering her food, try to remain positive, and be assured, eventually she will start to eat more, until she'll get to the stage when you wonder how you are going to keep the cupboards stocked!!

MeeWhoo Fri 05-Oct-12 16:32:39

apart from the advice you have already had about not stressing about meals, I just wanted to say that although DS never got angry or refused food, and he would put things in his mouth and swallow some of it, I am sure that calorie wise the amount hewas eating was negligible and reallyyou could say his food was basically milk. He turned one last week and just before then, it seems that his hunger or something has changed as he is eating a lot more and is now associating hunger with food, not just with milk.
If you don't mind the mess too much, give her some finger foods while she is in her pushchair (moving). Ds still gets quicky fed up of the high chair,but it's nothing to do with food but with the fact he is "trapped" in it, he would very gladly eat more and for longer if I let him wonder around the house with food in his hands...

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 17:44:06

Thank you all. It's dinner time now. I've made a cheese, chicken and spinach omelette with formula milk and once it's cooled I'm going to offer it to dd and let her feed herself (which she can do if she wants).

If she rejects it shall I leave dinner?

I've decided to take your advice and give up spoon feeding (apart from breakfast which she doesn't have an issue with) and see how that goes. Don't want to continue battling with her very meal time, it's one on for so long as it is.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 17:46:20

IT'S WORKING! I've sat her on my lap and we're both eating from the same plate!!!

Flisspaps Fri 05-Oct-12 17:51:06

HOORAY! grin

Why with formula though? Just make it with cow's milk next time, there'll be plenty of calories in it with the cheese and eggs anyway smile

Glad to hear that!!

Some babies just dislike high chairs.

I agree, cows milk is fine to use (unless allergic/intolerant ofcourse)

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 17:57:51

She's grabbing the food with both hands and shovelling it in her mouth! You're all genuis'!!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 17:59:12

She was vomitting and had diarrhoea recently and doctor suggesting laying off the cows milk for a couple weeks the reintroducing it to see if it makes a difference.

That's it, I'm sold, no more spoon feeding!! Thank you all!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 18:04:06

She's pretty much polished off the entire omelette! Thank you all!! You've all given me much better advice than the hvs have and I feel so much calmer knowing what the problems were - spoon feeding and the high chair! So simple why did I not realise this myself?

tuckingfits Fri 05-Oct-12 18:07:27

Brilliant! I've just read the whole thread thinking "yep,sounds like DS". I will follow yourlead & have him on my lap for dinnertime & he can eat from my plate. Will see how that goes!

hawthers Fri 05-Oct-12 18:11:31

Totally sympathise with meal time stress. So pleased you've found something that works. Have spent many hours crying over the same thing so just remember you are not alone.

TheHeirOfSlytherin Fri 05-Oct-12 18:13:05

Really pleased to hear this grin

Now can someone come round and sort my ds out please?

<this too shall pass, this too shall pass>

<repeats ad infinitum>

ToothyMcTooth Fri 05-Oct-12 18:55:33

Just seen this thread and could have written the op myself only it wouldn't have included successful breakfasts hmm
I've got 3 dc's and had never had trouble with dc1 and dc2 so thought this would be a doddle. It was to start with until at about 7 mo she stopped eating and would scream furiously at every spoon. She also only wanted milk. As I have two others to look after I had to just give in and offer milk all the time but worried a lot about getting her moved on. Oh and she had her two brothers to mimic and it didn't work.
Anyway I abandoned spoon feeding and only offered finger food. In the last week we've finally had some success and miraculously dd allowed me to feed her a yogurt shock today.

I've just accepted that its not going to be as easy with her as the ds's but she'll get there. I have no wish at all to have battles at mealtimes. She's just ten times more feisty and independent than her brothers. I'm hoping this will be a good thing when she's older grin

DinosaursOnASpaceship Fri 05-Oct-12 19:11:49

My ds is 16 months and some days barely eats anything. He doesn't very often drink milk either, preferring juice or water.

He will usually eat his breakfast which is normally porridge with full fat milk.

He rarely even tries his lunch or dinner. He wont eat pasta, potatoes, bread, eggs, cheese, bananas, anything in a sauce, veggies, meat - he used to be a brilliant eater, I'm not sure what happened.

He will eat yoghurt, brioche, sausages (as many as he can get his hands on) most fruit, chicken nuggets chips, and custard.

His diet at the moment is crap. But I think most children go through a fussy stage and I am trying not to worry s out it to much. I give him food and he crumbles it up and throws it around. I don't make a big deal of it as I assume if he's hungry he will eat it, plus I tend to offer porridge again if he hasn't eaten much.

Today he has had:

A biscuit,
3 brioches (thanks to ds2 sneaking them to him)
A plum
Baked potato with cheese and butter (currently smeared across the floor, not one mouthful passed his lips)

4/5 bottles of water or juice.

Convert Fri 05-Oct-12 19:31:47

Oh well done! I've only just clicked on this thread and reading the outcome has made me pathetically happy grin
My baby has just turned one and used to scoff anything in sight but the last few weeks her appetite has really gone down. I just put the food in front of her and if she wants to eat it thats fine but I try not to worry if she doesn't. I do make sure to offer a snack of fruit or something in between meals to make sure she's not hungry.

Convert Fri 05-Oct-12 19:35:02

Oh, forgot to say, at 11 months apparently I refused everything except cheese sandwiches and yoghurt with no bits in. Until I was 7. I am now fine and love cooking and eating too much so don't panic. It will not last forever.

mardarse Fri 05-Oct-12 19:59:32

I just wanted to add that I could have written your post 3 years ago. DD was exactly the same and it really got to me. I tried everything and got myself in a right old tizz about it. Then at about 12/13 months she suddenly started to eat and has not stopped since grin. I didn't do anything, she just decided for herself. DS is now the same age and will. not. eat. It's like Groundhog Day! It's so frustrating but this time we're just going with it in the hope he just decides one day that food is acceptable. <sigh>.

Sounds like you are doing all the right things, it'll come in time. FWIW, I hardly ate at all from one year old to.three years old and drove my DM up the wall. I hit three and started eating and haven't stopped since.

smellsofsick Fri 05-Oct-12 20:15:35

Fantastic news and be encouraged by this. Please know that it wasn't you being a bad mum, they can just be really tricky. DD (now 22 months) just goes through ridiculous phases and I remember when she was your DD's age she didn't eat hardly anything for weeks. It was horrrendous, so stressful. In the end it was just a combination of teeth, being a bit poorly and generally just being a baby!

You can try everything recommended to you here but it does seem that just hanging out with you, avoiding the stress of the more formal highchair has relaxed her and you, so you both enjoyed that meal together. Well done and keep going.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Fri 05-Oct-12 20:28:08

Loveyou, had MN had've been around when DS2 was a baby I could have written your post. He would only eat breakfast, then refuse practically everything else all day.

He did change one day though, for no apparent reason. Anyhow, he is almost 16 now and 6ft3!

Try not to worry, I am so glad she ate her dinner. You are not a failure. Tomorrow is a new day. Onwards and upwards!

showtunesgirl Fri 05-Oct-12 20:50:34

OP, seeing as it looks at though your DD wants to be in control of her food, have you also tried offering her a choice?

My DH started this with our DD. For example, I would make a cottage pie, steamed potatoes and carrots. I would put a bit of the pie on a spoon and hold a bit of carrot in the other and I would offer her both and she would indicate which one she wanted. She's always very clear what she wants and if it turns out to be neither of them, I offer her something else like water which she then gulps down and looks as me as if to say: stupid mum. grin

PickledFanjoCat Fri 05-Oct-12 20:52:53

Ds was like this. You just have to keep trying, smiling and cleaning up the floor.

He is a bit better now, to be honest when he was really bad I found it so disheartening I didn't cook every day, used Ella's a lot. Him throwing Ella on the floor was easier to bear.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 05-Oct-12 20:53:59

They all love sausages don't they? Little buggers.

I'm a bit late to this thread, but just wanted to say 'Relax'

I posted something very similar when DS was about 11 months and barely ate anything. He's now 14mo and in the last few weeks he's suddenly started eating loads better. We didn't change anything; he just suddenly decided he was interested.

Good luck smile

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 05-Oct-12 21:03:28

my DD did this almost exactly. At 3yrs old she remains pretty similar. She is great most of the time at breakfast but then only eats toast and peanut butter or stage 1 ella's kitchen pouches as "meals". She loves oatcakes/ricecakes/breadsticks ands will eat apples and yoghurts.

After 2 yrs of battling I now let nursery offer new stuff, give her what she will eat and am fascinated by her insisting that "when I am big girl I will eat". her baby sister is now 3 months old and DD1 keeps telling me that when DD2 starts eating she will too. I just chill and assume this might work.

TBH annoying and embarrassing though it is (fed up to the back teeth of well meaning people interfering) she is healthy happy and growing normally (always been on 2nd centile hadn't been weighed for a year, weighed her last week and still on 2nd centile)

Hugs because it is miserable but as long as she is healthy she'll probably grow out of it (with luck way way sooner than my dd)

Chunkamatic Fri 05-Oct-12 21:21:01

Sorry I haven't read all the replies....

My DS1 was very similar and your story really resonates.

I remember how distressing it was, like you I would ignore and be calm but inside I was so upset.

Things got better as he got older, although he has never been a great eater but I think my attitude has just changed to deal with it.

I always believed my children would eat only wholesome, home cooked food, but for a while there my kid was the one who lived on cheese. I think that by somehow accepting this part of him it has meant that I can feel less responsible.

I will always live for the day when he eats an actual piece of fruit (he boaks at the smell/feel of all fruits) but at least now I have DS2 who is a good eater (he was enjoying rollmops with me earlier today... Unusual choice for a 2 year old!) so I can comfort myself that it's not down to my bad parenting.... The only thing I did differently with him was to invest a lot less emotionally in what he did or didn't eat

SminkoPinko Fri 05-Oct-12 21:21:54

felt so happy for you reading your omelette update, hope things go from strength to strength but please try not to be so hard on yourself if you have further blips at some point. you are clearly a lovely mother and person.

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Fri 05-Oct-12 21:28:17

Glad to read the update - great news!

Just wanted to add my voice to the reassurance. DD1 was awful at eating, truly awful, ate virtually nothing until about 13 months. I def initely made it worse by stressing, and better by having "picnics" and loads of snacks so that she made the connection between eating and feeling full and enjoying food. DD1 now eats, continuously!! She's incredibly healthy and happy and growing fine despite the rocky start. She eats all family meals and is v easy to eat out with too. DD2 has had no weaning issies at all, Partly probably because I paid her weaning no attention at all!

Good luck!

Chunkamatic Fri 05-Oct-12 21:30:18

Oh just gone back and read your update, congrats! I agree with the other posters who say you sound like a lovely, caring mum... Well done!

tory79 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:33:05

I can totally relate to your post! My ds is 12 months now, and I feel in a right old tiz about 'food is for fun until they are 1' - well, now he is 1, and most of the time food still seems to be for 'fun'. The things he will eat are pretty healthy, but there are so many things he won't eat, and so much of what I make is met with crying and throwing. Things he likes one day and won't touch the next etc etc. I feel silly for letting it bother me so much seeing as he's 91st centile and a bundle of energy, but feeding your child is such an emotive issue I think, plus I live in fear of ending up with a fussy eater.

I totally second the earlier recommendation to read 'My Child Won't Eat' - fabulous book, and although it may not sound it from what I have written above, it really helped me chill out a lot.

Twinkletoes91 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:36:36

Try and let DC put of her high chair while eating finger foods? Maybe on sofa with you supervising. Don't be so hard on yourself, we all feel at some point we are doing wrong by our children. My DC is also 11 months and has 9oz milk when he wakes, then has some cereal (usually toast or oats). After his nap he usually has a sandwich and some fruit or yogurt and a drink of water. He will the. Have tea (usually spag Bol or cottage pie, something filling) and then another 9oz before bed and sleeps from 7pm till 7am (ish) unless he is poorly or teething. I'm sure things will get better just keep trying smile chin up! Xx

Twinkletoes91 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:40:19


forevergreek Sat 06-Oct-12 08:05:01

It sounds like you were mixing/ mushing still?

I would do like you have with omelette and just give her it while like you woul have ( so from a past meal you mentioned, just give her a bit of salmon, blob of houmous, some veggies, and see how she goes)

I tried feeding mushed food at 6 months and was a struggle then so just left them to it

seventiesgirl Sat 06-Oct-12 08:27:28

Please try not to get stressed out about eating habits. Of all the foods you offered at lunch my 4yo will only eat cous cous, pasta, banana sad. He eats what I think is a limited range of foods although we try to introduce new ones; it's a slow and boring process but he's growing and his diet is balanced.

I was much happier when I made a conscious effort not to get worked up about it

rufus5 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:21:43

So so pleased for you OP, it is wonderful when you get a breakthrough like this. Be proud of yourself, you were calm and relaxed, and as a result the dining table was no longer a battleground.

Bear in mind that it is unlikely this is a magic fix and there will still be days (probably a lot of them) that your DD will refuse to eat. Just keep being consistent and calm, and gradually she will eat more and more until you eventually forget what it was like to battle every mealtime. My DD took about 6 months before she got to the stage of eating relatively normal amounts, but even now she still has days when she refuses to eat. No stress though, I know she'll eat when she's hungry.

Well done, keep up the good work!!

Eglantyne Sun 07-Oct-12 15:32:17

Could you change tactics? Teddy bears picnic with bits of finger food on the toy plates? Picnic rug on the lounge floor if it's cold. Out for a walk in the pushchair with a little pot of fruit on her lap? Worked for my ds. Feign nonchalence at whether she eats or not.

Eglantyne Sun 07-Oct-12 16:06:29

Could you change tactics? Teddy bears picnic with bits of finger food on the toy plates? Picnic rug on the lounge floor if it's cold. Out for a walk in the pushchair with a little pot of fruit on her lap? Worked for my ds. Feign nonchalence at whether she eats or not.

Eglantyne Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:16

Oops, double post and time lap, sorry!

Eglantyne Sun 07-Oct-12 16:07:38


QTPie Sun 07-Oct-12 16:45:43


Sorry, have been trying to find reference to this, but does she ea the Ella's Pouch? If she does which pouches/stages is she eating? (some are just fruit/veg, but others are "meals" including protein)


cantmakecarrotcake Sun 07-Oct-12 19:50:13

Sounds like you're making good progress, OP. Well done.

Like so many others, I could have written your post. I battled for months asking the HV's what I should do and only got told to cut milk or offer finger foods.

From my experience, time passes and slowly things change. You'll have 1 step forward 2 steps back moments, but overall the progress is generally forwards.

I thought I'd share with you my latest trick... DD is a bit meh about protein so will often leave what's on her plate in favour of sweet corn usually. I give her whatever pudding would usually be (fruit/yoghurt) then put the bits of cut up sausage/fish finger in one of those nuby snack pots and let her roam around the sitting room eating them. It's big perfect table manners but it gets into her what she should be eating, so I'll deal with the manners later :-)

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Sun 07-Oct-12 22:37:15

Qt she eats the 10month+ ones... Last couple days she's picked at her non mush non spoon fed food and only eaten breakfast. Feel a bit disappointed but at least meal times are alot less stressful and hopefully her appetite will come back.

QTPie Sun 07-Oct-12 23:26:21


It could be a number if things: appetite is often effected by teething/illness.

I did traditional weaning: a good thing in our case as DS was a choker (not a gagger, a choker sad ) until 11 months. After 11 months he just clicked and we could do finger foods - hooray!

So everything was puréed. For ease I tended to do one Ella's pouch a day. For about a month, both lunch and dinner were both Ella's pouches (double stress of moving house and mum being diagnosed with lung cancers, then her biopsy's and major surgery). Before moving exclusively to homemade food and finger foods at 12 months.

I think with BLW - unless you get some super eater - you need a lot more patience. As someone else wrote, it is about "taste, textures, experiences" - not necessarily actually eating the food or even "nutrition" in those early months.

Traditional weaning, the control is more with the parent and less with the child (which is why many prefer the idea of BLW). I think that you need a lot of faith to do BLW.

If your LO is eating the pouches, but not the BLW things, maybe that is just what they prefer at this moment in time? From what I understand, BLW avoids all purées - maybe half BLW, half purées is a little confusing?

I think it is important to choose a strategy, have conviction in your approach and then not stress - don't make food/eating an issue: otherwise it will become a longed term battle ground.

That is all theory, though.

Have you got LO checked out by a GP? Friend of minr's twin had silent reflux as little babies and it has continued to effect their eating until it was finally acknowledge - and they received the correct medication - at 2.5 years.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Oct-12 23:32:50

Have you tried her with omelette again since that was successful? You need to determine whether she's not eating because she doesn't want to eat what you're offering or whether she genuinely doesn't want to eat anything at that time.

So, if she ate a rice cake for lunch one day, would she eat it again the next?

lovestodaydream Sun 07-Oct-12 23:49:39

Dear OP. I used to have exactly the same scenario- DS would start to get annoyed when he saw food and would either just push it away or throw it on the floor. I would invariably end up in tears (not so he could see) and dreaded mealtimes.
After he got to around 13/14 months I just left the baby plates/high chair etc in the kitchen and stuck to apple/pear purée and Ella's fruit pouches if we were out. At home I would just sit him on my lap in front of the tv and quietly stroke his hair til he relaxed. I would not even speak - after a while I would quietly begin nibbling bits of toast / pitta/ and letting my hand fall in front of us both, after a while (a week or so) he forhot to fight it and started to show interest in what I was eating and had a few nibbles. Gradually it picked up. But I stayed relaxed, in the tv room and just put bits of food in a bowl where he could get it. If he was engrossed in a programme I could sneak bits in his mouth. It sounds awful and sneaky, but I don't think many people could understand just how frightened I was at his lack of interest in food. He is now 3, still insists on 2 cups of milk a day and would have more if I let him, weaning for him was a sloooooow process. My biggest learning was to go at his speed and not the 'guidelines'. He will always find food boring and an effort, its almost threatening to him I think as its disruptive to playing! I've just learned the hard way to not discuss it with him or it becomes an issue - something in his small world that he can control and say no to. Your DD will get there too, just hang in there, you're truly not alone. Sorry that was so long! I rarely post but this really resonated with me.

lovestodaydream Mon 08-Oct-12 00:00:00

Oh god sorry realised you have had a breakthrough! Pls excuse me rambling - 3 days overdue and possibly a bit stir crazy lol!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Mon 08-Oct-12 12:46:27

Thank you everyone, I could try the omelette again, maybe tomorrow. Today I have prepped yesterday's leftover (uncomplettly untouched) jacket potato with low salt and low sugar baked beans with cheese and curly kale, and for dinner I'm making a salmon fish pie. Going to keep ditching the highchair and spoons and let her try and feed herself - which is is more than capable of as she has been feeding herself since 5.5 months and stuffed her face with scramb,ed egg yesterday. She just seems to only want to eat at breakfast, and could quite happily refuse food all day until the next morning.

I've beeping try to eat from the same plate and putting her in front of the tv as well to try and distract her and make it less stressful but it just seems to be a case of she just doesn't like food after 9am sad

Getting her weighed on Wednesday will give you an update on food around then.

DairyNips Mon 08-Oct-12 12:48:28

I know it's super super hard not to worry but just keep going, stay consistent and view this as a long term thingsmile

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Mon 08-Oct-12 12:57:41

Thank you's do hard when you have been bought up to view food as fuel that your body needs to grow and develop to see your baby hate it so much makes you feel like you've failed......(deep breath) will keep trying to be calm and breezy about it and at least we had 1 major breakthrough.

amyboo Mon 08-Oct-12 13:04:59

I second wannabe - as hard as it is, try to just take absolutely NO notice of what's she is or isn't eating. Sit down with her, eat yours and ignore what she's doing with hers. At this age, I found that our DS (who had been a fab eater for the first 6-9 months) wanted to explore food a lot (ie, mash it around, throw it, etc) and also wanted to express an opinion a LOT. He'd been spoon fed, and once he realised he could have a say in what he was eating he ran me and DH ragged for about 6 months. We tried everything, and the only thing that worked for us was a) all sitting down to eat together whenever we could (for all meals) and b) completely ignoring what DS did or didn't decide to eat.

He's now 2.5 and is once again an excellent eater, but we had about 6 months of pure hell from the age of about 16 months....

amyboo Mon 08-Oct-12 13:07:13

Forgot to add that reading worked quite well for us when it was just one of us plus DS eating. We used to read from whatever was his favourite book at the time, while we both ate. It was just a way to keep things calm and relaxed, as (like you know) it can be really hard to stay calm when you're stressing about what they're eating all the time.

noblegiraffe Mon 08-Oct-12 13:17:49

I found I got less stressed about what my DS was eating when I started giving him a multivitamin every morning. Then I could concentrate on getting him to eat to satisfy his hunger instead of worrying about the variety.

Craftyone Tue 09-Oct-12 11:10:32

I’m late on this but how is she on cheesy recipes as they usually love cheese at this age. I didn’t see it mentioned in your post. I make cheesy fish pie with white fish or salmon and cauliflower cheese and freeze it in ice cubes, mix with veg, potato, rice etc. for those difficult times and if DS if having a bad day I put very small chunks of cheese in his food.

He eats the same mature cheese as us and I reduced his bottles slightly to compensate. His weight is average. Try not to get too upset and a handful of tomato sauce based spaghetti in his tray (with small chunks of cheese) is always a good one.

He would not eat so well if it wasn’t for cheese. Now he has plenty of meals without cheese but it was great at the beginning.

My dd had silent reflux and developed a food phobia. Unlike yours she also wouldn't have milk. I ended up on ADs when she was 10months old as I felt like such a failure because I couldn't get her to eat. Meal times dominated every day and were stressful times. I managed to relax a little as she got older and she ate a little better but by no means normally.

When dd was 20 months old I went back to work (full time). Dd was looked after by a friend with dc around her age and ate whatever they ate without any fuss!! So I try to get other people to feed her wherever possible grin. She is still picky at home (but not as bad) but she eats everything put in front of her at school dinners! (if she had a packed lunch she would only eat one type of sandwich on one type of bread and no veg..... And eat about 2 bites)

rattling Tue 09-Oct-12 15:59:14

I'm late to this, but it has struck a chord as I had such "trouble" with one of my sons. He is 3.6 now, still a pain about food regularly - even slightly under the weather he won't eat, and on top form he'll have a couple of days a week he won't touch anything but breakfast.

But I don't worry about it now because he has a non-ID twin brother who eats everything put in reach. I'd say over the course of a week he eats twice what Mr Picky eats. And they are constantly matched for weight and height. They just need (and take) different amounts of food.

The only breakthrough we had with him was discovering (accident - wrong carton came out of the freezer) that he likes quite strongly flavoured food. I thought that him not liking much meant that blander was better - but he loves a serious chilli!!

noblegiraffe Tue 09-Oct-12 16:18:49

My picky eater (aged 3) likes chicken curry and spicy fajitas! We end up eating them quite regularly.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Tue 09-Oct-12 19:09:51

Anther successful day of o more highchair and no mush/spoons, dd ate two fishfingers (the Jamie Oliver and youngs ones these one seem to have less salt in them and are made with pollock fillet so am hoping they are not mcrubbish!) with a cheese and tomato sandwich, grapes and a banana. No fuss no screaming smile can't believe how well it's working.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Tue 09-Oct-12 19:12:08

That was lunch, dinner she had a beef curry but didn't eat a huge amount of that, but I don't mind as much as long as she's eating a good breakfast and at least a decent lunch or dinner, plus milk. Before she was only eating breakfast and milk and bread, at least now I feel far more reassured she is eating and getting a bit of variety.

forevergreek Tue 09-Oct-12 19:40:25

That's great! Well done.

grin Just remember days like today when she has a bad day.... Its normal for toddlers to eat very very lightly some days and like a horse on others. It may help you to focus on what she eats over a week rather than a day.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 12-Oct-12 19:05:50

Just an update to say shes still eating beautifully thank you all.

hawthers Fri 12-Oct-12 19:53:58

Hooray so pleased to hear that especially since we've had the tea from hell and I'm on the wine already

Dimpz1 Mon 19-May-14 10:21:44

my baby just wont eat and i need help i am suffering as it breaks my heart to see her cry all the time when its feed time. she just basically survives on its exhausting as than she gets hungry during the night and keeps waking up for milk.


alita7 Mon 19-May-14 11:12:47

have you tried giving her milk after instead of before meal times?

And maybe 1 food at a time, like carrot sticks first then, some small bits of meat etc. And let her use her fingers.

lola88 Mon 19-May-14 13:36:07

I've not time to read all the reply's so sorry if this mad idea has been said but when DS was little and didn't eat someone suggested giving him chocolate/sweets to see if he ate it to try and see if it's fussiness turned out it was him being fussy as milk or treats where gobbled up. The woman who told me this had a child who had some sort of physical problem with eating so wouldn't even if it was a treat. I didn't do it til 18 mo though so your DD is maybe a little young.

I would also give food before milk DS is a milk fiend I really struggled to get him to enjoy his food from about 10mo even now he's 2 he would live on milk

Ilikethemoon Mon 19-May-14 15:15:33

Okay I dn't have time to read the thread so sorry If I repeat but my ds was the same so want to reassure you. You dc is totally normal. Just as some babies learn to walk or talk later than others, some move to eat solids later than others. We had 10 months of hell trying to feed ds, soending an hour at mealtimes, trying to keep him constantly entertained and distracted with toys so we could get little bits of food into him. Then one week at 14 months he started eating. A dr friend from a paediatric background said his ds ate no solids till 18 months. This is perfectly normal. I feel strongly that all this emphasis on moving children to solids really stresses parents out if they have a kid who is ready for solids at a later age. You are doing nothing wrong. Neither is your dc.

mawbroon Mon 19-May-14 15:30:49

Dimpz this is an old thread from a couple of years ago. You would be best to start a new one and hopefully there will be lots of helpful replies.

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