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When does limited eating affect health?

(21 Posts)
Fruitteatime Fri 23-Oct-20 07:21:49

I've just read that one of the differences between common and extreme fussy eating is the number of foods a child will eat, usually about 20. So I counted up what two year old ds will eat and it's around 20. He has plenty of energy but he still wearing lots of 12 to 18 month clothes as he is quite small. I'm wondering if limited eating will affect his health or if he has some kind of health issue that is affecting his eating.

Here is a list of what he will eat: pizza, marmite, cheese, sausages, salami, bread, brioche, oaty bar, baked beans, raisins, sweetcorn, banana, apple, pear, plum, grapes, oranges, crisps, fish fingers, yogurt, peanut butter (on a spoon), houmous and fruit pouches. He will eat cake, biscuits and custard too but try not to these every day.

He won't eat potato (chips, jacket, mash, sweet), chicken (even nuggets), fish, beef, pork, noodles, pasta, rice, porridge, carrots, broccoli, peas, cucumber, tomatoes (most veg/ salad) or eggs. I am constantly serving him a very small portion of these foods at dinner usually alongside something he will eat and then give him toast or yogurt if he's not eaten much.

I would love to hear of any children that ate like this as a two year old but now eat well. I'm also wondering whether to contact the health visitor or gp because for some food groups he's only eating one or two food from it. Does it sound like the eating could be caused by something else? I should say it's not a new thing, he's barely ever eaten the above list of won't eat foods.

OP’s posts: |
Sirzy Fri 23-Oct-20 07:26:58

I would try to relax, sounds like he eats a fair variety of foods and has most food groups covered. Being a bit fussy at 2 is perfectly normal.

Shinygoldbauble Fri 23-Oct-20 07:42:19

A lot of 2 year olds are fussy.
Your ds eats something from all the food groups so that's good. Try not to get stressed about it or he will pick up on it.
Sausage and salami are quite salty so I'd keep an eye on salt in his diet.

Shinygoldbauble Fri 23-Oct-20 07:47:27

Also fish fingers are fish and sausages and salami are pork!
Measure his size by height and weight rather than clothes size as that varies a lot.
What centile is he on the growth chart?

KihoBebiluPute Fri 23-Oct-20 08:25:11

I had a 2yo whose list of accepted foods was about 10 items. We had a consultation with an nhs nutritionist who gave some good advice but wasn't massively concerned because the list while short did include at least one representative of each major food group. With patient following of the advice we were given the list got up to about 30 by the time he was 5ish. At 11 his list has just started growing a bit more as he is actively choosing to try some of the school lunches in his new senior school when it is something we don't have at home but his friends seem to be enjoying it.

See your gp about a nutritionist referral if you are concerned, they can definitely help.

ComtesseDeSpair Fri 23-Oct-20 09:53:49

Sounds more varied than my diet a lot of the time tbh, and I’m alive and healthy.

I don’t think fussiness is terribly uncommon in very small children and generally most grow out of it within a few years. He seems to be getting a good balance of food groups and even if he’s small for his age, as long as it’s consistent in terms of centiles then I wouldn’t be too concerned at this stage.

AtleastitsnotMonday Fri 23-Oct-20 15:38:05

I think that although it seems like a lot of things are off limits when you look at the range of foods he will eat you cover a fair few textures and flavours which probably suggest that he will add to the acceptable list as he grows.
I’d look at using what he will eat to introduce new foods, if he eats bread can you try eggy bread/French toast?
Can you move from fish fingers to fishcakes? If he is used to shop bought fish fingers try a store bought basic fishcake. Then you can move to home made and switch type of fish and mash with other veg. You may then be able to introduce him to croquette potatoes and eventually to mash. But it’s all a v gradual process.

isseywith4vampirecats Fri 23-Oct-20 16:07:37

when my youngest son was this age apart from breakfast cereals for a whole year he lived on bacon yoghurts and cheese this was literally all i could get him to eat, i tried every trick in the book, he then got to three and started eating different foods and hasnt been fussy since hes now six foot tall

Fruitteatime Sat 24-Oct-20 15:36:32

I haven't had him weighed or weighed him for ages, I know he's growing because he has outgrown some 12 to 18 month clothes. I'll check his weight and height just to see if I'm worrying for nothing or need to be more concerned.

When I said he doesn't eat pork or fish, I meant in a non processed form. Like I can give him a slice of salami but not a slice of pork.

@AtleastitsnotMonday I will give this a go. Similarly after refusing sandwiches for months, I started doing the marmite on toast and now tried again with the sandwiches and he ate about 3/4 of a slice of bread with butter and marmite. I guess I'm more worried that he won't eat most of the hot meals I cook, he won't even try a bite of some meals. For example jacket potato, spaghetti Bolognese, sweet and sour pork, chilli con carne, omelette and roast dinner are all left untouched. I like the idea of trying fish cakes and eggy bread. Does anyone have any other ideas of meals I can do with what he currently eats?

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Sat 24-Oct-20 16:59:41

You say he eats humous, how do you serve it?
Will he eat Yorkshire puddings? Toad in the hole would be an option.
How about haloumi?
Wraps, a kind of build your own deal.
If he’ll eat baked beans try adding v small amounts of chopped tomato or other beans, chickpeas or lentils, but make sure the majority is definitely beans.

KihoBebiluPute Sat 24-Oct-20 17:36:40

Does he recognise the first letter of his name? One trick I used to get my fussy eater to try a new food was to present it in the shape of his special letter.

lljkk Sat 24-Oct-20 18:00:47

I would have cried with joy if 2yo DS ate as much variety as OP's 2yo eats. I was very excited when he tried Wotsits (about age 5yo).

It's worked out fine. Or maybe I say that because we can get plain pizza, chips & plain bread almost everywhere so eating out is possible. DS (now 12yo) eats a good range of cooked veg & several types of meat. Due to lots of sport he no longer has the appetite of a sparrow.

slavetothenhs Sat 24-Oct-20 18:28:18

My mum always told me that when I was that age I lived on a diet of ONLY yoghurts, Weetabix and bananas. For about a year. I'm a really healthy adult who loves loads of varieties of food (big foodie), and I've always remained slim although I'm not short. I think the list of what your child eats sounds perfectly adequate. The mantra "no child ever starved themselves to death" really helped me when my own children wouldn't eat, both excellent eaters of a big variety of foods now.

Lilactimes Sat 24-Oct-20 18:44:12

My daughter was fairly limited at 2 + By 3 we had a rule that she could leave stuff but she had to try a little bit of everything. As long as she tried it she could leave it. She ate fish pie and cottage pie this way. She was always very limited and had a friend who only ate Pasta butter melted cheese grapes and apples for 6 years! She’s now 5ft 9 and looks amazing. Daughter now 16 and will literally try anything and really enjoys new different foods.
If you’re worried maybe try little baby vitamin drops in drink just as a top up?!

DaisyDreaming Sat 24-Oct-20 18:49:46

I think we are programmed to think of hot meals as being part of a childs diet but it doesn’t hold any more nutrition than cold, sounds obvious I know but easy to forget in the moment

a12345b Sat 24-Oct-20 18:51:11

I think at 2 he's way too young to choose what to eat. Serve food, some that he likes, some that he doesnt ,if he's hungry he'll eat it, if not take it away. No biscuits cake etc in the meantime.

Fruitteatime Sun 25-Oct-20 09:52:24


Does he recognise the first letter of his name? One trick I used to get my fussy eater to try a new food was to present it in the shape of his special letter.

Not at all (he's just turned two) but sometimes he pretends to be a dog and will eat more when I say he's eating dog treats blush the dog bit is initiated by him at least.

OP’s posts: |
Fruitteatime Sun 25-Oct-20 09:55:18


You say he eats humous, how do you serve it?
Will he eat Yorkshire puddings? Toad in the hole would be an option.
How about haloumi?
Wraps, a kind of build your own deal.
If he’ll eat baked beans try adding v small amounts of chopped tomato or other beans, chickpeas or lentils, but make sure the majority is definitely beans.

With toad in the hole we will eat the sausages, he does eat peas with is occasionally. I've not tried halloumi for a while will give it a go again soon and chopping things in beans.

Houmous I serve with bread sticks or veg; he licks it off. Perhaps I could try in a sandwich or or in a wrap. He might nibble the outside of a wrap with cheese in, but takes anything else out.

OP’s posts: |
Fruitteatime Sun 25-Oct-20 10:00:33

Thank you all, I'm much reassured and seeing it written down I've realised there are a fair few different tastes and textures there. I guess I'm more concerned that there is so much he won't try or if he does try he spits it out. I forgot to say he does eat milk on cereal for breakfast although sometimes only a few mouthfuls. He is breastfed morning and night (and perhaps after a nap if particularly grumpy) so perhaps he's getting a fair amount of fat and protein from that!

OP’s posts: |
MadauntofA Sun 25-Oct-20 10:10:07

This website is really good - loads of ideas

movingonup20 Sun 25-Oct-20 10:24:27

At 2 my dd was on fortified drinks from the dr because she ate so little, she would eat chicken nuggets and fries from McDonald's but precious little else despite at one point eating everything (she was diagnosed autistic the same year).

I wouldn't say she's the best eater but she eats most things now, just not cabbage really (she's also veggie)

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