To ask those of you with fussy eaters...(59 Posts)
...whether you think your child had a varied diet as a baby while being weaned?
Just reading up on a few bits after a night feed and my brain's subsequent refusal to go back to sleep.
The stuff I'm reading echos what my HV has been saying and I try to stick to...expose DD to as many textures, flavours, etc as I can while her tastes are developing and I'll be less likely to have a fussy eater when she's older.
But most accounts of fussy eating I've encountered seem to come as a sudden problem rather than one that's extended from weaning days, if that makes sense?
Or am I being daft in my sleep-deprived state and it's actually most children go through a phase of fussy eating despite not always being a fussy eater?
I have one dustbin who eats fast and eats everything and one fussy picker. The fussy ones always been fussy. As a tiny eater he'd close his mouth and turn his head away to most foods, regardless of texture. If doing a blw style meal he'd leave bits.
I've noticed food fads that start suddenly but I've not noticed really fussy eating starting overnight. Ds has a rather narrow diet but what he will eat is healthy and balanced so I'm not worried. One of his school peers will only eat bread and butter or plain pasta (no exaggeration) and she's what I'd consider a really fussy eater.
DS' fussy eating was quite sudden- up until he was about 2 he ate pretty much everything- stew, fish pie, mild curry, mince and tatties, any sort of veg, chicken, pasta and any sort of sauce, porridge, stewed fruit. He didn't really refuse anything! Then we caugh a sickness bug follwed by a bad cold, during which he completely (understandably) lost his appetite.
We started him back on picky foods- bits of plain veg or cubes of cheese that he could pick up and munch at his own pace rather than being fed if he didn't feel like it. We never really managed to get beyond chicken dippers and bloody sausages.
Now he will eat any type of veg, but no sauces, no meat unless it's sausage or chicken dippers, plain pasta. That's pretty much his diet. He's quite good at trying new food- he will put in his mouth and chew but very rarely likes anything new and even if he does, you can give him it the following week and he'll refuse it.
He's five now, I've resigned myself to the fact he's fussy and don't make a big deal out of it. He's healthy and well nourished and I try to make sure that he has a balance.
I was a terribly fussy eater when I was his age- though not when I was very little, I would only eat cold ham and homemade chips. Everyone made a huge deal out of it and I don't think that helped at all.
Ds was a nightmare to wean! Refused every home cooked meal and ate one flavour of Hipp organic. By 4 he eats everything and I think has a fairly mature palate.
DD was a dream to wean. Oh how smug I was! Then refused everything but chicken nuggets from 2-3.5yo. It's been a long slog to get her to eat a normal diet.
Most will hit a fussy stage about 2yo until about 4ish. But my fussy eater was fussy from the get-go. He self weaned from milk at 11mo and hasn't touched it since. He'd only eat a few types of jarred food and had to be fed from my plate. He's since been diagnosed with several sensory disabilities.
It is genetic, and related to the sensitivity of your taste buds. If you have less sensitive taste buds, even if you dislike something, you don't dislike it much, and can adjust to it more easily. If you have sensitive taste buds, your likes and dislikes are much much stronger. That is not to say they CAN'T be overcome, but it take so much more suffering to do so!
I remember being so proud that dd1 would eat anything and everything when she first weaned
Now 3.5 she is pretty fussy - pasta and tomatoes, rice, yoghurt, beans, cheese, chicken, bread, chips (but not potato in any other form). That's pretty much it.
She does eat lots of fruit but won't touch any veg. We don't pander to her as such, she is served the same as the rest of us. But I try to include something I know she will eat, otherwise she will go to bed hungry.
She often isn't hungry at all at dinner time, which I suspect makes her more reluctant to try things IYSWIM. Anyway I'm sure it will pass.
sleepywombat - you believing or disbelieving something has absolutely no bearing on whether it is true or not.
Same as EdYouKateShaun here. Dd didn't eat food until she was just over 1 (not through lack of trying. There were plenty of tears shed on my part, she also refused a bottle so was inadvertently exclusively bf) now age almost 9, she ways everything and is always willing to try new stuff.
Ds was blw. I read about it after my nightmare with dd and he would scoff pretty much everything down. When he was about 3 or 4 he started to become very fussy and we're still working on it now (he's nearly 7).
I'm not convinced there's a magic formula to prevent fussiness in a child. So many parents seem to have so many stories, that it is probably one of those things that you can maybe possibly tweak one way or another but ultimately comes down to the individual child so then again maybe not.
With dd I did blw and she ate anything until her brother came along and we moved house at 2.9. She is v fussy now at 5. Won't eat sloppy food or mixed food. Has a narrow range of food she will eat. She is getting better at trying food and also has schol dinners most days which helps.
Ds was a nightmare to wean. Refused all foods for several months. Now ay 2.5 he eats better than his sister but is influenced by her.
My dd had a very varied diet...tried loads of different purees featuring many different tastes, hardly ever ate a jar, and then when she progressed onto more solid food she would be trying to eat everything off our plates. Now at aged 2 she won't eat a single home-cooked meal. Not for lack of trying because I have put everything in front of her..but all she will eat are finger food type things (so sandwiches, fruit, cucumber...and then ranging onto the less healthy like chicken bites and waffles!)...so I don't think there is really a hard and fast rule!
I would say that the really fussy eaters I know have always been on the fussy side from weaning onwards, rather than it developing later.
My DS weaned beautifully.
Ate anything and everything I gave him.
Never puréed a thing.
He was that smiling baby cho,ping on a lightly steamed broccoli floret.
From about 12months it started reducing and within a year his diet was very restricted.
He's now 3.5 and will eat literally 10 things and is pretty much phobic about hot food.
He is being assessed for ASD though so thats nkt typical.
I would say don't stress yourself out about it. Wean sensibly, yes, but if your child is going to be fussy (and I mean seriously fussy) there's bollock all you can do about it.
I have non-ID twins who were weaned on the same foods. They have been given the same textures, tastes, routines etc with food, right from the beginning.
One of them will try anything & really enjoys veg, often asking for peppers & carrot as a snack.
The other twin... Was quite a good eater until he turned 2, although he often refused veg that his twin would eat. Now, he prefers entirely beige food, pushes food away a lot and is always asking for cake at breakfast time
I should also say that a fussy child does not always make a fussy adult.
I was a terribly picky eater right up until I left home. I'm now a proper foodie and will eat anything at all. (Except peas )
Both mine were weaned on the same things (BLW but not too strict- I'd shovel in the banana/avocado mush if it suited me) - DS is fussy. DD isn't. I'm really unconvinced about the theories about what makes a fussy eater- all this "but if you don't give them olives when they're two, they'll only ever eat chicken and chips."
If you think about it, most people of roughly my age (40ish) had quite plain diets as children (food was more seasonal and less "international") but we have managed to adapt to Quinoa, harissa and year round availability of blueberries.
We fed them all sorts of foods when weaning - a huge variety of pulses, vegetables et etc.
All three of them are fussy! And this despite my dh and I being very adventurous food wise.
They'd all happily live on bread, ham and fruit.
However all three (14, 15 and 17) have got a lot better and will, for e.g, eat anything given to them at friends' houses.
If you don't give your children shit, highly processed food like chicken nuggets, chips, sweets etc then that won't be all they want to eat. Fresh, home cooked food for all the family is the way to go.
My dd1 is and has always been a brilliant eater. Dd2 pretty much stopped eating between the age of 1 and 3, would eat a couple of mouthfuls of everything I made and that would be it. Apart from porridge, weetabix and yoghurt. I kept on giving her what we were eating, under the assumption that if she was hungry she would eat, despite being told by the health visitor that I should just give her what she wanted. She dropped from the 75th centile down to the 9th, but was still growing, healthy and developing. She is still small, but incredibly bright, and will now eat pretty much anything and has a good appetite.
I'm not saying every child is the same, but we are far too neurotic about food. We seem to think that children will starve if they don't finish a meal, and I've seen so many parents get into a flap trying to cajole their children to eat 'just one more mouthful', it's such an unhealthy attitude.
Both of my were weaned on a variety of things but DS 1 would only eat beige food for about a year when he was three. I remember going to the Drs and wailing about it and the lovely Dr saying that Quavers were the "cornerstone of a healthy and balanced diet" . It didn't last though and now he's 10 he loves a whole variety of food and some of his favourites are more sophisticated tastes like shellfish and pomegranate. He does seem to taste flavours really strongly and I do think that it's something to do with that.
I fed mine all sorts when weaning, a very varied diet. DS would eat anything. Then at 18 months his tastes started closing down and he became extremely fussy, he was later disgnosed with ASD and sensory issues. He will only eat very strong tasting foods, nothing plain or bland, so no potatoes for example. Whereas DD (who has no SNs) has gone the other way and dislikes curries etc, favouring traditional British food. They are 9 and 11 now with not much overlap in their tastes.
My DD ate everything put in front of her, including mild curries, Indonesian food etc. when weaning but suddenly at about 3 rejected everything unless it was white. The only exception was spag bol. A few of her friends did the same. When she turned 5 she very slowly started adding things to her diet, she is now nearly 6 and will try whatever is on my plate rather than just rejecting it.
I was told by the pediatrician to just ignore the food rejection, she would come round to eating a large range at some point.
I can believe the genetic factor - and even dc within a family can have varying genetics.
but I don't think only genetics are at play - it can be v psychological, food intolerances could be in play, and then the textural thing is v common in fussy eaters.
I was/am fussy - could never handle hot spices or peppers to which I seem v sensitive but I also never liked sauces (except mint sauce) - I do now like some sauces but still no gravies, ketchup/brown sauces etc. I have never had my beans or egg on toast - rather it with ( don't like soggy toast) - these are generally not limiting issues though. I do however now have ibs and am vegetarian ( for 18 years) so I am now fussy for 4 reasons-unable to cope with hot spice/pepper, dislike of some sauces, vegetarian, ibs triggers. as well as having flavours eg aromatic morrocan flavours which I generally don't enjoy - whilst I could eat if forced I would rather not but I think it is normal to have preferences. I have also never liked olives - occasionally give one a go and still no go.
Same as Baabaapinksheep. My dd1 was weaned on a huge variety of food and ate beautifully til she was 2 then it stopped.
As a toddler I never gave her crappy food but carried on giving her the good home cooked stuff. Eg she went through a phase of eating only small, round food () and for a month or so only ate chickpeas, blueberries, peas and sweetcorn. She's always been fussy but just not for junky food.
She's now almost 11 and better but still quite fussy. As others have said it's a combination of having a genuinely small appetite, rather than rejecting food per se it's just that she gets full quickly, and being something of a super taster. She was always equally picky over cakes etc so it was never a matter of refusing to eat veg but still wanting dessert iyswim.
We did BLW and ds had a vast variety of food offered to him from 6 months. I remember at one point cooking him his own steak (PFB)
He taster every fruit and veg he could have to begin with. Then we added carbs and eggs. Then we added meat and fish.
I used to make it my mission to give him new options every few days. My child ate foods before he was 1 that I'd not had until I was an adult.
He is 26 months now and lives in bread, yoghurt and porridge. He'll also eat spicy chicken, sausages and bananas. That is about it
he eats anything from the bread family but no other carbs
Drives me mad.
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