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Not to let DD go hungry to make her eat?

(25 Posts)
Temporaryname137 Mon 26-Dec-16 09:07:25

Help!! Dd is 15 months old, 75th centile height, 50th centile weight and always has been or thereabouts. When we started weaning her, we were so lucky - she guzzled everything and her favourites were things like beef and veg pasta and salmon and sweet potato, all lovingly made by DP.

Now she's turned into the fussiest child from hell! An average mealtime consists of her pointing at the fridge and shouting, "CHEESE!" and arching backwards and refusing to eat anything else... Sigh.

DP is understandably fed up of making meals that get refused and says stuff it, she can just have packets (not a packet hater at all, but for when needs must, not for every meal!). DF - an amazing dad but not so good at the nurturing them when tiny stage!! - says let her go hungry and give it to her at her next meal and she'll eat it then. I'm tearing my hair out as trying to feed her is so tortuous at the moment.

Am I being PFB about the packets and letting her go hungry? What did you do with a fussy eater?

TeaBelle Mon 26-Dec-16 09:11:28

I won't let dd go hungry, there's no point. She's miserable, I'm miserable and she also can't sleep hungry which perpetuates the misery. So I serve her up what I would like her to eat at every meal, ensuring that something (a good amount) is a liked food. Just hoping that eventually she will revert to trying the other bits.

Artandco Mon 26-Dec-16 09:11:44

I wouldn't give pocket food as that's the same ingredients she does or doesn't eat

Just give her basics she does like I've rhe next few weeks and gradually add stuff

Breakfast : porridge, yogurt, fruit, toast, eggs various ways. Pick whatever combo she likes. If she likes egg, can do boiled, scrambled, poached. In a week or two add stuff like scrambled egg with cheese, then with some mushrooms or ham or spinach and gradually. Porridge offer plainer, then add various fruits or ground nuts or seeds gradually over time.

UnicornInDMboots Mon 26-Dec-16 09:11:51

When my DD refuses like this which she does, if it's lunchtime tbh I leave it, she can make up for it later in the day.
When she does it in the evening I offer something I know she likes for sure and if she doesn't eat that not much i can do.
I do use packets when she is being super fussy as i spend time cooking and then it all goes in the bin it's a bit of a waste, whereas with a sachet you can just screw the lid on and try later, rather than binning it.

Also when my DC has been particularly focussed on something and getting distracted - like your DD with the cheese - I've just gone to a local cafe with her and offered her lunch there- maybe try that if possible ( I'm a SAHM so I do appreciate if you're working that wouldn't be feasible maybe) because then she is away from the thing she knows it there !

Scooby20 Mon 26-Dec-16 09:12:13

Both my kids had a fussy stage.

The first was stressful and we tried everything, including tearing out our hair. It took ages to get her out of it. She was about 6. Getting stressed and her being stressed didn't help.

With the second we were more relaxed. Offered food, if he didn't eat that was fine. I wouldn't give him anything else. But I would give him something later. We didn't give into demand for cheese but would make sure he wasn't going to bed hungry.

It took him about a year to get out of it.

Birdsgottafly Mon 26-Dec-16 09:12:32

My Granddaughter is the same, we're taking a relaxed approach.

My own children are all adults and I can honestly say that food choices change and aren't reflected by what we ate, as children.

I personally don't believe in letting children go hungry. She's still a baby, she needs nurturing for her MH, so you need to be in charge of that.

Whose really exasperating the issue, DD or your DH?

Coconut0il Mon 26-Dec-16 09:13:09

I would just keep offering and let her eat what she wants. Does she have what you have? DS2 is 16 months and just has a small portion of whatever we're having. Sometimes he eats it, other times he throws it all on the floor. It It is a bit frustrating but not worth the stress to worry about it too much. DS1, 13 has been through phases of eating well then eating not much. I'm much more relaxed this time round.

Sleeperandthespindle Mon 26-Dec-16 09:14:17

Read 'My Child Won't Eat' (it's really sensible and reassuring) by Carlos Gonzales (available on kindle if you want it immediately). Relax your rules for a bit. Make sure that there are fruit and veg available. If there's one she really likes, just provide it at every meal (mine will always eat peas).Realise that she eats enough. Cheese (or other high fat food) is probably what she needs right now. Don't let anyone think she is unusual for being fussy or that it is anything you've done/ not done. Don't make a problem where there isn't one.

Artandco Mon 26-Dec-16 09:14:59

WHat foods does she like? Is there enough to offer something different at eat meal

Breakfast : porridge
Lunch: boiled egg, avocado, plain pasta
Dinner: rice, plain chicken, peas

Or something along those lines

DesignedForLife Mon 26-Dec-16 09:15:53

The advice I had from HV is to not just give them something else if they refuse food, but to get them down from the table, wait 10 minutes then give whatever it is that they will eat, as their memory is too short at that age to link the two. She doesn't get "rewarded" for refusing food she doesn't like, and she doesn't go hungry. It worked really well for DD who at 2 is a lot less fussy now.

karigan Mon 26-Dec-16 09:16:56

My DD is 2.3 and will occasionally have a couple of days where she clearly doesn't feel like eating much. She gets the same as us at mealtimes- I leave her with that for 5-10 minutes and if she's still.declaring that she's finished and hasn't eaten anything i'll give her some more snacky food; raw peppers, cheese, carrots, yoghurt etc. It usually lasts a few days and then she goes back to eating normally.

cansu Mon 26-Dec-16 09:17:26

Dd asd is very tough to feed. I am trying ti exoand her diet but do not want yo dpend ages cooking stuff thst she then refuses. I focus on one easy meal of whatever she likes and another more healthy varied meal. I insist she tries a little of the varied meal and then offer yoghurt. She can then have toast later on if hungry. I also buy the little dish toddler meals from the chill er counter. They are a bit pricey but seem tasty and healthy. I then just do some veg.

MaggieRhee Mon 26-Dec-16 09:19:07

My dd is 17 months and has gone through a fussy stage as did her sister. I am in the camp of they get what they are given and if they don't eat it, fine, if they do, great. My eldest eventually went through the phase and because she just knew she would get what she is given she now eats well. I've heard you should look at what they eat over the course of a week, rather than stressing over each meal.
For example yesterday dd was given a Christmas lunch and she didn't eat a thing. (She had just woken up so was a bit confused I think) She then had a bit of the pudding but we didnt give her anything else, and the for a tea she had something else and ate it all. I always try and give a few different options (sandwiches, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber etc) so that there is hopefully something she likes. She always eats what we eat for an evening meal. Sometimes she will eat a whole bowl others she barely touches it but I know it's a phase and she will be eating it all like her sister eventually. Just how I'd prefer to do it really. They really won't starve.

Temporaryname137 Mon 26-Dec-16 09:20:48

Sorry, should have added - most of cooking and feeding falls to DP as he is a SAHD and I work long hours!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 26-Dec-16 09:23:58

I wouldn't go with the packets. I'd just keep serving her up what you would anyway (making sure there's at least something you know she will usually eat) and then after a reasonable time remove it without making any fuss at all. Give something later, but try not to spend the entire afternoon giving snacks just because she hasn't had anything for lunch.

It's fairly typical at this age. I think it's a way of trying to exert their independence a bit. Most children won't starve themselves.

Temporaryname137 Mon 26-Dec-16 09:24:42

Thanks all, some good ideas here. She usually eats beef pasta or chicken curry and little cheese omelettes and weetabix or natural yoghurt with fruit, but the last few days won't even touch that!!

It's me that stresses more than DD or DP, to be honest. He's quite chilled - although even he gets fed up when a home cooked meal gets chucked on the floor! - whereas I am not.

She and Dp were eating the same a lot of the time until this recent fussiness, but I'm vegetarian and home far too late at the moment!

LobsterQuadrille Mon 26-Dec-16 09:31:28

When he's made a home cooked meal, can he give her a really small amount (a tablespoon) in a bowl - then if she chucks it away or refuses it, he can bowl up (I had many very small tupperware containers for this purpose) and freeze the remainder? Obviously to some extent depends what it is, but I found that DD would refuse something one day and gobble it down a week later. And I sympathise with the home late issue - DD was in nursery from an early age and I would collect her at 6pm which was too late to do anything meaningful in the kitchen, so bulk cooking and freezing was the only option.

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 26-Dec-16 09:31:40

You have to remember that most adults don't eat 3 meals of an equal size. In the case of very little kids, many have 3 meals plus snacks so a couple of bites is fine. Her stomach is the size of her clenched fist. That's a small amount.

Oysterbabe Mon 26-Dec-16 09:34:18

It's really normal at this age for them to go through a fussy phase. It usually coincides with becoming more mobile. I read an article about how it may be because once mobile there's a risk they'll wander off and eat unsafe food so they have a tendency to refuse all but safe foods, usually bland carbs. Sometimes I think DD might turn into a potato.
DD gets what we eat but with something I know she'll eat, potato, cheese, broccoli and peas are always winners. I only give her small amounts at a time as she will hoof it all onto the floor if you're not careful. I don't stress if she doesn't eat much, other days she'll eat loads. Food is not a battleground in our house.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 26-Dec-16 09:34:54

Yes. Smaller low effort meals with bits she can just pick at, meals that can be frozen if not eaten and meals that would be being cooked anyway are probably the best way to ease the frustration at wasted meals.

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 26-Dec-16 09:55:02

My DD was like this, she slowly started eating less and less until she only wanted yogurt (it was plain yogurt with fruit mixed in). I just stopped giving her yogurt and continued giving her different kinds of meals and served in different ways. Even though sometimes I would cry and scream with frustration at another of my meals being refused. For example I would do things like all white food then another day all pink food, different textures and different temperatures, food mixed together, food in separate piles. It helped me to figure out what kind of things she didn't like and what things she enjoyed, even though it was a lot of hard work. The only rule we had was that she eats what was in front of her or nothing at all until the next meal. I found out that DD would also have three or four days (sometimes a week) of barely eating anything and then for a few days where she would eat almost everything put in front of her and asking for seconds. She is still that way now at 4. She is still picky, but it's a lot better than it was.

eurochick Mon 26-Dec-16 10:03:42

Mine pretty much lived off babybels at that age. Maybe they are growing lots of teeth and bones so craving the calcium as cheese and yoghurt seems popular then. We carried on offering meals, coaxed a bit but didn't make a big deal of it, then gave her cheese and fruit.

I'd suggest batch cooking to your partner. Make a big pot of bolognaise or whatever and then freeze it in small portions, which you can reheat. It's a lot less disheartening to throw that away than a meal you have spent ages cooking from scratch. And the child is still getting home cooked food rather than something out of a packet.

Nanny0gg Mon 26-Dec-16 10:18:40

A packet meal if she likes it is better than nothing. But offer other foods too.

She shouldn't be going hungry at her age if it's avoidable.

She will grow out of it.

MatildaTheCat Mon 26-Dec-16 10:22:15

If it's very recent she may be off colour. I say roll with it, it won't last.

Chop up tiny cubes of cheese with tiny pieces of Apple etc and some may go in. She won't starve and there is no point on this earth in engaging in food wars with a toddler.

If you leave her hungry you just get a whingy, whining child as well as the frustration of the food. Life is too short.

LifeAsAPendulousFall Mon 26-Dec-16 10:51:29

DD was a fussy eater from the start. I think we lived on sausage, mash, peas and sweetcorn every day for what felt like a year. The battle is not worth it and just makes everyone stressed. As a pp said, find something she will eat and gradually introduce new variations to it. It does get easier and now Dd will at least try new things. Some she likes, some she doesn't but I always praise her for at least trying and am open to the fact that she will not like every bit of food I put in front of her.

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