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2 year old DS refusing all food except bread, breakfast cereal and yogurt.....reassure me he isn't going to expire from malnutrition.

(34 Posts)
LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 14:33:01

DS2 was 2 in November and has always been pretty good with food, despite a deep suspicion of anything green (excpet peas and grapes)

A few months ago he started refusing previous favourites (mash, rice based dishes, spag bol) and only wanted to eat pasta at meals and picked the filling out of his sarnies before eating the bread. He won't even eat pasta now and we are lucky if he eats anything at mealtimes.

His typical day consists of dry breakfast cereal, buttered toast, jammy toast, yogurt and a bit if fruit. He'll eat peas and sweetcorn if we are having them as veg (so we are all sick eating peas and sweetcorn) but won't touch anything else so generally has bread just to get something in him.

Having had two older DC who have gone through fussy phases, I'm trying not to worry too much, but this is a much more extreme version of what they went through so it's hard not to worry. He makes such a big deal about it all as well and shioves his plate as far away as he can and then shouts to get down. we've tried letting him snack as and when to no avail as well, so I don't think it's typical toddler ants in pants/too busy to stop and eat (and he will sit happily at the table as long as there is no food involved)

I know the bread thing isn't ideal, as it fills him up so perpetuating things, but it is only given as a last resort after he has refused other food, and never at the same sitting as the meal he has refused so I don't think he is "holding out" for the bread iyswim.

Weight wise he is just under 30lbs and quite chunky, so he has a bit spare, but I just want him to eat...and for us to return to the once harmonius mealtimes we used to have.

Any advice would be welcome...thanks smile

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 14:36:12

he drinks milk as well, but not to the exclusion of the food iyswim. He has about 150ml on waking, a couple of inches at mealtimes, but after the food has been attempted, and 150ml before bed.

His sleeping is atrocious as well which DH and I are convinced is down to him being hungry.

ariane5 Mon 03-Jan-11 14:38:41

my ds is a very picky eater( but has numerous allergies so thats why i think), i have to do things like mix fruit puree or ready brek powder into his soya yogurts to get a few extra calories in so maybe you could do similar if you get really worried about his intake? i dont think the bread thing is a problem,at least he is eating something and it isnt terribly unhealthy so it is probably fine.

wish i had some more helpful advice sorry, but i really sympathise i know how frustrating and worrying it can be .

scurryfunge Mon 03-Jan-11 14:47:25

Sometimes toddlers do not like the rigidity of meal times and maybe he finds the quantities overwhelming. He is also battling for control at that age so do not make any issue about not eating when at the table. I would cut down on the bread and would not offer it as a snack at all -keep it to breakfast toast. Once you reduce the bread intake, then start sneaking in introducing tiny bits and pieces.

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 14:53:35

We try and seneak things in where we can, and he is quite enthusiastic about the idea of food, but he takes one look at it and shoves the plate away.

We've tried lots of little snacks as well and usually let him loose from the table so we can all finish our meal in peace (but I worry that he is thinking that he has "won" and the older two complain noisily)

tis a minefield. He has been a determined little fighter (feeds, nappy changes, sleep, dressing, bathing) from day 1 and if he had been our first I doubt we would have had any more grin

Al1son Mon 03-Jan-11 15:50:40

What he's eating sounds like a perfectly healthy diet. I would back right off, stop worrying and just give him what he likes. You really don't want ta make an issue of it. If you just keep giving him what he'll eat and then very obviously really enjoy what you're eating he might start to think he's missing out.

A bit of reverse psychology can go a long way in this situation.

Hassled Mon 03-Jan-11 15:56:41

I think just keep offering the standard food you're serving up to the older DCs (small, unthreatening portions), and ride it out. And no, he won't suffer any malnourishment with that diet - as long as you can keep the fruit and veg intake going. And pray that it's a short-lived phase, which it probably is - although having said that my Dyspraxic DC3 became fussy at 2 and is no different at 12.5; he still lives on a diet of pasta, yoghurt and fruit. He's very healthy though.

Sometimes children use food as something they have control over when they don't have control elsewhere, or feel things are a bit overwhelming - are there any major changes going on at home?

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 16:01:50

"perfectly" healthy? really Alison? bread supplemented with yogurt and a few grapes and peas? He doesn't eat any animal protein at all or green veg apart from peas so can't possibly be getting all the iron etc that the needs....he won't even eat cheese.

I am trying not to stress about it and letting him eat what he wants (bread and biscuits and sweets if he had his way), but obviously with two older DC as well, letting him eat what he wants is seen by them as a gross injustice (we have to eat brocolli mum, it's not fair wah wah wah etc), but I am fairly certain that he isn't eating a properly balanced diet and am concerned about the long term effects of it.

Reverse psychology hasn't worked so far...well it used to as he would, at one point, only eat what I had on my plate, but now that gets shoved away too.

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 16:08:12

No major changes as such, although I have had a very bad depressive illness and was pretty ill for the middle part of last year and am only now feeling back to normal (whatever normal is wink). I suppose that could be a factor as things were pretty grim at home for a while. I'm also sure that it's the depression that's making me over think this as I'm not normally paranoid about health issues.

TheFoosa Mon 03-Jan-11 16:08:39

lots of protein in milk and yogurt

iron in breakfast cereal

really, compared to what my 2yo niece eats (or not, just milk) it sounds ok

TheFoosa Mon 03-Jan-11 16:10:34

my dd was the same at this age and yes, she is an only wink

coldtits Mon 03-Jan-11 16:11:50

At his age and healthy weight, I would remove ALL those foods from his diet for a week. At his weight, he doesn't have a light appetite and hunger will drive him to other foods within 24 hours.

If this doesn't work within a week, lift your embargo, and provide ONE of those things per day.

crumbletastic Mon 03-Jan-11 16:12:30

Watching this thread with interest as you could be talking about my ds. He is 2 this month and after fantastic beginnings of BLW he would eat anything put in front of him, me being smug old mum when strangers would come up to me in restaurants and ask how had I managed to get him to eat veg but no persuasion needed, he would eat anything we ate.

Then about 10 months ago he just stopped with everything, his diet is now bread, cheese, yoghurts, plain rice, and breakfast cereal. Of course will eat any biscuits, choc if he gets the chance but won't eat anything else. I sneak a liquid mulitvit into his yoghurt. Last night I did catch him pick up some broccoli (a previous BLW favourite of his) and was about to try it but did not put it into his mouth as he seemed to realise what he was doing in time. I just don't understand it but hope that if we don't make a massive deal out of it that eventually it will stop.

Hassled Mon 03-Jan-11 16:13:00

Would it make you feel easier if you bought some vitamin supplements for him? They mostly taste like sweets - and I'm pretty sure there are some with iron in.

onimolap Mon 03-Jan-11 16:16:20

It might be worth giving a vitamin supplement to compensate for lack of variety.

I'd suggest not allowing extra snacks. Leave uneaten meals out for say 30 mins, so he can return to the table if he's decided he's hungry after all. If not, bin it and he'd have to wait until the next standard meal of snack time. Keep offering a mix of what you know he'll eat, and some other things.

Stay calm - when I didn't it really didn't help!

I still have one DC who seems like the world's pickiest child. But the other eats normally - it's their character too, not your parenting.

dribbleface Mon 03-Jan-11 16:18:43

having very similar problems with Ds. Have resorted to serving up dinner and if he doesn't eat he gets down with no fuss. He has lost a little weight but eats more than he did. He is also a fighter and i figured he loves the drama at mealtimes so we offer encouragment/praise but if he kicks off he is swiftly removed and we eat in peace (he doesn't have anything fun to do so not a reward)

Is easier said than done though. We cut down on milk too as he was just filling up on this. I do offer him a healthy snack a little later if he hasn't eaten anything though.

My mum thinks its payback as i only ate dry bread and little else as a child. I am perfectly healthy now and mum my wishes she hadn't worried herself sick over it, so i'm trying to play it cool.

dribbleface Mon 03-Jan-11 16:19:46

oh and yes we give multivitamins as it makes me feel a bit better!

Emjxxx Mon 03-Jan-11 16:20:14

My DS2 is 21 months and only ever picks at his food and always has done, it worries me but he's growing and putting weight on.

He will eat 1/2 slice of toast and a choob yoghurt for breakfast, he also has 9oz of milk.

lunch time is normally small sandwich or 2 crackers with cream cheese, a cheese portion and a few grapes. I'm lucky if he eats 3 to 4 mouth fulls of it, most of it is thrown on the floor, however if i give him some wotsits or quavers they are gobbled up!

I normally end up giving him another 9oz bottle of milk after lunch as i worry about how little he has eaten.

He is given a proper meal at dinner time, usually consisting of potatoes, brocolli, carrots, meat/fish. he will eat all his carrots and that is it, the rest of it once again ends up on the floor. He will not eat anything like spag bol or pasta or rice.

normally end up giving him a yoghurt (he doesn't ask for it) even though hes not eaten his dinner because if i don't all hes had is carrots.

He then has another 9oz bottle of milk before bed.

It worries me a lot so I know how you are feeling.

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 16:24:44

I never thought of a supplement hassled...durr blush

sorry to lol crumbletastic, but the thought of your DS almost eating the brocolli then realising what he was about to do made me smile; we have a few of those moments here too smile

Thing is coldtits, he tells me he is hungry at the moment, but then turns his nose up at anything I offer...and then demands a sandwich (and how he demands!!! probably because he knows that I'll give in eventually). I'll try witholding sarnies and see what happens.

I know I shouldn't stress, but it is affecting his sleep and as the tablets I've been on for the depression knock me out, I never hear him in the night. Poor DH is getting up with him through the night, and when he gets up at five and is at the end of his tether with exhaustion sad

deemented Mon 03-Jan-11 16:28:17

You could well be talking about my 2.8 year old DD.

She's a strange one. Was eating perfectly well and healthily, and now all of a sudden is so bloody faddy it's not funny any more.

She used to eat toast for breakfast, but now won't. Will have maybe 4 mouthfuls of cheerios. Lunchtime, maybe half a sausage roll or small pork pie. Dinner very lucky if she'll eat anything - pasta, meat and veg, anything.

She's a robust child, in no danger of wasting away, but i'm at a loss as to what to do with her, i really am.

My eleven month old eats much better than she does.

LacksDaisies Mon 03-Jan-11 16:29:40

lots of cross posts....

it's reassuring to know he's not the only one, but sad at all the similar battles going on....but yyy to his nature rather then my nurturing. He is soooooo very different to the older two who are like peas in a pod inspite of five years age difference.

Right, off to try and make something that he will eat. I just announced I was going to make some dinner and he has started wailing "No dinner mummy, no dinner" <weary sigh>

thanks for all the replies smile

I'm going to try some of the tactics here and see how it goes!

coldtits Mon 03-Jan-11 16:30:03

Don't give in then.

Whilst he's eating a crappy diet with practically no protien, he's going to continue to wake up at night with hunger, so explain to your husband that you need to crack it, and then it's done.

deemented Mon 03-Jan-11 16:30:27

Oh and she'll does this big doe eyed look, and say 'Food...?', i ask her what she wants, she shows me, i make it and then she won't bloody well eat it!!!

Lamorna Mon 03-Jan-11 16:30:55

He is getting a huge amount of attention over it. I would take away the attention. Serve it up and take it away without comment if he doesn't eat it. Do not offer alternatives, do not do snacks and don't discuss it.

Lamorna Mon 03-Jan-11 16:31:35

Sorry I should have said that he won't starve!

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