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Fantastic eater suddenly fussy at 16 months.

(5 Posts)
babyboyjoy Mon 30-May-11 20:26:17

Hi Everyone,

I'm really a bit stressed about my DS's current food habits. My 16 month old DS had always been a fantastic eater since weaning, there was very little he would refuse untill around 6 weeks ago. Now he will eat very little from the spoon, although I'm teaching him to feed himself and he enjoys that, but only yoghurt. He usually eats a good breakfast of porridge, which he allows me to give him. But almost everything else is sweet. His vegetable intake has gone down to zero and this worries me greatly, although he inhales all fruit and it's NEVER refused. I have tried dozens of new finger foods, most of which he refuses to even try. I have made it fun, by making building blocks out of sausages and cheese etc but most of it ends up on the floor. I have tried to chill out (and managed somewhat) as I know it's a common phase but my main concern is whether I am giving him too much choice. Some advice says to allow them to eat what he wants when he will, but my Stepsister says her DS was exactly the same and if he refused his food and threw it she would only give him back what he first had, and eventually he started eating it. I must admit I have been a conveyor belt of choice, and when one thing goes on the floor he gets another and usually he arrives at his favourites, but I have just spent 3 weeks getting him back on his 1 nap schedule after illness and I don't want him to wake from his nap, or in the morning from hunger. He still has a 6 oz bottle am and pm and a 4 oz with water before his nap.

Also: he is teething, 3 molars and now 2 incisors bulging, so I strongly suspect it's related. I have him on a multivitamin with cod liver oil daily as a security blanket but I really feel a terrible faliure as his Mammy right now..I should be doing better.

Pleeeeease tell me your experiences. Do I ride it out? or do I take the bull by the horns and structure his meals and if he doesn't eat them that's his choice He is an excellent weight, well covered and not dropping, and I know he won't starve himself, but I'm really conflicted at which way to go now.

I await your replies with great hope of experience and wisdom.

Thank you

Meglet Mon 30-May-11 20:32:17

Molars unsettled my kids when they came through. I usually gave the dc's softer food when a few teeth were coming through at once. IIRC DS even went back to the baby food (with big lumps) for the odd meal as he didn't want to chew solids. He was back to normal food and fine as soon as the teeth were through and not hurting him anymore.

My wisdom teeth sometimes give me grief and I get crabby when they ache, so I decided to give the dc's the benefit of the doubt and let them be 'fussy' for a bit.

brettgirl2 Tue 31-May-11 11:41:39

I think that giving them the same food again is going too far and is more likely to cause battles. However, I think that giving lots and lots of choice they soon grow wise at that age.

My approach has always been not to overfill my daughter at breakfast, she has a good breakfast but would fill up for the day on all of her favourite foods if I let her. Her good 'healthy' meal of the day is lunchtime for which there is only ever one course. I go out of my way to give her stuff that I think she will like but if she refuses it then that is it - no lunch as she clearly isn't hungry. She then (sometimes) has a nap but is currently growing out of it. Then a couple of hours later she has a fruit snack so even if she has not eaten much at lunchtime there is not a massive gap before she has something. I am then more flexible at tea time because I don't want to put her to bed on an empty stomach. She understands the drill and usually eats lunch well.

musicmaiden Tue 31-May-11 13:46:55

Hm, I have a dreadful eater so am not sure I should even be commenting, but I would say that if you think it is teething-related give him the softer foods he used to eat happily in the good old days (just so he won't have pain: soup, rice, pasta, mashed potato etc?), but definitely don't give an alternative if he refuses. Just give a fruit snack later on if you're worried about hunger.

It sounds like it will be a shortlived phase if he has been ill and teething, so try not to worry, just be consistent and I'm sure he'll get back into the swing of it if he's usually a good eater. If he's having porridge, milk and some fruit plus a bit of other stuff he'll be doing just fine.

Easier said than done I know - mealtimes are the main source of stress in our household – my DS only ate his favourite bit of yesterday's meal (roast with the whole family) and wouldn't touch anything else, then spent the whole dinner screaming (literally) for a yoghurt sad

babyboyjoy Tue 31-May-11 19:30:40

Thanks everyone smile

I started a new approach today: I first of all went out and bought a stick on bowl, new brightly coloured spoons and his first baby forks, and a new sippy cup. Fresh start, fresh things. I decided my approach would be to give him his food and leave him to it. No oohing and aahing and yum yumming, and no trying to feed him. Today has been a fantastic start. He has eaten relly well and furrowed his brow when throwing his food on the floor (which he didn't get a second chance at) got no reaction from me at all. I left it there untill the end of mealtimes so as not to give his bad behaviour any attention. He LOVED his new forks and used them straight away. After throwing his food got no reaction he stopped (shock horror) and he tried everything (except the vegetables, no suprise there) and he went back to things he'd already tried. I decided to keep his mid morning and afternoon snack but to cut the quantity so he would be hungrier at mealtimes.

I think as he's a very strong minded and now independant little man, even my encouragement was fuel for him to react. As in 'leave me alone woman' LOL. I also there's there's a good chance he was picking up on my stressed attitude. So I'm planning to carry on as we started today and hope things improve. I'll update, just incase anyone's interested.


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