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Help with fussy eater please?

(6 Posts)
Pozza Sun 19-Jun-11 21:55:47

My 2yo dd is becoming an increasingly fussy eater and I am unsure of the best way to deal with this.

She has never been a great eater and has always been on the bottom of the growth charts, but now all she wants to eat is plain foods like rice, pasta and bread. She will normally eat carrots and peas, likes quite a few types of fruit, yoghurt, cake and biscuits. We tried for a while not commenting on what she did or didn't eat resulting in her going to bed having had very little dinner some nights, but for a while now she has been waking up at 5-6am ravenous. So we have tried being more persuasive, but this often ends up in my dh trying to force her to eat food. That just results in her getting really upset and everyone getting stressed (as I don't really agree with doing that).

I am concerned that she is not eating a nutritionally balance diet (she does have a vitamin supplement). Should I tailor meals to more what she will eat (just serve one meal to the whole family at the moment)? Any advice very welcome please!

SouthStar Sun 19-Jun-11 22:49:50

I dont think there is any easy answer as you have to take alot into consideration.
How much she understands, how and where you eat dinner etc can all play a part.
Have you tried getting her to help make her own food? For some reason it works a treat with my ds. He gets so excited that "he made everybody dinner" that he just has to eat it himself.
When he has been really fussy with his veggies we found using cocktail sticks for his peas made it so much for fun. Altho she maybe abit young to be using a cocktail stick smile

My kids are only 13 months apart so when my ds started to dislike all veggies my dd copied him. Thankfully they loved veggie soup so I would make sure they had that for lunch at least a few times a week then I wouldnt be so concerned if they didnt touch any veggies at diner.

vintageteacups Sun 19-Jun-11 23:03:05

It could be the usual 'fussy' stage of a toddler or it could be more.

As we've found out with DS, now 6yrs.

We think he has Selective Eating Disorder and have found to be a fab source of info and support.
It is not a website simply about fussy eaters but about specific food disorders.

We are now waiting to get DS referred to the hospital once we've moved counties in a few weeks.

It's been a constant battle with 'well-meaning' school/grandparents/my friends etc who all say 'don't worry, it's just a phase' but we now know it's more than that.

For DS, it started slowly after weaning and gradually got worse and worse until now, he will only eat a very narrow range of foods:

Plain pasta with butter on - no cheese, no sauce
Chocolate spread sandwiches
Milk /hot chocolate
Cereal - porridge/coco pops
Apple and cucumber (peeled)
Carrots - sometimes
sweetcorn - sometimes by the spoonful and others, never.
Lasagen - only from Tesco and ready made
Plain white fish.
Grated cheese

That's about it.

And that list isn't a regular list - he'll often go for a few days on just a few mouthfuls and won't eat anything that is touching something else or that someone else has prepared.

If you think your dd is like this, then it could be the start of Selective Eating Disorder or similar but the main thing not to do is force her to eat anything and you must tell your DH the same.

If you force her to eat "just a bit more/ just a few more mouthfuls", then she'll get more and more upset and you'll be pedalling backwards (this is whether or not she is simply fussy and 'trying you' or whether is's something like SED.

Simply, say "dd, have you had enough breakfast/lunch/tea?" etc, and let her then get down from the table.

vintageteacups Sun 19-Jun-11 23:03:51

Oh and my DS loves cooking; he's always helped me mash the pots, bake cakes, mix sauces etc but then he doesn't eat it!!!

Pozza Mon 20-Jun-11 14:51:14

Thanks for the advice. Part of the problem is that she isn't consistent - one day she'll eat something then another day she'll totally refuse it. And I want to make sure that we don't make the situation worse by how we handle it. The other problem I find is that as I have a 5yo DS, quite often when he has finished his dinner, as she likes to copy him, she will push her plate away and refuse to eat any more, even if she's hardly eaten anything. We try to get DS not to say anything when he's finished but it's really hard!

vintageteacups Mon 20-Jun-11 17:57:27

Yes - ds is like that too. One day he'll love something and then refuse to ever eat it again - even though he's eaten it for the past year - very frustrating!

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