WWYD with fussy eater - 18 months old?(7 Posts)
DD is 18 months and up until a few months ago would eat absolutely anything.
She started feeding herself at 15 months and since then has got fussier and fussier.
We're now at the stage where all she will eat is breakfast cereal, pasta twists (not shells or any other shape of pasta), toast, beans and tangerines.
If I give her anything other than these foods she screams and throws it on the floor.
For a while I got by hiding vegetables in mashed potatoes and mixing banana with yoghurt etc to make her diet more varied but it's getting harder to hide other foods in her "preferred list" as she seems to know if it's been tampered with and refuses to eat.
Is it just a stage and what can I do to encourage her to eat?
it's a stage!! If you can tough it out it will be better for you and for DD. Try and eat together or with others when you can, try to avoid snacks and milk if meals haven't been eaten.
With the food throwing she wants a reaction, so don't give it to her...leave the food and plate and everything on the floor, wipe her hands and face and get her down out of her chair (if you can avoid eye contact so much the better) then sit down and finish your meal. Then try to forget it and treat her as normal untill the next meal ( you can bring it forward but not too much!!!) at this age I would be surprised if the throwing lasted more than 2 days, probably less.
Gradually introduce the things she used to like, including other shapes of pasta and don't give choices and no negative comments...try observational praise ( I see you have eaten your pasta, , I am pleased that you like fruit like tangerines, it's great that you feed yourself with your spoon) rather than meaningless ( aren't you good, well done etc.). Children are reaction junkies, if positive reactions are what's on offer she'll go for those, if she can't get negative reactions she'll stop trying.
Think "Zen-like calm"...nothing will get to me, i am only positive...easier said than done but it works!!!
Eat together and eat out if you can. Let her steal food from your plate. Have snacks lying about which she can try with no pressure.
Thanks for the advice. Will start putting some of your suggestions into action today.
I do think she enjoys seeing me clearing up the mess she makes so it makes sense that she's looking for a reaction.
Is 18 months too young to send her to bed hungry if she doesn't eat the evening meal? This is where most of the problems occur.
Yes I thinks it's too young. She's most likely tired so will mess about at tea time - DS is like this when tired. I try and ward it off by giving snacks in between meals and proper naps.
may be eat earlier and have main meal at lunchtime??
We did like Joruth says - main meal at lunchtime when they were less tired and had sandwiches for tea. I also used to try and put a tiny bit of something I knew they liked on their plate, with a main meal of something a bit more testing. So you could maybe give her a tiny teaspoon of beans with something she's less keen on, just to keep her in the rhythm of sitting and eating. It will just be a phase though but if you can stay calm and keep offering other things it will be easier in the long run (see my other posts, having trouble with DD1 just started school and not liking school dinners..)
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