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Toddler eating - I'm losing my mind

(20 Posts)
Littleraysofsunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 08:38:29

Sometimes she's good. But more recently she's being really hard work and messing around or refusing to eat ending up throwing tantrums.

I jut don't understand it

Some days she's great and it's lovely, others -she's a nightmare. Take the past two days and this morning for examples.

I then lose my rag and just tell her to go away then after trying for ages to get some food in her. I can't jut say "oh starve then" as she gets horribly moody when hungry (like anyone does) and the only other person it will hinder is me, resulting in me feeling stressed.

I usually have all the patience in the world but just lately she has been so up and more so down its unreal and it's really upsetting to see y happy little girl seeming so angry and upset ? And a girl who usually loves food turning into a child that battles sometimes

What age is she?

Is it certain foods she doesnt eat or is it just a notion she takes when she feels like it?

Slothlorien Wed 26-Sep-12 08:43:10

No answers but sounds like normal toddler stress to me. They can be lovely , they can be really really frustrating and hard work. Just keep calm and moan about it with like minded parents. This will pass smile

CarpeJugulum Wed 26-Sep-12 08:46:05


I've now got to the point of offering the food. If it's tried and tested and DS doesn't want it (and he must taste it first) then he gets a plain slice of bread (no butter as he licks it off). Also, there is no dessert as he's "obviously not hungry".

New stuff, he must try it (so 2-3 forkfuls) then he still gets the bread, but he does get a teeny amount of pudding.

And I always keep a few pre prepared Heinz meals in reserve just in case hmm

snickers251 Wed 26-Sep-12 08:46:59

I feel your pain!

My ds 2yo was always a fantastic eater and the last 6 months have been a constant battle which resulted in me just giving him the stuff that I know he will eat to avoid him constantly whining for the biscuit tin, I have been stronger of late and he started eating much better and more varied foods.

What I find frustrating is that one day he will eat something and turn his nose up at it the next time I make it.

Sorry I have no advice to offer just my sympathy! X

Tigresswoods Wed 26-Sep-12 08:49:28

Seriously don't stress it, toddlers are up & down in their eating habits.

Littleraysofsunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 08:54:48


It's actually reduced me to tears today.sadsad

She also just keeps throwing herself on the floor, crying but proper sobbing

I am so upset!

Dont make it a big deal. Toddlers will eat if they are hungry.

Give her the food. Sit down have yours. Dont nag her, dont talk about the food. If she doesnt want it, take it away. Let her down from the table and get on to the next thing with no mention of the food.

The bigger fuss you make the more tantrumming she will do. Trust me it works. I did this from day one (it was really really hard at times) but DD is 3.9 and she eats everything.

Littleraysofsunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 09:04:45

Yeah I think I'm going to take a more relaxed approach. It was very nice and relaxed as se would eat anything all the time. So now she's having a sudden hangs I honk to save the tantrums and my sanity I'm just going to offer, and if she doesn't eat then fine.

I just feel so stressed with her at the minute. Hate this feeling. Especially as she's usually good as gold. Always has been

EarnestDullard Wed 26-Sep-12 09:12:19

It's so frustrating when they've been "good" about something and then it all changes, isn't it? DD (now 2.5yo) went through a similar phase and when they're still so little it's hard to say "well just go hungry then". I think it's a difficult time for them too; sometimes they just don't know what they want. She's not just doing it to annoy you, I promise smile But it's a bit soul-destroying, especially when you've made them something to eat, something you know they've eaten before.

But she won't starve as long as you keep offering food. And I agree with not making a big deal of it, you'll just both end up more stressed that way. It's a phase, and it will pass.

matana Wed 26-Sep-12 10:43:50

Hi Littleray i've commented on your other thread re. behaviour and teething. I really think that her molars are the issue and so if she doesn't want to eat, just calmly take it away and don't force the issue. Try things like soup that won't aggravate her poorly gums. But mostly, just realise that she will eat when she's hungry and try to be as calm as possible. Turning mealtimes into battles can cause bigger problems down the like - food and eating should be an enjoyable experience. When DS is like this, i take his food away, get him down from the table without offering an alternative or dessert and go and play with him instead, literally without saying a word. I also offer him foods that enable him to 'choose' what he eats next - a plateful of different brightly coloured finger food for example.

HappyJoyful Wed 26-Sep-12 11:07:03

Interesting. I've been having almost exactly the same issues with 23mo - one minute she gobbles something up then the next time all I hear is 'YUCK!' 'YUCK'.. (rather annoyingly a word I feel she may have picked up from a particular episode of Peppa Pig which stresses me even more!).

I definitely am following advice of trying hard to not let it get to me and when I am calm and relaxed feeding her it does seem to do the trick. I got DH to sit with her the other day, can you do that ? I noticed she was eating more for him as it wasn't stressing him the same way as me..

Also last couple of days tried to be stronger and ignore the whining for the 'biscuit' 'biscuit' that happens.

Think someone may have said, isn't it all about testing boundaries at this age?

Hopefully we can persevere together.. any 'win, win' foods we can share/swap? I struggle to deviate from pasta for her at the moment which also stresses me out a bit as of course want her to have more varied diet but rice and potato all get the 'yuck, yuck' treatment.. I'm all for finger foods, but what's good hot ? does anyone have any suggestions please ?

I think you need to serve what you think she should be eating. The yuck response has you exactly where she wants you...oy serving what she says is acceptable.

Serve any food. The yuck yuck will finally stop when she sees you arent giving in and she is hungry.

matana Wed 26-Sep-12 11:49:37

I think you give her a choice before cooking if possible, it's all about independence, choice and control at that age so if they feel they've been involved in the decision it's easier. Then if they don't eat it, you don't offer anything else. Re. hot foods, whatever you're eating, can cook easily, or ate yesterday:

Scrambled egg with lots of cheese
Baked beans
roast dinner
Pork chops in tomato sauce
risotto (you might be able to disguise the rice with a lovely sauce)

amidaiwish Wed 26-Sep-12 12:02:22

yes don't make a big deal about it, if she doesn't want it leave it
if she is hungry later offer carrots, apple, chunk of cheese, some cooked chicken. not goodies.

i didn't follow this advice, food was a battle with DD1 and now aged nearly 9 she still doesn't want to eat when i want her to eat. grrr. if i'd relaxed more then i'm sure she'd be better.

diyqueen Wed 26-Sep-12 12:43:37

Dd (18mo) is like this sometimes and we're just trying not to stress about it. I always offer healthy snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon as well, and she'll often eat extra then to compensate if she's just messed about with breakfast or lunch, so I don't worry about her getting hungry. i think the more you push something, the more resistance you're likely to get - we're just hoping that by modelling good eating (we all eat together) and showing her that we enjoy our food and eating together, we'll get there in the end.

But that's not to say that I don't grit my teeth in frustration sometimes and bite back the urge to shout 'just eat the damn thing!'

notso Wed 26-Sep-12 13:07:59

I agree with others, you really do have to grit you teeth, put on the blinkers offer the food and then carry on as normal.
Things I find help include involving DC in cooking and preparing for meals, setting the table etc.
Putting foods in serving dishes so they can help themselves, but try to avoid asking if they want broccoli for example, say how much broccoli would you like.
Serving things in different ways, DS1 would never eat spag bol but always ate lasagne. Even DH only ate stew when called it beef casserole!
Don't feel bad if they don't eat everything, it's ok to have a day when you are not as hungry.

Littleraysofsunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 16:22:24

Dp has been away since December but back next week so another new change for her. But we can then start to have a routine for dinner and she will see us all eating and not me having to multi taks wih myself, her and dd2.

I think that's why it's shocked me as its jut come out of te blue....

What healthy snacks do you do?

matana Wed 26-Sep-12 20:01:09

Cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives, breadsticks and dips like hummus, banana, apple, raisins and other fruit

InvaderZim Wed 26-Sep-12 22:18:24

Peanut butter on corn cakes, mixed cashews and raisins, toast with Philadelphia cheese, home made cheese crackers (high cheese content), home made buckwheat pancakes (made on Weekend morning with leftovers saved).

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