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Please tell me the steps to take to stop my 2 yr old ridiculous eater eating ridiculously

(21 Posts)
chocolatetester1 Wed 06-Mar-13 22:18:16

Should have said he's 2 and a half.

chocolatetester1 Wed 06-Mar-13 22:17:01

One way of thinking about it is that you decide what they will eat (lovely healthy food you've put your soul into wink) and the child decides how much to eat.
If they choose to eat nothing, so be it.
My ds generally eats well but I have to implement this once a month or so.
He is well acquainted with the phrase 'it's this or nothing'. grin
I am a cow gringrin

abbyfromoz Wed 06-Mar-13 20:15:15

Oh i stopped taking snacks out with us too as she was getting her lunchbox and whining 'yummy yummy yummy!' Mostly out of boredom- so i would bring it but how her 'look it's empty'... Got her out of the habit and she did tend to east a bit better...

abbyfromoz Wed 06-Mar-13 20:12:20

I could have written this post- i mean word for word. DD is also in 95th centile for both. She is 22 months. Eats breakfast really well (toast, wb, yoghurt, juice) she sometimes eats fruit though... But if she does it's a miracle (i literally do a happy dance)
My 'go-to' was rice and pasta so i would make a ragu or bolognaise and pack in loads of veggies then puree them within an inch of their life so she wouldn't recognise them as veggies. She has gone off that recently...She used to eat carrot stick/celery sticks with houmous but not anymore.
I think it's very much about asserting themselves at this age... If they know you want them to eat it they won't.
My mum got her to eat by telling her it wasn't her food it was only for nan nan (lol!) she immediately started shouting 'miiiiine!!! Miiine!!!' And scoffed the lot... Not sure how good this is though long term...
Also i find she will want to eat off my plate if we are all eating together (rather than her own bowl of exactly the same food)....
I guess it's just a phase- try not to get too anxious... They smell fear.

lolalotta Wed 06-Mar-13 19:38:25

Sorry, I don't remember, it was 6 years ago now, my niece is now 10! All I know is regarding snacks is that when we have had a busy morning and not thought to give my DD (3) a snack she eats her lunch sooooo much better! This afternoon, we had friends round and I took my eye off the ball and let her have too many biscuits confused and she wasn't interested in her tea! I really need to minimise snacks I think or keep them really healthy and light! It's such a tricky balance I find!

beatofthedrum Wed 06-Mar-13 17:53:39

That is really helpful. I will aim for 2 weetabix and distract distract distract! Did the dietician give any tips about snacks at all? Sorry to come back with another question!

lolalotta Tue 05-Mar-13 21:03:36

OP, it was a dietician who advised my sister that she was offering too much breakfast, my niece was literally filling up for the day at breakfast time! My sister, like you, was so pleased that she was enthusiastic about eating something that she went with it not realising it was impacting on the picky eating at other meal times! Good luck!

beatofthedrum Tue 05-Mar-13 18:18:30

Thank you very much for all the ideas and suggestions. I do feel a bit better about it all. You've given me plans that sound do-able, I will definitely try. Hope he doesn't hold out for long!

Very good point about breakfast portion - he sometimes eats 3 weetabix and a half-slice of toast plus milk or smoothie. I'm always so pleased he's hungry I let him stuff it in! Maybe should moderate it q bit. It's just so nice to see him enjoying his food and he demands more very loudly!

Will start tomorrow. Thanks again for all the tips.

matana Tue 05-Mar-13 13:06:21

DS is the same age and goes through phases like this. One week he'll eat/ try everything you put in front of him, other weeks he's got very different ideas and asks for toast, toast and more toast. Then decides he no longer wants toast (presumably because he's bored of it!) Toddler appetites wax and wain so i wouldn't worry too much about the amount he eats. I try a mixture of the following when DS goes through another phase:

- offer him a choice (not open ended) of the things i know he'll eat: like lasagne or roast chicken? He loves the element of choice before i start cooking. I don't offer him the alternative if he then decides he doesn't want it after all though.

- if eating with the rest of the family, i don't cook something separate but make sure there is something in the meal i know he'll like: side dishes like potato and bread are good and filling.

- if he doesn't eat his main, i don't offer pudding. If he asks for pudding i simply say "No DS. You don't seem very hungry today as you didn't eat your dinner." and leave it at that. No reprimands, just a statement of fact.

- prepare him a plate of brightly coloured healthy finger foods so he can choose what he eats. Invariably he starts off with his favourite and then if he's still hungry he'll eat the not so favourite. Things like cheese, ham, cherry tomatoes, olives, soft cheese bread soldiers, sweetcorn etc

- don't make a fuss and don't alter plans to accommodate him. You can still involve him in a family meal and he'll see how much you're all enjoying it, even if he chooses not to eat/ try what you do. One day he will. Just make sure there's something there that he'll eat and stay calm. They don't tend to starve themselves.

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 07:22:23

Sounds normal and not a problem to me.

By the way, a good way to get fruit in them is to go to playground with nothing but fruit in your bag. They wont' want to leave playground so will eat fruit if that's all that's available.

Mine don't get pudding without eating their veg.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 05-Mar-13 07:01:15

Watching this with interest as DD (nearly 3) is also going backwards in terms of being adventurous in what she’ll eat

BranchingOut Tue 05-Mar-13 06:55:44


I had a picture of two toddlers there with placards smile

We had the same thing for a long while - it was as if the urge to eat just switched off. Fortunately, the range of things he would eat was fairly healthy, if not broad. So, between two and three he was eating:

Sweet corn
Mashed potato
Fish fingers
Boiled egg
Pasta with pesto
Occasional piece of carrot or broccoli
Roasted chicken
Cream cheese sandwiches
Baked beans
Any kind of fruit
Crackers, ryvita etc if he got the chance

I also bf til 2.10, so at least his nutrition was also being supported that way.

The approach we took was to offer food and not react too much when it was not eaten.

We did have success in introducing boiled egg, but it had to be out in front of him nearly ten times first - I did a 10 week evening course which was 'egg night' with his dad and I think he ate it on the last session!

He has begun to show signs of broadening his tastes and will now eat minced beef, so bolognaise is back on the menu!

Saralyn Tue 05-Mar-13 06:41:25

He would be a happy boy in Norway grin

Here children eat bread or cereals for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Only dinner is something else.

From what i see from my friends' children, they go through phases of not eating much dinner (but will be told to at least taste it). So on those days they live off bread, cereals, yoghurt and fruit.

Doesn't seem to do them any harm etc.

lolalotta Tue 05-Mar-13 06:26:11

*picked at

lolalotta Tue 05-Mar-13 06:25:39

How much breakfast is he eating OP? Two of my nieces who were picky eaters used to pig out on breakfast (for example two weetabix and a piece of toast is a lot to take on board for a 3 year old's tiny tummy) and then picket the meals the rest of the day ad they weren't hungry enough IYKWM? My sister cut down on the quantity she was offering for breakfast and things improved at other mealtimes. Just a thought!

seaweed74 Mon 04-Mar-13 22:09:18

My older dd was starting to get fussy about food. She's a great eater most of the time now. Eating loads of new things in the past month or two, whilst dd2 is starting being a little fussy now at 15 months.

Our routine is 3 meals, 1/2 snacks a day. If they leave main course, I sometimes just put it to one side as they've been known to change their minds, then offer dessert. If I think they're still hungry I re offer main course, but remove without comment if they don't want it. Some days the dog eats really well grin.

It's so hard not to worry about dc if they're not eating well, but staying firm really pays off. Tonight the dc had veggie rice with chopped up omelette. A few months ago dd1 would have picked the rice out to eat, leaving everything else, hissing at all the other ingredients! Now dd1 stared at her meal, then tried it and then ate it with great enthusiasm.

nannynick Mon 04-Mar-13 21:59:15

Have a similar problem, they go from being great eaters to being fussy. I try to offer things I know they will eat and small bits of things to try.
Last week I tried broccoli, just one small bit. It got tasted and rejected, but at least it was tasted. I tried half a boiled egg. Toddler removed the yoke and ate the white. So, egg white is a yes but yoke was not tasted at all for some reason, yet they eat scrambled egg fine. So some of it may be due to texture, shape, colour.

We go to a restaurant after swimming which serves things in small bowls, such as a peas, chips. Presenting things like that seems to work sometimes, give them things to choose from rather than putting all on their plate which may look overwhelming.

damnitdamnit Mon 04-Mar-13 21:36:31

Dd1 did this at about 2 years. I got a dietician with dd2 (for intolerance reasons) and she helped me push through this phase with both of them. Her advice was to put a mixture of liked and not liked food on the plate ( at least one not liked) at every meal and take away if left and praise if tried. It did take a couple of months but both eat quite well now. Also I was advised to still offer pudding as normal. But never to make a different whole meal if refused, just say ok your not eating that and then give pudding.

girliefriend Mon 04-Mar-13 21:33:44

Well it sounds like you know what you need to do!!

Try putting very small portions of different foods on a plate, at least 5 small portions. Distract him by talking about something else when the food is done - do not focus on the food.

If he kicks off just say 'oh well there is nothing else' and let him get down and play, when he complains he feels hungry later offer the same food again.

Be strong!!!

HerNibs1980 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:27:10


I had the same problem with all my three, but mainly with my oldest. He went through a phase where he would eat nothing unless it was cereals, toast, or chips. I got really tough with it and refused to give him anything else unless he ate what he was given...I mean why will a child eat something they dont think tastes that great when they can get you to give them something sweet and yummy if they refuse? ;)

So i told him if you dont eat what your given you go hungry, and I stuck to it. I got really worried about it as I was putting foods infront of him and he was turning his nose up at everything, it got to the stage where he was looking like he was losing weight. But I still stuck to it, giving him decent meals and nothing else. He caved in the end and now he will try anything and everything and loves his food.

Did the same with my other 2 but they didnt need to start losing weight before they caved and started eating.

Its just whether you can be tough enough as believe me it is really difficult especially when you can see they are physically losing weight. But then my eldest was 4 when this started so he was slightly older, more stubborn and set in his ways. Izzy my youngest was the same age as yours and she was the quickest to cave.

You may not want to try this but it worked for me. Hope it gets better for you soon. smile

beatofthedrum Mon 04-Mar-13 18:34:37

OK, first of all I have not attempted the suggested strategy of giving him no alternatives so I know that is the way to go. My question is, how do I do this (be gentle with me and break it down in steps, pleeeease).

My ds is 26 months. He ate fine until he was about 20 months. He got a bug, went off his food and has never returned to it. He is very healthy, is a great big boy for his age (on 95th percentile for height and weight!) and is developing well in all ways and very chatty. A total delight - apart from mealtimes.

He loves breakfast. He would happily eat cereals and toast all day. He drinks smoothies and fruit juice too. So that is good. No other meal goes well though and the list of foods he'll eat is getting smaller. He won't eat any fruit or veg at all - all he will eat are the babyiah fruit pots (won't eat my home-mashed fruit) and raisins. This really worries me. For lunch he will only eat toast, oatcakes or pancakes, either toasted with cheese or with peanut butter or spreadable cheese. He loves yoghurt and eats lots of that. For dinner he will only eat French toast or plain omelette. Then yells for custard or more weetabix. He'll eat snacks of ricecakes or cereal bars or baby crisps, but is loathe in general to try new things.

I do offer him different things but they are thrown out as he shouts NOOO and won't try them. I end up (and I know this is where I am going wrong) making him something I know he'll eat and/or distracting him with tv or toys to get him to eat it (and this is only the foods he'll eat, no amount of distraction persuades him to try new stuff.

He just doesn't seem that hungry, though he's a big strapping boy. The only time he says he's hungry is if he thinks of breakfast cereal or custard!

I know he's controlling things and he's 2 and I'm the adult. I know you can't force anyone to eat. But how do I start doing it right? Did a mixture of finger foods and purees when weaning btw, I didn't set him up with any texture difficulties etc.

Do I start by focussing on one meal (it would be dinner, that's the biggest problem) and just offering NOTHING else? What do I do about snacks? What about when he's crying feeling hungry at bedtime? Sorry for all the questions but feeling low about it and finally Ready For Action!

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