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15 month old driving me crazy at meal times. Please help!

(11 Posts)
Elizap Fri 10-Oct-08 14:45:36

My 15 month old dd has turned into a nightmare at mealtimes. She has never been the most enthusiastic eater but I never had cause to worry. Now every mealtime has become a battle. With the exception of rice cakes and crackers she has always refused any finger food but happily ate all mashed food, pasta and sauce, fruit and yoghurts. 2 weeks ago she began to show an interest in feeding herself which I actively encouraged and although mealtimes became very messy and more food ended up on the floor she was still eating something. Now however she simply grabs the spoon and bowl and throws it all on the floor. She doesn't want to feed herself or let me near her with a spoon. Out of desperation I bribed her with fromage frais and then snuck in spoonfuls of veggies but I dont want this to become a habit. She has become very fretful in her highchair and I now just remove her without her eating a thing. Anyone know how to help me????? She is a skinny little girl and I worry about her not eating enough as it is.

Habbibu Fri 10-Oct-08 14:48:58

Teething? DD goes off food a bit when teeth are coming in. How about just sitting her with you when you're eating, near enough for her to nick stuff of your plate, and feign indifference for a while? See if sharing yours is more fun for her. DD occasionally much prefers to help herself to my dinner.

Wade Fri 10-Oct-08 15:02:13

Will she eat finger food? Pureed chicken on toast, mashed vegetables on rice crackers...

Elizap Fri 10-Oct-08 15:06:38

The only finger foods she likes are rice cakes and crackers. have tried smearing soft cheese on these and she just throws them on the floor! I tried today sitting her with me and eating togther off a plate but she just threw it on the floor. what worries me is that she always ate the mashed food before and now she will not even open her mouth. She has been teething *her back molars, but I thought that was past. it seems to be a game for her now tough. she laughs after she throws it on the floor! How long can I try the starve until she caves in route for??

weddingcake Fri 10-Oct-08 22:05:34

Can't offer any advice but am having very similar battle with my 15 month old so you're not alone!

BlueBumedFly Fri 10-Oct-08 22:31:19

My DD never ate until she was 16 months. A real worry and I tried everything. Now she eats me out of house and home. I am sure saying no just became a habit and she knew it wound me up.

I started just smiling and saying OK, and getting her out of the high chair and then not offering anything (which almost killed me) until the next meal.

DD always HATED her high chair with a passion, hated the height, being above everyone else, the straps, everything. So, I got a small chair and small table and I sit with her on the floor - she loves it. No straps either, too restrictive. Now she stands up but we are getting past that too.

I resorted to making Chicken Balls (minced chicken with Apple and any veggies I could find in patties and cooked) and she could not get enough of them. The were like finger food that were soft enough to eat through teething and but hard enough not to be mush food (which she hates).

I now offer dry cereal as she won't eat soggy cereal, who said it has to be with milk? She eats loads of dry cherios, won't touch anything soggy (apart from at Nursery when APPARENTLY she eats a whole bowl of soggy cornflakes!)

Also a genius thing was a fork. I could 'spear' things and she could take them from the end of the fork or, take the fork and shove it in her mouth. She was so hideously phobic of spoons the fork approach (just like Mummy) really worked.

Apart from that all I can say is no child ever willingly starved themselves and this too shall pass. But believe me I must have posted on MN half a dozen times with worry!

I also let her 'read' those plastic bath books during a meal. Not the best table manners I know but hey, she is 18 months old, I have time to work on that!

Oh, also I used to let her feed her dolly, she thought that was great fun. Now we always have a soft toy of one type of another having some dinner shoved in its 'mouth!'

Good luck, hope it works out.

Knitterbird Sat 11-Oct-08 18:30:37

I'm having similar problems with my 10 month old . Sadly it doesn't seem to be linked to teething as this has been going on for a few weeks so any more advice would be very welcome.

Basically he always wants the spoon but whenever I give it to him he just chucks it on the floor. Then he makes a big fuss when I don't give him the spoon but he's clearly hungry.

He's happy to crunch through finger food but is more interested in the biting bit than the actual chewing and swallowing, so noce he's bitten some off he just pushes it back out of his mouth so it's not like he's getting any goodness from that.


BlueBumedFly Sun 12-Oct-08 13:48:15

Knitterbird - have you tried all baby led weaning? DD was spoon-phonbic! I just laid out all her food on her tray, not too much to overwhelm her and let her pick and choose.

At this age food is for experimenting with, DS will be getting pretty much what he needs from his milk. Food is for fun now, getting used to texture, colour, temperature etc etc. Take the spoon away completely, try feeing him with your fingers and encourge him to do the same.

My DD is now 18 months and can eat a whole chilli and rice with her fingers. I am now reintroducing the spoon and she is going great guns. Obviously it is not the best talbe manners but hey, she is still a baby. We can sort the manners later.

I was told to imagine I was an OAP sitting in a chair which I was strapped down to and someone shoving a spoon in my mouth when I wasn't really hungry. Imagine how you would feel?

Give DS some space and a few weeks and this will all pass. I promise! My DD managed 6 months of this type of behaviour and I eventually learnt to smile and take away what she did not want and not force the issue as it just made her worse.

Now she eats for England, in fact sometimes I wonder why she is winging and moaning and I realise she is hungry, it took me a while to get used to a baby that wanted to eat!

good luck, smile smile smile and your LO will too.

jlh69 Sun 12-Oct-08 20:14:40

Started a message about this very thing last week. Got a bit better now but now she has decided she hates her bath and we have tantrums then instead...
link to thread-here

Elizap Mon 13-Oct-08 18:37:31

Bluebumedfly, your advice was brilliant. Thankyou! Forked out a small fortune on a new Tripptrapp highchair, let her help build it and told her it was where big girls ate. All weekend she behaved beautifully in her new chair and ate everything. Also tried the doll trick which worked a charm!! She ended up with a face covered in soft cheese but kept her happy. She still isn't interested in finger food but I am going to try and stop worrying and let her enjoy mealtimes instead of having a stressed out Mummy! Many thanks!

BlueBumedFly Mon 13-Oct-08 19:25:36

Elizap - Wonderful news, I am thrilled for you. I can feel how happy you are believe me as I know how I felt when we turned this corner. Brilliant!

How about buy her a new set of cuttlery, a In the Night Garnden set (I think Mothercare do a knife fork and spoon set) so she can eat like Mummy and Daddy does? She might like the fork approach too. DD loves her knife and fork set and can now say 'fork!' if I try to palm her off with a spoon.

Good for you hun, I wish you all the luck in the world, keep enjoying and making mealtimes fun and she will be eating you out of house and home before you know it.

The beauty is that when my DD now says no to food I honestly know she is not well or not hungry and not just dong if for effect.


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