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Sudden fussy eater

(27 Posts)
LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 13:28:34

My DD 18months has gone from being a good eater to suddenly refusing to eat her meal or only eating a tiny bit and then refusing any more. I used to give her a banana instead rather than send her to bed hungry but dp is worried that we will get a child who only eats bananas so we have started to not offer any alternative. She will ususally eat a good breakfast but get worse as the day goes on. Have tried changing ehr main meal from evening to lunchtime but didnt make any difference. Are we doing the right think or is she too young to understand? Is this typical of her age? Any suggestions how to handle this gratefully accepted.

RubyShivers Mon 27-Oct-08 13:30:52

she is much too young to understand being refused an alternative so would offer a banana

toddlers use an enormous amount of energy and need stuff to fuel it

lots of babies and toddlers go through fussy stages

my DS who was Mr Mangetout has been very picky and fussy because of teething (back molars)

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 13:32:14

Ds got fussy at about 2 having eaten virtually anything up to that point.

I try to be sensible. 18 months is too young IMVHO to send to bed wihtout any tea and a banana is healthy. I wouldn;t stress about it. Keep offereing a variety of foods and give her a banana with her tea as well as a selection of other foods.

DS has a banana every day - I don;t think thats a problme is it?

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 13:32:41

or are you saying she will only eat bananas?

LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 14:08:38

We were worried that it would get to the situation that she would refuse her meal everytime until all she was eating were bananas and nothing else. She is refusing things that she used to love and not sure if she is just being difficult and testing us or not.

RubyShivers Mon 27-Oct-08 14:09:43

IMHO she is too little to be playing games

you aren't pandering to her at this age

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 14:24:55

children go through funny phases - I don;t think she has the mental capacity at 18 months to be "testing" you! Her thought processes are probably "like banana, want a banana"

LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 14:25:40

So is it possible if she is refusing to eat things that she could just not be hungry or has she just gone off something that she used to eat. Sometimes you can distract her and she will forget that she wasnt going to eat it and you can get a few spoonfuls in before she remembers.
She can refuse her meal but then point at the fridge for a yogurt, what is that all about?

RubyShivers Mon 27-Oct-08 14:28:42

it is about being a toddler smile

i think you are reading far too much into what is faily usual toddler behaviour

i always think that my tastes and my desire for food changes on a day to day basis so why wouldn't my DS's?

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 14:45:06

how much is hardly any food as my ds used to demolish huge plate fulls got to this age and would not eat as much

i was then advised for a one yr old it is one tablespoon per portion [goes up with each yr ofage]

so one tbs mash 1 of veg and one of meat doesnt look much but is completely sufficient

once i made meals to these portions no longer looked daunting and he was clearing his plate aslo gave toast before bed

still use same rule he is 3 now so he has 9 tbs of food altogether and clears plate still always says no to more offered so has eaten enough

but must admit at a yr his meals wrere much largewr but must have been the growth spurt more energy consumption but this advise was great for me as i became less anxious and when plates were being cleared relief he must have saw mound of food and put him off straight away

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 14:46:54

i also didnt allow snacking at all and limited juice for the 2 hrs before dinner so belly wasnt already full and if he was tired i would do dinner alot earlier and do slice of toast and fruit before bed the more tired he gopt the more he didnt want a cooked meal as long as the 3 tbs go down nothing to worry about

LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 15:49:04

I would say that she probably is being given about 3 tablespoons of food but sometimes refuses it completely and sometimes will eat a couple of mouthfuls and then hand the plate back, which is what she does when she has finished.
She seems ready to eat and comes and sits at the table but as soon as she sees the food changes her mind. She goes to nursery one day a week and seems to eat everything there. She doesnt always have snacks. She is with my parents today and apparently ate her scrambled egg at lunchtime so I will wait to see what tea time brings!!

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 16:03:32

if she ate scrambled egg lunch she may only need a light tea so half the portion of dinner

if my ds had cooked meal lunch you could guarantee he would only eat toast or bread and butter for dinner as already had one dinner still the same now if has cooked lunch will only have a light tea toast or cereal

maybe just do that for few days cooked lunch and light tea then the more confidant she gets add a few spponfuls of dinner at the side and let her pick at it

LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 16:25:39

But on friday we were going away so i gave her fish pie at lunchtime, only a small portion but I thought it would be easier than making sure she had a proper meal when we arrived where we were going. I put it in front of her and she completely refused it even though she had been enthusiastic about sitting at the table. She has eaten it before and enjoyed it. I dont class scambled egg as a cooked meal as it isnt really any more substatial than a sandwich, I just give it to her for variation. She has easily eaten that at lunchtime and then a good cooked meal in the evening before. I guess I should decrease her portion sizes for a while and see what happens.

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 16:57:23

I never really thought that much about what was a "proper" meal, just the right amount of protein, carbs and fat and fruit and veg.

Quite often (and still do) give DS a plate of bits and pieces all on one plate, scrambled eggs, toast, grapes, avocado and let him eat what he fancies.

He does go off some things for weeks at a time which worries me when its dairy for example but I find if I keep offering it he will suddenly start on it again.

As long as she's eating enough (judged by her weight and happiness) and healthily I don;t think you need to worry too much.

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 16:58:47

one egg is surely enough protein for an 19 month old for meal? Just add a bit of bread/toast for carbs and some fruit for vitamins and its a balanced meal.

LUCIA22 Mon 27-Oct-08 17:07:07

So if she refuses to eat it should I still let her have a yogurt for pudding?

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 17:43:16

put small amount of toast ignore on the hopes she'll at least apttempt to eat few bites considering had scrambled egg small amount should be fine and then give dessert but dont bribe with it as the mear mention of it will have her wanting that only

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 17:47:10

also we must remember that we wont always fancy whats put in front of us i found at that age finger food worked better carrot sticks and humous bit of pitta bread cut up some fruit and some toast

maybe small amount of our dinner on the side but then just left to it

they do snack pots of humous which is great saves wasting big pots if you dont eat it yourself

my ds loves it its filling has all goodness needed but not a full on meal so maybe just something random like that for few nights but also small bowl of your food that she can pick at if wants to

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 17:47:36

also we must remember that we wont always fancy whats put in front of us i found at that age finger food worked better carrot sticks and humous bit of pitta bread cut up some fruit and some toast

maybe small amount of our dinner on the side but then just left to it

they do snack pots of humous which is great saves wasting big pots if you dont eat it yourself

my ds loves it its filling has all goodness needed but not a full on meal so maybe just something random like that for few nights but also small bowl of your food that she can pick at if wants to

bubblagirl Mon 27-Oct-08 17:54:00

sorry double post browser playing up

Kewcumber Mon 27-Oct-08 20:38:44

I dont consider yoghurt to be "pudding" ie a treat, Ds didnt really get treats at that age and not for at least a year. A yoghurt is just more food. why wouldn;tyou give it to her - you almost seem to be trying to treat ehr as if she's school aged and needs to be coaxed into eating the healthy stuff by ofereing/withholding treast - everything (pretty much) she eats at this age should be healthy stuff!

MrsBumblebee Mon 27-Oct-08 20:47:28

My DS (13 months) is going through exactly the same, so I sympathise. My strategy is that he's always allowed his pudding, as it's always fruit, so healthy anyway. But I usually offer him more 'main course' once he's had his pudding. DS will sometimes refuse his food because he knows there's fruit coming, but once he's eaten the fruit he'll have some more of his main dinner. I also second the idea of giving plenty of finger foods. DS either has things he can eat entirely on his own, or else he has a finger food 'side dish' - I find that if he's slowly feeding himself some peas, say, then I can shovel in some spoonfuls of casserole or whatever without him really noticing.

RubyShivers Mon 27-Oct-08 20:50:25

i don't think children this young have a concept of puddings

and FWIW, IMVHO it is not a good idea to start with the notion that the main course is something to get through to get a sweet treat!

If your DD eats nothing but yoghurt and banana one day and more food the next that is fine

agree with the idea of offering more finger foods

LUCIA22 Wed 29-Oct-08 11:06:02

I dont want to get into the thing of offering something else when she wont eat what she has been given as I am sure she will latch onto keeping on refusing until something better comes along. I also find that if I put too many different things on the plate she gets more fussy, its almost as though she cant cope with too much choice. She does eat healthily, most things are homemade and we dont eat processed food as a family anyway. She always has yogurt or fruit as a pudding and occasionally homemade rice pudding/custard etc. When i say that pudding is a treat I mean that I dont want her to think that she can just choose to eat sweet things. She does sometimes have finger foods for lunch, bits of cheese, houmus & bread, grapes etc Yesterday I was home with her so changed things round a little. She ate her breakfast before we had ours so that she didnt see the option of anything else, at lunch we all had soup & bread which she happily ate followed by a yogurt. I tried to keep snacks in the afternoon to a minimum and then she ate half a v small portion of pasta & sauce which is much less than she used to eat. I gave her a banana and she seemed happy. I hope it is just a phase and am going to just go with the flow and try not to get stressed about it. She is at nursery to day so ask them tonight how she was.

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