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2 year old is eating barely anything

(27 Posts)
PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:27:30

I know there are a few threads around at the moment about dealing with fussy eaters and I have found them all useful - I don't fret about what DS eats, I don't offer a billion alternatives (if dinner is refused he gets a slice of toast and a piece of fruit) and generally try to be laid-back about it - a peeing, pooing, active baby is fine, yes?

But the last week... two weeks maybe... he has just got absurd. Yesterday he ate half a slice of toast, about 1/4 of pear, a bite (literally one) of brioche, three quavers at toddler group, one slice of apple and about two spoonfuls of baked potato. Two toddler spoonfuls that is.

I made a pasta salad at lunch and he just cried when I put it down. I did the 'yum, more for me' nonsense but still he ignored it. A few nights ago I made a blue cheese and mushroom risotto. Risotto usually a fave and only tiny bit of blue cheese in his - but he wouldn't know because he didn't even TASTE it - just cried. WHY??? Why is he doing this? It is like he is suddenly scared of new food (maybe smelt different to the usual chickeny one?)

Reassure me he won't starve and waste away? Fed up throwing away food. I tell myself waste is waste whether it's eaten or not (IYSWIM) so maybe it's the effort I am putting in that's pissing me off.

He is in his highchair with a piece of toast and NOT TOUCHING IT. He won't eat cereal anymore - he would usually have weetabix or corn flakes but hasn't eaten those for a few weeks.

<despairs>

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:30:15

If I make a sandwich he picks out the filling and leaves the bread. Lunches are irritating me, I either do a sandwich, or bits and pieces like cubes of cheese, carrot, cucumber, bit of chicken, sliced up pitta bread, or pasta, or beans/spag but he won't even eat those anymore - lunch goes in the bin almost invariably.

He won't eat soup. Or new potatoes. Or potato wedges.

crumpet Thu 15-Oct-09 08:31:16

does you ds like soup? fortunately mine does, so I'm able to give him that if I feel he is low on his vegetable quotient.

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:31:25

And he doesn't have snacks except e.g. after swimming and a piece of fruit when he gets up from his nap - as lunch is abotu 12.30 and dinner not till 6. Not that he eats anyway!

crumpet Thu 15-Oct-09 08:31:38

ah x-post

crumpet Thu 15-Oct-09 08:33:00

would small snacks through the day help? Mine has a snack in the morning and in the afternoon every day.

He can be fussy, but is starting to enjoy helping to make his lunch etc

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:34:06

x-post crumpet, DP makes lovely soups at the weekend, butternut squash or lentil but DS just looks at you like he doesn't comprehend and shakes his head!

He won't eat crumpets either.

A year ago he'd eat anything, where did I go wrong?

The only thing he would eat in copius amounts is roast chicken - he could wolf down an adult portion I think and still ask for more.
He will eat bolognaise but not cottage pie - they're practically the same!!!

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:36:32

Thanks crumpet, yes I could up the snacks I suppose to compensate or even replace meals.

Until the end of August he was in nursery 3x a week and would have a snack of fruit at about 9.30, lunch at 11.40 (hot meal), tea at 3 (sandwiches or baked beans and cheese and fruit etc) and then be starving on collection, have a biscuit or raisins and then dinner on top of all that.

I did wonder if now was about the time to start getting him involved in making some food, stood on a chair in the kitchen?

crumpet Thu 15-Oct-09 08:42:55

can hide lots of veg in bolognaise/other pasta sauce (I used to peel courgettes and add them into pasta sauce so the green couldn't be detected)

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 08:50:10

Yes, DP puts loads in er he does most of the cooking blush I suppose part of my frustration is wanting us to all eat together, and not have the same three meals over and over.

Just a phase, right? [hopeful]

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 10:46:27

It sounds like he doesn't like potato. Don't worry and just go with it for a while. 2 is the age where they suddenly become fussy - apparently it coincides with the time that they become more independent outside and it's natures way of stopping them from eating dog poo and poisonous berries.

I think you're doing the right thing by putting little bits out for lunches - you could have a stash of cut up veggies that he will eat and cut up fruit and put it on his plate along with whatever it is you are all eating. Also - put a tiny portion on his plate so he doesn't get overfaced with a max of 4 things on it.

Could he have fun wielding a toddler knife and you give him a cracker to butter 'by himself' or cream cheese and see if that helps?

elmofan Thu 15-Oct-09 11:11:10

we went through the same thing with dd at the age of two , we had to leave healthy snacks around the house so she could pick from little bits & pieces as she would not eat a proper full meal , even now at 3.9 she is not a big eater & only weighs 30lb 4oz , i worry constantly over her food in take sad . she would live on carrots , broccoli & cauliflower & grapes or fruit of any kind if we let her , although she eats healthily they are not helping her gain any weight iykwim . dd is not a fan of potato either but i make my own potato croquettes & she likes them , i hope it is just a phase your lo is going through , x

katechristie Thu 15-Oct-09 11:35:11

I've posted on a couple of threads as DS is fairly similar (and constipated to boot sad) so apologies if you've read my tips. DS loves having floor picnics, so I do that for lunch a fair bit. He'll often then munch a bit of sandwich. He loves pots of cream cheese with breadsticks, and has recently started enjoying smoothies (innocent kids ones are v.expensive, but usually on offer at tesco and have really good dates, so we stock up). Since reading some of the other threads, I've actually stopped offering yogurt after a meal if he doesn't eat much (you feel so desperate to get them to eat anything don't you) as I figure if he hasn't eaten, he's not hungry. If he doesn't eat much lunch, I offer toast /similar snack 3-ish. If he doesn't eat much tea I'll offer the same just before bed. Pots of cereal like shreddies or cheerios go down well, as he likes poking about in the pot and helping himself as he plays.

If I think of others I'll return. Oh, does he drink a lot of milk? we kept compensating offering milk, which prob put his appetite down (and won't have helped the constipation - but that's another issue!)

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 12:14:20

Thanks for these suggestions, I do admit I sweated a bit at the idea of letting him do his own food but actually I think it IS a good idea and he'd love it. I'll see what he thinks in a bit, trying to decide if he seems hungry yet hmm

Maybe he isn't a potato fan but at first he did seem very keen - and he can say potato (well - tay-to) and as he only has a few words I was thinking that most of the things he can say, are things he likes - apple, banana, toast. Maybe I'll offer pasta or rice when we are having potatoes and see if it makes a difference. Though HM croquettes sound nice

Kate actually his milk intake has gone up now I think about it. He was only having milk at bedtime but since I've stopped giving him cereal for breakfast he will bring me his milk cup to ask for some - I think he's had about 350 ml this morning, that's quite a bit really?

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 12:18:15

The other thing is - could he be going down with something or has this been going on for too long? The start of your post sounds as if he might be....

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 12:22:23

Also for breakfast he could help you make scrambled eggs? Sit on the worktop and help you crack the egg and stir it etc etc. He may then have a bit? I usually do breakfast in 2 sittings here - they have cereal / porridge +/- eggs. Then half an hour later I'll whizz in a slice of toast that they eat while they're playing. Does he have a better part of the day where eating is concerned? i.e. more hungry in the mornings? My 2 year old started to want to see everything separate on her plate and got upset if things were mixed. She is infact still like that at 2.10. She gets very distressed by risotto but loves plain rice / pasta (cold pot pasta is her fav) grin

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 12:24:16

and try things like sausages / fish fingers with a bit of homemade (or heinz reduced sugar and salt) ketchup in a little pot 'for dipping'?

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 12:41:15

Thank you BiscuitStuffer, I hope I don't sound too negative in response: I did used to do breakfast in two halves, cereal first thing in his highchair, then a bit of toast which I'd just leave on the coffee table (I'd point it out to him) and he'd eat it when he was ready. I stopped because he began to get worse at lunchtimes - but that is some time ago so it won't do any harm to try again. I did cut up a pear about an hour ago, he had 1/4 of it and left the rest.

He seems to turn his nose up at scrambled eggs, in fact he seems bothered by certain textures/colours or new things. He won't eat sausages either. DP does a really nice sausage pasta, you take the skins off and break the meat into chunks, add chopped toms, basil, chili - DS will eat it but leave the sausage. And when offered a cocktail sausage at toddler group he just gave a blank face. We try hard to encourage him to try new things, eat them ourselves with enthusiasm, and I will offer food several times before giving up. I did BLW and thought it was simple but now... mind you I like the theory of it being a self-preservation tactic!

He used to be more hungry in the mornings but lately has not been interested for about an hour after getting up - he wants to play first thing. He also used to be hungry after his nap but again this has waned and he is often just happy with a cup of milk between his sparse lunch and sparse dinner!

In the oven is a mini pizza - here's an odd thing, they often had pizza for tea at nursery and he loved it - he has NEVER eaten it here! I will put 1/4 on his plate and save the rest (for an AIBU breakfast?! ) and 2 fish fingers, also a slice of cheese, two sticks of cucumber - does that sound ok? A mixed bag yes but I can't bear another sandwich or pasta over the floor.

And you know the frustrating thing, since I put the food in the oven he is gesturing towards the cupboard! I have given him a breadstick and he is shouting for more...

Perhaps he is coming down with something - I have felt on the verge of a cold for a couple of weeks now that has never broken into anything IYKWIM, so he may feel similar.

Thank you for listening to me go on.

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 13:16:21

ah now I wonder - perhaps being faced with a full on cooked lunch is too much for him? Pizza plus fish fingers plus cheese is all quite substantial sounding. Perhaps if it is just snacky stuff in the day and one cooked meal for dinner? I'm just thinking aloud really as my DD will eat one 'good' meal a day and pick at the rest. By 'good', I mean that she will eat a handful of food rather than a couple of bites.

Also - did he eat anything after the breadstick?

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 13:18:20

The sausage dish sounds yummy grin.

Don't forget that it's what they've eaten over a week that counts. If every snack you give him is something worth eating, then it will all add up pretty quickly.

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 13:53:21

I wouldn't normally do pizza and anything - I wouldn't normally do pizza! They are just taking up room in the freezer and I figured it would no harm to offer an alternative within the same meal IYSWIM? - I did not put it all on his plate at once, I kept some separate if (hmm) he ate the rest. Which he didn't. He had one fish finger, a bite of pizza, and the cucumber. One good meal a day would be fine, it just seems lately that he's eating barely anything at all of them. But I don't think that's too bad a lunch really, better than yesterday anyway (where he just cried at my pasta salad and ate nothing at all).

I suppose we have always given a few too many bits at lunch because he would never eat it all and so that way he'd always eat some of it - so he might have eaten the cheese and the cucumber and ignored the rest, or just eaten the pizza etc - it's the threads on fussy eating that have on the whole made me stop that, going by the theory of 'if he is hungry he will eat it!'But I do try hard not to overload the plate, perhaps I am still giving too much for his size though.

I suppose it adds up to a worry that by bedtime he won't have eaten enough and will wake up hungry - I breastfed DS much longer than I intended for fear of this too.

sewCreative Thu 15-Oct-09 14:01:34

I empathise totally. I have one too, if fact two! Try not to get too stressed about it. dd2 will be 3 in 2 weeks and for the first time EVER had a second slice of bread at lunchtime today. It is a total hit and miss as to whether I manage to make her food when she is hungry. It has gotten easier in the last month or so and this could be helped by dd1 being settled into school now. Everything everyone has suggested is great.

I have only ever done one snacky meal at lunchtime and a cooked meal in the evening, or vice versa. And both dd1 - 5 and dd2 - 2.11 eat 2 fish fingers, a bit of a carbohydrate, potato, pasta or rice, and veg. As for pizza--- try homemade and they can put their own stuff on and you can make your own tomato sauce with all sorts hidden in it - my girls actually like pitta breads (dd2 didn't like pizza dough as its too dense) with sauce spread on, whatever you want sprinkled on top and whacked under the grill. Fun and healthy!

I don't envy you though fussy eaters make life so stressful! Good luck

PoisonToadstool Thu 15-Oct-09 14:01:48

Breastfed during the night I mean.

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 14:04:03

oh that sounds like he's had a good lunch - brill!

I really hope I don't sound all bossy and know it all because I really don't - it's just my typing and brain go at different speeds.

Another thought - have you tried putting a bit of fruit on the same plate? Only because mine will sometimes not eat anything but then will after they've had a bit of fruit and then they go back and forth between the two happily. It's so hard to know what they're mood for isn't it hmm.

BiscuitStuffer Thu 15-Oct-09 14:07:50

Sorry - one (or maybe more) last thing before I leave you in peace. Do you eat lunch with him?

If you don't, he might be happier if you just potter around him doing the dishes etc to get the focus off him.

Also - is he too tired to eat properly - not sure when his nap is.

If you do eat with him, meal times tend to coincide with when kids are tired anyway, so mine actually do better if I'm quiet and ignore them while I pootle through my own food. If they are in the mood for engaging that's different!

oh and don't talk about THE FOOD. At all grin

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