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4.1yo DD is a fussy eater - please help!

(10 Posts)
MolotovCocktail Tue 26-Mar-13 20:33:44


Our DD1 is 4.1yo, is 106cms tall and weighs 2st 8lbs. At her last weigh-in (December) she was on the 75th centile for height and weight.

I'm concerned though because she is a very fussy eater and I think she's losing weight. She has been fussy since being about 2.6yo, but its getting worse - to the extent that she won't try new foods. Typically, she will eat over the course of a day:

A few spoon fulls of cereal (something like Coco Popsconfused )
Some fruit and milk at school
A few bites of a jam sandwich, or plain bread and butter
Crisps (Quavers, Chip sticks or something)
Frubes (about 2 sticks)
A few bites of 2 fish fingers, a nibble of rice ... and that's about it.

I really dislike giving this food to her sad Its all she'll eat, however

She's pale; she's got dark circles under her eyes and I need her to eat more - better food with more variety. Any tips as to how I can achieve this would be very, very welcome indeed.

Primadonnagirl Tue 26-Mar-13 20:43:40

Sounds like food just doesn't interest her..Perhaps try not making an issue of eating as such but get her more involved in it I.e. helping you prepare other foods, seeing you taste it etc..Also talking to her about food as you shop..chatting about difference between salty and sweet etc..introduce food into playing at restaurants or something..just spark her curiosity..

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 21:01:27

Have you tried plenty of exercise? A long walk before a meal? Run around-use lots of energy. Is she getting enough sleep if she has the dark circles?

MolotovCocktail Tue 26-Mar-13 21:13:43

Prima, thanks for your suggestions. I intend to take her to the shops tomorrow to buy some fruit to make some home-made smoothies. I'll let her choose the fruit, then maybe choose some new cereals (porridge or granola or something - I really don't like her having Coco Pops!) I guess then when I do our weekly shop, she can help y choose what veg, what type of potatoes, etc.

Exotic, she does get lots of exercise. We always walk to nursery (about 15 mins), she plays outside at school, too, and runs around a couple if times a week playig with friends. She's probably not outdoors/exercising as much as usual because of this cold weather but ... lately she's just too shattered to be as active as usual. She's taking afternoon naps again that are lasting over an hour-and-a-half. I think it's this that concerns me and has made me evaluate her diet.

exoticfruits Tue 26-Mar-13 21:19:13

The smoothies seem a good idea. Would she have soup? Have you tried getting her to drink soup from a mug? You could get a lot of vegetables in and puréed.

MolotovCocktail Tue 26-Mar-13 21:21:59

I regularly eat Heinz soup but she hates the smell. Smell puts her off a lot of the time. However, if she was to help me prepare a 'vegetable smoothie', she might have a different attitude. Thanks exotic, well worth a try smile

MERLYPUSS Wed 27-Mar-13 11:10:52

Do you think it could be a texture thing? DT2 was a lazy eater and would go for the things that didn't need chewing much. Spam (yeurk!) corned beef (double yeurk) and sausages. DH always makes an issue about finish your plate but I think he is probably a grazer and only eats when hungry.
He loves pasta(plain) and bread and butter that he will construct into a sandwich himself. We often have ploughmans that he will construct or eat the bits independantly. He also likes interactive food that can be picked up now like chicken drum sticks.
Dont give up. (I nearly did but just served up what we had) It will get better eventually. I lived on yellow food for the first 20 years!!

barefootcook Wed 27-Mar-13 20:17:27

I have a similar problem with my DS (4). I find that variety is the key. I give him a plate of food that has lots of different healthy food on it- ie lots of different types of fruit, breads/ crackers, cut up sausages etc. I don't comment on what he leaves ( often nothing now) but praise him for what he eats. Also, smoothies are great. It is amazing what can be slipped in!

joolsangel Thu 28-Mar-13 10:26:18

my 4 yr old loves to help me prep and cook. she comes into the kitchen with me and we both put a pinny on (which i wouldnt normally wear) but she loves dressing up so this gets her interested. also her fave doll has to wear a pinny too and she sits on the work surface and 'helps' too while my wee one and i sit at the table and i give a something easy to do and we taste different things. she has her own mixing bowl and spoon and then i put her bowl in the oven and tell her we have to wait for it to cook. once dinner is ready she comes with me back to the kitchen and i take out the dinner i have made and tell her she made this so we have to have our dinner and tell daddy what she made. she is delighted to take part and loves telling daddy what she has made! if there is anything that shes not so keen on then i mix a little bisto (regardless of what the meat is or veg) as sometimes eating 'dry' foods isnt as exciting for her. i also make funny faces on her plate with her foods and she loves eating the whiskers or the eyes or nose etc. it seems to work for me. hope this has given you some ideas and good luck!

MolotovCocktail Mon 01-Apr-13 21:02:56

Thanks everyone, some brilliant ideas and lots to try.

Have made an effort to include dd in doing our weekly 'big shop' - choosing fruit and veg, etc. Also, letting her choose what's for dinner. She's eaten more over the week, so fingers crossed, she'll improve even more with your suggestions.

Thanks again smile

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