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2 and a half year old only eating tomato soup and nutella sandwiches!!! HELP ITS GONE ON TOO LONG!!!!!

(11 Posts)
SammEC Fri 12-Aug-11 14:20:08

Hi everyone,

Firstly I needs to say that he does eat ready brek, weetabix and spaghetti hoops aswell, NO fruit, NO veg, NO meat!!!

I totally blame myself for using stupid baby jars, and I cannot tell you how annoyed I am with myself, but now I need help getting him to try different foods, in the past I have given him lots of choice but he just pushed it away saying NO, so I have tried again and again, but still no, then I have given in and made him something I know he likes just so he has had something to eat. The supernanny site suggested that I make him a meal, at lunchtime serve it and if he won't eat it, just keep giving him that meal all day, even if doesn't eat anything the whole day, no snacks just drinks, can this harm him in anyway, I am at my wits end believe me, he isn't getting balanced diet in any way, and I am so worried for him and am so cross with myself!
Please can anyone give me some advice? blush sad

cheesesarnie Fri 12-Aug-11 14:26:13

my parents used to do the 'if she doesnt eat it now,we'll give it again for dinner etc'they tried force feeding,sat in front of cold dinner etc etc.it became a game.i was taken for tests etc,nothing wrong,i just wasnt interested.i think they were told i could survive on a mars bar and a packet of crisps!
food became an issue,being one of 4 it was my way of getting attention(even if it ment having my nose held and food shoved in my mouth).
dont blame yourself,but also i think not making an issue of it is my advice.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 12-Aug-11 14:30:35

First, don't worry about the balanced diet too much. If he's not pale, fainting, emaciated or catching every bug doing the rounds then he's probably not suffering from his limited diet. Denying snacks is a good move because hungry people are far less fussy than full-up-on-snacks people.

Tips therefore....
- 2.5 is old enough to understand simple deals. With my DS at that age I got him to undertand that old favourites would be available during the week but new favourites (optimism, optimism) would be tried at weekends. The 'deal' was that he had to taste the food before deciding if he liked it or not. No yelling, pushing/throwing food away just for the sake of it. Big praise for trying the new food, obviously.
- Try to eat together, the same food.... monkey see, monkey do etc.
- Invite other children the same age to eat with him... same reason. Peer pressure very influential on small children.
- Serve really small amounts. A big plateful or too much choice can be overwhelming for little ones.
- Don't hover, encourage, ask questions, poke food at him on a spoon or mention the food particularly at mealtimes. Put it down and get on with your own meal. Talk about anything else other than the food. This helps ramp down the pressure and anxiety.

Miggsie Fri 12-Aug-11 14:49:00

Well most small kids are neophobic (won't try new things) so don't beat yourself up. Second, tomato soup and nutella are famous for having that "mouth feel". Does he eat tomato ketchup as well? That one pushes all the sweet/sour and nice "mouth feel"...I think it's called umami...

So what he is doing is perfectly natural, although not healthy long term. Next, if he's like my DD he'll have some amazing food "rules" in his head, DD had the "I won't eat a broken biscuit" rule (hence total meltdown if biscuit breaks) and also the "rice must be next to ketchup and the peas on the other side of the rice" rule, she still moves food round her plate to achieve this "food design" aged 7.

So you need to sort of work round this food rule type thing by saying nutella and tomato soup are so lovely, they are for special occasions and we all need to try something different. Add some bread and butter with the soup and slowly reduce the soup portion size. Only introduce food slowly and try bribery: we shamelessly bribed DD, every new food she tasted she got points and when she had 10 points she got to choose a new animal for her toy farmyard. Basically we ended up with a hit rate of about 3 in 10, for every 10 things she tasted she ended up liking about three (so she eats swede, cabbage and yorkshire pudding now due to this policy, people are stunned how much cabbage she gets down and it baffles me too). And to get the points she had to fully chew and swallow the food not just stick the tip of her tongue on it.

If this bribery is a bit beyond him at this age, try to connect the food stuffs with activities. We used to tell DD that if she ate bananas it would stop her constipation, which it did, and got her eating bananas, and that daddy was a fast runner because he ate sweetcorn, and if she ate sweetcorn she could beat him in a race (beating daddy in a race was DD's sworn aim when small).

You have to be very persistent and very devious, and accept that it may take 4 weeks to get him even eating a yoghurt.

Chestnutx3 Fri 12-Aug-11 16:40:46

Is he still having milk would be my first question? If so you know that will fill him up instead of

Breakfast seems sorted and I would stick with what he will eat rather than expand his breakfast until you have sorted out the rest of his meals.

Then for lunch, dinner and snacks I would decide what he should eat (I would included a little bit of spaghetti hoop plus something else, tomato soup plus something else but not enough of the regular items to fill him up and only one of his favourites a day). Ideally it should be a similar lunch to your own. Eat together if possible. Have set meal and snack times. I used to leave the snacks out especially fruit near play areas and they often were so distracted they would eat it.

Ignore the eating/lack of eating talk about something else. Don't praise or critisise him about what he is eating at any moment he is using it for attention.

I'm really not into serving up the same meal again and again all day, I think thats a bit cruel. However, if he eats none of the meals offered after 20mins take them away and if he complains he is hungry give him water.

Read a book called Meals without Tears. My DD didn't eat much until she was nearly 3, she wasn't interested. Day 3 of a similar tactic I have described above and she cracked and has eaten well ever since.

thefoodschool Fri 12-Aug-11 19:21:43

don't make a big issue of it as it will stress baby out and make it a whole lot worse. i get fruit and veg in my kids by hiding it safe in the knowledge that they are eating ok and that they will grow out of it so...

make tomato soup by cooking some sweet inoffensive veg in it ie carrot / parsnip etc and then puree it so that it looks / tastes same

and

make drop scones (thick pancake batter) and add very finely grated apple or pear to the batter. cook on each side for 2 mins and spread nutella on top

Haudyerwheesht Fri 12-Aug-11 19:30:01

I just wanted to give you hope. At this age ds lived on yogurt, cheerios, and maybe an apple.

Now he is still wary of new food but eats pasta dishes, pizza, roast dinners, sandwiches, lots and lots of fruit and veg, lots of different things for breakfast, eggs, bacon, etc etc - lots of things I NEVER thought he qould eat and in actual fact he eats more 'good stuff' than nost of his friends who were great eaters when younger.

Dd on the other hand is almost a year and has eaten anything and everythoing since being weaned she is really interested in food where as ds never was and still isn't - its a means to an end for him iyswim? Kids are different, don't blame yourself.

My top tips would be:

No snacks.
Offer what he likes but with small variations - different types of soup maybe, nutella and banana sandwiches.
Always offer a wee plate of something new too. Keep offering.
Don't react if / when he doesn't eat / picks bits out.
Always offer supper before bed of banana / bread etc so he has a chance to fill up if he's not eaten much.

Good luck!!

Haudyerwheesht Fri 12-Aug-11 19:30:02

I just wanted to give you hope. At this age ds lived on yogurt, cheerios, and maybe an apple.

Now he is still wary of new food but eats pasta dishes, pizza, roast dinners, sandwiches, lots and lots of fruit and veg, lots of different things for breakfast, eggs, bacon, etc etc - lots of things I NEVER thought he qould eat and in actual fact he eats more 'good stuff' than nost of his friends who were great eaters when younger.

Dd on the other hand is almost a year and has eaten anything and everythoing since being weaned she is really interested in food where as ds never was and still isn't - its a means to an end for him iyswim? Kids are different, don't blame yourself.

My top tips would be:

No snacks.
Offer what he likes but with small variations - different types of soup maybe, nutella and banana sandwiches.
Always offer a wee plate of something new too. Keep offering.
Don't react if / when he doesn't eat / picks bits out.
Always offer supper before bed of banana / bread etc so he has a chance to fill up if he's not eaten much.

Good luck!!

Haudyerwheesht Fri 12-Aug-11 19:30:02

I just wanted to give you hope. At this age ds lived on yogurt, cheerios, and maybe an apple.

Now he is still wary of new food but eats pasta dishes, pizza, roast dinners, sandwiches, lots and lots of fruit and veg, lots of different things for breakfast, eggs, bacon, etc etc - lots of things I NEVER thought he qould eat and in actual fact he eats more 'good stuff' than nost of his friends who were great eaters when younger.

Dd on the other hand is almost a year and has eaten anything and everythoing since being weaned she is really interested in food where as ds never was and still isn't - its a means to an end for him iyswim? Kids are different, don't blame yourself.

My top tips would be:

No snacks.
Offer what he likes but with small variations - different types of soup maybe, nutella and banana sandwiches.
Always offer a wee plate of something new too. Keep offering.
Don't react if / when he doesn't eat / picks bits out.
Always offer supper before bed of banana / bread etc so he has a chance to fill up if he's not eaten much.

Good luck!!

YoungishBag Fri 12-Aug-11 19:32:11

Also purée to oblivion a load of veg and add it to the soup gradually so he doesn't notice.

SpannerPants Sun 14-Aug-11 18:45:27

I went through a phase at a similar age of just eating Heinz cream of tomato soup and dark chocolate digestives! like cheesesarnie I was one of 4, and mealtimes became a real battle of wills between me and my dad where we would sit at the table for hours while he tried to forcefeed me.

I would definitely second the advice to not make too much of an issue of it and I'm sure he will grow out of it soon. Does he go to nursery/playgroups where children eat together? Sometimes children are more open to trying new things if they see their peers eating them.

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