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Nipping toddler's bad habits in the bud: How?!

(18 Posts)
LaTristesse Mon 22-Oct-12 12:38:46

DS is 2.7 and has got into bad eating habits which I'm desperate to change but don't really know where to start...

His sister is 7 months, we're doing BLW and she's doing brilliantly, sitting at the table eating the same food as me and trying everything with gusto. DS on the other hand didn't do BLW (I really wish I had!) and is really picky about what he'll eat, as well as wanting to eat in front of the TV or have an iPad at the table with his favourite CBeebies show on. I've tried just refusing but he calls my bluff and goes without food. Which would be ok if he 'learned the lesson' and ate better at the next meal but he doesn't. InvRiably he'll wake up at 5am crying that he's hungry. My need for sleep so far has overtaken my need for him to eat better which is why I've given in to him.

I don't know whether the pickiness is just regular toddler stuff and he'll grow out of it, but he refuses to eat any veg, most of my homemade meals, anything decent basically. He just wants fish fingers and spaghetti hoops! I was hoping once he clocked his sister tucking into a variety of things he'd want to join in, but no sign of that so far...

Any ideas anyone, please?

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 22-Oct-12 21:33:15

Don't think this has anything to do with how you weaned him, think its more to do with a toddler naturally becoming more fussy, as lots do, and how it's been handled.

I would all sit at the table and put the ipad away, somewhere he can't see it. Maybe an audio book might get him to sit more nicely. If he cries, don't give in, just keep calm and stay firm.

If you are giving him something new, or you know he's not keen on, put something on his plate that you know he will eat with it. Mine aren't allowed to take the offending item off their plate but aren't made to try it either. Usually they take a sneaky taste when they think we're nit looking smile

Chat, eat, relax but don't comment on what they do or don't eat.

When you and dd have finished, if DS isn't eating tidy away but don't offer alternatives.

Its not about learning his lesson either. At the moment all his is learning is that if he kicks off, he gets the food he likes and gets to watch tv too.

Try not to compare either, I know it's hard but they are different people.

HSMM Mon 22-Oct-12 21:38:53

What jilted said ... ignore and chat away inanely about anything and everything. Try not to comment on the food.

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Oct-12 14:11:18

This is the age when they are becoming personalities, it's a normal stage, your 7 month old will do the same later. I would just relax; give him the food he likes, eat together at a table. But if you eat in front of the T.V. he will want to as well; why is it a problem? He has his own likes and dislikes ignore his eating; he's not 'good' if he eats or 'bad' if he doesn't.

Chepstowmonkey Tue 23-Oct-12 15:19:16

I agree with all of the above too!

Try not to compare a 7 month old and a 2 year old when it comes to eating. My dd ate everything at first and really seemed to enjoy it all, then gradually started to become more picky from about 15ish months. She is now 2 and could probably be described as fussy - but no more so than most of her age. I pay scant attention to exactly what she eats. I cook food, I serve up food and sometimes she eats and sometimes she doesn't. Eating together as a family certainly helps me not worry as we all chat. The one night she eats on her own is certainly harder and more obvious if she doesn't eat anything. For that night of the I give her sausages or fish fingers, corn on the cob and carrots which are the only thing I know she will eat.

Sorry - this probably isn't helpful I just wanted to explain that most toddlers seem to be fussy so it probably isn't anything to do with the weaning method just about them wanting some control over their environment.

LaTristesse Thu 25-Oct-12 14:52:32

Thanks everyone, that all makes sense.

Just to clarify though, if all he eats each day is a banana and some toat for breakfast I'm not to worry? If he refuses lunch and dinner...?

milk Fri 26-Oct-12 10:40:16

What happens if he eats out, like at a restaurant or at grandparents?

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Oct-12 11:00:23

la tristesse A banana and toast is fine . If he refuses lunch when he's had nothing else (no snacks or anything) since that I'd ask what he would like and give him that or maybe more fruit he can pick up. I make fruit' pictures' for my L.O.s cut up in shapes so they can make them into faces etc. maybe sprinkled with some fruit sugar if the fruit is sour then they eat them!

Inneedofbrandy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:07:56

You could give anotther banana and milk before he goes to bed to stop the 5am wake ups. But yes I agree with what everyone else says,

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Oct-12 11:22:25

I called yr DD "he" sorry Tristesse smile She'd LOVE fruit pictures!

SavoyCabbage Fri 26-Oct-12 11:31:54

You could try making your own versions of the foods he will eat. Both to make them a bit more nutritious and to widen what he will eat by stealth. I used to make my own baked beans when dd was little. You can buy pasta in the shape of hoops so you could give him your own version of spaghetti hoops.

You could buy chicken and cover it in panko, polenta, or ritz crackers too.

LaTristesse Fri 26-Oct-12 14:08:40

No you're right ppeat, he is a boy! The girl is 7mo and not a problem yet!

LaTristesse Fri 26-Oct-12 14:11:22

Yep tried that savoy, he'll eat a lasagne ready meal but won't touch mine, same with fish pie, cottage pie, even chips!

And no he's the same at a restaurant and at gparents. Thankfully his speech is pretty indecipherable so other people don't understand him saying 'it smells like DD's nappy'! That's the response I get to every meal I dish up!

ppeatfruit Fri 26-Oct-12 14:19:00

DUH I didn't read yr. 1st para properly grin Apologies!! I would say again just give him what he'll eat he'll grow out of it honest!!

SamSmalaidh Fri 26-Oct-12 14:22:19

One day of only eating toast and a banana won't do him any harm - neither will two or three days. He won't let himself starve.

My ds is fussy too, won't eat any veg etc. I do regular meals and if he doesn't want to eat it then fine, but no alternatives. Until recently I had been letting him have pudding after dinner regardless of whether he has eaten the first course (just fruit or plain yoghurt) but the last couple of days I have said he has to try his dinner even if just one mouthful before pudding. Sometimes he has decided actually he does want to eat a bit of dinner, sometimes he has decided not to try it and has no pudding.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Oct-12 09:17:28

If he eats just a banana and toast for a few days that's fine. I'd just give him a multivitamin. He won't starve himself and if you relax and don't offer alternatives he will start eating again.

Have a look on amazon at a book called My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Somebodyorother (think that's his name anyway)grin. Haven't read it myself but have heard so many good reports about itsmile. Sorry, can't do links at the moment.

As for making him special things to tempt him, when our dd was being really fussy we made a decision not to offer her "special" food as we just wanted her to eat family meals. We also stopped the bedtime milk and banana as we realised she knew she wasn't going to bed hungry so wasn't eating her tea IYKWIM. Once we did that, and the things I mentioned above, she started eating meals smile. Although our dd is a little older so easier to reason with, and I do give her bedtime milk and banana if she has eaten all of her tea and asks for it.

cairnterrier Sat 27-Oct-12 09:23:46

DS1 is exactly like this and did BLW. Weaning has nothing to do with it as far as I can see but being 2 has everything to do with it! Good luck and stay strong.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 27-Oct-12 10:08:33

Oh, and as for the early waking try googling Ask Moxie early rising and askdrsears early waking smile

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