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Child that doesn't eat! HELP ME!!!!!

(48 Posts)
Fifi2406 Thu 22-Aug-13 15:47:45

My DS is almost 2 he used to be such a good eater would eat pretty much all the things I gave him or at least put it in his mouth and try it! Now he will eat breakfast (2x weetabix and a slice of toast) and that's it...all day! He will possibly have a banana but then that really is it, I've not done anything differently to when he was eating before no sudden changes of what I was cooking and also not cooking the same things all the time so he got bored I feel like he had a good varied diet. Now he won't even have food on his high chair tray as soon as I bring any food near him he says no and pushes it back at me or passes it back and says "thank you" I've tried him sat at a little table not strapped into a high chair, I've tried from my plate, I've tried ignoring him and just eating mine ive tried grown up plates, ive taken the highchair tray off and brought him right up to the table with a special little mat I don't give him anything else if he doesn't eat his dinner as this is what my HV advised and she said he would soon give in! Well this has been going on for months now and it's driving me insane! What he would eat if it was up to him or if i offered would be crisps, he's had them before at parties etc I don't keep them in the house (or I would soon become the size of a house) or he if I were to present him with toast for lunch and dinner, or baked beans he would happily eat those! I'm at my whits end and now I've had a few people say hasn't he got skinny and he was never chubby to begin with now I know this could be because he's growing length ways and losing a bit of the babyness but with his terrible eating its really worrying me

Please give me advise on your experience of non eaters when will he eat like a normal human? He is sooooo hyper all the time and I really don't understand where his energy comes from living on a slice of toast and weetabix.
confused Also his poos are absolutely horrendous and I'm sure it's because he doesn't have any kind of balance in his diet

Sorry this is long and probably got bad grammar and spelling smile

SavoyCabbage Sat 24-Aug-13 07:24:09

I know a child like this. She eats a lot at breakfast and not much else. It's because breakfast food is bland and the same every day.

Two weetabix and a slice of toast is too much. My dd has just started having two and she's nearly ten. I would stop buying weetabix and see if you can encourage other stuff. Avacado/egg/sardines on toast for breakfast. Don't write anything off. Just try a lot of different things.

Notrightnowww Sat 24-Aug-13 09:58:02

Fifi - it did happen gradually for us.

When dc2 started eating solids and turned out to be a good eater and quite adventurous, I decided it was better to not thwart adventurous eating! I didn't cater separately for them so the food got even more varied, and slowly dd came round to eating more food. I think juggling 2 dc meant I was focusing a bit less on what dd was eating and that helped.

NoSquirrels Sat 24-Aug-13 10:46:13

Just wanted to pick up on one thing you said, that in the past he's eaten the same amount for breakfast and then also eaten the other two meals OK.

Remember that growth slows down a lot from after the first year-18months -- they are still growing at a great rate but nothing like the huge rate of moving from babyhood to early toddler. Appetite therefore also decreases, so even if he used to eat the same amount for breakfast and then lunch and dinner he may not need to now, and so is just cutting out the bits he doesn't like.

Hope the book helps, good luck. I think the thing to remember in all of this is to keep consistent and calm, however you feel inside!

Sofiamum Sat 24-Aug-13 21:51:26

My dd1 (6) is a non eater. We have found with her that if she has a big breakfast then she will not eat her lunch and dinner.

Give him a tiny breakfast. Like a juice and a cracker. Then he will be really hungry at lunch time. This is your opportunity to give him "a meal". Something quite bland to start off with. Maybe homemade cheese and tomato pizza.

In the evening he will not be very hungry, after his big lunch. So for dinner he could have a piece of toast and some ham and carrots cut up next to it.

dd(1) went through a stage of refusing all food. HV said that she would eat if hungry. She didnt and lost weight. GP said to give her anything and everything she wanted. He said some kids will not eat even if hungry and the most important thing is that they eat something, even if the same every day! GP was right.

Fifi2406 Sun 25-Aug-13 10:23:26

I've given him one weetabix this morning to see how hungry he is by lunch time, I can't do a basic pizza as he has a dairy allergy but will definitely try another bland food for lunch and a sandwich/toast later on!

Yes he seems to be the same, not actually giving in and eating but then if I have been giving him to much breakfast he could have just not wanted more food later so will see how he eats today with only a small breakfast!

primigravida Sun 25-Aug-13 10:34:52

My son was a very picky eater at that age too. Thankfully at five he is a lot better. We kept on offering him different food and would only give him healthy options. I tried to involve him choosing different foods. We gave him a kids' multivitamin supplement. Keep trying different things on toast like different types of nut butters (peanut, almond cashew), marmite, hummus etc. and definitely give smaller breakfasts so your son doesn't just full up then. Small more frequent meals are the way to go. So aim for five small meals throughout the day.
I know that lots of parents don't approve of this but sometimes I found my son ate better if he was watching a dvd at the same time and I paused it if he stopped eating. This was the only way I could get vegetables into him. Best of luck.

Fifi2406 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:29:42

So I've given him a small breakfast nothing in between from about half 11 he was begging for food so i made some lunch for him pasta with a tomato sauce and a few peas and carrots but did them separately and put some little satsuma segments on another plate but he has given all of this back to me and is now absolutely furious at me that I won't give him anything else! I have left the carrots peas and satsuma out on the coffee table to see of he might pick at it i havent said anything about him eating them just left them there and he keeps going past saying "no"

I went to the gp and she was so unhelpful and just said I had wasted their time because health visitors deal with things like this!

I'll try this today as its a Sunday and I'll go back tomorrow and go back to the health visitor and see if she says I should just feed him the stuff he does eat hmm

noblegiraffe Sun 25-Aug-13 12:47:39

My DS is 4 and still wouldn't eat carrots, peas or satsuma. If he were really hungry and was just presented with them, instead of eating them he would have a massive teary meltdown. And then still not eat them.

I think if you've got him hungry instead of trying food that he definitely doesn't want, start building on what he does want. So he likes toast - put out toast with peanut butter, see what he does with that. If he decides he can eat peanut butter, then maybe in a few days do peanut butter on an oatcake. Or put the toast out and put a bit of cheese next to it. If he isn't viewing the whole plate with dismissive negativity it might help.

daftdame Sun 25-Aug-13 12:57:49

Would he dip the toast in anything? Could try savoury and sweet eg fruit purée, vegetable soup, egg. Might he like anything small coated in breadcrumbs, eg home made chicken goujons? - (he might like the crunch).

daftdame Sun 25-Aug-13 13:00:50

If he likes bread you could try making scones with him and eat them hot out of the oven. This might to persuade him there is more to food than Weetabix and toast. If you can get him to cook with you and like it you can progress to more suitable meals.

NoSquirrels Sun 25-Aug-13 21:00:12

Well, the positive is that you can see that the big breakfast was meaning he wasn't hungry at lunchtime, and a smaller breakfast means he is hungry.

I agree with noblegiraffe that you were probably being a bit ambitious with the choice of food.

Think of it this way, you have 2 things to solve:

1) Getting DS to eat more frequent meals throughout the day (so reducing breakfast, making sure he is hungry etc)

2) Getting him to eat a wider variety of foods.

Don't try to do it all at once -- if at lunchtime he is hungry then serve toast-based meal plus some cucumber sticks/cheese cubes/ carrot sticks/yoghurt and banana like noblegiraffe says. Even if he only eats the toast today, you can vary the toppings. Softly softly catchee monkey. . .

You do need to be in it for the long haul, and try any change consistently for over a week to see a difference - it's a bit worrying that if today is no improvement you will see the HV tomorrow for a different opinion. Make the appointment in a week's time if you see no change.

Fifi2406 Sun 25-Aug-13 21:56:39

I did carrots peas and satsuma because he used to absolutely love them frozen peas or cooked peas and cooked or raw carrots he can't have cheese sticks he has a dairy allergy that was his "finger" food which he loved.

Yeah I agree its a positive that he is hungry, but he is always hungry and asks for food after he has had a big breakfast but the only food he wants or is willing to eat is toast or weetabix just refuses to eat anything that isn't those two things

He is not 2 yet and has he attention span of a fish I don't think he would be interested in helping I tried before to make oaty biscuits and he just had no interest he mostly likes to run around will give it another try as that was about a month ago

Will also get some chicken and try making goujons tomorrow

This evening I gave him some toast squares with peanut butter on and he refused them which is what happens whenever I put anything on jam, marmalade even if the toast has spread on he will refuse it

I thought about just speaking to the HV tomorrow as this isn't just the first day of this, he hasn't eaten anything but toast and weetabix for well over a month probably two months and if I am reducing his breakfast he is having one bit of toast or one weetabix for the WHOLE day everyday for a while or as someone else suggest stop giving weetabix all together and he will be eating nothing all day until maybe just maybe he gives in and as its been going on so long if I should just give him toast and weetabix because at least it's something...he is getting little to no nutrition?

Sofiamum Sun 25-Aug-13 22:25:52

In that case give him weetabix, toast and banana. If he is hungry and will not eat anything else then give him what he will eat. Better to get some nutrients than none at all. Until you see your HV, who may refer you to a specialist or another GP.

freerangeeggs Mon 26-Aug-13 01:47:42

Baked beans are pretty healthy. Baked beans and toast provides all the essential amino acids (apparently)

daftdame Mon 26-Aug-13 08:12:49

Oh also could try eggy bread? If you made your own bread you could maybe mix something like carrots in, slice thinly and toast.

DwellsUndertheSink Mon 26-Aug-13 08:33:01

I think you need to look at this differently - ideally, you want to get him eating 3x a day, so give him a small breakfast, then beans on toast at lunch if thats what he will eat. And toast for tea too.

DO this for a couple of days to get him used to eating regularly.

Then add a fish finger to his beans on toast plate, or a couple of couple of carrots to his dinner plate. DO this every day for a week or so. dont fuss if he doesnt want to eat it, just get him used to seeing different things on his plate.

The aim is to get him eating - if toast is all he will eat, then toast it is for now. Otherwise you are just turning the table into a battle ground.

Toddlers are fussy - my youngest would only eat toast and yoghurts. Just persevere. Also try and eat together - he needs to see you eating different foods and making appreciative nom-nom-nom noises.

BumbleChum Tue 27-Aug-13 12:29:43

Fifi, you didn't respond to my question upthread, but I just wondered if you have considered the possibility of coeliac disease / food intolerances? Because my 3 year old became an incredibly fussy eater who would only eat a handful of food (shreddies, porridge, bread, pasta & potatoes) in tiny quantities. Eventually, nearly 2 years and many doctors later, he was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Since going gluten-free he has become a fantastic and varied eater - the reason he was behaving like this was because of internal discomfort/the effect of gluten on his body. I tried many of the things suggested on this thread to no avail - if there is a medical issue then none of those will work, and may actually be harmful (if pushing him to eat the food that is damaging him).

Just wanted to raise the possibility, as i wish someone had done that to me - it never even occurred to me, or any of the many health professionals I asked.

Fifi2406 Tue 27-Aug-13 14:59:40

Oh sorry bumble think I missed your question, his poos are just extremely runny sticky they go everrrywhere up the front down the legs up the back! they aren't pale but not dark either and I'm not sure what you mean by floaty? I'm surprised if he has a hard normal looking poo!

BumbleChum Thu 29-Aug-13 08:23:52

Oh yes, I forgot he was still in nappies - 'floaty' is more applicable when they're using a loo! Perhaps have a look at the list of coeliac symptoms on the Coeliac UK website, and if any of them ring a bell, then ask the doctor for a coeliac blood test. It is a common (1 in 100 people) but frequently missed condition, because many doctors have a stereotyped idea of what symptoms should present (many think there has to be weight loss, but actually the minority of coeliacs were losing weight at the time of diagnosis). It would be worth ruling out, and if this is the underlying cause (as it was with my DS) then nothing else will work.

Bluebell79 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:50:44

Sorry not read all the replies but wanted to say my 10yr old only has 2 weetabix for breakfast, I think your giving him a big breakfast and he's not hungry later. My middle child is 6 and very fussy he often refuses dinner and then the next morning wants a big breakfast, I have to say no so that he's hungry and will try lunch and dinner.

mrsvilliers Fri 30-Aug-13 20:59:15

Fifi how's it going? I went through this with my DS at a similar age, all he would eat was sandwiches (cream cheese or houmous). I didn't have fight in me so one day just let him. He ate sandwiches for a week then one evening asked for pasta and all of a sudden we were back to normal (ish.)

I find the fussiness maddening though!

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 30-Aug-13 21:12:57

Fifi, agree with the advice on here, get him eating rather than worrying about what. I would give him the small breakfast, beans on toast for lunch and toast for supper, maybe with more beans. . He will be fine. Lots of nutrition and fibre in beans. Think of lots if Indian children who live in dhal, same idea. If you can get a vitamin pill suitable to his age down him, well and good. The chewy ones want down best in our home.

And then read the book, sounds great.

My DM's goddaughter refused to eat anything save cream crackers and bananas for years. And years. And years . She became a ballet dancer. She's fine.

BlackMogul Fri 30-Aug-13 21:20:50

DD was horrendous but we had managed to solve the problem before she was 2. I could not get her to take a bottle, ever. She used to eat half a small yoghurt, a slice or two of banana and maybe a few pieces of pasta. HV advice was useless but her case was dscussed at a HV conference which also produced no real ideas. At 18 months she mainly had breast milk from me and I was fed up with preparing rejected meals and feeling like a cow! The miracle occurred about 8 weeks after starting nursery 3 mornings a week at 18 months, when she also stayed to lunch. From small beginnings, and a report each day from a dedicated nursery nurse, she actually began to eat!!! On Christmas Day at 20 months she had second helpings of Christas Lunch. Never looked back after that. She wanted to do what everyone else did around the table - eat.

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