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Worried about DD lack of fruit & veg....

(77 Posts)
auntyspan Mon 16-Jul-07 21:58:35

My DD is nearly 18 months old and will not eat any fresh fruit or veg. Her stools (sorry if tmi) are becoming quite pale and I'm desparately worried.
Veg - I'm mashing it up with cod / chicken etc and she eats about 3 spoonfuls and REFUSES to the point of screaming to eat anymore. I've tried steaming it a bit and giving it to her as finger food, cooking it as normal and giving her fish fingers etc. She just doesn't eat it. Fruit is even worse. I did the smoothie thing which worked for about 3 days and then she found a lump that hadn't been whizzed up, and screamed the place down. She now refuses to even take one mouthful.
I'm really at the end of my tether. Do I go down the vitamin drops route?
I think it's to do with several things - she's weird about textures (like DP ) so if she comes across anything new she spits it out. If there is something like a mash, and there's a random lump in it, again she screams like a banshee and spits the whole thing out, and refuses anymore.
Please help me!

LoonyLyraLovegood Mon 16-Jul-07 22:01:25

I was going to suggest smoothies then saw you've already tried that. I would give vitamin drops until this is sorted out, to be on the safe side.
Sorry I have no useful advice. it must be a nightmare for you.

Lostmykeys Mon 16-Jul-07 22:01:44

Hope no one goes on a rant about Innocent, but try their kids smoothies - deceptive to small children as just like a novelty drink with a straw. Also Annabel and Jamie's hidden veg pasta sauce is a good one - you can blitz it down to a smooth sauce with no bits and it looks just like a tomato sauce. Good luck, and don't panic - your fussy eater will sort herself out eventually.

nailpolish Mon 16-Jul-07 22:03:21

do you offer her something else when she screams at the veg? id say dont offer anything else.

<im a hard bitch tho>

i just dont know how any cannot like fruit. its so sweet and gorgeous!

LoonyLyraLovegood Mon 16-Jul-07 22:03:27

Why would anyone rant about Innocent smoothies? Are they in the same league as Fruit Shoots on MN? <baffled>

elasticsortinghatstand Mon 16-Jul-07 22:04:15

my hv, bless her cotton socks, put me on to tinned fruit, don't have to have the syrupy stuff. which seemed like a good idea.
does she like raspberries or melon? nice and soft.

Lostmykeys Mon 16-Jul-07 22:05:26

Heard somewehere the other day that they were not as good for you as they are made out to be. Doesn't stop me from giving them to my DD(3) as it is the only fruit fix she gets.

SpacePuppy Mon 16-Jul-07 22:07:40

Join the club. Ds is now almost 20 months and a similar behaviour started around 15 months.

I'm lucky as he will eat fruit, have you tried hum zingers? You get them in the cooking section of the supermarket, they are basically dried apple with a bit of different fruit mixed in. Ds hasn't touched veg for 4 months (so he thinks) I've been hiding it in muffins.

I was terribly worried at first, but I weigh him every 2 weeks on my scale and as long as he is gaining weigh there is no problem, however, about the vit drops, I did give him some, but put him on Formula again, he takes a bottle at waking and again bedtime, it contains all the nutrients and vit and minerals we so worry about.

The pale poo could be because of cow's milk. Her body might still be learning how to digest it. However, if she seems sick as well you should have it checked out.

I know this not much help, but at least you'll know you're not alone.

I also give ds yogurt pancakes for tea sometime, put a tablespoon of maple syrup in for sweetness, at least they contain, protein, calcium etc.

amidaiwish Mon 16-Jul-07 22:11:23

18m is a tricky age - too old to spoon feed and too young to bribe! It will get better.

DD2 is 21m and we are starting to come out of it i think. DD1 is 3.5 and eats really well, after a year of torture (hence i am much more relaxed with DD2).

i make bolognaise sauce full of veg
or chicken pie made with cut up chicken in gravy with lots of grated carrot, cooked down, with mashed potato topping made of normal potatoes and sweet potatoes. (sometimes parsnip instead of sweet potatoes).
if she likes cheese then make a cheese sauce, mix with cooked pasta and small amounts of steamed broccoli and then oven bake - that goes down well with my two.
give snacks of raw carrot, peeled apple slices, cut up cucumber and humous - in front of TV when you know they are hungry!!

blitz the mash/bolognaise a bit with a hand blender - not to a puree, just so there are no sudden lumps.

keep offering veg, just small amounts (buy frozen organic, far less annoying when they don't eat it!) and one day she will eat some. try not to make a big deal

mrsmalumbas Mon 16-Jul-07 22:12:30

Do not fear. I almost wept with joy today to see DD aged 5 tucking into a satsuma. She also eats pineapple, mango, and strawberries. For ages she was JUST like the children described here. Still fussy about vegetables, but hey, one step at a time. Fussiness about food is normal. They can and will grow out of it with patience and good humour. Good luck!!

amidaiwish Mon 16-Jul-07 22:12:58

and sometimes i cook apricots and puree and mix with yoghurt...

Innocent Smoothies are fab too. or make ice lollies out of prune juice

elasticsortinghatstand Mon 16-Jul-07 22:13:52

mine loved raisins and dates mmm

yelnats Mon 16-Jul-07 22:19:27

My dd1 is 3.3 and doesnt like fruit or veg either. With the exceptions of peas and sweetcorn (tinned and on the cob). I do worry about her as she is underweight for her age. I have just bought Annabel Karmel book and there are loads of ideas in there for hiding fruit and veg. I made Chicken nuggets from it tonight (with hidden apple and onion) though didnt go down well - think she spotted the parsley! Will try again without it.

SpacePuppy Mon 16-Jul-07 22:20:21

Ds loves scooping blueberries with a spoon dunk in plain yogurt first [it makes the berries stick to the spoon for easy transport]. I also create fancy faces with salad things, 2 half cherry tomatoes for eyes, lettuce as hair, baby corn or carrot for mouth etc. Often he only taste them, but hey it puts them in his mouth. I've also learned to leave him alone and let him start feeding himself then only do I intervene with a separate spoon!

ForcesSweetheart Mon 16-Jul-07 22:29:35

Am having similar problem with my DD (18 months) and vegetables - would happily eat fruit all day though. I didn't think I should "hide" vegetables, as then she'll never get a real taste for them? Would really appreciate advice from anyone who has done this and had a child eventually love veg. Is it really OK to hide them? Would be a big relief for me if it is, as I constantly worry about how to get her to like them. I was a terrible eater as a child and to this day I hate all fruit and many vegetables, am so worried she'll go the same way if I'm not vigilent.

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 16-Jul-07 22:32:39

Sorry you are so worried Auntyspan - I have had similar problems with ds in the past (he is now nearly 3 and still a fussy eater) - as we are a veggie family it was quite a challenge.

I had to keep within a boring selection of foods that ds 'trusted' and just keep offering new and interesting foods like 'a carrot stick' or broccoli in the vain hope that he wouldn't reject them - but he invariably did.... I always aimed to give him wholemeal bread, cheese, yogurts and stuck all sorts of things into mufins (carot, courgette, bananna muffins with choc chips) - I also have found he loves the pureed smooothies made by Ellas Kitchen (and tbh I use anything I can to up his veg intake - so they work really well as snack food).

He likes lentil soup so I do that alot and I make simple pasta sauces and whizz them up to keep texture acceptable. Things are much easier now he is older and I can feel more comfortable about him missing a meal if he is being particularly difficult.

Also he is starting nursery in september and I think peer pressure will really help alongside him not being the focus. I had too back of when he got to 20 months cos that is when I had dd - she required my attn so I stopped focusing so much on every morsel ds ingested - this helped a lot I think.

Ds is a fussy so and so and I think he always will be dd will eat anything and everything.

Vit drops are no substitute for a balanced diet so if you are having real problems then get the gp to refer you to a nutritionist for ssome help. I bf'd ds til he was about 22m so that helped with getting extra calories and good stuff in him.

The main thing is try not to despair and try not to let them know how much you care - the 2 most difficult things to do but really key to solving a lot of my difficulty with ds.

HTH - I really do know how hard this issue can be - good luck.

amidaiwish Mon 16-Jul-07 22:33:29

forces- i had to hide them with DD1 and now she eats many vegetables no problem.

i think the turning point was her realising she was eating them in food and really enjoying the food, like the broccoli in cheesy pasta bake, roast parsnips, sweetcorn on pizza . she then started liking them on their own as she had decided to like them IYSWIM.

but at 18m i was def hiding them in bolognaise /pasta sauce / casseroles.

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 16-Jul-07 22:39:23

btw - as I said in my very long post - ds starts nursery in sept and already at the intro sessions during snack time they offered him(very casually) a selection including cut up apple (which ds has never eaten in its natural state) and he nibbled on it!!! I was stunned as he would never do that for me - but I have high hopes for the autumn....

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 16-Jul-07 22:50:47

another btw - you woulsd never be able to tell that I have given this subject a lot of thought would you! - I involve ds in my cooking choosing veg and fruit in the shops and making diners and cakes things that he will and won't eat. This helps him connect with food as a normal and fun thing - and he loves making ice lollies with strawberries, bannas etc. any soft fruit whizzed up and put in lollymoulds - he would eat anything frozen on a stick I think!!

i will shut up now.

hermia Mon 16-Jul-07 23:14:00

My ds has had long phases of good eating and awful eating. He's now nearly 5 and in a bad one again. Maybe I should be more concerned but he isnt under weight and it has always turned round before. He seems to have phases of making up for it. Maybe your 18 month old is doing the same auntyspan? I found he would eat soups with toast soldiers for dipping. I blitz them if he is on a bender again but he will eat lumps in stews when the mood takes him. I'm sorry to say salt helps - not masses but some. A friend with awful problems with her son made frozen strawberry and cream lollies which worked. Mine took to raw carrot and red pepper and will eat black olives like sweets.. dont know if the olives count though. Another friend got someone else to feed her impossible 2 year old and that helped too. Home made lemonade, lime and orange works on mine but nothing is sure fire. Penelope Leach says try to make sure one of each food group goes in each day including 1 fresh food.. and beyond that dont worry. I like that! Hope she's right. Does this help??

auntyspan Tue 17-Jul-07 09:07:51

Thanks so much, it's great to know she's not the only one and all the tips are very useful and will try them.
I was worried initially about me pureeing veg again (surely that's going backwards?!) but as long as I mix it with lumpy stuff I guess its OK.
I love the idea of veggie muffins - can anyone point me in the direction of a recipe?

Thanks so much again... will let you know how I get on!

Leati Tue 17-Jul-07 09:16:02

I have one that is such a picky eater that he was anemic. I had to put vitamins in his orange juice. Anyway, the advise the give in the US is to chose on fruit or vegetable to concentrate on at a time. Offer that fruit or vegetable a couple times a day, every day for a week. If at the end of the week DD still will not eat, take it away for awhile and try a new one. If at the end of the week DD will eat it add it randomly to meals and start with new veggie or fruit.

hurricane Tue 17-Jul-07 10:22:05

God, we have a problem with obesity in this country not undereating. Young children and babies do not need a huge amount of food especially if they're still drinking milk. THey have tiny tummies.If a child is of a normal weight then stop worrying. Children are not born fussy eaters they are made into them. I defy any parent who follows the rules below consistently to have a child who is fussy:

1.) Provide a role model. Always eat with your kids. Always eat the same things as they are. Never prepare 'kids food' and 'adults food'. Never have adult meals and children's eating times.

2.) Do not give choice. Put stuff on a plate (a good range). Do not offer alternatives. If you say my child will only eat fishfingers and chips that is because you are only giving them fishfingers and chips. Stop doing that.

3.) Give child as much control over the eating process as poss. Finger food and knives and forks. Recent research suggests there is no need to puree food at all. If a child is old enough to sit up and eat then he is old enough to feed himself.

4.) If child doesn't eat. Calmly take food away. Do not pressure, criticise,fuss or worry. This will cause child to worry and manipulate even very young children will pick up on your worries.

5.) Make food pleasurable. Involve children in preparation from as early as possible. Allow children to make a mess. Let them dip, dunk, smear and splat.

amidaiwish Tue 17-Jul-07 10:52:41

yes hurricane i generally agree as most people would,
most families it is impossible to all eat together, in the SE during the week anyway. DH and I eat at 8.30pm
at 6months, DD1 started crawling, her weight tumbled, i had to get solids into her fast and as much as possible. she was starting to get ill. no way could i have left her to her own devices, eating what she wanted when she wanted.

Rantmum Tue 17-Jul-07 10:59:29

Have you tried dried fruit - raisins, apricots etc?

Innocent smoothies won't have any lumps so agree with person who suggested them.

Also, can you puree veg and then mix into pasta sauce or cheese sauce?

Probably the best idea is to just act as though the reaction doesn't bother you - don't give it too much attention, just take the food away, and carry on with eating your own dinner.

Also I remember reading that children tend to copy their food behaviours from their fathers rather than from their mothers (not sure why!)so it is important that your dp at least acts as though he likes veg in front of your dd (even if he's not that keen)

Sorry if that is not much help.

Good luck - hopefully it is a phase that she'll outgrow!

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