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Toddler refusing food(6 Posts)
Hello! I’m reaching breaking point with my 23 month old.
He’s got lots of allergies, dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds and lentils. He’s dropped a centile in the weight charts so I need him to put on weight. But for the life of me I cannot get him to eat breakfast at all. Other meals are a real struggle to - to the point now if my husband is home I let him feed him and I just go upstairs as I find it too distressing.
This morning we offered him Cheerios, toast, beans on toast, yoghurt with fruit on it, pear, fruit pouch (the only thing he did eat) and some crumpet.
I don’t know what to do anymore. Please help
I just plonked my toddler in the living room with a small plate of breakfast. I didn’t overwhelm him with much choice or big portions. It would just be something like half a banana and half a toasted buttered bagel. All toys (and anything else interesting) were removed or out of reach. I then got on with something else, turning my back on him completely so he didn’t get any attention for not eating and hopefully giving him the message that I just want bothered by how much he ate. He soon learnt that it was pretty boring unless he ate!
I agree that being overwhelmed with food can be daunting. Have you tried putting little bits into an ice cube tray? He can then pick out what he fancies...mine used to love this as they were in control if you see what I mean. I know it’s not helpful but he really won’t starve himself to death...sorry. Good luck
You need to play it cool! It’s clear from your post that it’s causing you a lot of anxiety, I know it’s so distressing but your ds will be picking up on your anxiety. I think by offering numerous options in quick succession you are just demonstrating further your anxiety. Just present one or two things you know he likes and make no further mention of it.
Also, I notice you offered what we would consider typical breakfast foods. If you are struggling to get calories in consider just offering foods you know he likes (or has previously enjoyed.) If that means a tuna sandwich or baked potato for breakfast it’s not the end of the world.
Think of ways to take the focus away from food whilst eating. Little bowls with snacks dotted around. Carpet picnics or eating a banana whilst going for a walk.
I watched an episode of supernanny recently where she simply put the food on the table, buffet style, and everybody sat together and ate, chatting and ignoring the toddler, but - I think - offered a little praise when they started eating. It worked. This mother was saying her daughter wouldn't eat, wouldn't eat THAT food etc but the child did tuck in, much to the mothers astonishment.
When weaning, my daughter wouldn't touch food and whinged when we tried to encourage/feed her. (Hence why I watched the supernanny episode!). We found sitting together and eating, while ignoring my daughter also had more success.
If you want the episode, it was pretty recent, (not the episodes she filmed decades ago). It was on channel 4 catch up.
How does he eat the rest of the time? Because I'd agree with the other posters overall but on breakfast specifically, both of mine were not big breakfast eaters until they were a bit older. Mine always had milk when they woke up and that would largely fill them. So they'd either have a big breakfast, but later. Or would just nibble. So it might be worth letting him have light breakfasts or a later breakfast and adjusting other meals accordingly?
Also, because of the above, when DD started school, she was still not really interested in eating in the first hour of the day. But I worried about her going to school on just a quarter of a weetabix. So I'd give her smoothies a few times a week - I'd soak a few tablespoons of oats overnight in apple juice. This then went into the smoothie alongside frozen berries and bananas, greek yoghurt and, if necessary, a little water to make it less thick. It worked quite well as she was willing and able to drink that but it was actually quite substantial and the oats meant it wasn't just fruit and yoghurt. (DH, me and DS would all have small glasses alongside breakfast and she'd get a bigger glass instead of breakfast).
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