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Need help: 2.5 year old won't try new foods

(51 Posts)
bigbananaflambe Tue 14-Dec-04 20:36:39

My 2.5yr old son refuses to try any new foods. The food he eats is very limited: marmite/honey sandwiches, cereal, salami, milk (bottle in morning and one at night) chips and yoghurt. That's it. He won't even entertain the thought of anything new - says 'don't like it' and turns his head or throws it on the floor. Obviously don't want to make food a 'thing' so I don't push it. Any tips from anyone? Would desperately love him to eat a wider variety (partic. veg and fruit!)

He never shows any interest in anything from my plate. We often eat together. This 'phase' has been happening slowly over the last year. He used to eat a much wider vaiety of foods, but it's shrinking as each month passes.

Gobbledigoose Tue 14-Dec-04 20:38:06

Tell me about it!

It is just about, sort of, getting better now and ds1 is 3yrs 9 months. He's a nightmare, I tell you and it has my blood pressure through the roof at every meal time!

bigbananaflambe Tue 14-Dec-04 20:39:34

oh god - so what did you do - how did you handle it? my son has so much energy - don't know how from a plate of poxy sandwiches!

Gobbledigoose Tue 14-Dec-04 20:39:57

I think you just have to keep offering him small amounts of it with food he does eat and eventually he'll have a go. This is what I've done and in the last week, ds1 has only just taken to eating cheese! I've been doing them 'pic-nic' teas when really knackered and included small cubes of cheese and although I've always done this, it's only the last week or so he's actually eaten it.

DS2 is just 2 and he used to be like a human dustbin, eat anything, since about 18 months he's turned into ds1 so if it's not one, it's the other! Arghghghghgh!

Gobbledigoose Tue 14-Dec-04 20:45:35

Posts crossed!

That's all I've done - I've stuck to what he will eat and just sort of made sure he's covered all the food groups which he has just about. It's very, very common so I've tried not to worry and like I say, just now, after a long time of adding things he wouldn't eat like carrots, sweetcorn, cheese - he's starting to have a go at least. I think that's all you can do because for me, getting cross, bribery, you name it, nothing would make him eat what he didn't want to! My ds's diets are like this:

Cereal for breakfast

Lunch - wholemeal bread sandwiches with either ham, jam or marmalade (occ. cheese spread) followed usually by yoghurt or fruit

Tea - smiley faces, sausages, fish fingers, flipper dippers, beans and peas and occ. pasta with tuna and tomato sauce (that i could sometimes sneak a bit of spinach into!).

Snacks - luckily - apples, bananas, strawberries, raisins, breadsticks but also the odd penguin, breakaway, chocolate muffin!

When they were smaller they'd eat shepherds pie, lasagne, roast dinner - but not now! I think they get to an age where they push the boundaries, they don't eat it so you don't bother cooking it and then you end up just giving them what they will eat so you don't throw food away! That's why over the past few months I've taken to adding veg to the sausages or fish fingers rather than just giving them beans and slowly but surely they are getting used to it.

I'm a long way off from getting them to eat anything really different though

I bet when they are 16 I'll watch them devour dinner and wonder if they are the same kids!!!

TheFennelandtheIvy Tue 14-Dec-04 20:49:35

I really feel all the baby and toddler feeding guides should talk about this "shrinking" phase.

my now 3 and 4 year olds both did it at 1-2. They have started eating a wider range again in the last year. both are quite reasonable eaters again now.

I think you have to keep offering and make sure they don't get "stuck" in this toddler phase of only eating limited things. things I have done including only offering things I know they used to eat (ie don't totally hate) and then leaving them hungry if they don't want to eat it. Sometimes I bribe - a yogurt if you eat 3 pieces of brocolli, etc.

morningpaper Tue 14-Dec-04 20:50:48

My dd is the same - 2 years 2 months.

She eats about five foods, NONE of which are fruit or veg. She won't even drink MILK. I sit down and eat with her three times a day and always put a bit of what I'm eating on her plate. She always refuses and says "It's horrible" although she doesn't even put it NEAR her mouth.

I've started giving her vitamins but otherwise I've pretty much given up. She is quite chubby but I've no idea how. Mind you I DID give her a Kinder Egg for pudding today - I'm a DREADFUL mother!!!

bigbananaflambe Tue 14-Dec-04 20:54:12

oh morning paper, you're not a dreadful mother! It's a nightmare isn't it - none of the books even discuss this type of fussy eater - all assume that they should be sitting down enjoying what we eat at each mealtime - which is a JOKE!

Reassuring to know I'm not alone though!


lapsedrunner Tue 14-Dec-04 21:00:25

Join the club, ds is 2.3 and eats pasta, pasta and pasta (as plain as possible). For the first time ever he asked for pasta for breakfat today! (luckily I managed a diversionary tactic). He will stretch to rice and used to devour fish fingers and sauages but even becoming picky about those. Veg is a complete no, no, he will eat apples & banna......hum, actually I seem to remember I was in my mid 20's before I realised that veg can be quite nice.

Gobbledigoose Tue 14-Dec-04 21:24:17

Like Fennel I also let them eat what was on the plate or nothing. Being doing that the last couple of months and ds1 is better but not ds2. Also done the bribery - 3 more pieces of carrot and you can have a chocolate muffin!

wrapmefestively Tue 14-Dec-04 21:38:24

I supplement my toddler with vitamins because her diet is as crap as the other toddlers mentioned her!

bluemoon Tue 14-Dec-04 21:48:29

I'm in the same boat. mp, my dd's also 2.2 but unlike yours she's pretty skinny. I also supplement with vitamins as I think her energy levels have been getting very low. She's an incredibly talkative child, amazing really, but I can't get her out the front door most of the time even with bribes of park etc.

My dd eats in minute quantities I have to say: dry wholemeal toast / broccoli / baby corn / red leicester cheese / pasta in tomato sauce / bananas

That's it. She's never EVER allowed a morsel of eggs, meat or fish to pass her little lips. I worry continually about her not getting enough protein though just yesterday for the first time she ate a bit of yoghurt.

It all looks quite healthy but that's in part because she won't eat chocolate / biscuits / cakes though might nibble on a crisp now and then.

morningpaper Tue 14-Dec-04 21:59:24

Gobblede: I have tried the eat-it-or-nothing approach a few times recently. It sounded like perfect sense. But she just won't eat. And when she is put to bed after a day of no food she screams and screams because she is starving. The problem is, if I don't give her a meal that she will eat, she gets into a FOUL mood and is impossible to control - well that's because she's bloody hungry. But I don't think she has the insight to understand that.

In the end I just figure that it's better not to fight about it. I'd rather she eats a sausage than nothing.

She goes to nursery two days a week - often she will eat nothing all day and they will be really worried, but she is never bothered.

morningpaper Tue 14-Dec-04 22:01:34

Bluemoon: at least your dd has some healthy choices. But not much fatty stuff? I'd slap a load of olive oil on her pasta if she'll let you...

It's difficult isn't it?

bluemoon Tue 14-Dec-04 22:06:08

mp ... OIL??? Dd is totally phobic about anything vaguely greasy. Or cold. Or wet.


bluemoon Tue 14-Dec-04 22:08:11

I have also done that leave them to eat or starve option and dd just didn't eat. Unlike your dd, mp, she didn't get fed up at all. She just went to bed with no tea for about 3 nights until we couldn't stand it any more. I honestly think she's totally uninterested in food and doesn't have much of an appetite.

morningpaper Tue 14-Dec-04 22:10:05

bm: It's just awful isn't it?

I can't sneak anything into dd's food. She seems to have some kind of anti-nutrient-filter where her mouth should be...

TheFennelandtheIvy Wed 15-Dec-04 09:38:46

morningpaper, my dd2 at 2 would also tend to not eat and then have major tantrums from hunger. that's why I tended to give food she almost eats or used to eat, if I'm going to say it's that or nothing.

Now she's 3.4 I'm getting more rigorous about her trying more different food - though she still tantrums I have to admit but she understands better that it's good to eat some vegetables etc, and that if she's hungry later it's her choice.

morningpaper Wed 15-Dec-04 09:50:15

Fennel: Yes I am just hoping that she will develop more adventurous tastes as she gets older. Also if we have a no. 2 I am hoping that she/he will eat better and dd will be encouraged to do so... (it's worth a try!)

littledonkeyrach Wed 15-Dec-04 10:07:29

DD1 was like this until DD2 was weaned on baby rice. Suddenly DD1 wants to eat rice and try new things!!!
In the last week she has tried lots of things - the deal is if she doesn't like it she can spit it out!! Also, if she eats say 5 new things, she gets a barbie outfit or some stickers. And we ahve to phone grandma to tell her!!!

bluemoon Wed 15-Dec-04 21:49:17

Today life became more 'hellish' still as for the 3rd day running dd has now eliminated one of the few things she will eat. So it's no to pasta. I've dreaded this moment. What the heck can I give her for tea now???

TheFennelandtheIvy Thu 16-Dec-04 16:33:59

sorry bluemoon, I really don't know. except, I suppose if she's eating that little you've got little to lose by holding your ground?

maybe get her weight/growth/iron levels checked if you are concerned?

GoodKingWestCountryLass Fri 17-Dec-04 03:25:41

I do what Gobbledigoose does and put a small amount of what we are having on his plate along with non-offending items. Sometimes he puts these things in his mouth but so far takes them out againa dn says 'no like' and we praise him for trying them.

At the moment all my DS eats is plain pasta, cheese, cashew nuts, cucumber, carrots, yoghurt and fruit, oh and chocolate and biscuits!

morningpaper Fri 17-Dec-04 08:11:02

Blue moon: If it just for a few days then don't worry. DD refuses loads of stuff if she is under the weather or has a sore throat, sometimes eating nothing. Hope today is better!

Kittypickle Fri 17-Dec-04 08:28:20

Bluemoon, huge sympathies. DD (6) has been a nightmare with food pretty much from the moment she was born. I don't suppose a different shape of pasta would make any difference would it, bows or something ?

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