Advanced search

17 mnths old DD very fussy eater. Please help!

(23 Posts)
AllOverIt Fri 12-Nov-10 08:24:31

I know this has been done recently. I tried posting on there but had no response so starting a new thread. Please help with DD. She'll be 18 months at the beginning of Dec.

She eats such a limited diet. I'm at my wit's end. She's great at breakfast, so no worries there. She'll eat lunch as long as it's spoon fed and only a few lumps. She'll have fish pie, mince and rice , but only 3 or 4 mouthfuls, cottage pie and chicken pie with mash.

She'll only eat Marmite on toast for tea and the odd lump of cheese. She'll sometimes eat tea cake, but 4 times out of 5 turns her nose up. Hates sandwiches or breadsticks or pasta. Tomato based sauces are a no no, though she will eat a spag bol if it's pureed to nothing...Picnics are a bloody nightmare

She HATES milk unless it's milky hot choc (I managed to get her onto this as milk was a complete no no for ages but I've gradually decreased the amount of chocolate powder in it. It's only enough to take the edge off the taste of milk now)

It's all so frustrating as she was EBF for 14 months, weaned at 6 months with a fully varied diet. She ate well for ages, and the last few months have seen her gradually limiting her diet. I was so excited when I found that she liked corn-on-the-cob as it was another quick meal I could give her for tea. Only to have her turn her nose up at it ever since.

She does like fruit so she has that in the day, I just don't want her to be too full and not be hungry at tea time, IYKWIM

I keep trying and trying and not get cross, I distract, ignore, keep offering, let her feed herself etc. I also keep offering stuff, even though I know she's going to reject it, so that she sees it and smells it. I've tried giving her the fork and letting her play, giving her hand held food so that she'd feed herself. All to no avail.

DS is a great eater, despite a fish allergy, he eats a really varied diet (apart from hating potatoes unless they're waffles, smiley faces or chips!)

If she could live off cake, choc and biscuits she'd be happy sad

VerityClinch Fri 12-Nov-10 10:22:47

No advice, really, but lots of sympathy. My DD, 16 months, is going through a similar phase (I hope it's a phase...)

She was also weaned at 6 months and seemed to absolutely love her food. We did a combination of BLW and purees. Now the only thing she really LOVES is egg mayonnaise, ham and fish goujons/fishcakes. She will tolerate the odd sandwich/crackers if she's in a good mood, and occasionally a bit of pasta and/or garlic bread. Vegetables are a TOTAL no-no, even when disguised. She can separate a pea from a mouthful of fishcake, swallow the fishcake and spit out the pea. It's quite something to watch.

Like yours, she has a very sweet tooth and will eat any amount of cake.

DC2 is due in ten days time, so I am trying not to stress about it, keep offering a variety, keep offering vegetables and hope that the whole thing just sorts itself out before we start weaning again!!

AllOverIt Fri 12-Nov-10 13:06:34

Oh thanks for the post verity - you have my sympathy too. I vaguely remember DS going through a similar phase, but it was all so long ago I think I've repressed the memory!

Today I got very excited as she had a jacket potato for lunch with cheese and milk mashed into it (have to get the calcium in somewhere as she's a milk avoider!). I overcooked some broccoli so that it would mash into the potato and she ate some bacon from a bowl so she could feed herself. She didn't have an awful lot of it, but at least it was something different!

Forgot to say in my above post that she will eat hard boiled egg (at a push with much spitting out and playing with) with some bread, though prefers to pulverise the bread with her hands until it's inedible...

I'm just a bit gutted as she used to be so good. My dad would feed her all sorts off his plate at BBQs in the summer last year and she didn't bat an eyelid. She's developed this really po-faced-cat's-bum-mouth when she sees something I try to offer her and turns her little face away! So infuriating!

Good luck when DC2 arrives. I hope the phase ends soon!

AllOverIt Fri 12-Nov-10 18:11:04

Bump for the evening crowd....

Igglybuff Sat 13-Nov-10 16:54:14

Silly question but could she be tired when you feed her? Only ask because you say she's fine at breakfast - so she might be more awake then.

Can you offer more snacks in the day? So have them sitting in your lap/in the pushchair on the go etc so the focus isn't just on food and eating?

harpsichordcarrier Sat 13-Nov-10 17:05:25

please please don't worry.
my dd1 was a lot like this, would eat well at breakfast but live on what SEEMED like tiny amounts for the rest of the day.
she is now 7, robustly healthy, only ever had two or three days off ill in all the time she has been at school.
she just has quite a small appetite.
you don't mention whether you have concerns about your dc's growth?
mm dd was just quite a small, slight child. She has grown up just fine, and gradually started to eat a wider range and a larger amount of food over the months and years.
I strongly believe that we cause huge problems for ourselves by fretting too too much about food.
I would say, just back off completely, stop worrying and let time pass.
In a few years I bet you will telling a similar story to me

AllOverIt Sat 13-Nov-10 18:05:06

Oh thanks for responding guys.

I think the breakfast thing is that it's quite smooth (Ready Brek, Weetabix, C&G kids' muesli etc) Anything smooth on a spoon is generally okay. I think it's also on the sweeter side (I put honey or pureed fruit on it) and she has a horribly sweet tooth.

Initially I was offering more fruit or raisin snacks Iggly, but then realised that she wasn't that hungry for her main meals so I cut back a bit.

She looks in proportion although quite dainty. She is in all right clothes for her size (I haven't had her weighed for AGES blush). She's certainly not skinny, so I'm not worried on that score.

She had half a fish finger and half a potato waffle and a few spoons of tinned sweetcorn for tea. Had a tiny amount of chilli con carne with rice (without the chilli IYKWIM) for lunch.

I think you're right that I need to back off. I'm so relieved to read that your DD is a healthy little thing, harpischord. I think I'm so used to DS who though lookd a bit on the scrawny side, will inhale anything I put in front of him!

I will take your advice. I'll keep offering stuff, but not get too worried if she turns her nose up.

Thanks again.

AllOverIt Sat 13-Nov-10 18:09:22

blush I mean all the right clothes for her age - Sorry...

Igglybuff Sat 13-Nov-10 19:24:48

Could it be her molars coming through if she prefers smooth? So less pressure on gums? Just a thought!

yawningmonster Sun 14-Nov-10 08:11:07

my dd is just gone 18mths. She never took to solids at all. She bf constantly and until I cut her right down to 4 feeds in 24hours pretty much completely ignored food. That was app 2mths ago. She doesn't do breakfast at all, have given up even making it for her, I just leave a mouthful in my bowl within her reach and if she wants to try some she will (has happened once with weetbix but no repeats) She eats a good variety but very small quantities a bite here and there. I do platters for both children at am and pm tea with a selection of goodies, ds wolfs his down so hopefully is a good role model, she picks. I do dinner which she takes between 0 (often) and 5 bites of. Supper varies between fruit, pudding and something like crumpets and golden syrup. (she will generally eat a bite or two of fruit but ignores anything else)

I stand by the keep offering and don't stress too much (though ds is like a puppy with his tongue out just waiting for her to refuse something so he can have it so there is no wastage here) I am getting closer to being ready to cut her middle of the night feed therefore bringing her down to 3 a day (may encourage breakfast??)

She is extremely independent and will not be fed in any way shape or form and insists on her food (what she does eat) looking the same as everyone elses (hence we are all drinking from plastic cups at the minute) Unlike your lo she insists on whole food not even cut up unless ours is let alone pureed.

Any rate to the point of my post...she eats very, very little but is on the 90th percentile, is happy and healthy and reaching all her milestones.

DS who as I say hoovers anything edible (and sometimes things not edible) in site sits on the 25th percentile for weight.

Given a wide variety of available food, I truely believe that children will take what they need whether or not that fits our idea of what they need is immaterial.

AllOverIt Sun 14-Nov-10 13:35:36

She is teething, Iggly - She has them all apart from her canines, which are taking months, as they do. I think this is part of it.

Yawning - Wow. I think I am definitely stressing about it too much and should let her get on with it. Like your DD, she appears to eat so little, but certainly doesn't look underweight and is growing out of 12 - 18 months. I haven't taken her to be weighed at clinic for ages, so not sure of percentile, but I know she was about 50th about 6 months ago, as is DS.

I think I'll keep offering her a wide variety of stuff and hope that she'll get used to it. She had 3 mouthfuls of mash and peas and 2 really tiny bits of sausage for lunch. If I lower my expectations of the amount she eats, then at least if she eats a bit, I can be happy.

Lozario Mon 15-Nov-10 12:55:37

I'd be happy living on cake and biscuits too if I could! wink So would my DS1 (17 months). He has a go at most things and loves fish in particular, but frankly sometimes I think that if I didn't give him dinner in the evening he wouldn't even notice. It's ALWAYS our worst meal of the day, I think because he's tired, doesn't have much concentration left and we've probably snacked a bit too much in the afternoon too (I'm 5 months pregnant!) Some days he eats like a king, other days I look back and think, has he eaten anything??!

I think this is a notoriously tricky age for feeding, anyone who gets away with a non-fussy toddler is the rarity in my view, rather than the other way around. All the one and a half year olds we know are picky about a few things. Plus, if I ever really worry about it, I remind myself that apparently I lived on jaffa cakes and ice cream for the first 3 years of my life and I eat much more than that now!

I'm rambling but the main point I'm trying to make is that I think your toddler is more the norm than a "great eater" would be

Dancergirl Mon 15-Nov-10 13:13:45

I could have written this post when my dd1 was the same age (she's now 9!)

Weaned reasonably ok from 6 months-ish but from her 1st birthday for much of that year her appetite diminished and she became hugely fussy. I was so worried, I thought she wouldn't grow, I used to phone dh in tears every tea-time because she wasn't eating...basically I became a hysterical first-time mother.

It's v common to have v small appetites at this age - physical growth starts to slow down and sometimes they just don't need that many calories.

Please don't worry. She'll pick up on any tension. Marmite on toast sounds fine...just keep offering her small amounts of food and plenty of healthy snacks. And remember - her tummy is tiny - she's probably full after a few spoonfuls! And tell yourself that she will get to be a better eater in the future.

AllOverIt Mon 15-Nov-10 16:26:24

Oh thanks lozario and Dancergirl it really helps to hear from other people who've felt that frustration.

Today was another bad day. She's eaten hardly anything and after lunch I went and cried in the other room sad. I blended last night's roast beef and veg to nothing and left bigger bits of peas and broccoli so she'd have something to chew. She would have wolfed this down 6 months ago, but refused all but 3 mouthfuls. <sigh>

Right, I'm just going to go with the flow and stop comparing her to DS. I've just go to get it into my head that she doesn't have a big appetite. I just have to make sure that the little she does eat is healthy stuff.

Any ideas for other snack-y type meals that are worth a go? She's not keen on cracker/bread stick type stuff. I might try her on scramble eggs as she does seem to like hard boiled egg so she might be able to have this with toast.....

Dancergirl Mon 15-Nov-10 17:43:55

I remember trying to cram as many raisins and cheerios in dd's mouth as possible just before bed after another disasterous day's eating!

Def try the scrambed egg. And hard boiled eggs are good - you can boil them in advance so they're ready.

Really feel for you, it so takes me back. I used to cry most days over dd's eating. But I look at my healthy 9 year old now who has a good appetite and wonderered what I worried about.

What about baked beans on toast? Cheese on toast? Pasta with cheese? Don't go to too much trouble for her food, it's soul-destroying when they don't eat it.

AllOverIt Mon 15-Nov-10 18:26:52

Well scrambled eggs went down like a lead balloon. She wouldn't even put one bit in her mouth. She did eat 4 fingers of toast, one tiny bit of tea cake, 4 baked beans and a yoghurt. Oh well.

I really want to get her on to beans, but she HATES tomato sauces so I'm having to try to lick each bean as I put them on the fork... hopefully she'll gradually eat more of the sauce... and the beans!

I haven't tried cheese on toast yet. I'll try that tomorrow, at least the two key ingredients are things she likes! She hates pasta so won't try that for a while. Hopefully she'll forget she hates it!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've got more corn on the cob in the fridge to try. Hopefully she'll forget she hates that too...

Lozario Tue 16-Nov-10 13:42:53

If she likes toast then you could try her with eggy bread for a bit of added protein? My DS prefers dry foods rather than saucy foods too, and much prefers to feed himself. He also eats a LOT better if I eat with him. Today we made soup which was a massive hit, and you know a few hidden veggies are going in then too!

I totally agree with dancergirl - while she's going through this phase, don't bend over backwards trying to please her because it's just depressing when she refuses it! easy things like jacket potatoes (try with cottage cheese, mixed up with the potato, and then when she's cottoned on to that, you can add stuff like sweetcorn to it - DS LOVES this!), crackers and cheese, cold torn up meats from your roasts etc. And a few ready meals in the fridge...

I think I made the mistake of, when DS was going through a particularly fussy phase, trying too many new things at each meal time. He must have ended up wondering what the hell I was going to present him with next! Once I went back to his old favourites and introduced the same new foods once or twice a week, we got back on track.

(I think this is SO common - my friend said she used to cry at her DS1 as a toddler in the high chair, going "WHY WON"T YOU EEEEEEAT" and he just used to laugh in her face!! It's SO FRUSTRATING!!!!)

AllOverIt Tue 16-Nov-10 14:02:27

Thanks Lozario - she just had 4 spoons on blended roast beef and veg, 1/4 of a tea cake and a bit of roll off my plate and 4 bits of cheese.

I think you're right that I should just stick to what she likes and then give her a couple of new things a week.

yawningmonster Wed 17-Nov-10 00:40:40

We are at lunchtime here in NZ and so far dd has had....nada, zip, zing, zero and fresh air...she has turned her nose up at everything so one of those days...take heart alloverit!! I remember when ds was small being told that a meal for a child was supposed to be the size of their fist and if you averaged it out over a couple of days then you would find they managed this. Not working for us today but I am fairly certain most days she has a least the size of her fist when all the little tastes are added up. One of my favourite tricks with dd which works well is to be eating something myself and put it down accidentally she will quite often swipe a bite which I then pretend to be hard done by which she loves.

AllOverIt Wed 17-Nov-10 06:52:34

Sorry to hear that you're in the same boat yawning. It's so frustrating, isn't it? I'm not sure she ever eats the size of a fist, well certainly not the last few weeks. She does at breakfast, I suppose. I might try the swiping thing..... I'll let you know how it goes.

She's not losing any weight, as far as I can tell, so she must be eating something.

Can't wait for this phase to be over.

bigcar Wed 17-Nov-10 12:10:04

my dd1 went through a stage at just over a year old where all she would eat was yoghurt and she had to feed herself. It was a phase, didn't last too long, like your dd would eat a proper breakfast but then only yoghurts. She's grown up now and still doesn't have a massive appetite but she's absolutley fine, perfectly healthy.

Try the little and often approach, divide her meals into a few small portions and freeze or keep in the fridge and just offer little bits at a time through the day. So long as she looks ok, not losing weight and has the energy to run round and join in and plenty of wet/dirty nappies she's probably fine.


wannabeglam Wed 17-Nov-10 13:57:15

Yours has a more varied diet than mine. Meals are still pureed. I'm not worried though - lots of teething at this age. I'm reckoning that when mine turns 2 she'll get better. I'd say just keep offering. But don't give cake etc. unless rest of food eaten in reasonable quantity.

Dancergirl Wed 17-Nov-10 14:30:53

Also - highly recommend this book: ional/dp/0912500999/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid =1290004213&sr=1-1

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: