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She just won't eat! Every mealtime is stressful and with floods of tears! Please help.

(109 Posts)
LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:09

Dd (almost 11months) pretty much survives on milk. That's it. I make her homemade food from scratch for one meal a day, and a punch for the other meal (plus breakfasts like museli, cereal, scrambled egg, toast, fruit etc). Apart from breakfast which she eats, she will not touch lunch or dinner. I have tried not giving an milk bar one morning bottle and she just screams as she is hungry all day and still won't eat.

She has been like this for 2 months now.

Hvs won't help me, they keep saying milk is their main nutrional until 12 months. Well we're approaching 12 months then what? This is a typical meal planner for us, what am I doing wrong??

7am 200mls milk
9am breakfast (toast, museli/wheatabix/cereal/scrambled egg, with fruit)
11am 100mls milk
1pm lunch (today was homemade grilled salmon, with humous, tomato, sweet potato, cous and pasta, with the following finger foods banana, melon, tomato and rice cake) all she ate was the rice cake
3pm 50mls milk
5pm dinner - an Ella's pouch or sometimes a homemade soup with bread.
7pm 150-200mls milk

So she has about 500-550mls of milk a day and solid wise a bit of breakfast and a rice came. Al day.

I eat with her, I make homemade food, I try to get her to be interactive, I try to make it fun, I try ignoring her to see if that makes a difference.

Nothing. Nothing works.

Everyone comments on how thin she is - she is the 75th centile for weight.

Please help me. No one will help or seems concerned but I think a baby approaching 1 years to just have milk and a rice cake in the day isn't right.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 17:59:12

She was vomitting and had diarrhoea recently and doctor suggesting laying off the cows milk for a couple weeks the reintroducing it to see if it makes a difference.

That's it, I'm sold, no more spoon feeding!! Thank you all!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 05-Oct-12 18:04:06

She's pretty much polished off the entire omelette! Thank you all!! You've all given me much better advice than the hvs have and I feel so much calmer knowing what the problems were - spoon feeding and the high chair! So simple why did I not realise this myself?

tuckingfits Fri 05-Oct-12 18:07:27

Brilliant! I've just read the whole thread thinking "yep,sounds like DS". I will follow yourlead & have him on my lap for dinnertime & he can eat from my plate. Will see how that goes!

hawthers Fri 05-Oct-12 18:11:31

Totally sympathise with meal time stress. So pleased you've found something that works. Have spent many hours crying over the same thing so just remember you are not alone.

TheHeirOfSlytherin Fri 05-Oct-12 18:13:05

Really pleased to hear this grin

Now can someone come round and sort my ds out please?

<this too shall pass, this too shall pass>

<repeats ad infinitum>

ToothyMcTooth Fri 05-Oct-12 18:55:33

Just seen this thread and could have written the op myself only it wouldn't have included successful breakfasts hmm
I've got 3 dc's and had never had trouble with dc1 and dc2 so thought this would be a doddle. It was to start with until at about 7 mo she stopped eating and would scream furiously at every spoon. She also only wanted milk. As I have two others to look after I had to just give in and offer milk all the time but worried a lot about getting her moved on. Oh and she had her two brothers to mimic and it didn't work.
Anyway I abandoned spoon feeding and only offered finger food. In the last week we've finally had some success and miraculously dd allowed me to feed her a yogurt shock today.

I've just accepted that its not going to be as easy with her as the ds's but she'll get there. I have no wish at all to have battles at mealtimes. She's just ten times more feisty and independent than her brothers. I'm hoping this will be a good thing when she's older grin

DinosaursOnASpaceship Fri 05-Oct-12 19:11:49

My ds is 16 months and some days barely eats anything. He doesn't very often drink milk either, preferring juice or water.

He will usually eat his breakfast which is normally porridge with full fat milk.

He rarely even tries his lunch or dinner. He wont eat pasta, potatoes, bread, eggs, cheese, bananas, anything in a sauce, veggies, meat - he used to be a brilliant eater, I'm not sure what happened.

He will eat yoghurt, brioche, sausages (as many as he can get his hands on) most fruit, chicken nuggets chips, and custard.

His diet at the moment is crap. But I think most children go through a fussy stage and I am trying not to worry s out it to much. I give him food and he crumbles it up and throws it around. I don't make a big deal of it as I assume if he's hungry he will eat it, plus I tend to offer porridge again if he hasn't eaten much.

Today he has had:

A biscuit,
3 brioches (thanks to ds2 sneaking them to him)
A plum
Baked potato with cheese and butter (currently smeared across the floor, not one mouthful passed his lips)

4/5 bottles of water or juice.

Convert Fri 05-Oct-12 19:31:47

Oh well done! I've only just clicked on this thread and reading the outcome has made me pathetically happy grin
My baby has just turned one and used to scoff anything in sight but the last few weeks her appetite has really gone down. I just put the food in front of her and if she wants to eat it thats fine but I try not to worry if she doesn't. I do make sure to offer a snack of fruit or something in between meals to make sure she's not hungry.

Convert Fri 05-Oct-12 19:35:02

Oh, forgot to say, at 11 months apparently I refused everything except cheese sandwiches and yoghurt with no bits in. Until I was 7. I am now fine and love cooking and eating too much so don't panic. It will not last forever.

mardarse Fri 05-Oct-12 19:59:32

I just wanted to add that I could have written your post 3 years ago. DD was exactly the same and it really got to me. I tried everything and got myself in a right old tizz about it. Then at about 12/13 months she suddenly started to eat and has not stopped since grin. I didn't do anything, she just decided for herself. DS is now the same age and will. not. eat. It's like Groundhog Day! It's so frustrating but this time we're just going with it in the hope he just decides one day that food is acceptable. <sigh>.

Sounds like you are doing all the right things, it'll come in time. FWIW, I hardly ate at all from one year old to.three years old and drove my DM up the wall. I hit three and started eating and haven't stopped since.

smellsofsick Fri 05-Oct-12 20:15:35

Fantastic news and be encouraged by this. Please know that it wasn't you being a bad mum, they can just be really tricky. DD (now 22 months) just goes through ridiculous phases and I remember when she was your DD's age she didn't eat hardly anything for weeks. It was horrrendous, so stressful. In the end it was just a combination of teeth, being a bit poorly and generally just being a baby!

You can try everything recommended to you here but it does seem that just hanging out with you, avoiding the stress of the more formal highchair has relaxed her and you, so you both enjoyed that meal together. Well done and keep going.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Fri 05-Oct-12 20:28:08

Loveyou, had MN had've been around when DS2 was a baby I could have written your post. He would only eat breakfast, then refuse practically everything else all day.

He did change one day though, for no apparent reason. Anyhow, he is almost 16 now and 6ft3!

Try not to worry, I am so glad she ate her dinner. You are not a failure. Tomorrow is a new day. Onwards and upwards!

showtunesgirl Fri 05-Oct-12 20:50:34

OP, seeing as it looks at though your DD wants to be in control of her food, have you also tried offering her a choice?

My DH started this with our DD. For example, I would make a cottage pie, steamed potatoes and carrots. I would put a bit of the pie on a spoon and hold a bit of carrot in the other and I would offer her both and she would indicate which one she wanted. She's always very clear what she wants and if it turns out to be neither of them, I offer her something else like water which she then gulps down and looks as me as if to say: stupid mum. grin

PickledFanjoCat Fri 05-Oct-12 20:52:53

Ds was like this. You just have to keep trying, smiling and cleaning up the floor.

He is a bit better now, to be honest when he was really bad I found it so disheartening I didn't cook every day, used Ella's a lot. Him throwing Ella on the floor was easier to bear.

PickledFanjoCat Fri 05-Oct-12 20:53:59

They all love sausages don't they? Little buggers.

I'm a bit late to this thread, but just wanted to say 'Relax'

I posted something very similar when DS was about 11 months and barely ate anything. He's now 14mo and in the last few weeks he's suddenly started eating loads better. We didn't change anything; he just suddenly decided he was interested.

Good luck smile

sleeplessinderbyshire Fri 05-Oct-12 21:03:28

my DD did this almost exactly. At 3yrs old she remains pretty similar. She is great most of the time at breakfast but then only eats toast and peanut butter or stage 1 ella's kitchen pouches as "meals". She loves oatcakes/ricecakes/breadsticks ands will eat apples and yoghurts.

After 2 yrs of battling I now let nursery offer new stuff, give her what she will eat and am fascinated by her insisting that "when I am big girl I will eat". her baby sister is now 3 months old and DD1 keeps telling me that when DD2 starts eating she will too. I just chill and assume this might work.

TBH annoying and embarrassing though it is (fed up to the back teeth of well meaning people interfering) she is healthy happy and growing normally (always been on 2nd centile hadn't been weighed for a year, weighed her last week and still on 2nd centile)

Hugs because it is miserable but as long as she is healthy she'll probably grow out of it (with luck way way sooner than my dd)

Chunkamatic Fri 05-Oct-12 21:21:01

Sorry I haven't read all the replies....

My DS1 was very similar and your story really resonates.

I remember how distressing it was, like you I would ignore and be calm but inside I was so upset.

Things got better as he got older, although he has never been a great eater but I think my attitude has just changed to deal with it.

I always believed my children would eat only wholesome, home cooked food, but for a while there my kid was the one who lived on cheese. I think that by somehow accepting this part of him it has meant that I can feel less responsible.

I will always live for the day when he eats an actual piece of fruit (he boaks at the smell/feel of all fruits) but at least now I have DS2 who is a good eater (he was enjoying rollmops with me earlier today... Unusual choice for a 2 year old!) so I can comfort myself that it's not down to my bad parenting.... The only thing I did differently with him was to invest a lot less emotionally in what he did or didn't eat

SminkoPinko Fri 05-Oct-12 21:21:54

felt so happy for you reading your omelette update, hope things go from strength to strength but please try not to be so hard on yourself if you have further blips at some point. you are clearly a lovely mother and person.

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Fri 05-Oct-12 21:28:17

Glad to read the update - great news!

Just wanted to add my voice to the reassurance. DD1 was awful at eating, truly awful, ate virtually nothing until about 13 months. I def initely made it worse by stressing, and better by having "picnics" and loads of snacks so that she made the connection between eating and feeling full and enjoying food. DD1 now eats, continuously!! She's incredibly healthy and happy and growing fine despite the rocky start. She eats all family meals and is v easy to eat out with too. DD2 has had no weaning issies at all, Partly probably because I paid her weaning no attention at all!

Good luck!

Chunkamatic Fri 05-Oct-12 21:30:18

Oh just gone back and read your update, congrats! I agree with the other posters who say you sound like a lovely, caring mum... Well done!

tory79 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:33:05

I can totally relate to your post! My ds is 12 months now, and I feel in a right old tiz about 'food is for fun until they are 1' - well, now he is 1, and most of the time food still seems to be for 'fun'. The things he will eat are pretty healthy, but there are so many things he won't eat, and so much of what I make is met with crying and throwing. Things he likes one day and won't touch the next etc etc. I feel silly for letting it bother me so much seeing as he's 91st centile and a bundle of energy, but feeding your child is such an emotive issue I think, plus I live in fear of ending up with a fussy eater.

I totally second the earlier recommendation to read 'My Child Won't Eat' - fabulous book, and although it may not sound it from what I have written above, it really helped me chill out a lot.

Twinkletoes91 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:36:36

Try and let DC put of her high chair while eating finger foods? Maybe on sofa with you supervising. Don't be so hard on yourself, we all feel at some point we are doing wrong by our children. My DC is also 11 months and has 9oz milk when he wakes, then has some cereal (usually toast or oats). After his nap he usually has a sandwich and some fruit or yogurt and a drink of water. He will the. Have tea (usually spag Bol or cottage pie, something filling) and then another 9oz before bed and sleeps from 7pm till 7am (ish) unless he is poorly or teething. I'm sure things will get better just keep trying smile chin up! Xx

Twinkletoes91 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:40:19


forevergreek Sat 06-Oct-12 08:05:01

It sounds like you were mixing/ mushing still?

I would do like you have with omelette and just give her it while like you woul have ( so from a past meal you mentioned, just give her a bit of salmon, blob of houmous, some veggies, and see how she goes)

I tried feeding mushed food at 6 months and was a struggle then so just left them to it

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