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Help feeding a poorly toddler

(10 Posts)
FrancesPow Thu 11-Apr-13 13:29:03


My son (about to be 2) is ill at the moment, for the second time in as many weeks. He has a raised temperature, is a bit sniffly and generally under the weather. He's usually a pretty good eater but now he's unwell he's refusing his main meals. When I call him to the table he rushes in as if he's hungry, but then spurns whatever savoury food is put in front of him, although he's happily eaten it before, usually with tears and a lot of kicking the table. He's happy to eat yogurt, and sweet snacks like biscuits and cakes.

As he's poorly I don't feel I can be as firm as I usually am about him eating his meals, because I want him to have something, but I don't feel he's getting the nourishment he needs to get better.

Does anyone have any tips, or should I just live with it until he recovers?

Many thanks.

matana Thu 11-Apr-13 14:43:28

What's his verbal communication like? Can you ask him what he wants to eat? I'm always much more relaxed about my DS eating when he's ill and will often offer him a banana or other fruit when he refuses other things. Like yours, mine is a great little eater on the whole so when he doesn't eat i know it's with good reason and don't force the issue with him. Everything tastes bland when you're ill, so maybe try some strong tasting food that's easy on the throat - tomato soup? You'll know the time to stop indulging him - it's usually when they no longer need Calpol/ Nurofen to get them through!

In terms of nourishment to get better, all they need is a dose of Vitamin C, fluids and lots of sleep. The reason babies and toddlers carry more puppy fat is so they can afford to lose the weight when they're ill. Keep offering him fruit, water and cuddles and he'll be fine again in no time.

mummy2benji Thu 11-Apr-13 23:29:34

It's common for lo's to lose their appetite when feeling poorly and it won't do them long-term harm or stop them getting better if they don't eat much for a few days. If you try to push food too much it may just cause distress. If he'll eat yoghurt, that's great. Crackers or toast - often they prefer something blander. Biscuits too. I have to admit that as my ds1 is a terrible eater anyway (stemming from feeding difficulties as a baby) I let him have pretty much anything he'll eat when he is poorly. He mostly lives off cheddar biscuits, pom bear crisps and yoghurt for a few days. Just try to make sure he's getting plenty of fluids down. Will he drink milk? I'm a GP as well as mum of 2. Hope he's better soon.

Pancakeflipper Thu 11-Apr-13 23:39:34

Agree with mummy2benji - their appetites often go or just want selective foods when ill.

TBH - I am the same when ill, I get cravings for certain things, usually toast and crackers.

Go bland, scrambled eggs etc... And I would allow some plain biccies to get sugar into them ( I have skinny kids who cannot afford to lose too much weight when ill). Icepops and ice lollies are nice to have when ill.

QTPie Fri 12-Apr-13 08:25:04

I would avoid upping the snacks and sweet things, but go "bland" for the main course as a previous poster said (toast, crackers, maybe scrambled egg, maybe pasta and sauce of he is a pasta fan) and keep snacks and dessert as normal.

BerthaKitt Fri 12-Apr-13 09:25:39

My 24mo DS is just coming out of a few days of fever and vomiting and as well as bfing a lot, survived on crackers, toast, bananas, apples and grapes. And the odd chocolate button from his Easter eggs smile.

He'll be fine for a few days on a limited diet.

BerthaKitt Fri 12-Apr-13 09:27:07

Meant to say, I just let him tell me what he wanted to eat as you only fancy certain things when you're ill.

FrancesPow Sat 13-Apr-13 13:30:10

Thanks for all your suggestions. He's not brilliant at letting me know what he wants, he'll usually say he wants cake! But going with bland foods at mealtimes sounds like a good plan.


SweepTheHalls Sat 13-Apr-13 13:38:28

When mine are ill it's amazing how much weetabix and warm milk
They get through!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 13-Apr-13 13:41:01

Are you giving him some pain relief about half an hour before his main meals and have you had his ears and throat checked by a GP?

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