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Help please. We are turning dd2 into a fussy eater because we need her to gain weight.

(18 Posts)
TickledOnion Sun 26-May-13 18:04:30

Dd2 16mo hasn't gained any weight for about 3 months. She isn't fussy at the beginning of a meal but after about 3 bites she absolutely refuses to eat anything else and whinges till we get her out of the high chair. As we need her to gain weight we then offer her thing we know she will eat: Cheerios, prunes hmm, peanut butter on toast and avocado. She'll eat a bit more of these but still seems to eat very little in total.

I really want to get out of this habit but am worried that she will just waste away. We've seen a paediatrician who didn't seem worried about her weight as she is clearly happy and healthy despite having dropped from the 50th to the 9th %ile.

Can anyone reassure me that we are doing the right thing or give me some advice on what to do?

Tee2072 Sun 26-May-13 18:14:28

If the paediatrician isn't worried, I'd stop stressing. Let her eat what she wants when she wants. If she only wants 3 bites, so be it.

Potteresque97 Sun 26-May-13 18:34:19

I know this could backfire but dd will a) eat anything sprinkled with light cheese and b) loves anything from river cottage toddler. I agree though, if the dr isn't worried don't worry too much, all kids have ups and downs, if she's otherwise well...

CreatureRetorts Sun 26-May-13 18:39:32

Leave her be. Why does she need to gain weight - by who's account? Why is she being weighed so often?

She sounds exactly like my dd - who's very slight, doesn't really gain weight much, and her appetite waxes and wanes. 16 months is also when they get fussy and want control.

Let her feed herself. Give her regular decent snacks (eg hummus, cubes of avocado, cubes of cheese if she will eat) and small portions of dinner so it doesn't look overwhelming. And relax! Either eat with her (who wants to eat with an audience?) or back off at meal times.

The paediatrician says she is fine so what's the issue?

TickledOnion Sun 26-May-13 19:04:15

Hv weighed her at 11 month check and was slightly concerned so told us to come back in 3 months. She had lost weight by 14 months due to illness so hv referred us to gp who referred us to paed. She's back to her pre illness weight but it seems to have plateaued.
I know I shouldn't worry but that's easier said than done.

CreatureRetorts Sun 26-May-13 19:07:02

Again my dd is similar. Low weight at around 1. Got ill and lost weight. She put it back in but will never be chubby - I've found it hard to accept as her brother is a chunky fat thing!

inneedofrain Sun 26-May-13 19:14:55


Are you maybe worried each and every time DD eats (or doesn´t?)

I know that my DM is very guilty of constanyl saying that DD needs to be over weight incase she gets ill (WTAF). I was constantly worried about DD eating ingeneral (I have a very very mild period of an eating disorder, my parents are chronically obese)

If she has put all the pre illness weight back on, then I would be inclined to say, take a deep breath and take the pressure off of both of you.

Maybe sit together, or offer smaller varied amounts.

ie start with 2 pieces of X, if she eats both, add a piece of y, if not then add a piece of Z. if she eats nout take her down and try a bit later on.

I know with DD, if she was poorly etc, I wanted to try and encourage her to eat, ever from an early age I made a simple picture out of her food.

Something round for a face, two eyes, a mouth
Something square to make a house etc.

Or cut her toast into funny shapes like a star or heart

What does she like to eat? DD wouldn´t not try lactose free milk so I coloured it with food colouring and made it look different

We got DD on to shakes with lactose free milk, fruit etc

What is the thing you are most worried about at the moment?

inneedofrain Sun 26-May-13 19:18:06

Oh I should have said DP and I are both healthy weights for out sizes

nextphase Sun 26-May-13 19:45:35

Weight gain does slow down around now - I've just got the kids red books out to mark on their 6 monthly weight and height (geek smiley??)
Over 10 months (I'm not obsessively accurate) from 20 to 30 months DS1 gained 2kg - so that would be a half a kg (1lb) for your daughter over the 3 months. If she's been ill, and then put it back on, it would look like no weight gain.

Obviously your under pead care, but personally I'd offer her a balanced diet, and eat with her when you can. if she doesn't want it, clear it away. No fuss - feed her what you'd feed your oldest, with small portions - let her ask for more, rather than overwhelm her with food.

TickledOnion Sun 26-May-13 22:32:10

Thanks everyone for replying.
I'll try giving her just a couple of pieces at a time as she seems to respond better to this than a big plateful. Also means there's less to throw on the floor.
I'm going to try regular healthy snacks between meals rather than resorting to "pudding" if she doesn't her main course.
And I'll try to stop stressing.
Thanks again.

mummy2benji Sun 26-May-13 22:48:37

Around that age is a difficult time for eating as they often go off lots of food they have happily eaten up until then. It shouldn't last, you just have to battle on through it and I don't think you are doing wrong by giving her what she'll eat for now. I've known one child live solely off cream crackers at this age for a couple of months.

lljkk Mon 27-May-13 20:48:37

What percentile is her height? As long as it's not hugely above her weight %tile, she's reasonably in proportion.
Toddlers are ace at being finnicky.

oscarwilde Wed 29-May-13 12:44:46

Eat with her would be my top tip. Plenty of nomming noises while squaring away some steamed trees broccoli or whatever. If you can supervise her carefully, food on cocktail sticks goes down well too. Turns it into a fishing game. grin
Mostly though I would serve the same food as your DC1 is getting with no special treatment.

TickledOnion Wed 29-May-13 13:07:15

I think she is between 25th and 50th %ile for height. She wears 12-18 month clothes which are fine for length but quite baggy.

I have been wondering about her milk intake. She normally has 3 bottles and averags about 15oz of milk per day but she totally refused her afternoon one yesterday and then ate a really good tea of chicken, veg and noodle stirfry and drank 7oz before bed which is better than normal.

QTPie Wed 29-May-13 14:45:19

Agree if the Paed isn't worried, then don't worry.

To be honest she is in the middle of prime teething time: even the heartiest of eaters tend to loose their appetite then...

Weight gain does slow dramatically and, once teething has finished (about 19/20 months - I bet that you will see a change.

BettyYeti Wed 29-May-13 14:49:13

this thing about needing extra weight in case they get ill: My DD (who is older) is very slim and not a big eater (not particularly fussy, just does not eat much of anything). She got quite ill last year and could not eat for several days. She looked absolutely terrible she became so so skinny. I was very upset about it, but dr was not worried at all and said that when she could eat again the weight would go straight back on. It did.

CreatureRetorts Wed 29-May-13 15:43:30

She sounds so like my dd it's uncanny. Same height percentile, same weight centile. Dd is 17 months. She's slim and won't eat anymore. She's similar to the women on DH's side of the family were as babies which is why I don't worry.

jaggythistle Thu 30-May-13 21:00:03

I got the book "my child won't eat" from Amazon as out was on special for the Kindle.

It is great at putting your mind at rest about all manner of baby and toddler feeding and their funny wee habits!

My 3 yo is gradually improving and we're a lot more relaxed.

Good luck smile

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