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How do you deal with your fussy eaters? (toddler)

(15 Posts)
Heatherbell1978 Wed 16-Dec-15 20:07:44

DS1 is 16m and over the last couple of months has become so fussy with his food...there's certain things he'll eat fine like his weetabix in the morning and various snack things (yoghurts, some fruits, pitta bread etc) but it's when I try and feed him a 'proper' meal that things go downhill. He used to eat everything and I know teething plays a part but tbh he's been teething constantly since 6m; still has quite a few molars to come in. He now knows to shake his head for no and he just does this (usually before even trying it), then just gets upset. Then chucks everything in the flood (which is hilarious....). Apparently he eats well at nursery. We don't eat evening meal as a family as he gets something as soon as he's in from nursery and DH and I eat later (when he's home). I'm not worried about his weight, he's a good size, so should I just relax and assume it's a phase?

MingZillas Wed 16-Dec-15 23:17:30

Hi OP I hope you dont mind me watching with interest, my 17 mo dd is a nightmare with food.

dodobookends Wed 16-Dec-15 23:38:42

Summon up all the casual indifference you possess, double it, and ignore everything!

omri Wed 16-Dec-15 23:55:21

Watching with interest.
Dodo: so then do you let them go to bed knowing they haven't eaten anything? I'm always afraid they'll be waking up all night because they've eaten so little all day! Argh the stress!!!

dodobookends Thu 17-Dec-15 00:41:04

The advice we were given was to be as casual and indifferent as you possibly can about whether anything is eaten or not - but to make sure that there is at least one thing on the plate at each meal that you know they will eat. I'm not saying it is easy (it isn't!!!) but otherwise it becomes a battle of wills and you can't force someone to eat if they don't want to.

By far the worst thing, to be honest, is the attitude and so-called helpful comments from relatives and other parents - especially those whose kids always eat everything put in front of them - and consequently assume that you are in some way to blame, and are 'pandering' and spoiling your child.

If I heard "have you tried..." once, I heard it a thousand times and it drove me mad. Of course I've tried, I've tried bloody everything!!!

Tallblue Thu 17-Dec-15 04:58:50

I'm sorry I don't have any words of wisdom but I also have similar struggles with my 16 month old DD so I just wanted to say you are not alone! My DD will eat weetabix, toast, banana, bread sticks, rice cakes, hipp
jar food, grated cheese. Everything else she just finds offensive!! My poor DH spent hours batch cooking lots of different baby friendly meals last week only for most of these to be flatly refused by DD. I'm telling myself it's a phase....

HomeMeasurements Thu 17-Dec-15 05:57:52

Agreed to just shrug and be totally indifferent. With my DCs I never offer alternative but also wouldn't give them something I know they don't like. Trying something new I usually do at lunch (when I'm home on weekends) and then a fail safe supper in case they didn't eat.

And yes have done times of bed without supper because DCs have been such brats rejecting stuff I know they like (only for older DC though).

I've heard people give a really boring snack at bedtime if haven't eaten supper so it's not something they'd choose over supper and apparently works. I'd say that lots of children would be thrilled to have something beige and plain like a couple of oatcakes though. I know mine would!

dontpokethebear Thu 17-Dec-15 06:06:54

What dodo and home said.
If I'm introducing something new, I'll do a meal I know they like, but with the new food as well. I'll have some of the new food too, eating it in an obnoxious yet enticing way grin
No alternatives on meals I know they eat. If dinner is refused then and a rice cake and milk later on (not immediately).

BooOzMoo Thu 17-Dec-15 06:11:13

We've had a very fussy eater referred to dietician... A total food refuser (disabled) referred to dietician aged 2 hours..... A child with dairy intolerance referred to dietician aged 4 months.

Fussy eater has been horrendous and we pandered to it for a while. Then followed all the rules of putting it in front of child then if not eaten removing and bining after 30 minutes and offering nothing else!
Kid is now 8 and eats most things ... Not pasta !!! Don't dress they usually don't starve themselves unless have a disabilities then probably will ... He's now got gastrostomy and we can feed him whenever we like!!!

Heatherbell1978 Thu 17-Dec-15 08:13:56

Thanks for suggestions! I tend to try and offer an alternative as I don't like him going to bed hungry but the last few nights I haven't....Tallblue I hear you! DS1 used to love all the meals I lovingly home-made and batch froze, now they're the most offensive thing in the world. He laps up the Heinz toddler meals (not the Ella's or Hipp organic I should add, just the cheaper ones!). I get really frustrated when I meet my NCT crowd and their wee ones are munching their way through some homemade healthy meal (which DS1 used to do) and I've resorted to fish fingers

Fugghetaboutit Thu 17-Dec-15 08:20:07

I just make ds food I know he'll eat and he'll try some of mine and H's food if he likes. I'd rather he eats something than pushes his food away and has porridge or yoghurt for dinner - which is what would happen

NickyEds Thu 17-Dec-15 15:13:01

My ds has gone from eating everything that was put in front of him to a bit of a fussy eater, mainly with good homecooked meals too. I give him him tea, he shakes his head, generally makes a fuss so I say "Do you want it?", he hands it too me, i take it away and that's that. No pleading, no fuss, no pudding; just bib off and it's done. My sister made food a battle of wills with hers and it was just a nightmare. If he's had nothing for his tea then he has a bowl of plain unsweetened, luke warm porridge before bed. He has good days and bad days, hungry days (when I give him some new things to try) and not so hungry days, but he is getting generally better. The thing is op your ds will most likely grow out of it with no damage done or he'll stay fussy, in which case making a big deal of it won't help. Also, I wouldn't do too much comparing with your nct class, I know a mum whose lo is always tucking into homemade hummus and veg so all looks great but in reality that's all she'll eat!

Nothing wrong with fish fingers by the way. They're yummysmile

Heatherbell1978 Fri 18-Dec-15 08:18:26

NickyEds that sounds just like mine. Shaking the head and just passing it back to me.....I don't make too much of a fuss; I think I'd be more worried if he wasn't eating at nursery and/or he was losing weight. But I dread having a fussy eater! DH was apparently a fussy eater as a baby and his niece is terrible now......shock

Littlef00t Fri 18-Dec-15 14:15:38

Most children are more fussy between 2-4, it's just a developmental thing. Some stay that way but lots just start eating again.

WhetherOrNot Fri 18-Dec-15 16:11:04

I tend to try and offer an alternative as I don't like him going to bed hungry

^^ this is your downfall. Put it in front of him, take it away, ad infinitum. No alternatives.

I'm 'ard, me !!

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