Please help - strategies needed for toddler's diet(6 Posts)
Really could do with some support/advice as I find this one of the hardest aspects of parenting.
DS is 22 months, and while his diet is ok, I feel it could be improved but I'm struggling.
He goes to a childminder 4 times a week where he has breakfast and lunch. Lunch is a ready meal (no, not even a baby one) which I am not happy about but with 6 weeks until we leave for my mat leave I don't feel it worth changing, plus I will then have to provide food which I could do without at the moment. It's never quite clear what/how much he has eaten with her, but I know there are 4pm snacks which she seems to insist on giving him.
We get home about 5.15 and about half the time he refuses all dinner. I don't give him other options but do try to push it a bit (hate the thought of him going to bed on just whatever snack he has had and a drink). I then get stressed and generally end up rowing with DH who thinks I shouldn't push it.
In addition, the only fruit DS will eat is apples and he will eat some things I put in front of him, but there is some fussiness and isn't open to trying everything we eat (I try to save a portion of our food for the next day - eating together isn't feasible at the moment on work days).
Am I expecting too much with the fruit/fussiness.
Should I be more chilled and take the meal away after, say, 20 mins of picking?
Please, I need your tips as I don't find DH very supportive on the subject.
I would just chill for a bit, they're a law until themselves at that age, a ready meal at lunchtime isn't going to kill him and he's not going to starve.
I'd just keep offering, and if you're worried about nutrition give him a multivitamin. It's a long haul though - my 4 year old is finally getting better, but only recently. I think the best time to tackle fruit is summer - lots of lovely strawberries etc. about. The best thing I read is that your responsibility as a parent is to offer a healthy diet, it's the child's responsibility to eat it. That helped me chill out!
I think I would be telling the childminder not to give him a snack at 4pm because that is affecting his appetite for his dinner. In my experience, there is definitely no point making a fuss about him eating if he is not hungry - better just to offer the food and then take it away after 20 mins if he is not interested.
If you don't want to rock the boat with the childminder when you only have six weeks to go, I think I would just wait it out then get into a different routine once you are on maternity leave.
Toddlers can be really fussy and take to and against certain foods. I think the best thing is to keep offering a variety of things and not to force the issue.
I found the "River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook" really helpful. It has loads of easy nutritious recipes and also really helpful advice on feeding little ones and dealing with problems which might arise.
I would send him in with a packed lunch. Sandwiches on sandwich thins take seconds to prepare (peanut butter/ cream cheese) + babybel + an apple + rice cakes. Takes no time and is miles better than a readymeal. Insist on no snacks and just say he won't eat dinner. If he won't eat anything in the evening try offering porridge/ toast/ cereal. Don't worry, he's yours again in 6 weeks.
Thank you. That's all really helpful. Really good to know it's normal for his age. But definitely worth mentioning the snacks (again) with the cm even if I overlook the lunches. She pads them out with veg so it's not all bad. Thanks again
My childminder asks for a packed lunch and packed dinner. Dd gets dinner at just after 4 and will have a snack if she's hungry before bed.
If he's eating lots of veg as snacks I would t worry too much about changing anything, but you could always batch cook some pasta dishes or something and freeze into portions. You could easily make a dozen in one batch and that's one or two a week instead of a ready meal.
Dd seemed to go through a particularly fussy age aged 18-22 months, and although still fussy is eating cucumber, chicken etc again.
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