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17 month old very picky eating.

(30 Posts)
ArrabellaAM Mon 26-Oct-20 09:18:54

Hi, I've been wondering about posting for a while.
My ds used to be fantastic at eating whilst weaning, would always try new fruit/veg has always been a little fussy with meat.

He's now 17 months old and completely refuses new foods (or food he hasn't seen in a while) if it's something new he will touch it with one finger, make a face and pucker his lips. If we leave it on his table he gets really upset and looks almost traumatised confused

He's surviving off of a diet of weetabix, cheerios, porridge or toast for breakfast. (with some fruit either banana, raspberries, strawberries or apple)

Cheese spread sandwiches and cucumber pieces for dinner - obviously loves raisins as well.

And fish fingers/chicken nuggets with a potato side either mash or waffles/alphabets with mixed veg (usually only eats the peas and carrots)

He eats like a trooper at nursery but I don't exactly know what he has - would it be reasonable for me to ask for his food writing down so I know?

Im starting to worry because whenever I cook something myself from scratch he turns his nose up at it and only really wants to eat freezer food/processed crap confused

Is this normal toddler behaviour or could he have some underlying issues?

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ArrabellaAM Mon 26-Oct-20 11:47:17

Bump!

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RedMarauder Mon 26-Oct-20 12:02:28

Ask them what he's eating. Most nurseries actually provide a menu to parents.

Children are funny. They will often eat stuff they don't eat at home/around their parents with other children or around other people.

ArrabellaAM Mon 26-Oct-20 12:38:23

They provided a menu last month and we get daily updates on whether he's ate some/most/all so that is quite helpful.

Just had another look and he was having tuna pasta so he's definitely just deciding not to eat it at home.

I'm definitely not that terrible a cook blush

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Ladybyrd Mon 26-Oct-20 15:13:06

At nursery it's a social thing though. His peers are all doing it so he's more likely to give things a go.

Our 3 year old is giving us a bit of grief at the moment. He used to eat well but now only wants to eat sweet things and rubbish. Dinner is going in the bin every night. I'm starting to think it's a control thing - he knows it makes him the focus of attention. We have a 5 month old girl so I think maybe he feels a bit pushed out. It does upset me that I can't get him to eat well when he used to be open to everything, but it feels like the more we push, the more he pushes back and it just blows up. Just trying not to make a big deal out of it and make sure he eats something. All he asks for is milk and jam.

LeGrandBleu Tue 27-Oct-20 02:35:20

Sorry @ArrabellaAM but you made him a fussy eater by offering these ultra processed junk food (potato waffle or alphabet, chicken nuggets, spread cheese, fish finger, ...), he knows he will get them, so maybe stop buying them and start preparing the food you want to see him eating growing up.
He doesn't eat with you because he knows he will get what he wants, and this is why he eats at nursery because the staff is not going to give him other stuff, especially rubbish.

You still have the ability to change his eating habits but not for long, so if you find yourself thinking " I wish he would eat this or that", prepare that food.

ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 08:01:11

@legrandbleu me & my partner have spoken about this because I had been thinking the same but get a bit nervous because we don't know how long he will go on hunger strike for.

I used to make homemade chicken goujons with broccoli inside them, chicken and veg risottos, cottage pie etc.. All from scratch for him but it used to just make me frustrated when he refused them constantly so I slowly started offering them less.

I think we are just going to have to go for it, he does eat well at breakfast so it's not like he's going to be completely starving and he's a good healthy weight so it's not like he's going to lose too much hopefully.

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ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 08:06:46

@Ladybyrd it's so frustrating isn't it.

The other day he suddenly decided he didn't like weetabix even though its his fave. He went a few days without them then we managed to get a bit on his lip when he wasn't looking he tasted it and remembered he loved it.

Its definitely stubbornness creeping in. So I think @legrandbleu is right that we are going to have to just completely stop offering them.

I had started to over think everything wondering if he had some sort of sensory processing issue and didn't like the textures so that's why he was refusing - crazy I know

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babbi Tue 27-Oct-20 08:12:11

I agree with @LeGrandBleu OP.
Just do not offer those foods at all .

I do sympathise though , when they are so young you worry about every skipped meal .
Normal mummy fretting. But he will be ok and will start eating properly when he is hungry .
It’s tough not giving in with substitutes but remind yourself you’re doing it for him ..

Good luck. It’s an exhausting age , fun but there’s always something to think about!!

Needingsupportplease Tue 27-Oct-20 08:22:45

My 17 month old is exactly the same some days she barely eats at all. Health visitor said not to worry and just ignore it unless she eats 0 and starts wasting away. They all go through this phase im just offering meals and snacks as normal, the waste is frustrating but I know shes ok. Somedays everything goes in her mouth and gets spat back out haha x

ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 08:24:04

Thanks @babbi I know its time.
How do we find so much to fret about.

Mum win this morning - new cereal being wolfed down and enjoyed! (multigrain with no added sugar/colourings etc.. Just so you know i'm not that crap a mum grin jk!)

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ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 08:26:06

@Needingsupportplease I rang the health visitor yesterday but still waiting on a call back.
Ive already made my mind up but just need that extra reassurance too!

I used to be so confident and self assured before becoming a mum!

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Disappointedkoala Tue 27-Oct-20 09:00:46

I think it's pretty common - most of my friends had similar at around 18 months. DD went from eating and trying most of things to a limited menu. It's really hard to balance the not eating with the not feeding them crap, especially if you get a flat out refusal day after day, endless food waste and you know you'll be up with a hungry toddler in the night.

I do things like make my own sweet potato wedges rather than use frozen chips etc, put lentils and hidden veg in pasta sauce, make our own burgers with added veg & beans so it's basically stuff she'll eat but healthier. It's not ideal and not what I thought I'd end up doing when we started weaning!

ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 09:09:33

What I would give for him to eat a piece of pasta grin

I'll start making some of the chicken goujons and hope i can trick him every now and again!

Nursery offer things separate so tuna pasta & sweetcorn it's gonna be for lunch today and I'll just pray he eats it. He's had a good breakfast.

I've made a meal plan for the week cause I find I get to lunch/tea time and panic that I can't think what to make him.

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Disappointedkoala Tue 27-Oct-20 09:21:37

Ha ha pasta is one of the only guaranteed to be eaten meals I got left though the other day I made the mistake of putting cheese (which she loves) on top and that ended up on the floor. angry

Avebury Tue 27-Oct-20 13:27:30

You need the book called something like 'How to get the little blighters to eat' . It's very no nonsense and just what you need to hear when you are driving yourself crazy over your child's eating habits.
Staying calm and acting like you don't care if they eat or not is one of the main messages I remember from it.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 27-Oct-20 13:51:51

LeGrandBleu

Sorry @ArrabellaAM but you made him a fussy eater by offering these ultra processed junk food (potato waffle or alphabet, chicken nuggets, spread cheese, fish finger, ...), he knows he will get them, so maybe stop buying them and start preparing the food you want to see him eating growing up.
He doesn't eat with you because he knows he will get what he wants, and this is why he eats at nursery because the staff is not going to give him other stuff, especially rubbish.

You still have the ability to change his eating habits but not for long, so if you find yourself thinking " I wish he would eat this or that", prepare that food.

This was quite blunt but it’s probably true. My 10 mo became like this because DH started to opt for easy textures we know he loves every mealtime while I was studying, and he would throw everything else off his plate (sometimes even the whole plate!). It was only after we started to withold these for special occasions that he began to improve. You also need to eat with him - if he sees you eat the same food he’s far more likely to try it himself

Twizbe Tue 27-Oct-20 14:02:28

I think all toddlers go through this seriously fussy stage at this age.

I wonder if it's a natural protection against poisoning 'in the wild'. They are more independent at this age so need to learn to recognise safe and unsafe food ... I dunno.

Anyway, he won't starve himself so offer his food and don't offer alternatives. If you want, keep breakfast consistent and always something you know he'll eat. Limit meal times to 20 mins unless eating nicely. Ignore bad behaviour and reward good.

Move mealtimes to be with you and have the same food. One of the reasons they eat better at nursery is because they see all their friends eating the food so they know it's safe.

ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 19:19:05

Had some success today thank god! He ate some of both main meals so that will do me! I was worried he would just get upset and refuse it all. I gave him a spare plate to put things he doesn't want on and he even ate a bit from that at the end of his meal.

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OverTheRainbow88 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:50:13

Have a look at position size for his age as well. I was worried about what my Youngest DS was eating and then I looked up portions sizes for his age and actually like 2 cherry tomatoes count as a portion. 3 Spoonfuls of sweet corn etc. Made me relax a bit and feel like he’s getting more than I thought.

OverTheRainbow88 Tue 27-Oct-20 19:51:08

www.nhsaaa.net/media/1857/20170301portres.pdf

I found this helpful.

theboardgame Tue 27-Oct-20 19:57:37

We had a similar thing but the difference was that she didn't eat at nursery at all. I was very concerned and in her favourite food mixed the nuts and other nutritional food. Now, at two she will eat happily if she was involved in cooking. For example she baked cupcakes today but to try it she had to finish the dinner that we cooked earlier. She is also very vocal that she doesn't like something.

LeGrandBleu Tue 27-Oct-20 20:01:15

The OP isn't talking about the amount her DS eats, but what he eats, opting for high palatable processed food with the perfect triad of fat+salt+sugar
@ArrabellaAM well done, continue on that road and expect good days and bad days, so don't be discouraged. This is a very nice book www.amazon.co.uk/First-Bite-How-Learn-Eat/dp/0007549709?tag=mumsnetforu03-21

ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 22:56:00

Thanks for the advise everyone.

The portion sizes are quite useful to look at as I used to worry about that before so it's reassuring that I'm giving him the right amounts of fruit/veg etc.. Just need to work on unprocessed meat and alternative sources of protein but that can wait for another day.

@theboardgame I let him play with a few potato's and carrots whilst I was peeling them today and he seemed to enjoy it and watched what I was doing. As well as passing me the odd peel that fell on the floor - useful!

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ArrabellaAM Tue 27-Oct-20 22:56:55

@legrandbleu just ordered that book it looks interesting.

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