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2yr old refusing food - do I offer an alternative or stick to my guns and say 'that's it'??

(8 Posts)
eviz Mon 22-Sep-08 22:15:52


I'm --quite strict-- firm but fair with my 2yo and not easily manipulated by whinging grin

However, DD has gone from being an ok-ish eater to refusing everything except white bread, yoghurt (and cake, obviously)

The only meal she eats well is breakfast, and she usually takes most of her evening milk (about 7fl oz)

I'm just wondering 'cos I've always been of the 'that's your (lovingly prepared, nutritious and well-presented) dinner/lunch - no you can't have a yoghurt - if you're hungry eat your lunch/dinner please' and I don't give an alternative (she eats fresh fruit as snacks most days)

But tonight she literally took a bite out of a carrot and said 'no' - which gives her food intake for the day as half a circle of carrot, 2 squares of plain toast and a weetabix.

Is my approach ok do you think, or should I be offering something else (bland and not exciting, i.e. not a yoghurt or pudding which I know she'll eat) DP said I should offer her buttered toast instead, just so she eats something..

Am confused, help appreciated smile

SharkyandGeorge Mon 22-Sep-08 22:19:29

Not sure what you should do but if it were my 2 year old I would serve up a meal for the whole family as normal. If she ate it fine, if not then well that's up to her, I wouldn't do any cajoling to eat at all and if she was saying no i'd probably just say fine you don't have to eat it and then get on and eat mine.

However if I was serving up something new that she maybe didn't like I may offer something bland but if it was something she previously liked and was just looking for a reaction then she would not get offered anything else.

hecate Mon 22-Sep-08 22:20:46

I think that at her age, perhaps a mix and match approach is best. Serve her a small amount of a food you are not sure she'll accept, and a small amount of something you know she'll have. That way, she'll have had something little at least and you can more comfortably say "Well, eat the rest of your dinner if you are still hungry." Serve it at the same time so it does not look like you are replacing the rejected food with something she likes better, iyswim.

I don't think you should start making meal after meal after meal, until you find something she'll like grin it's not good for her to realise you can be controlled by her refusing to eat grin

The worst thing to do is to make it a battle - down that road lie food phobias and power struggles! Offer a selection, remove without comment.

eviz Mon 22-Sep-08 22:28:15

Thanks both

We do eat together as a family. I've never been a cajoler or one of the just-one-more-mouthful brigade.

Trouble is that she has gone off all her 'favourites', so I am running out of ideas..

Ahh well - perhaps I'll resign myself to serving white bread and scrambled egg for lunch and dinner for the next week or so grin

glasgowgal Mon 22-Sep-08 22:28:40

Don't force her to eat. Leave it and when she is hungry she will come looking. Make sure you have plenty of different alternatives for her snacks so she can't alwyas go down the yoghurt line. I think 2 is probably when they all get a bit picky ( 2 of mine did at this age) but they will come through the other end without an addiction to one particular food if you offer choice. Some days my lo is a great eater and on other days she sounds exactly like yours. Hope this helps

babyinbelly Tue 23-Sep-08 10:10:26

It wont hurt her to go without dinner occasionally. She will realise that if she doesn't eat it she doesn't get anything else and will therefore be more inclined to eat next time.

However if she genuinly doesn't like it I wouldn't bother keep trying just to have it refused.

DS age 2.2 doesn't like egg and never has so we don't give him any as he will just spit it out. He does like mashed potatoe and carrots etc so if he doesn't eat these then obviously not hungry!

What you are doing is fine. I would carry on as you are but not offer any alternative.

heather1980 Tue 23-Sep-08 19:34:23

my DD is doing the same atm, but she will only eat bland foods.
she is living on a diet of plain pasta, toast, chicken nuggats, fish fingers and cheese sandwiches.
i always serve her something else with her meals veg etc but she rarely eats them.
i've given up worrying about it and leave the food out for 30 minutes and if she hasn't eaten it then i take it away and don't offer anything else.
we don't eat together as a family though as DH doesn't get home from work till 6-6:30 and it's far too late for her to eat then.
i hope that she will come through the otherside but she is well and sleeping so i'm not sweating just yet. the only thing is i am adding abidec vit drops to her milk so that she is getting some vitamins

Reallytired Tue 23-Sep-08 19:52:52

Two year olds are a nightmare, but I think you are being sensible. Its great she eats lots of fruit.

I would carry on offering her small amounts of the family meal, but not be offended if she doesn't take it. Persistance of regularly offering, but not forcing food at this age does pay off later.

Missing the odd meal is not the end of the world. Its best to look at her food intake over a week. Two years olds do seem to live on air.

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