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15 MO suddenly picky about food

(7 Posts)
Weightlessbaby Sat 25-May-13 14:03:44

Up until recently DD has been a very enthusiatic eater. She'd typically have 3 'courses' at each meal - some finger foods (toast/veg sticks/cheese/ham), a bowl of mushed up goop (usually leftovers from our suitable meals like spag bol/roast dinners etc), and a pudding (fomage frais or similar).

However, about 2 weeks ago she started refusing her 'main course'. We had been spoon feeding this and she was just getting the hang of using a spoon herself but she'd just clamp her mouth shut or, if left to it, throw her bowl on the floor. I didn't want it to become an issue so after a couple of seriously fraught mealtimes gave up on the sppon feeding and went to just finger foods.

Now she's picky about these though! If you present her with a plateful of things she'll focus on one food then refuse to eat anything else. I have tried to give her one food at a time but she does have a tendency to hold out for something she likes (cheese usually!) and will get worked up and not eat anything if it's not to her liking. I suspect it's all about her trying to exert some control over her life.

I know I need to remain calm and not make it a battle but she's a little thing - hovering around the 8 kilo mark - and I'm a bit worried about her eating enough and gaining weight. She barely seems to eat anything sometimes.

I'd appreciate it if anyone had any similar stories or advice re why she's doing it or what we could try to combat it (if anything)

TIA

Weightlessbaby Sat 25-May-13 14:06:32

Sorry, ought to add she doesn't have any milk as a drink-refused it when we started with cow's milk. The HV said this was fine as long as she was getting plenty of calcium from other sources and she drinks around 4-5 cups of squash/water a day.

CreatureRetorts Sat 25-May-13 14:08:08

Normal. They have these phases. I find eatin with both of mine helps as they can steal from my plate and get their fill that.

I wouldn't give squash though. Not good for teeth and unnessary.

Try hummus/avocado dips and that sort of thing?

CornishYarg Sat 25-May-13 17:37:27

Agreed, it's completely normal. It sounds like she wants some independence and control, hence rejecting the spoon and only eating certain foods. If she only eats one food, I'd avoid the temptation to give more of that food to ensure she eats more. Instead, give her the chance to eat something else from her plate but if she doesn't want to, just calmly take her plate away and move on. If she's still hungry, the message will hopefully sink in that she needs to eat more from her plate rather than holding out for a favourite food.

Thurlow Sat 25-May-13 22:20:18

I probably could have written your post. 16mo has just started to get very picky. What she likes one day she won't like the next day. I don't know why she's doing it but I've heard its very common. I have also heard that at this age they actually do start to eat less, at 12mo they were eating loads of calories because of a growth spurt etc.

I'm offering the main meal, and if that is completely rejected I might offer vegetables to supplement it, as she does normally like them. Then dessert is the same as always, not made bigger, as fruit is clearly her favourite.

I started a thread about this last week as I'm struggling to know what to do when she's starving an hour or so later - so too late to reintroduce the meal again. If she's starving she's a nightmare and won't nap. So I've been offering her plain rice cakes, nothing exciting. Who knows if this will work. I'm hoping she'll learn in time to eat most of what is her plate.

I do think that the key is to refuse to show you are rattled by this. DD sits in her high chair for 20 mins or so even if she isn't eating, as that's how long mealtimes generally are, and then she can get out. I try my best to look unfussed and make sure she doesn't get a reaction from it. It really is a phase, and it will pass. It's certainly not a fun phase though!

Weightlessbaby Sun 26-May-13 18:13:12

Thanks for replies - I had a feeling it was normal but good to hear it!

I eat breakfast and lunch with her and she does go for whatever's on my plate so at least she eats that way. 5.30's a bit early for me to have my tea but I do try and make a show of how yummy what she has is!

I'm trying not to give in to her demands and remain an ocean of calm but it can be tricky. I hear your pain Thurlow, about having a starving baby half an hour after a 'meal'. She had an ice cream in the park this afternoon but that's not really an everyday solution!

Am hoping she will come out of this phase soon, (although I'm sure she'll then enter another one)!

CreatureRetorts Sun 26-May-13 18:22:54

I made sure I gave decent snacks. To me they were as important. As they got older/get older (youngest is 17 months), I tone down the snacks so less filling. But I don't encourage them to finish their plate, just to stop when full.

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