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when to stop offering alternatives/dessert?

(10 Posts)
happyfrogger Tue 03-Sep-13 12:23:58

My 16mo used to be a great eater until about 2 months ago. For lunch offer things like spag bol, veg risotto, scrambled eggs pea & ham soup, pasta bake, fish pie, fish fingers and mash etc. She barely has anything now. At nursery they tell me she regularly eats her lunch - usually similar things. The only difference will be different recipes and sitting with other children. I let her feed herself which she can do semi successfully. If I try to help she gets very frustrated and pushes me away.

Most of the time she will eat bread, fruit (selective) and yoghurt. In desperation I usually offer her these things after 30 mins of failed lunch so she doesn't spend the day hungry. But she is getting used to it and I want to know if I can stop so she learns there is one thing on offer, or if she is still too small for this?

Tea is usually something on toast (peanut butter, coronation chicken etc). with fruit, bananas & custard, raisins etc. This is also not particularly imaginative.

This really isn't a balanced diet! I'm very calm with feeding time, we don't snack in the morning or afternoon and 80% of the time she refuses breakfast too (we try cereal, fruit, yoghurt and toast about 1.5 hours after her bottle, which is usually 180ml milk). Without the morning milk at 6am we have meltdown. We still have bedtime milk, about 150ml.

Any tips?! Time to stop the milk?

happyfrogger Tue 03-Sep-13 13:43:07


JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 03-Sep-13 17:58:01

Haven't got time to post OP, will try to come back later.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 03-Sep-13 19:48:28

I'd stop offering alternatives now. At that age I I'd worry and did offer other thins, but really wish I hadn't. My dd quickly learnt that if she held out, something much more to her liking would be long soon.

She's having the 300ml she needs a day. How about ditching the bottles (they're not recommended after 12 months anyway) and take her downstairs at 6 am, give her milk in a sippy cup and get her breakfast then?

She doesn't need pudding with each meal really. If she's refused one meal its fine to clear away and trust her to know when she's hungry. Lots of children eat far more on some days than on others, perhaps if you keep a food diary for a couple of weeks it will help you to focusing on one missed meal?

If you are only offering milk twice a day and 3 meals, have you thought about offering a very light snack mid morning and mid afternoon? My DC would struggle with just 3 meals a day.

neontetra Tue 03-Sep-13 19:54:38

Do you eat at the same time as her? This seems to help focus my 16th month old, who similarly eats best at nursery.

happyfrogger Tue 03-Sep-13 22:58:12

Thank you both. Yes, I always try to eat with her so she understands we eat as a family.

I'm going to try a to hold off the alternatives for a few days and see how we go. She refused dinner today and was clearly frustrated when no yoghurt came out. I'll be interested to see how early she wakes as I expect she'll be v hungry. She guzzled a large bottle of bedtime milk.

I'll see if she shows more interest in breakfast alongside milk in a cup in the am. It's a shame as bottle time is snuggly time and I'm sad to move on from this! Also - I'm not sure she'll take very much at all from the cup but we'll try it.

Busy time as it is with baby #2 arriving in 2 weeks!! Either way an unsettled time ahead...

Thank you for the advice.

happyfrogger Wed 04-Sep-13 09:22:30

She woke starving and crying at 3.30am sad I offered water (she kept pushing away) and lots of cuddles and eventually she calmed down but she cried on and off for a couple of hours. When she woke up at 7am we went straight for brekkie and it was utter meltdown! I offered cereal with milk alongside milk in both a beaker and bottle at the table but she was so hungry and thrown by the change of routine that it took 20 minutes to stop her screaching and start eating. Finally she ate a massive breakfast, all her cereal (slightly soggy but no milk to speak of), raspberries and a whole banana. But she wasn't interested in the milk alongside or when she'd finished strangely - although normally a total guzzler first thing.

As she's dairy intolerant I can substitute in the day with soy yoghurt etc but not so many quick and easy options for cheese / white sauce etc in the day. We're going to stick with this for a week and see if she calms and how it affects bedtime milk intake.

Thanks again.

Xmasbaby11 Wed 04-Sep-13 23:04:24

Good luck OP. DD is 19mo and a bit like this - very picky and prefers milk to food, although she eats anything at nursery. In the last few weeks she has got worse and also woke up at 3.30am crying, probably hungry! It is very distressing, isn't it. We haven't turned a corner with DD yet and also haven't switched to sippy cup at bedtime.

I'm sorry I don't have any advice, just to say that you're not alone and I hope things get better.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 05-Sep-13 19:47:49

How are things going now happy smile

happyfrogger Fri 06-Sep-13 16:15:22

A bit mixed - it's quite a challenge being consistent with the horrific early wake ups and hugely pregnant!

She is still getting no alternative and that seems to have gone okay in the last couple of days - 50% success rate. I have DH on hand to help over the weekend so I'm hoping the message will get through loud and clear in the next couple of days.

The no milk before breakfast and straight onto cereal & fruit is fine when we don't get a 5am wake up call... ouch! Pushing bedtime back to 7.30pm has not yet had the desired effect. Working through the pain smile

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