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Weaning

Pulling my hair out with 15 month old's eating

21 replies

pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:03

I'm sorry but I'm sure this topic has been brought up here a million and one times but I'm not sure where else to turn to ask for advice.

DS is 15 months has never been the best eater, even with his formula, it was a battle to get him to drink his bottles when he was younger.

Mealtimes are really getting me down and stressing me out. His breakfast is usually his best meal, but won't eat anything else but Weetabix. Lunch and dinner is awful. I offer him all sorts, sandwiches, pasta, home cooked meals, scrambled eggs, fruits, veggies - you name it. He will take about 4 mouthfuls if I'm lucky, then will randomly throw his spoon/fork on the floor and start to scream. Then it's game over. We've tried eating with him, letting him do his own thing, feeding him myself, putting the food in front of him and ignoring him, putting the food on the floor (on a plate!) and seeing if he would just roam about and pick at it.....nothing has worked so far.

I've spoken to the HV so many times and she just tells me he's being fussy and to basically end the meal whenever he starts to play up, and I'm not disagreeing with this at all to be fair, but it doesn't make the situation any easier.

Could anyone out there give me some success stories of their children who are now a bit older that went though something similar and how you got through it? I'm very aware that I can't force the poor guy to eat but it's very much getting me down and a few tales with some positive outcomes would help a bit!

Thanks all

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Fizzadora · 01/11/2022 14:05

Have you tried Weetabix?

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:07

@Fizzadora yes, that's the only thing I can get him to eat at Breakfast. He would eat it at every meal if he had the chance!!

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dancingmice · 01/11/2022 14:08

This was my son to a T. I spoke to a friends mum (paediatrician) and she said if he likes Weetabix, let him have Weetabix. So he'd have it three times a day and made with formula. It's fortified so nutritionally speaking, if he's only going to have one thing that's probably the best. I'd give it along wise offering other foods and eventually he started trying little bits here and there. He's 3.5 now and not amazing but he has his favourite things and will try a little bit of new stuff sometimes and I'm not worried at all. Nursery also really helped. It's so shit at the time though and v stressful so hugs x

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Beamur · 01/11/2022 14:09

Little meals more often? If his limit is 4 mouthfuls, give him less food on the plate.
A bit of grazing won't ruin him from eating meals as he gets older.

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Fizzadora · 01/11/2022 14:11

And sorry if that sounded flippant, it wasn't meant to be. I am a Gran looking after a 16 month old 2 days a week so nothing like what you are going through but she's just starting to get a bit stroppy if she doesn't fancy something.

If I was on my own it would be a lot easier as I would just stop offering after the first couple of times and give her snacks later but DH is here flapping around like an old mother hen and going on about healthy food ......if only he new.

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Fizzadora · 01/11/2022 14:13

pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:07

@Fizzadora yes, that's the only thing I can get him to eat at Breakfast. He would eat it at every meal if he had the chance!!

Yes that's what I meant just give him Weetabix. As long as he's eating it really doesn't matter what it is.

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:19

Well I had considered just giving him Weetabix at every meal but then I would just get anxious that he's not getting enough variety. I also got a very stern warning from the HV not to give in to his demands and to not "feed him what he wants all the time" or it would form bad habits blah blah blah. I just don't want the poor boy to be hungry

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homarrrerra · 01/11/2022 14:21

I think this can be fairly normal for a 15 month old.

My 2.5 year old is still like it!

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Unless he looks underweight then I would just leave it be. He will eat properly eventually.

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:29

@homarrrerra being a pretty inexperienced first time parent, I have no idea what is normal haha - so thank you for that comment, that's quite reassuring 🙂

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SalviaOfficinalis · 01/11/2022 14:33

My 18 month old can be really fussy, I know it’s really frustrating.

It’s really good that he actually tries things, even if he doesn’t eat much. Mine sometimes won’t even touch my lovingly prepared homemade nutritious meals 🤦🏻‍♀️

I wouldn’t give him weetabix for every meal because he might get sick of it and then refuse to eat it at all.

Does he like baby rice? Mine still has a bowl of baby rice before bed every night - he likes it with peanut butter in. At least I know he’s had something filling even if he hasn’t eaten much dinner.

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fyn · 01/11/2022 14:34

You need to look up Solid Starts, they are an organisation who specialise in fussy eating in toddlers and young children. Run by leading paediatricians and dieticians who specialise in weaning. They have a course which you can pay for or if you can’t afford it they give free access no questions asked. It turned our daughters eating completely around (no thanks to the HV who just told us to give her lots of rice pudding to combat weight loss despite the fact she absolutely would not eat it). 100% do not just give him weetabix though, it will make the problem worse.

solidstarts.com/baby-or-toddler-throwing-food-on-the-floor/

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FlounderingFruitcake · 01/11/2022 14:38

Fussy phases are really normal for toddlers. You can weigh and measure him to check if he’s following his curve still and hopefully eliminate any worries. Then I’d give weetabix for breakfast. For lunch and dinner offer normal meals without making a big deal out of it so if he has his 4 mouthfuls and is done then fine. And maybe add an extra Weetabix as a pre bed supper.

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queenofthebongo · 01/11/2022 14:47

I would give mine some rice pudding at his last meal if he hadn't eaten much else. I thought if he was fuller at bedtime at least he would sleep longer! 🙈

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 14:48

Thank you all - really helpful responses from everyone!

I haven't been giving him Weetabix for every meal but recently have been thinking about it!! I didn't think to maybe give him an extra bowl of it for a bit of supper so thanks for that idea!

Also someone mentioned Solid Starts. I do have the app but haven't used it much tbh - will 100% have a better look at it tonight! Thank you

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lilroo87 · 01/11/2022 15:03

My 15 month old goes through phases like this. First of all it was because she was fed up of being in her high chair so now she sits at the table.
Now she gets annoyed because she wants to feed herself with cutlery but she's not great at it.
Once something has annoyed her then she will stop eating so we just try all sorts of things, even feeding her from our own cutlery instead which does end up working after she's had a little tantrum.
Most of the time she is fine though and eats anything and everything.
I probably wouldn't give in and only give weetabix as they'll struggle to eat anything.
Is there anything else they will eat? I've seen people suggesting give food but then add something on the plate they will definitely eat and encourage them to try the other foods

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 15:10

@lilroo87 interesting you say about the high chair - I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should try a different approach as to where he eats.

His diet is very limited. He will wolf down yoghurt, likes to nibble on crackers, rice cakes and melty puffs. On a good day he will eat some pasta, a banana or randomly, hash browns!

I actually should have mentioned in my OP!.... he seems to eat fine in nursery! They feed him a variety of meals there and they claim he eats "most" of his meals.... not at home though

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lilroo87 · 01/11/2022 15:24

Strange he eats at nursery but probably because other kids are eating at the same time.
Do you eat meals with him? I find if I don't eat at the same times (apart from like a snack) then my DD is fussier.
I mix up where she eats aswell, dinner is always at the table as a family but her breakfast or lunch might be in living room and she'll either sit or potter around while eating. Probably not ideal but I find she eats better if she's not restricted.

Worth trying to ditch the high chair and seeing if that helps, my DD feels more part of dinner now. We did remove her tray a few months ago and that was great but I think she wants to feel more included so removing the high chair has definitely helped

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pag2020 · 01/11/2022 15:29

@lilroo87 yes I agree, eating with the other children must be a factor here. Either that or the nursery either force feed him or lie.... which I don't think is the case!! 😅Sadly yes, apart from breakfast, we do sit and eat with him with very little success. Seeing as you're the 2nd person to mention the high chair now, it may be time to ditch it for a while. I do get the vibe from him that he feels restricted

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shiningstar2 · 01/11/2022 15:32

When he obviously isn't going to eat anymore just quietly, without fuss, remove the food. offer a drink maybe a choice of water or milk. Don't offer good again until the next meal unless you can see he seems hungry. Then offer some fruit maybe a choice of a satsuma or banana. Make it finger food ...segments of satsuma or slices of banana. Make no fuss about it. Put it down somewhere where he can reach it while he plays like a low coffee table. Don't praise as in good boy if he eats it, don't criticise if he doesn't. Don't keep focusing his attention on it. Just leave it long enough for him to come back and forward to. If left offer nothin else until the next meal but at the next meal only offer milk, not water to drink so you know he's getting something nourishing. He won't allow himself to go thirsty Again quietly remove when he's finished. If this is the second time you feel he hasn't had enough offer one option an hour or so later. Doesn't have to always be something 'good' for him. All food groups in moderation are necessary. Could offer him a brown bread jam sandwich or something like toast and peanut butter or a yoghurt. Again no fuss or drama whether it's eaten or not. It's stressful for you op but he won't starve. Try not to let him feel your stress around his food intake. If he can't graze all the time and is only offered a snack once between each meal it will likely resolve itself over the next few months. 💐

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BertieBotts · 01/11/2022 15:35

Don't worry, they won't starve themselves. Unless he has severe texture aversions or strict dietary needs, you can let them eat as much as they want. They somehow manage to have growth spurts even when their diet consists of air, sand, the odd dog biscuit and three melty puffs.

Keep offering a variety of nutritious food regularly, keep offering different options such as spoon feeding, self feeding with hands, self feeding with spoon/fork, but honestly there is zero need to stress about how much, whether, or what he is eating. They can sort it out by themselves and the more you stress about it, the less they eat anyway.

Apparently (no idea if this is true) there's a theory that nature makes them a bit more fussy at the time that they become more independently mobile, in order that they don't poison themselves. I don't really buy it, because I swear most toddlers eat more random crap from the floor than actual food, but it sounds reassuring so I'll go with it anyway!

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fyn · 01/11/2022 16:31

@pag2020 the Solid Starts app won’t be much use likely as it is just a database for foods and tracking. Have a look at the Instagram or website for picky eating info, the reel ‘our story’ is probably a good place to start!

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