Friday, 22 January 2010

How To Feed A Toddler

People I need your help!

BG has become a really fussy eater and I'm really having a tough time of it. I thought we were doing really well and was moving her away from jars and sloppy food onto more finger foods and a bigger range but we've taken two steps back due to her bouts of illness. So now I'm ashamed to say this but she back on jars quite a lot and I hate that but its all she will eat. I'm worried it will take ages to get back on track.

Pre illness she ate:

Breakfast - Porridge made with whole milk and fruit

Snack - Piece of fruit

Lunch - finger sandwiches, 1/4 pack of organix crisps & a banana

Snack - Rice cakes and dries fruit or a baby biscuit as a treat

Dinner - Pasta, peas & sweetcorn or homemade chicken dippers etc and a yogurt

Now she has pretty much the same except instead of sandwiches or homemade finger foods she either has a jar or homemade sloppy food such as mince or purreed veg. If I give her finger food she just throws it on the floor so I have to spoon feed her, but then she wants to feed her self and it goes everywhere as she doesn't eat anything!!

She has also dropped all milk feeds, I've tried givening her cows milk but she won't drink it

So I'm now at my wits end!! I need advice on what I should do or if I'm just worrying to much.

Thank you in advance



  1. I think we (mothers as a whole) just worry to much , we look at the child and wonder how they can survive on so little - to them they are just to busy to eat. I just provide my children with food , if they eat they eat...if they don't i do not stress over it.
    My eldest was funny with food , and we worried alot - espeically as she was very under weight (which i don't think was related ) . At some point we just quit worrying and let her lead the pace , somedays she eats plenty and others almost nothing (she is 4.5 now) .

    If you don't want to keep doing the jars/purees you should just stop, give her the food and if she throws it away so be it - maybe let her eat on the floor for a while?

    Mind you Ru (now 16m) does not really eat that much . Typical menu for him would be
    Toast and cheerios (he may eat 1/2 slice of bread and maybe handful of cereal)
    Lunch - Ham sandwhich (1 slice of bread)
    Dinner - 2 or 3 mouthfuls if that. Ypghurt after it

    Snacks - mostly fruit or fruit snacks , he loves apples but mostly plays with anything else .

    So he eats very little really and is a big boy (around 27/28lbs now) , he does take milk quite a bit still though (day and nigth ).

    Not sure i am any help , it is so hard trying to do the best thing and worrying you are doing something wrong.

  2. You're worrying too much! It's really common for them to get fussy after they've been ill, and also just to change their prefences to keep us on our toes. My eldest wouldn't eat any kind of food that needed a spoon except yoghurt from about 8 months, when she was too young to eat 'proper' food and I got myself so stressed about the whole thing. She survived on toast, dry cheerios and mini chicken burgers that I spent hours making. But eventually (aged about 2) she came round to normal food and became a good eater, enjoying fish pie, cottage pie, pasta etc. She's now a healthy 7 year old with a liking for curry!

    My second one only liked pureed food at BG's age, particularly when he was wheezy (he used to get bronchiolitis a lot). I think it's because it's easier to swallow and doesn't make them choke. Every time he was ill it felt like we were going back to square one, but actually, he always went back to eating lumpier food after a couple of weeks. I'd very very gradually add more texture and sure enough, he'd get used to it. Don't add texture too quickly, because they'll notice and refuse it again. He's now a healthy 5 year old and eats all of his school dinners, loves Chinese, sushi etc etc. Are you sensing a theme here?

    My third one's always been a good eater, I think partly because he's just greedy, but also because I'm so relaxed with him. If he has a few off days, I just leave him be and soon enough he's eating again.

    So... try and relax (I know it's hard) and just keep feeding her what she wants within reason, but also keep introducing little bits of the food you want her to be having at each meal. If she throws them on the floor, fine. Good luck!

  3. Agree with both of the above. My little girl barely eats anything, porridge, sandwhichs and a bite or two of dinner with maybe an apple or yoghurt if shes really hungry.

    i think they also go through stages. The boy used to eat anything he could get his hands on, these days just a few mouthfuls a meal. am sure it will all change again next week. Unless they get lethargic or start losing weight I wouldn't worry about it, they know how hungry they are.

  4. Hi ya, I completely understand, it is a very difficult time. Part of it with my daughter was that she wanted to be independant but couldnt tell me what she wanted!! so led to many meals on the floor (Weetabix is the worst to get off walls!). Just a suggestion, I am not a pro on this but maybe try her with homemade spaghetti bolognese or an omelette at lunchtime and try a sandwich in the evening.. my daughter doesnt drink any milk either now, just juice or water, and I havent worried about it, as long as she is drinking

  5. I agree with others, don't worry to much! They will never starve themselves & a few days of eating jars or sloppy food in the grand scheme of things will not do her any harm - easier said than done I know!

    Taylor has always been a good eater but when ill or teething eats very little & is unbelievably picky - won't eat brown bread only White, won't eat grated cheese only sliced etc etc. He soon gets back to normal! Try blending lots of different veg into tomato sauces for pasta, or gradually increasing the texture of her food to encourage her.

    With regard to milk - many of my friends who had the same issue started adding a bit of cows milk to their usual milk then gradually decreasing the amount of formula until they were on all cows milk.

    Chin up chick!

  6. Please try not to worry too much! BG will go back to eating lumpy/finger food again. Just let her get on with feeding herself, its surprising how much food does actually go in, even though it looks like nothing has. I have four (all teens now) and they ALL went through this phase, particularly after any illness.

  7. OK, Maxi regressed a lot when he was in hospital as a baby and you know what, as long as she is eating dont worry. Give her a spoon and let her get on with it, as you spoon it in too.

    Milk wise, how about added some fruit puree to it, a bit like a milk shake.

    But most of all stop worrying, she will pick up on it and play on it!!

  8. Had the same thing with smurf after a spell in hospital, he is still a terrible eater and can go a couple of days hadly eating enough to keep a bird alive usually not eating more than a handful of strawberries or rasperries(his current fav).

    I did ask the HV about this and she was pretty much of the same opinion as everyone on here, that generally children will not starve themselves and most have phases of not eating.

    Hope BG appetite gets better soon.xx

  9. I was going to leave some advice but what I was going to say has already been said! Try not worry too much about it just keep trying her with things and eventually she'll get her appetite back!

  10. i would agree with the comments of others. Relax a little bit about it and I am sure eventually she will get back to how she was before her illness.

  11. Thank you all so much for the advice, you've made me feel much better.

    We've had a better weekend food wise and I've been much more relaxed and I think thats helped.


  12. Sorry for coming to this so late but I also want to reassure you that BG is doing just fine. Sam's eating has never been good & he's always been a dinky little dot, barely grazing the 25th centile, usually on the 9th.

    He was also poorly around BG's age and went backwards with his food intake. He regressed slightly but I just carried on offering him 'real' food whilst feeding him mushy food. After a couple of weeks he pushed away the mush and ate the 'real' food.

    I'm glad things have been better this weekend, a few more days & I'm sure she'll be back to her usual self. Aside from that she sounds like she's having a great diet! Much better than Sam would eat!


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