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Mealtimes getting me down
19-month-old fussy

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#1 runnybabbit

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

We did BLW with our little boy and he used to love veggies... until he discovered fruit.

Some days nothing green passes his lips. sad.gif It's not a palate issue, it's a sitting down to mealtime issue. If I let him play and snack he'll happily eat half an avocado. If I offer him the same thing at dinnertime (we eat with him at 5.45 pm and usually all have the same thing) he throws it.

I made some zucchini and cheese muffins for him; he devoured one after swimming in the morning. But when I put the exact. same. thing. on his tray at lunchtime, he just threw it and was generally a bit of a rat!

Breakfast is usually Vitabrits soaked in milk with 0.5-1 banana. He usually eats that well. Then morning tea he has fresh fruit, usually about a cup full.

Lunch time I've tried offering chicken/mayo/cheese sandwiches, ham/cheese sandwiches, cream cheese sandwiches, tuna/cheese sandwiches etc. Sometimes he accepts them, sometimes he doesn't. The only surefire hit is peanut butter and honey, which he gets when he's sick or teething, usually.  rolleyes.gif Afternoon tea is another cup or so of fresh fruit.

Dinner time -- he does love bolognaise and I have worked in quite a bit of carrot and zucchini into that, but he doesn't have it more than twice a week because, well, jeepers, the mess! I've tried tuna mornay, chicken pinwheels, homemade sausages rolls, etc. He finds pastry tasty and interesting (he likes to crumble the flakes and completely make a huge mess).

He just seems to want fruit and yoghurt. He's on a Flixotide inhaler and he gets about 2 tbsp of natural yoghurt as a reward after he has his inhaler after breakfast and after dinner. Sometimes after he has that and asks for more, I say "No more," and he cries. sad.gif

The constant mealtime rejection is getting me down! I don't really want him to eat while playing for lunch and especially dinner, as he just smears food everywhere. I'm happy for him to graze his morning and afternoon tea, but for mealtimes we really want to encourage sitting down and eating together. Sometimes he just rejects food out of hand, and after being offered the same thing for the 23498652th he finally eats it and goes, "More! MORE!" Aaaaaaaaaaagh.

What else can I be doing here? Or should we just keep going and wait for him to get to, er, a more reasonable developmental stage?

#2 crankybee

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:23 PM

Maybe he's just not hungry at the end of the day? If he is healthy and his weight isn't an issue, don't worry. Some days my daughter doesn't eat much at dinner and I remind myself that she knows how hungry  she is or isn't better than me!

#3 julie1jet

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:25 PM


I dont really have any advice other than to say it will "probably" improve in time.

My son was the same, he is nearly 5 and eats just about everything I give him, and tells me how nice it is, including lovely moaning while he eats LOL.

On the other hand my nearly 3 year old, is just like your little one.

Emi is such a terrible eater, refuses so much food that I put in front of her. I always ask her to try it, but I choose my battles now, and dinner time isnt one of them.

I hide veges in spag bol, and sausage rolls , sometimes she will eat them sometimes not.  Ive started to follow through with nothing else if you dont eat it, and I leave the plate in front of her and she usually picks and starts to eat.

With my son, I found that giving him the evening meal at lunch time helped and he ate more for me that way.

So not really very much advice for you.

Hope things get easier soon,


Edited for typos its been a longgggg day!

Edited by julie1jet, 21 November 2012 - 10:27 PM.

#4 runnybabbit

Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:30 PM

Thank you. We'll just keep going, I think. We do generally have a "policy" of what's being on offer is what's available -- we don't keep offering a second or third option. If he doesn't like what's for lunch or dinner then he can have a smaller meal that time.

It's just frustrating though! He looks very skinny (but not sickly!) and was 25th percentile for weight (down from 50th previously) at 12 months but I haven't gotten him checked since, maybe I will soon. original.gif

I don't want mealtimes to become a bribe/bargain stressy thing, as, well, it's three times a day, every day! So I am just going to suck it up, try and cook healthily, and keep on cleaning. sad.gif

#5 Cranky Kitten

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

I don't want mealtimes to become a bribe/bargain stressy thing, as, well, it's three times a day, every day! So I am just going to suck it up, try and cook healthily, and keep on cleaning.

It's all you really can do. At 19 months they're entering the charming stage of flexing their own will and refusing food is part of that. Pretty soon the word No will be your most hated word wink.gif

Your job as mum is to keep offering healthy meals and snacks, their job as kids is to decide whether or not they're going to eat it. I found with DD the more I got wound up about it, the fussier she was as it paid off with a reaction. So when she'd reject a meal (or worse, toss it off the high chair table) I'd calmly clear it away with a shrug and an "oh well, guess you're not hungry". Later if she decided she wanted food, if there was anything salvable from the last meal I'd offer that, or it'd be a healthy sandwich or similar instead.

I also found it helped to look at her eating habits over a week rather than a day - often she'd eat more at breakfast so I'd make sure this had plenty of variety with some days being cereal, other days egg on toast or veggie pancakes etc. She'd also sometimes have off days where she wouldn't eat much at all but would make up for it the next day. So long as she was happy in herself and alert/busy it was all good.

#6 runnybabbit

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:44 PM

QUOTE (Cranky Kitten @ 22/11/2012, 09:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your job as mum is to keep offering healthy meals and snacks, their job as kids is to decide whether or not they're going to eat it.

Thanks, Cranky Kitten. I think I just needed to hear that I'm not alone and to keep persevering. Today was day care Thursday so I made a spinach loaf with mushrooms and cheese and he quite liked that; also made some butternut pasta sauce and he ate that once he'd thrown it off his tray and we fed him what was on the floor.

So we'll keep plodding along, as it seems it's the only thing to do. original.gif

#7 chickendrumstick

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

Maybe put more vegies on offer with his fruit snacks so he begins to associate them together? Or swap one of his fruit snacks for vegies?

#8 Escapin

Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

Maybe try the main meal at lunch time, when he's less tired and more likely to try it?

Also, what time is dinner? I'd try 30 mins or even an hour earlier, and then a little snack (maybe yoghurt) a bit later. Or even not bother with the snack. As an example, DD (19mo) has dinner at 4pm, sleep at 5:30 and then breakfast at 7am the next morning.

#9 Another one

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

My 16mo has just started to flex his will - he refused dinner the other night but pointed to the fridge for two fruits (his nightly dessert).  I took him from his high chair and he went to bed without anything else (he had eaten like a horse that day so I knew he wasn't hungry).  He slept till 7am as usual.

The following night he said no and pushed the plate away, pointed to the fridge.  I said not unless you eat dinner.  He ate it.

Tonight he tipped the last few mouthfuls out on his messy mat and wanted dessert, I said no dessert unless you finish and scopped it back up.  He ate it.

I have been much tougher with DS on this than we were with DD.  DD ate most of her meals at this age with a toy distracting her because DH thought she would stave if she went without (I wanted to take the plate away and be tough then too but I caved).  nI'm not caving this time.

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