Jump to content

Dealing with a fussy eater?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:28 PM

My daughter is 2 years and 8 months and has progressively become more and more fussy. She used to be great and eat anything, now her main diet consists of peanut butter on sandwiches or rice cakes. She obviously will eat other foods but barely any fruit (only blueberries, apple, pear, grapes occasionally)or vegetables (only carrot, peas, corn on the cob, snow peas, beans, sweet potato, potato). It's all very hit and miss though, many days she will go without eating any fresh fruit or veg at all.

I need help! I feel like I have somehow become backed into a corner of extremely limited foods - she refuses to try almost anything unfamiliar (this includes desserts like ice cream or custard!). It's so frustating. I eat a very healthy diet with lots of fruit & veg, whole grains, legumes, plus some eggs & dairy (we are vegetarian). All the meals I cook have lots of veggies and usually beans, lentils or tofu in them but she so often turns her nose up at them I am starting to feel like 'what's the point'.

So far I have avoided the vegetable "hiding" and just offer them steamed or chopped and cooked in a dish (eg, soup, pasta, stir fry), but maybe I should start blending them and hiding them in other things? Or do I go the tough-love route and just not offer anything other than the veggies until she eats them (or goes to bed hungry?). Her behaviour gets so horrible when she hasn't eaten that I usually cave and just let her eat something else.

How do others deal with fussy children?

#2 librablonde

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:43 PM

Many EB'ers would call me a hard a*se so this might be not what you want to hear, especially if you have a tendency to "cave". As long as you are reasonably sure the child is not sick or has ASD or other health/cognitive issues that might make eating difficult, then I'd just take the food away and put up with the tantrums until the child starts eating again. No other snacks, no alternative provided, no pretty-ing up the food to entice the child, no hiding of veggies, etc......  If the child is hungry enough and learns that you're not a pushover, then they'll start eating. Everyone is allowed a couple of things that they don't like, but beyond that is just manipulation by your DD, OP.

Edited by librablonde, 25 February 2013 - 07:43 PM.


#3 galba

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:50 PM


We're hard a*se in our family too.  All my kids have gone through this phase but I've just ignored it.  I just remove the plate - no arguing, shouting, demanding food be eaten etc and then I say 'No problem - but there's nothing else'.

They learn very quickly.





#4 cinnabubble

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE
She obviously will eat other foods but barely any fruit (only blueberries, apple, pear, grapes occasionally)or vegetables (only carrot, peas, corn on the cob, snow peas, beans, sweet potato, potato).

That's a far more varied vegetable intake than either of my children at that age.

#5 HRH Countrymel

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

Do you eat together OP?

This is purely anecdata - but of all the fussy eaters I know they are all fed separately to the family meal.

IE: children are fed, put to bed then the adults eat.

The non fussies are just plonked in with the rest of the family and everyone just eats - there is no hovering, no "just one mouthful please".

Eating is viewed as a normal, pleasurable, part of the day.

I know it is a pain to eat early, but maybe it is less of a pain that catering to an overly picky food drama queen?



#6 HIH.GD.Isolabella

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:00 PM

With a child who refuses any meat, fruit or veggie I think you are doing well.

Food is offered it is their choice to eat or not. Small portion of meal will be a preferred item.

Eg fajitas. Chicken, salad, tortillas. Child decides to eat tortillas only fine, but they are not allowed to gorge themselves on them.

#7 treefalls

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:07 PM

I second the idea (if you're not already eating together) to try this. I did with my 2.5 year old son!
We set the table for my husband and I opposite each other and he sat in his high chair on the end. We had dinner and he had an empty plate and watched us eat. It wasn't long before he would request some of what we were having! It was a trick that opened him up to trying a lot of new things. I would say that before that, he was about the same as your daughter. Ate the things he was familiar with happily, but had a kind of resistance to anything new that irked us.
Good luck!

#8 twinboys

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:20 PM

I had one child who would only eat mashed potato for dinner, We had it a few times a week but he still had to have a bite or a taste of everything else on his plate
Sometimes he realised he did like something and would finish the meal.
Other times he did not eat anymore of what he had to taste so he would get a sandwich.

I hate food arguments - as long as they try what I have prepared that is all that matters.
I never made a fuss or turned it into a long drawn out affair.

#9 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

It might help to remember that they have an instinct to eat the familiar food and knock back anything (a) new, (b) strongly flavoured and © that you aren't eating.  It's to stop little baby animals from getting poisoned or wasting energy eating something not worthwhile. It's not necessarily a mission to reject our cooking.  

Same reason people get morning sickness while pregnant and just want to eat bland carby food.  

I sometimes do compromise veggie hiding for my 16mo, by puréeing say half the pasta sauce and leaving the other half chunky veggies.  Or we might do carrot and zucchini muffins with some blended right in, and some still visable. That way if he picks out the obvious bits he still gets some goodness, but he still gets the message that we eat veggies.

#10 Threelittleducks

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

Our twins are 20 months old. DD is an eating machine - tries everything, eats everything, then asks for seconds. DS is fussy and gets more so everyday. He often only eats things prepared one way or one brand of something. Both have been exposed to a wide variety of foods, we eat as a family and I've never made a fuss over food. So, I really think that it is often not what the parent's do, just the way some kids are.

For DS I make sure that at least one thing on the plate is a favourite of his. I also hide vegetables and offer this several times a day. Many of his favourites have vegetables hidden in them.

E.g. Toasted cheese sandwich with vegetable puree. Spinach and ricotta pastry. Rainbow pikelets (orange - pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato; purple - beetroot etc). Our butcher sells sausages with 5 vegetables hidden in them.

I also offer snack plates at morning tea and afternoon tea and leave these out on the coffee table for 30-40 minutes while they are playing. DS comes back to the snack plate again and again and eats far more than he would in the highchair.

I also got some tips from this article which I thought were pretty good. See if there is something here for you. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-i...ing-picky-eater

Good Luck

#11 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

Thank you for your replies so far.

We do eat together, I also think this is important and modelling plays a large role in teaching children to eat - although often my husband is not home from work yet so it is usually just me, DD and the baby.

I generally do just cook one meal for us all and try to make it child-friendly and including the veggies that I know she will    sometimes eat, but she still often refuses it!

Melbchick I really like your idea of sitting her there with an empty plate if she refuses what I've cooked and then waiting for her to ask for some of ours! I can really see that working.... very manipulative! I like it.

Librablonde - you are on the money she is totally manipulating me - she knows I am a softy and give in. This is starting to become apparent in other aspects of her behaviour too and I know I need to nip it in the bud now before she gets older and cleverer!

galba - I like your simple, no fuss approach. Maybe I should just try it for a week and see what happens. Worst that can happen is some tantrums and possible night waking because she is hungry - but if that means in the long term she learns I mean business then maybe it is worthwhile.

twinboys - I agree, I don't expect her to like and finish everything on her plate but I at least want her to try everything - can't stand the "I don't like it" when she hasn't even tried the damn food! She refused to try mango, apricot, peach this summer... I bet she would have loved them if only she would've tried it!

meggs1 - I think that is a good idea, hide some but keep most obvious. At least then I will know she isn't becoming completely malnourished. Because she is vegetarian I do worry about her vitamin and mineral intake when she eats such a limited range of veggies and fruit. I have thought about introducing meat to her diet but most likely she would refuse because it is unfamilar. I fear that I have created this problem sad.gif


#12 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:07 PM

twolittleducks - thank you for your input. I do think part of it is the child's personality! The Dr. Sears website has some good tips, thanks for posting. Can you tell me how you make the rainbow pikelets? I think that might go down well with her...

#13 Chocolate Addict

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:39 PM

QUOTE (librablonde @ 25/02/2013, 07:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Many EB'ers would call me a hard a*se so this might be not what you want to hear, especially if you have a tendency to "cave". As long as you are reasonably sure the child is not sick or has ASD or other health/cognitive issues that might make eating difficult, then I'd just take the food away and put up with the tantrums until the child starts eating again. No other snacks, no alternative provided, no pretty-ing up the food to entice the child, no hiding of veggies, etc......  If the child is hungry enough and learns that you're not a pushover, then they'll start eating. Everyone is allowed a couple of things that they don't like, but beyond that is just manipulation by your DD, OP.


Biggest pile of sh*te I have ever read.

Some kids are just stubborn little buggers and no amount of starving or manipulation will get them to change.

OP, I think you child has a pretty good variety of food. I would kill for my kid to eat one vegetable. wink.gif

#14 Threelittleducks

Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:59 PM

Rainbow pikelets - Puree vegetables of required colour, add flour, egg, milk to get the right consistency. Cook in pan. I often pop them in the oven to dry them out a bit if they are too moist. I tend to put pear or sweet potato in every batch to make them a little sweeter. So far I've only made green, purple, pale yellow and orange ones. This covers quite a lot of veg.

ETA - I sometimes put silken tofu in the mix too and if making purple ones, beetroot is such a dominant colour, you can add quite a few other vegetables in too. I was also just contemplating today whether to try some quinoa in them also. DS's only protein is sausages, so I try to mix it up a bit.

If these get rejected anytime soon, I plan to buy the Veggie Smugglers book.

Good Luck.

Edited by Twolittleducks, 25 February 2013 - 11:04 PM.


#15 Babby and Roo

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

Thanks twolittleducks - that sounds awesome!!

And chocolate addict - I appreciate your point of view - makes me feel better about the whole thing and not like I am a failure as a parent because of what my child will and won't eat! I hope your little one broadens their palate soon for you original.gif

We've had a couple of decent nights actually this week. I made a vegetarian version of a shepherd's pie, with kidney beans and lentils mixed with tinned tomatoes, grated zucchini and carrot, and peas as the filling, and obviously mashed potato on top (and some grated cheese). She was great and ate lots of kidney beans, some carrots, peas and the cheesy potato. She also consumed the tomato and zucchini unknowingly. So I am feeling a bit more positive about it original.gif

#16 feralisles

Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:03 AM

I'm with Librablonde on this one.  The "eat it or go hungry "
approach has worked in our house (and I have a very stubborn daughter - it just took a bit longer in her case, but it did work).  No bribing, no fighting - food is provided, kids choose whether to eat or not, no other food is offered until next meal (except for fruit, which in our house is left on the bench for everyone to take whenever they please).
You may find, OP, that if you let your children become involved in the meal preparation they may develop more interest in food.  Mine would often sit up at the bench snacking on the raw veges I was peeling and chopping - if they then refused the cooked end result I wasn't overly worried.  Restricting other snack foods in the afternoon helps too, so that they are hungry when dinner is ready.
I have seen fussy eaters who are still fussy in their teens - that's a lot of extra work for parents, and good reason to sort it out early IMO.


#17 Rock of Empathy

Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:01 PM

QUOTE
but barely any fruit (only blueberries, apple, pear, grapes occasionally)or vegetables (only carrot, peas, corn on the cob, snow peas, beans, sweet potato, potato)


If my toddler would eat even 3 of those foods, I could die happy right now.

#18 epl0822

Posted 01 March 2013 - 02:14 PM

I went through a stage of hiding vegetables - I know it's not recommended by nutritionists but honestly you can't do everything.

Now that DS is slightly older and understands the concept of compromise and consequences, I have a slightly different tactic. I chop up the veges into manageable sizes but still big enough for DS to see and feel the texture. I put the vegetable on the spoon and tell him, "This is a broccoli, would you like to try it?" Of course DS says no and violently shakes his head. I don't make a fuss, I just put the broccoli back and say, "Okay well you can either eat the vegetables with your meal, or don't eat."

DS is guaranteed to get annoyed and protest, so I put other bits of food he likes (like fish) on the spoon with the broccoli, and as an act of "compromise" I ask him to eat the two together. Virtually every time he says yes and he ends up happily eating the veges for the rest of the meal. I like to emphasise the name of the vegetable he's eating and show him what it looks like so in the future he knows he's eaten it before and didn't mind.

The best way I dealt with my fussy eater, like others said, is to not fight over it but just let them go hungry. It might take awhile but they get the point - if I don't eat now, I won't eat till the next meal. It seems harsh but I think it's a much healthier option than allowing a child to dictate his preferences to a narrow range of food.

#19 Babby and Roo

Posted 01 March 2013 - 07:37 PM

Right... time to get tougher then!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

A solo birth, a wasp swarm and a forest fire: mum and baby's amazing story of survival

Desperate, out of petrol and low on food, a new mother lit a fire in the hope of attracting attention.

Boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

The story was chilling and heartbreaking: a three-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

Child's play and laughter help battle fatigue

Feeling fatigued? Uh-huh, thought as much. Join the queue.

Dad shares entertaining 'how to hold a baby' clip

For many new dads, their own child is the first baby they have ever held. So one dad has posted an instructive YouTube video titled "How to Hold a Baby".

The Australian baby with 100,000 Facebook fans

She may be only eight months old, but Egypt has already amassed more than 100,000 fans and received a letter from royalty - Hollywood royalty that is.

Public welcome outside church for Princess Charlotte's christening

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have invited well-wishers to see Princess Charlotte outside church in Sandringham on day of her baptism.

Tongue tie: what you need to know

Tongue and lip tie can lead to many problems for babies - and their parents. Here are the signs of tongue tie and how it's treated.

My daughter is small but that doesn't matter

My daughter may be small, but it's my job as her parent to refocus back where it belongs - on who she is as a person

Wet wipes linked to rise in allergic reactions

The government has issued a health warning after a rise in allergic skin reactions has been linked to a preservative found in some wet wipes.

Gay couple in their 80s first to wed in Dallas after Supreme Court ruling

Love may have won, but it came with quite the wait.

William Tyrrell's family marks birthday with cake and renewed appeal

The family of missing boy William Tyrrell will mark his fourth birthday on Friday making a cake to share with friends and family as NSW police renewed their public appeal for information on his disappearance.

What all parents should know about safe babywearing

A picture of Ryan Reynolds always gets the girls talking, and a recently shared photo has done exactly that - but this time, it's for all the wrong reasons.

Baby's head shape reveals potentially fatal condition

Thinking her baby just had an unusually shaped head, a mother was shocked to discover it was instead linked to a dangerous condition.

'Help - my toddler hits me!'

My toddler has started hitting when he gets frustrated, is feeling ignored, or just thinks it might be fun.

Why IVF success rates may not be what you think

Transparency, accountability and responsibilityare essential measures to protect IVF vulnerable patients.

On the 10th anniversary of my son's death

This day marks a significant day. Today marks 10 years since I lost my son Kai.

Mother-in-law 'from hell' inspires survival guide

The happily ever after Nicola Milan had imagined wasn't to be – and she blames her mother-in-law.

Name your baby Quinoa, win a $10K gift card

Choosing a name for your little bundle of joy is always a major decision. It can be something traditional, trendy, creative … or inspired by the menu of your favourite chain restaurant.

Owning a pair of nail scissors does not make me a hairdresser

It's been a whole year since sleeping in until 10am. A whole year since having a peaceful shower.

The 83 children who were tragically let down in the last decade

Over a 10-year period, 83 children died from domestic violence abuse in NSW, with three quarters of the victims aged five years or under, the NSW Ombudsman has revealed.

Expert Q&A: Gross motor skill development in toddlers and preschoolers

Dr Katie Heathershaw answers questions about jumping, toe walking, riding a bike and being pigeon toed.

Is it reasonable to expect your partner to give up drinking in pregnancy?

From the moment that I fell pregnant with my son, I realised just how much my life had already started to change.

Stroke victim joins class action against makers of popular contraceptive pill

"I was terrified I would always be this way. The pill needs to come with a much higher warning."

Sexy time

Why you should get excited about scheduling sex

Unfortunately, the belief that sex should always be spontaneous is a myth. It just isn't.

When newborn photoshoots get messy

When it comes to newborn photoshoots, it is all about the timing.

Orphaned baby daughter Ayla wakes from coma

Former All Black Jerry Collins' critically injured orphaned daughter has awoken from her coma and is able to bottle-feed.

Dad takes miraculous catch while feeding baby

One American father has taken multitasking to a new level at a Cubs-Dodgers baseball game at Wrigley Field.

'Samuel is our firstborn, and he will never be forgotten'

Having lost their firstborn at one day old, the Carrolls were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Isobel into the world a year later.

Channel 10's Sarah Harris expecting first child

The Studio host Sarah Harris doesn't mind if her first baby is a boy or girl, but she does hope it is born with one thing in particular.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

The top 6 misleading parenting terms

From 'morning sickness' to 'the terrible twos', there are many parenting terms that are misleading.

When 'good' nannies go bad

While most nannies take pride in their work, there can be some who have a hidden side.

Woman hospitalised for skinny jeans injury

Beware: skinny jeans might be bad for your health.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend

A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

Jimmy Fallon writes new children's book for dads

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's The Tonight Show, recently wrote a children's book about every father's secret wish for their baby's first word to be "dada" - not "mama".

28 names for babies born in winter

Looking for some baby name inspiration for a bub born during the colder months? Here are 28 options from around the world to consider.

The horrible act that sparked a brawl at child's birthday party

The uncle of the seven-year-old girl at the centre of the brawl at child's birthday party in Sydney's west has described the events leading up to the alarming show of violence.

Babies 'benefit from iPads at a young age': study

More often than not, you'll read that screen time for children should be kept to a minimum - but some scientists are now challenging this way of thinking.

Do mums really just obsessively talk about their children?

Natalie Reilly describes three main types of conversations mothers have. And, surprise, they're not all about kids.

Why some dogs might attack babies or young kids

A baby's smell, the noises it makes and even its gaze can contribute to the potential for a dog attack.

Mum demands refund for 'beargina' christening cake

It was meant to be a tasteful cake to help celebrate a three-year-old's christening.

5 things no one warns you about after giving birth

How many times have you been warned about all the sleepless nights you have to 'look forward to' when you become a parent?

Police officer sang nursery rhyme as heartbreaking photo was taken

A police officer arrived at a devastating scene on Thursday: a car crash resulting in all passengers being thrown from the vehicle.

Don't worry, working mums: Just leave Dad in charge at home

Want to open the boardroom doors for women? Encourage - heck, praise - dads who stay home with their children.

Hilaria Baldwin shares post-baby selfie

Just two days after giving birth, actor Alec Balwin's wife posted a post-baby picture on social media.

'Help - my child won't ever do what I ask!'

Compliance is part of the parent-child relationship, but so is resistance. It's all natural.

Postnatal depression support gets $23 million boost in NSW

The Baird government will include $22.8 million in Tuesday's NSW budget to expand a program designed to help parents at risk of postnatal depression (PND).

'I'm just as tired, scared and stressed as you': stay-at-home dad's plea

I'm really lucky to have two great kids, but I found it really tough with so much being aimed at the mothers and not the fathers.

 

FREE TICKET

Get your FREE ticket to the Baby & Toddler Show

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.