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Fussy eater Toddler

(12 Posts)
Anne58 Wed 22-Feb-12 18:08:25

Food is often the first thing that the little darlings realise they can exert real power over! We are programmed to want to nuture them, and when they refuse to eat, it presses all our buttons.

Many years ago I was given a copy of "Toddler Taming" by an Australian chap whose name I can't remember, but it did have some good quite laid back advice re eating.

The advice about letting them build pizzas etc is good. Some children will also respond better to veg presented as finger food. When are 2 were small, we did insist that new foods were at least tried and not just dismissed out of hand.

Carol Wed 22-Feb-12 14:54:49

My 3 year old grandsons are given healthy snacks and offered lots of fruit and veg. One will eat most things, but the other is faddy. He responds best when given the means to 'make' his own meal by having things like small wraps/tortillas and a selection of grated cheese, home made tomato ketchup, chunks of chicken, baby sweetcorn cut into 'wheels', halved grapes and apple chunks. He piles his own choices on the wrap and my daughter helps him roll it up, and he will eat all of it. She purees a massive selection of vegetables into thick sauces for pasta, and they make home made smoothies with yogurt, ice cubes, fresh berries and bananas. With a very wide straw, they get two of their five a day in the smoothie. If they want something to snack on with fingers, she gives them granola mixed with cheerios and suchlike - they call it 'magic cereal mix.' Faddiness doesn't last forever, although it feels like it at thetime.

absentgrana Wed 22-Feb-12 14:06:08

Make the most of vegetables and vegetable fruits with lots of natural sweetness – carrots, beetroot, parsnips, tomatoes, squash.

bagitha Wed 22-Feb-12 13:24:05

gracesmum, with three daughters, I had the same worries as you did, especially as my maternal grandmother, my mother, my sister, and two of my nieces have all been anorexic, some very seriously. Fortunately, my older daughters have not been affected. DD3 has what I believe is called Selective Eating Disorder (started from about two and a half before which she ate everything offered) but she is one of the healthiest kids in her school (least often absent) and has been on the seventyfifth centile for height and weight all her life. I'm slightly worried about her teenage years, still to come, but she knows if there is ever a health issue because of her eating, I will seek professional advice immediately. She's fine with that.

Her brain is fine too.

re people who are very sensitive to the bitterness of green veg, apparently children are more sensitive than adults to the toxins (all plants contains some toxins, to a greater or lesser extent, in the attempt not to be eaten) that cause the bitterness. Maybe that's all it is with kids refusing veg. Most do grow out of it after all.

whatisamashedupphrase Wed 22-Feb-12 12:05:27

Please cut grapes up. [worry]

absentgrana Wed 22-Feb-12 11:11:40

Miniature veg and fruit often appeals to small children – baby sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, satsumas, tiny seedless grapes, blueberries etc. Similarly, mini pizza, for example, can have tomato and other veg as part of the topping. If your daughter or you can find the time, you could actually make things like this with your granddaughter, letting her choose the toppings from a judicious selection. If she's "made" it herself, she'll probably eat it. Whatever you do, don't make a fuss about eating fruit and veg or any other food type, for that matter, as you will be making a rod for your own back.

gracesmum Wed 22-Feb-12 10:07:05

I was going to say what wiamup has said - she can get her vitamins other ways- fruit etc I personally don't believe meals should ever be a battleground. The "snacks" at toddlergroup should be the healthy sort - our little GS loves grapes or blueberries as a treat, rice biscuits- tomato flavoured and blueberry flavoured are particularly popular. But he has always been a fussy eater- one month he will do anything for yogurt, another it is pasta another it is cheese- you just have to be patient! My own DD didn't eat for 2 whole days when she ws a toddler and my Mum believed that you could starve her into eating- not DD!! In the end I gave her something she liked and the "battle" passed! With 3 daughters I have always had a fear of eating disorders and all 3 of them have gone through phases of not eating a lot, but thank God they all have healthy normal appetites - AND are lean and fit!

glammanana Wed 22-Feb-12 09:52:57

We have never had any problems with food from when the DGCs where small they have eaten what was on the menu that day blended when they where babies and chopped up as they got bigger, DD will not allow snacks between meals if they don't eat everything at meal times,too many parents pander to their childrens needs by saying "they don't like it" when they have never even tried to eat the food,it is a totally differant matter if the children have an intolerance to certain foods then you do have to fix the menu to suit but everyday meal times nothing should be excluded..

whatisamashedupphrase Wed 22-Feb-12 09:48:35

I doubt very much whether any particular foods are going to make any difference to her brain.

Get her to eat fruit? Just as good as veg. Definitely don't push any food that she doesn't want to eat.

glassortwo Wed 22-Feb-12 09:46:45

We had problems with GS1 who had been ill for around 6 months when he was 2yrs old and refused all the foods that he had eaten before, it was a very worrying time for DD. DD refused to let him fill up on biscuits and snacks, and would only provide fruit in between meals.

Luckily one of the things he would readily eat was pasta and we made a pasta sauce with hidden vegetables, we also found the Annabel Karmel cookery books really helpful. He would also eat mashed potato so we made fish pie, cottage pie and macaroni cheese. We have gradually introduced food back into his diet and he now has a varied diet he is now 6 and will eat all kind of fish especially smoked fish, while we were away last week he ordered sea bass in a restaurant!

But dont worry things will improve if you keep introducing different food.

JessM Wed 22-Feb-12 09:36:31

Well toddler group should not be doling out biscuits for a start. Schools are not allowed to! Bits of fruit or dried fruit instead.
My DH hates veg. Eventually i realised he was one of those people for whom greens like broccoli taste really bitter. They don't to me at all. These are things that have got past the radar:
coleslaw with white cabbage and other crunchy bits
spinach - you can hide it on stews, pasta and curries. Doesn't taste bitter apparently.
bolognese etc with veg chopped fine

Soups are another possibility. My GD and I used to make green soup by, basically, blending up frozen peas (thaw them first in microwave!). Cooking can be fun.
The tough bit with toddlers is stopping feeding them biscuits and stuff that fill them up but don't have much protein or vitamins. Just stop buying them maybe? If they are not in the cupboard then it is easier to say no.
And don't offer alternatives if she turns her nose up at what is on offer. Just shrug and take it away. Toddlers try hard to manipulate and manage their parents but they don't tend to starve themselves once they realise there are no sweet things and crisps on offer.

wallers5 Wed 22-Feb-12 09:25:15

Can anyone advise how to get a Toddler to eat vegetables. I have tried mashing them in with other food but bascially she won't eat anything that is good for her! She loves snacks at the Toddler group & asks for biscuits etc. My daughter is worried that she is getting the right foods for her brain etc.