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Toddler Fussy Eaters

(57 Posts)
Libralady Wed 23-Aug-17 01:59:46

Can anyone give advice please. My darling GD was born at 33 weeks weighing 3 lbs 6 ozs. She is 22 months old now and weighs just under 24 lbs. On the days I help with childcare, feeding her is a nightmare. She is on cows milk most of the time and shows little interest in food, so takes in very little, if anything. She feeds herself rice krispies for breakfast but apart from milk, eats very little else and this is the pattern with her mum and anyone else who sometimes looks after her. She has trouble with sore gums due to teething which is ongoing for now, but really has a poor/no appetite for anything other than milk. Any tips to encourage her would be helpful.

Gayliamelon1 Wed 23-Aug-17 03:54:19

I have not got any tips but just wanted to say I can't understand why you have had no replies so here I am to say hello.
I am with you all the way, my grandchild is extremely small . I could only suggest that you see a nutritionist who are extremely helpful and have some wonderful tricks that I have never thought of .
Health checks are essential to make sure she is not lacking too much in vital minerals and vitamins etc.
I am sure she has checks already with such a caring family looking out for her.

ninathenana Wed 23-Aug-17 07:28:09

The lack of replies is probably due to the timing of the post. There are not many people around at 01.59 UK time 😊
I have no words of wisdom but I don't recognise either name so welcome both. I'm sure you will get more replies later.

NanaandGrampy Wed 23-Aug-17 08:09:00

She's old enough now to help with food so I would start there. Encourage her to taste as you go, start with things like baking, or making teeny tiny sandwiches with soft fillings.

Maybe yoghurt, fruit, all cut up super small. We had tea parties when one of our grandchildren was a poor eater and it wasn't about getting volume down them but tasting things.

Some nutritionist believe that a schedule is important and that children should know that they eat at certain times of the day. That's certainly true of one of our grandchildren.

I think also , use 'sneaky' ways of getting them to eat- my daughter makes fruit juice icelollies for instance or chocolate milk lollies.

Good luck !!

Iam64 Wed 23-Aug-17 09:00:27

We made faces from various bits of food and found the small children are their way round eyes, noses, mouths and so on. Yoghurts and cream cheeses are a good way to get some calcium into little ones. warm milk with a spot of powdered chocolate goes down well here. I know lots of those things have sugar in them but I feel its important to encourage enjoyment of food.

whitewave Wed 23-Aug-17 09:09:34

This too will passsmile lots of good suggestions though.

wildswan16 Wed 23-Aug-17 09:12:55

Is she drinking an awful lot of milk? I understand how you will all be pleased to see her at least taking the milk, but it does fill them up quite a lot.

Jalima1108 Wed 23-Aug-17 09:40:30

I was going to suggest cutting down on the milk too and start offering some interesting and brightly coloured foods but perhaps soft ie cooked not raw veg etc.
Getting her to help prepare food is a good idea too.
She does need to start trying out new textures by this age. We had a very fussy eater in the family (not one of my DGC) who would 'only eat' yogurt and chocolate and I suppose a despairing parent may give in - she is still extremely fussy now she is older.

glammanana Wed 23-Aug-17 09:59:44

My GGD is coming to see us to-day with her nanna (my dd) and I have made her a lazy susan plate of mixed foods for her to eat,she does eat very well at an evening sat at the table with her parents but during the day she does like to graze,on her plate will be finger sandwiches/sliced melon/olives/cheese etc try offering her own brightly coloured plate and utensils which she can help you wash up later when she is going home.

Imperfect27 Wed 23-Aug-17 10:04:20

Yes, I would say try to cut down on the milk too.

It may seem a silly question, but do parents and you share mealtimes with her - does she have the opportunity to see adults around her enjoying food which may tempt her to try some? I ask because some parents do feed their children at separate times. My GC loves his food - but so much the better if it is off someone else's plate. Does she go to nursery yet? Seeing other children eating should also be a spur.

I understand you must be anxious, but I suspect this inbetweeny phase will soon pass.

Ph1lomena Wed 23-Aug-17 10:41:57

As some other posters have suggested, if she is having a lot of milk she is not going to want much else. Reducing this obviously needs to be done gradually and consistently among you, her parents and anyone else involved with her caring. Also, if it is a focus of the grownups in her life, don't make that obvious to her. Just try and make solid food fun without going overboard.

BRedhead59 Wed 23-Aug-17 10:44:31

Try making faces with fruit, or veg that might get her going. I have a GD the same age also born early at 35 weeks. Agree with Imperfect 27 she needs to see the rest of the family enjoying and having fun at the meal table.

Telly Wed 23-Aug-17 10:51:09

At the end of the day you can only be guided by her parents. Changing her diet when she is with you is probably not a good idea. I did read the other day that children eat more when the items are larger, so assuming she does not choke, then carrot sticks, apple segments etc. But of course she is probably not too bothered as she if full up with milk. As others have said this will pass, but I do think the key is not to get too hung up, making eating a tense time.

BGrannie1 Wed 23-Aug-17 10:56:47

My grandson was born at 29 weeks but the same weight. He is now approaching 4. He has only recently started to try new and different foods, a lot to do with the arrival of his sister who is now trying & eating everything.
He would only try one thing and then eat only that for main meals, eg curry & rice or chilli & rice otherwise Weetabix or Readybrek and milk, for weeks on end. He has never been a mouthy child even when teething, so the feel of different things in his mouth is new to him. Some say the tubes these early babies have to endure has something to do with it. Who knows.

My advice is if she's growing is healthy and happy, just go along with it. Don't make a fuss about it, or it could get even worse, she WILL grow out of it. I also go along with all the suggestions of involving her in the making of food, shapes faces everything. Eating with others. Just keep at it!

Good luck.

Cherrytree59 Wed 23-Aug-17 10:59:23

I keep whole raw carrots (clean/peeled) in the fridge for my grandsons.

bethanmp23 Wed 23-Aug-17 11:01:44

My son had many issues with food. In his case it was because the alternatives to milk were too bland! The Health Visitor wanted me to offer only bland [and then blander] food.
He begged to have my dh's beans and bacon sauce. I pureed the haricot beans/onions/tomatoes/chili sauce and he loved it! He is still loving spicy foods [chili con carne, curries, etc.] in his 20s.
The other favourite was tiny sandwiches - just a smear of filling [strawberry jam, marmite, etc.] made with his help and his choice of filling. And without crusts, or cut diagonally so the crust is only down one side.

The other trick was that my son loved Thomas The Tank Engine. We discovered that there was a TtTE themed baked beans can. There must be suitable themed cans in today's supermarket.
And then I discovered that any food which came out of that can was eaten! So the can was carefully washed and dried before each meal. And the meal went into it. Gradually the can was not necessary.
Hope that helps - and good luck!!

Cherrytree59 Wed 23-Aug-17 11:03:24

Oops pressed too soonblush
Just going to add that the carrots were a great help with teething for both DGS.
And they will often ask for a cold carrot smile

icanhandthemback Wed 23-Aug-17 11:17:00

My daughter and grandaughter were the same, both extremely small for their ages and both extremely fussy eaters. Neither of them drank the quantities of milk other babies had either. By the time my daughter was 2, she was still wearing 6-9 month clothes. I worried myself sick about it but when she was seen by the hospital, they just said she was what was known as a "fairy child" and they had no worries as she was totally in proportion.
I wish I had not made such a fuss about it as food is still an issue for my daughter in her 30's. She rarely fancies anything to eat, finds lots of flavours far too strong for her palate and is a pain in the neck to feed. She is gluten and lactose intolerant and I sometimes wonder whether, as a child, she instinctively knew the foods which weren't for her and we just over rode those instincts.
There's nothing wrong with gentle encouragement to try new things but, beyond that, let it go as long as the child is healthy.

schnackie Wed 23-Aug-17 11:21:53

As a retired neonatal nurse, I found premature infants who were initially tube fed tend to have difficulty eating normally until they are 4 or 5 (and a bit of peer pressure steps in). All the above advice is spot on, especially cutting down on milk, but make sure she has regular health checks as I'm sure you do, and ask about vitamin supplements. Its so frustrating!

Apricity Wed 23-Aug-17 11:26:35

I would suggest that you need some professional advice in this situation. It doesn't sound as though she is getting a balanced diet and I would urge you to seek professional help.

GoldenAge Wed 23-Aug-17 11:44:16

Agree with everything, especially getting rid of the milk - it's too easy and as it's a food rather than a drink, children do grow (fat) on it. At the same time, they become lazy because there's no real need to get the digestive system working. Introduce home-made smoothies as a transition, and then make them more 'crunchy' by not blitzing the fruit so your GD has to chew. If she likes the rice crispies, try baking with them - chocolate, yoghurst or peanut butter crispies. Introduce houmous into the diet with small sticks of celery and carrot - and the idea of making faces with the food is great - a cheese slice dressed up with olives, cucumber etc and a few cut outs should attract her attention. I have a 10 year old GD who eats only to live whilst her 8 year old brother lives to eat - they are both tall and thin as rakes and are often mistaken for twins - don't worry about the size or weight - it's the nourishment that counts - good luck

marpau Wed 23-Aug-17 11:53:55

When my dgc were teething i found freezing chopped grapes was soothing and they seemed to enjoy them

ajanela Wed 23-Aug-17 11:59:12

With sore gums it makes things more difficult. Lots of good ideas especially reducing the milk. Our grandson, a poor eater with a limited diet and now 12 has a glass of smoothie juice every morning plus a multivitamin tablet. He likes Dr kargo crackers. When he is hungry he eats a large dish of healthy food including pasta and chicken but no veg. Drinks water and milk.Very little interested in sweets but likes my tea brack cakes which is full of fruit.
Lots of people are concerned about his diet but he has not had one day of sick from school this year. He is normal weight and height. Maybe his body is telling him something about additives! My daughters aim is to enable him to eat a meal when socialising without making a fuss.

Teddy123 Wed 23-Aug-17 12:24:44

To reassure you ..... My own rebus were born at 33 weeks, both weighing just over 3-lbs. They both showed little interest in solids until they were well over 2 1/2. Even then it tended to be liquidised 'slosh'. I used to give them largish spears of apple, carrots etc so they could practice with their teeth. But mainly milk, yoghurt and the like.

I guess it was a bit of a nightmare. We all ate together in the evening and eventually they both started picking at their meal until hey presto, they were eating more or less everything!

They remained petite until they were about school age so in my experience their faddy food habits just gradually disappeared and didn't impact on their health, eventual height, etc.

Strangely my son stopped eating or drinking any sort of dairy when he was about 8.
Never has tea or coffee or cereal because of that!

I'm sure your GDs mum takes her for regular clinic checks and as long as she's growing, try not to worry. She'll by fine x

Teddy123 Wed 23-Aug-17 12:25:49

Ps that was supposed to say "my own TWINS" ...