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Thread: I've really had it.

  1. #1

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    Default I've really had it.

    I am struggling with dd and her food. She is 16 months and the constant battle with food is getting ridiculous. She refuses all vegies and well, anything healthy for that matter. The only thing she will eat is biscuits, yoghurt, rice pudding and bread (only spreads). Nothing green, orange, red or anything of any nutritional value really. I have tried all kinds of different food, she takes one bite and then just throws it all on the floor. She just swipes her arm over the high chair and pushes it all on the floor. She will throw her sippy cup across the lounge when she doesn't want it anymore. If it is a bowl and spoon she flicks the spoon out of the bowl until it's all over the room.I know she's hungry because if I give her a bowl of yoghurt she will devour it within seconds.
    I am so tired of this constant battle. It's like groundhog day over and over. I just leave the mop out all day every day cos I have to clean up after her every time. Using a shower curtain is no good because she just flicks it all over the chairs etc. I put her outside when I can, but it's a struggle getting the chair out there.

    I guess i am wanting to know if this is normal at this age? Should I expect this to continue? Wait it out?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Yes.
    And I'd suggest don't make it a battle. They need to express themselves and assert their authority and they will look for the pressure points to do it. Give her the freedom to not eat if that's her choice. Offer her things you're happy for her to eat and nothing else. Pretend you don't give a crap if she doesn't eat. It's not your problem if she doesn't, it's hers. She'll get the idea after a while.

    Your job is to make food available, it's her job to eat it. You can mess around with different recipes and ways of presenting things, also you can get her involved with gardening, and cooking, which sometimes gets them interested in eating, also. the idea is to make it a nice thing, with no pressure. My kid won't eat, by Carlos Gonzales, is a good read if you've time to read. Is she still having milk? If breastfed, I wouldn't worry too much about what she eats so long as there's some extra iron, zinc and calcium. If formula, would look at cutting back as much as possible.

    The mess is also normal. That's not going to change any time soon, I'm afraid.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Exactly what onthefly said.
    It takes 2 to have a battle.
    Only offer her healthy food. She will eat it if she's hungry. If she doesn't want to, that's her choice too, and that's ok.
    Kids are messier eaters, you just have to get used to that. Food is fun to squish and throw.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by onthefly View Post
    Is she still having milk? If breastfed, I wouldn't worry too much about what she eats so long as there's some extra iron, zinc and calcium. If formula, would look at cutting back as much as possible.

    The mess is also normal. That's not going to change any time soon, I'm afraid.
    She only has sippy cups of water or cows milk and sometimes fresh sqeezed orange juice. We stopped formula a few months ago. And it's always just a half cup because she never drinks it all anyway. Bummer about the mess, I feel like a bloody maid lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Heaven View Post
    Exactly what onthefly said.
    It takes 2 to have a battle.
    Only offer her healthy food. She will eat it if she's hungry. If she doesn't want to, that's her choice too, and that's ok.
    Kids are messier eaters, you just have to get used to that. Food is fun to squish and throw.
    That's the problem Heaven, I am offering healthy food and she wont eat it. I am not comfortable with her just eating yoghurt. I do buy a good brand, but still it's all dairy she's eating. No vegetables or meat. pretty much anything that isn't sweet she won't eat

  5. #5

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    I will probably be boo'd but I sit DS in front of his favourite tv show and shovel food in. I dont bribe him with it, its just a routine. He pulls his highchair over to our breakfast bar, climbs into it and I turn on the tablet while I prepare his food. I figure its a small price to pay for him to eat healthy and neatly. Its amazing what i can feed him while he is entranced with the Bubble Guppies. He also likes to feed himself, but I have my own spoon to assist when he gets too distracted. I hear you on the mess. Its great to be expressive but its annoying and time consuming having to clean up a bomb site after each meal. Since the tablet has been used its a wipe of face, hands and top of high chair. As soon as meal time is over the tablet is turned off and he gets down and wanders off.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    It is normal, but now is when they learn how to get what they want in terms of food, and what you boundaries will allow her to push. I would stop giving her any yogurt, bickies, bread ect... Whilst none of that is really unhealthy on it's own, if she is turning away meat or veggies and fruits in preference of those foods, and she's getting it, then she will totally stop eating healthier foods.
    I did the same thing with DS1. He was fussy as a baby, and because I didn't want him to go hungry, I gave in and gave him yogurt or a sandwich ect instead of re-offering veggies/meat/dinner for him to eat. He is now 6 and a horribly fussy child. I dread dinner times because he won't eat dinner, but will complain he's hungry once dinner is finished. DS2 (although isn't naturally fussy) copies him, and it's just a horrible time of day for us, because I am trying tot each them they need to eat their meal, and won't get anything else. So they will then tag team nagging me to death for other food (usually fruit or a sandwich). Or they will throw tantrums and whinge and whine until bed time. I got myself into this hole, and it's proving to be tough going getting out. We're all suffering for it.
    I would do what the others suggest. Offer her food. If she doesn't eat, don't worry she won't starve herself. My GP once advised me to look at children's food intake over a week, not a day. Just like us, some day's you feel hungrier than others. She will understand you mean business if you stick to your guns now, and not give into her demands for food other than what you've served her.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Lots of parents - me included! - get into bad habits with food because we are so worried about the kids not eating enough and it will never end until you decide not to do it. Don't start, is my advice.

    I'm assuming she's well and growing ok? If so, just keep offering what you're happy for her to have, let her feed herself - it's important developmentally for all sorts of reasons - and everything will fall into place. They don't need a lot of food at this age, their growth rate has slowed compared to the first 12 months. It's normal for 2 year olds to eat significantly less than 1 year olds for this reason.
    Looking at intake over a week is very good advice! They have eating days and non eating days, they get a bit of this one day, and a bit of that another, but overall it all works out.
    It's ok to offer different things - you don't have to be a total hardarse - but keep offering, calmly and without a hint that you care either way.
    If you don't allow them to make a mess they won't learn how to do it properly. It's mess now or feeding them and cleaning up after them for a lot longer.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    This is one battle I chose from day one not to fight. Between 6mth to a year, I just started offering Spock whatever I was eating. She picked and played, she threw it away or tasted it and spat it back out. I just let her do her thing. She would have been close to 13-14 months before I would say she actually ate anything, we have just done the same thing, I would just make her a plate of what ever I have, often it is good variety, as a lot of our meals are random assortments of things. She still makes a mess sometimes, but more often than not she doesn't. She will try everything and if she doesn't like it she leaves it, and yes some nights she won't eat a single thing. But I just don't worry, the last thing I want to do is sit at the table for hours forcing her to eat, my personal view is by doing that I make food negitive leading to a variety of other issues. It's just a casual thing for us. If she then says she is hurry I reoffer the plate, and she might eat more... But I know she isn't staving or suffering from it.
    She does graze and snack a lot though so she eats frequent little things rather than a big meal. So when I average it out over the day or week she is fine.
    Please try not to stress about it. I think it just makes it worse for you.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Is she old enough for a lunch box of stuff she can choose from during the day? Pack it with what you want her to eat and let her chose a thing each time but don't get anything else for her.

    I don't really worry about veges. None of my kids have been keen but they eat a load of fruit so I figure it balances. At 7, DS will now make a hamburger with lettuce and capsicum (no meat lol), At 5 DD1 has just realised she likes potatoes. It will come. It is always there on the table and we offer it to them. Every now and then they will try it.

    My suggestions for less messy foods include plain pasta, cruskits, sandwiches, toast (folded in half), cut up fruit, crackers. Have you tried frozen mixed veges? Mine liked that when they were about that age. Also cheerio's (while questionably meat) are fun to eat if you have sauce for dipping

  10. #10

    Default Re: I've really had it.

    I agree with all those who say not to make it an issue. And not to offer food for the sake of eating.

    FWIW, my DS ate pretty much everything as a baby/toddler, but is really picky now. I guess it just goes in phases? I was the same, ate everything when very young, got picky about age 5-6, got even worse as a teen, in fact I wouldn't eat courgette (zucchini?), asparagus, aubergine (eggplant?), squash or pepper (capsicum?) until I was in my mid-20s. Love them now! People's paletes change and develop over years and I think the fights I had with my mum really didn't help my overall food health thing.

    Also, my 30yo sister makes almost as much food mess as my 7yo son does. Neat eating is certainly a skill that needs teaching! But food is never for squishing and throwing, only ever eating. If DS ever tried to throw food it would be taken away and nothing else for several hours. That is unacceptable at any age.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tasha View Post
    That's the problem Heaven, I am offering healthy food and she wont eat it. I am not comfortable with her just eating yoghurt. I do buy a good brand, but still it's all dairy she's eating. No vegetables or meat. pretty much anything that isn't sweet she won't eat
    That's ok. As long is all is well, let her choose not to eat if she doesn't want to. She will eat when she's hungry. Just keep offering what you want her to have and don't make a big deal if she chucks it.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone I am going to try pushing her dinner time by half an hour and see if it helps too. She actually ate tonight, tuna mornay with rice followed by a mango ad banana puree. Then she had a salada square with vegemite. Very happy with that. I even added extra peas in the tuna lol I will just keep offering her the vegies. It would just be so much easier if she didn't throw it and waste it.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: I've really had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Plane Pour Moi View Post
    I agree with all those who say not to make it an issue. And not to offer food for the sake of eating.

    FWIW, my DS ate pretty much everything as a baby/toddler, but is really picky now. I guess it just goes in phases? I was the same, ate everything when very young, got picky about age 5-6, got even worse as a teen, in fact I wouldn't eat courgette (zucchini?), asparagus, aubergine (eggplant?), squash or pepper (capsicum?) until I was in my mid-20s. Love them now! People's paletes change and develop over years and I think the fights I had with my mum really didn't help my overall food health thing.



    Also, my 30yo sister makes almost as much food mess as my 7yo son does. Neat eating is certainly a skill that needs teaching! But food is never for squishing and throwing, only ever eating. If DS ever tried to throw food it would be taken away and nothing else for several hours. That is unacceptable at any age.
    We are the same. Food gets offered and they either eat it or they dont, no drama. Throwing food means it is all taken away and the meal is over.

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