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Fussy Eaters

  1. #1
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Fussy Eaters

    My 19 month old toddler has never been the best of eaters - he picks and chooses what he likes to eat, but when he does eat, he eats a decent amount. However, recently he's having one of his bad eating spells and on some days, he just doesn't eat - like yesterday, all he ate was a yogurt for breakfast, 3/4 of a hot dog and a few french fries for lunch and nothing for dinner. He had 9 oz of milk first thing when he woke up and 7 oz before bed. I'm just wondering for other parents with fussy eaters, how do you react when they don't eat. For example, when he didn't eat dinner last night, I wasn't sure whether I should punish him by not letting him watch TV (as an end of the day treat we usually let him watch Toy Story or Thomas for a little while) and speak sternly to him or just let him be as usual. Also, if he doesn't eat dinner, my helper always wants to give him his favorite animal crackers or bread to fill him up - but I feel that he shouldn't get any snacks if he doesn't eat his dinner because it just teaches him that he doesn't have to worry about being hungry if he doesn't eat his meals.

    Other than not eating a lot, my son is doing fine - very active and his weight is also fine. I recently just had another baby who is one month old now and I know for a fact that having another baby at home is causing my son to act up more often.

    Any thoughts you could offer about how I should react when he doesn't eat would be great. Thanks!!

  2. #2
    lalligirl is offline Registered User
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    hi futurehkmom,
    although i don't have any practical tips from experience (i have, so far, been blessed with a relatively fuss-free eater), you may find this website/book helpful

    http://www.feedingfussykids.com

    there are a range of tips & ideas in the book that are meant to 'tempt' fussy eaters - they may or may not work for you, but i guess it's worth a try. there are also lots of recipes.

    good luck
    lalligirl

  3. #3
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    I personally wouldn't have a go at him or push him to eat too hard for two reasons, some children are genuinely not hungry all the time and do very well on what we think is too little food, we wouldn't like to be pushed to eat or told off for eating when we are not hungry and neither will he. Secondly, he's reaching an age where he might want to start testing his boundaries, if he learns that him not eating upsets you and causes a big reaction then he'll learn that this is the best way to get to you.

    Sounds like you've answered your own question, his weight is fine and he is lively then there's nothing to worry about he just doesn't need the food. I personally wouldn't give him animal crackers and stuff after dinner either, for the same reasons, I bet he doesn't wake up hungry when he doesn't have them?

    Just to reassure you my son (14 months) occasionally has non eating days and they never bother him or affect his energy. Mostly he would eat more food but way less milk probably about 7 oz total, if that, sounds like your son is getting his nutrition the other way round and that's absolutely fine.

  4. #4
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    hi !
    My son is a fussy eater... from eating everything before 2, he went to nearly nothing. It stressed me a lot at the beginning and was also trying to fill him up with his favorites cakes before to go to bed... and finally I've stopped worrying. I put very little quantity of what he usually likes in his plate, and if he wants some more he will ask.
    I generally put a little bit of veggies, a few pastas, a piece of cheese, a craker, a sausage... things like that. I don't mix sauces on pastas as he won't eat mixed food.
    If he eats at least two of these choices, he has a desert. If he doesn't eat anything, no desert, but he always has a bottle of milk before to go to bed. This is the rule, but we never had a fight about it.
    He will not starve himself, and it is also very often that when he doesn't eat, he is preparing a cold or something else.
    It comes and goes... don't worry, when he will be 15, you'll just wish he doesn't empty your all fridge !!

  5. #5
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    FutureHkmom

    I went to a birthday party recently and noticed that parents were feeding one spoonful of healthy option versus one spoonful of unhealthy option e.g. If you eat a spoonful of pasta/rice/vegetables/fruit, you can have a spoonful of cake.

    I have a fussy eater who is mostly vegetarian. I don't put a lot of options on his plate but there is always a vegetable (that I know he will eat) and rice/pasta with sauce on the side plus an option of meat (which he almost never eats!). He always gets dessert if he finishes his vegies + pasta/rice.

    With milk, he drinks it by the gallon if it's a milk shake. So we always have frozen fruit (several varieties) and he gets to pick the fruit for his shake. It's the same with yoghurt. I buy plain vanilla yoghurt and gives him fresh fruit options plus healthy topings e.g. cheerios (from the yellow box) or any other healthy option cereal so he feels like he's having ice-cream. And if he finishes it up, the last couple of mouthfuls, he is allowed to have chocolate sprinkles as a topping.

    Good Luck!
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  6. #6
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks all for your thoughts!

    Quasimother - how do you make the milk shakes for your son? I would love for my son to drink some cow's milk ( he only drinks formula) but can't get him to touch it with a ten foot pole.....he likes fruit though and he likes the Yo Baby yogurt drinks so I'd like to make my own milkshake/yogurt drink for him. Thanks!

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