Has anyone elses toddler gone off their food?

F has always been a pretty good eater but just lately it feels like he's barely eating anything. He'll have a couple of spoonfuls of cereal at breakfast and then lose interest. The same with lunch and dinner too. He's always loved his snacks but I've noticed even those don't always get eaten fully. He's also decided he doesn't like using a spoon or fork whereas he'a always been so good with them and used them really well.

I've always been quite strict in that meals are eaten at the table but I'm finding myself letting him eat in the living room just in the hope he'll eat properly. I can't help but think I'm encouraging bad habits though. 

I've heard it's common for toddlers to go off their food but I'd like to hear others' experiences if possible. Any tips on how to get him eating properly again? 


  • My daughter is now almost 7 so it is a while since she was a toddler. However, I think it is perfectly normal for toddlers to go off their food. And if you have a child who was eating more than a grown up could manage its a bit unsettling when you offer things you know they like and they just turn their noses up at the lot. Sometimes because they ate so much it feels as though they are not eating anything but actually they are. (or at least this was my experience).

    Just try not to panic about it. Keep meal times as normal. Cut back on offering snacks unless he asks for them. Adjust your portion sizes so they are smaller then you won't feel like you are throwing loads of food away. Don't make a big battle about eating with the spoon and fork. That sounds more like a challenge. Just keep asking him to use them every now and again.

    Have you tried doing a snacky type tea and let him choose bits from different pots? My daughter used to love this. And encourage him to help you with cooking - sometimes they'll eat things when its not at the table on a plate just to try them out.

  • I've tried doing a snacky type lunch and sometimes it's a hit, sometimes it isn't. It's so frustrating because even things I know he loves he's not even fussed by, such and scrambled eggs this morning. He barely touched it.

    I've ordered some different things for breakfasts next week in case he's just bored of cereal or toast but I don't have high hopes! I guess when he's ready he'll eat more again.

  • Yes, E is totally like this at the moment. I've tried giving her the tablet with peppa or gigglebiz on to watch, a snacky type meal which she can pick at, I've even tried some of her tried and tested favourites but after a few mouthfuls she's done. It does worry me a bit but I m sure she wouldn't starve herself and would eat if she was hungry - I hope! Its good to hear others toddlers are going through the same x

  • Thanks too MamaD. It's reassuring to know it's not just my toddler! He's eaten ok so far today, well lunchtime anyway, so fingers crossed for dinner!

  • Yes Zoe did.  She ate absolutely anything you gave her until she got to just over 2 yrs old (they develop their taste buds around then too which can make a big difference so I have heard) and then she started refusing and would only eat the classic toddler diet of chicken nuggets and figh fingers.  Anything else was refused and tbh even those things weren't a guarantee.

    We ended up having her eating in front of the TV for lunch and breakfast as that way she would actually eat.  I would also make sure that if the dinner was somethign that wasn't on her "acceptable" list then I would give her a bigger lunch; or if I knew that dinner was something she would definitely eat then I would challenge her a bit more at lunch.   Another tip that I was given was to look at how much they eat across the whole week rather than individual days, and actually quite often that would balance itself out.

    She's 5 now.  She's still fussy but equally she will also eat more than she did.  

  • Some good tips there, thanks JB.

    He's actually eaten ok today and even used a fork at dinner (tried him with an adult fork rather than a kids one).

  • Wow, I'm still waiting for Zoe to start using cutlers ... she's 5 !   That was the downside of baby led weaning I sort of forgot about cutlery.

  • I don't know if it's coincidence or not but I've noticed that F has stopped using cutlery since starting nursery. I wonder if the other kids don't really use them and he's just copying them. Fingers crossed it's just a phase!

  • K been like this for a while!!! To be fair he will eat breakfast but after that practically no "food". He will eat snacks so am really trying to cut them out to eat some proper meals instead but it's not worked so far! Apparently he eats "well" at nursery!!

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