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Nightmare mealtimes - please help?

My daughter is 2, and she's always been great at mealtimes until about 18 months. During early weaning she went through a phase of only wanting her sweet puddings and turning away savoury purees, so I'd trick her by giving her a spoonful of sweet, then swap it for savoury. This worked well and we had no more problems. Then when she reached 18 months old she absolutely refused to eat anything but those ridiculous jars of baby food for 10month old babies! (Obviously no nutritional value at all for a child of her age) again, this was just a phase and she began to eat well again. 

For the past few months she has been really fussy again, she'll have a coupke of spoonfuls of cereal for breakfast, then "not want it!" She'll completely refuse to eat anything for lunch unless its biscuits or chocolate, which I try to keep for occasional treats after she's had her meal, then at dinnertime she'll have a few bites then "not want it!" And scream for yoghurt. 

I usually tell her if she doesnt eat her tea she wont have anything else, then she goes to bed hungry, but that backfires as then she wakes up in the early hours of the morning saying she has tummyache and that she's hungry. Im at my wits end! Dont know what to do anymore please help image 


  • i hate to say it but my dd is the same and she's 4 now. Has been like it for years she Was great when she was weaning then just stopped. It's not the quantity she eats, it's the fact she will only eat certain stuff. Won't touch veg, the only fruit shell eat is raisins even tho she love yoghurt and smoothies and fruit juice. I buy the things from asda and tescos, potato and chicken and fish shapes with veg hidden Inside them. I try to make my own chicken nuggets with chicken and breadcrumbs but apart from nuggets pizza n potato shapes she'll only eat sausages, fish fingers, toast and yoghurt. She starts school in sept and the only thing ill get in her packup is jam sandwiches! I'm hoping she'll grow out of it. She won't eat any thing normal like eggs, beans or spaghetti not even mashed potato it drives me mad. her dad is very fussy too im the only one who eats normally in this house xx

  • I just constantly worry that she's not getting what she needs image on occasion she'll wolf her tea down no problem but most of the time I cant get it past her lips. Even though her weight is betwen the 25th and 50th centile - so she's perfectly healthy weight wise- I can see her ribs and breast bone when im getting her dressed and its a constant stress to try and persuade her to eat something image hoping she'll grow out of it.

    She seems to eat better when im at work and dh gives her tea. Maybe she knows I feel worried and picks up on it? Oh I dont know. image xxx

  • Yeah my dh is very fussy too, he'll pretty much turn his nose up unless its pasta or chicken. Which is really annoying because I love fish pie, casseroles and proper roast dinners, but I never get to eat them because there's no point cooking them just for me -.- and if I do he'll moan because he has to -god forbid- find himself something to eat.

    I tried putting onions, peppers, mushrooms and courgettes into a tomato pasta sauce then baked it in the oven with cheese on top. Dd ate a couple of bits saying mmm! Then "not want it!" Then dh said he was finished, so I went to get his plate and all the veggies were in a nice neat pile on the side of the plate. Infuriating! I keep asking how he can expect Isabella to eat her veggies if he picks them out and leaves them? He's so unhealthy its unbelievable -.- xxx

  • Hi! You are right, your dh is setting a bad example for your LO, she will be watching and obviously think, if its ok for him then why not her! He needs to man up and stop being so fussy too, for all your sakes! Have you also tried making her food with her, I frequently get my LO to make healthy mini tarts, quiche,savoury muffins or pizza (using wholemeal bread/pitta for a base) then i prepare all the veggie toppings and cheese and put them out for her to put on top/decorate, and nibble as she goes! She always has great fun and has tried  new veg and those she would say she didn't like!! Also things like fruit salad/skewers (not sharp ones) with yoghurt dip. If you get her involved and make it fun she is more likely to be receptive to eating. Also if you do have to send her to bed when she has not eaten anything, give her a drink of milk to help fill her tummy a little so she does not wake up really hungry. Don't worry, food refusal is a normal phase that most toddlers go through, some more than others! Here is some info that might reassure you:

    Fear of new foods in the second year may be a survival mechanism to prevent increasingly mobile toddlers from poisoning themselves through eating anything and everything.  

    For some time toddlers may limit the variety of foods they eat. This phase will normally pass without any problems but will be more evident in some toddlers than in others.  

    Your toddler may refuse a food if it is new to him or her. They need to taste it a few times to learn to like it, so always offer it the next time you are eating it.  

    Toddlers refuse extra food when they have eaten enough. Your toddler may eat less food than other toddlers of the same age. If your toddler is growing and developing normally then he or she is taking the right quantity of food for his or her own needs.

    Remember that the quantity of food toddlers eat may vary from day-to-day. Some parents get anxious about this and toddlers then tend to react to parental anxiety by reducing intake.

    Good Luck! image

  • Thankyou so much that was really helpful! I'll definitely try some of your ideas image x

  • If you liquidize the veggies in the pasta sauce then they may both eat them??

    Also maybe if LO is snacking between meals that may make them less hungry as you said sometimes she wolfs down her meal???

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