Lotties Loves

Fussy eating toddler

Yesterday I spent 40 minutes in the kitchen cooking for the family; OH and I were having a risotto and I did a chicken breast fillet, mashed potato and peas for Roo. This is something she eats and is one of her favourites. Dinner time should have been oh so simple. Cooking for your kids after all is easy when you know what they like….right?

Clearly I was wrong. I am not sure why this fussy eating toddler stage has started or where it has come from lately.

Roo sat down at the table with us and promptly announced she didn’t want peas. Fine I said leave the peas thinking she would come back to them. She poked the mash potato with her finger. This prompted a sharp “don’t use your fingers” from dad. Now I don’t know what any one else’s three year old is like when they are tired and irritable but at meal times Roo when she is like this chooses to ignore her cutlery and use her fingers. Discipline from us and reminders not to eat like a baby are ignored and it usually ends up in her being removed from the table without any supper until she chooses to eat like a big girl.

Next she looked at the chicken and remarked that apparently she didn’t like chicken. I could feel my blood boiling and temper rising, mash potato was being pushed around on her plate and she was distinctly not interested in eating with us.

We informed her that unless she ate her dinner there would be no pudding and she would go straight to bed without any dinner and there wouldn’t be anything else. No response. The plate gets pushed away and she gets down from the table and resorts to sitting back on the sofa.

We finish our meal in peace, ignoring her and not rising to her cries of “I want pudding”. Ten minutes later she’s back at the table wanting to eat. Again she doesn’t want the peas, but this time she is prepared to eat the chicken and the mash potato….if I feed her. Now I am not sure whether I should have given in and fed her at this point or let her feed herself but I relented and fed her the dinner and she sat there and ate everything except the peas and told me she was sorry for bad table manners.

I did give her pudding when she had eaten her tea which she ate nicely on her own at the table and we cleared the table together. But I was left feeling frustrated and annoyed that I had spent time and effort cooking a dinner that had seemingly gone unappreciated. Meal times are becoming stressful and we rarely will eat out all together in a restaurant because depending on Roo’s mood depends on whether we make it past the first course or end up leaving the restaurant before all hell breaks loose.

What is also increasingly annoying is that if I was to offer her something sweet or a naughty treat she would devour these all day long & despite my best efforts to reduce these being given to her by family members it isn’t working and I am worried she is developing an overly sweet tooth OR even worse thinking that if it isn’t covered in sugar and chocolate it’s not worth eating.

Does anyone else out there dread eating out in public with their toddler, or is your toddler doing exactly the same as Roo and therefore this is just yet more random but normal behaviour in their cycle of growing up!

5 thoughts on “Fussy eating toddler

  1. Hello there! Love the post – both my two have gone through various stages of not eating something, and generally come out the otherside. We have always done the “you won’t get pudding” thing too, and it seems to work in the end. We’ve had satanic herbs and devil’s satsumas – but in the end, everything turned out to be just yummy!

  2. I am so hearing you on this at the moment. Harry is refusing every dinner, whether something new or an old favourite or even (bad mummy confession) nuggets and chips. Whatever it is gets taken off his plate, put on his tray then thrown on the floor, swiftly followed by his plate, cutlery and drink.

    I don’t give him anything else, if he indicates he is hungry before bedtime then I will re-offer his meal, again in his high chair. The above pattern is repeated.

    I am sure he is asserting his independence but having been such an easy baby/toddler until now (almost 19 months) it is certainly testing. Given our teeny flat we don’t have room for a table and chairs to eat together, or even for a mini version for him so I am hoping us moving to a larger place fairly soon will help as I suspect that’s part of the problem now.

    After that long ramble, I don’t have any suggestions for you but wish you luck!

    1. Hi Rachel – sounds like Harry is definitely putting his independent streak out there. Out of interest when is his birthday? It’s good to know that like me you’re not giving in and replacing food with puddings, I know us mums they have a way of using the force against us so we cave in!

      1. His birthday is in May. I’m considering replacing the cows milk with toddler milk (or a toddler multi vitamin, I assume there is such a thing!) because I am getting that worried.

        I know they say to average it out over a week and usually I do but since it’s now been longer I am getting concerned that it will turn into a habit. Trying not to get stressed in front of him but it’s oh so hard to not let that show!

        Good luck, I hope you guys turn a corner soon x

  3. I highly recommend reading Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense, by Ellyn Satter. Her basic philosophy is that we should focus on teaching our children to develop relatively good eating habits and table manners. Our nutritional needs need to be balanced over, say, a week, and not within every meal or even every day. Put a variety of foods on the table at regular mealtimes and snacktimes. Let the child choose what they want to eat and how much. Do not push or force certain foods. Do not re-offer food later if the kid refuses to eat at a regular mealtime. It is not your job to force your child to eat and if you try to do so, it will typically result in further resistance. Give your child a multivitamin if you are concerned about him getting the nutrient he needs. That’s all! It’s worked very well for our family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge