#HELP My toddler has taken fussy eating to a whole new level

Posted in #help.

Aargh! There’s nothing more dispiriting than facing down a picky eater. Especially one who is flat-out refusing to try even a morsel of the tasty meal you’ve just put down in front of her. It’s a frustrating scenario that’s super common for parents of young children. Which is why, when a mum recently asked our Babyology community for advice in dealing with her fussy eater, she got loads of helpful tips.

Here’s what they suggested:

#HELP! I have two-and-a-half year old and she is the fussiest eater, to the point where she won’t try anything new. She only eats a handful of foods, which I have on rotation as she won’t eat anything else. I’m due with our second bub in a couple of months and it’s starting to stress me out. Has anybody else experienced this? Will she outgrow it, or is it something more? I’d love any advice or tips! Thank you.

I hear you, sister

Going through it with my twins now. They eat less than 20 different foods. I’m putting them through food therapy. For them it’s a texture thing. Their iron levels are suffering for it, so I’m getting them out of this habit before they start primary school next year. Apparently this therapy has a good success rate, I’ve heard good things. – Emma Hayes 

My oldest was the worst, even as a baby she hated fruit, loved vegetables till one-and-a-half years and then the only vegetable she would eat was potato. Now at four she will try anything you put in front of her, even fruit. – Anne Jubber 

My daughter is turning seven in March and its only been in the last 12 months she’s becoming less fussy. Try buying one of the plates that is like a game board. I found it was a great help. – Samantha McMurdo 

Our four-year-old was (still is) like this. We got to the point where meal times were so stressful. So we stopped, chose to pick our battles. Instead of forcing him eat, we offered him a variety of different foods but made sure there was also food we knew he ate. If he tried something but didn’t like it we’d praise him for trying it and left it at that. Another non-confrontational method I’ve picked up is offering foods he’s familiar with, but served differently. For example he loves ravioli and pesto sauce. So I buy a different brand of pasta and sauce. Looks a little different, might even taste a little different too, but in the end it’s still ravioli and pesto, so he eats it. – Kris Maree Nixon

A word from the wise

You could try having dinner with friends/family who have kids that do eat well and talk with them about their favourite veggies, etc. This helped us when a big cousin liked the veggies we were serving up regularly – Nicole Bailey 

It isn’t always a phase. Definitely bring it up with your doctor, or better yet talk to a dietitian. And look up Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), even if it’s just to rule it out. – Hannah Lynn Sahonovitch

Remember their taste buds are far more sensitive to taste than ours. If your child is healthy, good weight, and your doctor is happy, don’t sweat it. Also, many kids don’t like the texture, rather than flavor. My daughter at two only wanted salsa, so I got the good stuff. Then wanted only pasta. By five she wanted lobster and steak. My son lived on mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. Again, I got the good stuff. I spiked their drinks with a liquid vitamin. Our paediatrician said they were healthy. They are now 27 and 21 yrs old, healthy weights and eat everything. – Lamt Conway 

Unfortunately I don’t have any advice on how to add new foods (my two-and-a-half year old is in the same boat). But if you’re concerned about the amount of food they are eating, my oldest son’s doctor gave us good advice. He said, “Your kid will never starve themselves, so just keep putting it in front of them and they will eventually eat.” 
After I stopped begging him to eat and causing unnecessary stress, he started eating better.  Good luck! – Katie Ann 

My daughters paediatrician always told me to encourage, but not force, new foods. You dont want to turn them off what they already like. He assured me she wont starve. If she’s absolutely hungry, she will eat. He was right. She may not try a new food every day, but she’s eating a few more new things. Her watching other kids will help too. I stressed out bad, but I learned she will eat when shes ready, and she will try new things when she is ready. – Geonna White 

More helpful advice

You can read all the helpful advice given, on the original Facebook post here:

#HELP! I have a 2 1/2 year old (3 in April) and she is the fussiest eater, to the point she won't try anything new and…

Posted by Babyology on Thursday, 31 January 2019

This post is sponsored by Nurofen For Children


Get more babyology straight to your inbox