Baby is a fussy eater? Oh no….
There have been quite a few times in the past 18 months when Freddie has gone on hunger strike. He’ll pick at everything I offer him and then push his plate away or sweep it all on the floor. I’m sure this a familiar sounding story to many of your mums and dads out there. You have to draw on every ounce of patience and take several deep breaths while encouraging and coercing him to have a ‘taste’. During these phases I find it doesn’t seem to matter what I offered him, even his favourites were rejected (sweetcorn fritters, custard, quesadillas, bananas and yoghurt) and a week will go by and it feels like all he’s eaten is marmite on toast and scrambled eggs!
Baby is a fussy eater?
Most toddlers go through phases of being fussy eaters, turning their noses up at the delicious meals their mums or dads
have prepared. There can be lots of reasons for these phases and just because they haven’t eaten what you offer them definitely doesn’t mean they don’t like whats on offer, as often they won’t have even tasted it. The are many different reasons why a toddler or baby might go through a fussy phase, here are just a few:
- Teething and sickness – thinking up meals that are easy to chew and swallow as well as nutritious always helps Freddie, smoothies and home-made ice-pops are a great option.
- Change in routine – some toddlers might react to changes such as starting daycare or the arrival of a new sibling by rejecting food. You can be pretty sure that once they get used to the new routine they will start eating again.
- Asserting their independence – toddlers are finding their place in the world, testing boundaries and learning about acceptable behaviour. Refusing food can bring about some great reactions!
- Busy, busy, busy – life as a toddler is full on. Mealtimes may feel like a chore, stopping them from playing and getting on with their own agenda.
There are a few facts that are worth keeping at the front of your mind when your baby or toddler is going through one of these fussy phases.
- Appetite – once your baby reaches about 1 years old their growth rate will decline and as a result they won’t be as hungry.
- New food aversion – it can take 10, 20 or even more tastes of a new food for your toddler to like it. I also try to remember that we don’t all like all foods. So why should toddlers have to?
- A healthy baby never starves themselves – if you are concerned about your toddler’s eating habits and feel they are not thriving or meeting their milestones, or that the fussy phase has been prolonged talk to a health professional who will be able to give you more advice or at least put your mind at rest.
These of some of the tricks I use to help me keep my cool and make mealtimes stay happy times even if not much eating gets done!
- Separating foods – toddlers often go through a phase when they like their foods separated rather than mixed up. So try cooking meatballs with veggies and pasta on the side