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How do I get my daughter to start eating again?!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by egyptgirl, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My daughter is 15 months old and is usually a really keen and greedy eater. However, over the last week or so, she's refused to eat anything I've given her, with the exception of small amounts of fruit puree. I'm slightly concerned because I don't want for her to be a fussy eater. Any ideas?
     
  2. My advice is to just be patient and offer her the same healthy food as you always have done. If she's hungry she'll eat it, if she isn't then she won't. You may find that a molar pops through all of a sudden and that explains why she's gone off food. Or you may just find that it's a phase she grows out of. My lo has had phases of not eating, sometimes it's just that she isn't hungry, other times it's teething (although for us it's always obvious when she's teething as she's VERY grumpy)
     
  3. I'm no expert but I suggest:
    Keep mealtimes fun and relaxed. Don't let her sense any stress or anxiety.
    Keep offering anything and everything. Don't worry how much she does or doesn't eat but always offer.
    Lead by example. Eat with her so she sees you eating a varied diet.
    Play with food and let her make mess! e.g. put her in a paddling pool full of cooked spaghetti/ porridge oats
    I think it is perfectly normal for children to go through phases with food. Or she may just be off her food because she's teething?
     
  4. Might she be coming down with something? Remember the incubation period for some illnesses is 2 weeks. My mum always said she knew when I was going to be ill as I stopped eating (really out of character for me!). I'm still like it now!
     
  5. We've just come out the other side of a phase of not eating anything except fruit purees and yoghurt. LO is 10 months old. It lasted 2 or 3 weeks. I took some advice from here - totally stopped stressing about what she was eating, turned away from her so that I wasn't right in front of her in her face, ate in front of her, gave her finger foods like bread, sweet rice cakes, bits of fruit, cheese, etc. and added baby rice to the fruit purees.
    But last weekend a top tooth popped through so maybe that was the reason. Hope things improve soon x
     
  6. My son did the same at about 18 months and has only just started eating properly again - he's not 25 months...
     
  7. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    A 15 month old who has only eaten fruit purée for two weeks has surely lost weight. If it's more than 10% of her body weight, she needs medical help. Why aren't you in tough with a doctor instead of a teaching forum????
    More important than her becoming a ' fussy eater '
    She probably is teething, but the fact you don't seem concerned enough to come back to the forum is worrying in itself.
     
  8. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Landaise, I got in touch with my GP who wasn't concerned but told me to keep persevering. I hope you don't think I would put her into any sort of danger. I also checked this forum last night from my phone and talked things over with my husband. I didn't reply last night because my phone wasn't working properly and wouldn't let me.
     
  9. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My husband tried this at lunchtime and she seemed to take it, so thanks!
    Thanks to everyone else for their great suggestions too. I don't think that she's teething - she's normally very,very grumpy when she's teething and is a perfectly happy little girl at the moment - just with a two very concerned parents!
     
  10. Egypt girl you do not have to justify yourself to anyone and I think that the strong and rudely phrased post above is probably not representative of how most people are thinking! And not posting on a forum for a day is fairly standard, too!
    Mine went from being an excellent eater to an 'off almost everything' one at about the same age - it's taken months but things are improving. Mine still ate fruit purees, plain yoghurt (she's never had sweet yoghurt but I'm sure she'd have eaten that too) and scotch pancakes (made with 60g self raising flour, one egg, 60ml milk and sometimes with some cheddar grated in before cooking). Also weetabix or porridge (well worth a try - hand blend the oats so they are small, rinse them, cook with milk, add dollup of fruit puree). But that was it for a while - I definitely second the ideas above about not making a big deal (so difficult but it makes it much worse and stressful) and keeping offering lots of different bits, and having shared meals to be sociable and fun and role model eating lots of things.
     
  11. My LO went through a stage of only wanting finger food rather than anything from a spoon when she was teething. I'm sure you have already but maybe try some finger food? I second the idea about porridge, when LO is poorly I giver her Ready Brek 3 times a day! She'll even have it when she's in the bath if I haven't managed to get anything into her during the day.
     
  12. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    We tried porridge once before and it didn't go down so well!
    Tried a bit of a different approach tonight with finger food. We encouraged her to put her fingers in her food and get a bit messy. She ate a couple of bits and pieces so it was a gradual improvement...maybe I need to rethink my attitude to feeding her. I really enjoy food and cooking so I've always taken eating and mealtimes seriously. I need to put the fun back into it, I think. Thanks for the insight everyone!
     
  13. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I just re-read my post and realised how harsh it seemed, sorry EG!
    Here, children, especially babies, are followed by a paediatrician and any feeding problems would be watched VERY closely. Hence my mention of 10% body weight loss (remember this from when my son had a sickness bug caught from big sister when he was a baby)
    One thing to keep in mind is, as my doctor told me ' children will eat what they want and will not let themselves starve'
    Is she still taking milk at least because that's still a 'food' not just a drink? Yogurts, too. Even if she has a sore throat or gums that will pass easily. BTW, she might not always get grumpy each time she's teething, my boys never did, they popped out teeth four at a time without any fuss.
    Apologies again, EG.
     
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Thanks Landaise - I was beginning to think I'd done/said something to offend you on Cookery!
    She's taking milk happily and 'smooth foods' so maybe she is teething and just not showing it? At least we seem to be making some progress with it.
     
  15. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Put it down to experience, Egypt! All good practice for the little brother/sister.......
    No two children are the same and parenthood is just a series of trial and error. ( speaking as a mum of four!)
     
  16. When my LO wasn't eating much she would have yoghurt (natural greek) with some of my fruit purees in. Have you tried adding milk and baby rice to fruit purees? I used this to stodge her up a bit before bedtime. She'll even have little chopped bits of strawberry in it as well as smooth puree.
    We were on holiday for some of this time as well and I had taken Ella's pouches with me. She would eat the 4month ones if they tasted quite fruity: the carrot, parsnip and apple and the one with prunes in! She liked having it straight from the pouch too so maybe it was just the novelty of it! Got some food in her anyway.
    x
     
  17. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My husband said that she seemed to gobble that up yesterday lunchtime but didn't want it last night. She hates eating foods that are too similar close together though.
    We sat down on the floor of the living room on the mat last night and set up a kind of picnic - she seemed to eat a little bit more than she has done like that so maybe its just a case of shaking up the routine!
     
  18. In terms of the porridge idea - be careful of discounting stuff because she has refused to eat it in the past. My daughter likes things one day or week and not the next. I also think it is normal for them to have hungry and not hungry phases.
     
  19. I use different fruit purees in different combinations but add baby rice to all. She still thinks she's getting something different. Maybe. Who knows? :)
     
  20. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    So do I. She loved the apple and strawberry ones I did for her about a month ago.
     

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