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Refusing meals - how to handle it??

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  • Refusing meals - how to handle it??


    I hope someone can help me! lol

    My 20 month old son is currently refusing most foods (even fruit of which he normally eats lots!) which i think is most likely due to teething (this time anyway).

    My dilema is this - when he refuses a meal should i offer an alternative? I've read that i shouldn't as he will have me doing this everytime he doesn't want what i have cooked and that a hungry baby will eat eventually. However, this approach doesn't really sit right with me, especially if there is a chance that he is off his food due to teething. He is always guaranteed to eat soft cheese and bread and would eat this and only this if i allowed him to.

    We did baby-led weaning and so he was very open to new foods as a baby but since becoming a toddler he seems to be so picky and the baby-led approach doesn't seem to have helped at all, althoiugh i will always be glad we did this as we all approach food and meal times with a healthy AP attitude.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

    BTW, he is still bf on demand but i don't think he takes that much milk to have a major impact on his appetite.


  • #2
    Hi Nicola. We also did BLW!

    I find that giving a choice before the meal is made can make a difference. I will ask in the morning what DS would like for tea and give him a choice.... "would you like pasta or fish for tea?" and then let him help take whatever he chooses out of the freezer. Same with lunch and breakfast. If you arent doing so yet I would also start getting him involved with making the meal. DS sometimes eats more while helping me than he does for the actual meal. Try and all eat together, they will often sit for longer and nibble with company. Sometimes if DS wont touch his dinner I will offer something else, but within reason - he gets a choice of fruit, if he isnt interested in that then I know that he isnt really that hungry.

    But I think most importantly just dont stress! In the first year of life babies need to double or more their weight! Thats a lot of eating!!! Most toddlers between one and three really only put on a few kgs, they just dont need as much as they once did. Have you heard the saying "toddlers can live on air alone" I think that is so true. Dont lose faith in your LO, he knows what he is doing and would eat if he needed it. If there was something wrong and he started losing weight or was unwell then you would of course take him to the Dr but other than in those circumstances I would be inclined to just see what happens. They go through stages of eating you out of house and home (DS has just about polished off a loaf of bread today!!!) and then just living on a few grapes a day (that was last week.).... annoying but totally normal.


    • #3
      Thanks so much for your reply Mumtoone it was just what i needed to hear!

      I do exactly that! If he refuses his meal i always offer fruit (just as i would do at the end of any meal) and if he accepts then great but, if not, then i truly know he is off his food that day.

      I have also started to try and involve him in making the dinner, he has stood at the worktop on a couple of occasions mixing flour and water to make some sauce! lol. I also let him stir the food, although, at the moment, he is more interested in washing up! lol. I'm looking forward to offering a choice but can't really at the moment as he isn't actually talking all that much, although he understands every word i say!

      BLW has definitely taught me that, even if i'm stressed, not to show it as i know that will just add to the problem and never to force food. We also all have breakfast together every day before dh goes to work and i always eat with ds and we eat the same too 99% of the time.

      I gather you are from the UK?? Where abouts are you? I don't know any other AP mums/families. It seems to be much less talked about in the UK.

      Thanks again

      PS My son is also bread mad...he would live off bread and butter if he could. When we feed the ducks i think he gets more bread than the ducks do!! lol


      • #4
        Glad I could be a help! We are in NZ and BLW is actually just catching on here too!! Take a look at this forum Its a great resource for BLWing and everyone is very nice on there.