I tell my moms that fussy eating in the toddler years is normal, a right of passage almost. So I was expecting Gethin to go through it too. He has been such a good eater since birth eating everything and anything we offered him. People commented on what a good eater we had! Well...aged 2 years and 3 months, the fussy eating period has hit us hard!!
For the last say 3 weeks he has been refusing meals and crying when we say "dinner! come to the table". I must agree it is worrying and also annoying. I worry about his nutritional status and about my sleep following a refused evening meal.
But I have had a good talking to from my inner paediatric dietitian. Here is my advice to myself, whats working and whats not working.
1. Megan...stay calm and ignore food refusal. Forcing them to eat makes it worse!
This is easier said than done isn't it moms? Like I said I worry about his nutritional status and about my sleep when his tummy is empty. But I am sticking to my guns and maintaining the 'take it or leave it' 'I decide what we eat, you decide how much or if you eat at all' approach. I think as soon as we start popping out the kitchen with alternatives its game over!!
What helps is putting something on their plate that you know they will eat, maybe something they chose. Last night I made quiche. There was a drama before we even sat down to eat - I don't think he had even seen what was on his plate at this point!! But when I showed him the plate and there was the wedge of cream cheese which he asked for earlier (I said he could have it with dinner which was in 20 minutes) he came to the table , sat down happily and demolished the quiche!! Giving them that little bit of choice / that little bit of independence can go along way. Don't change the meal, just allow them to choose something to go along wi