I guess what I'm looking for is suggestions from past experience (for those of you who have gone through this) b/c I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure if I'm helping or hurting the situation.
My daughter is 13 1/2 months old and we started her on table foods (for meals, not just snacks) a couple months ago. When we tried transitioning her it was difficult b/c she would only eat certain things and dismiss others, and after a week of trying, we thought we'd go back to stage 3 baby foods (maybe she wasn't ready for table foods yet), and then she refused to eat the baby foods as well!! So since before her first birthday, lunch and dinner have been a big struggle with her. Breakfast is great... she loves fruit and toast and oatmeal, so we've never had any "disagreements" at that meal.
My main concern is that she really only likes certain things, and of course, those things are not the highest in nutrional value. She'll happily eat: hot dogs, bologna, american cheese, mac & cheese, french fries, chicken (cooked almost any way), beans/peas/broccoli, any fruit, and a couple other things. As you can see, giving her a mix of these things day in and day out isn't the greatest (nutrionally), but she eats them. When it comes to mealtime, I give her what we're eating (within reason) and almost always she'll refuse it. I'm stuck in the dilemma of when she won't eat the dinner we offer her.. do we let her go without eating dinner to prove to her that what you see is what you get (I've been told this by countless mommy's but I still have a hard time letting her go hungry), or is it better to get something we know she'll eat so that she doesn't go to bed on an empty stomach?? It feels like giving in to her pickiness is going to make for bad habits.
I'm trying not to ramble on, but I'm not sure what's the "right" thing to do in this situation. Any advice at all will be greatly appreciated.
I think it is fine to offer her mainly foods that you know she will eat. The veggies and fruit are always good, of course, so she will be getting at least that nutrition. Then, I would gradually introduce new foods from the table. Studies show that it takes something like 8 times of a food being introduced before a child will "accept" it.
Your dd is still very young, so I wouldn't worry too much about her refusal to try things yet. Just feed her (mainly) healthy things that she likes, and the rest will come in time. Good luck!
I have a 13 month old son and I have to say that he is the same way. I was told by his peds to give him a multi vitamin now that he is off formula to help him meet his nutritional needs. At 13 months baby's stomaches are still very tiny and can only eat a little at a time thats why most doctors suggest snacks in between meals. Like jenkaye21 said it could take up to 8 times for her to diside if they like it. Baby's taste buds are far more sensitive then outs so simple foods are what they like best, ie, mac and cheese, hot dogs, fries and chicken. I would keep giving her what you are but try adding new stuff every few days. She isnt going to starve. Just keep doing what your doing and "trying" to introduce something new every week and make sure she is getting a multi. I use poly-vi-sol. I think thats the spelling, its just a liqued vit. Good luck! Also if your still worried you can try pediasure. My older boys just loved it when they were little! Gerber also has a graduate shake thats good for toddlers:-)
dd started out similar. we just continued to offer it to her by putting a little on her plate. we did not force her to eat it, so she was willing to keep it there. with time, she ate more and more. some kids get mad if you put something they don't like on their plate. if that's the case, the maybe try a little bowl on the side. repeated exposure often leads to them sampling and eventually liking it. the important thing is to keep it casual and not turn it into a power struggle. i was forced to eat things when i was little and to this day still have a serious aversion to trying new foods.
by the way, she is an incredible eater now.
your dd's diet sounds typical. i think she's too young to not offer alternatives you know she likes. her taste buds and preferences are still developing. while her diet seems limited, much of what you list is actually healthy
I know that it can sometimes take a couple tries (over a period of time) before your toddler actually starts liking a certain food... but that's interesting that studies show it can take up to 8 tries before a certain food is accepted. We don't ever push the food on her, but at almost every meal, I'll put something new on her plate (even if it's something she's dismissed before) so that if she decides tonights the night she'll like hamburger, then it'll be there waiting for her. =) Oddly enough, we've tried mashed potatoes 3 seperate times and when she tried them last night, she loved them! She went from spitting them out to loving them... so there's still hope yet.
It makes me feel much better to hear that other people are having (or have had) similar issues with their wee-ones. Being a first time mom, I know I'm overly paranoid, but the food department seems like one of the topics I'm most worried about ... I know she won't starve in one night, but there's still that part of me that worries that she didn't eat enough. As was mentioned above (by tiredbuthappy), I've made sure this doesn't turn into a power struggle... my mom mentioned the same thing. It's not worth turning into a battle ... so I've never forced the food on her. Hopefully she'll just start liking some of the healthier foods soon. Thanks again!
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