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Fussy Eaters

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  • Fussy Eaters

    I desperately need some help on this!! My gal is an extremely fuzzy eater. Before, it was bad, but it is really terrible now. Really giving me a big headache. She is now 19 months old, and has taken to spitting out any food placed in her mouth (she kept spitting out the cereal and porridge, so we switched her to rice, but she will only take plain rice, no meat or vegetables). She also does not drink any milk (flavoured or plain).

    She only drinks soup, eats some plain bread or rice and kept asking for biscuits everytime. Friends told me that it's just a phase, but this is going into her second week of semi-strike already and I'm so desperate to get some good food inside her. I've tried giving her fish fingers, the food we eat etc etc. She wants what I eat, but will only take the plain rice. I tried to hide some fish beneath the rice so that she will open her mouth to take the food, but she was so upset when she discovered the fish. Spit out and cried!

    I have already instructed the maid to put more things in the soup: chicken bones, ikan bilis, carrots, so that the soup will be more nutritious, but I'm not sure if it's enough. My daughter only drinks the soup, but will spit out anything solid. We also tried to give her soya bean curd, which she takes, but only sometimes. Ditto cheese. On good days, she will take some papaya and pear. Mostly she will only eat oranges.

    My next issue concerns the munching of so much biscuits. She kept asking for biscuits. We used to give her Baby Bites, but she has rejected that. In fact, she rejects most of the baby biscuits. Yet, still continue to plead for more biscuits. So now I bought her Pocky Or Tasty (those long stick type of biscuits), both of which she likes. Would any of you know a good substitute for these biscuits? Rather, are there any nutritious biscuits out there at all that we can give instead? I gave her the Morinaga round and wafer types of biscuits (because it states calcium- enriched on the box), but she refused to even hold them in her hand!

    Did any mothers here undergo the same harrowing experience, and what do you do about it? Anything else I can do?? I'm about to wave my white flag!

    p/s: mods, please feel free to move my thread somewhere if that's more appropriate.

  • #2
    I can understand how you feel. My 2.5 years old daughter, is also difficult to feed. We still make porridge for her, and blend in vegetable, pork, or fish. We have to make it fun for her while eating. We let her play with her cooking toys, and even water (she loves to transfer water from one cup to another), and feed her while she plays. My maid is quite inventive. For example she will put my girl and her soft toys in a circle, and pretend to feed every toy, then when it is my girl's turn she will eat.

    I think some children just find it too boring to sit and eat, so we need to make it fun for them. May be you can try making the food look more cute ? For example, make it into star shape or heart shape and use different colours.

    I don't think you should feed your girl too much biscuits, then when it comes to main meals she will not want to eat. If you must, try the Mama Baobei (can't remember the english name, but they advertise on TV), it is very light and not filling at all, but very nice to munch.

    If all else fails, then don't let her eat anything at all in between the meals, if she does not want to eat this meal, then don't feed her anything until the next meal. When she is hungry, she will probably eat more.


    • #3
      katia, I think it could be a phase or otherwise it could be that she's ready to explore "our" food; or...... it could be how she was fed.

      I think for her age now, more of a toddler I would say and most likely have some teeth, she could be very well bored with "baby food" already. May be it's time for you to introduce different type of food. As she explore what her choices are you're exploring too at the same time. Unfortunately, no other easier way out.
      At this age, they can actually consume most of what we adult eat with careful selection. You may try preparing her noodles in different "style" such as soup, dry, with gravey, preparing her simple tasty fried rice... etc. Think what you like to eat and see if your child may like it too with some modification if needed.

      Also how is she fed? Does she eat together with the family on the same dinning table? May be she'll like that? Exaggerate how tasty the food is as you eat "ahm.... yummy!! nice, delicious" and get her to copy it. "Monkey see monkey do" kinda thing... if you know what I mean.... Some toddlers prefer to play and to be fed at the same time ; that way they didn't think eating is a chore.

      I think she only knows requesting for biscuit becuase she doesn't know what other options there are that she like. Like what you mentioned, she has moved away from baby discuits to tasty, kids/adults buscuits....... but both are known to her as buscuit even though she really meant the later.

      Last edited by GG; 11-10-2005, 02:20 PM.


      • #4
        Ah ha, it is just a phrase or it could last for a long long time. My kid who is going to be 3 in 4 mths still does it most of the time. If it is any consolation lots of her play-mates does go thur this too. They prefer bread, carbo-only (ie. rice, pasta, noodles) as oppposed to proper food.

        First thing I did was to stop feeding her biscuits. I replace them with organic cereals, fruits, home-made organic biscuits, muffins and etc..

        I am a kiasu mom who tries to feed my child organic snacks and biscuits and fruits whenver possible because seeing the labels of snacks, biscuits and cereals make me scared. Corn flakes made of mainly thickeners and etc... I try to give her more wholesome food since she is already taking so little.

        Soup and rice is okay. My daughter takes only plain carbos most of the time and good meals on certain days only.


        • #5
          Don't worry katia,its just a phrase.My son,turning 4 this year,used to have the same problem,spits out whatever food i gave him n only take biscuit,apples,potato n milk.

          At the point of time,i was also desperate n didn't know what to do.Then lastly,i didn't have a choice but raise my white flag n give in.But in the mean time i m still trying my very best.

          Slowly i tried to feed when his is watching his favourite programme,or reading his favourite story.When i m having proper meals,I will eat in front of him n then show him in facial expression how delicious the food is.And not snack in front of him.Try giving him less portion of food that he usually takes n then increase slowly.Or maybe reward him when he finish the food (etc.bring him to the playground,watch his favourite vcd,bring out his favourite toy,introduce new books,let him play longer during bathtime)but not everytime.

          Slowly he will know the concept that proper meals are more important.Till now he is still not eating that much,compare to other kids,but at least i know he is growing n having proper meals.As for biscuit,i will still give him once a day,during tea time,few hours before dinner,so that he will take more during dinner.

          Hope it helps.


          • #6
            I'd the exact same problem as you with my 20 months old boy, except that he'll ask for breastmilk and sweets on top of biscuits. You can try the methods mentioned above (doesn't work on mine, sigh!) but as every child is unique, you may need to experiment different ways and food to suit her.

            Don't worry so much on her milk intake, concentrate on her solids. You can try giving her yogurt/ yogurt drink or milo. I also force cod liver oil down his throat now (just started on Fri).

            Instead of Chinese clear soup try cooking minestrone soup, or add more milk to mushroom/ chicken soup (western style). Mine love soup!

            Have you tried adding codfish instead of normal fish to the rice? Can also add cabbage (diced) and cook together with rice, or try using other grains to cook rice and see if she accepts. Sushi is another option too!

            Fruits are a must for me, he used to only eat orange but his favourite now is banana (I use a fork to cut and let him feed himself). I even give him durian and mango occasionally!

            As for biscuits, you may want to try Pigeon brand. Buy the one with DHA ($5+) quite crunchy, the other two is soft (melt in your mouth) so don't think she'll like. I'm so desperate at one point that I even buy "healthy" chips, chocolates, bars for him and even those sinful kaya toasts! Whatever you buy, study the nutritional panels and compare.

            I'm actually very health conscious (organic, no oil cooking, vegeterian etc.) and if I were to see my "menu" one year ago I'd definately freak out. But now as long as he's willing to eat , I can even deep-fry anything for him.

            GOOD LUCK!


            • #7
              ashlee, can share with me where you bought your organic products?


              • #8
                Oh my goodness, you mean feeding gets worse when they get older??? I consider feeding my girl the MOST stressful part of looking after her, especially on the days where she gets so fussy about it. She goes on occasional milk-strikes, and also occasionally days where she is soooo hard to feed.

                My husband never understands why I get so upset when baby eats less than her usual intake, I think this is prb something only other mothers can empathize.

                Good luck everyone!


                • #9
                  First of all, a BIG BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has replied and who has so generously shared your tips and given encouragement!

                  Like Mogmick above, I was also appalled to learnt that the feeding will get worse when they get older! I thought "phase" is just a few days or so, and I'm already jumping with worry at the beginning of week 2! To think that Ashlee's kid is coming 3 already.... oh my, oh my!

                  Before, we have to spend a long time trying to bottlefeed her, and after introducing solids, spent a long time too in getting her to eat something. We practically have to spoonfeed her the milk (can you imagine how tough, with most of it ending up on her bib, in her face, hair, everywhere!!). We stopped her milk feeds at 10 months old as one doctor said it's not necessary once she started on solids. We then gave her milo once daily, before she goes to bed. Other times it's cereal and porridge. Mealtimes were usually wailing matches. And we have already brought out ALL the DVDs, books, toys etc to distract her! So that doesn't work now. After the meals, the floor will be strewn with all sorts of books and toys... For a period of time, we even let her play with ice-cubes as it kept her entranced long enough to finish her food. Until that novelty too, of course, worn off for her.... Was also only about half a year ago that she starts drinking plain water!!!

                  Looking back, those times seemed almost blissful. At least she kept the food down. I think she has since discovered a way to "co-operate" with us: opened her mouth obediently instead of crying and turning away, but then spit out after that.

                  I know I'm on the verge of spoiling my kid (if she is not spoilt already, that is!) by catering to her every whim. I read books about mealtimes being proper mealtimes to inculcate good eating habits-no TV, toys, sitting in proper place, etc etc, but I guess it only applies to parents with kids who have no problem wolfing down their food! So I was laughing when I read that Geliz was willing to deep fry anything for her son as long as he eats!!!! My sentiments exactly! I guess we all start out with the best of intentions, until our little ones turn our world upside down! Parents and grandparents don't understand why I'm spoiling my daughter so, as they felt that children will not starve, and will naturally eat when they are hungry. That may be so, but I really can't bear it! In short, think my daughter has greater perseverence than me!!!!!

                  The fussy girl is now having her soupy lunch. It's beef with carrot soup today. I also saw some mashed potatoes as well, but I doubt she will eat that. I tried wholemeal bread a while back because it is more nutritious, but she doesn't like it, so now I switched back to Gardenia's Hi-Calcium milk bread. I've also given her HL banana flavoured milk, which is supposedly hi-protein, hi-calcium (as you can see, I'm a sucker for advertisements), but too bad it's low fat. Anyway, she drinks only a few times before rejecting it totally. I'm trying my hardest now to get her to drink some milk, which at least has some nutrients and is filling, as she is not eating much solid food (junk food excluded) currently.

                  I now have all sorts of opened bags of biscuits lying in the fridge...all sorts of milk... different types of fruits....yoghurt.... The problem with my daughter is that she is not "adventurous". She doesn't even want to try the food/drink before rejecting it. Just made some loud protest, like we're asking her to try something disgusting!

                  I'm really interested in Ashlee's homemade organic biscuits and muffins. I'm willing to try my hand at baking if it works for my gal. Those sound really healthy. Cream soup is also an idea... think I will let her try the canned Campbell's soup first. If she takes to that, then I will find some recipes and make from scratch.... I have enough of uneaten food lying around!

                  Thanks again, girls! I will read through this thread again and try everything that's not tried before. Will update and hopefully bring some good news the next time. Then maybe I can finally "share" some eating tips too!! (haha, that will be the day!)


                  • #10
                    for dairy... you can try Avocado milk shake. It's very easy to make and as many know avocado is nutritious .
                    Milk, avocado and honey... that's all you need. If your child is not coughing, perhaps whip in a bit of vanilla ice-cream wouldn't do much harm. Ice-cream is dairy.
                    Also, try cheese..... there are all kind of tasty cheese and cheesy recipes!! Here are some receipes by Kraft for example

                    All the best.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by geliz
                      ashlee, can share with me where you bought your organic products?
                      I usually buy them from Brown Rice Paradise/ SuperNature but they are quite expensive. CS has some. So do Bunalun at HV. Even Sheng Siong carries organic cereals (only) now.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ashlee
                        I usually buy them from Brown Rice Paradise/ SuperNature but they are quite expensive. CS has some. So do Bunalun at HV. Even Sheng Siong carries organic cereals (only) now.
                        Where is Brown Rice Paradise/ SuperNature and HV is holland Village right? Thanks!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by geliz
                          Where is Brown Rice Paradise/ SuperNature and HV is holland Village right? Thanks!
                          Brown Rice is at Tanglin Mall (near Gymboree)
                          Super Nature at Park House (near Forum)
                          Bunalun is at Chip Bee Gardens at Holland Village

                          There are neighbourhood organic shops about too. Whereabouts you staying? I find them for you.


                          • #14
                            Great! I stay at Ang Mo Kio. Maybe I'll go Park house later to check it out.


                            • #15
                              Thank you Katia for starting this timely thread! My one-year-old is going through pretty much the same thing - spitting out her food and refusing to eat. Unlike your girl, she doesn't take biscuits or other things. Thankfully she's still willing to drink her milk. I feed her blended porridge cooked with beans, cauliflower and chicken. I always include some kind of fish (freshly cooked) in the porridge. Lately she's started to spit out her food and like mogmick, I find meal times the hardest part of looking after her. It's so difficult to get her to eat!

                              I always pile lots of toys on the tray of her high chair and feed her as quickly as she can while she's engrossed in playing with her toys. Unfortunately, the toys can only occupy her for a time before she becomes bored again. And she enjoys throwing toys from her high chair and I always have a hard time cleaning the floor after meal times She likes to play with containers so I always get ready different kinds of containers for her to play with. Sigh..the things mothers do to get their little ones to eat

                              I think maybe she's bored with eating the same kind of thing so I am going to let her eat rice (soaked in plenty of soup) now. I tried a few times but she only ate a few mouthfuls. She loves noodles but I can't give her noodles every day, can I? I guess i just have to experiment with different kinds of food until I find something which she'll like