Author Topic: Picky Eater Melting Down at Dinner  (Read 670 times)

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Offline Mama2Athena

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Picky Eater Melting Down at Dinner
« on: June 05, 2013, 04:45:58 am »
My 13 month old DD was easy going but getting more spirited as she gets older.  She is very small for her age, about the size of a 9 month old so I worry a lot about her small appetite and general pickiness.  It seems the list of things she will eat is very short so I've been trying to expand by giving her something new several times a week.  I always start with foods I want her to eat/try first then go to her staples if she's not interested in what's offered first. My husband said I'm being too nice and that she will just hold out knowing that something else better is coming.  DH thinks she needs to go to bed hungry a few times before learning to be less picky  :-\

Tonight we introduced chicken taquitos.  She took one bite and spat it out.  She started getting upset that nothing else was quickly being offered.  I then offered chicken nuggets and zucchinis (she loves those).  By then she was so upset that she had a complete meltdown.  My husband told me to send her to bed hungry, which I couldn't do because of her small size.  So I offered yogurt which she happily ate and started calming down.  Afterwards she even ate a few bites of chicken nuggets and zucchinis. 

All this to say, how would you handle a picky eater, especially one that is very small in size?  I don't think she is teething at the moment, has always had a small appetite, even when on the bottle.  Oh and on average she has about 12-16 oz of whole milk, so I don't think she's full from the milk.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 04:50:48 am by Mama2Athena »

Offline skatty

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Re: Picky Eater Melting Down at Dinner
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 06:12:18 am »
When my dd was that age by dinner she would be getting tired and much less likely to want to experiment with food. Maybe you would have more joy introducing new things at breakfast or lunch or as finger food snacks during the day. I really think she is too young to label a fussy eater and she wont learn anything from going to bed hungry, she will probably just wake you up screaming and hungry!

Offline Texomamama

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Re: Picky Eater Melting Down at Dinner
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 13:51:59 pm »
Agree with everything Katt said above- esp the part about it being too young to label her as "picky" and the fact that sending her to bed with no food will teach her nothing.  That's a cause and effect learning opportunity that I don't think she can understand for a year or more......

I know how you feel about wanting to ensure she is eating, and making consessions to ensure it happens when you have a LO who is small on the weight/height scale.  My DD1, who is now 5.5 YO, has tracked along the 10th-15th percentile for weight since birth.  From Day 1, I worried about how much she ate- until I ultimately accepted that there is little I can control how much she eats. and she's not going to starve herself.  That realization came for me when she was around 18 months old.  I guess I think the term "picky eater" gets thrown around too readily, and in my case, I describe it more as a "small appetite eater". 

I also don't think you should beat your head against a wall constantly trying new foods and doing that over and over until she accepts them.  I think I have read here, and other places, that sometimes it takes up to 20 times of offering something before a LO will eat it.  No way I would ever do that.  I try something 3-4 times, and if they don't want it, it doesn't get tried again for months or years.  Doing something over and over, and expecting a different result, is the definition of insanity, right?

I do think you need to continue to offer new foods, and try and set yourself up for success by doing things like offering it earlier in the day (like Katt suggests), offering new things first when you know she is good and hungry etc.  When I make a plate for my kids, I try to offer one thing I know will get eaten, and one new or different item.  And find a middle ground so DH feels like he is being listened to and his suggestions respected.  I have an ongoing problem with that in my house, and it causes a lot of friction between DH and I.....