Author Topic: 18 month old rejecting certain foods  (Read 805 times)

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Offline BeeAnn

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18 month old rejecting certain foods
« on: June 08, 2014, 19:09:26 pm »
My DD was a really good eater until she was 1.  I guess in some ways she still is a good eater but there are some things that she will just refuse or spit out now - fish (have tried fish fingers, salmon balls etc), roast chicken (although she used to practically live off it!), carrots (seems to go in phases).

She loves things like bolognese or curries - saucy things I think.

Some things she will look at and not even pick up, like scrambled eggs (but she loves omelettes) and some ready made pasta things, and oddly enough a chicken fried rice we made a couple of times.  I don't know if it is a smell or look thing?! 

Today I gave her scrambled eggs on toast and she ate all the toast but left the egg.  Then when i started eating the egg she seemed to get upset and was waving her arms around like she would have taken it out of my mouth if she hadn't been in her high chair!

She does seem better at nursery but don't know how much of that is them not telling us things!

I have read on here that you should just keep offering food that they don't eat but would love to hear if anyone has had success with food that their toddlers have previously rejected and then just started eating.  It just feels so frustrating making and feeding her food that I know she is going to flat out refuse or spit out.  I just don't understand how she will just eat it one day!

Is there anything else I can do to help her learn to eat these things - especially when I don't know why she is turning them down?

I am not too worried about her variety of diet (other than the not really eating fish) and she also gets plenty of food, but I don't want her to be a picky eater as I have always eaten everything but my DH was a very picky eater until he was much older.  don't want her going down that route!!  Also hate wasting food!

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Re: 18 month old rejecting certain foods
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 21:49:23 pm »
A couple of things come to mind from my experience with DS.  At some point (could have been around 18 months too) he had a phase of needing all food 'tested for poison' as we jokingly called it. YK how court jester tasted the King's food before the King ate? Well that was me with DS. Not that he would eat *everything* but things he had previously not questioned he refused until I showed him clearly that Mummy and Daddy had exactly the same food on our plates and that I had taken a piece of each food from DS's plate to test it. Each item I announced something like "Mmm, tastes good, no poison there, you can eat it".  I wondered at the time if a developmental leap had brought greater knowledge of danger, a LO who is becoming more independent in some areas would naturally be at greater risk (of for instance picking inedible berries from a bush) so it makes sense to have greater caution and make sure Mummy has checked the food. Your example of the scrambled eggs being wanted only after you began eating them reminded me of this.

WRT accepting food that has previously been rejected - yes lots and lots of things here.  The thing with continuing to offer is that it becomes visually normal and recognizable on the plate, and if you don't keep offering it will instead look like something foreign on the plate. Offer but don't always expect it to be eaten. If you don't offer they don't have a chance to try it a little and eventually like it.
A biggy here was not eating meat, I could just about meet his protein need with bean burgers/fritters, humus, pate, but otherwise it was an occasional sausage or fish finger (shop bought, decent quality but not home made as he refused them). Over a long period of time he gradually learned to eat home made fish fingers and will now eat certain fish without the crumb coating too (sprats, mussels, smoked mackerel, prawns - not bland white fish), and constantly offering a small piece of meat on his plate has led to now where he will eat a cube of meat or sometimes a small slice of something.  Had a shock one day when he was given a taste of slow cooked lamb shank in a currant gravy and he just kept asking for more, and more and more...he ate almost a full shank on his own!  So yes it can happen in slow steps and to my surprise in great big shocking leaps.

Some things I've done
- he would eat asparagus and green beans but wouldn't touch broccoli. Couldn't bare it.  Eventually tried a long stem broccoli and cut the flowering head off and told him "this is broccoli stem it's a bit like asparagus" - bingo he ate the stem. More time later he will not eat the flowering head although I see his nose wrinkle, he doesn't like the texture at all but eats it because Daddy told him it's like dinosaurs eating tree tops.
- he had potato crisps a couple of times at birthday parties and loved them (of course!), next time we had a  roast chicken I heavily seasoned the skin with white pepper, garlic powder, herbs etc and offered him a piece of crunchy skin, I told him "this is called chicken skin, it's a bit like wet crisps" he tried it, ate it, loved it, asked for more. From there I gave it to him each time we had chicken until eventually I left bits of meat stuck to it and a small portion of meat by the side. Gradually he ate it.  From there, "here is turkey meat, it's a bit like chicken".
- he spontaneously liked olives after seeing DP and I eat them many times. Whenever he asked for one I told him it wasn't grapes, he'd try it and spit it out pretty shocked then one day when I told him it wasn't grape he said "yes it's olive, I want one", ate it, said yum and ever since I've had to limit him or he'd eat them all!
- DS eats a really wide variety of foods, however he still detests cauliflower (with a passion); I never make scrambled egg because I know he loathes it, I make him omelet; he hates mashed potato, rice, cous cous (there's a pattern of disliking the texture of bitty things); he's only eaten soup a handful of times; there must be many others which I can't think of right now.

I don't consider him fussy because he eats from all the food groups, a wide variety of fruit and veg and joins in all family meals, but other people may consider him hugely fussy because of his likes/dislikes especially over texture.


Offline BeeAnn

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Re: 18 month old rejecting certain foods
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 19:34:12 pm »
Hi, thanks for your reply.

Sorry if my post was misleading, she didn't actually eat the scrambled eggs even after I ate them.  I think I will just persevere for awhile, although I do think it might be easier to just feed her omelettes instead - same food really!!

She ate her fish finger at nursery today.  I might try some store bought ones and see if she will eat them.  Do you have any recommendations on brand for one that is reasonably healthy - I see you are in the UK?

Your olive story made me smile - my DD asked for an olive whilst we were on holiday and we were convinced that she would spit it out after realising it wasn't a grape, but she devoured about 4 of them!

I am probably worrying over nothing, I am sure that a lot of people would love to have someone who eats as well as she does!  it is just frustrating not understanding why she refuses to touch certain things!

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Re: 18 month old rejecting certain foods
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 22:20:38 pm »
I honestly think that kids have varying tastes just as adults do. I didn't like olives until I was probably in my late 20s! Now I can't get enough of them. I've never liked 'mixed' eggs, so scrambled omelet or quiche was a total no for me as a kid, made me wretch, but I would eat a dozen poached or fried eggs with a runny yolk, loved them! (I now eat omelet just because making poached is another pan to clean! as I have the omelet pan out for DS anyway, he won't touch poached or fried). I would just make her omelet, I don't think it means she's fussy or will become fussy.

The fish fingers would you believe are Tesco basic range, so cheap, but when I read all the packs in the shop thinking another brand would be better quality I was really surprised to see the tesco ones had the most fish and the fewest ingredients in total (all ones which can be found in a kitchen cupboard which is a bonus in my view), no hydrogenated fat...
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=264293036
You might find something similar wherever you do your regular shop.  I still believe home made is better but like I said, these served (and still do) a purpose, he needed protein and it was a way forward with the gradual introduction of other fish. I personally wouldn't be happy if he only ate those.
Through my extensive experiments with home made fish fingers I found the best 'crumb' was a couple of crackers thrown into the whizzer to turn them into crumbs. I don't use egg or anything to bind it to the fish, just the wetness of the fish itself. I have a whole variety of crackers for DS to pick from for snack and any which are broken I use as fish crumb, whatever sort they are. The other thing that worked well (although not quite as well or as easy) was lots of flavours put into fresh breadcrumbs, pepper, garlic, paprika to give an orange colour which is more appetizing, that way you can make salt free if you need to.

I would just keep offering foods she likes and one or two things she isn't so keen on. As she gets older it's easier to ask her to have a taste without it being such a big deal or a power struggle.


Offline BeeAnn

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Re: 18 month old rejecting certain foods
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 10:38:03 am »
One waitrose own fish finger wolfed down for lunch without batting an eyelid... Maybe it is my cooking!!

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Re: 18 month old rejecting certain foods
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 18:36:16 pm »
Ha ha! Kids of all ages recognize a shop bought fish finger ;)

Not sure if I mentioned this before but in my experiments with making fish fingers at home I found DS was more likely to eat one if I cut the fish into really really neat rectangles!! ha ha! These days I don't have to be so particular but in the early days it really helped.  They had to be neat rectangles and they had to be orange  ::)