Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weaning Wednesdays: Some suggestions please?

Some of you may remember me asking about when you mummies started feeding your toddlers full meals consisting of "solid" (ie, non-liquid stuff like porridge) food.  Using your suggestions and taking some advice from some other friends, we started the boy on solid meals some time back... and its been rather tough going.

He's always been quite the mealtime monster.  When he was younger, he would not swallow his porridge and we would need to spoon water/soup to make him do so.  Then he started this whole round of spitting.  Sometimes I wonder how he gets enough food to grow, when I read all the feeding-related posts on the little boy!  And he is growing rather slowly, and has slipped down the percentile chart such that he's now on the 10th percentile only.  Upon asking both our mothers, we found out that we were also difficult to feed.  Hubby's mum had to bring him for walks to feed him his food, while my mum said she fed me porridge until I was 5 years old as I refused to chew!  So its probably no wonder we have a fussy eater on our hands too... Oh well.

Anyway, right now, we've transitioned him to full solid meals, and are trying all sorts of different meals/textures to see what he will eat.  However, my mum keeps nagging me to switch back to porridge, saying that I'm depriving him of food, since sometimes he would refuse to finish his meals, or would start spitting halfway through the meal.  While I'm tempted to do so (since porridge is way easier than trying to make apple chicken balls and pasta on a busy day when you have a toddler hanging on to your leg saying "where's Juju?"), I think the boy does need to chew, and get used to solid meals.  Also, he does sometimes refuse his porridge, so our old tried and tested feeding method sometimes doesn't work.

So parents, help me out here:  What are your feeding suggestions for a two-year old toddler?  Did you have fussy eaters that didn't want to chew their food, and how did you get them to eat their meals?  Oh, and how do you get them to eat meat?  (That has been one particular headache for me!)  Do share! :)  


  1. i have a very fussy eater. when he was teething, it was a nightmare. so much so that he won't eat for a week and i'm not kidding. maybe a few bites here and there.

    he is turning 2 next month so here's what works for us now. he has his porridge for lunch. funny he only eats brocoli in his porridge but doesn't eat brocoli in anything else. for dinner, he eats either fried rice, pasta, fish and chips, fried noodles, beef caserole. when he doesn't want to eat and is on a food strike, i give in to french fries. it's his favourite. i bake them and tell myself it's a vegetable and it's healthy!

    with meat, i tried minced pork first when he was 8months i think and he is ok with pork and beef and chicken since. try minced, i think it's easiest to chew.

    and oh i used to follow him around to feed him but the ang mohs here frown upon this as their kids are very independant at a very young age. and the ang mohs here leave their kids on the high chair alone, so if they don't want to eat, that's their problem!!! but then since we got him a Thomas the Tank spoon (he loves Thomas) about a month ago, he has started feeding himself! he gets excited to see Thomas and now refuses to allow us to feed him!!!! So, maybe find a spoon with a cartoon character that he loves?

  2. i am blessed in a way my kids start eating pretty well and fuss free.

    They have had plain porridge as a start, and slowly, meat, fish, veggies start coming in to the porridge. Teething biscuits, baby biscuits were intro to them like the moment they are old enough to eat (as stated on those baby foods packages).

    I am not so particular about letting the kids eat anything and everything, including french fries, potatoes chips etc. I rather them eat something then not eating anything.

    Plain white breads were given, slowly introducing cheese spread, chocolate spread, crabmeat mayo etc, but still yet to try peanut butter cause i myself don like it... hahaha

    The kids, kerris now and when levion was around this age, they eat boiled baby carrot or slice like french fries carrot, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes like snacks. I also give them cheese and fresh milks as and when. And now, levion refuses foods like carrots, veggies, meats etc... so, it's hard when she starts going "I don like to eat chicken" or "I don like to eat fish" when she loves chicken nuggets and fish and chips.

    My best trick to make kids eat meats is to cook pasta :)

    Stir fried those finely chopped onions, garlics, mushrooms of any kinds, minced meats,carrots, tomatoes... add in those usual bottled or canned pasta sauce, in my case, tomatoes kind so they can't see the colours of the foods i added in.

    Pour the sauce over their fav type of pasta.

    I am not those who will bring the kids down so they can/will finish their food, if i really hv no choice, i will just switch on the tv or something. Alternative way, i will just 'starve' them after letting them know the outcome if they are not eating.

    Levion is a very lazy eater at some times, she rather have easy to swallow food den to have to chew her food. Give her porridge, she have no problem having a few bowls.

    Jia You :)

  3. When my kids are happy, they will usually eat more... so at home, I normally decorate their food like those Japanese cute looking and appetizing Bento(for more prominent result, you can try to let your boy take part in the making). :)

    p/s: My girl particularly loves those food sculptured and will have more of it!

  4. Hi, dropping by your mum, nice design you have.

  5. When my 2yr refuse to eat when we first moved oversea, I tried seasoning poriddge with marmite, soy sauce, hotdog, ham, egg, tuna those that kids like.
    Some meals could be just sandwich, cereal (w fruits & milk). The westerner mum told me their kids had cereals for main meals.
    I think for 2yo there's still time to slowly transit them to full solid meals. Also I place stickers at the highchair. Use whatever bowls/spoon they like (sometime he like to use the same as us not kiddly ones).

    My in law thought that health is more impt than good eating manners hence in order to make the kids eat, she'll sit them besides the sink and let them play water, or bathtub on the living room, or even watering plant at corridor. However now that my boy is already coming 4. I don't think above is necessary.

    An advise I heard from somewhere is to feed as much as possible (healthy & balance stuff) at lunch. If they refuse dinner at least they already had a good meal.

    Hang on! they'll outgrown it somehow :)

  6. babe! Im the expert in picking eating! hahaa, my boy ate nothing for a good one year! You name it, he did it- all kinds of eating stunts from spitting to keeping food in his mouth for a LOOONG time to even gagging. I also wondered how and what he survived on. Looking back, i learn one thing. Never force him to eat. Don't stress yourself, dont stress him. Just take the bowl away and try again later. I know its hard to believe, but its all a passing phase. He will eventually be open to meals. Trust me, ive got a picky eater on my hands! by the way is he still being breastfed, i think my boy filled him stomach with breastmilk. He started to eat better after i wean him.

  7. Hi, I recently came across your page and its been enjoyable,your craft ideas and creative methods to teach about the bible have been inspiring! :) Keep it up.
    I have a 2yo daughter and I remembered this phase where mealtime was horrible too. Spitting, tantrums etc. the good thing to know is that it is a passing phase and as long as they are still active and learning, its good. Its hard though because we are in a very asian environment and to eat a full bowl of food is more like what you have to do. I found it a lot easier when I started introducing the naughty corner. Sometimes when she acts up, (e.g. attempts to spit, throw tantrums, play with food) I will pull her out from her high chair and bring her to the corner for a talk sternly explaining that its meal time and we are expected to eat. Sometimes I can do this a few times within a meal, really testing my patience but its worked ok.
    besides that, I also add the item she really like in the food and vary the rest. e.g. she loves pumpkin, so I try to add it to her meal, steam in rice, soup, stir fry, sometimes as the main veg, sometimes as a side.
    hope it works, but you're doing a great job!

  8. Hi! I have a two year old son (25 months) and he was a fussy eater up until recently. I think I supplemented with pureed baby food up until he was about 22 months old (so he can have some nutrition), but I also kept providing textured foods hoping that he'd eat it.

    Then one day (I know this isn't real advice), he snapped out of it. He started trying the textured foods and now he eats fish and chicken, among other things... but I heard this is very common with two year olds. So my advice is just keep making it available but make sure he has proper nutrition, even if it is in puree form! All kids start eating real food at some point right?

  9. Heyya! Not sure if a book like The Sneaky Chef might give you some answers (I've heard about it but haven't checked it out, it could be geared more towards kids who hate their veggies):

    I've read that it's ok to ease off the meat for toddlers, just as long as they get their protein elsewhere.

    Anyways, this reminds me that I really need to learn how to cook a proper meal soon (something that doesn't involve one-pot macaroni mush) -- my picky eater will turn five this year. :)

  10. My elder one is the picky eater and she still is, though better now that she's 5. She only likes her fish porridge with spinach when when she was 2. I had tried rice, macroni, noodles, other veg like brocolli, beans, sweet corns. For the rice, she'll chew and keep them in the mouth till the rice became rice ball then swallow after a long long time. The rest she would refuse them just by their look. Don't even want to try.
    I've also tried moulding the rice into shapes and put decorations too...cute bowls/ didn't work for my girl.

    She only responded to eggs (hard boiled) on my second attempt. Thereafter, i tried omelette which she responded well too. She didn't like meat too. Only started to like them when she was about 3. So, she actually had a boring diet of fish, spinach and eggs when she was 2.

    Just keep trying different food and you might just call bingo on one.

    My girl still eats like an hr plus for each meal. To aid in her chewing, sometimes i'll give her things like pork floss to top up on each spoon of rice or veg/meat which somehow helps in her swallowing. Not sure if you want to try, i tried this when she was 2 plus and she chewed and swallowed her rice half the speed amazingly! I've even tried biscuits, break into smaller pieces, top up each spoon. She swallowed in amazing speed too. Not really a good method though it worked for her. We don't really have to do this now that she's older.

    I've not really endured the 'takeaway the bowl' method. Can't bear to see my girl go hungry. U may want to try since some articles on picky eater advocates this.

    Good luck!

  11. We always joke that God is fair, he blessed us with a really good eater in Ally and then surprised us with Max who is Mr Fussy. He is a lot like Junior J, either he doesn't swallow his food or just turns his head away half way.
    I have taken the approach of " he'll eat when he's hungry" and I've found that he eats better when we let him feed himself. I have to say he does have his moments, certain weeks he'll eat really well then go off his food totally the next week. When you find a solution to Junior J's eating woes please share it with me as well :)

  12. My boy has been a glutton since newborn days and started becoming pickier recently.

    - We only feed him at the highchair. Can hold a toy until food arrives. Now he automatically gives me the toy when food's here.

    - Zero distractions, we try to make him interested in the meal. I include at least 1 favourite food in every meal. E.g. Banana in breakfast, egg in lunch, fish in dinner. These favourites appear almost EVERY DAY as he loves them. He'd be more keen to eat the rest with these around.

    - Soup is very nutritious and he loves it, so I offer him a bowl at end of every meal.

    - We tried finger-feeding, the cutlery-feeding, now he prefers to eat by himself.

    - I control his solid intake at afternoon snack. Only milk and a little bread if he insists. Then start meal when I think he's hungry. Like today's lunch was close to breakfast, so I ate and let him play in the highchair, until he told me he wanted to eat. Much easier this way. I believe thar kids will eat when they're hungry.

    - At 2 years old, he's still eating only healthy snacks and food. I prefer not to let him try other "attractive" food such as fried & heavily-flavored stuff so that he can find favourites within healthy options. I know I'll lose out to French fries and cookies if he tries them often enough. Once he likes something, he'd ask for it every day. You know your child best.

    I was a very fussy eater when young, explaining my tiny size and low immunity. I literally ate loads of junk food such as chips, fries, sweets, etc. Very little rice, vegetables and loved fatty meat. At adulthood, I started eating more healthily after reading up on nutrition. Ironically, I turned vegetarian, partly hoping this would reverse the "damage" done by my fussy eating.

    It's great that my mum never forced me to eat. She offered, and left it up to me to eat. I'm doing the same for my boy -- encourage without forcing. If he rejects it (including pouring everything onto the floor!), I clear it away and try again later. I tell him food's for eating. If he doesn't want it, simply return to Mummy. That's it, no hard feelings. He seems to get it now.

    All the best! :)

  13. Thanks everyone so so much! Am so overwhelmed with gratitude that you all took time to type all those helpful comments! And its nice to know I am not alone in battling the mealtime monster... :)



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