I'm coming in late but this struggle started with us when DD was about two. We battled for years with it, tears, tantrums, screaming - seriously bad parenting behaviour and child behaviour when I look back - it was a free for all!
I broke and took her to the paediatrician and basically got told that it is a battle we were never going to win - food is the one thing that children know they have control over their body and their intake.
She told us to serve her what we were eating as we had been doing but only put on her plate the amount that we expect her to eat - so if we are having honey carrots for example then I expect three pieces of carrot to be eaten which is reasonable. She had to eat those three pieces to get yoghurt or anything else after dinner. If she doesn't eat them then she doesn't finish her dinner and doesn't get any thing else.
One day a week is new food day where she has to try a new food which she reluctantly does.
Do you know what worked the most - having DD hear it from someone that wasn't her parents. Expensive way of getting through but it certainly worked. She would still eat crackers all day if I let her but she knows the rules know and for the most part she follows them.
For the first time ever she is eating fruit at school, not much but it's happening - all because the paediatrician basically told her it was ridiculous to want things like baby fruit squeeze packets at 6yo and I was never allowed to buy them again.
I know my DD is a bit older and it doesn't always work but the battle isn't there any more, she knows the rules, we remind her of them and the consequence - the rest is in her hands.
I don't know how helpful any of that is with an 18mth old but maybe you can adapt some, good luck it is horrible and I feel your pain.
Thanks everyone for the support. Tonight she rejected dinner (chicken and salad) and ate a bit of a peanut butter sandwich.
Peanut butter is actually a pretty good source of protein - looking at the positive.
I can sometimes get DS2 to eat a spoonful or peanut or other nut butter just on its own.
I also feed DS peanut butter on a spoon - especially before he started eating meat.
There is no way DS would eat "chicken and salad" but he will eat 1cm slices of chicken breast (white meat, no skin or blemishes, all cut along the grain the same size), carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and at various stages has included cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.
Of course, each in their own separate little pile on the plate! I don't care, all the foods listed above he would not touch 12 months ago, so if I need to prep his a bit differently it's worth it!
I am so with everyone on the peanut butter train. I have my DS a spoon and the jar and he ate a few spoonfuls.
Ok if you have said not much help can you get second opinion? Well afford too?
I'm a hard *** with my kids even though they drive me crazy.
Food is served on table now not high chair as we moved.
As soon as they start stuffing around etc they are finished. I'll put it in fridge then give it to them for later.
My kids sure as F don't eat as good as half the kids here but they get food.
DS is major fuss sauce on everything including west bix
In the garden?
At a park?
It could be all environment related (I was told that)
I was also told its how you present things also, I went to a fussy eater information session.
It helped. Also look online if your stuck, there's useful websites.
I know it's very stressful and your not the only one.
my ds is 2.5, he doesnt eat no big deal he goes to bed.
if he is unettled I will offer basic fruit or a sandwich later but it seldom happens,
I used to stress so much about ds1 dinner refusal, I refuse to give ds2 that kind of power struggle, dont eat? go hungry.
Toddlers (actually children in general up til around 4 or 5 when they become aware of social expectations around food) are incredibly aware of their nutritional needs
He generally wakes STARVING the next morning, this morning ds1 (almost 6) asked for one cerial then *****ed that it wasnt want he wanted, I said if you dont eat it you will go to school hungry.
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