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  1. #1
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    Default Toddler eating habits?

    My 18 month old gets 3 appropriately sized meals a day, plus snacks and cows milk etc. While not particularly fussy, she eats small quantities (for her age) and will pick and play with food after a couple of bites. She'll only eat eggs and meat if there's mayonnaise on top...

    I don't really want to chase her around with a spoon or give her just what I know she likes because I've seen that create not so great eating habits later on...but then there's the issue of under-eating and nutritional gaps.

    She's not chubby by any means but not underweight either... should I let her be or focus more on ensuring she eats more?

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    How is she tracking on her growth curve? Toddlers can be fickle creatures when it comes to food and they start gaining some independence. If she’s following her curve and otherwise healthy I wouldn’t worry too much. I have found the mchn really helpful and was able to access a dietician through them.

    We’ve just spent the last 6mths getting ds2’s (now 21mths) growth back on track. He was catching every bug under the sun, wasn’t a great eater, lost weight (85th down to 15th centile) and his growth curves flattened (head and height). Went back to the paed, did blood tests and found he was severely anaemic, probably due to him being prem. After 6mths of treatment his ferritin levels have just scraped back into normal range (21 woo!), he eats like a horse and his growth is on the way back up to its natural curve (45th centile).

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    If there is no concerns health wise then in my experience the best approach is you deciding what you serve up and let her decide how much she eats. The least amount of pressure you put on the whole thing the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevatormusic View Post
    My 18 month old gets 3 appropriately sized meals a day, plus snacks and cows milk etc. While not particularly fussy, she eats small quantities (for her age) and will pick and play with food after a couple of bites. She'll only eat eggs and meat if there's mayonnaise on top...

    I don't really want to chase her around with a spoon or give her just what I know she likes because I've seen that create not so great eating habits later on...but then there's the issue of under-eating and nutritional gaps.

    She's not chubby by any means but not underweight either... should I let her be or focus more on ensuring she eats more?
    I once had a dietitian tell me not to measure what a toddler eats each day, but over a week. They eat what they need and will not let themselves go hungry!
    My son is 3 next month and he will have days where he eats next to nothing and the next day will eat everything in sight. Even on the good days his portion sizes aren’t huge but he is sitting at 98 percentile for height and 91 percentile for weight currently so I know he is growing well despite the days he picks like a sparrow.
    He will also go through phases where he loves something and can’t get enough of it and next minute he won’t touch it.... tonight for example we had spaghetti bolognese which has been his favourite forever but tonight he didn’t want a bar of it 🤦🏼‍♀️

    He also went through the ‘must have something on top before he eats it’ stage which was tomato sauce.

    Honestly I’ve just had to learn not to stress over his eating. Easier said then done as there has been plenty of tantrums over how much he eats (from both him and DH and I) especially at dinner time but I trust that he is eating what he needs, when he needs it.

    You’re doing a good job mumma! Xx

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    Agree with above. My CHN once said to me too if their iron intake is low, it can affect how much they eat. So if she’s iron deficient/not eating much in the way of iron rich foods, an iron supplement (Incremin liquid) can help. We did about 6 months of it and definitely saw a difference.

    Also, is there a time of day she’s more hungry? Increasing options at different times of day can help too. Or, is she a grazer? I’ll put out tasting plates for my almost 3yo DD with loads of veggies/some fruit and crackers on it. It might take half the day, but she’ll usually eat it all. Things like mini tomatoes, cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, celery sticks, snow peas, slices of cheese, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples. Means they can eat at their own pace and they’re snacking on good foods.

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    Thanks for the suggestions! She definitely grazes throughout the day - we got a weigh in today, she's technically over average weight but since she's a lot longer than average, it evens out.

    Do your kids have any favourite foods they love??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevatormusic View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions! She definitely grazes throughout the day - we got a weigh in today, she's technically over average weight but since she's a lot longer than average, it evens out.

    Do your kids have any favourite foods they love??
    Great to hear she is doing well on the growth chart!!

    My little mate LOVES cherry tomatoes and strawberries. He even went through a phase where all he wanted to eat was mandarins, that’s what prompted me to speak to a dietician who then gave the advise of not measuring by day but by week. She laughed and said she was expecting me to say he will eat nothing but chicken nuggets - she’d never been approached by a mum whose child was living on mandarins before

    He also is a grazer so I’ll give him a mixed plate for lunch which is usually cherry tomatoes or cucumber slices, cubed cheese, pretzels, occasionally baby saveloys, rice crackers, some kind of fruit and a yoghurt. He’ll pick for a bit then go off for a play and come back when he’s ready.
    He also loves ‘milkies’ which is a like a small muffin bar with a flavour in the middle (not sure if you have them in Australia?) Le snacks, laughing cow cheese, those purées fruit squeezy pouch things and big rice cakes with peanut butter on them!
    I know snacking isn’t ideal but I would rather he picks away at the above during the day then me make his something extravagant and him not eat it.

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    Elevatormusic (16-05-2020)

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    Default Toddler eating habits?

    Here’s a couple of examples of what I put out for my DD. Sometimes she’ll eat it in half an hour, but usually she’ll eat this over the course of the afternoon.

    She also used to eat the Babybel cheese as well. Thankfully now I can just give her a slice of Bega cheddar or similar. Much cheaper

    IMG_6574.jpgAdjustments.jpg

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    Those look great! I can only leave pear, apple, banana etc out for her since she likes to squash food in secret and not so secret places...I bought a velvet couch during pregnancy because I'd obviously lost my mind lol

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    Default Toddler eating habits?

    To snack, DD (3) loves:

    Carrot
    Cucumber
    Celery
    Raw broccoli
    Raw cauliflower
    Raw beans
    Raw mushrooms
    Frozen peas (what the?)
    Cheese
    Olives
    All fruit except bananas
    Sandwich fingers (or just plain wholemeal bread - again, what?)
    Wholemeal saladas (plain)

    For meals, she eats what is put in front of her, which makes my life fairly easy! She has preferences, e.g. veggie soup, pasta, roast dinner, curry, and any veg. However, with the exception of mashed potato, she’s happy to eat whatever she’s given.

    Wait, I forgot the point I was making haha! The point was that she eats what is put in front of her, but sometimes is just not hungry and eats barely anything (doesn’t say the food is yuck or ask for something different - just doesn’t eat much), whereas other times she asks for thirds. So my point is that I think they just go through phases of greater and lower appetite depending on their growth cycle?

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