I think many of you know I’m a Dietitian. I also think many of you may know I struggle a bit to get my toddler to eat as healthily as I would want. I have to try and chill out about this. She’s 2 and a half. She is fussy at times and she really dislikes fruit. This is something I really struggle to get my head around. How can you prefer a Scottish oatcake to a sweet strawberry? She actually gags if I breathe on her after I have had an apple or bring the core near here and we think she had a banana phobia. It’s difficult as it feels like groundhog day with her meals and snacks and my professional brain just frets that she doesn’t get enough good nutrition. I often think what does my toddler eat?
Sometimes we need to take a step back. I need to take a step back and stop fretting. What would I say to someone who was worried about their fussy eater?
I would say actually make a list of all the things they eat and see what it adds up to.
So this is what I have done and actually I was pleasantly surprised.
What Does my Toddler Eat?
Fruit and Veg
- Green beans
- Sweetcorn and on the cob
- Tomato sauces to have with pasta
- Carrots (only at nursery!)
This list isn’t amazing but it is better than nothing! We rarely hit 5 a day. If I get 3, I’m laughing but hey ho we can work at it. The gremlin is not a juice or smoothie person either and she will only have a couple of mouthfuls of a banana milkshake. even with ice-cream blended in. Go figure?!
Carbohydrates – what does my toddler eat?
- Pasta (both white and wholemeal)
- Granary Bread
- Scottish Oatcakes
- Cereals – Weetabix, cornflakes and Cheerios
Carbs are easy eh?
- Chicken and cold chicken tikka pieces.
- Turkey/Beef Mince meat if blended
- Fish fingers
- Peanut Butter
- Baked beans
- Lentils (if in a curry)
I wish she would eat more meat. It is a challenge but she does eat small amounts and it is always improving. Blending a spag bol on the advice of my friend really helped! Eggs are our saviour dish; boiled, poached, scrambled and omelettes.
- Milk (tonnes)
- Greek Yoghurt
- Hard and soft cheese
- Fromage frais
Thank the Lordy in times of illness for dairy. Calories, fat, protein and calcium.
The gremlin lives for these foods (strangely she hates gummy/fizzy sweets and I will ensure this is the case for as long as I can). I have to restrict her very often!
You maybe thinking what the heck!!! How flipping tedious of the nutter to write a shopping list but it is really worth it to actually see what your child is managing.
The gremlin actually manages quite a few things from each food group. Yes I wish she would eat more fruit. I wish she would eat some oily fish with us. I wish she didn’t constantly ask for a “picky lunch” which consists of Dairylea, cold chicken pieces, sweetcorn and bread and peanut butter!! I wish she ate as well as she did when she was weaning; salmon, hummus and fruit were on the menu BUT she isn’t actually that bad and her diet over a week can be balanced.
It’s hard. It’s frustrating. Watching her pick through food, spitting things out and gagging make me want to destroy her but I live in the hope she will turn out like her Mummy and Daddy, who love their exotic food, fruit, veggies and sweet treats now and then.
Let me know if you give this a go! What does your toddler eat?
Im a few weeks into weaning and I have to say it’s going really well. we only have 1 food that makes her gag but if I mix it in with others she eats that too. I am now starting to put things on her tray for her to try as she pleases so watch this space ha ha ha
P.S. For a “picky” child I don’t think your bubba is doing that bad and she’s a little cutie
Aww keep going and hope it continues! I know. When I did this I thought exactly that! Thanks x
I had a similar problem with my youngest. His diet was quite restricted, but what he did eat was healthy. I think not stressing and making a big deal about it is the key, their range of foods will gradually grow. #Fartglitter
Thanks Tracey – I’m really trying! x
This looks like a really good exercise, and your little one seems to have a great range of foods (by toddler standards). I think this exercise would scare me if I were to carry it out. Unfortunately I too have a fruit phobia and can understand your daughter gagging if someone eats fruit near her. I have been known to move train carriages if a person has cracked open a banana within smelling distance. Thankfully I’ve learned how to manage it (I think having banana sneezed into my face might have helped desensitise me?) I’m really keen to avoid passing on my weirdness onto my tots, and both are offered fruit all the time. I have noticed my eldest has started to turn her nose up at it too though and for now all she’ll eat is bananas raisins and processed type “No added sugar” fruit bar / pots. Hmmm.
Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to know that even dieticians have struggles at mealtimes with their tots.
OH really!! I didn’t think a fruit phobia could be real? Bless you. I reckon the banana episode will have helped!! I think kids get older and it all goes to pot!! x
It must be SO hard for you! I find it hard when Baby H will have something one day and refuse the next (after I’ve thought she lived it last night and bought a shopping trolley worth!). However, it does sound like she could be varied, and maybe those other things will come? Have you tried blending fruit into the yoghurt? Even just a teeny bit, or mixed fruits of one she likes and one she doesn’t?
That is the cutest pic of her eating her eggs and soldiers, I loved that growing up (as did hubby as he gets still so excited if I suggest eggs for breakfast or lunch – he says he’ll do it!) #fartglitter
It drives me mad!! I think I may try the fruit blending again. Tried once and she cottoned on. I know, she is a cutie and thank god she eats eggs xx
That’s not that bad. Our tot gets fussier by the day but likes some weird healthy stuff. I always reassure myself that my bro ate basically nothing but tinned spaghetti and hotdogs for his first 10 years.
hehe that reassures me too! I’m getting better xx
Arrrrrgh! Our once amazing eater has become so picky. Barely any meat unless it is in the form of nugget. I’ve taken to “lying” I fed him salmon yesterday and he asked what it was so I told him it was fishfinger, he ate it all. I made him a roast beef sandwich he asked what it was, I told him ham, he ate it……the lengths I go to! I am going to write a list! #marvmondays
Good idea. My two are pretty picky – six year old more so than his little brother mind you. Their absolutely staple meal in our house is ‘cheesy tuna pasta’ – pasta bows (always has to be bows) with a cheese sauce with a small tin of tuna mixed through and some sweetcorn thrown in for veg! Unfortunately I don’t feel like I can give that to them every day… I might write down a list of what they do eat actually although some things like apples and bananas fall in and out of favour depending on how they feel any given day!
Oh wow, compared to my son who is the same age she eats everything! He is so fussy, I can’t cope some weeks, I stress so much he’s not going to grow or end up having some vitamin deficiency. I think writing it down is a good idea, you can see exactly what they are eating that way. Looks like The Gremlin is doing pretty well to me. It is hard when they eat so much healthy stuff during weaning and then at some point it all has to change.xx #FartGlitter
Aww bless her she’s doing well!! Alfie would live on pizza if he could I think ha!! He does love his fruit though which I am pleased about! Lovely post hun! #fartglitter #marvmondays
My son has gotten more and more fussy as he gets older – when they are weaning it is as if it barely enters their heads to reject food. When they realise they have a choice, that’s when the fun really starts, if by fun you mean us picking their food up off the floor…
Great post, that’s so helpful! My little one is about to have his first birthday, starting off weaning was a struggle, then we went through a phase where he ate so well, and now he’s got incredibly picky. Any finger foods get thrown on the floor, including strawberries topped with peanut butter. Crazy kid! I have to try to catch them, they’re far too good to waste!
Never mind what Gremlin eats – I’m showing this to my OH, who keeps insisting lentils are not protein & are carbs! I bloody told him! My youngest is fussy but more about whether she eats much than what she eats. Eldest used to eat EVERYTHING, is currently doing the willful toddler bit and claiming she doesn’t like things she used to eat (mostly veg an meat). But they both love fruit and will eat masses of it, so we’re lucky there. #fartglitter
My two are such fussy eaters and it really is frustrating. But in all honesty I have stopped pushing. They do eat fruit but only a select few bits so we max on them and I hope one day they will eat a bit better. #marvmonday xx
Your list is actually pretty comprehensive, at least there’s a little bit from each food group there! Since we started on finger foods I haven’t been able to get my 15 month old to eat a single vegetable, although he does eat plenty of fruit, starches and proteins (cows milk protein allergy is a problem!) I serve vegetables up at every lunch and dinner and am hoping that if I don’t make a fuss he’ll come around to him. It may be time for me to start disguising vegetables in other foods…!
Hi Sarah, I actually really like this idea! I’ve never thought about doing it before, pehaps because im lucky and have a reasonably easy going toddler when it comes to food. But saying that, she does tend to like a lot of the same things from each food group. I might have a go at this and see whether it is as balanced as I think, its a great check. Thanks for sharing it 🙂 Emily #MarvMondays
That’s great to have a good eater!! Still may be fun to have a good though 🙂 Thanks for hosting xx