Tag: baby weaning

My Toddler’s a Fussy Eater: Tips

I can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the…

Fussy Eating toddlerI can not begin to tell you how many meals I have made for Mole and they have ended up going in the bin. It’s like she can taste the smallest bit of pea mashed into meal. A shame really as when we started weaning Mole would eat everything!

We recently attended a dietician appointment. It was suppose to be for Frankie and his milk allergy but seen as we are already a dairy free household we switched the conversation onto Mole and her fussy eating.

I left the appointment feeling reassured and determined with Mole’s meal time issues.

Here are her tips and some of my own that have really helped us:

Do not serve up a different meal

The biggest mistake I was making was, when Mole refused her food, I would go and serve her up a completely different meal. My biggest worry was that I didn’t want her to go hungry. But more often than not, she would then refuse the next meal. It was almost like a game with her and the more she played up, the more attention she would get because I didn’t want her to be upset or throw her plate on the floor.

The dietician advised to ignore her tantrum. If she gets worse, take the plate away, calm her down and reassure her. Even if she needs to have a little break away but then go back, give her the same plate. This way she is not learning she can demand what ever dinner she wants.

Change location

Once in a while, I do an indoor picnic. I make it sound really exciting for her, we set a place up in the living room and I serve her simple foods like fruit and sandwiches. If I was to give her this in her high chair she would not eat it. Yet for some reason she eats every single bit of food this way. The important thing is, it gives us both a reset. Its stress free for me and I know she is eating. And exciting for her.

Sometimes she is distracted with her toys in the living room, I just make sure that even if it takes a while for her to eat, she does go back to her picnic and eat.

Family Timefussy eating toddler tips

The whole family eating together at the same time helps. It establishes a good routine and you are being a positive role model. Mole is then not distracted by what someone else is doing and trying ways to get their attention.

I like to show Mole i’m eating the same food as her too and how tasty it is.

Again if we hit a bad meal time, when she has been in the highchair long enough, I will put her on my knee and let her explore some of my dinner. This is only when I have finished eating too. For some reason, she seems to be more open to trying food off my plate than her own.

Don’t overkill the favourites

Easier said than done when you know what their favourite meal is. The fussier Mole became, the more I was serving up her favourite pasta dish. Then I realised she was eating it 5 times a week! Soon Mole showed no interest in eating it. Which at the time, you are so caught up in dinner time, you automatically think she is just being fussy again or teething when really, she is bored of it.

Back in time

One question we asked the dietician was “Why does she go three days eating loads of food, then another three days not wanting anything?”

Her response was interesting. Humans use to have to go for long periods of time not eating food as it was not available. In our nature we are trained to fast. This is so we would have been prepared for the hard times. As a baby, we are still programmed that way but as we grow older, we realise that food is readily available so we unlearn this behaviour and teach ourselves to eat everyday.

It’s completely normal for Mole to have an appetite some days and others not wanting much at all. Respect her and offer her food but, if she is not hungry, do not stress.

Common food

The dietician said: If you keep serving Broccoli, Mole will never see this as unusual, and one day, she might actually go to try it. It may time a long time, but, it will happen. Where as, if you never give her Broccoli, and then suddenly make a big deal about it to her she will more likely play up to it.

Personally, I felt a bit confused by this one as I hate wasting food and did not want to keep throwing away veg in the bin. I gave it ago and she was right, Mole took a few weeks to try it.

Fun food

Make food more fun. Cut it out into different shapes, make funny faces with it or get them involved in making it. This could be a make your own pizza night or simply putting the pasta into an empty pan for you. The more fun it is, the more likely they will eat it. Switch off any distractions like the TV so they can fully focus on the food.

 

I hope these tips help you. They have certainly helped us. Having a fussy eater can be hard but, I think it is important to know that because they have a label of a fussy eater, does not mean we have to accept this and have stressful meal times. There are ways we can have fun meal times where food is not thrown onto the floor on purpose.

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5 Baby Led Weaning Mistakes

I’m going to confess to 5 mistakes I made when moving on to baby led weaning with Mole. Background I began weaning Mole at 4 months old after thinking we…

I’m going to confess to 5 mistakes I made when moving on to baby led weaning with Mole.

Baby led weaning

Background

I began weaning Mole at 4 months old after thinking we were both ready, turns out we was not quite ready yet so waited another month.

Mole began of smooth puréed foods and loved it!

I could feed Mole any flavour and she would eat the whole lot.

As mole reached 7 months I began to change up her eating routine to gain techniques with different textures.

However, this is when I made some silly and avoidable mistakes.

Baby led weaning mistakes

  • Eating hard foods straight away.
  • Giving up on foods my baby does not like.
  • Not judging the length of time correctly it takes my baby to eat their food.
  • Cutting the food into the wrong shapes.
  • Over facing my baby with too much food.Baby led weaning help

Baby led weaning mistakes explained

Eating hard foods

I never took a minute to think that Mole had mainly smooth purée. Moving on to hard food such as cucumber just did not work for her. She had no teeth and found it hard to break down. Mole would just gum the cucumber making no progress or just spit it out and gag.

After practicing with soft foods like croquettes and strawberries, Mole felt confident to have a go on harder foods. I also felt like she was enjoying eating and not getting as frustrated.

Giving up on foods my baby does not like

This one is my main mistake. Each time Mole would display signs of not enjoying a food I would give in and never feed her that food again. This also goes for pouches. However, I have now noticed that she changes her mind like the wind. One day she could love a food and the next day she will hate it. I just have to count my luck with her. Knowing this mistake has helped a lot with our baby led weaning journey.

I began giving her vegetables as this is the most healthy type of food for her. Mole did not like eating a piece of broccoli compared to eating broccoli purée. I switched it up to giving her fruits knowing that she will eat fruit. And she did. I tried again with her veg and suddenly she was eating it with no issues.

I do think that her mood and time of day has a big role to play too.

Baby led weaning advice

Not judging the length of time correctly it takes my baby to eat their food

A mistake I made was trying baby led weaning with her right before we had to either go out or be out in a restaurant.

I am sure some babies take to this okay but mine did not.

If we were out there was always far too much going on for her to even have any interest in picking up her food and eating it.

Compared to feeding Mole a purée, baby led weaning takes so much longer. Not my best idea if I had plans afterwards. Obviously you can not rush them to eat so you have to be patient. This was a little frustrating for me when all she would do is throw food on the floor or spit every little bit out.

I made sure that when we were doing baby led weaning, we had all the time in the world to eat. It was also nice as I could get a hot cup of coffee whilst she was still eating.

Cutting the food into the wrong shapes

I Googled what shapes to cut the food into when I first started baby led weaning. I did this because I was terrified of her choking. Every website I read said cutting into halves or finger sized slices.

I think this is one mistake that maybe more unique to Mole. She preferred her food in small bits. Mole seems to hold the food better and put it into her mouth better compared to finger sized foods.

Now she is getting more confident I am giving her food in bigger pieces.

Over facing my baby with too much food

Looking on Instagram for inspiration I would see beautiful plates full of colourful food.

I basically copied not taking into account that Mole had gone from a smooth purée straight to a plate of food would be too much.

She would not eat any of the food and try to throw the plate on the floor. I gave up quickly and I became discouraged after seeing so many other babies eat plate fulls of food online.

I still display all her food nicely on a plate for photo purposes but when it comes to giving her the food I just take a little bit off the plate and let her eat that. Once she has finished I give her more. I could not believe how much progress she made doing it this way.

Baby led weaning tips

  • Start off with their ultimate favourite foods such as fruit
  • Use kitchen roll to get rid of any excess juice which will discourage their grip
  • Use a knife with a serrated edge to help their grip
  • Start off with Ella’s melty puffs to build your confidence with them not choking
  • If your baby is still struggling then they might not be ready. Feed your baby textured purée instead for a bit longer.
  • Try again tomorrow. Don’t give up
  • Choose soft foods to begin
  • Feed them in your baby’s usual eating environment
  • Turn off any distractions such as the TV
  • Get a dog to help clean up the mess haha.

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