Any ideas for meals for an 18month old? When I do make something she wont even try it!

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Barbie - posted on 01/06/2010

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I have to disagree with some previous posters, unfortunately. I think lots of parents have issues with getting their toddlers to eat, so they feel comfortable letting them "graze" on food or drinks when, in fact, this will make the problem worse. We had issues with our son eating and we were told specifically from a dietician at a Pediatric eating clinic to limit his milk to 24 oz. per day and NO EATING in between meals (there should be at least 2-3 hours in between meals/snacks). Set a specific eating schedule that works for your daughter and stick to it. You'll be surprised what your daughter will eat when she's hungry!! It worked WONDERS for us! Good luck!!!

Sara - posted on 12/29/2009

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My daughter can be really picky too. Sometimes not even wanting to try something. She eats what we eat for dinner and I tell her that she just has to try it and if she doesn't like it she doesn't have to eat it. Usually she ends up liking at least one part of the dinner. Another thing that works for her is I tell her to just lick it. She will get enough of the flavor to detirmine if she likes it. I also go with funny names for things and ANYTHING that is meat we call a meatball. hope it helps!

Inna - posted on 12/28/2009

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I was just thinking the same thing the other day...
I am constantly making meals for my daughter and all she does is pick out a couple of bites and the rest becomes a waste.
Although she does love pasta and will practically eat the whole bowl I give her, everything else except fruit is a challenge.

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Bethanie - posted on 01/10/2010

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My suggestions: encourage independent eating (my 18m son always feeds himself), avoid too much snacking (i.e grazing) between meals because this will fill them up, avoid too much milk or juice right before a meal because this also will fill them up, place out a well balanced meal (fruit/veggie, carb, protein,dairy) and let them eat what they want whatever they don't eat, offer later. Don't give into the food "preferences"...if your always offering bisquits cause you know that's what she likes, then that's all she's going to eat. Try not to make a big deal about what she doesn't eat (or force feed) and commend her for the good things that she does. Even if it doesn't seem she is eating enough to you, she isn't going to starve herself. She knows when she's full/hungry.

Amanda - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi! So as many of the previous posters have expressed, my child does the same thing! Some days are great...others not so much. One thing I have been using to supplement his diet is Carnation Instant Breakfast. I mix one packet in his sippy cup a day with milk and he LOVES it. The mix is full of vitamins and minerals that he may be missing out on with his picky eating habits. I also give him multi-vitamins in the morning. Another good fix is flavored oatmeal. I make sure to make it with whole milk and butter. It's the one meal a day I can count on him getting some calories in him. Hope this helps!

[deleted account]

I make a stew - stick meat, potatoes, carrots, his favorite veggies, herbs, onions and garlic (no salt) in a slow cooker. Then use a blender or food processor to mash it up. I then fill up small tubs to make individual portions and then freeze them. Sounds like a lot of work, but i make enough for two weeks at a time. My 18 month old eats porridge for breakfast and for lunch and dinner I give him a tub of mashed stew plus something else for fun and experiementation (usually a bit of what I am having) . He often plays with and ignores the "extra" side dish so I make sure he always eats all the mash. That way I know he is getting nutritional food everyday and is also experimenting with new tastes and textures. It takes the pressure off mealtimes as he is free to reject what he doesnt like.

Gemma - posted on 01/03/2010

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my Son has had feeding issues since 3 months old. He used to refuse his bottles and we ended up havign to syringe feed him at times. he went to countless specialist, Dr etcetc but no one could figure it out. He has noe learn every trick of the trade and it has turned into a behavioural issue now as well. we can go for weeks that every meal is a battle.
He will eat sandiwches in his parm while we are out but wont eat them in his high chair. He has only just started showing some interest in feeding himself as he basically doesnt want the food in the bowl. I decded that afetr christmas we would do a bit of tough love as he is not super skinny. He is doing a bit better but still with some meals refuses to even have any whether i feed him or not.

Some times i have to give him a toy to hold so that i can actually get food into him. Almost like i have to distract him away from eating and make him busy so i can get the food in. I tend to avoid giving him too many snacks otherwise it is even harder.

I feel for anyone that has a challenging eater as it is something you ahve to deal with three times a day at least and every day. hang in there it has to get better i tell my self.

Wendi - posted on 01/02/2010

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Like some PPs, my guy eats like crazy some days and barely touches food other days. I do pre-make "toddler meals", however, and they are almost always a hit. Recipe: 16 oz. cooked pasta (wagon wheels work great), 2 cans drained veggies (peas, carrots, green beans, whatever), 16 oz. chicken broth, 1 or 2 cooked & chopped chicken breasts. Mix all ingredients together. Separate into 10 servings. Refrigerate or freeze for later. I vary the veggies each time I make these meals - I think we have mixed veg and asparagus right now. They freeze and defrost well, and are easy to heat in the micro. Much healthier than those pre-packaged toddler meals, I think.

Bek - posted on 12/31/2009

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Hi Jodie,

My daughter refused to eat anything but cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for several months. She would try other food, but then she would gag on it. She was this way until Thanksgiving. She then saw her older cousin eat like a big girl. Now the only thing she really does not like is any kind of green vegetable. Do not get discouraged. Maybe she just needs to be around other toddlers during their meal times.

Janet - posted on 12/31/2009

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Jodie, I am having an issue with my 18 month old son as well in the eating dept.
His power hour is around 5 pm as we are all just arriving home, to calm him down I will give him a little snack such as pretzels or some crackers, well then around 6:30 when dinner is ready, Ian does not want anything to do with the meal. He will cry and whine to get out of his high chair and it is all I have to keep him in there for at least 20 min to see if he will eat. I will keep trying the same routine I guess, unless anyone else has any further suggestions.

Susan - posted on 12/30/2009

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A friend put me onto a really great book by Annabel Karmel called 'New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner'. It has 200 quick, easy and healthy recipes for your baby and so far my daughter has loved what I've made from the book. She loves anything that uses chicken mince (make little balls with grated apple and plenty of herbs), pasta, white cheesy sauce, fish and tomato pasta sauce. I usually lace it thick with grated veges as sometimes she will eat them sometimes she won't but this way I can be sure that she's getting plenty of the right vitamins. The consistency of lots of these foods also means that she can attempt to feed herself or eat with her fingers, which right now seems to be very important to her. Hope that gives you a few ideas.

Quiana - posted on 12/30/2009

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my son eats what we eat but he likes to feed himself, so when we try he acts as if he doesn't want it. try noodles, or pasta, cereal with yogurt, and let her feed herself

Debs - posted on 12/30/2009

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also in response to Genevieves post, grazing is a good idea. Most of the time they are just too busy to sit and eat. My daughter is on the go from dusk till dawn and grazes all day, but its all good stuff, so don't worry if thats all they want to do. x

Debs - posted on 12/30/2009

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Hi Jodie

Ellie has whatever we have, be it a sunday roast, pasta, fish, eggs. her favourite is pasta twists in pesto or tomato sauce. I have to let her feed herself though as otherwise she will show no interest. She loves Blueberries (blueblues) or any fruit. Infact to be honest she eats everything she can possibly get her hands on. At tea time she often has a slice of plain bread with a chopped apple and a few chunks of cheese, she loves this as she can pick at her leisure. Best not to force them to eat things as it then just becomes a battle of wills, which they usually win lol.

[deleted account]

my son will go sometimes days with barely touching any food and then he will become a hoover for other days. It is quite common at this age. If you are nursing this isn't a big concern. Most kids like to graze at this stage so just leave them a little plate of good food out and let them try it as they want.

Staci - posted on 12/30/2009

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this is the age when they start to play a power and control game with meals. I don't let my daughter win. She eats what we eat. I put a serving of our dinner on her plate...if she refuses it, she comes out of the high chair and her dinner is over. If she asks for a snack, she gets the food she rejected. If she doesn't eat it as a snack, next time we sit down to eat, she will get that same meal on her plate again. Eventually she always eats what I serve her. I have to play hardball about once every two weeks or so with her like that and then she remembers for a while that mommy means business. I learned the technique in the parenting book "Parenting with Love & Logic" by Jim Fay. It really works...and I would highly recommend the book.

Cheryl - posted on 12/29/2009

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I have learned that with Opal, she may love something one day then the next time she has it won't even open her mouth. And vice versa. Just keep trying. Seems if I let her feed herself as much as possible ( with fingers) she will eat more of a variety.

Kaula - posted on 12/29/2009

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i have twin boys who are 18 months, and they are not picky at all, they eat everything we do and have been since they turned a year..they love food

Jodie - posted on 12/28/2009

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Thanku. Its so frustrating but I guess if she is not bored with sandwiches, banana, grapes and biscuits then i shoudn't worry. Hoping she grows out of it. Good luck with your daughter.

Marlee - posted on 12/28/2009

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my daughter is very picky too... she hates any kind of meat, veggies and fruit... she loves crackers, pasta and cheese... her dr. said to just keep offering her the foods i want her to eat and eventually she'll try them... the other day she actually ate and swallowed (we get a lot of food spit out) some peaches... it was a first, so i'm hopeful that maybe we're turning a corner...

[deleted account]

My daughter usually eats what we do too. She loves cheese sticks, cut up hot dogs, and crackers. Those little meals (from Graduates or Walmart also have their own kind) also work well when in a hurry.

Faith - posted on 12/28/2009

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Well my son eats what we eat..and my son loves veggies..like peas, corn..and things of that nature..

Stefanie - posted on 12/28/2009

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Pasta is a big thing for my daughter and we make a game of it and call them wiggle worms she loves it with or without sauce. She was a fussy eater then relised she would eat thing just not the way we would....she hated cooked peas but would eat them frozen .....fruit smoothies are really good to...maybe soups in her bottle with farex to fill her up. My daughter is all about feeing herself as well she eats whole apples and tomatoes

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