14 month old. Loves broccoli, hates meat.

Erica - posted on 11/03/2008 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My daughter has always been a pretty good eater in my opinion, however meal time has become a bit of a struggle. She will really only eat soft foods (she has about 10 teeth, all in front) . She has been eating table food for a while, but I really only have any success if I feed it to her, and she generally spits anything out that is not very soft. I generally feed her foods she can eat with her fingers, but I am worried she might not be eating enough and/or eating the right things.

For breakfast she typically has one of these things: waffle (light butter and syrup), pancake, or scrambled eggs with a little cheese. I try to get her to eat a piece of maple sausage or gnaw on a bit of bacon but she isn't really into it. All of these things I let her eat with her fingers. If I give her the baby fork or spoon, she tries to pick up the food, but really she ends up slinging it EVERYWHERE.

Our doctor told us it's not absolutely necessary for her to eat three meals a day so I only feed her lunch if she seems hungry, if not, she has an early dinner.

She will eat mashed potatoes and sometimes boiled and/or baked potatoes if they are very soft. Any sort of roasted potato or something that can be easily cubed she spits right out. She will eat broccoli all day long with her hands and also squash and zucchini (grown at home) and canned green beans (but will spit out frozen ones). If I boil carrots, she won't eat them... maybe they aren't soft enough. She likes mushrooms... sometimes, if you hide them with other foods. She eats those banquet meals when I am not in the mood to fix a full meal and she likes the corn and the peas in those.

Mostly, I have trouble getting her to eat meats. I guess because of its texture and its harder to chew, she won't eat chicken (occasionally she might gnaw on a couple frozen chicken nuggets, or if i practically mash it and hide it mashed potatoes or something) She will eat the soft Salisbury steak in the banquet meals but not really hamburger.

Behaviorally, if she is left to eat by herself and she's not in the mood, she will sling everything off her plate, or pick up the plate and dump everything in her lap, or throw all the food onto the floor. Usually, if we feed her ourselves, she will do okay, but if she is not the in the mood she whines, cries, and waves her arms around trying to knock the spoon from your hand.

Usually, she is and always has been the sweetest baby, but lately when she doesn't get her way or isn't allowed to do something, or has to do something she doesn't want to (like eat) she throws a tantrum. I have gotten to the point where I just take the meal away when she starts playing in it or acting like that. She also seems to prefer whatever we're eating to what she's eating (even if it's the same thing).

I've never really had to discipline my daughter, but I think it might be how and I'm a little unsure about what is effective. Also what sort of things can I fix her with meat that she might actually want to eat.?

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Tara - posted on 11/05/2008

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If she won't eat meat - oh well! My kids don't like meat, either. I offer, they don't eat it. Offer her beans. My kids LOVE black beans and rice with cheese. Beans are soft and a protien source. Seek out some vegetarian recipes and just go with the flow...

Valerie - posted on 11/03/2008

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Sounds like she's a little too young to help out cooking yet but I think a lot of the problem is texture. She doesn't like what she's not used to. Try hot dogs. Even though they aren't that great nutritionally, you can cut them up really little and you can give her veggies or fruit with it and maybe some toast. My daughter is into the dips like ranch and ketchup, shes not a huge meat eater either though. I buy deli meat and tear it into little bits and serve it with some white beans or black beans, just drain and rinse them, they're great protein. I also buy cheese crumbles. She loves cheese. I was giving her too many snacks between meals and I cut way back on snacks and juice too between meals and now she eats a lot better.

Jaclyn - posted on 11/03/2008

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I found my son doing this and what I've done is asked him what did he want to eat. Let the child help make some disicion about what to eat and ask the child if they want to help, you do the cooking and stress that she/he shouldn't be playing with the stove that only mommy or another grown-up should use the stove/oven, have her/him get things out of the frigde for you, have her help put things into the pots before they get hot (like water, butter, pasta sauce). Have her/him help get the dishes to set the table and get out something out to drink and you might find that the child might be eating more then they do now.

Erica - posted on 11/03/2008

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You know what? You're right, she DOES enjoy salmon and meat loaf she will generally eat. And flavor isn't the problem, I made chili and she wouldn't stop pointing at my bowl for bites. Mini meat loafs in muffin tins is brilliant though, I will definitely be trying that, I always make an actual meat loaf but muffin tins would already portion it! At least she likes the veggies.

Stela - posted on 11/03/2008

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Have you thought about giving her a mild white fish like sole or flounder? My daughter sounds similar. She won't eat meat that she considers too tough, but i actually think it's very smart of these little ones. It could be a choking hazard if they can't bite through the meat and try to swallow instead of spitting it out. What about little meatballs? Sometimes I make mini meatloaves in muffin tins. It cooks faster and she seems to like it. She is younger than my daughter who is 2. I think you're in a difficult stage- she's not quite old to feed herself all the time, but not making it so easy for you to feed her.

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