Fighting to feed the kid
Parent24 user, Carina Rabie, shares her toddler food woes.
Food can and is a big problem when it comes to toddlers. My daughter (now 28mnths), started on solids when she was 4mnths old.

She followed my every move and when I gave her a small bite, she enjoyed it so much that she finished a 100ml yoghurt right there. So I started her on the usual Purity first foods with sweet potato, carrots, butternut, etc. She loved them all.

Not a fan of food

The problems and fights started when the first tooth popped out at 5½ months. Since then she has refused to eat anything except her porridge and yoghurt. She would take 1 or 2 mouthfuls of the Purity and that would be it.

I started cooking her food myself - taking mince and mixing in veggies and then puree them. It would take her an entire 2 days to finish a 50ml tub.

I later tried the bigger bottles of Purity with meat and pasta, but again it would take her up to a week to finish one pot. So I gave up and left her to eat what and when she wanted to.

She stays with my mother during the day so over time she's learned to eat scrambled egg, toast with Bovril (she doesn't like Marmite) and meat.

Now at the age of 28mnths she's still a very bad eater, eating only Pronutro banana or Wheatbix, scrambled egg (sometimes 2), toast, a few bites of lamb, potato, pumpkin fritters and recently some mixed veggies, mostly the carrots. And of course still her tub of yoghurt every day.

That's it.

She refuses to eat in the evening, with the result that she wakes up during the night feeling hungry obviously, and then wants milk. At one stage she would drink 3-4 300ml bottles a night! I started watering them down to mostly water with a milky colour.

'Pink milk please mommy!'

Then she discovered Nesquick Strawberry (all my fault!). So every evening and during the night whenever she wakes up, mommy has to make her 'pienk melkies'. And don't try telling her it's finished or she can't have any. You have NEVER seen such midnight tantrums in your life!

Recently she started having what we think are night terrors. She would wake up and ask for milk, but as soon as you start talking to her or give her the milk, she gets hysterical and won't stop screaming for up to an hour sometimes.
It sounds like she's in terrible pain and does not know what's going on around her. Just saying her name makes it worse.

She would ask for pink milk up to 6 times a night. The doctor prescribed a small dose of Vallergan for just a few days and I started giving her Nespray milk in the evenings.

The night terrors disappeared within 3 days and she only wakes once and would ask for juice and not even milk. Now she sleeps until I have to wake her at 6h20am.

She's even started eating in the evening, telling me what she wants, where previously when I would ask her what she would like to eat (or even just put the food in front of her) she would shake her head telling me she's not eating and not hungry.

Almost an eater

So yes, I've had my share of food / eating problems, but it seems to be slowly but surely coming to an end. What I can say is that through all this she has not been sick a single day in her life. Not even a runny nose. So not eating or eating badly has done her good so far.

I'm just worried that her little body needs all the nutrition possible to grow up healthy, and that not eating all the food groups deprives her of certain vital minerals and vitamins needed to develop normally body-wise and brain-wise.

I regularly receive all kinds of e-mail newsletters with the most delicious recipes, and I have to laugh when I read it and see it's recommended for toddlers.

My child would NEVER eat a broccoli bake, pasta or salads, although we eat all this and she's exposed to these kinds of foods regularly. She won't even try a bite. I can just hope that this will improve soon as she'll be going to a play school from next year, and there she will have to eat what is served, or starve!

Good luck to all the other moms out there struggling to get your toddlers to eat - I know it's not 'childs-play'!

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