When your toddler won’t eat

Most parents have a period of time where they struggle to get a child to eat. This can be especially true of toddlers.

With my first child I used to get myself in utter knots about this. She went through a few ‘fussy’ eating stages and I used to get really anxious about it, which of course probably made it worse.

I used to try and tempt her with all sorts of things, anything sometimes so she would eat something.

We went through the chuck it on the floor phase – which seemed to last forever, and then we moved on to the total food refusal phase.

It is trying and testing and can become distressing, especially when everyone else seems to have an opinion about it.

I am pleased to report that she is a wonderful eater now. A girl who will eat almost anything, who is adventurous with food and happy to give anything a go.

Although it can seem like it at the time, these phases don’t last forever.

We have spent the last few months in the eat some and chuck the rest on the floor phase with our toddler. Now we have moved onto the food strike phase. I’ve been much more relaxed this time and not worried as much as I did the first time but it is still a frustrating time.

Last week we had an acceptance of fromage frais and this week strawberries and tortilla wraps are acceptable. Yesterday 15 strawberries were consumed with little effort on my part. Today that required more effort.


Meet “Super Strawberry”. He flies around the kitchen and does a few loops and spins before landing on the highchair tray table and being devoured.

It involves me running around like a loon but whatever gets the strawberry eaten right? As long as I hear “I need more Mummy” from the highchair then “Super Strawberry” will live on.

What crazy things have you done to get your child to eat?

Friday Frolics
The Dad Network

12 comments on 'When your toddler won’t eat'

  • I try all sorts of things with my 10-month-old including hiding food in other food or giving him one food he likes and other new foods to try, and I let him just pick and choose off his high chair try. Generally though I don’t worry about any of these stages… know why? Because I was the FUSSIEST kid on the planet. We’re talking vegemite sandwiches until I was a teenager, pretty much – ha. Now I eat mostly everything and when I was left to my own devices I just got better on my own. You get sick of missing out on all the stuff everyone else is eating, for a start, and also sandwiches get bloody boring too :)

  • My son is a very fussy eater. I am hoping he will improve at some stage as the rest of the family enjoy our food. My son still won’t eat fresh veg or fruit but I can disguise in smoothies and he will eat fruit tubes/pots which is a start :-)

  • For the most part Emma eats quite well but she does have her moments of food chucking and even refusing to sit in her highchair. My fail safe at the moment is yoghurt. It normally gets her eating, but it’s only a matter of time before even that gets chucked on the floor x #bigfatlinky

  • Food can be a huge topic in the house and I did write a couple of posts on how to encourage our little ones to eat and family eating in general. We all seem to have one that’s ‘not so keen’ don’t we?!

  • I’m quite lucky and both of my boys have always enjoyed a range of food. As they’ve gotten older they’ve shown their own likes and dislikes. For example my eldest will only eat mushrooms if they’re copped finely bit too big and he won’t eat them. My youngest won’t eat tomolatoes unless they’re in something like spagbol. But it’s they’re preferences now. But they still eat everything and as a toddler they didn’t mind. I use to find imaginative ways to vary the same food. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week

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