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Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from boslee028. Show boslee028's posts

    Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    I've been told that it is very common for infants and toddlers to be particular about the foods that they choose to eat.  It can take up to 15 introductions for a child to accept a new food.  My 13 month old has a very limited diet which probably stresses me out more than him. 

    Does anyone have suggestions of new foods to try with DS?  Currently he favors pasta (including mac & cheese), grilled cheese, smiley fries, peas, peaches and any baked good.   

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from hot-tomato. Show hot-tomato's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    This seems like a very limited diet to me -- is this because your toddler is rejecting other foods that you've tried? The first thing is probably to check in with your pediatrician for reassurance or advice -- toddlers do tend to be fussy and go through phases and they are usually fine, but it would probably be good to check in with your doctor since I don't see many fruits and veggies on this list and more starchy stuff (breads, potatoes, pasta).

    Here are some things that my boys ate when they started with solid foods (pureed): applesauce (alone or mixed with blueberries or sweet potatoes), pears, peas, green beans, black beans (alone or with rice), tofu, bananas, peaches, avocados, carrots ... 

    When they graduated to finger foods, many of the previously mentioned worked in tiny bite sized pieces (cooked to soften, if necessary, obviously don't do raw carrots, for instance). I also did mac & cheese, and slowly introduced hot dogs (tofu pups) and grapes but these must be cut up VERY small to avoid choking. Once they can do finger foods, you can pretty much try anything on them as long as it's soft and cut up small, I think. Plus, of course, Cheerios!
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

          13 months is very young for a broad diet.  At this point, the importance of many foods is only developing the attitude- I try a lot of things mommy gives me.  My grandmother used to bake Ricotta cheese with bits of potato and beets and pears, usually with a little of something "binding" - 1 egg stirred in with 2/3 cup Ricotta, or some Mozzarella, cheddar, just a little to vary the flavor.  She would press the mix into a six space cupcake tin, bake when baking something else. 

          She would take out a little patty to mix with fork mashed egg noodles, crumbling it and mashing any pea size chunks of beets, green beans, fruit,  especially berries,  adding a dot of fruit yoghurt here and there as she went along.  She called it confetti cheese  for the colored bits.  Later as our digestion matured she added  sausage or meat bits, shredded ham, or chicken thighs meat which is softer, less stringy and dry and thoroughly fork mashes.  In time we got dates, apple, melon, spinach leaf bits, you name it added.
        We all got tiny tastes of lots of things this way,  usually several different things in one patty.    My nieces and nephews still get the same stuff.  None of them reject stuff. Seems to fight the 15 month plus toddler routine of one bite of something not wonderful and chucking or refusing every other bit of that food  on sight.   A hazard once you open a jar or puree a bunch of something. Used to the fact that if 1 bite is not tasty, the next will still have the cheese and noodle, but something different too?  I don't know. 
        My mom's generation did this, and now my nieces and nephews too.  Added to the list of things your child already likes, not in place of.
         Another favorite- a tablespoon of Sherbet allowed to warm to room temp.  Tiny tastes, particularly raspberry , lemon and orange.
    Graham cracker softened with milk. 

         The only sweet treats (not a believer in added sugar)- small amounts of fruit preserves or jelly mixed with cream cheese.  When we got to jr real foods, this type mix on small pieces of regular bread,  or cream cheese on date  bread or apple/ applesauce breads (warmed in microwave, nut free) then cut in tiny strips. 
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from culhasa. Show culhasa's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    Food is something I have decided not to battle with my 2 year old.  He will not eat things that he does not want to!!  We try to limit his sweets, etc and give him limited choices when he wants food or he gets nothing!  He tends to eat a lot of turkey and nutrigrain bars!!  Good luck!
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from header2. Show header2's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    My son would eat just about anything you put in front of him. He ate fruits and veg at an early age because that is what we gave him.  Granted it too a few tries, but he eventually he ended up liking them.  For those foods that were not his "favorites" (like spinach), I would mix it in with the mac and cheese and he didnt even care!  Also, I usually try to make my own mac and cheese and use the Barilla Plus pasta, that way its at least a little healthier.  He doesnt even notice.  I try not to battle with my son over food, but now that he is four I do tell him that if he doesnt want to eat his dinner or at least try it if its a new food,   that's fine, but no treats after(treats for him are usually yogurt or granola bars).     GOOD LUCK!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from KEK. Show KEK's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    My daughter was very much like header2's son, she would eat just about anything we were eating.  Some of her favorites were sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, flaky white fish (haddock), cooked carrots, and apple sauce. 
    As he gets older don't underestimate the power of the dip.  Anything a toddler can dip (french toast sticks in applesauce, cooked vegetable in yogurt sauce) they will pretty much eat.
    I realize mostl kids go through stages where it seems like they are not eating enough, but believe me, they really won't starve themselves. 
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from culhasa. Show culhasa's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    KEK - You are so right!  My son does loving dipping...although most times I see him lick off the dip and not eat the veggies!!  :)
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    Kids will eat if they are hungry enough.  Limit treats, provide healthy food.  If they don't eat it, they can go to bed hungry.  The next day, they'll think twice about it.  No, I don't have kids, but I was one, and I know what my mom did with me.  I ate what was put in front of me or I didn't eat.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    In researching young children's nutrition for a workshop I was leading, I discovered Ellyn Satter!  She is a children's nutritionist and has written several books, etc.  I think you (and many other parents) would be very interested in her philosophy and the books and articles she's written.  Check out her website at


    She believes very strongly in the "responsibilities" of the parent and child - its' the parents' resp. to provide healthy food, enough (but not too much) at the right times.  It's the child's resp. to eat it, try it, etc. NOT the parents' job to do "the airplane", to force more, to limit how much, etc.  Seriously, go on her website and read and cruise around.


    Yes, your child will increase her food choices if you do a good job introducing her to food.  Yes, she will sometimes eat lots, the next day not much, or one meal eat lots and the next not so much. If you look at your daughter's food intake over one week you will feel that she is getting a well-balanced diet, but not over 1 or 2 days because of the way toddlers eat.  But you can mess it up - if you push her, limit the amount too much, get overly caught up in food and the eating of it.  And, yes, a child needs to see a food something like 10-15 times before they might try it for real, then try it many more times before they decide they like it, and even really like something for weeks and then say they don't like it. That's either because they are fickle and also because someimtes when they say they "don't like it" they mean "I'm not in the mood right now" and we think they don't like it so we remove it from their diet. So if she used to eat something but now doesn't, make sure you keep having it on her plate often and she'll probably restart eating it. 


    And you need to make the feeding relationship positive, which means that you sit down with her, chat, eat yourself, and not pressure her to eat. But also not be so busy doing other things (getting that extra load of laundry in, washing the dishes, taking out of dishwasher, cooking your dinner for later, talking on the phone,etc.) that you don't have her enjoy the experience. 


    Anyway, seriously, go over her website, buy a book or two, read them, and start creating a new philosophy on your child's eating!


    Oh, and check out the USDA pyramid website they have information on what portions are appropriate of each food group daily for different ages - you would be SHOCKED at how little a child of her age needs to eat daily of each type of food! 


    See info below directly from her website "about her":

    Ellyn Satter pioneered the concepts of the feeding relationship and eating competence. She is the author of the division of responsibility in feeding.

    Ellyn Satter is an internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. Practical, warm and empowering, Satter integrates her 40 years of experience in helping adults be more positive, organized and nurturing in caring for themselves and their children. She emphasizes competency rather than deficiency: providing rather than depriving: and trust rather than control. Her theoretically grounded and clinically sound methods allow the individual’s own capacity for effective and rewarding food behavior to evolve.

    Ellyn Satter Associates provides resources for professionals and the public in the area of eating and feeding. The business offers professional training, publishes training materials, teaching resources and books for parents and professionals, and generates magazine and journal articles.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    DS eats what we eat. The only difference is if we're eating something really spicy we'll give him something else. DS is 11 mo now and will eat anything. Yesterday we went to lunch with my father who was amazed at what DS tried-baked haddock (his first time with it-he loved it), tomatoes, cheese, potatoes, peas. He sampled something from everyone's plate.

    I know the fussy times are still ahead of me. But I don't limit him to "baby" food now. I always made my own food for him from scratch-no jar food for him.

    Have you tried meat balls? He can feed himself, and you can shred in onions/carrots other veggies and sneak the good stuff in there.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    whatawag, yes.  I think so many parents forget that their sole responsibility as parents is to parent.  They do not have a responsibility to make their kids love them or be their best friends.  Letting a toddler control you by refusing to eat even though you KNOW no harm will come to them if you let them go hungry if they don't choose to eat a meal or two until they figure out you're the PARENT, is a precursor to their walking all over you at 2.  Actually, forget the terrible twos - it will be forever.  Put your foot down and be a parent, not a best buddy.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from MM379. Show MM379's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    Here's some things my 11-month old will eat:  Cut up turkey burger, veggie burger, or hamburger (I go for lean, organic).  Cut up grilled chicken, roasted chicken, meatballs, or turkey.  On the weekends, I actually cook up a bunch of things and portion them in small plastic freezer bags, then reheat as needed for a week as needed - using a little broth or water for extra moisture.  This works great for me since I send a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack to daycare everyday.  Other items he likes: Cut up, cooked: carrots, green beans, squash, sweet pototoes, cooked peas.  Again, I'll cook a big batch and freeze single serve cut up portions.  He also likes cut-up  ripe peaches, bananas, pears, mangoes, apples.  I also use purees or soft fruits/veggies a lot: I spread ripe avocado onto whole wheat toast.  Or, I'll toast a whole grain half bagel or english muffin half and melt cheese in the last few minutes.  I'll also use smooshed ripe peaches or bananas as a spread - great on toast, waffles.  He also loves cheese chunks and yogurt.  He also LOVES freeze-dried fruit.  This is different from regular dry fruit in that it is crunchy and dissolves quickly - not chewy like regular dehydrated fruit.  Gerber and several of the baby brands make freeze-dried fruit, but the other day, I was in Ocean State Job Lot and they had these silver packages of all sorts of freeze dried fruit - pears, bananas, peaches, apricots, apples.  He LOVES them!!!!!  Maybe one of the varieties had added sugar, but most did not.  I find with him, if he's hungry and I put his "least favorite" items out first for him, he'll do a better job of eating them.  So if he's getting peas, chicken, and yogurt at lunch time, that's the order he'll get them in b/c he'll devour yogurt no matter what, but peas take a little more "hunger."  Or sometimes the opposite, if he's like starving, he becomes cranky and unadventurous, so if I throw a few cheerios his way, he settles down and then does a little better.  Good luck!!!   
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from am1028. Show am1028's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    I'm not sure what you've tried with him, but at 13 months, he should be able to eat pretty much anything (perhaps with a couple of exceptions like peanuts, shellfish, depending on your pedi's recommendations).  My DD is 19 months and will eat pretty much anything we put in front of her, UNLESS it's typical "children's" food.  She is too good for chicken nuggets or a hot dog, but put any kind of fish in front of her and she gobbles it up.  She also loves fruit:  cantaloupe, grapes and berries, especially and veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, summer squash and beans.  DD is tiny despite a very healthy appetite, so at the recommendation of her pedi we saute her veggies in butter or olive oil, or give her a dip to eat them with and she definitely does like to dip, so if your son is rejecting veggies, try a dip.  Just give him whatever you are eating -- he'll probably like something on your plate.   

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from boslee028. Show boslee028's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    Thanks for all of the feedback.  The foods I listed in the original post are in no way all inclusive of what he eats, rather they are foods I can always count on him to eat.  We try to continuously introduce new foods to him including what is on our plates.  What I find is that he is very sensory in that he touches foods before trying them.  If the foods feel OK to him, then they go into his mouth.  He also prefers to feed himself than be fed.  We have been working on giving him a child's fork and spoon to encourage self feeding.  A friend lent me a kid's cookbook that I'm going to try.  With all of these great food suggestions I'm going to be busy cooking this weekend.  Wish me luck!
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from realitycheck101. Show realitycheck101's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    My 22 month old is the worst eater. He was so good when he counted on me to feed him (~6 months to about 18 months). Would eat any vegetable or fruit mashed that you could think of. Now, since he feeds himself, he will only eat grilled cheese, crackers (animal, graham, saltine), home-made macaroni & cheese, cherrios, bananas, egg and apple sauce. This is obviously leading to some constipation, so we battled against that a little while with apple cider and popcorn. Now the apple cider is not as effective as a few months ago, and he is not that into popcorn anymore.

    Any suggestions for getting some more fiber into his diet to alleviate the constipation?
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from header2. Show header2's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    To realitycheck101
    To alleviate constipation, there is the old standby of prunes, but my son wanted nothing to do with those.  I found that my son had regular BM when he ate cantaloupe and blueberries.  He loves those fruits and it came to a point where a I had to cut back for a few days because he was getting a rash from the acid in the fruit when he went to the bathroom.  The rash wasn't serious, I just stopped those fruits for a day or two and then went back to them.

    Good Luck!
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    •  Things with tomato paste, 
    • pitted canned  black olives cut into rings or chopped,
    • home made applesauce from macs (not the stuff in jars, different types of apples).  Best if you cut up whole apple skin, core and all, best with 1/2 apple juice 1/2 water, enough to just cover apples (or TSP apple juice concentrate per apple and rest water).  Boil with cinnamon until all soft applesauce consistency, strain out skin, seed pockets and stems. Lots of nutrients just under the skin, and a little color from skin too, makes cooking with skin better.  The extra juice concentrate adds a little sweetening and relieves constipation.
    • Baked apples with cinnamon-  Cortland or other baking apple.  Add 1 teaspoon apple juice concentrate, no need for water, and a little cinnamon.  Add crumble topping if you like.  Bake until like apple pie.
    • Home made soup from split peas (1lb bag) and 1 med sweet or Vidalia onion is very effective in small quantity.  2 Tablespoons reheated then mixed with shredded low salt ham, or a high quality German Bologna shredded or chopped, hot or cold  but the mix served only slightly warm -  it is tastier than plain puree peas by far, and most kids love it.

    All are less acidic than many of the berries and stronger fruits.  Many toddles will eat sweet figs or fig preserves,  pitted dates shopped up plain or mixed with a little cream cheese.

    These forms of constipation relief are all good nutritionally  and for long term diet,  except the  olives, which instead add a little oily softening, good for motility, and making acidic stools from fruits less irritating.

    Some parents are too low-fat conscious,  NOT a good thing.  Babies and toddlers need twice what adults do in proportion to body weight, since without fats and oils, they cannot properly use fat soluble vitamins, and things likd Vitamin D made by the body  and Vitamin E and some B vitamins all pass through the system unused without a little fat.    Also, fats in small quantity, even a little added tsp of olive oil now and again  helps keep stools soft and less irritating. 
         If your toddler likes cheese, as in mac and cheese,  a real, mild cheddar or Monterey jack or other soft oily cheese is much healthier than the dried low fat cheese and whey powder mix stuff.    Toddlers need this for balancing the constipating effects of cheese and milk products  with softening, as well as building bones and skin.
         Only Adults should ever be on low fat, under 2% milks or cheeses.

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    These are mighty talented two year olds, going to the grocery store and using the stove for themselves.  Are we seriously giving up on the fact that kids will eventually eat what we buy and prepare for them?  Self preservation will kick in and suddenly those fruits and veggies will be delicious again.  The tantrums won't last long.  You're telling me you can't stand a day of screaming to get the kid on track and under your control?
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrsJay. Show MrsJay's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    My 2 year old was usually a pretty good eater up until about 6 months ago.  As hard as it is to watch, I really work at not being upset about when she is being fussy. I also find the fussiness comes and goes.

    I keep to a strict schedule with breakfast - we eat at the same time, every morning (I wake up 2 hours before work each morning to make sure I have the time to make sure we can do this and everything else I need to do in the AM).  I sit with her and we talk about what we are doing that day.  I give her orange juice (Trop50), either oatmeal or cereal, and maybe toast or french toast sticks.  She eats very well with this routine! 

    Lunch is either at home or at daycare depending on the day, and her eating depends on her mood.  Dinner also depends on her mood or her hunger level, but I always try to give her something I know she'll like (but not too much of it), and then two other choices that I think she will pick at.  She loves milk, but I have learned to offer the milk later in the meal - sometimes she prefers to just drink milk and not really eat. 

    Sometimes she pretty much just looks at her plate and says, "I'm done, Mommy!".  AUUGGHH!!  I just tell her that I am not done eating she can get down when I finish.  Then, I just start talking about something else  - the cat, the wall...anything.  I usually find that she will pick at her food while I continue to talk and eat.  Sometimes, she makes a big fuss because I won't let her down but usually she will eventually calm down and finish dinner with me.

    I really work at not gettng hung up when she doesn't eat lunch or dinner.  She certainly is not starving, so we must be doing OK!

  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

        Refusal to eat, like a screaming colicky baby is one of the big three (with refusal to make eye contact and speak)  that gets to parents fastest.
         Which means for long term, they should not get rewarded or treats for using it to get their own way.
    It is hard for parents to wait it out and present the same stuff again, or wait to the next meal,  but parenting is like that.  It is necessary.  They won't get something else in stead of what they refuse if parents don't give it to them.    Yup Kar, no drivers or shoppers at this age.

         With a fussy eater, this is why having a little bit of a variety of things presented with a preferred food (and no more bites until what you have is swallowed)  works better for many than the sight or problems that come with large portions of any one food.  It is easy to require child to take a baby step than look over a huge step they resist and you have to fight over.
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    You've been reported.

    ETA:  Thank you bdc for removing the last post.
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    Good for you, making meal time a pleasant family time, not a time to fight over "one more bite" etc.  Who wants to come to the table to fight?  Seriously, I am NOT Ellyn Satter, but I really just found her and her theories and they make a great deal of sense from a developmental level (which is what I am, an early childhood educator). 

    So, yes, your daughter is pickier some days than other days.  She will "not like this, Momma" today and yet 3 days later she'll eat it all!  huh????  Well, sometimes you "don't feel like pizza" and yet other days you can't get enough, right?  So our kids are the same, but they dont' get to make the decision about what's for dinner.

    You can certainly, at about 21/2 or 3 yrs old, allow them to make SOME choices re: meals.  "It's time to pick the vegetable, would you like us to eat peas or carrots?"  when you WANT a choice (not always is there a choice in vegetables, because you like broccoli with this chicken dish, and that's fine - you're ultimately the MOM!)

    Or, we are going to have dinner, do you want the red plate or the blue plate? "Shall we eat in the diningroom or kitchen tonight?" Again, not choices ad nauseum, just sometimes, and when it's appropriate. 

    Sounds like you are on target for raising a healthy eater!
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    There was some loser with a horrible screen name going on about the H1N1 panic.

    Let's just say, I am someone who has never TTC nor lost a baby and I found it very offensive. 
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostonslp. Show bostonslp's posts

    Re: Menu for a Fussy Infant/Toddler

    When you point out that your child is a "sensory" boy I wanted to see if I could help with some strategies.  I am an SLP and work with this age, sometimes around feedling.  You were exactly right when you said that kids need numerous exposures to food.  I would try these things.          
    -ALWAYS put what you are eating on his plate too (assuming that the whole family eats together.  Eating is a social time and kids tend to want to at least try the food that their parents love.
    - Encourage your child to give the food a "kiss" or a "lick" if he doesn't want to eat it - many kids are surprised at how much they actually do like a food, even if they don't like the smell/look.  This also sets an expectation and one that isn't impossible to reach (ie you are not demanding that he eat it)
    -Make food fun, have him help to prepare the food, get the food, talk about the smells and so on.  He may seem young, but he can do small things, especially when you set it up for him. 
    -What many others said is right on, your child is not going to go hungry!