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She is only in the 5 to 10% weight chart

Hi Leanne
I have a 13month old daughter she was 3 weeks early and came out 5pound 11ounce she is only in the 5 to 10% weight chart I am struggling to get her to eat her lunch and dinner breackfast is ok how much is enough? She is a fussy eater.

Answer: Hi There, It`s good to keep in mind that even children on the lower ends of the charts are just as likely to be healthy, often if one or both parents are slight they will be following their genetics. After all adults come in different shapes and sizes and so to do tots. If you find though that your toddler is heading down the charts still it might help to visit a feeding clinic, more on that below. So as a starting point my quick checklist for fussy eating goes like this:
  1. Persisting with offering the healthy stuff even if it is rejected
  2. Sneaking in the good stuff where you can which makes avoiding the battles (no-one wins those ones) easier
  3. Getting them involved
  4. Offering a healthy supper down the line if dinner is rejected and your toddler complains of being hungry
  5. Trying to use the foods they do eat as a basis for making other food/meals that are more likely to be enjoyed. For example cream cheese on a bagel, pasta with bacon and a cream cheese base, bread and butter pudding made with calcium enriched milk such as soy or rice, try sweet potato chips etc.
  6. Swap lunch and dinner if that helps and make meal portions achievable (small but healthy).
  7. Check milk or other fluids aren’t interfering with their appetite.
  8. Remember that food rejection is a normal behaviour for most toddlers and preschoolers.
  9. Repeat the mantra "this like all things in infancy and childhood, will pass" and it will!
I have a tip sheet on fussy eating on Huggies that might have some pointers, but again I really think it would be best to get some help with this, the link is: Picky Eating Also I think the Jessica Seinfeld book using purees is a good idea, but I reduce the sugar, use olive oil and don’t add salt, I also have a recipe book based on my fussy foodie. If you feel you really would like some help and also to check that he is getting all he needs, there are a few options you might like to consider. If you wanted to start out with the obvious you might like to see a naturopath, nutritionist or dietitian who specialises in children. They will be able to firstly review what your little one does eat and tell if there may be some nutritional issues to be addressed and if so, how they are best dealt with. Then advise you on the fussy eat and what tips and tricks might help. Another option is a feeding expert, the gals at No Fuss Feeding (website of the same name) are excellent with feeding issues, and it’s their specialty. Or in a similar vein an early childhood consultant who can help with behavioural tips. So I hope that gives you some ideas, keep offering the good stuff. Think also laterally, don`t forget things like baby rice cereal added into meals it is a good source of iron, things like pulses are a good alternative to vegies and also foods like goji berries are packed full of nutrition. Aussie: www.nofussfeeding.com.au NZ: www.paediatricfeedingdisordersclinic.co.nz/index.htm All the best, Leanne
Answered: 01 Jun 2009