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My son has gone off eating his main meal at night time

HI my son has gone off eating his main meal at night time. he eats through the day but when it comes to dinner he just wont eat it. he ormally has vegs,like potatoes and various other egs but the last three days he has eatin none of the meals if have prepaired. i have tryed various other packed food but still the same. i have no idea as i am a first time mum. also could you tell me wat is a good way to get him to introduce meat more often to his diet.

Answer: Hi There, I am guessing your son will be at least 14 months given the fussy eating stage that he may have hit. Fussy eating happens commonly from this age on. Fussy eating can really have you pulling your hair out! I have a six year old who is showing signs of coming out of it, but only glimpses. I still sneak stuff into all sorts of meals, makes it easier to go with it when I know he has been getting healthy food albeit disguised. Most healthcare professionals will say that as long as your preschooler is gaining weight at his usual rate and is happy and healthy, he won`t starve himself. But as a parent this can be of little comfort. Below are my tips on fussy eating, I would though given it doesn`t sound like he eats anything at dinner time, look at number 6, swapping lunch and dinner. That way you will be more confident in knowing he has covered all the bases by the end of the day so dinner which would be more of snack wont be such an issue. Checklist:
  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. On the issue of meat, most toddlers will cope well with mince and foods made with mince (Shephards Pie, spagetti bolognaise etc) and also well-cooked meats. For example slow cooked stews where the meat literally falls apart tend to have a better acceptance. The texture of meat can be a bit off-putting. Also many children will happily nibble on French Lamb Cutlets and ribs as they are fun and easy to handle. 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. So I hope that gives you some ideas, 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. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 22 May 2009