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10 Ways I Fail to Feed My Toddler

When I started weaning Emma, I was a salt and sugar militant. I would scour the labels to check it was OK for her to eat and we’d spend far too much money buying the baby versions of porridge and raisins. I was nailing this weaning business, knocking out spaghetti bolognaise, fish pie, mild curry, lentil casserole and all of it was wolfed down in a nano-second. Was I a fool to think it would last? Probably.

Eight months later and a flip switched. Emma decided she didn’t want the variety of a diet that is superior to anyone in our house. No, no, she wanted baby crisps, breadsticks, toast and perhaps a mouthful of potato waffle, if we struck lucky. It was like being thrown into a state of emergency, your adrenaline pumping as you find an alternative to the disastrous situation.


Since then I’ve let go a little from my militant ways. Chips for breakfast? Why not! Wonder if she’ll like a 99 Flake for her mid morning snack? Give it a go! Just as the flip switched for Emma, it did for Mummy too and I just want some food to be eaten. I don’t think that’s too much to ask! Along the way, there have been a few fails in the feeding department, but whatever works eh?!

-Emma mainlines in milk during the night. She drinks about 400-500ml, so we enter a vicious cycle where she doesn’t eat breakfast and possibly snacks at lunch. I’m basically too scared to give her water during the night as it WILL unleash the rage.

-She only eats on the sofa watching Teletubbies and laughing along. When she was a baby, she only ate in her bouncer watching Bing, so that’s good progress.

-Emma won’t try anything new, and makes a look of disgust if it looks unfamiliar.

-Anything she does eat must be laden with cheese. Don’t even bother unless you throw in half a block of cheddar in the pot.

-Emma’s obsession with Organix Sweetcorn rings is I’m pretty sure keeping the company afloat. And Ella’s Kitchen, god love her.

-She loves Cheerios but in order for her to eat even one, you must pass them to her individually.

-She’ll lure you into thinking she loves toast, but actually licks the butter or cream cheese off, then walks around the house depositing toast fingers anywhere she sees fit.

-Emma now stands in her high chair as I make her food. Apparently my stern voice is hysterical.

-The only meals she’ll eat is mushroom risotto. I’ve unwittingly made her a vegetarian as she now refuses to eat any meat.

-I’m pretty sure she’d rather eat rocks and pebbles than edible food.

We’re no closer to a balanced diet and with Emma at nursery now, I initially thought she would take to food better but she seems to holding a no eating whatsoever protest. It’ll all pass, as the saying goes….I mean it has to, doesn’t it?

Do you have a fellow fussy eater in the house? 




  1. October 3, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    Eurgh. I have TWO kids like this. O announces “I don’t like it” before he’s even tried what I’ve put in front of him and F actually makes himself sick when he’s done with whatever food he’s eating. I mean, he has reflux and that’s supposedly kinda common in kids who’ve been through reflux, but C’MON! I think I’m losing my mind over this!

  2. October 4, 2016 / 6:35 am

    I hear you lovely! Miss Tot is exactly the same. She started out eating everything but then gradually self selected down to a small range of beige dead things. She’s gradually getting slightly more tolerant as she gets a bit older but it has taken years! (She’s just turned 4!) In the meantime I live by the same motto as you. Cook it. Then put cheese on it. If all else fails: Serve it with a side of ketchup! xx #DreamTeam

  3. October 4, 2016 / 6:44 am

    Bridget I too have a fussy eater in my house. For a time all he ate were sausages chips and chicken nuggets. I felt like a failure especially with family commenting about, oh what a bad eater he is etc it used to drive me mad but then I let it go and do you know what it has got better. Someone gave me some great advice. Look at his food intake over a week, not a day! Good luck.mine is just starting to eat more now at 7 1/2. Thank you for linking up with us at #EatSleepBlogRT

  4. October 4, 2016 / 6:46 am

    Poor you – we have just started weaning and baby e loves it. Though some nights she will only eat with her in the night garden doll

  5. October 4, 2016 / 6:51 am

    Josh is just learning how to be a fussy little bugger and it is so stressful. Like you, I would be lost without Ella’s Kitchen!! Although it is frustrating when you lovingly make a homemade meal just for them to turn their nose up at it!! xxx #dreamteam

  6. October 4, 2016 / 7:01 am

    Aspen was a lover of vegetables and fruit but not meat, I said to the health nurse ‘how can I get her to eat meat?’ she laughed at me and told her I was the first mum to say that to her as usually kids won’t eat fruit or veg. When baby 3 arrived I meet my real fussy eater, he is still driving me crazy at age 7! he will eat some vegetables although complains every time, but he hates fruit. It makes lunch box packing so hard. He would eat broccoli over a grape, strawberry, watermelon, any fruit. #dreamteam

  7. October 4, 2016 / 7:57 am

    Ahaha, sorry it’s not funny but I do feel your pain. Oldest was addicted to those cheerios (they made her hyper though!), she used to sneak into the cereal cupboard and help herself to them them! Also Oldest is the opposite of Emma in that she will only eat chicken and sausages. We can’t win! #DreamTeam

  8. October 4, 2016 / 9:36 am

    Ah the toddler food battle! My eldest is the same, she used to eat anything. Now we have a battle every meal time, the monkey!


  9. October 4, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Emma will be just fine, I am sure. My nephew ate only bread and mac and cheese until college. He is over 6 ft, handsome as ever and a wonderful young man. Now my littles, go in and out of phases. The prized avaocado slices today, are a tantrum tomorrow. And if you saw the spinach piece, well, I won’t go there. Good luck on the adventures of taste buds and textures. Emma is one little beauty! M’wah! xoxo #chucklemums

  10. October 4, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Oh it can be so stressful…especially because all you hear all the time is people banging on about balanced diets. The truth is, you can only persevere as and when your sanity allows. To be honest, it sounds to me as if she’s eating a fair few different foods – just not everything you would want her to. It will all come, but may take time. In the mean time, you must maintain good mental health! It sounds as if you are managing to you and I applaud you. My teens still turn their noses up at certain foods – only last night one of them was picking out the mushrooms with a disgusted look on her face! Good luck 🙂 Alison x #DreamTeam ps apparently my step son only ate pizza for years…he trained as a chef – there is always hope x

    • October 4, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Totally agree with Madhousemum – its the same the whole world over, some kids are picky eaters and it can be a source of immense frustration for parents – taking away the battle is a great idea so that the focus is not on the child and the food. My four have all reached double figures with varying pickyness over food and I found that when they were old enough to help with the cooking it really helped them try new things. Lots of luck! x

  11. October 4, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    YES. Annoyingly, the Popple eats pretty much everything they offer her at nursery and hardly anything at home. She was a great eater as a baby, but now her diet – at least at home – primarily consists of yogurt, grapes and Organix snacks. Spag bol is sometimes okay (minus the spag) and baked beans are always a hit. Veg is pretty much not going to happen. I’m going to attempt to feed her vegetable fried rice for dinner tonight. Hahaha – silly mummy. #dreamteam

  12. October 4, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Ahhh the little love. A new found sense of knowing what she wants and when she wants to eat it? Touch wood, Little Button has always been a good eater. It’s only been in the threenager years that she’s been a touch picky with green things. Mr Button nipped that in the bud with the whole, if you want big brains, then you must eat your green stuff, chat. She now pinches my veggies. Thanks so much for co-hosting the #DreamTeam with me. xx

  13. October 4, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    Oh dear! They all have their battle-grounds, don’t they! We have the cheerios-one-at-a-time one too. I did really well checking the salt levels, etc, for my firstborn and made everything from scratch. My second baby just had to have whatever the rest of us were eating! C’est La Vie! #DreamTeam

  14. October 4, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    Ahhhhh, that all sounds so familiar. My toddler was mighty up until she turned 13 months. We did baby-led weaning and I was going around like the cat that got the cream because I thought I had nailed the whole business entirely – she was eating hummus, oatcakes, cucumber, broccoli, sweet potatoes, fish, you name it! Now she’s surviving on a diet of complex carbs and sugar. This month she eats only brioche rolls, toast and pasta. No parenting awards coming my way any time soon. Don’t tell the sugar police about the brioche. Or the jam I put on the toast earlier. #DreamTeam

  15. October 4, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    I can definitely relate to this. My son was a fantastic eater, the healthier the better. Then he hit two and the fussiness began. He’s 7 now and it has improved but he also hates meat unless it’s in the from a certain Golden Arches chain! Or maybe I just think he’s better because compared to his two year sister he’s an angel. That girl will not eat anything. She used to love meat but hate all veg and fruit. Now she hates everything except bananas and fish fingers. They certainly keep us on our toes!

  16. October 4, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Haha yes we’re going through the same thing. Cheerios one by one and Edith is a puff monster. She could demolish a whole big packet if I let her. I’m holding out and still offering new foods as well as foods I know she will eat.

    Oh the joys of weaning!

  17. October 4, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    I was exactly the same with Amelia! I hated her having any sugary foods and drinks, she’s currently going through Annie of a fussy stage now #DreamTeam

  18. October 4, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    You are not alone Bridie! I have had exactly the same experience with Sam. I thought I was a weaning maestro… Then we experienced the switch. My mum keeps reassuring me that I was exactly the same and that I do now eat very almost anything (and if I get chance everything ) on the menu. #DreamTeam Xx

  19. October 4, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    No matter what you do, they always go their own way with food! We all try our best to feed them but they have their own ideas. My mantra is, “my job is to provide food, not to make them eat it”. 🙂 #EatSleepBlogRT

  20. October 4, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    Oh how I ccan relate to this….multiply it by two gremlins feeding off one another.

    My life.


  21. October 4, 2016 / 8:22 pm

    YES!! Meal times have become unbearably difficult as the youngest three just refuse to eat anything other than cereal or toast! We actually had toast for tea tonight as it just wasn’t worth the argument!! My eldest is a great eater but if he even THINKS he has spotted a mushroom sneaked into his meal, all hell breaks loose!! #DreamTeam

  22. October 4, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Oh dear! I have to admit, I did have a little giggle reading this. You poor thing, I know how stressful it can get when you just want your little ones to eat something. Just anything! We were really lucky that our little lady was a really good eater when she was weaning and well into her toddler years. But I’ve noticed the startings of a fussy eater over the last few weeks. Our little one has gone from eating everything and anything (almost) to being very discearning. Shes great with fruit and veg but not so keen on meat and will even refuse things that most children her age love like nuggets and pizzas! I dont understand it, but im hoping it passes as quickly as it started! Emily #DreamTeam

  23. October 4, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Do I have a fussy eater?! Hell yes! As horrible as this is for you, I’m feeling relief right now for not being the only one with this problem! Ethan has always been fussy. We’re almost at four now and he’s just started to try new things. Albeit very minimal and very slowly, but he’s doing it in his own time. He great with fruit and veg so I try not to complain too much. Although he probably should eat a little less chocolate! But on the days he refuses to eat anything else what can you blimmin’ do?! I’m trying not to worry as I don’t know any adults that have that much of a minimal diet – they WILL grow out of it. Positive thinking! #dreamteam

  24. October 4, 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Haha – I would actually fight Emma for the Organix sweetcorn rings. I’d draw blood for a packet of the carrot sticks. #noshame Thank you for linking to #Chucklemums!

  25. October 4, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Emma sounds exactly like Clem. If it has cheese in or on it she will eat it. She hates meat, so eats a lot of vegetables and fruit which I don’t mind. We are pretty lucky in that she will eat most of what we eat at dinner time, but it’s lunch time I really struggle with. She really doesn’t like bread so sandwiches etc are usually a no go. She doesn’t mind breadsticks or bagels so she eats a lot of those. Oh and crisps, she is a fiend for those! As long as she seems happy and healthy then I’m ok with it.x #dreamteam

  26. October 4, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Little B is a good eater, apart from when it comes to fruit. She’s only recently started eating raw apples and she’s 22 months! She’d always eat them pureed but never raw. Also, she was funny about bananas til a few months ago, which I always thought was quite unusual. She’ll eat them now, but she has to hold the whole thing with the skin on. She hates the texture of strawberries and cut grapes – not so much in her mouth but on her hands. She’s a bit of a fuss pot but I’m hoping that one day she’ll get over it! #chucklemums

  27. October 5, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I had an awful time weaning my daughter. She flat out refused to eat any form of baby food and lived off yogurt and cheese sandwiches until she was two. Some days she still does but we very much go by the mantra – she eats what we eat. I don’t make her special meals, we cook what we want to eat and if she doesn’t want it she doesn’t get an alternative. We don’t make a big deal of it, we just remove the plate and carry on. Her eating is so much better now although I still wouldn’t say she was a ‘good’ eater. Now she’s older the bribery of dessert works more so sometime we do that if she’s refusing to eat something we know she likes. So basically my advice is just wait it out, if she is still healthy and happy then try not to sweat it. #dreamteam

  28. October 5, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    Ha made me giggle. I don’t have fussy eaters but I totally get your point on no longer being militant and anything goes. If it’s quick and easy that’s what i make in this house….with cheese, why do all children obsess over cheese! My three year old asked for a babybel As soon as he woke up this morning! Good luck #dreamteam X

  29. October 5, 2016 / 8:18 pm

    I started weaning to my son couple weeks ago I hope he will be good eater. He looks like he could eat even a cow:D He is eating everything

  30. October 5, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    My youngest has always been a great eater – he’ll eat pretty much anything. My eldest was good at eating until he was about a year old, at which point he decided that he wouldn’t eat any fruit, vegetable or meat. This lasted until about his 4th birthday. He has gradually been getting better since then. Hang in there and don’t get lured into making multiple meals!

  31. October 6, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    Haha, this made me laugh a lot. I used to be really careful with food too. I made everything myself and used organic vegetables where possible … now my daughter eyes everything new with suspicion. I think if you’re going to have a fussy eater you’re going to have a fussy eater no matter how hard you try! #dreamteam

  32. October 6, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I’m just weaning Little P at the moment and it’s a minefield! I seemed to have so much more time with number 1. I mean, how many carrots do you seriously have to steam to make even 4 ice cube sized blocks of it for the freezer? Argh. Thanks for sharing the fuss-pain… #DreamTeam

  33. October 6, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    My eldest likes to take the topping off the toast too. I let her run to the fridge then try and guess what it is she wants. #dreamteam

  34. October 7, 2016 / 1:41 pm

    Oh bless you – kids are so annoying when it comes for food. One day Alyssa likes something and the next day you’d think the same thing was poison!! It’s madness!!

  35. October 7, 2016 / 5:32 pm

    I had one who ate anything and everything and another who ate next to nothing and requires me to have the patience of a saint every mealtime! Now, the one who ate everything has become fussy and the selective, skinny bag of bones is a chunky chap who will eat almost everything. You can’t win with children!

  36. October 7, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    I feel for you I really do. It has to be a phase! All you can do is keep offering good stuff in attempt she will eat it. Good luck X #tribalovr

  37. October 7, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    I have identical twins and they don’t always like the same food, despite being parented in exactly the same way. So I can reassure you that personality has a lot to do with it! My 6yo is totally unpredictable on it and will be all excited about eating things like clams or BBQ brisket but you give her a plain piece of chicken and she’ll flat out refuse it. Good luck! #TribalLove

  38. October 8, 2016 / 11:56 am

    It always starts so well and you’re all smug and then they become toddlers. Big one now tells me everything is yucky. Little one still wolfs down veg with gusto but he doesn’t like potato waffles. Weirdo. chucklemums

  39. October 10, 2016 / 7:12 am

    It’s great when they develop a bit more independence and start to know their own mind in some ways, just not in others like eating! I’m sure it’s a phase they all go through. Hopefully she will come through the other side some time soon x

  40. October 10, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Ooo we’ve been here too. Monkey went from eating a huge variety of food which we had cultured and were rather proud of to just eating plain pasta. He didn’t even want chips! Thankfully the phase was short and he was back to eating blue cheese and olives. I’m sure you are experiencing the same. Bless them they like to push your buttons don’t they! Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam

  41. October 11, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Oh bless you, this must be so hard. On the whole Baby Lighty is pretty good, but occasionally he’ll also insist that food has to be covered in cheese, and he now shuns bang crisps and will only eat proper adult ones!! I’m sure that’s not good parenting!! Coming to you today from last week’s #dreamteam as I am completely rubbish and forgot to do my reading, sorry!!!

  42. December 5, 2016 / 7:42 am

    Oh Bridie, I’m so glad it’s not just me. Piglet is the same. He will not eat ANYTHING unless it’s breadsticks or chocolate. At nursery, strangely, it’s a different story.

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