Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Nickola | 2012/03/28


Fussy toddler

Hi doc

My usually good eater has become a very fussy toddler, and I''m very worried that she''s not getting enough of the " good stuff"  in. She eats her breakfast (jungle oats / weetbix) and her lunch (sarmie, fruit, yoghurt) like a champ, but dinner time has become a battle! She refuses to eat veggies (even though she used to love them), she picks out any I try to hide in her food, and sometimes refuses to touch the rest of her food if she see''s any. She''ll eat pasta, chicken, sausage etc... but not veggies... I''m at my wits end! She does take a multi vit (Scotts Emulsion and Jungle Vits), and she still has a 200ml formula bottle at bedtime. Am I over reacting? Thanks!

Expert's Reply



It would help to know your little girl's weight. It is very common for children to eat less between the ages of one and two years and many young children do not like eating vegetables. As long as your daughter is active and well and is growing normally there is no need for concern. She will eat what she needs.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012/03/30

Its only a pleasure. My baby is on the 15th percentile so I know just how you feel. I had a similar experience with an awful peadiatrician, I also changed after 6 weeks and have continued breastfeeding.

I have found my best help from other mothers who have been through similar things, and also, from having a supportive peadiatrician who doesn''t think that when I have a breastfeeding problem that I want to put my child on the bottle - rather that I want help with resolving hte breastfeeding problem.

Well done for persevering in your beliefs :)

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Nickola | 2012/03/29

Thanks so much for your reply Purple! She''s always been on the 5th percentile, and her doc isn''t concerned with her weight. The first paed I took her to (for her 6 week check up), told me to put her on formula because " you obviously arent a very good cow" . I switched paeds and carried on breastfeeding for a year - at the advice and encouragement of our new and fantastic new paed.

Ok, so I''m not going to stress if she doesn''t want to eat her veggies, as long as she''s eating other, healthy food. It''s always so reassuring getting advice from other moms (and our paed, of course!).

Thanks so much

Reply to Nickola
Posted by: Purple | 2012/03/29

Probably best not to force the issue as you have rightly pointed out, it will just make things stressful. Just continue offering her the healthy food that you do, and don''t comment if she does or doesn''t eat it, just have it on offer. So long as she isn''t eating junk inbetween (which she isn''t from what you describe) she''ll get what she needs.

If she is following her weight curve then her weight is fine. Perhaps take her for a weigh with a reliable clinic sister (not one who can''t read a graph and thinks all babies should be on the 50th percentile - if that was the case - it would be called the 100th percentile - it is impossible for all babies to weigh the same!)

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Nickola | 2012/03/29

Hi doc - for whatever reason your comments only showed today? Sorry for seemingly ignoring you yesterday! She was 3.3kg''s at birth, but has always been a slow grower and tiny baby. She turned 2 in January, and has just hit 11kg''s. She has also just had a little growth spurt, and is quite tall. She still wears size 6 - 12 month pants, and 12 - 18 month shirts. She doesn''t LOOK too thin though - her ribs don''t stick out, and she''s got some " padding" . Hope that helps?

Reply to Nickola
Posted by: Nickola | 2012/03/28

Thanks Purple. She used to love carrot / cucumber sticks, baby tomatoes etc... but now spits them out and wont eat them. If I do manage to smuggle some into her dinner she spits them out... She does eat quite a bit of fruit (sticks to banana''s and apples at the moment). Do I force the issue (making dinner time even more stressful), or do I just go with the flow - giving her healthy dinner options, but not stressing if she leaves her veggies? I don''t offer things like chicken nuggets etc, and generally stay away from processed foods. She has what we''re having (pasta''s, stews, casseroles etc...)

PS: She''s just turned 2

Reply to Nickola
Posted by: Purple | 2012/03/28

This is quite common in children. Why not offer her some fruit with supper instead? Avo slices, peach slices, apple, bananana, grapes etc. She might prefer this.

I find that grating carrots into spaghetti bolognaise helps as they can''t see them. I have a friend who makes her own wholewheat pizzas for her child, and the base contains grated vegetables. When he''s being particularly fussy, he eats the pizzas with plain cheese on top and is none the wiser.

I have also found that lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower and carrot sticks and cucumber sticks or sugar peas were accepted by my toddler if he could dip them into hummus or plain yoghurt.

Reply to Purple

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