My little girl is 18 months and has never shown much interest in food. She is a very fussy eater and won't let me spoon feed her anything so I am forever trying different finger foods. She goes through days where she hardly eats anything. Most of the time she won't even open her mouth to try the food and other times she takes it and spits it back out. How can I encourage her to eat? Any advice on getting her to eat would be greatly appreciated as this worries me so much.

7 Replies
 profile icon
Write a reply

Apart from involving your child as what many have suggested, you can also consider this suggestion that I have. But, it may sound a little extreme so it is really for your consideration. My suggestion is that you can try stipulating fixed meal times whereby you will sit down and eat with her. Once the time is up, the food will be taken away. I’m suggesting this because from what I’ve read and heard from my friends, children will not let themselves go hungry for prolonged period. Hence, when they are hungry and cannot get their way, they will resort to eating what was given. Sounds very harsh but this would be beneficial in the long run. And having you eat with her at meal time may help encourage her to be more interested in her food. During the meal, get her to feed herself just like what you are doing (children also love modelling their parents). Tell a story and make the session fun and engaging. You can also share with her fact about the food, e.g., carrots have lots of vitamin A and are good for your eyes! See, mummy is eating her carrots so that she can see things well! If you are worried that your little girl would starve, offer milk in between (but not too close to meal times) or offer a tea break of sandwiches (again, with you sitting down and eating with her) and see if she is interested. It would definitely be tough at the start as all children are resistant to changes to their routine and habits. So be clear that this will be a new rule that you are implementing (can say that this month is “eat with mummy month”,, quite apt since Mother’s Day is coming up). Just a suggestion. Good luck!

Read more