My daughter just turned 16 months, she's breastfed on demand, without restrictions. (We had thought about night weaning but have paused that effort for now). She has been a fairly great eater until the last 1.5 weeks or so... she ate veggies, fruit, cheese, meats, yogurt... LOVED to eat. But lately, I'll put the same types and varieties of food on her tray (or sit with her at her kid size table) and she won't touch much of anything. Except the occasional carbs we put down. For example, last night was spaghetti and meatballs plus mixed veggies. Typically she would devour 3-4 meatballs and the veggies, leaving the pasta noodles. Last night was the opposite. All noodles gone, nothing else touched other than to hand it me because she didn't want to eat it. I don't feel like I'm doing anything different, I've even tried to without nursing until after breakfast to see if that makes a difference, and at least right now, it doesn't. Tried mixing up what type of meats or fruits/veggies we offer. Essentially, if we offer a carb (cherrios, pasta, rice cake, ect) she's been eating it. Anythign else is very hit or miss. Even the "she always eats this" stuff like strawberries and yogurt are being refused. We've experienced a day or two food strike before when she's getting a tooth, but nothing this long and I don't see any teeth.
My question is, has anyone else experienced this? Have any tips? Common/normal with her being 16 months/becoming more opinionated or would you be concerned? Should we just give her the carbs? Normally if she wanted to gorge on a fruit, veggie, meat we would let her, but I am hesitant to do that with carbs. (I dunno why... is that silly of me?) My gut tells me that this eating strike/change is somewhat normal, but wanted to ask/read up just in case it's not a passing phase and see if anyone has experience with it. Very thankful to still be breastfeeding because in the meantime I know she's getting SOME nutrition. Planning on picking up some toddler vitamins during my grocery run tomorrow. She does also drink water in typical fashion.
I do find she likes to share my food with me, that might be a trick to try.
ETA: I also only insist on one formal, high chair meal a day: dinner. We usually have breakfast and lunch camping out on the floor or hanging out on the sofa. Often I hang out and she runs around but I think it helps make eating a little more easygoing and less of a struggle.
My 12mo was starting to refuse certain things etc and while reading around a little I came across a really helpful (and reassuring) perspective on the Zero To Three website (US early childhood research org): parents and toddlers have different roles for toddler mealtimes! Our job is to provide several healthy choices, their job is to pick and eat what they want. Also, keep offering new foods or things they reject along with things they've eaten recently (since it can change fast and you want probably to make sure they don't eat the same thing every day for 6 months). So simple! It helped me relax a little, anyway.
And btw breastfeeding mamas have even less to worry about - it's not just "some" nutrition, it's still a complete nutritional base and there's no way you have to worry about vitamins if she's nursing on demand. This should also apply (just less perfectly) to toddler formula or any kind of enriched toddler milk too if that's available in your area, but I would be less confident following the standard US dairy indrustry/lobby advice on giving less nutritious and less digestible cow's milk from age 1 to replace whatever they had before (ok, that's another story). The main point anyway is offer healthy choices, let them choose, don't stress. Hope this helps!
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