Sorry Toddler Adams, you’re not a fussy eater after all

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fussy eater, fussy eating, toddler
Getting Toddler Adams eating again was a bit like this… (pic credit below)

A few weeks ago I wrote this blog post about Toddler Adams and the challenges I was having getting her to eat. As the post proved quite popular, I thought I’d write an update.

Essentially the problem has been solved. Although I had tried a number of different approaches to get her to eat the solution was very simple; I simply moved the time of her evening meal.

To be honest this was one of those scenarios where the solution was staring me in the face. It was so obvious that I just didn’t see it.

I’d tried a few different things; allowing her to choose her own foods, not letting her leave the table until she’d finished, giving her the same food as she had at nursery etc. None of these approaches worked.

Over time I noticed a pattern that both my kids were following. After picking up my eldest at the end of the school day we’d come home and the kids would get a snack. They’d eat a main meal at half five, a meal that Toddler Adams would barely touch.

I was a bit slow to appreciate my mistake, but I was essentially allowing the kids to graze between home time and dinner time. They’ve never had access to anything particularly unhealthy, it was generally fruit, breadsticks or maybe brown toast. By the time their main meal was served, Toddler Adams was full and didn’t want anything else.

Realising what I was doing wrong, I cut out the snack and brought their evening meal forward an hour to about four thirty. The results were instant; Toddler Adams started eating properly again. I can’t explain why, but this has also had an impact on breakfast and lunch, both of which could also prove challenging.

I haven’t had to change Toddler Adams’ diet. She still gets the same food and, crucially, gets the same meal as her big sister so, thankfully, I’m not having to cook them different items.

I now have to live with the guilt that I labelled her a fussy eater when actually it was all my fault. Sorry Toddler Adams, it wasn’t my finest hour but I hope you’ll agree things have improved greatly.

Have you had a similar experience with your offspring? Have you found yourself dealing with a huge problem only for the answer to have been blindingly obvious from the start? Please leave a comment below, I’d be fascinated to hear more.


Pic credit; Skeeze. Sourced from Pixabay.com. reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.


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19 thoughts on “Sorry Toddler Adams, you’re not a fussy eater after all”

  1. This is really interesting, to know that something such as changing a meal time can have such a bit impact. Boo is getting fussy, and I think she is still relying a bit too much on milk which is why she isn’t eating as much as I feel like she should. But at 16 months I am happy for her to carry on breastfeeding as and when she asks for now and we will see how we go. I am going to store this information about changing meal times as I think it might be useful in the future.

  2. I think we often make this mistake in our house too (although we don’t really have what you’d call a dinner routine due to the odd hours both I and Zoe work), snack after school then lack of dinner eating, yet at weekends there isn’t the same issue (probably because we are all there and just eat earlier).

  3. I think we’ve all been guilty of this! Sometimes removing something can make the difference.
    Am pleased though that toddler Adams is eating again! 🙂

  4. you mean you have not read the manual that came with your daughter?????
    Dont beat yourself up about it, but glad you have found a solution.
    Grazing seems to be a modern idea, my grandkids do it, 20 small things a day but no proper what I would call a meal, even the 9 yr old still grazes ( except when he is here and eats a huge big hearty meal at what I call meal times) as he is home educated so not an problem

    1. Ah yes, reception age kids are hungry aren’t they? I remember Helen coming out of school and being ina foul mood if I forgot to being her a snack to eat.

  5. That’s very interesting! And good news that TA isn’t fussy. I find the opposite with my kids – they tend to eat better if we eat later, but it’s essentially the same principle – they eat when they’re hungry! Sadly they’re still fussy, though!

  6. Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    LOL! This is so great. I am sure that something similar happened when the kids were young, cause I was a bit clueless, but you figured it out, I doubt that I did!!! Go Dad!

  7. Well done for working it out, John. We had a similar experience with Isaac’s naps. At one stage – I’m a little fuzzy on the timing but I think it must have been coming up to 2 – we were trying to encourage him not to wake up so early in the morning (he was waking up pretty much bang on 4am every day). So we tried to put him to bed half an hour later to see if that would help push his waking up time back. It didn’t. It got worse. It took us a while to realise that we were just making him over-tired which meant he was sleeping less well. Finally we did the opposite – by putting him to bed 30 minutes earlier, he suddenly started sleeping consistently through to 5am. Still ridiculously early but a distinct improvement!

    1. It’s amazing isn’t it Tim; you have to take a step back and think about what your child’s behaviour is telling you. When you’ve figured it out…bingo! Thanks for commenting.

  8. I find if I do tea too late my son won’t eat it at all. He’s just too tired. So 4:30 is the perfect time for him and then a little snack just before bed if he’s hungry (rarely). Funny how it’s the little things that really matter!

  9. You make it sound so simple, but in fact trying to figure out children and their qualms is far from simple. I’m like you, I don’t encourage any snacks once we collect at school apart from drinks but it’s been increasingly hard these last few weeks as they’re coming out of school with some kind of sweet treat because they’ve done a performance/leaving/good SATs etc. But then it is a bit of a canter for me to have dinner ready by 5pm which is the optimum time for Little Mister. Any later and he begins to get too tired then it’s difficult to get food into him…. have you encountered that problem yet?! I fear that when Mister starts reception he’ll want to eat even earlier however his sister seems to be able to slow release her food over a much longer period of time – she is rarely hungry!

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