Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food strike!

Connor is on a food strike.

Not all food.... only meat and veggies-type food (and yes, also our beloved Annabel Karmel food!)

Of course this is highlighted because Kendra is a DREAM eater.

Except for her new trick, spitting. I let her do it once but then thought, "what the hell?! this is a BABY spitting food at ME" so stopped feeding her.

She's very clever and stopped that nonsense the minute I got up from my

Normally she opens her mouth WIDE like a little bird and eats everything. We have to show her the empty bowl so she can see the meal's over, otherwise she'll keep opening that little mouth. Very very cute

I swear she gets cuter by the day. Example....

"Kendra, what are you?"


"Good girl! And what's Connor?"


(of course, I time my questions for when she starts her talking :)

Anyway, our feeding schedule is currently:

8 am - veggies and chicken/ lentils/ minced beef

10 am - milk

12 am - fruit and yoghurt

2 pm - milk

4 pm - cereal - since the 8-month appt, I give one block of food here too

5:30 - 6 pm milk

Back to Connor.

He started whining more at mealtimes a few weeks ago... but still ate.

Now he won't even open that mouth for the first mouthful!

This is what I've tried:

  • I sing Wild Thing to him, which he loves, so he laughs and when he opens his mouth, I quickly pop a mouthful in. Just thought of something - maybe it's my SINGING he's laughing at. I know David (my friend, Nat's son) laughs at her when she prays :)
  • not giving him any milk for HOURS before the meal just in case he wasn't properly hungry - not the answer because he does the same thing even if his last feed in the night was at 3am
  • giving him whatever he doesn't finish (in the beginning, usually just a teaspoon's worth) mixed into his cereal - worked for about 3 days and then he realised what was happening so is now wise to my tricks

It all came to a head on Thursday afternoon.

They'd been out late for a walk so the mealtimes were running late and into the time V leaves (5 pm) so I said I'd feed Connor so she could get going (she's very committed and likes to do all the things on her list before even thinking of leaving).

Well, BIG MESS. He fought me like crazy - his entire face, hands, legs and feet were FULL of food so I literally took him straight to the bathroom and gave him his second bath within hours.

Next day I decided not to mess with V and her way of doing things and she fed him. Much better - still a bit of whining but very bad as with me.

Then on the weekend, he just flat out refused everything. Annabel Karmel food, plain veggies, sweet potato, even CEREAL, our go-to food. He thought the cereal had food in it.

I always SAID (all those things you say you'll never do when you're a mother) I'll never make a big issue about food but I know that no eating means no sleeping and frankly, I'm old and I need my sleep.

I even found myself saying things like, "do you KNOW how I slaved over a hot stove cooking this for you?" - it's true, my kitchen is blazing hot in the afternoons :) I cringe writing that but I'm committed to keeping it real.

Eventually I thought let's just try some banana and yoghurt, thinking he'd also spit it out so I didn't even bother with a bib.


On Sunday he deigned to eat a few baby spoons' worth of food (not even teaspoons) and was properly back on his cereal - I tried no funny business initially but later sneaked in some cream cheese.

On Monday morning when V arrived I was stern with her.

"V, have you been telling me the truth about Connor's eating? Because he refused EVERYTHING with us this weekend."

She laughed and said he does whine at the start but he will eat with her. I've said before that she has ENDLESS patience with them.

Still, I'm not happy that he doesn't want to open his mouth and eat properly because HE USED TO eat nicely. If he'd always had eating problems I wouldn't mind this so much.

Yesterday, we did mostly veg...2 veg cubes and 1 with protein. Still a bit of whining.

So we've gone back to basics today.

3 butternut cubes with a teaspoon of cream cheese. He whined but not too much. V tells me she thinks he was only eating FOR the cream cheese. This boy is going to drive me nuts.

He will have butternut for 3 days and then we'll switch to sweet potato and carrots like in the early days but keep trying my Annabel Karmel meals since my freezer is FULL of them. I think I got addicted to the food ice cubes and went a bit wild.

Right, over to you. (I keep thinking, the nurse said they need two protein meals a day and he REFUSES)


(a funny thing just occurred to me - Nat told me David just SEES her approaching with the butternut and starts crying :) Typical South African male [meat, no veggies] as I've seen him happily eating biltong. I wonder if it's still the same - must check)


  1. Connor and Daisy have a conspiracy in progess! She's doing the SAME thing. It's ridiculous. I know she likes food. But right now she likes banana, custard and yoghurt. Basically nothing that I've lovingly made her. I don't get it. But she's wanting a top of about 300ml before bed which makes her mama a little grumpy.

    Nice mess :)

  2. my sister has a saying that 'food under one, is just for fun'. So I try to just make sure they are eating enough calories (whether milk or solids) and get them used to the idea that solids are not too scary. I do get mad when they don't like what I cook, though!!!

    But we're not dealing with the same sleep issues you are, which makes my perspective a little different. (Incidentally - my babies don't have any protein after about 11.30 in the morning, and they have no problem with night sleeping. Not saying this is what everyone should do - at ALL - but I just don't think the links between what they eat and how they sleep are as iron clad as some people would have us believe...)

  3. Claudia, Mommy Esq will chime in, I'm sure - she keeps telling me "sleep is a brain function, not a feeding function" LOL

    Saffy, thank God it;s not only us. Daisy and Connor are very similar in other ways too.

    But what to do? What to do?

  4. Tommy was always my good eater, but right now, he's not in the mood for food. I think it's his teeth. He's finally cutting teeth. Poor kid

  5. Hee, you stole my line (sleep is a brain function)! I promise you it's true! So you know we had a really, really bad eater (Penny) who didn't start eating until she was about a year old. The key was to stop forcing the issue. We did modify the solid/bottle schedule some - she got a bottle before her solids so we knew she was getting calories. However, when NED was starting to be a fussy eater we did the opposite - no bottle before meals - he didn't have the same calorie issues. The key was to figure out the lowest stress method of dealing with it (it's so much worse now but I don't want to scare you!). In parenting in general I try to figure out ways to minimize the stress and judgment I put on myself and realize that my kids are people and I can't control them, just try to guide them.

    Once he started finger foods (and you can do puffs as early as 6 months). Until they are 9 months old food is more of an activity, and then we got down to business with introducing finger/table food (which honestly was one of the hardest transitions as you can read on my blog).

    What time do they wake up in AM? I would think you'd do a bottle around 6/6:30 am right now, then the solids at 8:30 as you have indicated. Here's our schedule from when they were a year old but it was pretty much the same at 7 months, Ned just did bottles with Penny (instead of sippy cup).

    Here is their schedule at 5 months old:

    Good luck!

  6. Is he still on breastmilk or formula? Because food is just kinda a game until after they're a year. In fact, my now 7 yr old wouldn't eat anything but breastmilk until she was about 18 months old!

  7. My advice, for what it's worth, is just to feed him what he will eat right now and try not to stress too much about what he SHOULD be eating. My girls (at different times) have gone through phases where it seemed like they weren't eating ANYTHING they used to like, and each meal was full of hand-waving, screaming, and pushing away the food. Some of it may have been related to teething, or just a picky phase...but they eventually got over it and are eating well right now. I knew I could always count on yogurt and puffs, so some days that's all they ate! : )

  8. It is normal!!! Babies will protest food for multiple reasons. Teething, starting to get sick, just not in the mood to eat. I would say let him eat what he will for the next couple of days (less stress for both of you) and if it continues, talk to his doctor to make sure nothing is going on.

  9. M, please teach me how to get email notifications of your new posts? I don't see that option under "subscribe to" posts button.
    All I can say is 'oh heck' I feel for you. In those first few weeks when David shunned the nutterbut - I went nutty! And it was only for a few times. He's not mad on some meals (mashed potato/cheese/gem squash) Yes weird combo, but it happened to be left overs from one of our dinners. And that stresses me when he doesn't finish the whole bowl. But I like what one of the comments above said about making less pressure and kind of giving into them... what a lesson for me I tell you! Keep us posted with what happens. Tee Hee, I like your tricks - singing Wild thing, and sneaking in a mouthful, I do the same but I don't sing! LOL!


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