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Mum

I’m really struggling with my 16 month old. He was doing great with baby-led weaning and purées. Then his molars came and took ages and he wouldn’t eat solid food at all. Now he will eat snacks on the go but put him in a high chair or at the table and he won’t eat.

Sometimes you can spoon feed a purée and sometimes he will eat little bits of cucumber but I’m wasting so much food when I keep trying and feel like I’m getting nowhere. I dread mealtimes.

Really sorry to hear that you dread mealtimes at the minute. That’s not the feeling you want, I’m sure.

It sounds like these molars have made things tricky - which is super common - and you’re wanting to get back on track to enjoy mealtimes again.

Because you’ve said he eats on the go happily but isn’t happy at the highchair, it does sound like there’s some barrier at the minute to sitting at the table, more so than eating.

I’d be thinking about how you can make being at the table feel more relaxed and enjoyable for both of you. Rather than the end goal being him eating X amount of food, instead make it about spending a few minutes sitting happily. That might mean doing something a bit different, serving food in a different way, having some background music, talking about things that you’ve done in the day - basically take the emphasis off food itself.

Toddlers have to be feeling well, relaxed, alert, not distracted and in control in order to eat - otherwise it becomes a battle, and they start to pick up on your frustration.

Katie, Tinto Expert