What should I have done?

(13 Posts)
TeaCuresEverything Tue 23-Apr-13 20:43:55

I have 1 child, a ds who is 2.8yo. We had a bit of a showdown this evening and I was just wondering what someone else may have done in the situation.

ds is a very poor eater. He eats an ok breakfast, a small lunch, and I rarely get him to eat any dinner at all. It worries me horribly but I know I cant force him to eat. Tonight I made sweet potato and sausages and a handful of cherry tomatoes for dinner, all foods I know he will occasionally eat.

He ate 2 toms and a piece of sausage and announced he was done. He got up, left the table and went to play with his train set.

I told him he couldnt play with his train set unless he ate a bit more dinner. He refused, so I took the train set away. Cue hysterics. He then asked for a yogurt, which we have as dessert sometimes. I told him that he couldnt have a yogurt as he hadnt eaten his dinner.

I hate making him sad. I really struggle with this part of parenting. What should I have done here?

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Apr-13 21:58:37

Poor you. Our dd has had periods of extreme fussiness so you have my sympathies, I know how tough it can be and how you can beat yourself up along the way.

This book was recommended to me by so many people but was out of print when we needed it. Might be worth seeing if your library has it though smile

After struggling for quite a bit, I asked for help here and its really helped. Here's what we do.

We all eat together (well those that are home)
Her portion sizes have been cut right down
We just serve the food, there's no favourites, she gets what we eat.
We ignore any comments on the food and refuse to get drawn, I'm not eating this for instance meets with uh-h.
We don't ask her to eat but she has to sit at the table with us (as does everyone)
If she's not eating when we've finished we just clear away.
If we're having pudding she gets a little too, but again small portions
She gets nothing else though, which can be hard but she just sort of accepted it after a short while and started eating more,

One thing that might help you is keeping a food diary as children often eat more sone days than others, its just part of what they do smile

Think it was fine to refuse his yogurt and it is hard when they don't like what you are saying but they do have to learn boundaries. Next time I wouldn't cajool or punish, just ignore the unbeaten food and when he asks for a yogurt just ask him to come back to the table to finish his tea.

Another thing tat might help is making his main meal at lunchtime, they can be very tired at teatime, which doesn't always help.

CautionaryWhale Tue 23-Apr-13 22:27:34

I would have eaten his dinner and given him the yoghurt but I like sausages

Wish i could afford one of those train track bespoke tables though ridiculously expensive but so cool then the train could carry his sausages and potato to my open mouth bit yukky to clean though wink

CautionaryWhale Tue 23-Apr-13 22:31:24
Spero Tue 23-Apr-13 22:35:00

I think you offer the food, set a short time where you expect him to sit and try to eat it, and if he doesn't, he doesn't, try not to stress it.

My daughter was always very picky and seemed to go through a cycle where she didn't eat much for two days then quite a lot on the third.

It is sad and stressful as providing food is one of the obvious ways you can show what a great loving mum you are... so when you are scraping the latest uneaten Annabel Karmel into the bin it is downheartening.

But if meal times become a source of stress and unhappiness for both of you, then you both lose.

As long as you are providing him with good stuff at regular intervals, the rest is up to him. If he won't eat, I would try not to sweat it. But obviously don't give in to later cries for crisps or sweets etc. He eats when its on the table or he waits for the next meal.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Apr-13 22:38:07

My DS would have loved that a few years ago -but would never have got one at that price!--

CautionaryWhale Tue 23-Apr-13 22:47:28

I want one now envy but could never justify the outlay...
He does bespoke solo tables but even then 400 quid yikes
Wonder how many customers he has?
Love that it is reversible.
Need to buy a lottery ticket smile

www.tracktiletables.co.uk/

CautionaryWhale Tue 23-Apr-13 22:50:20

Am going to put my kid'S IKEA train in the middle of of our table tomorrow
with some after eights in and see what she does! wink

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Apr-13 22:56:16

Stop posting bloody links! Need a lottery ticket too or at least a big tube of glue and the track.

steppemum Tue 23-Apr-13 22:57:18

well, you really cannot force a child to eat and food battles tend to get ingrained and everyone digs their heels in.

I would be with Jilted

sit down together to eat.
everyone stays at the table til meal is finished
Once meal finished you can get down. Clear away uneaten food, no fussing.

I think they often want to go off and play, but if staying at the table is the norm, then they will stay and talk or even eat!

I know it is really hard to not worry, but they can survive on a remarkably small amount.

My ds is a good eater, but he eats breakfast and dinner. he rarely eats much lunch (and then gets bad tempered when hungry * sigh *) If he is hungry in the morning, encourage him to eat then

TeaCuresEverything Sun 28-Apr-13 22:15:21

thanks so much all, advice duly noted! I am going to try out all of your ideas grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 29-Apr-13 10:39:12

Good luck tea, let us know how you get on smile

CabbageHead Tue 30-Apr-13 05:53:49

I encouraged my nieces and nephews to eat when they were being fussy by playing imaginary food stuff, for example making broccoli into trees and then saying, what bird is in that tree tonight, etc etc, or making faces out of fruit pieces so they could eat the smile first, eyes next etc, u know, grapes for eyes, apple pieces for the smile.. Mashed Potatoes are clouds, what's hiding in that cloud, etc..

My nephew is now 5 and still tells his mum and dad which birds are flying out of his 'trees'! That way the rest of the family can join in making food fun rather than a chore.

U can also buy plastic plates with a bald face printed on it then you just add the food to make hair, beard etc.. because we all have so much time to make our food pretty I saw them in a special needs shop, thought they were awesome idea.

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