3 yo DS will NOT eat hardly anything.

(11 Posts)
TheCunkOfPhilomena Thu 27-Mar-14 16:33:32

I am beginning to wonder if this really is just a phase as it's being going on for such a long time, way over a year.

DS is 3.2 and attends nursery 3 mornings a week. He is given a hot lunch there and the food is fantastic. It is all prepared freshly on the premises and it is always a good standard.

DS has not eaten lunch there once. He has been going since last September and has only had tiny tastes of the bread bits. He is extremely fussy with food in general and hates trying new things. He would happily live on pasta pesto, cheese, rice cakes, chips, crumpets, chocolate and strawberry yoghurt.

At the moment he gets a treat (a small chocolate) if he tries a new food and I do not give him lunch at home on nursery days so he is really hungry by dinner time but still, he will not eat! I give him a snack of apple crisps or a couple of marmite rice cakes when we get home but that's it.

I do not change the evening meal for him (for example this evening we are having quiche, boiled potatoes, carrots and peas) but do make sure we have pasta pesto once a week.

He is growing okay and is bright and has lots of energy so I'm not sure if I need to worry or not.

Anyone else had similar experiences and what tips can you give me please?

He will happily help me make dinner, I've tried making things into a game, made faces/ scenes with food but all to no avail <pulls out hair>

TallyGrenshall Thu 27-Mar-14 16:43:35

DS is 5 and is just now starting to come out of his shell food wise. He always liked helping to cook, bake etc (he would even sit for ages reading cookbooks) but generally wouldn't eat anything out of his comfort zone.

I offer everything and don't make a fuss if he refuses. If he tries something new I will praise him, whether he likes it or not. It's all about the trying

Goldmandra Thu 27-Mar-14 18:04:34

If he's a healthy weight you don't need to worry.

Are you aware of the message you're giving him about trying new foods? By rewarding him you are reinforcing his view that it is an unpleasant task.

Eating should be a pleasurable activity driven by meeting his own appetite so keep making sure he's really ready for meals but don't express opinions about or reward what he eats.

As he gets older he will naturally begin to extend his diet again.

MacademiaNut Thu 27-Mar-14 18:33:45

My DD 3.6yrs is also a terrible eater. She had bad constipation which caused a poor appetite. This helped resolve a LOT. The consultant told me that it's extremely common with kids that age and it's largely due to lack of liquids rather than not enough fruit and fibre.

Other things I do are put plates of food out for everyone to help themselves, and she helps with the grocery shop. She eats well at nursery (a packed lunch). Is he generally happy at nursery? I never ate at school for about a year but it was because I was scared of other kids in the playground and realised if I didn't finish my dinner I wouldn't have to go outside.

MacademiaNut Thu 27-Mar-14 18:34:19

My DD 3.6yrs is also a terrible eater. She had bad constipation which caused a poor appetite. This helped resolve a LOT. The consultant told me that it's extremely common with kids that age and it's largely due to lack of liquids rather than not enough fruit and fibre.

Other things I do are put plates of food out for everyone to help themselves, and she helps with the grocery shop. She eats well at nursery (a packed lunch). Is he generally happy at nursery? I never ate at school for about a year but it was because I was scared of other kids in the playground and realised if I didn't finish my dinner I wouldn't have to go outside.

TheCunkOfPhilomena Thu 27-Mar-14 18:55:27

That is a very good point about the reward thing Goldmandra, I hadn't considered it like that before. I guess it's the 'trying' that I'm trying to encourage.

This evening he put a pea in his mouth and spat it out saying it was horrible. He will eat peas sometimes confused

So as not to drip feed- he does have a bowel condition that makes him constipated (he's having a biopsy next week about it) but I know when he is full and when he's really hungry. He is just so stubborn like his mother. I make sure he drinks enough and 90% of his fluid intake is water ( just diluted juice with breakfast and milk after it). He has to have a lot of laxatives (senna, movicol and sodium picosulphate) but I don't think this is the issue. He's had the bowel condition since he was about 7 months old and used to eat EVERYTHING!

I really really don't make a fuss about food, I serve it up and leave it with him. He knows we talk at the table and not to get down until everyone (I'm a LP so it's mainly just me and him!) has finished and he loves chatting etc.

Really hope it is just one of those things that he'll grow out of, I know I'm probably just extra worried because I want to get fresh fruit into him for his bowels.... gah!

Goldmandra Thu 27-Mar-14 21:00:53

It must be very hard. It's difficult enough to keep the pressure off when your child doesn't have these issues. Credit to you for being able to serve it up and leave him to it smile

janey223 Fri 28-Mar-14 00:47:48

I think the bowel issue could be contributing to it if it's making his stomach sore/uncomfortable. DS has gastro issues and although when he was a baby he would eat anything under the sun, he was suffering badly with reactions. Now when gastro is good he eats well but if anything slips up (he has allergies and other foods that flare reflux) he refuses the majority of food, while his stomach is upset and for weeks after.

Hopefully after the biopsy you can solve that issue and he'll eat better x

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 28-Mar-14 01:09:58

My ds at the same age would only eat marmite on toast and breakfast cereal.

Advised by HV not to make a fuss, give vitamin drops, and try to get him to drink some milkshake or another that I can't remember the name of.

Fussy eating continued till he started school - he is now a very healthy tall five year old but has packed lunches rather than school meals, as he refused to eat them.

I know its a huge worry but persevere, just don't show him you're worried or that it upsets you x

Nataleejah Fri 28-Mar-14 13:17:49

Unless its negatively affecting his health, you shouldn't worry too much. Just keep on trying new things. He should grow out of it.
My DS2 is exactly like that -- fusspot on the extreme. I can't blame anybody except my own genes -- i was exactly the same as a child -- i didn't know what the word "hungry" means. Food could not exist for me at all, and i wouldn't have missed it. So my DS2 is exactly the same. What he eats is only -- fish fingers, instant noodles, fried potatoes... That's it. Otherwise he's arguing, crying, playing, pretending sick...
Its really frustrating, even though its just a phase

Viviennemary Fri 28-Mar-14 13:19:59

My DS was really fussy when he was small. I just got fed up with it in the end and gave him what he would eat. I can't see the point of stressing over it all. Unless there is some medical issues.

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