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Tearing my hair out over mindee's eating habits!(10 Posts)
I need some advice. I have a 5 year old mindee who isn't the greatest eater.
She eats very little of what i give her. After her first session, i learnt not to give her very big portions, so she gets a few tablespoonfuls of whatever the children are having. This still seems to be waaay to much for her and will only eat a few mouthfuls at the most (she's skinny, but not underweight. Her lunchbox always comes back empty from school and she eats a fairly good breakfast). She'll also ask what we're having for dinner and say 'ooooh i love that' and then turn her nose up at it when i give it to her. Or she'll eat something one week and then boak at it the next. I know this is what children do (my DS is the same to some extent) but i'm really struggling to find things that she wants to eat and it's driving me up the wall having to throw a really good meal away!
When her parents signed her up, they said there was nothing in particular that she didn't like. I gave them a sample menu too, and they said it was pretty much what they'd have at home, so i'm totally stuck.
Any tips for how i could approach this? I try to give the kids as much choice as possible, but it's very hard to do when not even my mindee knows what she likes! I should also mention, i'm a competent cook and get compliments for my food all the time (just in case any of you were wondering!).
Do you have any fail-safe meals that are a hit with your mindees? Preferably ones that are or can be adapted to be vegetarian.
If her lunch bag is empty then maybe she eats a big lunch and doesn't need as big a tea? My children are like that if they eat a big lunch then they would rather have a light dinner or eat later on.
Have you spoken to her parents? I had a similar situation with a 5 year old on my books. It turned out that she was going home and telling her parents she was starving and they were giving her biscuits. I had been telling them she wasn't eating with me but pick up is a bit hectic so I don't think they were taking much notice. When I told them how bad it was they stopped the biscuits and had a word with her and she now eats really well again.
I do feel your pain though with 5 or 6 kids here for dinner most evenings it's really hard finding something everyone likes.
I think you are doing what you can. You simply can't just cater for the one child. If the parents say she eats pretty much everything then there is nothing more you can do.
Keep giving her the same as everyone else but in small portions and letting the parents know (perhaps via a note or text if you are not sure the parents realise when you tell them).
If she still doesn't eat perhaps suggest just a snack for her after school and then she can eat with her family x
My DC is nearly 5 and has one good meal a day - she either has a massive breakfast, lunch or supper depending on what has happened in the day. The rest of the meals are small. She is very small for her age in height but as skinny as is healthy and normal for a child. She is just amazing at regulating her own appetite!
Do you give her a snack after school? If so it may be taking the edge off her appetite at tea time. I have to be careful not to give too much snack to my slim 5 year old dd or she'll pick at tea.
My mindees get offered what is on the menu and if they don't eat it then they don't eat it. I provide healthy, balanced meals, I let the parents know what was offered and if it was refused. I would make sure her parents know what she's eaten (or not) and leave it at that.
Could it be something as simple as the plate being too big, or not the sort she has at home?
I've known kids who, when away from home, need the security of their own cup, plate etc to feel comfortable enough to eat.
She might be really into what you're serving her but unable to get her head round the fact it's "dinner" because its not on the sort of plate she has a home?
Would it be worth a try to ask her if she'd like to bring a plate from home to eat off?
Have you tried getting her involved in preparing the meal. I have one mindee who can be fussy, but if she puts her own choice of toppings on her pizza or filling in her panini, she'll eat it all. Time consuming, but might help.
I dont give the children any choice at all beyond discussing at the start of each term (or when someone new joins us) what their likes and dislikes are! Sometimes if I haven't anything particular planned I ask them what they fancy for dinner the next day.
Other than that, I cook and they eat. I obviously make food they like but sometimes they don't like it or have gone off it for their own peculiar reasons. They all sit up to the table and no-one leaves until we are all finished. But if they dont eat they dont eat. I encourage but don't cajole. I do not make a fuss and I don't provide an alternative. We eat vegetarian about 3 times a week on average.
As a result I have 8 children sitting to dinner each night eating pretty much what I feed them. Even if they have been fussy when they joined us they have not stayed fussy for long (even if they still are at home) If I introduce new things, we have a discussion about whether I should make it again or not.
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