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Is anyone up for a parents of fussy eaters support thread?

(157 Posts)
DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 11:26:16

My three year old is very picky. I've made a promise to myself not to get too worried about it just yet because I was exactly the same and now I'll eat pretty much anything.

But it just gets so boring! If I do a roast I'm lucky if she picks at the chicken and I have to make sure I do brocolli or cauliflower (the only cooked vegetables she'll eat) and keep out raw carrots for her. There's pretty much no meal that I would want to cook for myself that I know she will eat too.

I'm not going to push it with her because I just don't see the point. She's encouraged to try new things and we talk about it a lot. If she tries something I praise her but if she doesn't like it, fine. To me it's the willingness to try at this stage that's important.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who experiences this. Like I say, I'm not going to get hung up on it or try to find an instant magic solution, it would just be nice to know I'm not alone!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sat 04-Jan-14 11:36:26

I'd love to join you. I

have often started threads like this, only to be inundated with people telling me what great eaters their own DC are (obviously due to their amazing parenting and cooking skills, and their lifestyle which means they can always eat with their gourmet DC, all the time). I even went to the HV for support a few months ago and got the same from her - lists of what her DC eat, because she is such a great mother.

Okay, rant over!

Mine are 4 and 18 months. Both BLW an ate everything g as babies. Now both really fussy, yet demanding. I know exactly what you mean about the pickiness of what vegetables etc (although DS currently refuses all of them, and dd will entertain peas and lick broccoli). They do eat 'hidden' veg in sauce, so I've cooked up a huge batch of tomato based sauce this morning. I freeze this in portions and it makes bolognese, pizza sauce etc. This batch is tomato, onion, carrot, beetroot and squash.

The other day I made a really nice fried rice with leftover chicken, grated carrot, peas. They wouldn't touch any of it.

I try not to get annoyed...

Monkeyandanimal Sat 04-Jan-14 11:44:26

Mine are both fussy. 2 years and nearly 4. And its actually quite disheartening to follow recommended advice, which in my case is to keep offering healthy meals and don't get too stressed if they don't eat it. I'm sick of making nice meals only for them to be wasted. DS 1 won't eat anything with 'sauce', including the 'naturally occurring' hot oil on sausages! Nothing wet. No veg except raw carrots. Foods must not be mixed, so no stir fry, or fried rice or pasta dishes. Bland little heaps of plain pasta, plain meat and a raw carrot as his concession to veg. DS2 is just a stubborn little blighter who only eats on his own terms. Feel your pain!

MyMotherHadMeTested Sat 04-Jan-14 11:48:11

Argh I need this thread! Nearly cried this morning when DS refused his porridge, which was one of the last "proper" foods he'd eat... just thinking back to his first year when he's try anything, since then the list of foods seems to have whittled down. Good to hear Devon that you were like this and grew out of it - I've always been fine with food so this is totally new to me, although DH is still very fussy so I'm guessing he was like this as a child. I just feel like its something I've got wrong and I've ruined DS sad

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 15:04:32

Hooray! So much of what you're all saying sounds familiar! DD was mostly BLW and I'd give her good strong flavours as a way of encouraging her taste buds to get used to things that weren't bland. Now that's all gone out of the window. She used to wolf down my bolognese which was basically mince cooked in hidden veg sauce, i.e. no lumps, Then one day she was offered spag bol at a friend's house and because she could see the chopped onions, tomato, celery etc she decided she doesn't like bolognese full stop!!

She won't touch any tomato based sauce and seeing as pasta makes up the vast majority of her diet, it gets pretty boring. It's like she's constantly reducing the foods she'll eat rather than increasing them. Pesto's another one she's suddenly decided she doesn't like. I've spent today making a fish pie and I bet any money I'll end up eating hers.

It's strange. I'm not normally much of an optimist but for some reason I still believe she'll grow out of this. It's just waiting for it to happen that's getting so tiresome.

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 15:05:54

MyMother please don't feel like you've ruined him! You absolutely haven't.

Weelady77 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:27:47

My dd is nearly 9 and is so so fussy BUT in the last few months has got a bit better infact Boxing Day she ate a cracker I nearly cried with delight!! I'd love to join smile

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 16:58:11

9????!!!! You mean I might have another 6 years of this?!! shock

Weelady77 Sat 04-Jan-14 17:00:42

Yip devonfolk 9!!!!!

I think it's a phobia of certain foods but doctor doesn't agree and says she will grow out of it!!!

Going from 2 boys who will eat anything to dd who eats not very much is draining hmm

tiredoftrains Sat 04-Jan-14 17:23:49

Can I join in please?Ds (3) not exactly a fussy eater, more a non-eater! I'm sick to death of making him various dinners and struggling to get 2 mouthfuls into him,I find it horribly stressful and it's completely ruining every mealtime at the moment. Rant over!

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 17:46:30

It's good to have a rant though isn't it? And it's so stressful when they just don't eat. I've had so many evenings when DD has point blank refused all food only to later complain (as I'm turning off her light at 7:00) that she's hungry.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Sat 04-Jan-14 18:29:01

Yes, Devon! Complaints of being hungry having just refused a perfectly good tea (that would have been enjoyed two days before) really grate!

Signing in here. I have twins. So they have obviously been raised the same way and offered the exact same foods.

Today we went to Wagamammas for lunch, just as an experiment! DS ate some breaded chicken, sweetcorn, and apple juice. No rice, curry, or anything unfamiliar.

DD ate about 2 spicy chicken gyoza, as many 'wiggle worms' (ginger soba noodles) as I could chopstick into her mouth, and practically licked the curry sauce off her dad's plate.

I'd say that is proof that it is emphatically NOT down to whether you BLW or feed them blended Macdonalds, they have their own tastebuds. DS's are on the challenging side!

LastingLight Sat 04-Jan-14 18:40:40

Sorry to bring bad news devonfolk, but my dd at 11 now eats a smaller variety of food than she at at 9. sad I too need this thread.

pepperrabbit Sat 04-Jan-14 18:41:51

Ah yes. I have a fussy eater. DS1 is 9 and will still only eat dry food. No sauce, nothing mixed, and gets genuinely distressed if you try to force or coerce him. My other two eat pretty much anything which was a huge relief that it wasn't our parenting (as many old people suggested) and you reach a point where if one more single smug person says "well, just offer them tasty home cooked food and they'll eat when they're hungry" you feel the need to punch their lights out!
I have no advice, I hope he'll grow out of it. I assume, when he's a teenager and eating us out of house and home he'll have to widen his horizons!
Mealtimes are challenging, we try not to cook separately for him but balance the need for him to eat as well, so sometimes we'll do him a jacket potato instead of whatever carb we're all having, or, he gets the same carb but nuggets/fishfingers if we're having stew or lasagne or something he simply won't eat. Sometimes he has to lump it.
He doesn't get pudding if he hasn't made a proper effort and he eats a lot of fruit.
Sigh.

Aldwick Sat 04-Jan-14 18:47:22

Please let me join in after another excruciating meal time with DC aged 6/4/2. To be fair the 6 year old isn't too bad as long as the food is dry but the 4 year old is totally reducing the list of food he'll eat by the day - has started refusing toast - wtf? And the 2 year old has never eaten a decent meal in his entire life - 4 spoons of spaghetti carbonara constitutes a huge success and is my 'go to' meal when I get really worried about how little he has eaten. They do all eat apples, bananas, grapes and raisins but v little veg. Staying with family over Christmas really woke me up to just how bad things have got but if one more person tells me 'they'll eat when they're hungry' I will scream. They don't - and just get more and more pale, grumpy and sleepless. I fantasise about sitting down to a healthy family dinner where everyone tucks in heartily. Will it ever happen?

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sat 04-Jan-14 18:49:28

Monkey ds is exactly the same with sauces and dry food. Very rarely eats any veg and I am sick to death of people telling me to hide veg in a sauce - he won't eat a bloody sauce! Nor will he eat a muffin or that kind of thing, whether it has been stuffed full of hidden veg or actual sugar.

He will sometimes eat frozen peas straight out of the freezer (ignored them tonight of course). Worth a go if you haven't tried it.

SomePeopleNeedHelp Sat 04-Jan-14 18:52:02

Oh god yes to 'eat when they are hungry', 'won't starve themselves' etc etc. Ds couldn't give a stuff and will just eat nothing quite happily.

I would like to encourage you all. You have not failed in any way! If any of you have, then I have 10 fold!!

I hate to tell you this, but DD2 has only this year joined us properly eating a lovely Christmas roast dinner. she was home from uni and is 21 years old! shock

For years and years she would have lived off just plain pasta with grated cheese on it, oh and those disgusting mini Kiev things! <shudder> It has only been since she left home and lived with others that she has started to enjoy new foods.
As a child the only veg she liked was Morrisons sweetcorn. And sausages needed to be a specific brand! She would have been a nightmare friend for anyone else's DC to have back for tea. I used to say, just give her bread and butter and dont worry!
At 17 years old she went away for 5 days with a local youth group and despite explaining before she went I received a phone call from a leader 3 days into the trip to say she was just not eating, apart from the bread and butter.

She has always been very active, very healthy and not had a problem with weight at all. (bang on good weight) She actually swam competitively for our county and would train for 16 hours a week, so no lack of energy!!!

I will not say that it was anything that I did wrong......I have 4 other DC and they have all been treated the same and she was the only one who was so extreme. She survived!!! Woooooohooooooo!!!!!!

Please don't worry!!!!!

NotCitrus Sat 04-Jan-14 19:17:00

Hi... I saw yet another thread the other day with parents of fussy eaters yet again being told "well they'd eat in MY house..."
SIL tried hard not to say that. Then had ds for 2 days. Nursery said they'd never met a child like him for not eating. School have now referred him to a dietician. Thankfully another family member had much worse food issues as a kid and now at 18 is much better, so I'm less stressed than most people over it.

But I could throttle all the people who tell me they aren't going to make a big thing about his eating and won't mention it, immediately followed by asking if ds would like some of X, it's really nice you know, go on, have a little bit, oh well, pout, I'll eat it then, you really should try it you know... ARGH!!!

I don't have any truck with fussiness beyond his myriad dislikes, so if he's asked for something that's what he gets, but at the moment getting him to simply relax round food is key - he's enjoying school dinners and eating a couple new things so I'm leaving it for now - he's only 5 and incredibly healthy.

LastingLight Sat 04-Jan-14 19:32:46

Thanks PositiveAttitude, that makes me feel better.

tiredoftrains Sat 04-Jan-14 19:42:13

Another failed mealtime here-he was complaining he was hungry at 5 so rather than coming home for tea at 6 as planned ordered him tomato pasta (as requested!) at the play area/pub we were at...didn't eat a single mouthful and has now gone to bed on half a banana for dinner. AARGH!

Hope everyone else's dinners were more successful?

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 19:43:39

Bloody hell Positive that is extreme.

Interesting what thoughts this is bringing into my head now. DD has been known to eat things either at pre-school or at friends' houses that she refuses to eat at home, so I know it's possible.

Also, the thing about being relaxed around food. My parents are often buggers for harping on with the encouragements to eat NotCitrus so I completely understand your frustration. If DD's adamant, I won't push it, especially if she's touched it with her tongue which is often a major breakthrough and I keep having to reiterate that to my DPs.

I really asked for it mentioning the bedtime hunger thing earlier. Guess what I had to deal with just now?!!

NachoAddict Sat 04-Jan-14 19:44:43

DD 6 is getting fussier and fussier. Ds 8 and ds1 eat almost anything so I don't think its down to me but it is wearing.

Tonight she decided she didn't like her tea before she even picked up the fork. Argh.

She will eat any junk and fruit though so she doesn't starve, I just wish she would make an effort at least.

DevonFolk Sat 04-Jan-14 19:47:30

tired I've lost track of the amount of money I've wasted on meals out sad

We had quite a successful meal. She claimed to like the fish pie (which was a favourite for ages but then rejected) but didn't eat much of it. She also nibbled the tiniest tip of a sweet potato chip before screwing up her face as if I was trying to poison her. She then had pineapple and yoghurt (really don't know what I'd do without yoghurt) I did suspect she was still hungry though, due to the very small amount of fish pie she'd had so I offered bread and butter which she refused. Two hours later she decided she was hungry hmm

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