I've just received the lunch and snack menu for DS's new preschool and I know he won't eat any of it. Bollocks.

(85 Posts)
Mrsfrumble Wed 30-Jul-14 18:43:36

He's 3.8 and very fussy. He would spit out most vegetables even as a baby. If I'm honest I've sort of given up trying to broaden his diet because so much food was being wasted. He eats a lot of sandwiches and pasta, and I blend veggies into tomato sauce for pizza topping and pasta sauce. He will eat meat and some fruit, and I think I manage to get a reasonably balanced diet into him; I certainly think things could be worse when I see some of the threads on here by posters despairing of their picky eaters.

I knew there would be a potential problem when he started preschool, but I was hoping peer pressure would help a bit. He went to childminder between the age of 12 months and 2 and would eat most things there because the other children were eating (and because the childminder was some kind of Mary Poppinsesque miracle worker. I miss her!).

The preschool is Montessori and markets itself as Eco-friendly so I knew it would be a bit lentil-weavery, but having just got the handbook through in an email I'm taken aback by the menu. It's gluten-free and vegetarian, and pretty much consists of quinoa and steamed veggies. No packed lunches allowed. DS is going to starve! He's due to be there 3 days a week from 8.30-3.

I feel like a crap parent because I he doesn't eat these things. I knew his diet wasn't brilliant but thought we were doing okay and that his tastes would broaden as he got older (I was an exceptionally fussy child but now eat almost anything). What am I going to do?

stargirl1701 Wed 30-Jul-14 18:45:12

Let him try it and see what happens. Peer pressure is very powerful and just increases as children get older. Don't comment at all. Ask the nursery to call you if he totally refuses and you can work out a plan with them.

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Wed 30-Jul-14 18:45:20

Peer pressure can work miracles! See what happens ?

drinkyourmilk Wed 30-Jul-14 18:48:52

If this is the nursery you want him to attend then the only option is to leave him to it.
Does he have breakfast at home? If so a big breakfast, a snack in collection and a decent sized supper. He will cope. It's not ideal, but he will cope.

However I'm fairly certain he will eat something at nursery. I wouldn't even comment. If he picks up on your concern he may make a bigger deal of it.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 30-Jul-14 18:50:26

He'll soon get fed up of being a hungry spectator. Do nothing unless it is flagged up as a problem by the nursery.

HolgerDanske Wed 30-Jul-14 18:51:51

He won't starve, or at least it's highly unlikely. Give it a few weeks and see what happens smile

tumbletumble Wed 30-Jul-14 18:52:29

Your DS doesn't actually sound that fussy if he eats bread, pasta, pizza, meat and some fruit. So it's just veg that is the problem? I think this will be better than you are expecting!

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Jul-14 18:54:33

You'd be amazed at what he will eat when he's in a different environment.

DS's old preschool teacher said she lost count of the times parents would say "oh, he doesn't eat banana" and she'd have to tell them that he shovels it down on a daily basis at preschool.

JimBobplusasprog Wed 30-Jul-14 18:54:49

Tbh most kids choose not to starve eventually. It doesn't do harm to have them choose not to eat as they'll have breakfast and dinner. The menu options in my house are take it or leave it and the kids keep growing despite being fussy and they gradually increase their food repertoire.

Welliesandpyjamas Wed 30-Jul-14 18:55:59

Agree with PPs, just wait and see, it's amazing the difference between dc at home and dc at school grin

BikeRunSki Wed 30-Jul-14 18:57:09

I thought the same about DS's school menu a year ago. He ate everything!

fledermaus Wed 30-Jul-14 18:58:07

I have a fussy eater and eating at nursery has made absolutely no difference - he still won't eat it!

However, breakfast and an after school snack - he won't starve.

RobinSparkles Wed 30-Jul-14 19:06:38

DD2 (3.5) won't touch peppers or pears at home. At nursery she scoffs the lot.

He might surprise you and I'm sure that there will be something that he'll like.

Mrsfrumble Wed 30-Jul-14 19:10:43

Thank you. I feel a little better now! He is very stubborn, and very suspicious about trying new things (completely refuses most of the time). I have a limited range of about 5 meals he will eat on heavy rotation for dinner, and we usually have sandwiches for lunch with fruit or olives.

I'll have to try and get lots of toast into him in the mornings and have plenty of snacks to hand at pick-up time. I was just a bit shocked by the gluten-free vegan aspect of the menu.

My main worries are that he'll be be very grumpy with the staff and other children if he's hungry, and that he won't be very tactful if presented with something he doesn't like. We do make it clear that "Yuck! This looks disgusting!" is rude and unacceptable but it's taking a while to sink in hmm.

justaweeone Wed 30-Jul-14 19:12:14

My Ds has always been a fussy eater, however miraculously at friends house and at school he will eat most things!! I think he now think he is just choosy and will still try to pick and choose what he wants. But saying that , he is 11 now and has just scoffed a curry!!
Hang in there

Coconutty Wed 30-Jul-14 19:13:30

He will eat it when he's there, and if he's rude they will just remind him off polite manners. It happens lots, try not to worry.

Mrsfrumble Wed 30-Jul-14 19:35:18

So should I warn the staff beforehand that he may not be very enthusiastic when confronted with a bowl of buckwheat, barley and bean soup (actual item on menu) or just not mention it?

drinkyourmilk Wed 30-Jul-14 20:59:39

I can't imagine that 'buckwheat, barley and bean soup' features on many people's menu! The staff will be used to dealing with children coming across different foods. You could just ask that they let you know how he is getting on with the food if you are worried.
It's bound to be served with bread or crackers- he will eat that.

Mrsfrumble Wed 30-Jul-14 21:28:26

drinkyourmilk I'm glad you said that. I was wondering if I was being a rubbish mum by serving up marmite sandwiches and grapes for lunch, but actually I'll bet DS won't be the only child out of 24 who has never encountered buckwheat before.

It's a new preschool, opening for the first time next month, so maybe they have their sights set a little too high with their exotic menu! That said, if they can get DS to eat quinoa and broccoli I'll be thrilled.

SevenZarkSeven Wed 30-Jul-14 21:36:48

As others say he may well eat it when he's there.

I must admit I'm a bit boggled. Gluten free? Bean soup?

I assume it's veggie rather than vegan as you mentioned later!

If it really is a struggle maybe he could develop reverse intolerances to the quinoa and that and have to have a sandwich?

Veggie I could deal with fine but nothing bread or pasta based and all teh rest of it seems overly restrictive to me for a preschool setting and I don't really understand why they would do it in the first place.

Does it say why they are gluten free?

SevenZarkSeven Wed 30-Jul-14 21:39:16

I was interested so have googled and Mayo Clinic (reputable) says that Barley is a NO for a gluten free diet.

So hmmmmmm to their menu and claims.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 30-Jul-14 21:42:11

As others have said, he might well surprise you once he's there. If he doesn't eat anything though, the worst that will happen is that he'll be hungry when you pick him up at 3. Presumably you'll feed him --a hearty--breakfast before he goes, and a snack when he gets home, plus dinner later on. He'll be fine.

Permanentlyexhausted Wed 30-Jul-14 21:45:58

Yes Seven - barley is a definite no-no for gluten-free. As I discovered when I cocked up and bought Robinson's Fruit and Barley squash because it was on offer, forgetting that one of my Brownies was coeliac.

SevenZarkSeven Wed 30-Jul-14 21:49:15

I wonder if they have said "gluten free" because it sounds kind of newfangled and healthy and poncey but don't really understand what it means.

Would be fascinated to hear their rationale for going gluten free. I mean it's not like peanuts where even a whiff can cause a catastrophic reaction is it - you have to actually consume the stuff?

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 30-Jul-14 21:50:24

Sounds revolting to be honest

They should be encouraging children to eat a balanced diet if protein & plenty of fruit/veg with some carbohydrates (whilst accounting for allergies/ personal choices) surely?

I wouldn't send my child to somewhere that served that sort of stuff.

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