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Am I a mean bastard considering doing this to my son?

(75 Posts)
OHforDUCKScake Wed 31-Oct-12 12:51:08

My 5.9 year old has started being really fussy with food the last few months. He says he only likes fish fingers or spare ribs. He's being difficult with eating food he previously likes, refusing to try new foods, bring generally a PITA most meal times.
Last night he wouldnt eat his sausage rolls, took an hour of complaining and coming up with all sorts of excuses 'why cant we have riiiiiiiiibs!?' 'Im fuuuuuuull. Can I have a biscuit/jelly/sweets/other crap'

This lunch time he asks for soup and roll. I get him an inoffensive chicken and veg soup. He dips his bread in once and says I dont like it and refuses to eat it.

Tonight we're supposed to be having ribs. His favorite. I said we'll all be having ribs, he'll be having his soup.

I feel like a right bastard. But I hate fussinesss and this is extreme fussyness and it has to stop.

He is fit and healthy and its slowly got worse over a few months and now its just too much.

OHforDUCKScake Wed 31-Oct-12 12:52:25

Btw he never gets the biscuits/sweets/other crap!

TheHairyDieter Wed 31-Oct-12 12:52:57

I think that would make the problem worse. How about: "after you have finished your soup, you may have ribs!". That way, he has an incentive to eat the soup.

DrSeuss Wed 31-Oct-12 12:53:10

Sounds reasonable to me. He will learn fast enough when he doesn't get his favourite due to misbehaviour. I am also a mean mummy!

OHforDUCKScake Wed 31-Oct-12 12:53:33

That would be a huge waste of ribs.

Twitterqueen Wed 31-Oct-12 12:54:08

I do think you're being a bit mean because he's only 5.
Can you maybe give him one rib and loads of veg and tell him he has to eat the other stuff if he wants more?

sausagesandwich34 Wed 31-Oct-12 12:54:09

I would let him have the ribs but in future it would be you eat what's infront of you or you get nothing until the next meal, and also set a time limit

I can remember being served up thursday night's meal every meal until sunday breakfast, cold and rank, until my mum 'accidently' dropped it

I have never felt so bloody miserable in my life

ClippedPhoenix Wed 31-Oct-12 12:54:40

I can understand your annoyance with this OP. My son was a fussy eater but YABU and acting like his age to do this to be honest. How can you let him sit there whilst you all tuck into his favourite and he has soup. That's cruel really isn't it.

aldiwhore Wed 31-Oct-12 12:55:14

I don't know, you're not mean, but I wouldn't eat most of the food mentioned in your op and I'm not fussy.

Ribs, Sausage Rolls, Fish Finger Combo. They're kind of ocassional shite treats for me.

On the other hand, you're not a right bastard for feeling fed up. I had a friend who grew up eating only sausages... his mum used to allow him this IF he ate 4 spoonfuls of each veg first (usually carrots and greens).

AnyaKnowIt Wed 31-Oct-12 12:55:42

Well you've already said her was having soup, so I'll stick with that

pictish Wed 31-Oct-12 12:55:57

I'm stern about such matters, but I wouldn't force him to eat the soup instead of having ribs with everyone else.
It smacks od cruelty, humiliation, and punishment, and you'll never create a good eater through punishment.

Take each meal as an individual incident. If he doesn't eat the soup then he doesn't get anything else for lunch.

To carry it on until dinner is harsh and confrontational. Imho.

Cabrinha Wed 31-Oct-12 12:56:01

I second allowing the ribs when he's had his soup. I would probably (without telling him) reduce the amount of soup though, just to make it all go a bit easier. Not to be soft, but to maximize chance of lesson being learnt and not distracted.

PosieParker Wed 31-Oct-12 12:56:36

Sounds really futile and missing the point really. I think if his food choices are getting very narrow you should relax and let him get through it, not starve him.

TBH perhaps, if you're a bit controlling, this is his way of having some control in his life.

I wouldn't go out of my way to play cafes with him, but I would offer him the same food as everyone else.

halcyondays Wed 31-Oct-12 12:57:15

You're being a little bit mean. Tbh,aren't sausage rolls full of crap anyway? He'd probably be better off eating fish fingers than sausage rolls anyway. Was the soup one he's had before, or was it new?

TheCunningStunt Wed 31-Oct-12 12:58:11

I agree with Pictish

laughtergoodmedicine Wed 31-Oct-12 12:59:41

I would not go too tough, Its a phase hes going through. I had food problems when a kid. Look at me now.

Flisspaps Wed 31-Oct-12 13:00:18

I agree with sausage. Let him have ribs if you're all having them.

Every other night it's what's served or nothing. Half an hour to eat, then clear up. No cajoling or 'try a bit' chat. Just normal conversation. If he eats something then praise him briefly, then get back on with eating.

safflower Wed 31-Oct-12 13:02:58

just give him ribs. you will create a worse battle, but speak to him before hand. We are all having ribs. Will you eat them? Righgt, we won't be having anything else, so now you have told me you will eat them I expect you to.

StuntGirl Wed 31-Oct-12 13:04:00

I would not feed him different food to everyone else. If you're eating ribs, he can eat ribs. However if you're eating soup/chicken/lasagne/whatever he also also gets soup/chicken/lasagne/whatever. If he doesn't eat it that's his choice.

I would offer him the same meal as everyone else, not make a huge fuss over it if he doesn't eat it, allow x amount of time for the meal and if he hasn't eaten it remove it and clear the table as normal. If he's hungry later he can have his dinner, but no other snacks before bed.

Is there any way you can get him to join in a little with the shopping or food prep? He might be more inclined to eat it if he helped make it? Or do the super nanny technique and give him two choices for dinner and let him pick?

I feel for you, my brother grew up even fussier than that with food and at 26 he's still like it! Family meal times or meals out are still a bloody nighmare!

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 31-Oct-12 13:05:08

It's hard when they're trying your patience, especially when you've spent ages cooking something.

I would make him things I know he likes, with a little of something else on the side 'to try' if he wants to. Not the things he 'wants' but the things I know he likes. You do need to watch out for changing taste buds though - sometimes they genuinely can't stand something they used to like.

Then, at meals times, when he says 'I don't want/like this' I'd say 'Fine, it's up to you whether you eat this or not, but there's nothing else to eat until 'the next meal', so don't even ask OK' and let him get down. 5 year olds don't starve themselves (unless there's another issue and it's very very rare). He will soon learn that you mean it, that there's no battle to be had and he will decide to eat whats there or get down - all without a huge amount of stress. The other rule is, if you ask him what he wants and he tells you something - he eats it, end of. BUT for that to be fair you don't just serve up any old soup (for example) you tell him what soup is on offer.

No one benefits when meals are a battle and it makes your whole life a bloody misery. Reduce your stress!

marriedinwhite Wed 31-Oct-12 13:08:42

Agree with stuntgirl And I really think the fussing at mealtime and letting them last for an hour has to stop. Lunch on table - 20 minutes - lunch cleared. Contents of lunch has to be within reason. You can't serve up something you know they really don't like and expect it to be eaten. Thinks about DS and mashed potato (yes doesn't like mash) and DD with gravy covered casseroles (yes, doesn't like gravy).

EscapeInTheCity Wed 31-Oct-12 13:10:16

You are creating a problem out of nothing.

In my house, people eats what there is on the table. If they say 'Oh I don't like it' the they have to 'try' ie one mouth full and leave the rest. If the answer is 'I am full' then they stop eating! (but of course no dessert etc.. afterwards as you can eat again if you are full can you?).

The least fuss about it, the better.

However, by giving him soup that you know he won't eat whilst eating ribs that you know he loves, you are being mean. You are going to teach your child that it's OK to be mean and take revenge (why would anyone want to inflict something unpleasant to someone else unless they have to?). And except making your child very angry/resentful/upset, you are not going to teach him anything (Teaching happens at the time of the issue not the day after)

Ummofumbridge Wed 31-Oct-12 13:12:34

I wouldn't but my DH would.
I don't know who's right tbh.
My dd2 is the same and I'm too soft on her but she's almost 9.
Nip it in the bud now and be cruel to be kind.
In theory.
Sympathies.

Ithinkitsjustme Wed 31-Oct-12 13:17:23

I have no advice as I now have 4 very fussy DCs all over 10 and they are getting worse not better. All of them would rather go without than eat something that they don't like and it drives me so nuts that I don't feel like bothering to cook for them anymore. I feel like saying that I was going to cook eg. shepherds pie tonight but as none of you would have eaten it and it would have gone in the bin lets just pretend that I cooked it and you can just go hungry blush

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 31-Oct-12 13:23:05

Totally agree with pictish punishment doesn't lead to good eating habits.

I have a 6 year old who is reluctant to try new tastes, but once or twice a week I tell him and put something "extra" on his plate, along with a trusted favourite. If he tries it, praise, whether or not he likes it, just for trying. If he doesn't try, no issue. Slowly but surely he is getting there. I completely understand your frustration (the year when he was 5 was very difficult as he just would NOT try stuff, even with friends eating with him/fun party food etc and I felt like I had the only child who wouldn't eat!!)

But yes, I think your plan is mean and, more to the point, counter-productive.

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