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To still feed my 5.5 year old child?

(114 Posts)
Cannierelax Sun 24-Mar-13 20:30:55

He is a horrendous eater. Today I made him chicken pasta and he ate 3 bites of pasta and 2 pieces of chicken in 25 minutes. If I don't feed him he will not eat a varied diet but will get hungry and demand cookies. Aibu to continue feeding him do he will at least eat a few bites of healthy food?

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 21:47:34

Primary 1and you're still feeding him,that's unnecessary.but you're both stuck in roles
Presumably when you not there eats ok?so it's not a functional issue?
Don't make food big issue,serve it with no accompanying commentary.and no cookies

Rhubarbgarden Sun 24-Mar-13 21:52:25

Ah, this thread is useful. Dd (2 and a half) is refusing to eat at the moment then demands snacks two hours later. She doesn't get them though. It hadn't crossed my mind that it might be attention seeking. She used to be a really good eater. It's maddening.

Cannierelax Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:14

Yes I am physically feeding him myself. I'm literally fed up.

NappyHappy Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:37

My 5yo ds1 is the same but I refuse to feed him. If he doesn't eat what he can then he goes without. Then comes downstairs after he has gone to bed saying he is hungry. I don't give in anymore, I used to but I just leave him to it. He sits with ds2 who is 17m and he is a dustbin.

If he's on School Dinners he could just have eaten quite alot so isn't really hungry at home.

Pinkjules Sun 24-Mar-13 21:57:14

Just another angle...I'm a childminder and recently started minding an absolutely terrible eater. A couple of times her parents have arrived earlier while dinner is still in progress and they took over and fed her.

All the other children were horrified and talked about what a baby she was when she'd gone home (I dealt with this obviously)

So you could consider this if you need convincing. As a child gets older this kind of behaviour can become embarrassing for them. All the other children thought she was a baby. No one wants that or their child do they?

I'm all for the "each to their own" and not judging one another's parenting styles but certain things like eating and sleeping need to be tackled in an old fashioned disciplined way so that a child can function properly at school and, later, in the adult world.

No one should be feeding any child over about 18 months IMO. YABU.

Don't offer anything else, even fruit or healthy snacks, don't make a fuss. Just insist that they sit at the table until its eaten. Even if they scream the place down. One of mine had a fussy phase. Sometimes she sat at the table until she fell asleep in her dinner. It went on for about 3 weeks and I thought I would never win his battle of wills. But then I did.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:47

I was going to suggest my child won't eat too. I saw Carlos Gonzales a few weeks ago giving a talk. I am guessing with your clear adoration of your child he will be right up your street and he is humerous which helps. You will never need to feed him again after.

wannabeEostregoddess Sun 24-Mar-13 22:02:43

Just insist that they sit at the table until its eaten. Even if they scream the place down.

Personally I dont agree with this. Becoming distressed over food is not the way to promote a healthy attitude towards eating. Neither is insisting they clear the plate. That leads to a culture of overeating.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:02:57

Well,stating the obvious.stop feeding're both stuck in roles
You fret,fuss and fed.he refuses,squirms and eventually gets cookies
Get a plan,stick to cookies as alternative,and no more feeding him

Cannierelax Sun 24-Mar-13 22:03:30

Ds has a cheese spread sandwich for lunch that eats and do e cheese and raisins for after. He does eat at school but I think it thinks him the full hourish as he sometimes finishes just before the bell rings. I am always making his meals seperature as I know he prefers bland food. Nothing hot/ spicy the way DH and I like. He puts his hands to his throat as though he was choking when he tries something new. This is only the second time in his life that Ds has had pasta!! He used to live of toast and butter. I feel frustrated as I've made a huge amount of effort with cooking his meals fothrown to go in the bin over the years.

Iggly Sun 24-Mar-13 22:06:04


why not make more child friendly foods? I found spicy food horrid as a child. So that way he feels included. Doesn't have to be every meal but some. Also give him a choice at a weekend.

Don't buy cookies or other snacks. Just have healthy stuff in like fruit, toast etc etc.

Don't react if he doesn't want anything. And if he gets hungry offer him some fruit or something like that

wannabeEostregoddess Sun 24-Mar-13 22:07:07

You need to become nonchalant. Inside you can be seething that the meal you just prepared is going to waste, but you cant let him see that.

When eating becomes emotional problems start to appear.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:08:19

He lived off toast and butter because you facilitated it,he gets cookies cause you offer
He has no functional physiological impediment to eating,he does have ability to behave certain way
You're both stuck in roles and habituation -both need to more cookies

kinkyfuckery Sun 24-Mar-13 22:11:09

OP do you think its a control thing? do you think he genuinely doesnt like these foods? Could it be a sensory issue?

Sirzy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:11:38

I would stick with the foods you know he likes but give it to him and then leave him to it. If he eats it fantastic pile on the praise, if he doesn't say "never mind" and carry on.

Get rid of the cookies, he knows that if he doesn't eat he will get what he really wants so why would he bother eating things he isn't so keen on?

Perhaps (as much as time will allow) get him to help with the cooking of meals? Encourage him to try little bits of the foods as you are preparing things.

Good luck!

NaturalBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 22:12:56

It sounds like you've got fairly big, complicated issues with your ds's eating that is going to take a long time to work out and change. Think back - where has it all come from, why has he got eating habits like this? Then you can work out how to help him get over those issues and move on.

Cannierelax Sun 24-Mar-13 22:13:04

Iggly- but I don't give him spicy food, I prepare his meal seperatly, always have done. I found the weaning stage very difficult, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Anyhow, that's in the past. I'm going to put all his home treats away and be firmer from tomorrow. If he doesn't want to eat, he doesn't have to, but no snacking afterwards. Sometimes he will cry when I put him to sleep as he says he's hungry, I feel awful. Also he doesn't eat enough himself, he leaves breakfast for example and says he's full when I go to feed him the rest, he eats it happily. I'm confused.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:09

Ok,so get a fuss, and meal offered if he declines offer fruit,yoghurt.nothing else
Stop offering cookies that he like as alternative to rewards nor eating properly
No big hoo haw just keep offering food,if decline scrape food with no comment

Cannierelax Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:13

Kinkeyf- yes I do think it's a control issue. Physically he can eat those foods. Take for example fish fingers, If I cook them at home, he will spit it out and pretend to start choking! But when we are in McDonald's, he will eat them happily albeit me feeding him.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:19:06

So stop feeding him,take the control away.don't reinforce and maintain what you dislike

TheEasterBunnyVsTheKids Sun 24-Mar-13 22:19:25

My 3 yo dd was a terrible eater, until I started to involve her in the cooking and food prep. After just a few short weeks, she is now eating whatever is put in front of her as she has helped make it.

Get rid of the cookies and sweet treats. He doesn't need them.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:08

Agree with kids and food prep,pizzas,grating cheese,beat eggs

EggBasket Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:56

Sounds like he needs to learn to take control of his feeding/appetite himself, if you've always fed him then he's not learned to work out himself how much to eat to keep himself going til the next meal, iyswim.

Is there anything which he will happily feed himself (I mean a main meal, not cookies!). If so then maybe a gentle approach would be to start with one meal a day that he has to eat all by himself - and make it something you know he likes. Let him use fingers if easier than cutlery. Have a reward chart with stickers if he makes a reasonable effort to feed himself (even if the amount eaten is minimal). It might be that he naturally has a light appetite but it has been overridden by your feeding him.

Does he have any sensory issues with touching food, getting hands messy? Maybe 'playing' with food, eg making dough or playing with jelly, would help him be more hands on.

Altinkum Sun 24-Mar-13 22:24:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:24:21

Try buffet type meals,pizza he picks up,things he can handle himself
What happen at parties or other folks house?do you feed him
Did he attend nursery?

VisualiseAHorse Sun 24-Mar-13 22:24:50

Yup, stop feeding him.

3 meals a day at set times. You eat at that set time, or you don't eat! No snacks in between meals. If he does a whole week of eating well he can have one small treat.
Give him 15-30 minutes to eat what he wants. If he doesn't eat it, it goes in the bin (or to the dog).

What food will he eat?

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