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To effectively starve my 7 year old?

(123 Posts)
zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:18:02

Dd has always had a tiny appetite. She is petite, but I amwas too, so I've never been massively concerned.

She's always been fairly fussy, but we've managed her eating fairly well. She would not eat a massive variety but would eat mince, so we could make cottage pie, spah Bol, meatballs etc...

But then she stopped liking mash; so we allowed the mince and booked potatoes. It wasn't any extra work.

But now she's gone off mince, and near, and cheese sauce.

Basically we're downtown chicken and potatoes. Preferably in the guise of chicken nuggets and chips; but also as roast dinner and any variation really.

I've had enough of the food refusal and her lack of eating.

It makes tea times a pain.

So I'm coming down hard.

I cook dinner; you either eat it or go and get bread and butter.

But I know she'll just not eat.


SuburbanRhonda Mon 23-Jun-14 10:20:31

You might want to take her to the GP first to check there's not more to it than simple refusal.

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:21:51

Terrible autocorrect spelling! So sorry!

She refuses mince, meat, cheese sauce. Dislikes pasta though would tolerate it with pesto.

Eats rice occasionally.

Oh the list of do's and dont's goes on.

Whereisegg Mon 23-Jun-14 10:22:01

Does dinner have to be hot?
Would she eat sandwiches/boiled egg and soldiers/baked beans on a jacket potato/sausage roll?

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:22:48

Like what suburban? She does eat. But things she prefers, and the list is diminishing

Trollsworth Mon 23-Jun-14 10:23:22

I wouldn't allow bread and butter. She will fill up on it and not bother eating anything else. I'd provide three meals a day, fruit in between, and not ever discuss food again.

I know about the bread and butter thing because I did it myself for two years, except it was bread and ketchup.

BeanyIsPregnant Mon 23-Jun-14 10:23:42

What else does she eat? Will she eat breakfast and lunch? If so I'd go ahead with the plan, I would tell her that that's what your doing from now on, maybe before she has her lunch in a 'oh I'm doing x for dinner' 'argh, I don't like it!' 'Thats fine, you don't have to eat it, but I'm not making you different meals' end of story kinda way.. And then stick to it.. If she's hungry she will eat.

On the other hand, if she doesn't eat much/ well at breakfast and lunch normally I would consider trying to make those meals a bit more 'friendly' for her so you at least know she's eaten somethinh?

eosmum Mon 23-Jun-14 10:25:07

My DS would take the bread and butter everytime, rather than a dinner so may not work. I'm watching too as this house is getting ridiculous. His packed lunch for school, consists of 6 buttered crackers, orange and a pain au cholat and all he eats for the whole day is 4 crackers, and his drink comes home full everyday. At my wits end.

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:26:11

She would eat sandwiches, but only chese or ham (not toasted)
Eggs or beans on toast.
Jacket potato but only with cheese and beans
Certain sausages
Olives, salami, sweetcorn, carrot, any fruit, broccoli.
Crackers and cheese

I will happily make her these (and have done for a while now). But I also have ds who needs a proper meal as he eats well.

And she has packed lunch, so no decent meals.

x2boys Mon 23-Jun-14 10:26:39

My seven year old old Ds is the same its a nightmare the annoying thing is I will cook tea which he will have very little of then an hour later complain he is hungry! Ironically his four year old brother is autistic and has a great appetite I keep hoping he will grow out of it.

VeloWoman Mon 23-Jun-14 10:27:32

Umm yes I think you are, but I sympathise with you as my DS has been IUGR/Failure to thrive/poor appetite since birth. Where is she on the growth charts? Is she bothered by lumps/texture? How old is she?

I think there are some good books out there with advice on how to help fussy eaters improve their range of foods, if you are very worried you could ask for a referral from your GP for a paediatric dietician.

CoolCat2014 Mon 23-Jun-14 10:27:47

I'm not sure starving her is going to help you here, and could probably end up causing issues. I'd get her checked out by a GP to make sure she hadn't got a feeding disorder or something else gastrointestinal going on.

A good friend of mine had a feeding disorder when she was a kid - food would literally make her choke, and she would only eat one or two things. It's taken her years to work through it. Please get her checked out as it might not just be fussy eating.

Gennz Mon 23-Jun-14 10:28:07

I was a super picky child. I was pretty solid though! Often my mother would give up on me and give me a marmite sandwich and an apple. I wouldn't stress about it. I have a totally normal, varied diet now, I snapped out of my v bland diet at about 18.

Interestingly in my first trimester of pregnancy my palate totally regressed to childhood, I developed a massive meat/vege aversion and pretty much lived on white bread and potatoes. I could not have eaten a piece of broccoli if you'd paid me, so I developed renewed sympathy for my 7 year old self.

LizzieMint Mon 23-Jun-14 10:28:15

My DD would be in heaven if she had the chance to just eat bread and butter, I wouldn't offer that as an alternative.

She is a bit fussy (not nearly to the extent of yours) and it's soul-destroying to cook something, put it in front of her only to get whining and moaning about how she doesn't like it - without trying it of course.
I refuse to stop giving her stuff that she moans about though.

If she had her way she'd be happy with chicken and mash every day, but she's not having her way. I give her what the others get, either she eats it or she doesn't. She's also not got a huge appetite, she never really has had, she'd be happy really with 2 meals a day rather than three.

I do a kid friendly lunch which I know they all like and a "talke it or leave it" dinner which often one or other of the kids will turn their nose up at. My 3 kids range from a very adventurous eater who likes all sorts and eats a good range, to quite fussy but how fussy goes in phases and things go in and out of favour, but the fussy one/s eat a good breakfast and lunch, so if they leave their dinner I know they won't starve, and they can always have an apple or a banana...

VeloWoman Mon 23-Jun-14 10:29:36

Sorry just seen she is seven, how much does she weigh?

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:29:40

She doesn't really like bread and butter. She tries to negotiate marmite on toast. I obviously do not negotiate. A deal is a deal.

She eats well at breakfast; and I give her a flapjack thing (for babies really but don't tell her) in the car in the way to school. She eats all of her packed lunch, which today is cheese wrap; salami; olives; tinned peaches and a smoothie.

I normally meet her from school with a banana and a biscuit.

And then the tea time refusal starts.

I remain totally disinterested. And don't get involved. But inside I am seething.

Offler Mon 23-Jun-14 10:32:06

I feel your pain, dd (7) is also fussy. Even on the days when she has chosen the dinner, she doesn't eat much (she chose fajitas last night - she just has plain chicken, some veg and the wrap - she ate half of one wrap, and picked out all the veg...). She will usually eat a roast, and loves chicken nuggets, but it's a constant round of suddenly deciding something she's always liked is no longer acceptable.

So, with allowances made for genuine, long held dislikes, she gets what the rest of do and can like it or lump it or have a banana. One thing we have noticed is that she doesn't always like combinations. So she'll eat pasta, if we keep the meat & sauce separate etc!

She does eat well at school when she has their dinners, so I have come to the conclusion it's a control thing with her!!

Also, I was a fussy child (karma?) so I sometimes understand, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I do try and keep calm, and leave her to it, but really, I could scream when she has 2 bites and says she doesn't want anymore and is full, or eats all the meat and leaves the veg, yet still expects a pudding!!

As it happens, I am no longer a fussy eater, but it took cooking my own food to cure me. DD eats better when she gets involved in dinner, likes making mega meatballs etc, can you (or do you) involve your dd in making stuff?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 23-Jun-14 10:32:09

Id just do her jacket potato and beans and cheese everynight and put a spoonful of the family meal on the side incase she ever fancies a taste.

Ragwort Mon 23-Jun-14 10:34:09

It sounds as though she eats a reasonable amount - I don't get this obsession with 'proper dinners' - can she just not have a similar 'packed lunch' for her evening meal, it wouldn't take you any more time to prepare it - you could get it ready in the morning with her lunch?

Perhaps she just genuinely isn't that hungry, I do think it is a 'habit' to eat three meals a day regardless of whether you actually need the food or not.

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:34:23

She had a dairy intolerance as a baby and bad reflux, was fail to thrive baby. But by 2 she was fine. Petit but off all meds.

By 3 she had a fussy but perfectly normal appetite.

She is 50th percentile for weight. 25th for height. Is very lean and muscly. Very athletic.

She's clearly doing ok, but I'd like her to eat what the rest of us eat! I don't think that's asking too much?

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:34:45

She weighs 3stone

Aussiemum78 Mon 23-Jun-14 10:35:25

I've probably got a hard line approach, but if your daughter decided she was only eating lollies and ice cream would you oblige? Nuggets and chips is pretty blurgh, she's eating very poorly and isn't eating veggies and fruit at all by the sounds of it. She would be petite because she has little nutrition to thrive on.

I would offer food at meal times, and not give other options. Will she eat fish as well as chicken? What about fruits and salad? Can you try mash again with pumpkin/sweet potato/carrot mashed in? What about a berry smoothie with egg/or yoghurt blended in?

All the fussy eaters I know (none with medical conditions) are this way because they were given bland baby foods, white bread, sugary yoghurt and chicken nuggets since they were tiny, no wonder their taste is so underdeveloped. Dd eats anything, loves veggies, loves fruit but she knows no difference.

ghostisonthecanvas Mon 23-Jun-14 10:37:02

zumby she eats breakfast and lunch. Put the same as everyone else in front of her at teatime maybe smaller portion.
breakfast is important, she eats 2 meals a day. Maybe she just isn't hungry at night.

zumby Mon 23-Jun-14 10:37:11

Offler, that's our household down to a tee!

She sometimes cooks with me, but would prefer to be playing with her brother (if he's not hanging off my legs), and cooking sometimes at least makes her try new things, if not actually eat them.

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