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AIBU with my daughters dinners?

(67 Posts)
TheScreamingfrog Sun 16-Aug-15 18:25:32

I just don't know if I'm doing the right thing..
DD(just 5) is being very difficult every dinner time unless it's sausages/fish fingers etc.
I have had enough of mealtimes being a battle ground. Every meal she will declare that she hates and not want to touch a bite. This resulted in massive amounts of coercion from me and I am sick of it.

I have recently told her that it is her choice if she eats dinner or not and that I will not fight her. If she does not eat it there is nothing else till breakfast. She has just done this with risotto.

I suspect it is all about control but I guess I am just looking for ideas or reassurance that I am not acting like a witch. If it's relevant, I am a lone parent of nearly 2 years and exH tends to always take her to Morrisons for tea or give her foods he knows she loves.

I desperately want her to grow up with a healthy attitude to food so she doesn't end up spending ⅔ of her life on a diet. She is a normal weight and has no problem with breakfast and lunch and apparently is fine with school dinners. I am sure she saves it all for me.

Advice and perspective welcome please!

Starbrite00 Sun 16-Aug-15 18:28:50

You are doing the right thing.
I wouldn't pander to it.
As long as you don't give her snacks and alternatives you will find she will eat if she's hungry

PopcornFrenzy Sun 16-Aug-15 18:31:44

I have this sometimes with my 5 year old DS, I have resorted to say hulk would eat it and look how big and strong he is, this normally works and he eats his dinner.

He's a skinny thing and you can see his ribs, I worry people think I don't feed him so tend to only cook what he does eat

ButterflyUpSoHigh Sun 16-Aug-15 18:31:49

If it's something she has had before then fine but if not then yabu.

LaLyra Sun 16-Aug-15 18:32:32

Have you tried giving her limited control? I always serve our dinners in serving dishes. If I put peas on plates there will be moans and groans whereas if I let them serve themselves they are quite happy. It doesn't mean they get to pick and choose what we have for dinner overall, but the fact they get to choose amounts seems to help.

It does mean that very occasionally the picky one will only have carrots and broccoli, but it's a one off and I'd rather that than a return to the battle ground.

WorraLiberty Sun 16-Aug-15 18:32:59

I think you're doing the right thing.

However, just before bed I would offer a slice of toast as it's hard to sleep when you're hungry.

WorraLiberty Sun 16-Aug-15 18:34:08

Popcorn you should be able to see his ribs. That doesn't make him a 'skinny thing'.

PopcornFrenzy Sun 16-Aug-15 18:37:21

I know that worra but try telling the stupid school gate mums that, they think I don't feed him, I had him weighed recently and he's only put on 300g since September

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 16-Aug-15 18:37:25

Read this article... It's really good..

meal time battles

Half way down it references another article which is also worth reading


They basically agree with your approach but with some science grin

TheScreamingfrog Sun 16-Aug-15 18:38:04

Thanks all.
She was underweight till a year ago when she had tonsils and adenoids removed but since then she has flourished generally.

I take your point Butterfly and have modified foods I would like to eat to better suit her. She will eat it one day but not the next time I serve it.

Maybe limited control would help La, I hadn't considered that.

dementedma Sun 16-Aug-15 18:39:22

Yup. Had a fussy eater and when you back away from the confrontation it all gets a lot easier. No snacks to replace missed meals though!

weaselwords Sun 16-Aug-15 18:40:40

Keep going. You are doing the right thing. I'm just coming out the end of this with my 13 year old. It is very wearing, but your child will grow up with a healthy attitude towards good. Mine is still sniffing about risotto though...

weaselwords Sun 16-Aug-15 18:41:07

Food, not good. I hate this kindle.

TheScreamingfrog Sun 16-Aug-15 18:46:04

I loved that article, it makes sense in this situation.
I don't intend to replace the dinners with snacks so fingers crossed.

But Weaselwords - 13 shock I'm scared now!

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Aug-15 18:47:08

I try to serve me also know my kids will eat at least some of. Wraps with a buffet of things they can choose to put in. Roast beef (DD doesn't like) with mash and cauliflower cheese.
I try out new foods when I know she's already had a hot meal at school so if she's not keen then it doesn't matter.
I don't battle. I just say "well that's dinner so if you're hungry you need to eat it."
I will give her a slice of buttered toast if she's starving before bed.

Noodledoodledoo Sun 16-Aug-15 18:48:53

This article seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

I have no experience as my little one is only 10 months but is the way I am planning to try meal times! (I know time will tell!)

If it's not click able search 6 words that will end picky eating Huffington post.

Ma77Black Sun 16-Aug-15 18:49:18

I've found my DS will eat anything he's cooked. Which means I cook, but we call him the chef and he stirs, cuts up cucumber or something and does other little prep jobs. Might be worth a punt, although obvs means cooking dinner takes longer than usual.

Welshmaenad Sun 16-Aug-15 18:58:01

Yanbu. I've always done this with my two, I've been told that I'm cruel and horrible, but at 9 and 5 they will eat virtually anything now because they know I have no truck with fussiness.

We also do what LaLyra does, letting them serve themselves, and they often eat more veg etc than I would have served them!

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sun 16-Aug-15 19:02:10

Yanbu. I do this, my dds eat or they don't, it's their choice and thee are bananas in the fruit bowl if they're hungry later, that's it. I stopped stressing about it ages ago. Only rule is they have to try new foods before they say they don't like them.

Zeitgeistic Sun 16-Aug-15 19:09:37

Don't make mealtimes a battle. My Dd has a tendency to be fussy. I put food in front of her and tell her 'you don't have to eat this'. But she understands that I won't be offering alternatives. I usually put at least one thing on her plate that I know she likes so she won't go hungry if she chooses not to eat anything else. I don't praise her for eating and I don't scold her for not eating.

crazykat Sun 16-Aug-15 19:13:20

I've been through the same with my eldest dd. She was weaned on things like shepherds pie, stew, spaghetti bolognese but went through a phase of saying she didn't like any of them. I did as you've done and still made them as everyone else liked them, sometimes she'd just have pasta, then a bit of bolognese with the pasta, she'd eat the mince and mash (of shepherds pie) separately but not togethe, she'd have stew if she peeled the carrots and potatoes. Eventually she started eating them again and spaghetti bolognese is her favourite food now.

As long as it's something you know she likes then carry on as you are, if it's something new then I'd offer an alternative as some kids will let themselves starve if they really don't like something.

TheScreamingfrog Sun 16-Aug-15 19:25:30

Thanks all, it's actually just reassuring to know that I'm not alone. The getting stressed thing is a big thing for me as I have no one to help diffuse it on a daily basis!
I am going to crack on with this. Hopefully it will bear fruit soon (or she goes back to school and its no longer a problem as she will have sandwiches for tea!

Hotpotpie Sun 16-Aug-15 19:28:03

We have had this battle too, mainly as it's SD and mum pretty much serves chippy tea or pot noodle at home. At 4 she would eat weetabix or chicken nuggets and chips. We tried rewards which failed miserably then we had a period of loads of illness which I put down to lack of nutrition since then I don't go out of my way to give her stuff that I know she will hate but I do insist on her at least trying new foods. She always says she doesn't like them but we can tell the difference between 'its just not chips' and 'i genuinely don't like it'. Now she gets the same meal as everyone else and 9 times out of ten she eats it. Of the four days we have her I make two meals that I know she loves and two meals that she tolerates
Persevere it's worth it

Findtheoldme Sun 16-Aug-15 19:38:11

Why do some kids eat X one week and for years have done then suddenly decide no, don't like it anymore?!

rollmeover Sun 16-Aug-15 19:55:13

Yup Ive had this with my DC too. They eat what they are given or nothing till the morning (they always get their milk before bed). Like yours, my two always have agood breakfast and lunch so by teatime I think sometimes they are just not hungry or are too tired.

The meal goes down in front on them and I dont discuss it, no coaching, persuading or pleading. If they make a good stab at it I might say "two more spoonfuls" at the end. I find saying nothing and busying myself tidying up or eating my own keeps my stress levels down!

If there are food she does like, give them to her once a week though, so you know not EVERY tea time will be a battle.

My daughter in particular has become a much better eater since I started this about six months ago.

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