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To ask for help in improving my 5 year olds terrible diet?

(30 Posts)
Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:22:02

My 5 year old has never eaten much. Since she started school she has been suffering from acid reflux. We are not sure if it is the stress of starting school, her diet or something else. She has been prescribed Ranatidine by her doctor. The only thing I have control over is her diet. I really want to improve it but she is so fussy. Please can anyone make any suggestions, I will post what she eats below (please do not flame me, I have never posted in aibu before but I really need some simple changes I can make for my daughters health)

Breakfast: wholemeal bread with either, Nutella, baked beans, boiled egg or spaghetti hoops, glass of blackcurrant high juice

Lunch: either a packed lunch of cheese sandwich, crisps, biscuit bar and a carton of pure apple juice or school dinners (along the lines of fish fingers, chips and a cake - they are not very healthy)

After school: milk mixed with chocolate nesquick powder, 2 biscuits

Dinner: home cooked meal like cottage pie, yogurt tube for pudding, blackcurrant high juice

Lucyccfc Mon 30-Nov-15 21:28:56

What fruit and veg will she eat?

What about swapping the chocolate biscuit at lunch and biscuits in the afternoon for some fruit or salad/veg?

Will she eat pasta? My son loves pasta, but never used to be a big veg eater, so I would make my own pasta sauce with loads of veg in and purée it.

Swap the juice for milk or water? (Water down the juice a bit at a time)

llhj Mon 30-Nov-15 21:31:43

It looks OK to me, not amazing but you know that's pretty good for a fussy eater. I can only dream of ds eating cottage pie. Maybe crisps or biscuit bar?

LumpySpaceCow Mon 30-Nov-15 21:33:00

This is the kind of thing my 5 year old has (but she will eat anything)
Breakfast: wheatabix/porridge with honey or toast with marmite/Nutella and a piece of fruit, glass of milk

Break: fruit or toast

Lunch- school dinners, but they are quite balanced and include fruit/veg, water/milk/sometimes cordial

After school- malt loaf with butter, fruit, yoghurt

Tea- usually home cooked spag bol, shepherd's pie, chicken dinner, once a week fish fingers, chips and veg, fajitas, pizza. Then fruit and yoghurt, sweets if she fancies with milk, water or cordial

Supper: cereal, toast or fruit and milk or water.

Maybe add more fruit/veg to diet? Some fruit can be quite acidic though so may make reflux worse? I struggle to think of new meal ideas as well but just make sure I cram as much veg in there as I can!

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:33:17

I've tried putting fruit on her packed lunch but she just leaves it sad

She will eat strips of pepper and hummus, sometimes cucumber, occasionally raw carrot. She will eat grapes at home but not at school. And that is it fruit and veg wise sad

She will eat hidden veg in homemade dinners at night but it's not much really. Things like spag Bol, chicken and veg pie

Janeymoo50 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:34:22

Stop.....that is not a terrible diet. She needs a little more fruit and veg, but honestly OP, there are FAR FAR worse foods being eaten by 5 year olds. The amount of squash isn't great but honestly just make little, teeny changes, you're doing fine. Does she actually eat it all?? If so, that's great, doesn't matter if it's repetitive, she's eating it.

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:34:45

Oh yes forgot to say fruit seems to make the reflux worse, maybe that is why she has never liked it, I'm not sure

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:40:13

Oh wow really, I was thinking her diet was awful. I have been thinking maybe it's all my fault she has reflux and I'm making her ill with what I feed her. She has never liked fruit from weaning and the amount of veg she will eat has got less and less. She just seems to like bread and biscuits, although will eat a very small (child's palm size) portion of home made dinner (because if she eats it i let her have a sweetie blush ) but I have to make the portion small or she will not eat any of it even with the sweetie bribe.

VagueIdeas Mon 30-Nov-15 21:46:22

Honestly, it doesn't sound that bad.

My four year old would never eat egg in any form, or any sort of home cooked dish like cottage pie (mince is a no; potato is a no).

Janeymoo50 Mon 30-Nov-15 21:46:47

The fact she is eating is key. Try some veggie cakes/muffins - carrot cake, banana bread maybe. Plus she is eating some fruit and veg, strips of peppers...blimey, even I don't like them.

sneepy Mon 30-Nov-15 21:58:15

Honestly it sounds fine. She's got tummy troubles at the moment, I'd back off trying to get her to eat and let her find her own way. Offer healthy meals that you can be reasonably sure she likes and let her choose how much of it she wants.

Maybe try to get the reflux sorted before making major changes? Have you been able to see a dietitian or do any research?

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:02:29

The doctor has just been keen to medicate without looking at causes for the reflux, we gave another appointment in a few weeks so I'm going to push for a referral as this only started when she started school last September. It seems odd.

anotherdayanothersquabble Mon 30-Nov-15 22:04:25

Look into triggers and dietary causes for her reflux including a stomach acid imbalance and gut bacteria. If you could improve it through food, you may well find she eats more and can tolerate more fruit and vegetables. My son had reflux and never said he was hungry. I have battled for a long time with his food (it was affecting his immune system too) but I nearly cried when he started saying he was hungry, then really enjoying food and asking for more. It did mean, no sugar, no dairy, limited grains, lots of probiotics, fatty acids (a range of sources), vitamin A, D and C. Not an easy route but he is healthier (no antibiotics for almost a year when before it was every three months at least and sometime for months at a time), has more energy.

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:08:17

Thank you, what age did your son grow out of reflux?

anotherdayanothersquabble Mon 30-Nov-15 22:13:12

Its interesting that your daughter just started with it recently, my son had it from birth until around 3 and a half. Did anything else change before it started? Infection, antibiotics, tummy bug? Those things can upset the gut balance and can be relatively easily remedied.

Unfairestofthemall Mon 30-Nov-15 22:14:20

The apple juice won't help the reflux I'm afraid. Try fruit like bananas it's less acidic. If it's hurting at night try adding an extra pillow/ propping the head of her bed up so she's slightly raised meaning the acid won't travel up so easily when laying down. It's a case of trial and error with a lot of foods because what bothers one may not bother another. Hope your DD feels better soon!

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:18:33

She had chicken pox in the July, we moved house and she started school beginning of September and she started school full time the end of September. It came on the end of September. This was last year. It got quite alot better by Easter, then totally went while we were in Spain for 2 weeks, then came back mildly when we got back from Spain. She started year 1 and after 3 weeks her best friend left then it was really bad. Then it calmed down but now she has a virus and it is really bad, it's hard for me to pinpoint a reason, they are the only life events and illnesses she has had since it started

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:19:36

She loves apple juice! What would be better to put in her packed lunch (she hates water I'm afraid)

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:20:15

Yes we do the pillow thing it seems to help a bit. We have also tried eating earlier but then she is hungry once in bed

Unfairestofthemall Mon 30-Nov-15 22:24:41

Maybe flavoured water instead? It's just the acidity can be bloody painful. If she doesn't seem bothered don't worry too much smile. None of the food sounds awful btw it seems perfectly healthy, reflux is a bugger you think you've got it sorted then something will set it off all over again. If she's on tablets it's probably really helping, again tablets are trial and error and there are others don't be discouraged to go back and ask to try a different one

Diggum Mon 30-Nov-15 22:26:27

Could you give her a little pot of natural yoghurt with some squished berries (raspberries and blackberries mush down well) or stewed apple/pear in and maybe a little honey if it needs sweetening? That could go instead of biscuits at lunchtime.

Maybe some cheese straws with finely chopped spinach in them instead of crisps? Or you could try veggie crisps (though not sure how nutritious they are!).

Savoury muffins go down well here too (red onion, spinach and cheese with a little bit of paprika).

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:26:34

Are there any flavoured waters without sweetness? That could be an option

TheAussieProject Mon 30-Nov-15 22:26:35

I may be the only one here saying "good on you for wanting to change the way she eats!". So industrial, so processed, so sugary!
3 juices per day is far too much! Nothing healthy in those juices. A can of spaghettis hoops, full of sugar, a tube of yoghurt, full of sugar. And daily crisps, what for?
I would make this changes:
Breakfast, bread with Nutella, jam or honey or boiled egg with bread milk or if she really wants her juice, freshly squeezed oranges
Lunch sandwich with tuna, chicken, avocado, ham, salmon, egg salad.. water
Dinner: that's your chance for a real meal: steak, chicken breast, fish, homemade schnitzel, lovely soups, pasta, risottos, ....

Snacks, what about baking a cake on Sundays and she have a slice everyday, or pancakes.
It is about cutting all the processed food and starting making real meals. It is a change for the whole family not only her.

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:31:29

Thank you theaussieproject some good ideas

Poppybella2015 Mon 30-Nov-15 22:33:15

I need a drink in the mornings that I can hide her probiotic in, currently I use blackcurrant high juice

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