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AIBU to stop cooking separate meals for 10 year old DSD *long*

(88 Posts)
cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 21:45:52

DSD (10) is a very fussy eater to put it mildly, her mother and I get on well and between us adults (including DH) we have, over the years jointly decided to put no pressure on her to eat because, well because of all the good reasons there are for not putting pressure on children around food.

She eats a rotation of two meals when she stays here, plain pasta with cheese or egg fried rice.

For lunch she will eat either greggs pizza or breadsticks and bits of fruit.

Greens are always offered and she will eat one of them if reminded.

She loves biscuits, yoghurts, chocolate and cereal as most kids do.

Anyway, I had my first baby 4 months ago and will be starting to introduce some solid foods when I go back to work. My plan is to have my baby eat what we adults eat (very high in veg diet)

I'm worried that my DD will see her half sister's eating a plate of beige food and want to follow suit.

DSD is VERY thin, pale, low mood often and is now getting a bit spotty too.

Tonight I cooked a stir-fry of all the veg I know she eats (because her mother told me) and lots of noodles with the option to put soy sauce on as she loves this with her usual rice dish. DH and I had the same but with more flavoursome sauces.

It was quite a strong move because normally DSD is asked what she would like and her dad cooks it just the way she likes it (very precise recipe not to be deviated from in any way and exactly the same dish for 8 years!)

She ate quite well but then began to dig her heels in and started picking tiny bits of broccoli out (typical fussy eater style) I was just happy she had eaten as much as she did (nearly all the veg and most of the noodles) as irritating as the picking is.

Her dad made her stay at the table for ages and this dark atmosphere eventually clouded the room, where a battle of wills commenced between them. I would have just left it knowing that she'd eaten more veg in that one sitting than I'd seen her do in years.

She got up after drinking the water her dad had asked her to finish and slammed her glass down on the table and stropped off.

I (and I very rarely tell her off) told her that I didn't like that attitude and that she wouldn't be allowed to play on her iPad if she did that again. She was mortified to have been told off by me and has been sheepish with me for the rest of the evening.

What annoys me is that DH has spent the evening there after apologising, giving her cakes that her mum brought round and generally playing good cop and here I am the bad guy sat on the other sofa while they cuddle up eating cakes.

It bewilders me that DH is so uninterested in nutrition when he has read every book about child rearing and parenting you can think of, such a blind spot. He seems to think that thin means healthy confused

DSD said half way through dinner tonight, oh I'll just make myself a fruit salad instead which is obviously something her mum does with her.

Sorry this has turned out so long I just want my own DD to have a positive attitude towards food and good behaviour at the table so AIBU to from now on just give DSD what we have, regardless of whether she likes it or not?

PS for years I've just wanted her to feel comfortable when she comes to stay (which is every weekend and every Wednesday) but now I need my DD to have good role models. AIBU?


SuperBeagle Fri 19-May-17 21:48:33


It's not a restaurant. She gets what she's given, and if she doesn't want to eat it, that's fine but she can't expect to be given anything else. She'll learn eventually.

Wolfiefan Fri 19-May-17 21:52:10

You and DH need a consistent approach.
One meal cooked for all.
Kids eat what they want.
No snacks later.
No fuss or force. Take it or leave it!

StillDrivingMeBonkers Fri 19-May-17 21:54:41

Fussy or food issues?

Food is a form of control, probably the only control a child that age has over their life. If you make an issue of it, then that's when problems start. Right now, is her life how she wants it? I'd be looking at the hidden problems. How did she cope with the divorce? the new half sibling?

Sirzy Fri 19-May-17 21:55:16

So you have had an agreement that you all agreed to but you took it upon yourself to change that?

Sounds like your putting the babies "needs" above those of your step daughter.

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 21:56:44

Her mum and dad have never been together during her life (outside the womb!)
She has been fussy since she was a baby apparently.

It's not always control, sometime's kids just hate the texture of things. But I can't sit back and watch her eat crap because noone's bothering to challenge her.

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 21:57:38

Sirzy, Im doing what most she mother do and trying to balance everyone's needs. Isn't my DSD entitled to be given a well balanced and nourishing diet?

Seryph Fri 19-May-17 21:59:00

Why did you make such a fuss in the first place?
You gave her new food, and she ate most of it. That should have been followed up with, 'Good job DSD, if you are full please scrape your plate and stick it in the sink/dishwasher.' And that would have been that.

Of course she should be given what everyone else has, but again, don't put any pressure on. What you make is dinner, so she can eat it ornot, but should at least try a bit. Don't make a huge fuss and cause a negative atmosphere, just get on with it.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Fri 19-May-17 21:59:19

sometime's kids just hate the texture of things

Do you eat things you don't like?

Sirzy Fri 19-May-17 21:59:42

So why have you changed route all of a sudden? And why do it solo and not taking to her parents? You admit yourself it's about the baby!

Tinseleverywhere Fri 19-May-17 21:59:46

I think you should have another meeting about it so you are all on the same page. For example it was good she ate lots of veg compared to normal but then your Dh messed it up.
Have a look at this YouTube of super size vs superskinny kids. My dd enjoyed watching it and it does show how under eating a small range of foods makes the children unhealthy. Your dad and Dh might both learn something from it see what you think

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 22:00:16

Still she ate everything on her plate except her noodles so she did like it.
Her dad tried to get her to eat the noodles and as I said in my OP I wouldn't have pushed it.

JennyHolzersGhost Fri 19-May-17 22:00:59

So just to be clear, she did fantastically well with the veg stir fry and then her father picked a fight about relatively minor things and totally failed to appreciate how well she had done with what she ate ?

Wolfiefan Fri 19-May-17 22:01:32

It can work well to offer a choice. So my kids like wraps. Wraps and chicken. Choice of salad and cucumber and sliced carrot and sweet corn and grated cheese and salsa or Mayo.
They choose what goes in each wrap.
Better than shepherds pie where it's all just muddled together.

PickAChew Fri 19-May-17 22:03:45

You don't challenge a child who has food issues by giving them a completely different meal. If oyu make changes, they have to be small changes and ones that are easily skirted around if she can't face up to that change.

DS1 loves a variety of veg, including broccoli. If you were to stirfry it with soy sauce, you might as well have stir fried it with shit. It becomes completely unpalatable to him.

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 22:05:12

Pick As I said, she liked it all except the noodles (which Id been told by her mum that she liked)
I will have a chat with DH about his pushing.

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 22:05:59

Tinseleverywhere Thanks, I'll watch this..

AmIReadingThisCorrectly Fri 19-May-17 22:07:48

OP, I could have written your post a couple of years ago. Our situation is nearly identical - we have a young DD and a DSS who stays with us 50%. He is a very picky eater (beige food only) and eats very small amounts extremely slowly, so even food that he likes will taste cold and unappetising when they've been sat there for over an hour. When he gets pizza/chips/McDonalds however, he'll inhale it within a couple of minutes and ask for seconds.
We had years of misery, trying to get him to eat more things, bigger quantities and to eat faster. His weight and height was very low for his age and his mood and energy levels were very low. We felt like every meal was miserable and a battle, and that DD was starting to catch on to this. We felt like we had to do something for both their sakes.
So...we have introduced a reward system, for both children. They are presented with a meal (which is always something involving ingredients they both like, sometimes a familiar dish, sometimes not.) We set a timer for 30 minutes and if their plate is cleared within that time, they get a reward. If they don't manage it then there is no consequence, but obviously no reward either. It has worked miracles. The trick was finding the right reward (screen time/craft activity etc) but I now can't remember the last time DSS didn't manage a whole meal.
I know it probably won't float everyone's boat but we are all much happier as a result, including DSS' mum, who was really tearing her hair out about food. She has found DSS to be more welcoming of new foods at her house too.

cupthejunction Fri 19-May-17 22:09:08

Thank you am we'll give that a try smile

Ameliablue Fri 19-May-17 22:09:15

Yabu it sounds as if she has a selective eating disorder. You can't expect her to just suddenly get over it because you have another child.

chitofftheshovel Fri 19-May-17 22:10:26

It was your husband who broke the agreement the three adults in your DSD's life have about not making it an issue.

I would bring this up with him once DSD is in bed and ask him to both belatedly praise her for trying something new and apologise for making it an issue.

I would think you have a good couple of years until your DD notices what is on anyone else's plate, by which time DSD may well have a much improved palette, especially if all the adults are consistent.

RandomMess Fri 19-May-17 22:10:45

The biggest issue is your DH - I literally cannot believe he made DSD having a good go and something different into a huge negative thing - I'd be utterly fuming!!

Absolutely great to offer DSD the same meal as everyone else each time then with a healthy back up such as fruit. Certainly not to go hardcore because food issues are not going to become better overnight (if ever)

PickAChew Fri 19-May-17 22:10:50

And oyu didn't mention earlier that she had eaten the veg but not the noodles.

Ultimately, it would be lovely if she could happily eat a wider range of foods. It's not going to happen in your house, though, if your DH is going to behave like she'll break if she can't eat a complete meal every meal. Maybe he's worried about the shitstorm he'll face when she goes home and complains to her mum about you feeding her weird food and starving her (10 year olds can have quite a sense of drama).

You do need to hammer home to him the importance of a united front, though, not least because you could be fighting this battle with him over your own children, in years to come.

AmIReadingThisCorrectly Fri 19-May-17 22:10:58

Forgot to say, the 30 minutes is theirs to do what they want with - before we started this, we'd be nagging them about their speed of eating, the amount they put into their forks, the fact they ate all their favourite stuff first and left their least favourite until last. Now we have none of that - we've handed control over to them.

NellieFiveBellies Fri 19-May-17 22:12:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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