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AIBU about making my almost4 and 51/2y old try every food offered?

(28 Posts)
3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 21:25:34

Well, after ys went from good eater to nada eater I sort of let them have a go...but then it all got a bit restrictive, and well, I now do not make them eat a food, as such, as in clear the plate no matter what, but they have to have a go at every food, disliked or not every time in order to get a bedtime snack and even pudding, depending how well they ate all in all...
anyways, my ys, wh is very sensitive, really does throw big padies if " made" to eat foods he doesn't want to try....however so far, if we persist, and give the right incensive and also maybe haf that bean he is meant to eat, we will get him to try it...and obviously sometimes he is almost voiting whatever out othertimes he realises that, "oh that was actually nice"....but are we setting ourselfs up for longterm problems...?
BUt really I would like to just cook that one meal and they all "blinking" eat it....
does that actually make sesne?

harpomarx Thu 10-Jul-08 21:27:51

sounds a bit stressful - are they really fussy?

GrinningGorilla Thu 10-Jul-08 21:34:25

I completely empathise with you. My 3 and 4 year old just look at the plate and say "I don't like that" and they haven't even tried it before. They do not get puddings or snacks in betwen meals if they don't eat at least half. It makes me so cross sometimes because I do cook most meals from scratch. Sometimes I just think I should feed them fish finger and chips every day. My two year old is an angel for eating and will try anything. Strange isn't it??!!!

CarGirl Thu 10-Jul-08 21:37:04

How much are you making him try/eat??? I would insist on a mouthful first time around and a reward if they try properly (a few mouthfuls). Of course there are some foods they really really dislike which fine, unfortunately 2 of my 4 intensley dislike beans/pulses think it's a texture thing!

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 21:38:03

I think it sounds overly stressful too...

the approach I've found has worked with ds is just continuing to present stuff on his plate, I don't make him eat it but if it's familiar enough (I'm talking about a year's worth of un-eaten broccoli here!) eventually he just picks it up and has a bite.

takes alot of patience, yes but it's just the approach I prefer, but then I like an easy life!

luckylady74 Thu 10-Jul-08 21:39:38

The only thing that ever worked with ds1 (who vomits food that freaks him out) was giving him what he liked (as long as it was healthy and easy for me to make) whilst we got on with our far more interesting food next to him.
Never discussed food - always happy chat at the table. After a few months (when he realised the battle was over and stopped being scared) he has started to try new foods and is doing reaslly well.
I never get the point of taking pudding away - if it's healthy fruit/ yoghurt/ custard/ what ever then it's a good thing to eat not a reward!
I do cook '1 meal' but I i'll stick some ham on ds2's plate when we have omlette or put some fishfingers on for ds1 because he won't eat meat sauce with pasta - I think it's about respecting them and wanting a nice atmosphere at hte table.
Ds1 has as so I really feel that taking the pressure off his eating has improved the quality of his life - he's so happy when we give him a clap for clearing his plate -which tonight had spinach and baked beans on - 2 things he asked to tryt himself!

harpomarx Thu 10-Jul-08 21:44:57

I'm with Honoria and luckylady. Take the stress out. Getting them to try every single food is a bit much, imo. I only cook one meal for me and dd (and whoever else is around), but I alternate between stuff that I know she likes and eats and stuff that is a bit more 'challenging'. As luckylady says, it's ok to respect their tastes as well and make adjustments (dd doesn't like gravy so I serve her food 'dry').

OurHamsterisevil Thu 10-Jul-08 21:45:52

We make DS1 4.11 try everything and have done for a while. It has worked for us in getting him to eat a wider variety of foods. He had a real problem with him eating meat (too lazy to chew). He is much better now, I think go for it if it is working

LazyLinePainterJane Thu 10-Jul-08 21:46:18

Well, it could work, or it could not.

I remember being made to sit at the table until I had tried a part of my dinner. I sat there for about an hour, not wanting to eat it (beef) because I had a problem with the texture of red meat.

It took me 15 years before I started eating red meat again.

3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 21:46:57

cargirl, that is what I do, and in case of my youngest it isn't even a mouthful I ask for, I mean I halfed the smalles baked bean last night that I could find so, my little one would get over himself and at lest put it into his moutn, I don't even expect a swallow if they are weirded out, especially with my youngest one...
my dh is very much a constency guy, not as in being consistent, but the consistency of the food he puts into his mouth, and whilst he has ovrcome a lot of discomfort, there are still foods he will not like to eat ( in his case it's aubergine, because they can get so slimy in their consistency)....I myself, it's more a mind thing, I cannot eat offal, kidney, liver and worse, I could be sick in preparation...I also cannot stomach jam, unless it's been baked (i.e in a donught or buislkuit). because I was "MADE" to eat Jam....but I was made to eat it for 4 weeks straight every breakfast every lunchtime and there was no getting out of it, I was made to eat it, despite retching, the whole sandwich, not just a try, same with cheese, but not as adament, and I got myself into eating cheese, by starting with mild versins, like creamcheese...
but like i said, with my boys I have just come to a point where I just would like them to try, a teensy bit, if has to be, and then, next time we have that food again, I will try, at least, to get a tiny bite out of each part again, if that makes sesnes...
and harpo, what do you suggest? Me cooking different meals every day? Because that was what it actualy ended up as, they eat that, some components of what we ate, and then whatever I had to add to make them eat a full meal!

3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 21:49:40

BUt, what if the diet is limited to pasta (without sauce, cucumber, and maybe, if he feels like that (my youngest now) a sausage, but only certain ones?
I felt it got to limited, because he just said no to whatever, rather then just try a tiny bit?
And the thing is, he used to eat everything put infront of him when hewas weaned

EustaciaVye Thu 10-Jul-08 21:52:31

I was made to eat gooseberries as a kid. I remember vomitting during my tea and afterwards. It was a regular pudding. I still resent being made to do this.

Relax and see what happens. my DD1 is quite fussy. She likes food dry etc but she is starting to become interested in food and is asking to try new things.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 21:53:27

I just think if you pull back on the encouraging you'll get to the end point you want but without the hassle and fuss!

Can you explain what sort of meals you're cooking when you end up cooking different meals for them and you? Is it not possible to just let them eat what they will on the plate. making sure that there is always something on the plate they do like?

harpomarx Thu 10-Jul-08 21:53:36

no, I just meant cook one meal for everyone but accept that sometimes they will eat more of it than others. forget about the adjustments then! And maybe get them to try the odd thing but not to have a go at every food.

Fizzylemonade Thu 10-Jul-08 21:56:28

Agree with luckylady74, I have ds1 aged 5 who has always been a fantastic eater, has school dinners so has tried stuff that we as a family would not eat.

He recently told me he didn't like peppers which he has been eating in a variety of ways since he was 12 months old. I kept offering it to him but didn't force him to eat it (sometimes I pureed the peppers into a sauce so he was eating them without knowing as we were eating them in pieces in the same dish) he then asked for them again.

I think sometimes it is a battle of wills BUT I also watched a program about food phobic kids whose parents put themselves through hell every meal time.

My ds2 was a good eater but just before he hit 2yrs old he started refusing stuff he loved including CAKE!!! I now just give him stuff that I know he eats, including puddings so angel delight, yoghurt, apples, bananas, chocolate etc etc. He will eat savory stuff but it is limited and having been forced to eat as a child I won't put my children through it.

It is not worth the stress of worrying about them being hungry later.

3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 22:10:44

Well, for us I will do a pastabake with vegetables, eggs etc...for the Kids it then would be plqain pasta, and some sort of meaty type thing/protein type (on the side) and then they would have the choice to eat it or not, but often wouldn't even give it a try. and then it would be somehting vegetablevise, if raw cucumber and carrot we would be fine but if it was anything else ys would not ewven give it a try....
honestly if they tell me they don't like anything fullstop and I have observed them retching every time they tried itI would not persevere in trying to give that child that food...but if they don't even try anything?

CarGirl Thu 10-Jul-08 22:11:19

I know my most highly sensitive near food phobic child (was like that from being weaned tbh) came home from school wanting a sticker for trying new things - worked for her really well! I also allow them to spit it out if they dont like it.

I would say generally I have never made a big thing over food just stuck stuff on their plates and let them get on with it.

3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 22:14:47

we never made a fuss about it...and they do get a reward for just trying an ittzy bittzy's just that we have gotten so limited that even somehting like Pizza or ravioli can be problem of cooking extra, and I consider those as junkfood, lol!
ys will eat the crust but not the pizza bit, forinstance...they are very much into seperated food, and we are mainly keeping it this way where we can and just let them try componesnst of the food seperately...

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 22:17:32

I think alot of kids this age really do like food to be quite seperate and identifiable and not mixed up - I found ds after toddlerhood, went right off some of our staples; fish pie, shepherds pue, pasta bake if it had sauce mixed in

I just did stuff 'drier', like pasta bake without the sauce and DH and I would stir in some sauce to ours if we wanted it at the table

We had fish more as fingers than in fish pie and if we had mash it's as an accompaniment rather than smushed all over the top of stuff.

But I really have found that things change quickly - I made kedgeree recently and having not touched it for literally years, ds just got on with it and started shovelling it in!

I think they all eventually get over the not trying new stuff thing, it just takes time. I think what you're doing with the pasta and protein/veg sounds fine to me - just keep putting a little extra thing on the plate and they will try it eventually IMO!

CarGirl Thu 10-Jul-08 22:18:17

Take heart now my middlies are nearly 5 & 6 there is a lot more dish it up and take it or leave it, they are so much more willing to try different things. I don't think you're doing anything dreafully wrong I just thing it's part of a stage that will pass. My dds all love naked pasta infact the only time they have non-naked pasta is in lasagne (eaten under duress by dh and dd2) I do odd things like have jacket potatoe and lasagne knowing they love jacket potatoe etc.

I tend to cook extras so the following day I already have cooked stuff they like so I'm only going one meal per day with a bit of reheating going on IYSWIM

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 22:18:33

shepherds pue - new recipe there! Meant Pie, obv

harpomarx Thu 10-Jul-08 22:23:40

is there a silent 'k' in that, Honoria? wink

BirdyArms Thu 10-Jul-08 22:24:40

'Everyone has to have something of everything' was the mantra round the dinner table when I was a child. We had to have one brussel sprout etc - can remember having to really fight my gag reflex. Probably not something I'd want to inflict on my children but it was a useful skill when faced with food I didn't like at someone else's home - but maybe we were also taught to be overly polite. My sister and I have always been very unfussy eaters and as adults don't really have any foods we dislike - whether it's down to having to try everything or not I don't know.

With ds1(3) I insist that he tries something if he hasn't had it before or hasn't had it recently. Ds2 is only 18mths but already flat out refuses foods if he doesn't like the smell, impossible to get them past his lips so might end up being very lax with him!

3andnomore Thu 10-Jul-08 22:26:27

I suppose I am a bit stresing, as of end of september I will be a fulltime OT student, not a sahm, ad I just want them to "get with it", sigh....oh, I don't know, because if I try a certain food csevera;l time, which hasn't any mind suggestions to me, then I get used to it and it eat it....forinstance I never liked celery for no reasons, but i TASsted it more and more and I got so used to it thar I like tyhe taste...does that not work for Kids?
Because the whole Jamie Oliver campaign was about not give "wrong" options and they will get used to it if hungry enough, and iI suppose generations before us just did, because you would eat what was available... confusing myself!

HonoriaGlossop Thu 10-Jul-08 22:31:40

hmm, quite fancy a Shepherds Puke


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