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AIBU to just feed the DCs cereal?

(20 Posts)
hollyhobbie Tue 10-Nov-09 18:21:10

DD (4.5) and DS (2.5) used to eat a very healthy, balanced, homecooked diet. Now they (especially DD since she started school in Sept) are slowly rejecting everything I cook. I would say that DD is dropping items from her diet at a rate of about 1 or 2 a week.

Last night it was pizza: DD ate the olives off the top and half a carrot. DS ate a little more. Tonight it was lasagne: DD scraped the sauce off and ate a bit of the pasta, DS refused it all.

They eat a good breakfast (cereal or porridge) and an ok lunch (DD has a packed lunch at school and DS eats a hot meal at the childminder's 3 mornings a week and an ok lunch with me on the other days), and I don't want them to go to bed hungry (which they are doing at the moment), so I'm thinking that I'm going to give them cereal for tea for the next week or so.

Cereal in our house is a choice of porridge, Weetabix, Shreddies, homemade granola and sometimes they like just oats and milk. I know some of those are more sugary and salty than others, but I don't think they will starve or be malnourished.

I think this is almost more to do with my sanity than their diet smile

QandA Tue 10-Nov-09 18:25:38

I feel for you, but YABU

Keep doing what you normally do and try not to let it get to you.

WhatDidISayRoy Tue 10-Nov-09 18:27:56

Go with the cereal for tea idea. It won't kill them and they are healthy cereals.

hollyhobbie Tue 10-Nov-09 18:33:08

Thanks. I think if it was any other meal I would keep doing what I was doing QandA and then I wouldn't allow snacks until the next meal.
It's just that it's teatime and if they don't eat anything, then it's a looooong time until breakfast and they then wake up early, hungry and grumpy.

MrsGokVantsyourblood Tue 10-Nov-09 19:31:12

YABU mine eat what I cook for them or nothing at all. It has made them very unfussy eaters. If you give in now you will mae your life unbearable in the future as they become fussy eaters.

hollyhobbie Tue 10-Nov-09 19:36:59

become fussy eaters? They are already!

MrsGokWan Tue 10-Nov-09 19:41:51

Sorry posting in a hurry.

Stay fussy eaters and not get any better and getting worse than they are all ready.

WhatDidISayRoy Tue 10-Nov-09 19:50:17

disagree, they will get fed up with cereals and want to eat normal meals again

<<<hopefully>>

MrsGuyofGisbourne Tue 10-Nov-09 19:50:40

Let 'em eat cereal! On a good day I persevere with nutritious well-balanced meals that get rejected, picked-at etc. Tonight I am too busy on Mumsnet working to pander to their fads, so both have eated cereal and are now making themselves toast (they are maybe a bit older than yours grin) Tomorrow I'll be back on the hamster wheel attempting to give them a balanced diet...

Francasaysrelax Tue 10-Nov-09 19:57:55

I do feel for you, and I know how frustrating it is, but I wouldn't go down that route. I'd offer a bit of cereal, in an emergency, not as a substitute for a hot dinner.

Lilyloo Tue 10-Nov-09 20:07:37

I also wouldn't personally scrap tea for cereal.
Can you bring tea time forward to allow time for supper ? Then they can eat cereal and fill up if they haven't eaten tea. But they still know tea is a meal time ?

lilyjen Tue 10-Nov-09 20:29:33

If they were hungry they wouldn't be as fussy that's the bottom line imho, giving them cereal instead of a meal is easier but is unlikely to be a long time answer so in a month or 2 you will be trying new ways to get them off the cereal they get used to having. It's also giving up rather than tackling the problem iyswim, though I do understand yr concern and we've all been there i'm sure! Keep offering the foods, forget alternertives and sit with them (if you don't already) and encourage and praise for eating well and ignore the rest. Your worry is not justified albeit understandable, children don't need an awful lot to eat at that age and are guided by their appetite. My DD went through a phase of fussy eating and refused lots of types of food and after lots of pandering about I thought 'stuff it' one day and just dished up everyday food and let her eat as much of it as she wanted, after a while of eating very litle she got over it and now eats more or less anything..it sounds reasonable, they had a healthy lunch etc and no, it wont do any physical harm but it will give the message they can be fussy and that's a bad idea imo

LIZS Tue 10-Nov-09 20:34:20

I think your dd is old enough to have a cooked school meal rather than packed lunch if she won't eat a proper tea. Is that an option ? Sorry but I could n't in good conscience let a child that age go through winter without some hot cooked food each day. Simplify your offering (ie not lasagne but may be pasta with a little sauce). Your ds is more likely to eat fi hois sister does.

Mutt Tue 10-Nov-09 20:36:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mazzystartled Tue 10-Nov-09 20:43:58

YANBU to scale it back. Cereal for a week might be a bit extreme, but my 2 (5 & 2.8) rarely want or need a fullblown meal at dinner time, especially when they have had a hot meal at school/nursery. I give them a simple "high tea" and that is enough for them. And sometimes that is a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit.

Bellsa Tue 10-Nov-09 20:50:54

I understand why you want to, but I think that it will get even more difficult to wean them off it once they've got used to it. As Mutt says, when they're hungry they'll eat.

Tortoise Tue 10-Nov-09 20:53:48

My DD's have breakfast night every Friday. grin They would love it more often if i let them. Doesn't hurt now and then if it means they will eat.

BigMomma3 Tue 10-Nov-09 22:32:50

Personally I would'nt bother stressing about it and give them cereal if you know they are going to eat it and it fills them up.

What I would also do though is make some fresh juice (from a juicer) or a smoothie to go with it so you don't get the guilt that they are not getting 'fresh' vitamins. I have started doing that with my kids and they are aged between 7 and 12!! They can have beans on toast for tea or hotdogs as long as they drink a large glass of juice afterwards (I normally put broccoli, carrots, apples and pineapple or variations through the juicer and blend with banana or mango and although they will not normally eat cooked broccoli, they are getting the raw vits and it's hidden!). They love it and whinge for their juice now (result!) and the initial outlay is worth it for the peace of mind. I got my juicer from Argos for 27 quid (reduced from 54 with a glass blender as an extra). The fruit and veg may cost more but at least dinners are not going in the binangry. Once the pressure is off about what they're eating, you may find they accept more 'normal' food.

I was fed up of cooking elaborately thought out nutrionally sound meals that they boaked at grin and my blood pressure could'nt take it anymore!!

hollyhobbie Tue 10-Nov-09 23:01:53

LIZS DD started on school meals last half term, but her teacher said she wasn't eating them and was upset so we're on sandwiches this half term, on the understanding that she tries school dinners again after Xmas.
It's true I'd feel more relaxed about tea if I knew she'd had hot food already.

Lilyloo, I couldn't really bring tea any earlier - they eat at 5 and then are in bed by 7. I wonder though if I fed them a meal (instead of a snack) at 3.30 when DD is back from school (and they are both hungry), and then they had supper (eg cereal grin) at 6.15?

Hmm. Food for thought from all of you. I guess for now I'll keep at it with the cooked meals (and yes, I do sit with them, I don't always have my main meal with them, but I'll have a small portion to join them at the table).

Tortoise I like breakfast night though! If I keep up the hot meals, then we could adopt your idea and save my sanity on a Friday, at least grin

hollyhobbie Tue 10-Nov-09 23:03:50

Sorry BigMomma3 I meant to say that your smoothie idea is a good one too. I'll try it out with bananas, apples and our blender before I invest in a juicer and a whole pile of broccoli though!

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