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Nightmare mealtimes with my toddler

(4 Posts)
JojoMags Fri 17-Dec-10 14:01:01

My 3yo is generally a happy, well-balanced boy. He is bright, sociable, loving and funny. However, mealtimes are a nightmare. There are a very small range of savoury foods he is prepared to accept. They are all reasonably healthy, but anything on his plate that is not on his accepted list causes a massive tantrum and a refusal to eat anything else whilst the offending food is still on the plate. We have tried 'tiny tastes', reward charts, no-pudding-unless-you-try threats, treats-if-you-eat-a-bit bribes, removing him from the table until the tantrum stops and ignoring the bad behaviour altogether.

We don't give in to his tantrums by replacing the rejected food with other things, but nor does he get any more accepting. I have almost stopped offering new foods because I can't face the battle and because of the effort and waste involved.

He also often refuses to eat the 'accepted' foods unless read to as a distraction and if we go to friends or grandparents and try and eat together with him his manners and behaviour are awful. He just will not sit at the table or eat with other people. I normally eat breakfast and lunch with him, but he eats dinner on his own (I sit and have a cuppa) as my hubby gets in later. He will sit at table at home but often has a tantrum before agreeing to sit down.

We try to limit snacks as much as possible. I accept this situation is probably my fault as much as his but would appreciate tips on how to improve things as I am worn down and despairing.

He is healthy and the right weight for his height and age.

strandedatseasonsgreetings Fri 17-Dec-10 14:06:08

Others might not agree but sounds totally normal for a three-year-old to me. What are his accepted foods? Are they healthy? I remember a friend of mine cooking chicken, pasta and sweetcorn every single night for her toddler as that was all she would eat.

Personally as long as he's eating vaguely healthy stuff I wouldn't get too stressed. And if it isn't that healthy, think of ways to sneak stuff in. Eg smoothies and ice lollies made with fruit, pasta sauce with whizzed veg/meat (sorry if I am already telling you what you are doing).

Nosnowplease Fri 17-Dec-10 14:08:35

Oh my god I could have written your post. Although it is getting slightly better at the moment.
Ds (3.3) also has to be read to.
What does he eat??

JojoMags Sat 18-Dec-10 09:33:37

He eats fish fingers, pasta - plain or with cheese or green pesto, bread, marmite,ryvita, porridge, ooccasionally baked beans. He also eats broccoli, peas, sweetcorn, green beans and carrots. He will only drink milk and will somewhat reluctantly eat apples, bananas and summer berries. That's it (apart from sweet stuff).

He won't eat meat in any form yet discovered, eggs, tuna, pulses, pasta bakes, tomato sauces, rice or potatos or any other cooked 'family' meal.

He is worse if we sit and eat together and it doesn't help if he helps prepare the meal, or sits with a less fussy friend. DH is a little more successful at getting him to eat, but approaches it with energy that I cannot muster 3 times a day.

I am worried that he is not getting enough complete protein and that we have failed miserably to teach him the social skills of sharing a meal. It's embarassing!

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