Fussy toddler(7 Posts)
We have 3 children and DS2, the youngest is supremely fussy at 2.1 yrs. He's currently still breast feeding and mainly eats the following: bread (only carb), cereal, yoghurt, no vegetables at all, grapes, bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries and his one form of protein - peanut butter. How much time/effort should we make trying to change this round at this stage - how much should we be worrying? I admit we've got into some bad habits. He often eats a biscuit or 2 between meals and I'm worried that the cereals are sometimes too sweet (cheerios/weetos, plus others like weetabix, ready brek which are less so) and the sweetened yoghurt. It sounds so simple to fix, but somehow in the context of life with 3 and the fact that he's spirited and prone to major tantrums, it's just not. I feel guilty!!
As a Mum of 5, one of whom is 2.3 I would strongly recommend nipping this in the bud sooner rather than later. In all honesty I think you know the answer already, stop the snacks and do a strict that's what's there eat it or leave it but there's nothing else-he won't starve himself. Keep trying the veg etc even if it takes lots of re-shows before he eats it. Whatever you do don't give in to the tantrums because they just get louder and more determined the older they get! If you fall into the Mum's Cafe trap making different for everyone you're just creating more work for yourself, one meal fits all in our house with a 'no finish, no pudding' rule which is rigidly enforced across the board.
Whatever you do don't beat yourself up about it though, you've seen the issue and you can rectify it... earplugs, firm voice and backbone at the ready ;)
Thanks, you're right and plus I need to stop eating the biscuits myself...
I agree, it's probably worth tackling sooner rather than later - DD is 2.4 and also has no veg unless it is hidden (or mushy peas!), but the rest of her diet is quite varied and so I don't panic too much. We have a 'pudding only if you've had a good go' rule - I was forced to finish every plateful as a child and now have weight problems and a difficulty in recognising when I am full. She is allowed to say she is finished, but if she's only had a mouthful or two that's not 'enough' so there's no pud.
If she has a 'new' meal and only eats a mouthful or two before deciding she doesn't like it, she is offered either a cheese sandwich or a bowl of readybrek instead, as I'd rather she had SOMETHING. Very seldom happens though.
Do you eat together as a family?
My ds responds so much better when we all eat at the same time, and the same thing. Broccoli is 'baby trees' which get handed round and fussed over like they were MIchelin starred novelties. God it all sounds so precious, but if he thinks we're having something he's not allowed, and we make a big fuss of saying it is 'big boy food' then he pretty much will at least eat a bit of it, even if he then winces, rolls it around his mouth and spits some of it out.
Also - again, sounds a bit like we're some annoying hippy type family (we're definitely not!) but dh makes his own healthy tomato ketchup, which ds loves spreading on his food.Bit more tricky when we're out and about in restaurants, though, as all ds loves to do is to try and splat as much ordinary tomato ketchup on his food as is humanely possible.
The other thing dh does ( I clearly am the slattern of the house) is juice lots of fruit with some beetroot and carrot, and occasionally teeny bits of more green stuff - ds absolutely loves it and, yes, it's trickery but at least he's getting his quota. Beware of letting any child other than the most accomplished at beaker drinking of getting a free rein on the beetroot option...high chair only in our house. Oh, and beware the purply poos after a beetroot episiode. I nearly took ds to the docs the first time, before I remembered.
Lol Coonrapids, know the feeling! Thought of an old trick we used with DS2 that you might like; separate bowl(s) with 'special children's veg' in and put 'adult veg' in dishes on the table to serve from too, sounds silly but often it's all in the sales pitch ;D
Thanks for your replies. I know it would be better if we ate as a family and we often do at weekends. During the week DH gets back too late and I'm at work 3 days so also back too late for tea. Then there's the fact that the middle one is also quite fussy. She eats much more variety but her protein is mainly scrambled egg and cheese (no meat apart from occasional ham). So she has egg once a day usually, which adds to the complication. DS1 is a good eater, so it could be that he's having one thing, DD the egg and then DS2 peanut butter sandwich. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it!
DD has just started school and seems to be changing in other ways e.g. this week she decided to give up her arm-sucking habit which she's had since 18 months (now nearly 5) and so I think she may also be prepared to try more with different foods. So when she goes to full time school I may try school dinners to see if that helps. Then on the days I'm home with DS2 I'll try and make food more fun, do more cooking and take time to increase his food options. If DD will start to be less fussy and eat more or less the same as DS1 then it starts to get simpler and maybe DS2 will begin to follow. Thanks again, I think the idea of putting things in dishes is a good one and I'd like to borrow petaluma's DH please.
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