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Lunch at nursery (Sorry, long!!)

(21 Posts)
cakeismyfriend Wed 21-Sep-11 19:43:21

Hi, my daughter has just started at a nursery attached to a school. She attends 4 mornings and 1 full day. On the full day she has lunch at the nursery. She refuses to eat there and gets upset, eventually she is calmed down and will eat a tiny amount of bread and a bit of dessert.
She is fussy, she will eat:
Gnocchi (if persuaded!!)
Garlic bread
Plain rice
Most fruit
Smoked salmon
Frozen potato products
Fish fingers
Quorn burgers
Any snacks and cake
How fussy is that? Does anyone else has a child who is this fussy?
She is also very slow at eating and can sometimes take an hour to eat a meal!! Anyone else experienced this?
Also, what would you do about the lunchtime at nursery? They don't allow packed lunch.
Thanks for reading and for for any advice xx

cookielove Wed 21-Sep-11 19:52:22

I think the fact that you can list it would suggest that she is at least slightly fussy.

If she were at my nursery, i would continue to offer the meal as i assume you want her to broaden her diet, and then assuming she refuses it i would offer the bread or whatever they give her. There are several ways we combat fussy eaters:

- Offer smaller portions
- Separate the meal e.g. a small pile of rice, a small pile of stew
- Gentle encouragement to try, although not obsessing of constant attention
- Praise for trying new things

The slow eating would mean she would probably end up eating less as lunch is usually allocated a certain amount of time, although she is probably is already if she is refusing food and then having a few tid bits.

cakeismyfriend Wed 21-Sep-11 20:48:25

Thanks cookielove (great name btw!!).
I will ask them to separate the meals if possible. She does prefer her meals like this!! Do children tend to get less fussy with age? She is 3 and 8 months and eats about twice as many things as a year ago!! Things have improved, although with starting nursery recently she's got fussier again.
Thanks for any further advice/ shared experience.

lisad123 Wed 21-Sep-11 20:52:11

My dd1 refused to consider eating hot food at lunch times when she was at nursery. If it continues can you jut send her with something she will eat?

cakeismyfriend Wed 21-Sep-11 20:55:35

Hopefully that would be ok. They do try to encourage children to eat the food they provide. Packed lunch isn't really encouraged.
Just wondering, did your DD1 grow out of not eating a hot lunch?
Thanks for taking the time to reply xx

UniS Wed 21-Sep-11 20:57:15

DS refused to eat a cooked lunch at nursery- he is adamant that lunch should be a cold meal and dinner the hot one. I gave up worrying, it was only one day a week. He ate pudding and then had extra rations at snack time mid afternoon.

He's at school now, has packed lunch. He has tried school dinners on occasions but doesn't think its right eating hot food at midday.

budgieshell Wed 21-Sep-11 21:00:05

My DD is 10 now but when she was younger her list was very limited, now she will try anything and likes loads more than her younger sister.

I think me being so stressed about it didn't help.

I would ask the advice of nursery and just let them offer her something every day but not make a big deal out of it.

It is very worrying but I'm sure she will come round in her own time.

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Wed 21-Sep-11 21:00:36

I've been focusing on dd trying everything in her plate at nursery. I don't care if she doesn't then eat that part as long as she has tried it. It's working quite well. There are things she has started eating that she won't try before. I then give her praise for trying and ask if she liked it.

cookielove Wed 21-Sep-11 21:06:07

What do you want her to do?

Would you prefer her to eat a wider range of food, or are you happy with what she is eating?

Would you prefer it if you provided her lunch?

Are you hoping peer pressure may help her eat? - it might it might not.

Does she get hysterical when you offer food that you haven't listed?

You could ask them to give her a simplified version of the meal so if it is curry and rice, maybe just rice with a bit of grated cheese, or pasta with bits of sweetcorn.

cookielove Wed 21-Sep-11 21:06:24

Oh thanks about the name smile

Pancakeflipper Wed 21-Sep-11 21:07:44

I think at the moment because it is only 1 meal a week she is having at nursery I wouldn't make this a huge issue (cook her a decent meal at home and have a snack ready for her to eat on the way home - she won't starve).

I think at the moment the fact she is socialising at meal times is important. Getting her used to that will be an achievement.

Speak with the nursery and devise a plan together on how you want to tackle it - I like Cookies practical approach.

cakeismyfriend Wed 21-Sep-11 21:21:18

Thanks for all the advice, it's really appreciated.
She does get upset if I offer food she hasn't eaten before. She has always been sensitive. We've gradually built up the range of food she'll eat over the last year.
I love the idea about simplified versions of what the nursery offer. I will ask about this when I collect her tomorrow. She has a lovely key worker. I think devising a plan with the nursery is the way forwards.
It would be great if DD does start eating a greater range of food and really enjoying it!! I guess it will just take time and patience. Thanks for all the ideas, it's definately helped me clarify my thoughts and think of ways forward xx

lisad123 Wed 21-Sep-11 21:22:36

Sadly dd1 didn't grow out of it for years but she has autism so it was always going to be a struggle. I'm pretty sure they aren't allowed to refuse for you to send in lunch.

Flisspaps Wed 21-Sep-11 21:28:56

I'm a harsh sod. I'd take the approach I saw on Jo Frost's Extreme Parenting a while back. Offer the meal that everyone else is having, and then ignore any upset that goes on, but give praise for trying food and for getting on with it.

This approach worked for a few children they showed who were really REALLY fussy eaters (the sort who would only eat mash or crisps) - the extra attention gained from having something different or the cajoling to try and eat something was part of the issue. If they refused to so much as try the meal, it was taken away and offered later if they were still hungry.

Of course, I have no idea what I am talking about, my DD is only 18mo. Is it an approach worth considering though?

VoldemortsNipple Wed 21-Sep-11 21:30:52

I've found in my nursery, that new children sometimes take a long time to feel comfortable eating at mealtimes, even if they have settled well into nursery. One dc we had, had a great diet at home but all we could manage him to eat was a bit of jam on toast. This lasted about six weeks before he would eat proper meals.

I would persevere with your DD being offered what's on the menu. They will make her a sandwich or similar if she refuses. When my children don't eat, I will always give an alternative, but not always sandwiches. You would be amazed how quickly children will cotton on to refusing lunch means sandwiches.

Her diet is is not too bad as she is at least eating things from all the food groups.

frasersmummy Wed 21-Sep-11 21:34:03

Ds did this .. nursery got very upset..

I started making his lunch and putting it in a sealed bowl.. they reheated it for him .. 3 days later he refused to eat it and told them he wanted to be the same as everyone else.. problem solved!!

Pancakeflipper Wed 21-Sep-11 21:36:05

Flisspaps - I have a 3yr old who just takes advantage at meal times. I used to pander to this, making him meals I knew he'd like.

I did this out of mummy guilt as he's had a lot of medical issues in his little life.

But the messing around never stopped. If I took the plate away he'd beg for it back then mess around again and again.. He uses food as control thing over me.

So I decided to stop the fussing. I made him what we were having adapting it for his dairy intolerance. If not finished when we did, I took it away.

I would always ensure that each day there was at least 1 meal with things I knew he liked so he could have something if he chose to eat...

The first few weeks he missed a few meals. He didn't starve but he'd eat the next meal up.

He is fussy ( won't have bread etc..) but he will now try things. It's hit and miss.

MissBeehiving Wed 21-Sep-11 21:44:15

DS1 was really fussy at home - beige food only for a while hmm but always cleaned his plate at nursery - curry, fish in sauce etc etc. Your DD really doesn't sound too bad!

The peer pressure might encourage her to try a wider range of foods. I really wouldn't worry to much, she won't starve, just give her her tea a bit earlier.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 21-Sep-11 21:48:57

good lord, OP, you need to find the real fussy eaters threads and you would be shocked!! if DS had eaten half of your list aged 3, and even now aged 5, i would be jumping up and down for joy, and crying with relief!!

seriously, your child eats a good range of healthy foods and i really really wouldn't worry about it!! give her time and i'm sure she will adapt to nursery.

pedalpants Thu 22-Sep-11 10:02:58

ime fussy eaters eat more at nursery because they are free from the power struggle they are in with their parents and there is the peer pressure too.

i would give her a bit longer to settle in and see what happens.

ragged Thu 22-Sep-11 10:09:58

What TooMuch said 2 posts back.

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