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Any success stories with fussy eaters

(14 Posts)
SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 27-Jan-15 19:27:42

DD is 3 and a terrible eater. I read all the books when she was a baby and did everything as recommended but over time she has refused more and more foods.

Breakfast, fruit, tea type items all fine but in terms of a dinner she now only eats spag bol, fishfingers or roast dinner not including potatoes.

I've followed all the advice and make a wide variety of foods which she refuses to eat. As per the advice I just take it away without fuss. I cook with her etc.

Today nursery asked for a meeting and have asked that I provide a packed lunch on the two days she has dinner there as she never eats it.

DD is delighted at the prospect of a ham sandwich, yoghurt and some fruit. Can't stop talking about taking her lunchbox to nursery.

I, on the other hand, could cry. Is there any way forward with this? She is thin but not dangerously so. 9th centile. She is a happy girl generally but she has a will of iron and will happily go without rather than eat something she doesn't like.

Has anyone ever turned a situation like this round?

123Jump Wed 28-Jan-15 12:02:01

Hi Soaghettimeatballs, one of my children was an extremely fussy eater. From the day he was born it was hard to feed him.
Before his third birthday he was sent to a feeding clinic and we were told that he was autistic!
He has Aspergers and the main issue he has is food. He doesn't really like it. He eats an incredibly limited diet. We cannot ever go out to eat as a family as he hates the smell of food and watching other people eat. Even sitting at the table at home is hard for him.
This made it very difficult when DS2 came along. DS1 only has to eat such and such as that is all he will eat. Hard to make DS2 sit at the table when his brother doesn't etc. So DS2 wasn't a brilliant eater, like your DD he would just refuse to eat certain things. However Ds2 would get hungry and then want other things to eat.
Ds2 is nearly 8 and we have become much stricter on him in the last year or so, insisting he tries stuff. and he is definitely improving. He doesn't get an alternative food. He has school dinners and is eating well there, so Im hoping he will keep getting better.
If she is happy to go without her dinner then Id let her. The packed lunch wouldn't bother me if she is eating a variety of stuff in it.
It is so hard, you have my sympathy!

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 28-Jan-15 16:17:23

That all sounds so hard on you 123jump. It's good to hear your DS2 is improving. I do worry DS will realise his sister refuses meals soon enough. He is only 11 months at the moment so doesn't pay too much attention.

DD eats well for tea / lunch type items such as sandwiches, soup (tinned only. Sigh) omelette etc and she always eats porridge for breakfast so I just don't think she finds it hard to skip a dinner she doesn't enjoy.

I cook fishfingers, roast and spag Bol once a week so she basically eats three hot meals per week refusing anything that isn't in that rotation.

Tonight is beef casserole. She prepared it all with me, rolling the beef in flour and making the gravy etc. I'll be serving it up for her and DS soon and I know she won't touch it. Arghhhh!

I just wish that by continuing to cook these things she might come round one day!

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 28-Jan-15 17:15:59

Back from the table and obviously she didn't touch her dinner. I even put beans on the plate in the hope she would eat something.

I'm exhausted by the amount of self control it takes not to just shout 'you'll sit there until you eat it' as my parents did with my sisters and I.

Petallic Wed 28-Jan-15 17:25:50

I have a very similar thing with dc1 who is 3.4 - ate a wide variety when weaning but gradually has cut down to a far more restrictive diet.

I find it easier to get him to try new things or tolerate things like veg if it's his lunchtime meal. By dinner time he is tired and he's far more likely to refuse it

He has got a little better in the past couple of months. Meals out with family have helped as he will try new things more in that situation and other than that, it just seems to be slogging away like we already are smile

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 28-Jan-15 17:41:45

I do try to give her dinner at lunchtime as you are right, she eats a little better then.

We do a dance class Wednesday morning which means my choice would be to make sandwiches for lunch as DS is starving by the time it finishes and needs his sleep. I think I'll have to go back to cooking something quick though as today's dinner was torture as she'd been dancing and for a long walk so was knackered but apparently not hungry

Feeding my children was my biggest delusion pre DCs. I love cooking. I love cooking with them. It's the only time I have endless patience. I really thought I'd love cooking for my DCs!!!!

CelticPromise Wed 28-Jan-15 17:52:05

I feel your pain. I have a whippet thin 5yo who eats the same packed lunch every day and rotates three dinners that he only picks at. I'm afraid he's not getting any better but reading My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzales made me feel much better about it. I give him a multivitamin syrup (he flatly refuses to chew a tablet) and let him get on with it.

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 28-Jan-15 19:50:58

I've just had a look at that book. Thank you. I shall order it.

I read 'Getting The Blighters To Eat' recently but it was just more of the advice given on Mumsnet. All fine but hasn't made much difference after two years.

spanky2 Wed 28-Jan-15 19:56:17

Ds1 (now 10) would vomit his dinner up when I made him eat meat up until he was about 4. Then he would gag and retch until about 6. However my perseverance paid off and now he eats chicken drumsticks beef burgers. He now enjoys food. I used to despair. He has dyspraxia which I guess might be why

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 28-Jan-15 22:40:06

How did you persevere spanky? Just keep offering and hope one day they will eat?

My parents tell me I should make her sit at the table. I honestly don't think she would care. She'd still be sitting there come bed time.

I tell myself her strength of character will be an attribute when she's grown up!

EATmum Wed 28-Jan-15 22:48:29

DD1 had the most limited range when she was a toddler. Not unhealthy but the same 5/6 foods every day. It drove me nuts. V helpful interventions from health visitors just made every mealtime stressful. What seemed to work for her was the old standard of a reward chart - we tool her to the Early Learning Centre and said she could choose anything in the store as a present (Cinderella umbrella if you're interested) then took a picture of her with it and mad a chart with 20 boxes. She got a sticker for trying something new - which meant having 3 bites of something. She certainly didn't like everything she tried, but that sense of doing it for herself seemed to work for her. Not at all saying its work for all though.

She's now 13 and actually quite good with food

BellMcEnd Wed 28-Jan-15 23:09:14

I have 3 DSs: DS1 was a breeze to wean, he ate everything and anything and I was smug blush. Then he hit 2 and turned into a fussy bugger overnight. I largely stood my ground and although I didn't force him to eat things, I wouldn't provide a substitution either. He's now 7 and is largely pretty good unless it's green. DS2 (5) is bloody amazing and eats nearly everything. He'll try anything and is a delight to cook for. Then we have DS3 who's 2. He's absolutely bloody awful. He eats bananas, baked beans, bread and butter, fruit and pasta. Occasionally he'll consider a fish finger. He just shrieks and glares. Thank God he's my third and I am resigned know (please) that it's a phase. If it's any consolation, I only ate stewed apple until I was about 5: I now eat everything and I'm doing Slimming World hmm

SpaghettiMeatballs Thu 29-Jan-15 08:38:49

She loved her reward chart when she was potty training but when I've tried bribery with food she doesn't go for it at all. Still worth a try though.

I live in hope then bellmcend. I just get a bit frustrated with people saying 'two choices, take it or leave it' as though that is the answer. That is what I do and she will always choose leave it!

VikingLady Thu 29-Jan-15 08:57:14

DD is still a fussy eater at 2.11 but not nearly as bad as she was. I also read My Child Won't Eat and it completely changed my attitude. DD wouldn't take multivitamins but was still bf so I took them instead.

I stopped sweating it so much and gave her a choice of the few things she would eat, always including whatever protein/fat she fancied and a wide choice of fruit, and didn't limit the amounts. Over a week/month it did pretty much balance out, even though we had days where all she ate was ham and cheese and others where it was six apples! I still included her at dinner times and offered her a taste of mine, which she generally refused.

It's taken until the last few weeks for her to relax enough to be moderately interested in my food. And I think that's mainly because she is jealous if anything I have that I'm not sharing with her! She's tried a few new foods over Christmas this way, but I still mainly give her the same few things. I ask what she wants.

She is very neophobic in life generally, and is being investigated for ASD, which may be related.

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