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Resistant eaters - anyone any experience?

(9 Posts)
Lookslikerain Fri 14-Aug-15 21:52:54

I'm looking for any advice on my way-more-than-just-fussy DD. I found a few threads on here about resistant eaters but nothing recent and wondered if there are any parents out there with the same problems.

DD is 3. She bf exclusively until 6 months, and continued to bf until 2.5. We followed BLW, she ate everything. It was wonderful and I patted myself on the back for doing such a good job weaning her until about 1.5 when she slowly began to reduce the list of things she'd eat. These days it's just plain carbs (toast, porridge/cereal, crackers, pasta, rice), cheese, fish fingers, apples, bananas. Absolutely no veg. Some foods are sometimes ok, like chicken, raisins, pesto, but then other days are refused.

We took a hard line to begin with but she is very stubborn just like mummy and would rather go hungry if she doesn't like what's on offer. The longest she went was from morning snack at 10am until breakfast the next morning. We were very 'one choice, take it or leave it', 'she'll eat if she's hungry' etc. However she wasnt trying anything new, mealtimes were stressful and I was worried about long term, psychological effects. Sometimes she'd come to the table for dinner saying she was hungry but eat nothing. An hour later I'd ask if she was hungry so I could offer supper before bed, and she'd then tell me she wasn't hungry to avoid the confrontation. It just felt wrong and a great way to encourage disordered eating.

So now we just ask her what she wants and give it to her. It's a limited list of choices, and very far from healthy but mealtimes are a much happier affair, she isnt going hungry, and hopefully one day she'll decide to move onto other foods.

This has turned into a longer post than I meant it to be, but is there anyone else out there with DC like this? Any words of wisdom or success stories of fussy eater turned foodies? smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 15-Aug-15 02:27:01

My DD is very much like this. We followed all the usual MN advice on fussy eating and it did help but, recently with her meltdowns and some other traits, we are beginning to think she has ASD.

I think just giving her what she wants is the only way forward for now. Children are naturally very fussy at this age. DS at 3 would only ever want a cheese sandwich. We took the hardline when he started school and made him have school dinners every day and it helped with him.

DD is much more like your DD though. I used to go through the menu each day with her, to see if there was anything she would eat and then have to do a packed lunch if not. Recently though I've stopped doing this and I think she's only asked twice in a term what's on the menu and only asked for a packed lunch once. This is such a huge improvement on how she was before.

She might surprise you yet though. The other night she'd had tea early. DH and I ate late for a change and I made a huge pan of chicken fried rice. She went and helped herself then proceeded to scoff a big bowl full. If I'd given her it for her tea she would have point blank refused it.

There is hope smile

ffffffedup Sat 15-Aug-15 04:37:43

I think it's an age thing my ds did this he practically lived off sandwiches. When he started school and saw other children trying different things at dinner time which made him try too. He's now 8 and alot better he will eat veg salad fruit and loves anything spicy.

I'd go back to the take or leave it option. Put a few different things on the plate maybe 2 things she does like and 2 new things. Don't make a drama out of it if she tries it great if not don't worry about it. Encourage her to at least have a taste if she refuses then leave it.

I assure you it's definitely an age thing she'll grow out of it

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 15-Aug-15 14:03:58

How are you getting on today Lookslike?

Lookslikerain Sat 15-Aug-15 19:57:30

Thanks for your replies. It's nice to know I'm not alone! All my friends and families have DC who eat anything and everything!

Today we had family over so we offered what we knew she'd eat to keep the fuss to a minimum. That meant fish fingers for lunch for the DC. One thing I find difficult is trying to ensure DS (5 years) eats a good selection of food. Today, for example, he'd have eaten the other food on offer at lunch, but as soon as he saw her fish fingers, that's all he wanted.

He went through a fussy patch too, but it was only about 3 months and now he'll eat, or at least try, pretty much anything. JiltedJohnsJulie interesting you mention ASD, as DS was dx with autism at 3 years. We're pretty sure DD is NT, but maybe there's something sensory or with the textures she doesn't like.

ffffffedup We can't get her to try anything whatsoever. A couple of months ago, she went through a brief phase of trying the odd thing if you really asked nicely but without fail, she'd gag on it. Even something like a tiny piece of mince. I'm pretty sure it was psychological rather than anything else, but it's one of the reasons we stopped asking her to try things. Even when I made sweetcorn fritters (back when sweetcorn wasn't on the list of banned substances...) and showed her they were just pancakes with sweetcorn in, she still wouldn't try. It's so frustrating I could scream, but instead bottle the annoyance and remain outwardly calm and unbothered. grin

She starts nursery next week, so I'm going to go and ask my lovely HV for some advice when DD isn't around to hear.

ffffffedup Sat 15-Aug-15 21:07:19

You might find she'll try different thing at nursery I know my dc eat things on their school dinners they'd flat out refuse if I gave them at home

justwondering72 Mon 17-Aug-15 13:37:32


Your story matches mine for my ds1 including the timings for BF and BLW! He went from adventurous BLWer at 18 months, then rapidly reduced and reduced the foods he would eat until we are left with not a lot - especially veg or salad.

He is 7 now, and I'm afraid is still very resistant to eating anything new at home. School is different - we are in France so no playtime snacks, no choice on the menu and no packed lunch option, so hunger and seeing friends chomping away at their food has definitely helped. So he eats okay at school.

At home we tend to put food on the table and let people help themselves. I usually include at least one thing he will eat and offer - but don't make - him try something else. It does mean that his better eating younger brother can eat more widely.
It does get frustrating, it is limiting and sometimes I am embarrassed by it. I feel guilty if I don't give him some of the single green veg he will eat every day, but he eats plenty of fruit.

I personally are very little veg
or salad until I was an adult. Nowadays I'm 'good eater' ;-))

KnockMeDown Mon 17-Aug-15 13:50:18

My DD 5 is a very fussy eater too. She eats best when we are all sitting round the table together, and everything is on the table to choose from, so she is a social eater, and likes to be in control. It also greatly helps if she has had a hand in preparation of the food.

It is hard, though, but I really try to respect her saying she's had enough. I tell her that the only consequence of not eating is that she will be hungry later.

Not sure if any of this helps, though grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 18-Aug-15 20:54:47

Sorry, we are only just starting out on the asd journey so not sure about all of the abbreviations yet, what's NT? smile

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