23mo eating for everyone except me(3 Posts)
DS has always had issues with food since birth but we'd finally got to a stage of him eating certain staples: cheesy pasta, cereal, fruit etc. All foods either carb heavy and bland or sweet but just happy he was eating, to be honest.
He has always gone through periods of not eating. One week he'll just decide that he's not eating what's on offer and he ends up living off of toast and yogurt.
For the last two weeks he has been on total hunger strike with just me. He'll eat for everyone else-DH, his grandparents, nursery-and he'll eat well (cereal/soup/pasta/noodles/chicken/ rice/fish fingers etc.) but the second I'm in the room he just won't eat. He's definitely hungry as he asks for sweet things (thanks, granny) and cries when he's refused. Eventually end up binning my lovingly prepared bolongnaise/pasta/chicken and he has a slice of toast before bed while watching in the night garden.
Im doing my best to just ignore and am now refusing to offer alternatives-if he's hungry he can eat what's in front of him (things I KNOW he likes as his list is so limited in the first place) or he can have toast before bed. I'd cut this out too but the not eating extends to all meals so I have to get something in him.
Any suggestions? The wasting of food is really irritating but I'm more concerned that this is a power play, leading to an even further diminished list of food he'll take. It's taken us to now to get a very small (and not always healthy) list and I don't want to regress further.
Ok, firstly don't worry too much, he will not keel over from malnutrition, not before his bodies instincts kick in and get him to eat. Little people can survive on very little calorie intake so you may find he is getting more of what he needs than you realise, we are just used to big adult portions ( bigger than even we need) so child portions appear almost laughably tiny. Then my advice would be treat him like you would a friend. I always just said the same sort of thing when offering new foods, "I love muscles in garlic butter, do you like them? " often then dc would shovel in the food in question and either say yes so I would offer more or no in which case I'd say ok, not your bag, no problem, more for me then. I can remember being at high chair age myself and being told "I did" like certain food or I should eat.... It made me feel controlled and want to assert myself by refusing what was on offer. Just speak to dc as if you were talking to an adult about food, you wouldn't try to cajole a friend to eat, inside your child's head he thinks remarkably similarly to an adult he just doesn't express himself like an adult yet. Once he feels you respect him, his opinion and his right to decide what goes in his mouth you may find the problem evaporates. That doesn't mean pandering to his every whim, if you have prepared a meal that is what is on offer, if he chooses to eat it is up to him. Offer new tastes along side safe basics so he has something on offer he doesn't mind eating at each meal. You need to offer a balanced diet then sit back and be patient, hard I know.
I presume you eat with him and model eating the food. I think your doing the right thing. It's your job to offer the right food, up to him to eat it or not.
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