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DS taking forever to eat!

(11 Posts)
Peanutbutternutter419 Mon 04-Jul-16 18:29:49

Bit of background...DS has always been a picky eater. He will have a few days a week where I can't feed him enough and then a few days where he eats very little.
Lately, he seems to be taking longer and longer to eat it. Tonight I dished up his dinner at 5.25 and he is still sat there having eaten 3 spoonfuls. I have asked him if he is finished and he says no. But yet he doesn't progress to eat any more and then after about an hour will say that it's because he doesn't like it. This has happened for the past week so He can't have gone off all his favourite dinners has he?
It's getting to the point where he is going to bed later and later because we are waiting for him to finish his dinner and then he's going straight up for bath and bed.
Anyone else's LOs been through this and how do we get past it?
Any advice welcome!

Heratnumber7 Mon 04-Jul-16 18:36:19

How old is he?

poocatcherchampion Mon 04-Jul-16 18:38:01

Bright and breezy: " last mouthfuls now then up to bed!"

Ee do no pudding on days like that. Not a punishment but because they are clearly not hungry.

Heratnumber7 Mon 04-Jul-16 18:42:00

And does he snack much?

Peanutbutternutter419 Mon 04-Jul-16 20:44:43

He's 3.6 and has a small snack when he gets in from preschool at 3.30 usually a graze box or just some fruit and yoghurt.
He isn't ever offered anything else after dinner if we don't think he has eaten enough.
Like I said, he has always been a bit picky with quantity but it is just the whole takin ages to eat practically nothing that is getting to me.
I give him the option to tell me if he is honestly full up as I don't want to push him to overeat but he doesn't even do that...just says he isn't finished but takes an age to essentially eat 2 mouthfuls.

I don't know if this is connected as well but he is also taking an age to go to sleep! Often up to an hour after stories to fall asleep despite showing signs of tiredness. Have tried bringing bedtime earlier/later and makes no difference.

HeyMicky Mon 04-Jul-16 20:58:57

An hour is way too long. The best advice I ever got was from a hospital nutritionist who spoke to my baby group. 20 mins for main, 10 mins for pudding.

If they don't want it, the effort you put in past twenty minutes isn't worth the amount of food they'll actually deign to eat. If they do want it, then one or two nights of plates being removed at 20 mins will speed them up.

Give pudding if you'd planned to as part of their daily intake, don't make it a reward.

Really suborn advice but seems to be working for us

HeyMicky Mon 04-Jul-16 20:59:22


Wolfiefan Mon 04-Jul-16 21:03:57

What is he actually doing instead of eating?

ExtraHotLatteToGo Mon 04-Jul-16 21:05:09

The ONLY way to survive this is to stop worrying. Honestly. I was driven up the pole & back again by it, until I stopped worrying. I accepted she ate more some days than others. I set a 'bath alarm' every day whether she was eating well or not (she loved her bath) as that was the time we needed to go upstairs to have a bath, any later and we'd have to skip the bath. Taking the focus entirely away from dinner. I offered her milk & a banana with her story then teeth cleaned & into bed. Power struggled removed, my stress removed. Win/win.

Peanutbutternutter419 Mon 04-Jul-16 22:22:47

Thanks Micky for passing on that advice. OH and I have decided tonight to stop all the fuss and if he is messing around when we have finished then he gets another 5 minutes and then dinner taken away.
OH gets more wound up than me as DS has previously been under the dietician and paediatrician for slow growth and CMPA but he seemed to be doing better recently.

Thanks extrahot for sharing. That sounds like a good idea about the alarm. Will perhaps set this up for play time after dinner as I like him to have about half an hour after eating before bath and bed just to settle his stomach (something we always did as kids) but if he is still playing up at the table when the alarm goes off then he misses that playtime.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Tue 05-Jul-16 15:01:03

Peanut. To get the benefit out of the alarm you need to make it 100% about that activity, don't relate it to what's happening at the table/with food one bit. 'Oh great, playtime DS, what are you going to play with tonight'. Let him get down to play, don't mention dinner/eating at all. I totally totally understand how stressful it is. I tried everything and hot SO stressed (we were dealing with previous eating/weight issues too). I had to make a decision to stop worrying. Overall she was eating enough, growing, developing and I just needed to focus on that otherwise I was going to either make her situation worse or have a breakdown. I was that stressed. Looking back I really can't see why (except like you with your DH I was under pressure to get her to 'eat enough'). Whether there have been issues or not before, they really don't starve themselves and certainly not overnight. I gave her the banana & milk option because they were things she likes but are not 'treat' food and I was genuinely happy for her to eat them if she wanted and not if she didn't. It didn't stop her not eating her dinner or eating like a fucking snail on a go slow slowly, but it stopped being a pressure point. She's 12 now, still cam 'take it or leave it' with food, healthy, fit, good body weight. She has a good relationship with food and eats when she's hungry, doesn't eat to conform socially, from boredom or for comfort etc.

Please, please try not to stress 💐

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