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This not eating lark is driving me to distraction and somehow I end up feeling guilty!

(38 Posts)
AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 17:49:50

DD is 7yo. This is her third year in school and she has never eaten a sandwich. Her lunchbox comes home full most days and it's really getting me down.

She has only ever eaten dry food, ricecakes, crackers etc, she won't eat dairy, no milk, no cheese, no yoghurts, has a rare orange but not much other fruit. This term I told her that she was going to have to start eating other foods. I can deal with the dry food, it's not what I'd like but I don't mind if she doesn't want sandwiches I just want her to eat what I give her.

Every week it's the same battle in the supermarket. She tells me "oh I love apples because Megan eats them and I never get them" so I get apples only to find them in her lunchbox when she comes home. It's the same with several other foods. I think "great she's finally wanting to eat something that's good for her" then hmm she hasn't bloody eaten it.

I was told a long time ago not to worry about what she ate that she wouldn't starve and that she, like us all, has a natural insticnt to eat for survival so I need not worry about her going hungry but I can't deal with this much longer. It was suggested I send her to school with no lunch but I can't bring myself to do that. I think it would be cruel her having to explain why she had no lunch.

We did a big shop yesterday and I allowed her to pick out what she wanted for lunch. I warned her if she didn't eat it she would spend the rest of the day in her room.

She arrived home with half the lunch still in the box so I sent her to her room and she's crying now. I think I was too harsh. Didn't shout or anything just explained that I had given her a warning and that because she had not done what she promised to do she would have to go to her room.

I feel like the most evil mammy in the world but I'm stuck now. I can't back down or she will never eat and will never understand the consequences of her actions but she's only seven and she's not starving so can it really be that big of a deal if she doesn't eat lunch?

Please tell me I'm not the only one with dc who won't eat.

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 17:54:39

i think you need to speak to ur gp about it if your worried so much.i dont think it will do either of you any good if you actually punish her for not eating, she obviously cant help it dd has a kind of ocd with certain foods, they just make her sick.she missed 25% of the year with the school keep sending her home last year.she is much better now but it comes back every now and then so i do know your frustration hun

nappyaddict Mon 17-Sep-07 17:58:03

defenitiely speak to the gp. my brother was 4 before anyone realised he had adenoids and that's why he wasn't eating.

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 18:04:10

Thanks for replying and your understanding FO.

I feel really guilty sending her to her room. I'm just at my wits end with the whole thing. If I take her out of the room now I don't know what to say. I can't say I've changed my mind on a whim. oh I feel a long chat coming on.

NA what are adenoids?

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 18:06:05

Sorry forgot to thank you also NA.

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 18:06:38

my son is younger 3.6 he ONLY eats dry bread, yoghurts, strawberrys, choco hoops, chips and thats about it, day in, day out and has done for the last 2.6 years. I have a job just getting him to eat the above.

Been to see specialist and have been told, he will grow out of it.

Dunno if thats any help, im baffled too

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 18:17:35

Thanks Law, it does make me feel better knowing I'm not the only one. I think I'll bring her to the gp just to make sure it's not anything else. My only question now is do I let her know I'm not happy when she doesn't eat her lunch or do I ignore it and hope she grows out of it? Should it be an issue or not? FO has a point in that punishing for not eating is not very productive. I wonder would reward for eating be equally as bad a message to be sending a 7yo.

Jeez breastfeeding was a breeze compared to this, despite the cracked nipples grin

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 18:42:23

now rewarding would be a good idea.....use the sticker chart and get her a money jar...give her x amount of stars for trying something differant then when she reaches her goal she getrs pennies in her jar to save for a prezzie.try her with little changes at first so as not to scare the shit out of her with new things

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 18:43:28

why dont u try introducing dips with her dried foods???

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 18:45:46

Well I'm ashamed to say I'm not very adventerous in that department. blush Love my veg and lots of healthy stuff but I lack imagination when it comes to making food exciting. Any suggestions?

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 18:48:23

i would just buy them from asda,tescos or sainsburys lol...even sandwich filler would be good.or even cottage chees and coleslaw potato salad and put a tiny amount on her plate so as not to overwhelm her

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 18:50:49

oh she likes coleslaw.

Thanks very much for the advice. We've had a chat and she's now munching ricecakes smile

Othersideofthechannel Mon 17-Sep-07 18:51:49

I make garlic dip by mixing a little bit of garlic and herb cheese (like Boursin or cheaper alternative) with a bit of plain yoghurt.

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 18:55:36

Ab - not sure if im the best person to be giving advice on this subject as i havent had much success. But i suppose i can say i have tried everthing i can think of to try and encourage his eating and nothing has worked. nicely, nicely approach, rewards, stickers, stern appoach etc, etc but to no avail.

I now ignore it, i dont make a fuss, no big deal. I still contine to offer a breakfast, lunch and dinner that i would like him to eat in the hope he may change his mind.

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 18:57:03

oooooh otherside that sounds really u think it would be nice with tiny chunks of cucumber mixed into it????

JoanCrawford Mon 17-Sep-07 19:00:58

AbR, I have no experience of your situation (thankfully, it must be awful) but is the problem her fussiness or do you think it could be going on because she is getting an awful lot of attention for her refusal to eat.

I dunno, I would've thought that a 7yo who really didn't want to eat could throw the food away etc to conceal the fact she's not eating. But she is letting you see that refused her lunch.

I personally would not make an issue of it AT ALL. I'd barely look in the box and just throw the remnants away without a seconds thought. I'm sure that's tough when this must be so frustrating for you. But that's what I'd do. Though I do appreciate I have no experience of this, so what do I know?

Good luck.

harpsichordcarrier Mon 17-Sep-07 19:09:26

oh I do feel for you.
is she underweight? does she have difficulty concentrating? I mean, is not eating
fwiw I would definitely not turn this into a discipline issue - honestly, it is already an emotional issue and I think that it won't help at all to send her to her room or whatever. if you really think it is a battle of wills, then I would work to try and get the emotion out of it.
why do you think she isn't eating?

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 19:10:10

Hi Otherside and Joan, thanks for replying too smile

Well as it happens I have a recipe book (don't know how it got in my house lol)and it has loads of dips in it so a good start and I would never have thought of it so thanks again FO and OS.

Law and Joan I think you're both right, today was so horrible and upsetting for both of us that I think I'll not let it be an issue any longer and who knows with a little bit of imagination and experimenting we might just crack it.

I know what your saying Joan and would think it a possible explanation (she does get lots of attention though) but her teacher makes all the class bring home what they don't eat so that the parents can see what's not being eaten.

Thanks to all of you for the advice smile

sparklesandwine Mon 17-Sep-07 19:17:29

AbRoller my DD was like this, although younger she is 5yrs now, but when she was about 3yr she wouldn't eat she would probably eat 1 meal a day if i was lucky and i got very very stressed out about this and felt like a complete failure, but the more stressed i got the less she ate and it actually got to a point where i just stopped making her food sad

I think what happened was that i was that i had spent so much time either trying to force feed her or starve her out of my own frustration that she got very mixed messages about food and didn't like the issues that surrounded it. It took about a year - 18 months for her to start eating what i would call 'properly' again, but the less i concentrated on it the more she came round to the idea of eating

I guess what i'm trying to say is that maybe just relax with it for a while longer and just give her the things she likes without pushing new foods, a least she is eating something, then try new foods again in a few weeks. If your worried about her not having a balanced diet give her vitamins for a while, but do go and see you GP or HV without your daughter and they may be able to suggest a plan you can follow or ideas

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 19:18:29

I honestly don't know Harpsi. I was just saying to Joan that it could be for attention but I'd find that hard to understand because she gets lots of attention and we do fun things together. I really don't know. I won't be having a repeat of today that's for sure, it was very hard and I think from what you've all said it felt wrong because it was wrong.

She's not underweight just not very healthy. She always seems to have a cough or a runny nose, she doesn't sleep well and is always tired. I think she may be run down but I've bought several different childrens vit supplements and she's still the same.

It's just worrying and frustrating so I think I'll take her to the gp just for a check up and see if he thinks it warrants further investigation. Other than that I'll just have to take a chill pill and hope she takes a liking to my new concoctions (sp) grin

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 19:22:49

x-post Sparkles, thanks and thanks Harpsi also.

I can totally understand that kind of frustration Sparkles. I'll take the advice gratefully and hope to see an improvement both with dd's eating and my worry lines grin

JoanCrawford Mon 17-Sep-07 19:24:27

I really do wish the best AbR, it must be such a concern. I feel it when mine refuse one of their meals, so to have it day in and day out would be awful.

Talking to your gp or health visitor sounds like the way forward. And maybe holding off abit on the lunch inspections may see some improvement. Fingers crossed smile

sparklesandwine Mon 17-Sep-07 19:25:18

good luck abroller - it will get better, honest! wink

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 19:29:03

Thanks ladies, I do feel better having posted this thread. I really appreciate all the helpful posts. smile

fawkeoff Mon 17-Sep-07 19:35:17

i do understand your anxieties abs, dd was a nightmare last year, i had to get a docs note pleading the school not to keep sending her home and perservere,she does it now especially if she sees ds with food down him or if it touches her she just freaks out

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