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Nearly lost it with my picky eater, she is driving me mad

(13 Posts)
twofalls Thu 07-Aug-08 17:33:24

She is 2.3, was great (BLWer) until she hit 1. I was so smug - she would eat anything. Then the list of foods she will eat has just dwindled. I did vegetable rice tonight, she likes it, kept asking when it would be ready but when I put it in front of her she just pushed it away screaming that she didn't like it and asked for pudding (pudding in our house is yoghurt or occasionally ice cream). The rule is that she has to at least try everything on her plate and because she didn't I gave her a banana because I never refuse her fruit. She is now going ballistic screaming for ice cream.

I have left her Dad to deal with her because it is driving me mad and I don't want to loose the plot with her. It has got to the point where it is too demoralising to even try but where is that going to get us in the end?? Every meal time I worry about what I am going to give her because I know she just won't eat it - I don't make a big deal about it but it is so hard.

It drives me mad when we have tea round friends houses and their toddlers just wolf everything up without comment.

Grrrrrr. Rant over. I know there is no easy answers, just really, really cross about it tonight.

Nbg Thu 07-Aug-08 17:47:53

It is frustrating but I have to tell you, one thing I have learnt is that getting yourself all wound up about, it does not help.

The best thing to do is for the rest of the family to sit and finish the meal, if she refuses to eat it then take the meal away without comment and let her get down from the table.

She will eat when she is hungry, without a doubt.

Tortington Thu 07-Aug-08 17:48:54

she wont die if she goes without - so let her not eat a meal - but DONT give in

twofalls Thu 07-Aug-08 18:04:32

I haven't custy, she is not happy but I have not given in and I won't.

I agree Nbg, I don't normally let it get to me but for some reason tonight, it just drove me mad. Really mad, that is why I just left the room and let DH deal with it.

Nbg Thu 07-Aug-08 18:48:02

I think when these things go on, you have the best intentions not to let it get to you but eventually all that pent up frustration has to come out somewhere grin

For example, right now, I could go outside and scream for hours.
My ds1 will not go to bed and he thinks opening his door 30 times highly funny.

Smithagain Thu 07-Aug-08 18:56:47

"It drives me mad when we have tea round friends houses and their toddlers just wolf everything up without comment."

It used to drive me mad, too, when DD1 was that age and ate microscopic portions of a very limited range of food.

Somewhere along the way, she has transformed into being one of the "best" (i.e. most adventurous) eaters of her immediate circle of friends. She's just turned six and people say that they are very happy to have her for tea because she just gets on with it.

No idea how it happened. It certainly wasn't as a result of me remaining calm and serene and following all the great-sounding-but-impossible-to-follow advice on internet forums.

Just hoping to provide some sense of perspective!

twofalls Thu 07-Aug-08 19:02:55

I have a feeling I may have one of those tonight Npg, DD is in a very funny mood. It does just make you want to throw a toddler tantrum doesn't it grin

Thanks for that smithagain, I bet you didn't expect that when she was 2?! It has given me some perspective - when I think about what her sleeping used to be like I shudder but she has got so much better over the last few months - I don't think I really did anything to make it happen, it just did so I am sure this will change in time.

<hopefull emoticon> grin

rachelp73 Thu 07-Aug-08 21:23:44

You've got my sympathy. DS2 is 2.4. Eats hardly anything. Screams a hysterical no to trying anything new. Kind of takes an interest in what is on our plate but if you ask if he wants to try some, you get the same hysterical reaction. DS1 was never this bad. He used to love trying stuff off our plate.

DS2 is that bad, that if we have to give him toast with margarine instead of his usual butter, it doesn't even get near his mouth. He can SMELL that it's different to usual and just won't eat it. And he LOVES toast normally.

He won't eat any proper meat or fish on its own. It has to be as part of a pasta or curry sauce and I still am having to blend the sauce up slightly before I mix it with the rice or pasta or he just refuses it. Lunch is ham sandwiches or cheese on toast, but he eats very little at lunchtime. A couple of mouthfuls usually.

When DS1 went through fussy phases, I relaxed cos I knew his vitamin drops would mean he wouldn't be deprived of nutrients. DS2 won't even have the bloody vitamin drops off the medicine spoon. I try to disguise them in his food sometimes but he can kind of sniff them out!

I've read that this sudden fussiness is a throwback to caveman times when toddlers would venture a bit outside the cave on their own - stopped them eating poisonous berries. They would only eat foods they were already familiar with. It's thought that in some kids today this still happens and they can be really, really oversensitive to different foods.

It is lovely to hear of successes on this thread - I long for DS2 to turn out to be a 6 year old who loves his food. The one thing that DID help was to immediately stop getting in a stress about it. I would just want to cry and DH was virtually shoving food down his throat. It didn't help DS2, and it didn't help our nerves. We just chilled out about it and he eventually ate something. Just a bit of pasta and tomato sauce, but before that he'd have had a tantrum at it.

One of my tactics with DS2 will be to have him stay for lunch at nursery when he's a bit older - heard that peer pressure can help kids to be more adventurous. Have you got that option?

Elasticwoman Thu 07-Aug-08 22:31:35

My dc were all dead easy to feed at 1, but developed more likes and dislikes by the toddler stage. It is normal.

I suggest you make toddler friendly food for the whole family. Veg-rice dish in your OP sounds great. Make enough for all of your to eat. Sit and eat it with her. Do not let her have the next course until she has either eaten some, or waited for you and dh to finish yours. If she has done well with the first course, then let her have pudding. If not, then let her have fruit. If she has fruit, and is drinking some milk occasionally, she will not starve. Perhaps you might let her have bread and butter (or some other v simple, basic food) on the side.

This way you can make mealtimes less stressful, less all about whether dd eats anything. Let her learn from experience that whatever you put before her is dinner and if she doesn't eat it she might not get v much else.

Smithagain Fri 08-Aug-08 12:49:47

School dinners are a great help. Some combination of peer pressure, ever-so-patient dinner ladies and mummy being out of the picture has definitely helped DD realise that "new" food is not necessarily poisonous or scary and might occasionally be quite nice.

You do have to brace yourself for the day when she comes home and announce "Mrs x mixes my pasta and sauce together and you know what mummy, it's much nicer like that."


juuule Fri 08-Aug-08 14:10:13

My eldest ds became faddy once he started school. I thought that staying school dinners would encourage him to eat a variety of foods. He just gave his dinner away to whoever was sat next to him. Eventually after a full year, the school suggested that I might want to send him with a packed lunch as I was wasting my money paying for the dinners.

It was only time that made a difference to his eating habits. He started to try different things around 14/15y and soon was eating all kinds of things. Now at 21 he eats almost anything, has a really varied diet and is as fit as a fiddle.

mairimac Sun 10-Aug-08 15:15:01

My DS is exactly the same and he is 3 years old, he has a limited diet but he eats lots of what he likes and it isn't all unhealthy stuff. He has a total phobia with new stuff. If you present him with something he's not seen before he actually starts shaking, goes white and gags and eventually vomits! Very frustrating indeed, I have no idea how to introuduce new foods but to have them myself where he seems them often enough to know they are ok. He has had roast dinner at school for 2 years now, every tuesday (they don't offer anything else) he only started tasting it a month ago. So this whole thing about 10-15 times before trying is exactly true for all kids. However thanks to all on this forum I'm hoping when he grows up things will improve.

MrsMattie Sun 10-Aug-08 15:24:18

Another vote for completely chilling out about it.

2 yrs old-ish is a classic time for children to become ridiculously picky or even go on food strike altogether.

My son weaned really well and wasn't fussy at all, but at about a year old started to become more fussy, and at your daughter's age I think the only things he would eat were bananas, milk and spaghetti hoops! I just completely gave up worrying about it and continued to present him with fairly simple, healthy, small meals (nothing that was too fussy to make, as I knew most of the time it would go to waste) and nutritious snacks, and accepting if he didn't want to eat them. I also found a few things he would eat at breakfast time and tried to fill him up with those so at least I felt he had had a 'good start'. There were weeks and weeks when he hardly ate and noticeably lost weight (although the doctor / HV were never worried about him).

As time has gone by, he has got loads better, although he is still fussy by many people's standards. I put the improvements in what he'll eat (and the amount - he is now a complete ganet!) down to:
a) me chilling out about it long term
b) going to nursery, parties, mixing more with other children and seeing what they eat (this has had a subtle but definite affect over the past year or so)

good luck. I know it's frustrating and worrying, but you're honestly not alone. So many parents go through this!

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