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Eating slowly

(10 Posts)
Lurchers Wed 03-Sep-08 11:58:48

My 3.5 year old son takes up to 2 hours to eat breakfast (one slice of toast and a small yogurt for example). Other mealtimes are also very slow but it is breakfast that is causing a problem because we need to get to preschool. I have tried alternatives - cereal for example but he doesn't like milk.
If he doesn't eat he gets very grumpy so no breakfast isn't an option. He is also a slightly built child with very little weight gain. We get up in plenty of time and our household is relatively calm but this slow eating is beginning to drive me insane. Can anyone please offer suggestions to try to speed up the eating process! Thank you.

objectivityislivid Wed 03-Sep-08 12:08:39

I was EXACTLY like this as a child. I work in behaviour management and would hazard a guess from professional and personal experience that this could be a control/security related behaviour even at this young age. By this, I don't mean that there are any major dramas going on in your familyy, just that he is at thatage where boundaries become important and start to get pushed increasingly, and if there is ANY doubt in his mind about who has the control (parent or child) then this could be symptomatic of that.

Do you think this could be something like that?

Basementbear Wed 03-Sep-08 12:12:28

Give him half an hour then take it away! He will hopefully get the message, he won't starve and presumably will get a snack at preschool.

desperatehousewifetoo Wed 03-Sep-08 12:24:27

What basement bear said

Lurchers Wed 03-Sep-08 14:33:38

Thank you for your time objectivityislivid. We adopted him a year ago and yes, he does have understandable control issues which generally speaking are becoming less of a problem. I'm an infant teacher myself and know how important boundaries are; social services also advised us to have v clear boundaries and to make sure he knows we're in charge, not him. The eating thing though is a difficult one to resolve. Do you have any ideas re breakfast?

desperatehousewifetoo Wed 03-Sep-08 14:50:42

Could you try a kitchen timer and set it for what you think is a reasonable length of time (15mins?). Tell him you will remove his food and put it into the bin when the bell goes. Maybe start this over a weekend so he has 2 mornings to get used to the situation and consequence.

Make sure you do what you have said if he does not eat in the agreed time.

My friend has similar boundary issues with their adopted child. It's very hard and I'm glad you are getting to grips with problems.

juuule Wed 03-Sep-08 15:14:46

Get up earlier?
Let him choose what he wants to eat?
Banana on the way to school?
Get everything else ready for school and then let him take as long as he likes, reminding him of how much time is left before you go?
Give pre-school something for him to eat mid-morning?
Have something ready for him to eat when you pick him up?
Does he just not want breakfast. Some children are just not that keen on eating in as soon as they get up.

As long as he isn't losing weight I'm not sure why this is a problem.

ra29 Wed 03-Sep-08 18:11:20

Is he just like this at breakfast or at all meals?

Lurchers Wed 03-Sep-08 18:58:29

Lunch and tea don't seem to be as bad but there's less pressure to get out of the house then. I've tried taking away food after a certain amount of time but that's what he wants - his face lights up. This whole issue isn't a huge problem, as juuule says, but he is only just maintaining his weight so it's just a bit frustrating.

juuule Wed 03-Sep-08 19:07:16

If he's fine at other times then it might be that you need to allow him more time or maybe not focus so much on breakfast and try to offer him more high calorie foods at other times when he has a better appetite and isn't likely to be rushed.

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