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(44 Posts)
Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 19:11:44

So, yet again tonight I put a tasty dinner in from of him (homemade cottage pie and carrots) and yet again he refuses point blank to put even the tiniest amount in his mouth!!

This has been going on for weeks. We have tried chicken, fish, pasta - everything - and he just will not even taste a little bit! I have reduced his snacks in the day, tried all sorts of bribery etc and NOTHING works. He would quite happily eat pizza and chips every night if I let him or a sandwich.

A normal day's eating for him at mo consists of

Breakfast -cereal or toast and marmite, maybe a yog.

Lunch - marmite sandwich, apple, crisps, a biscuit or cake

Dinner - nothing! (unless it's pizza!)

I just don't know what else to do - apart from just carrying on dishing up the dinners and then throwing them away untouched sad.

Anyone got any suggestions or advice please?

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 19:13:11

Forgot to say he is 3 yrs 5 months.

jimmyjammys Fri 12-Sep-08 19:44:40

if its any consolation DS has refused his dinner every night for 2 weeks running - though he will eat everything put in front of him at nursery. He only eats about 2 spoons then spits everything out. He will only eat banana or an orange for dinner.

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 19:51:13

Jimmyjammys - at least yours puts it in his mouth - mine will not even do that! FRUSTRATING!!!!

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Sep-08 19:51:58

I think what you're doing is spot on, just keep serving it up

I reckon it's an age thing because ds1 who has always been a fantastic eater is suddenly being fussy about all sorts and he is the same age

a few ideas though:L

tiny portions. a big plateful can be daunting, a small amount is easier to finish.

get him in the kitchen helping prepare veg and stuff. might make him more interested in eating it.

give him choices. so, would you like peas or carrots with dinner? do you want mashed potato or roast potato? etc etc

we also do (and I HATE doing this, but it works) load a fork up and then look away and say, I hope no-one eats this while I am not looking. then he eats it.

compo Fri 12-Sep-08 19:52:22

maybe he's not that hungry at night? Have you tried having his hot meal at lunch time?

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 19:54:21

Thanks TISY. Will try the looking away thing.

The problem with giving him a choice is that he doesn't like ANY of it! No veg, potato in any from (other than chips), no meat, - well I shall persevere!

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 19:55:41

Compo have tried that on the odd occasion - didn't work! Perhaps I should switch to hot meal EVERY lunchtime and persevere on that tack for a while! You never know!

Smee Fri 12-Sep-08 19:57:59

Did he eat it happily before? If so, well sounds like it's power based. Have you tried bribes or threats (dependent on how you balance it!). ie, if you eat x you can have y for pudding. Definitely though don't look like you're bothered, be very matter of fact, maybe meet him half way so give him something he will definitely eat (that won't fill him up), eg: some apple or something. I went through a phase of reading to my son at mealtimes - I said I'd only read if he ate, so he did. Nightmare eh.. Worth fighting now though otherwise he'll just carry on til the teenage years... grin

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 20:05:16

He's never been a brilliant eater TBH - although he did used to eat shepherds pie which is what I dished up tonight!

Twelvelegs Fri 12-Sep-08 20:05:43

My sister enlisted a child pychologist and it was money well spent. Her DS was about the same age as yours and had not eaten vegetables since first trying food, he was also not persuaded by chocolate, ate no potato, most fruits, no meat, no fish the list goes on. Within two months he is a changed boy, no more fuss, tries everything, likes most things and is not night waking anymore or drinking lots of milk (as he's full). He was really bad too as he used to wretch and be sick with some foods.
His issue began with a terrible tummy bug when he was eight months that made him associate food with pain.
Bear in mind not all children like sauces and like their food to be kept seperate....
If you have a little spare cash i cannot recommend a child pychologist enough.

Twelvelegs Fri 12-Sep-08 20:06:42

By the way, you must relax no battles as tis will only make it worse.

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 20:12:52

Oh god - child psychologist! Hadn't thought of that.

PupandHat Fri 12-Sep-08 20:20:07

At least he is eating fruit. My DS2 is the same - a very fussy and limited eater. Won't touch fruit or veg. Dinner also the worst meal. Nothing works. All I can say is I try and look at overall week and give him one food group at dinner time that I feel he needs and try and make sure he is good and hungry at that time. I cut out afternoon snacks altogether. Have you tried drier food - say homemade fish gougons or chicken nuggets. I say homemade because they do tend to like those foods and at least you know what is in them. I have a juicer which I make apple juice with and I usually sneek in a carrot in there too. With these fussy eaters you just have to be sneaky! I also agree with twelvelegs above.

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Sep-08 20:25:40

Yep def agree with relaxing. I also would consider cutting out ALL snacks after lunchtime. this def helps with ds1 when he is in a not-eating mood.

do you eat with him? I tend to have my meal with the boys before dp gets home, because they eat better that way.

we also have a strict no toys at the dinner table rule. and if he gets down from the table there is no more dinner and no pudding.
sounds really harsh I suppose, but it does get him to take mealtimes seriously.
we'd got into a habit of just letting him mess around and not eat and then come back to it and have a bite, then have a snack later etc etc.

thisisyesterday Fri 12-Sep-08 20:27:22

ds1 also likes things like fajitas which he gets to assemble himself.
there's a lot to be said for novelty value! lol

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 20:28:41

Cutting out the snacks is difficult though when DS1 comes in from school and eats anything he can lay his hands on!

Yes, I eat with them and I make him sit at the table until everyone is finished even if he won't eat anything. He just sits there with a sulky look on smile

Merlin Fri 12-Sep-08 20:30:00

And he absolutely gets NOTHING else if he wont even try the dinner - doesn't seem to bother him.

slightlybonkers Fri 12-Sep-08 21:05:39

i have a plate like this put teeny portions in each slot. ask him which one to put the pasta in. get him to help grate the cheese. am probably setting up problems in that DS will always have to eat off seperate plates but seems to work for moment, he's 2.5. Word of warning don't be too rigid about this sort of stuff my mum was really over the top about "finishing your dinner" "eating your veg" "i've spent hours making this soup now EAT it" and it turned into a huge battlefield that went on for years. little kids need v. little to sustain them, some less then others. If he eats breakfast cereal with added vitamins and some fruit and milk he'll be fine.

Tapster Fri 12-Sep-08 22:06:21

Give him pizza for dinner every night- hide vegetables in a home made tomato sauce, protein on the topping, pizza doesn't have to be unhealthy. Homemade chips - try squash or sweet potato too. Each time serve him something new on his plate and don't comment on whether he eats it or not. I'm a firm believer of letting them eat what they like and introduce new foods slowly. He'd probably get bored of pizza soon enough.

Maybe he is eating too many snacks when he comes home and he isn't hungry for his tea. Maybe make the snacks less calorific - fruit, rice cakes etc... Or else just make sure the snacks are healthy and nutritious and don't worry about mealtimes.

As long as he eats does it matter when and how IMO.

simpson Fri 12-Sep-08 22:47:35

Merlin my Ds is 3 and has moments of being fussy. If all your Ds wants is pizza I would give it but combine it with something new ie pizza and sweetcorn or broccoli or carrots. He might not feel so overwhelmed and try a bit.

Also do you know of anyone with a similar aged DC? my DS had refused broccoli for months then i invited a friend and her DD who was a year older over for tea and he saw her it and now loves it, hasn't helped with sweetcorn or tomatoes which I know if he tried he would love hmmbut we are getting there....

DesperateTooDyson Fri 12-Sep-08 22:53:23

Make your own pizzas. Or at least put your own toppings on a bought base.

Get dc to choose his toppings and sprinkle them on.

Mine love doing this and always eat them.

Good luck

Merlin Sat 13-Sep-08 09:35:39

Today is another day!

Thanks everyone for all your ideas.

We do make pizzas, but he refuses it if I try to put a little bit of ham on or anything 'different'!

Will definitely try and not fret over it and look at the overall picture!!

Thanks again.

LunaFairy Sat 13-Sep-08 10:35:44

I could have written your post Merlin. My ds (2.10 yrs)is a very fussy eater - has been from 1yrs old. His daily diet is more or less the same as your ds. Evening meals are hit and miss - sometimes he'll it a little bit of roast ( a bit of chicken, yorkshire pudding), the other choices are an omelette or pizza. Any other meal he won't even look at! I managed to get him to eat some carrots the other day (using a bribe of an ice cream for pudding), I was in shock for hours after seeing him eat about 10 batons, he's refused them since.

He grazes for weeks and then suddenly will binge eat for 2-3 days. I will continue to perservere but it does get me down at times. I'm hoping when he starts pre school that it may change (praying!)

You're not alone. I hope that makes you feel better.

Merlin Sat 13-Sep-08 10:45:30

Thanks Lunafairy - it is some comfort to know that other children are the same!!

Anyway, today we are trying the potty training - just another issue to get to grips with.

(I have the wine chilling for later!!!) grin

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