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i am so sick of ds1's lack of eating

(38 Posts)
myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 17:54:31

I am hoping that i'll get some suggestions/tips regarding ds1. He has been a fussy eater since he was 1 years old. Before that he anything and everything. He is now 6 and i've had enough of it.

He is very tired for his age and weighs below average - the school nurse says that he's on the minus something (?) percentile, and that as long as he's growing and has energy there is nothing to worry about.

He will generally eat:
a good breakfast,
ie 2 x crossiants and glass of milk,

Sandwiches (cheese & ham),
crisps or similar,
fruit (banana or berries)
biscuit or cake


He never wants dinner unless it's finger fingers, chips, beans or carrots
or pasta cheese, chilli & tacos

He won't even consider anything else, i'm sick of wasting food.

I've tried the putting it down and if not interested take away and offer nothing but after a month of this he'd lost alot of weight which he can't afford to loose.

My mum/dh want me to take him to the doctors because although he love sport and has heaps of energy whilst playing football etc, he is always tired and sucking his thumb, even after 12 hours sleep!

Should i be giving vitamins & minerals in supplement form? also my homepath that i see mentioned that he's treating lots of kids with poor appeites and it often works.

I'm just so worried as he's so small and short too - dh and i both come from short families, so i'm not suprised about his height. But his brother who is 2 years younger than him weighs the same as him.

Should i try the approach that i don't let him down fron the table until he he's eaten say 5 mouthfuls? or is that just setting him up for more food issues?

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 17:55:08

that was meant to say he's very small for his ages and not " tired for his age"

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:22:05


nigglewiggle Tue 07-Oct-08 19:30:50

It sounds like he's eating plenty in the day, just being fussy about tea-time. Could he just be a bit tired and grumpy? I don't know what time you give him his tea, but could you try a little earlier?

I had a similar problem with DD1, but she was fussy at all meal-times except breakfast. Would eat 2 huge bowls of porridge, then turn her nose up at virtually everything else put her way. It didn't go on as long as your LO, but I did stick to not offering anything else and eventually she has cracked. I know it is hard when you see then withering away, but they really will not starve. It's also easier said than done, but try not to give him attention because of it because that might encourage him.

I'm no expert, so hopefully someone else may come up with some ideas to help you. Good luck!

SaintRiven Tue 07-Oct-08 19:33:26

its sounds like plenty to me and a reasonale array too.
ds1 was like this but he's now a strapping 6 foot teenager. Despite 14 years of pasta and baked beans with ketchup <boak>
You don't want doctors involved as they know sod all and will suggest tubes and suchlike.

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:35:32

thank nigglewiggle. Its so hard, some people say make a big deal and dont' let down from the table hmm until he does eat. But he's incrediably strong willed! i can't help but just think, feed him what i know he'll eat, ie, pasta, of fish fingers - at least i know he'll eat it. I am fed up with wasting food.

I know that he won't starve but he is painfully thin already and would quite happily go without food during the evening. So if i just alternate the same 3 meals with him, is that really bad?

barnsleybelle Tue 07-Oct-08 19:36:32

Myermay.... My 6 yr ol ds is exactly the same. Similar foods too. It's very frustrating.

I watched a great programme recently called "my child won't eat". It was about an eminent child psychologist in Birmingham. She changed with may dh and i now see ds eating issues.

She said that they basically have a fear of different foods. She said if we put say "lasagne" in front of our child and say "eat it, it's just normal food" then it's like someone putting a sheeps eyeball on our plate and doing the same. It's the fear...

I tried absolutely all the tricks from supernanny, mums on here, hv, friends etc and nothing made any difference.

The above psychologist said that as long as your child was physically and mentally developing then just let them eat what they feel comfortable with and wait until as an older child/teen/adult they decide for themselves to try new things.

A bit controversial i admit, but now dh and i have relaxed so has ds and he now looks forward to mealtimes as he knows i won't present him with anything "scary".

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:36:47

Saint Riven what do you nmean about tubes????

lilymolly Tue 07-Oct-08 19:37:12

god sounds like me when I was younger grin
I lived on egg ham and chips and my mum tore her hair out!!

Maybe give him extra vitamans ec but really try not to worry- sounds like reasonable eating for a 6 year old to me.

You could insist on him either eating meals prepared for everyone else or going without

He wont starve trust me- and he is prob just a tired sort of person iyswim- I am always tired and I have 9 hours sleep a night grin

Majeika Tue 07-Oct-08 19:37:43

I think it sounds fine tbh.

Try not to stress about it.

Nothing wrong during the day at all and fishfingers, beans/carrots are ticking the right boxes.

Give him fishfingers and beans for the next 2 weeks. DO NOT REACT TO IT. Just give it to him and eat with him and smile.

I wouldnt do chips every day obviously but a couple of times a week is fine and maybe do mash or boiled the other days.

It isnt doing him any harm and he could get sick of it! When he does get fed up of it then offer peas or sausage etc

DS2 was like this and had egg and beans and toast EVERY DAY for 3 weeks. He is 3 and got sick of it and now eats everything!

The main thing is not worrying and not making an issue out of it.

barnsleybelle Tue 07-Oct-08 19:38:06

Oh and my ds is skinny too, but he's very active, happy and healthy...

SaintRiven Tue 07-Oct-08 19:39:08

NG tube. But they only do that when a child isn't taking in enough nutrients. I find doctors over-react slightly!
But that lunch sounds great. More than ds1 who is 15 will eat for lunch (he is still ultra picky)

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:39:44

Barnsleybelle, that makes sense doesn't it. I don't wan't a battle and to give him issues with food.

barnsleybelle Tue 07-Oct-08 19:43:40

Myermay... Yes that's it. Ds was starting to get anxious at meal times as he was so worried that i would make him eat something new. It really was bad.

Although i would love for him to try new things and have a less restricted diet it's much better to see him happily wolfing down the things he likes.. less stressful.

Another thing i did, was over the course of a week was keep a food diary of everything he ate and when i looked back on it, although there was much the same stuff, there was a lot of quality foods.

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:44:13

Thanks all for the great advise. I'm going to go with the just giving him what i know he'll eat approach. I think he's shattered after school and can't cope with a big meal.

Pesto/chesse pasta & fish fingers, rice & chilli, cheese & ham quesidillas it is from now on then!

As you say, it's not like he's not eating a good brekkie & lunch - dinner is the only issue.

myermay Tue 07-Oct-08 19:46:04

majieka love the giving them the same meal for 3 weeks! He'd love that

Majeika Tue 07-Oct-08 20:57:14

I think the other thing we did was to give him the same meal every night but then on another plate we put a little of what we were having.

So he had egg and beans and we put pesto pasta and salad, chilli and rice, spag bol etc on the other plate and we all got on with our meal without comment.

After a while he did taste a few things and found that he liked them!! and we would make comments like,'DS2, there is no way you would like that - you are only 3!' and he sort of rose to the challenge!!

Reverse pyschology all the way!! grin

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 07-Oct-08 21:51:50

Majeika's advice is what I was going to suggest.

Stick with foods he feels comfortable with, including chips as he needs the calories. Throw out all the ideas of healthy low fat eating here and add calories where you can. i.e. extra butter on pasta, cream in sauces, full fat products not low fat - he needs the calories.

Then add a few new foods in small quantities and leave him to decide whether to try them or not.

At some point having friends (who are good eaters) over for tea will help but maybe further down the line.

Good lucksmile

mytetherisending Tue 07-Oct-08 22:17:27

From another angle if he is tired when he gets home from school does he have a carbohydrate snack such as babana/toast or similar. They can get past hungry as its a long time between afternoon snack at 2ish and evening meal.

If children become aneamic it can also depress appetite so giving multivits could help if he is. HTH

If you are worried about nutrients here is a great thing to give if he will eat it.

Tomato soup with any blended veg added with cheese, can also pour it on pasta. Just boil the veg with a stock cube until only about 2cm water left in pan, blend and stir into soup. smile You can do this with pasta carbonara adding cauliflower/swede as well. Quite often its the look/texture they don't like/want.

mytetherisending Tue 07-Oct-08 22:18:46

If you don't get him involved with cooking then do. It can help if he has cooked his own food iyswim.

twoboots Tue 07-Oct-08 22:23:12

Peanut butter is excellent fuel. Peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich, got addicted whilst pregnant. Elvis had it fried!
I don't think a supplement appropriate for his age would do him harm.
How about fresh fruit smoothies? I've heard of people putting a raw egg at the bottom of milk shakes.
I'm not sure if a paediatric dietician would have any useful input?

myermay Wed 08-Oct-08 13:18:10

thanks for all these great tips. I have tried them all though!! i add cream to cheesy pasta, offer peanut butter on toast b4 bed & after school i either give biscuits/choc for him to refuel..

he won't eat tomato soup, however, it has reminded me to blend up and load of roasted veg to put on pizza - he used to eat that.

I've tried to involve him in cooking but he's not interested - would rather make cakes instead.

Good to hear i'm not the only one though! Thanks all again

lisasimpson Wed 08-Oct-08 13:32:16

Just a thought myermay, will you be cooking two separate meals now then if you are going to give him what you know he will eat?

myermay Wed 08-Oct-08 14:05:27

yes, as we will not be eating fish fingers for the next 3 wks!

tbh i usually do anyway, as i'm a vege & like to eat relatively low fat food - which dh & kids don't really like too much of - lentil overload

pigsinmud Wed 08-Oct-08 16:07:55

I had come on here to post the same thing. Ds2 is 8. We are veggies and he was wheat free for 3 years due to an intolerance. Been back on wheat for tests and now coming off again due to stomach aches and bloating.

He'll eat a decent breakfast and packed lunch. However at dinner time he'll eat nothing - no to pasta, rice, potatoes (unless roasted) all veg. He'll eat fruit, bread and dairy products. My other 3 children eat well. He weighs 3 stone 9. the hopsital told us this was ok, but he looks very skinny to me.

I think I shall leave off nagging at him on the advice you've been given. I did see the programme and we were going to take that approach, but first dh started nagging and then Granny ....


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