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So, do you bother to cook when you know its going in the bin?

(17 Posts)
whatironing Thu 05-Feb-09 13:27:06

DS is 2y3m, dd is 4w and so not weaned yet grin. DH doesn't get in until DS is in bed so there is no way we can have a family tea.

DS only eats a few things, i'm trying to decide whether to cook him meals other than the stuff i know he will eat, to give him the opportunity of eating it. or whether i should not bother and give him plain pasta and raw carrot sticks twice a day for the rest of his life...grin

We all eat together at weekends (ds eats less at these family meals!)

any views / experience?

alicecrail Thu 05-Feb-09 13:31:38

Could you not make something like bolognaise or something and freeze tiny portions like you do when weaning. Then make him his pasta and carrot sticks and put that little blob of bolognaise on the side of the plate so he gets used to it? I saw something like that on house of tiny tearaways.

apostrophe Thu 05-Feb-09 13:38:49

Message withdrawn

theyoungvisiter Thu 05-Feb-09 13:43:07

Eat with him at lunchtime and give him whatever you have yourself.

At supper give him a portion from your last night's supper.

DS (also 2) eats with us now at 6.30pm, but I have a stash of small portion frozen pasta sauces, risottos and the like in the freezer for nights when we are eating things he won't like (like hot curry) or if we're eating late for some reason.

There's no way you want to be doing 2 separate menus every night with a 4 week old, and more to the point it won't broaden his palate longterm.

whatironing Thu 05-Feb-09 13:57:05

Thanks for the posts. He used to love bolognese... ah the good old days...

do you think putting food in front of them that they dont touch does anything to broaden their palate? you see i'm not sure whether its just one of those things where he just needs to grow up a bit or whether i need to make an effort ifyswim.

TheProvincialLady Thu 05-Feb-09 14:00:21

I agree with theyoungvisiter. You need to find a way to eat with him most days and you need to keep offering stuff he is not familiar with/not keen on. If this is at lunchtime you can always fill him up at supper time if he has not eaten well. Keep snacks healthy and to a minimum. Don't comment or make a fuss over what he does or doesn't eat, just keep eating the same thing as him with him and take away the leftovers when the meal is over. This is what we did when DS was showing signs of fussiness and now he only has genuine dislikes and will try anything.

TheProvincialLady Thu 05-Feb-09 14:02:58

I do think it makes a difference, yes. I tried DS with broccoli about 30 times before he would try it but then he did - he didn't like it the first few times and still isn't desperately keen but will eat it with maybe mashed potatoes on the same forkfull. He is 2.5.

theyoungvisiter Thu 05-Feb-09 14:06:23

I wonder that myself sometimes! (the does it really broaden the palate thing). It is a bit disheartening when something goes completely untouched... but I think long-term it probably has a drip affect - certainly DS will eat things now that he wasn't keen on 6 months ago, after repeated re-offering.

Also I think it's good to set a pattern of eating "family food", we were brought up eating what our parents did - we were expected to eat "up" a bit, ie try dishes we weren't keen on at first, and they ate "down" a little, ie didn't have curry/chilli every night. And by the age of sort of 4 or 6 or thereabouts we definitely did eat very broadly - people consistently commented on it.

It really surprised me as a child when I went round to friends houses and found they had special, nasty children's food! I was used to eating with my parents at 6 or 7ish and being fobbed off with chicken nuggets at 5pm was a big shock. But I think once you get into that routine it can be quite hard to break out of it and make your kids realise that they can't get special treatment foodwise.

My children are only 2 years and 9 weeks so obviously all this is still theory for us but I hope it works out the same way as it did for me and my sister, I would like my kids to grow up to eat broadly and I think I can only influence that by offering them a wide range of flavours from day 1. Wow, this has turned into a bit of a ramble... sorry!

OlderNotWiser Thu 05-Feb-09 14:14:08

I think perhaps it depends on why he is refusing stuff. If he is refusing stuff he used to eat then clearly it isn't an issue of getting him used to tastes etc in which case ease up on yourself and give him what he will accept at the mo. Then every now and then, when he hasn't seen something he used to eat for a while, try it again and see if it is still on his 'no thanks' list. Thats what Im doing ATM and DS does sometimes surprise me by enjoying something again. As if he has forgotten briefly that he isn't meant to like it anymore! (And then refuses it the week after of course...!) If however he is refusing stuff he seems to actually dislike, I guess you could keep exposing him to it hoping over time he tries it and gets used to it.

Tho have to say, I find DS's eating is totally hit and miss so Im not really one to advise!!

NotSoRampantRabbit Thu 05-Feb-09 14:15:18

I'd definitely go for an easier life to take the stress and emotion out of mealtimes.

However, I do think it's important that fussy eaters are presented with "new" foods regularly.

I give fussy DS a few meals a week that I know he will eat, but I often add an exciting new twist - like a pea or two -just to give him the option of rejecting trying them.

I think it's quite useful to have a bit of a goal. I am determined that baked potatoes will be eaten before he starts school. It's no fuss to bung one in the oven, and then I give him a choice of what to put on it (a bowl of cheese/some tuna/salad) so he can make his own meal.

Since adopting a half and half laid back/determined approach he has started eating said potatoes, broccoli, tuna, gravy (a sauce!) and other odds and sods.

I was getting in a flap chucking lots of beautifully crafted meals in the bin and that was creating badness at mealtimes. The worst possible way to go IMO.

theyoungvisiter Thu 05-Feb-09 14:19:09

"I was getting in a flap chucking lots of beautifully crafted meals in the bin"

I find that doing family meals or offering up a small portion of last night's "grownup" dinner takes the pressure off a bit - at least if DS refuses it then I know DH and I will appreciate my delicious offering so the time wasn't wasted.

whatironing Thu 05-Feb-09 14:27:21

I would love us all to eat together - thats what we did growing up too.

I think a lot of it is toddler weirdness tbh...

theyoungvisiter Thu 05-Feb-09 14:35:52

agree with toddler weirdness - we had a full on temper tantrum yesterday because his sausage was "broken" - ie I had cut it into pieces. God knows how I was supposed to serve it - still oinking or something.

The latest obsession is taking the skin/crusts off things - even if they don't have a skin/crusts. It drives me quietly bonkers as I watch the outer edge being whittled off my lovely shepherds pie - but I try to just smile sweetly and eat my own and let it wash over me!

Dillydaydreamer Thu 05-Feb-09 14:37:38

I personally feel that its the lazy option. Make your food for all 3 of you and DH will need to reheat his or as suggested, freeze some cooked veg/pasta etc to defrost for ds dinner and cook when your DH gets in.
Children need to learn the socialness of eating, just as they need to learn to use table cutlery and manners. Eating alone he may begin to think you don't eat so why should he. He won't know you eat later especially if he is in bed.

Dillydaydreamer Thu 05-Feb-09 14:44:36

The other issue is one of sleep. If he still has an afternoon nap then a 6pm meal is ok, if not then he probably can't be bothered to eat because of being too tired. IMO 5-530 is fine. I would try very small snacks with no carbs i.e. fruit/veg. If he leaves these he will be hungry by the next meal and more likely to eat more. This is what I found with dd1 now 3yo.

whatironing Thu 05-Feb-09 15:00:58

oh i should say that i always eat with him .

lol at the broken sausage! we had a similar issue with 'dirty' pasta...

Dillydaydreamer Thu 05-Feb-09 15:15:36

Fair enough if you eat with him. I think eating main meal at lunch is a good idea as well because they are less tired, so dinner can be more relaxed.

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