Mealtimes are driving me insane!(8 Posts)
I have a 3yo and a 1yo who I hope will grow up to have good table manners and a healthy attitude to food - but how the hell do we get there? I try to cook them a nice variety of kiddy friendly meals, and I eat with them while insanely trying to chat about our day. My 1yo takes delight in flicking and/or squashing all his food. My 3yo tells me why everything I've cooked is wrong; too chewy, too lumpy, too green etc etc. He then proceeds to chew the same mouthful forvever while playing diggers, (or similar), with everything else on his plate. He rarely gets anywhere near finishing the tiny portions I give him.
It's even worse when we go to my parents. My mum fusses and gets upset and makes a drama out of how she must have done it wrong again. My dad glares and tuts at the children and eventually storms off. I know they think I should just get on and smack the 3yo and send him to bed, and they think I should spoon feed the 1yo. I'm not going to do this but what am I suppossed to do? I really feel I may as well give the kids a slice of toast in front of the telly each night.
I Have to go and do their baths in a mo but I had to get this off my chest first. Thanks in advance for any advice.
My three year old has suddenly developed the saying - I dont like it or 'gross' etc. He used to eat anything. I just make the same meals and snacks I have always done, put them down on the table, if he sits and eats it, great, if not, I wait till it goes cold then put it in the bin. At bed time, I give toast or crackers to make sure he is not starving in middle of night. He may go a bit skinny, but in my opinion, he is not going to starve himself. If he loses a bit of weight, well so be it, as long as it does not get ridiculous.
I am sure he will end up OK without a complex about food because he is able to choose whether to finish a meal or not and what he likes, does not like at a particular time.
I make sure he gets loads of milk to make up for lack of food.
I am sure it is a phase that will pass. If I make a fuss, he will only persist with the pickyness. If I just carry on regardless, he will grow out of it, eventually!
Don't discuss it. Just give what everyone has. Make no comment if he eats it all, make no comment if he doesn't. If he plays with it, calmly remove it and refuse to argue or discuss it. DO NOT give him any attention over food. Most important of all, don't give him anything else-certainly NOT snacks. Just put some fruit out that he can help himself to. He will not starve. When he gets the message that you are not entering a power struggle, and a meal time is just a matter of fact part of the day, he will get on with it.
If you make it into a power struggle you won't win!!
This week I said to my 3 year old that I might as well cook dinner for her and my 8 month old and just put it straight in the bin and bypass the mess at and under the table. Its so frustrating. I need to reduce snacks but I'm so sleep deprived I can't face that battle yet. My children seem to eat better for their grandparents much to my disgust at least yours are consistent!
It makes it 10 times worse when you know others are judgeing you...
I would take on board the brill advice from others on here, and remember, this stage shall pass!!
there was a really good thread on the same subject in the summer. here
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