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Mindee has taken nearly 2 hours to eat lunch!!

(31 Posts)
MrsPotato Thu 08-Nov-12 13:39:01

including 45 minutes to eat 2 carrot sticks!!

Mindee is 2.5 and is getting slower and slower. Lunch was 3 carrot sticks, a boiled egg and a slice of toast. Satsuma and. Yogurt for afters.

We started at 11.30, has only just finished and gone for a nap. Breakfast took an hour!

Mindee is a good eater, not fussy, eats normal portions. I don't think what I served was too much. Breakfast lasting an hour was not a problem although it meant mindee missed a bit of the morning home based activity.

But parent wants mindee to have 2 hours sleep in the afternoon, which has to end by 2.30 for the school run. Mindee will only get 1 hour now and be quite miserable as I will have to wake them. Parent says mindee does not take long to eat at home.

What do I do? Will tea have to start at 3.30?!! What is going on?!

GrimAndHumourless Thu 08-Nov-12 13:43:07

Do you coax and encourage? This can be counter-productive as it's a way to gain attention for the child. Sit and eat together, of course, but half an hour or so is plenty. Call an end to the meal, and crack on, no fuss or comments.


forevergreek Thu 08-Nov-12 13:44:19

I would allow a set time ( say 30 mins), after that the meal is finished regardless of the amount eaten

MrsPotato Thu 08-Nov-12 13:46:30

Thank you for replying. As mindee has been getting slower today I decided to back off completely. I always sit with them but when the others finished after about 20 minutes I got up and started clearing up, no coaxing!

What if mindee has only eaten a carrot stick after half an hour?!

Pinner35 Thu 08-Nov-12 13:46:33

Yes, definitely sit with mindee (even if you only have a cuppa) and allow a set period of time for eating - 30 mins is all I allow and its plenty.

MrsPotato Thu 08-Nov-12 13:48:54

Ok so I need to have a set time, knew mn would have the answer!

Has anyone had a mindee who does this? What did they do when you took the unfinished food away! I'm pretty sure mindee would be upset and ask for more.

ceeveebee Thu 08-Nov-12 13:49:23

I only allow my own DCs 30 mins to eat their lunch. 20 mins for "main" and then a yoghurt. If they are faffing around I assume they aren't that hungry

JustFabulous Thu 08-Nov-12 13:50:13

Maybe she will eat more at the next meal if lunch is tiny due to not eating much in the time allotted?

mogandme Thu 08-Nov-12 13:51:18

Why is it taking that long? What are they doing when they're not eating?

MrsPotato Thu 08-Nov-12 13:56:54

Mindee is eating the whole time, chewing every mouthful over and over again. It didn't used to be this bad. justfab I'm sure you're right but not sure it will help with the speed of the next meal iyswim. Mindee is picked up at 5.00 and the parent (who is lovely) waits for them to finish. But I need that time with my own kids! And I definitely could not take a half eaten meal away from a child whose parent is watching them eat.

GrimAndHumourless Thu 08-Nov-12 13:59:49

Ok, a few questions for you:

The child, how is their speech? Do they dribble lots? Can they try to reach their nose with their tongue? Can they stick tongue right out?

confuugled Thu 08-Nov-12 14:08:22

make sure you tell the child about the time to eat before and during the meal so that it's not a surprise when the food is taken away from her.

if she is chewing everything lots has she had a bad experience recently when she swallowed something? If she seems to be chewing lots, then once you figure she is ok to swallow, ask her to nod her head if she wants you to check the food is ok to swallow and do so to give reassurance. Or take a bite at the same time and chew and swallow together. I'm sure you can think of lots of other things to help.

Offer a bribe prize for finishing at the right time. Something tiny like a mini smartie or chocolate button. Maybe have targets as you go along, and a little bowl near her so she can see her stash growing as she does well... So for finishing a carrot stick in five minutes or swallowing a mouthful after 5 chews (or whatever's right for what she is eating) etc. Decide in advance what her maximum is going to be (say 10) and then spread them out through the meal.

Talk to the parents and say that she drew lunch out for 2 hours, you don't want that to happen for supper and that you are sure they don't either, so that you will give her 5 more minutes (bribe waiting to be seen) and then pack up the rest of her supper to take with her. That way she wont cut into your evening too long but she won't go hungry either as she can eat it (quickly!) at home. if she likes being close to you and her mum, she might have figured that this way she gets to be close to both of you for a nice long time if she chews forever...

good luck!

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 08-Nov-12 14:14:45

Like Ceevee I would never let my DC sit for that long. Half an hour is ample...will the parents be annoyed do you think, if you were to say "mindee only ate 2 carrot sticks and a slice of toast at lunch"

I wouldn't be if it were my could offer a snack later?

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 08-Nov-12 14:16:14

I WOULDN'T be pleased though, if sweets were being given as a reward for eating all the lunch.

I don't mind a sweet now and then of course but never as a reward for eating food they might not have wanted.

If they don't finish, then they don't finish. In the real world, lunch isn't 3 hours...unless you're Italian!

rainonmyparade Thu 08-Nov-12 14:20:35

Are there many distractions OP? Maybe CBeebies on, or other kids playing in view while mindee is still eating. If the mindee was keen to get through to the playroom/livingroom to be with other children when finished do you think that might help? If you have an open-plan kitchen/livingroom this isn't going to be any help at all.

minderjinx Thu 08-Nov-12 14:44:10

I allow 45 minutes for each main meal. If parents arrive while minded children are still eating, I pretty much know the mindees would then string it out as long as possible so I take it away and offer to put it in a lunch box to finish at home. Usually the Dads then eat it.

MrsCantSayAnything Thu 08-Nov-12 14:48:09

grin at the Dads! My DH eats my DDs leftover lunch too! Soggy sarnies and stale cake!

Tanith Thu 08-Nov-12 14:57:37

Rather than attention and bribes for the child, have you tried lots of attention and praise for the children that are eating their dinner? Maybe setting a general "who can find a carrot? Well done! Who can eat up all their carrots?" game might help and praise for the child if she decides to join in.

I have a finger puppet fox that checks their plates at the end and does any persuading for me. Bit hard to be usurped by a scrap of cloth, but needs must grin

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 08-Nov-12 16:03:32

i have always set 20 mins for a meal then do a timer with 10mins extra so 30mins in all and if havnt finished by buzzer then plate is removed and nothing till next meal

sometimes they eat more in the 10mins , other times they dont, but all of my charges know when the buzzer goes, food goes in the bin

i simply havnt got time to do lnch for 2 hrs you are mad or very nice grin

say to parents that if they havnt finished by 5pm/time they collect then up to them what they do, some may give fruit/sweets/sandwich at home, others back me up and will offer drink of milk at bedtime and nothing else

breakfast is eaten quickly the next day grin, or as a nanny has been the other way around, i get to work and mb says they have mucked about at breakfast and didnt eat it, so i wont give healthy snacks at 10/10/30 but i may take pity and have early lunch at 11.30am

BrainSurgeon Thu 08-Nov-12 16:14:23

I'm on the same lines as Grim - you may want to keep an eye out for other issues, not meaning to scare you or anything but this is the age when autistic traits can start to appear. DP's little newphew was the brightest cheeriest boy until about 2.5 then he started regressing - couldn't feed himself anymore, went back to nappies sad
I'm not saying this can be the case here at all, just saying there could be other reasons

GrimAndHumourless Thu 08-Nov-12 16:17:08

Yes Brain

I am hmmming about maybe oral dyspraxia, maybe a tongue tie

ByTheWay1 Thu 08-Nov-12 16:24:51

maybe she just finished a growth spurt so simply isn't as hungry any more.... or has teething troubles or a mouth ulcer.....

we always offered food for half an hour then took it away - if they were hungry they would eat..... or ask for food later

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 08-Nov-12 17:25:21

mum says she isnt that slow at home - has she always been slow at yours - how long have you looked after her?

MrsPotato Thu 08-Nov-12 18:54:28

Many thanks for all the replies, mindees have all gone, own children being put to bed by dh, everything is calm! I'll try to answer everything.

grim speech is fine, no dribbling although I remember the parent saying mindee seemed to find sucking from a bottle difficult. I have had mindee for 12 months and she dropped bottles before so I have never seen this. Would the chewing indicate tongue tie? Without the other signs? No regression in any other way.

blondes She has always been slower than the others at meal times but never like this. I noticed last week when I had to let the others leave the table as mindee was taking so long. (I think very nice and a bit mad is a great description, I may put it in my advertising!)

tanith I generally do this kind of thing as I have some fussy eaters but decided to back off today as it obviously wasn't working. But stopping didn't help either!

rain tv is never on and mindee was not at all bothered by the activity going on in the same room as she was still eating her breakfast 45 minutes in.

confuggled I wish I'd read your advice about supper earlier! Will try that next time. Buzzers or chocs are not really my style.

The thing is if this was my own child I would absolutely remove food after a set time and not faff around being worried out them being hungry. But the parents would not be happy with me removing food and are real worriers about this type of thing. I will tell them if I have another day like today but need to think about how to put it without unduly stressing them out with mindee or me!

5madthings Thu 08-Nov-12 18:58:24

I do the half an hour and then take it away but the excessive chewing sounds a bit odd and would be worth getying checked checked out imo.

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