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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DD's awful diet

(14 Posts)
buccon Wed 04-Jan-17 23:15:44

She's 4 and won't eat ANYTHING (apart from chocolate) willingly.
Should I be worried? Her brother who is 11 has always been a brilliant eater so I've not been through this.... I'm one of those mums who cooks fresh food regularly but doesn't have a problem with pizza, fish fingers on the odd occasion.
I've tried giving her what we have and nothing else - thinking if she's hungry she'll eat - but 2 years later she still hasn't budged.
It's shorter to say what she will eat rather than what she won't so here's the (awful) list.
Butter sandwich (no filling)
Sausage rolls
Bought pancakes with butter
Toast as long as it isn't crunchy
Fish fingers
Pasta (no sauce)
Rice (no sauce)
Cherry toms
Cooked carrots (as long as they are in fingers)
Green beans
Peas sometimes
Chips occasionally
Potatoes on the odd occasion.
Chocolate mousse in abundance which she feel she's earned after eating one fish finger.

That's about it....
Shocking?? She won't eat anything "mushed" so no shepherds pie or fish pie or anything. Won't eat meat just fish. Hates Beans, pulses etc.
Today she ate: 2 pancakes for breakfast with butter. Lunch was 2 slices of toast with butter and cherry tomatoes, tea should have been tuna pasta bake but she refused to eat it so ended up with a butter sandwich as was at my wits end.
This is typical.
Should I be worried or just let it go and hope she grows out of it?
She is a completely and utterly normal weight for her height (which is a smidgen above average) and is never ill or has any medical problems.
Oh, but she does drink an awful lot of milk - her body catching up on vitamins maybe??

hollinhurst84 Wed 04-Jan-17 23:22:33

I'm no expert but is she filling up on milk and then not hungry at main meals?

MrsDustyBusty Wed 04-Jan-17 23:29:35

I don't think there's much you can do other than continue to offer a varied diet and allow her foods that she will eat. Just in case it's any use, when I want mine to eat something new, I tend to give it to her without comment while I'm cooking the dinner and leave her to try it when my back is turned. That way there's no pressure or pleading and she usually gives in to curiosity.

anothergilmore Wed 04-Jan-17 23:32:32

Does she have any other sensory issues?

My DD can be suspicious of anything she hasn't tried before and anything that's 'saucy' because she can't tell exactly what's in it.

My DD has got much much better since starting school. She also eats better if we have a routine of what we're eating so she knows what to expect - so we now have a fairly set meal plan.

The main thing to remember is that as long as she's eating something carby, something with protein and some sort of veg then even if it's the same thing all the time at least she's getting what she needs and hopefully variety will come in time.

buccon Wed 04-Jan-17 23:33:59

Thanks! possibly, but I try to restrict her milk intake when we're about to have meals.
If she wants milk I always say not until after tea/lunch etc. but sometimes if she's not really eaten anything I do let her have milk as I think it's better than nothing....
She will sometimes come in with her plate and say "oh well I haven't eaten enough for pudding, never mind, it was yucky".
Probably over thinking I guess, she's clearly not starving but it bothers me!!

MegBusset Wed 04-Jan-17 23:35:02

This doesn't seem too bad on the fussy eater scale tbh - DS1 at a similar age had a much shorter list! He started to expand his repertoire around 5/6 and now at nearly 10 is sooo much better. The older they get, the easier it is to reason with them!

I would plan your meals around what she will eat (making sure she gets all food groups) and then throw in new things occasionally. EG chicken fingers instead of fish fingers. Is she at school yet - if so put her on school dinners - she will probably try more things there. And don't worry - she won't starve!

buccon Wed 04-Jan-17 23:39:08

Thank you - I don't think she has any other issues. She's pretty normal in all other regards. She is at school and has the free school lunch but it's been commented on that she rarely eats much of it.
She will pick at certain things but leaves most.
I think I am paranoid as the rest of the family are really into trying new food and cooking is a hobby of mine.
I've never tried to force her into eating anything I'm pretty laid back but it isn't working and I'm wondering if I should get firmer or just leave her be!!

Heratnumber7 Wed 04-Jan-17 23:43:03

All I ate until I was about 8 was ham and mashed potato, bacon and sardines on toast. I'm now an overweight 50 year old that eats anything.

It was having to have school dinners that did it for me. Peer pressure, and the embarrassment of seeming "odd".

WasntThinking Thu 05-Jan-17 00:19:47

Op, you are not alone. These threads pop up from time to time and it's more of a common problem than you think.

My health visitor told me to think of what's eaten per week rather than per meal, or even per day. When I did that it suddenly didn't look so bad.

I was more hard hearted than you and didn't cook a second meal if the first was rejected. It took a lot of courage for me to let them go to bed without any food. It worried me half to death but they sleep fine like normal and woke to eat a heart breakfast as normal. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking they'd eaten a full dinner the night before!

I managed to get ds2 to eat healthily if I allowed something forbidden at the same time. So normally I don't allow eating in front of the tv, but this time I set up a special tray of carrot, cucumber, and pitta bread sticks, and houmous in a cute pot, and let him eat the lot while watching tv. Now it's a favourite snack whereas he would have turned up his nose at it before.

We not operate a policy of "this is what's on offer, eat it if you want to". The deal is I won't force you but you won't say you think it's disgusting; you can think it but not say it to me! I always make sure there's enough variety for everyone to be able to eat at least one thing, even if it's just carrots. Which does actually happen sometimes!

School changed things a lot too. I kept there clean plate stickers the school give. Reception year here were two earned. Year one there was a total of 14. Year two there were more than double that by Christmas. My point is, it's gradually improving and so it will for you too, im sure.

WasntThinking Thu 05-Jan-17 00:21:59

*the clean plate stickers.

Daisychain2017 Thu 05-Jan-17 06:50:32

You need to cut back on her milk - one or two small cups a day only. That's where she's getting her daily calories from ATM.

I thought about sensory issues too since so much of what she will and won't eat are texture related.

Have you tried cooking with and then she eats what she has cooked?

Also agree it's peer pressure that makes my daughter eat different things at nursery. She's also not keen on veg and fussy but will eat a small bite of things to earn some cheese or chocolate.

Petalbird Thu 05-Jan-17 06:56:52

Do you always give in and give her what she wants?

Abstardust Thu 05-Jan-17 07:36:06

My twins we're similar at that age and really struggled to get them to try anything new. School dinners have helped.

They way I dealt with it was only offer meals that we were all having, but adapt them to encourage them to eat. Ie for a sausage casserole one twin wouldn't eat the sauce or dumplings so would grill some sausages separate and give him veg which he'd then be more willing to eat or for spag bol would would have it all separate on plate. They also know if they don't eat dinner then there is nothing else, they haven't starved and are healthy weight.

We also found it helped to have things they could serve themselves with, like wraps/ tacos or on Sundays do roast a bit like a carvery, they picked what went on plates and felt more in control, definitely ate better on days we had meals like that. Might be worth trying to serve food a different way.

Rubyslippers7780 Thu 05-Jan-17 07:44:01

My ds is the same. Very limited to what he will eat. Buttered bread, fish fingers, tomato soup or dry crackers. Lots of milk and yoghurt. He is tall and not skinny so must be getting enough calories. Won't touch fruit or veg which worries me but I always offer..discovered eats loads of fruit at nursery.
Have tried getting him involved in cooking.. he loves baking but won't even try the homemade soup he makes...

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