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When to seek professional help with fussy eaters?

(11 Posts)
redhappy Thu 08-Sep-11 19:04:51

I am now admitting defeat with my dcs. Apparently they now don't eat cheese! That means no cheese, no potatoes, no baked beans, no vegetables, no meat.

They like fish fingers, chips, pizza (although now they pick the cheese topping off hmm ). They like porridge, some fruits, tortelloni with pesto, occasionally they will eat quiche. Oh god, that really is it now! Oh, and ds likes scotch eggs.

Ds has some sensory issues, I kind of accept his fussiness (he has autism). That really is just the way it is. But dd is being influenced by him, and now she eats f* all. I don't know what I'm going to do. I've tried everything. I've tried cooking normally child-friendly things and they just wont touch it (eg. sausages and mash). Its just getting worse and worse all the time. I've tried being firm and saying that's it, so they don't eat it, I refuse to make anyting else, and I have 2 hungry grumpy children for the rest of the evening.

They have always been quite fussy, even at the weaning stage. I separated from their father in the spring and it's got so much worse since then.

Any help or suggestions appreciated. Even if it's let them eat sandwiches every meal time! At least then I could stop worrying.

Or, suggestions for where to go for help. GP? Is there any help available on the NHS? Or privately. I'm willing to pay but I just don't know where to start.

WoofToYouTooLady Thu 08-Sep-11 19:15:07

how old are they, Red?

joruth Thu 08-Sep-11 19:15:40

Ages of children would help...and functioning level of your son.......??

exoticfruits Thu 08-Sep-11 19:20:47

Don't discuss food or comment on it. Serve up the meal-in dishes so they help themselves. If they don't eat it, take it away and serve pudding-do the same. DO NOT SERVE SNACKS. Do the same at the next meal. If they are grumpy and say they are hungry just say mildly, slightly surprised 'well you would be, you didn't eat dinner'. Repeat if necessary. Don't get drawn into arguments, explanations etc. They will not starve. It isn't about food-it is a power struggle-made worse by your situation.

WoofToYouTooLady Thu 08-Sep-11 19:26:42

exotic, I'm not sure that the technique you describe would be suitable for a child with autism tbh.

exoticfruits Thu 08-Sep-11 19:34:21

You may be right Woof. It would be worth trying your GP-is there an autism society for advice?

exoticfruits Thu 08-Sep-11 19:36:01

Have you tried here Might find help.

redhappy Thu 08-Sep-11 20:07:26

Thankyou for your responses

They are 5 (ds) and 3.5 (dd).

Exoticfruits what you described is what I have been doing, and I honestly thought it would work. Unfortunately, ds would starve. Because of the close age-gap they are fairly inseparable, it would be impossible to let him eat his limited but suffiently balanced diet without dd seeing. So, she is copying him, but adding her own dislikes too.

It just feels like the one thing I can't beat. Everything else I can get through with determination. Been through so many battles with ds, worked so hard with him. With anything else feels like with dedication and commitment can achieve anything, but this really has got me. They just wont eat.

I think I am going to have to go to the GP.

It may be that I have to wait it out until I can explain to dd why ds eats the way he does, and help encourage her to start to eat better then.

redhappy Thu 08-Sep-11 22:27:18

Oh, and ds is fairly high-functioning. He does have speech delay, however.

I don't honestly expect to improve his diet. But I really need to change things with dd.

joruth Thu 08-Sep-11 22:53:31

feel for you...don't stress...yes it needs addressing but it's not urgent and they won't starve.

Sounds like you have had alot of emotional stress in your life recently, so don't expect too much of yourself. Settle down into your new life, take some time for yourself if it's at all possible and if it's not at least be kind to yourself and let yourself be for a while. I am usually a "hit -things- head -on -and -sort -it" kind of person, but there are times when the straw really is too heavy for the camels back. Why not make a 2 week meal rota of the things they do like with the occasional additional thing on the table just to see what happens?? Then you can have a break from thinking about food as well. Do some different things as much as your son's need for order allows. Then take some advice and start over, but not whilst you're stressed, tired and wound up.

dd will become more independent in the next year as her social life evolves through pre-school and then school and his influence will be just that little bit less.

best wishes

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 09-Sep-11 08:11:52

My technique with fussy eating has been to serve old favourites all week and make weekends 'try something new' days. The deal is that the 'something new' has to be tasted before being judged, that it may be seen again in future, but that there's nothing else on offer. The favourites list extended that way as new tastes were added in.

How do they eat at friends' houses, school or restaurants? Sometimes peer pressure is very powerful i.e if everyone else is eating something, they'll give it a go. Cooking something new together can encourage trial. And could I suggest that if your son is influencing your daughter the wrong way you try feeding them separately? Different rooms for a while.

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