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Fussy eaters are irritating

(21 Posts)
Trifle Fri 19-Dec-03 09:26:00

I just cant understand how people can allow their children to be fussy eaters. I've got 6 coming for lunch next week and I've reeled off a list of everything that my two eat to find that the only thing the other children will have without risking major tantrums is crap like chicken nuggets and chips. As for veg, well, their children will only eat carrots if raw, no peas, 2 will eat corn on the cob, two wont, broccoli, cauli, asparagus, baked beans are a definite no no but joy upon joy they all agree on spaghetti hoops.

I refuse to allow mine to eat anything more processed than fish fingers or sausages but it's been worth it as now we enjoy a curry and all the trimmings every friday night plus wholesome meals during the week of spag bol, pasta, beef or chicken casserole, roast dinners, huge variety of veg and decent puddings, a favourtie being nectarine and ginger crumble. I'm not a slave to the kitchen and rarely spend more than half an hour preparing meals. If they dont eat it they dont get any pudding or anything else. We do MacDonalds once every 3 months and that's usually because I'm with friends for whom that is the preferred meal.

We recently stayed with friends who had a 4 year old son they said was a 'fussy eater' and consequently never fed him any proper meals just allowed him to graze during the day on anything that he wanted. I cant help feeling that if they sat down to proper meals with no inbetween snacks they wouldnt have such a problem.

I appreciate it is sometimes easy to give in to their preferences and my 4 year old was fairly p....d off last week to have pasta with salmon and broccoli in a cheese and garlic sauce but tough, he ate it and conceded it wasnt really too bad. His reward, a lovely mince pie which he devoured with glee.

GladTidings Fri 19-Dec-03 09:31:38

My son isn't a fussy eater, but you must understand Trifle that some children would go DAYS without eating something and at that point I think even you would give in to just see them eat something.... ANYthing, wouldn't you? My brother was such a skinny child. My Mum eventually realised that in order to get him some sort of nourishment he lived on bread rolls and butter for 3 months! He just wouldn't eat anything else..... somethings actually made him baulk and be sick.

I do think its a lot easier said than done, unfortunately.

FairyMum Fri 19-Dec-03 09:38:02

Totally agree. Fussy eaters are so irritating and giving children what they want just set them up as fussy eaters for life.

Northerner Fri 19-Dec-03 09:41:19

My ds (20 mnths) is well on the way to becoming a fussy eater. Often refusing his meals and prefferring to graze throughout the day. I too am a grazer and as we all have different appetites I guess he does too. We have had battles at the dinner table and he simply refuses to eat what is in front of him. I am not going to force him as I believe this is when meal times become an issue and bigger problems can occur. I therefore keep him satisfied with healthy snacks throughout the day such as bread, cheese, yoghurts, rice cakes and lots of fruit etc.

Children are different, and that brings with it different appetites. I'm not worried, I'm sure when he's 16 I wont be able to keep him fed!

So Trifle, don't be so quick to judge. You may have a fussy eater one day.

hmb Fri 19-Dec-03 09:41:23

Trifle, I do agree...to a point! Have some sympathy for the parents as it might have been a little beyond their contraol. Wit dd my attitue was *just* like yours. She eats anything and everything, stinky french cheese, olives even fights me for the last sprouts! Ds, weaned and fed in the exact same way, is the chicken nugget king! He does eat almost any veg, but no cheese and no friut except orange juice or bananas. Sometimes you just get the kid you are given!

twiglett Fri 19-Dec-03 09:47:56

message withdrawn

Brandysnap Fri 19-Dec-03 09:49:14

I agree GT. My kids can drive me to despair with their appalling eating habits. My eldest dd is very good and eats most things now, my younger 2 are a different matter all together. They just refuse to eat their meals, my 2 yo just pushes the plate away and says disgusting.

If you think you can get mine to eat something Trifle, please come round and try.

I have made a decision over the last few days that I won't be cooking a christmas dinner, I can't stand the stress. We will be having a big buffet instead, I'm not going to let their picky eating cast a shadow over the day.

RoscoeReindeer Fri 19-Dec-03 09:49:46

I think this has more to do with WHAT they refuse to eat rather than them just being fussy. My 3yr old is an incredibly fussy eater in the sense that there are a lot of things he won't touch. However, as the things he refuses to touch are chocolate, sweets, sugary food and processed food, people tend not to find it irritating.

GladTidings Fri 19-Dec-03 09:53:06

lol RR - Lucky you!

RoscoeReindeer Fri 19-Dec-03 09:56:24

GT - I'm making the most of it, believe me!

KaySleighBells Fri 19-Dec-03 09:59:16

I agree that no two kids are the same. I have treated my two boys exactly the same. Ds1 went through some picky stages but nothing terrible and now at age 5.5 eats most foods, and more importantly he will try anything. I am happy as long as they will try something new, as they can then decide whether they like it or not. It's the turning up of noses without having tried something that really annoys me.

My ds2 2.5 drives me nuts because he won't even try new stuff and will only eat very limited veg & fruit. Occasionally we will have a breakthrough and he will try it and decide he does like it. But then the following week he can refuse to eat it again.

If ds1 were to stick his head in the oven ds2 would follow. But is ds1 eats a vegetable or piece of fruit ds2 doesn't want to know. Obstinate little wotsit !!

alibubbles Fri 19-Dec-03 10:16:36

I think once you start giving because they haven't eaten anything is where the problem lies. If they don't eat what is put in front of them, then tough wait till the next meal and no substitutes or other snacks in between. Once they know that you will provide something else, they have won, and they will continue to use it as a power thing. Eating, sleeping and bowels are the only things kids can have control over to get us going!

I appreciate that we don't all like somethings and I would never force a child to eat anything they hated, I do think they sshould be expected to eat 'normal meal' at 'normal times'

No child will starve themselves, If hungry they will eat sooner or later.

florenceuk Fri 19-Dec-03 11:28:32

If you think they are irritating, try being their parents and having to put up with it all the time! I have a fussy eater, and I think it is genetic - some kids are just worse than others. As DH won't eat chicken, pork, fish or mushrooms I blame his dad.

jinglesaur Fri 19-Dec-03 11:34:55

Trifle, I think it's very nice of you to go to the trouble of asking what they eat.

My DS1 is a very fussy eater but it is nothing to do with the way I have brought him up - I treated him and DS2 in exactly the same way and DS2 eats everything!

When we go to other people's houses I encourage DS1 to eat the food that is offered but I do take some emergency food for him because he's much more prone to have "meltdowns" when he hasn't eaten.

Slinky Fri 19-Dec-03 11:41:42

Message withdrawn

BluStocking Fri 19-Dec-03 12:33:56

Trifle, my perfect Inner-Mum agrees with you entirely, but I'm afraid my shallow outer-shell gets up to all sorts of bad practices due to a mixture of very hectic working schedules, and a child who has no interest in sitting still to eat at all, and once he has taken 2 bites and satisfied any immediate hunger, he is off, and will become weak before returning.

My DS does eat a good selection of 'proper food', but there is plenty he won't touch, and I do feel guilty that with a full-time job outside the home, we don't sit down to eat with him in the evenings.

Angeliz Fri 19-Dec-03 13:44:59

I make a meal nearly every evening and we all have the same but dd will NEVER eat what we have and usually ends up with bread and butter/cheese/yoghurts! So if she wants a plate of chicken dippers and chips, i make them! (Not on an evening when i've cooked though). My dd ate almost anything when she was little and then was very sick after spag bol one night and hasn't eaten anything "wet" since! I agree with gladtidings, if they'll eat something that's better than nothing! I think each child is different Trifle and it's not as easy as it seemed to be for you

cori Fri 19-Dec-03 14:22:43

MyDS 22months, started off eating very well. Ate all kinds of foods, my DH is a chef so was determined not to have a fussy eater as a child. DS did not touch a chip , nugget or sweets until he was way past a year old.
We gave him a huge variety of foods and flavours and he ate well.
Now he hardly eats a thing , no vegetables at all.
all he has had today is a half a clemintine and a quarter of a toastie.
my one saving grace is that he almost always eats well, and full meals at his childminders , so i usually provide as much in the way as healthy snacks as possible.
I am of the firm belief that despite my best efforts , and doing everything by the book in babyhood my stubborn little toddler will make up his own mind up about when and what he eats and until i can reason with him a bit more there is not much i can do.

mexico Fri 19-Dec-03 15:25:21

cori I can sympathise, my ds is the same age and has the same history as yours, same story when it comes to eating. I don't even have the saving grace of him eating at nursery. Until around three months ago he was one of their best eaters. I think the downturn was exaggerated by a cold/sorethroat. Now some days he will only eat 1/2 a weetabix and the cake they sometimes get with their tea!!
I do consider him a little young though for the 'if you don't eat that that is all there is' approach. I am not sure he is old enough to understand that yet. Don't know what other opinions are as to the right age to 'get tough'!?

kmg1 Fri 19-Dec-03 21:53:04

I think fussy eaters are partly 'made'. My two get their basic meal, and if they eat it they get 'dessert': fruit, yoghurt, cake, etc. If they don't eat it they get nothing, and we never have snacks between meals.

At school they get a huge choice for meals. I was horrified on Thursday to find out that ds1 had complained at school because they'd had a special Christmas dinner with no choices offered ... he never gets choices at home, and is not fussy. At school (for just over a year) he's been given choices every day, and now he expects them.

Evita Sat 20-Dec-03 11:45:44

Trifle, alas I would probably be your worst party guest though its nothing to do with my lack of trying in fact my daughters so fussy she wont even eat junk food! if ypuve never had a fussy eater you dont know the heartache and stress it causes. I was brought up in a healthfood shop (my moms) so know all the things to do but my dd never complied. dp and i eat no junk food and regularly cook and offer whatever we eat to dd. she just wont eat it. i have often felt extremely embarrassed at parties etc.

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