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Help me feed my increasingly fussy 6yr and 4yr old.

(13 Posts)
noseynoonoo Fri 04-Jan-13 14:13:48

When my children were weaned I made all sorts of home made food and they lapped up almost everything. Over time, they have been increasingly fussy and do not even seem to like the same things. We have just had a chat to find out what they both like in common. Here's the list:
Broccoli, sausages, beef patties (not a burger in a bun), sesame beef, fish fingers, fish cakes, pizza, pasta, noodles, Heinz crap spaghetti, various potatoes.

I would prefer to feed them the same meals. I thought that things would be better when they both got to school. They both have school lunch. The 6 yr old eats a varied diet there, the 4 yr old has jacket potato with cheese every day. They are both hungry when they get home and want more than a sandwich type tea.

So, I am looking for inspiration. We have got in a rut where I feed them the same few rubbish meals, which are lacking in veg - well I serve veg but it is not eaten. I am chucking away a lot of food.

TIA.

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 14:22:57

Well unless they have any son's which makes things different I wouldn't be pandering to fussiness. Make what you want for dinner, if they are hungry they will eat it.

With five children they don't all get to eat what they want, some nights it will be something they don't likje, other nights it will be a favorite.

They either eat it or they don't but I am not making an alternative.

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 14:25:27

One thing, give them small portions, time children can be put of/are daunted by a large plate of food, give them a small portion and then they can have more if they eat it all. Some meals I put in a big serving dish on the table and let them help themselves, they are then in control of portion size. This is easy with casserole or pasta bake style dishes.

noseynoonoo Fri 04-Jan-13 15:41:08

They eat separately from me and DH. Is it really right that I should make them something that neither like?

I'm looking for ideas on how to stretch their diet without it being traumatic/wasteful.

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 15:48:10

From my perspective we have always eaten together and I just do one family meal. As long as some meals are ones they like, once a week a favorite it went hurt them to have some meals they aren't keen on.

How about getting them involved in meal planning and the preparation.

Let them choose one meal each and then you choose a meal.

lorisparkle Fri 04-Jan-13 15:53:30

my friend went down the 'feed them what they like' route and her DS now only eats sausages and carrots. my DSs are not amazing eaters but they get pretty much the same as what we have with no alternative. I do make cous cous instead of rice as that is easy. the rule us they have to try one proper bite of everything on their plate and all the meat but that is all. I try and vary the menu so they have something they like every other day or so and and something they like on the plate.

NoMoreMarbles Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:07

My DD is quite fussy but I don't pander to it. The only time I make her a separate meal is if we are having a spicy/hot meal. She really doesn't like spicy food so I make allowances for that but otherwise she eats what we eat. She is 6 almost 7 BTW If she doesn't eat what is put in front of her then she understands that there will not be an alternative...I do a meal plan but follow it loosely and involve her in shopping for the food. Each day I have two meals in the plan that we choose from depending on what DH, DD and I fancy that day. if DD chooses stir fry over lasagne for example, and then says she doesn't want it, I don't offer her anything else.

Slowly but surely she is becoming more flexible with her tastes.

AllDirections Fri 04-Jan-13 16:00:26

I'm with 5madthings

I cook one meal and since I also eat with my DDs I cook various things that they might/might not like. It's not possible (often) to please all 3 DDs but generally they will eat something from the meal that I've cooked, whether it's just the pasta or the side salad or whatever.

noseynoonoo Fri 04-Jan-13 16:51:43

Question for the mums that offer their children food they don't like - do the children end up eating it or do they go hungry?

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 16:54:04

Either, they generally eat a bit but yes there have been iccassions where they go to bed having not eaten their dinner.

They have as good bfast and lunch, tend to have a snack after school and the fruit bowel is always available so if they don't eat one meal they won't starve smile

lorisparkle Fri 04-Jan-13 17:06:58

DSs have a good breakfast, milk to drink, lots of fruit as a snack, and at least one thing on the plate they like. they can then have fruit afterwards if they want so if they don't eat their evening meal they won't starve. unless you give them a variety to try you won't give them an opportunity to find out what they do like. ds2 is my fussiest but loves broad beans and kidney beans. bizarre child

AllDirections Fri 04-Jan-13 17:14:02

I'm also of the opinion that children won't starve if they miss a meal. But it's their choice if they don't want to eat it. I wouldn't intentionally give them a whole meal that they really don't like but they usually like some part of each meal. I never make them eat it either because I really, really don't care if they eat it or not. If the DDs were very underweight, or losing weight or had any special needs then I would be concerned but none of these apply. I'm very relaxed about food as I don't want my DDs to have the food issues that I have.

Ruggles Fri 04-Jan-13 19:43:39

We have always had the deal of no alternatives and occasionally they don't eat everything, but its incredibly frustrating when its a battle. We've recently started on a new food plan and I am amazed at how many different things my dc are now eating. I think the more variety you offer, the more new things they will eat. Previously they were beginning to get very fussy, so I am very relieved and pleasantly surprised too!

We're following a weekly plan and they love asking whats on the list for today. Small portions are good. We have 'Dinner Winner' for whoever is first - no treat, but all the glory. Mine are 4 and 2 and they now help me cook everything, esp if I don't think they will be sure about it. It really helps as they are so proud to help - bless.

5madthings - hadn't thought about different favourites at different times, but think this is such a good idea.

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