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Ideas for feeding fussy children please!(50 Posts)
I've realised recently that my son, in particular, doesn't have a particularly varied diet. Basically, he eats hamburgers / fishfingers / pasta / a load of white carbohydrates. He has a list of things he hates (raw tomatoes / most veg apart from carrots and broccoli / most seafood - apart from fishfingers / chicken etc). The other day I made a chicken noodle soup with carrots and baby sweetcorn and it wasn't a hit.
I've noticed that he's getting rather tubby - I've entered his details into the NHS BMI calculator and it's come up as overweight. I know that there is a chance that he will shoot up and eliminate some of the problem but I don't want to rely on that.
I also have a younger daughter who comes up as a healthy weight for her age and height.
Do any of you have any ideas? Part of me thinks I should just ignore the list of stuff he won't eat and serve him bloody peas but it does seem unkind to give him things I know he hates.
Tbh although that list sounds a bit restrictive it also does include basic food groups such as meat/protein, carbs, fat and veg even if it limited versions.
I would look at portion size over anything else.
And perhaps try making your own version of what he will eat. Make your own burgers for instance where you can make it with better quality less fatty mince and make it "child size" and use half a bun In stead.
Could you try mixing the white pasta with wholemeal and gradually up the ratio?
Can you list a typical day so we can suggest tweaks that could help. What dies he have for breakfast. Does he snack etc
Hmm. Good point. On a school day, he has
Breakfast - usually shreddies. We now ask him to have some fruit instead of a second bowl.
Mid morning snack - I think this is fruit.
Lunch - Bit of a mystery this. From what I've gathered, it involves salami and sweetcorn. Presumably there are some carbohydrates but quite hard to get much information out of the boy.
After school snack - usually a piece of fruit and one of those children's packs of mini cheddars.
Dinner - his favourite is pasta pesto but we don't do this so often as he is quite capable of eating at least two helpings of it. Afterwards he will usually have fruit.
So yes, I think it may be that he rather gorges on stuff that he likes (while refusing to eat anything that he doesn't).
It's great he's eating that much fruit but at same time it's alot of sugar too.
Does he eat eggs at all?
Is swapping to packed lunches an option? if he's not eating much of the dinner, then that would explain why he's snacking and then asking for double helpings of tea. With a packed lunch you could perhaps make a more sunstabtial/filling lunch out of what he does eat?
Packed lunches are not allowed at school. Yes, it is probably time to cut out the after school snack. The mid morning snack is provided by school and is given to all the children.
Do any of you have any (easy) recipes that work for primary school children that aren't super carb heavy? I have considered doing spiralised courgetti when we next have spaghetti (so the children would get 50 / 50 pasta and veg).
No packed lunches
Have you googled the menu at school?
Maybe have a look at what they do vs what he eats and then try and plan a tea around it so he's not getting say triple pasta and sweetcorn and corn or two lots of jam (when you add it up with home teas too)
Woukd he eat say mini muffin pizzas? Half a muffins a good size for a child.
Home made fish cakes?
Would he eat a blended tomato and veg sauce you could sneak in a load of beg. Great with home made meat balls
That's a good idea. Yes, he does often have spaghetti and meatballs with a blended veg sauce.
Will he eat raw carrot? Anyother salad veg?
Are you about to break for summer hols? If so it's a good opportunity to get a better grip on lunch.
The typical day you post seems light on protein, maybe that is why he is over eating. Does he eat eggs?
If he's not open to trying to eat more veg you could try a few hidden veg recipes.
If he will eat fish fingers can you try making your own fish Cakes? You can get a fair bit of veg in them.
Lately we've had success with baked butternut squash falafel. Sounds a bit out there but actually quite a nugget like quantity!
If he can be funny with meat, putting small chunks of say chicken in an omelette with some cheese and sweetcorn can be a good way of getting it eaten.
and there's always ketchup
Chicken and veg skewers popular here, easy and low carb.
Chicken and veg skewers are a nice idea - I'll probably try it with beef (at present he gets whingey when faced with chicken).
His favourite breakfast is Matzo Brei (basically eggy bread but with matzo instead) but I don't have time to make that in the morning before school.
Yes, omelette and veg is another good idea. I think I've just got out the habit of making new things (because I hate being faced with wailing when I've spent time making something nice).
When he was a baby I used to make him plaice and spinach. Perhaps I'll try that again.
I know this is about food but how much exercise is he doing?
My now 10 year old dd was also getting a bit podgy a year or two ago. She had a huge appetite, think it was the start of puberty and growth spurt.
She's also a fussy eater but I got her doing a lot more exercise (5 dance classes/week) and really monitored portion size. She's looking much better now and her appetite has calmed down a bit.
Well, over the summer we'll be able to go swimming every day for about half an hour or so.
In termtime, he does PE / Dance and runs around at playtime during the week. At weekends we go swimming.
Make sure your child isn't actually a fussy eater but has sensory processing disorder. We had a nightmare with one of ours. Tried everything .... once he had a diagnosis ... we realised he couldn't help it. He wasn't fussy or picky, just the smell, touch, look of some food makes him feel physically ill.
Also bit of a mystery what DD has for school lunch, she is so reticent on the matter, you'd think the dinner ladies made her sign the official secrets act before handing over the food! I have got a menu for next year already and pinned it up. She is quite prepared to hold out for the most delicious food possible to her, but now she is nearly six, it is easier to reason with her, and understand that a consquence of this holding out is hunger. The whole fussy eating thing is so FRUSTRATING though!
splodgy two of my dc have some sort of sensory processing issues. Where's the best place to go for help? You can PM me if you like.
He may be too old for this but I do a sticker a chart with 3 y/o where she gets a sticker every time she tries something new. She doesn't have to like it or finish it but she'll get a sticker just for nibbling an edge. She's discovered more foods she'll willingly have. I've told her once the chart is full she'll get a treat but I've no idea what! Maybe a way to make it more age appropriate?
Could you also grab some some of those kid friendly cook books? We've got the Gruffalo one that has cool ideas to get extra veggies in but when looking for it saw a few older ones with similar ideas.
splodgy, can I ask if an NHS paediatrician diagnosed sensory processing disorder? The paed we saw said that it was not a diagnosis that was recognised in this country!
Op - sorry for the derail!
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