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did i do the right thing? advice desperately needed! sorry ramble.........

(9 Posts)
eleanorsmum Wed 19-Sep-07 07:28:54

DD (3) is being a pain with eating right now. yesterday i had to force her to eat breakfast (shreddies), she half an satsuma for snack and the one cracker and small piece cheese for lunch. she has snack at pre-school in the afternoon (apples and breadstick i think), when we got home she had nutrigrain bar. Come tea time she was really hungry and was wanting dinner but when i sat down with her for stuffed pasta she wouldn't eat it. i tried to help her (a thing we're trying to stop, spoonfeeding a 3 yo not good in opinon) but even that wouldn't work. she went to bed fine but has been crying awake for hours last night as she was so hungry. when she hadn't slept by 10pm i gave her a glass of milk. she was up 4 times more in the night crying and saying her tummy hurt, making me feel like such a bad mummy. she still asleep now (usually up at 6.30 with dh).

Did i do the right thing by giving her milk? will she eat today? how else can i get her to understand she has to eat properly, especially now she's at pre-school in the afternoon! help me please!

eleanorsmum Wed 19-Sep-07 07:41:53


Twiglett Wed 19-Sep-07 07:48:05

there are a couple of possibilities IMO

1) she's not eating because she has a tummy upset and the pain is part of that in which case milk might not be the best idea

2) she's just being 3 and trying out control over food in which case ignore her at mealtimes, no cajoling or spoon feeding just eat your own food at the table with her

- if its the latter and she's cryign with hunger I'd have given her a piece of bread personally

this morning just give her breakfast .. business as usual .. 3 year olds go through weird food phases, the more you react the more chance there is of them keeping it up

elesbells Wed 19-Sep-07 07:48:05

has this just been in the last few days?

she could have a little tummy upset and the pain she describes might be that and not hunger. it could also be the reason she doesnt want to eat at the mo.

some children do go through this phase of fussy eating, they seem to have eaten nothing sometimes and it can be worrying.

i wouldnt make food an issue tbh, she will pick up very quickly that it upsets mummy and causes a fuss. i would ignore it totally, offer her little and often meals and see how she goes. dont worry im sure she will be fine. good luck

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 19-Sep-07 07:52:52

I know it's easy to say, but I think you have to stop stressing about this - you are in danger of making food an issue for her.

She won't starve (and she has been eating good stuff anyway!) - but you need to let her eat when she's hungry rather than try and force her.

If she's hungry, she will eat - and there's no need to give her milk during the night because all you're doing is 'tiding her over'.

Perhaps give her more finger food, so that you're not battling with the cutlery as well - make it one less battle to have.

I had similar issues with ds2, when I realised that he just wasn't hungry when we expected him to be - i.e. his 'body clock' wasn't set to 'breakfast', 'lunch' and 'dinner' times.

If you want to make sure she's eating at meal times, don't let her snack in between - especially things like Nutrigrain bars - that's a lot of food for a 3 year old to have in between meals!

You're not a bad mum at all - just an over anxious one!

eleanorsmum Wed 19-Sep-07 08:09:04

thanks for this. we're currently having porridge for breakfast.

not a tummy upset been going on too long. will try bread not milk though in future.

don't want food to become an issue, might leave off the evening cutlery.

thanks again.

seeker Wed 19-Sep-07 08:19:26

I know this is really easy to say, but I tink you need to back off completely. Try as hard as you can to detach emotion and food (practically im possible, I know!)

Offer her healthy food she really likes. If she doesn't eat it, just take it away without comment, but make sure that there's always plenty of fruit around. If she doesn't eat her dinner, then I would offer a bowl of cereal or porage at bed time, or plain bread and a glass of milk. Nothing exciting or interesting, just healthy fuel. She won't starve - hard though this is to believe!

Oh, and I don't think it'll do any harm to spoon feed her occasionally - especially if she's very very tired. But that's just me - I can see why you don't want to!

seeker Wed 19-Sep-07 08:21:15

And one of the most useful - but scary- peices of advice my mother ever gave me -"It's a parent's responsibility to provide regular, healthy meals - it's not a parent's responsibility to make anyone eat them"!

slng Wed 19-Sep-07 08:45:13

I sometimes give a choice. Would that help?

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