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Fussy eating 9 year old - please help

(36 Posts)
jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 09:38:42

I am having real problems feeding my 9 year old daughter. If I try to give her any vegetables she picks them out. Shopping has become hell and I often wander around Adsa/Tesco wondering what to feed her.

She will eat omelette, pasta, mild cheese, rice, chicken, tomatoes, sweetcorn, pork, bacon, sausages (chipolata's), beefburgers, fish fingers, chicken curry, chicken fried rice, potatoe scones, yorkshire pudding and bread.

She is fairly good at eating fruit and will eat strawberries, grapes, melon, kiwi, apples, mango, oranges and pineapple. Will not touch potatoes (in any shape or form), carrots, peppers, brocolli, cauliflower, peas, courgettes and turnip.

Am desperate. Tried being forceful but this does not work. Dinner becomes a disruptive nightmare - swinging on chair, puting brother off dinner, picking at food with fingers.

Can anyone help me?

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Flllightattendant Sun 27-Jan-08 09:40:49

I don't want to be dismissive but that is a pretty good list.

When I was 11, all I would eat was a few bites of cake.

Now that was a problem...grin

jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 09:50:02

Thanks flllightattendant just wish their was more veg in that list. Grated pured or chopped she can detect them from across the room.

All these programmes on TV now make you feel so guilty about what you are feeding your kids.

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jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 09:53:43

Anyway what changed flllightattendant?

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Flllightattendant Sun 27-Jan-08 09:54:11

I hope I didn't come across as not taking you seriously - I think she is probably in a phase, from what you say she gets a brilliant range of foods - there is probably every nutrient she needs among those things.

Try not to worry. Yes, there is a culture of 'all children must eat this and this and this' but really they are all different.

I'm sure there will be some suggestions about encouraging her and making veggies see more appealing, I would help with that if I could but am not very good at food myself!

smile

Flllightattendant Sun 27-Jan-08 09:55:27

Oh I was a very nervous child - school phobia, panic attacks etc...nothing has changed, I still prefer cake to anything wholesome...

<wanders off to find the gingernuts>

jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 09:58:23

Gosh it's nice to have a conversation with someone. As a working single parent sometimes that's rare.

Guess you must have kids too or you would not be on this site. Are yours good eaters?

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jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 10:01:37

Reading my post it looks like she will eat veg but effectively she will only touch sweetcorn and tomatoes.

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Flllightattendant Sun 27-Jan-08 10:02:10

Mine are 4 years old and 7 months old. The first one is picky, but robust - I stuck to breastfeeding for as long as possible to avoid having to cook (my pet hate!) but he does eat a variety of stuff, and seems to manage well on school dinners though he won't eat what I make at home quite often!

The younger one is interested in food but it's early days!

I am truly not good with food or cooking, I was anorexic for a while years ago. But that was psychological issues rather than related to what I ate as a child.
How old is your other child? smile

jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 10:08:47

My son is 4. He loves mince and potatoes (she hates them) but is easily influenced.

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jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 10:12:40

Well ironically I have to add she was breastfed he was not.

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edam Sun 27-Jan-08 10:16:41

if she's eating a variety of fruit, I wouldn't panic too much about veg. Doesn't sound like a terribly unhealthy or restricted diet to me - and I suspect getting wound up and making an issue out of it will be counterproductive (although I'm sure it's only natural).

jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 10:19:39

Thank edam. Going shopping today so will be placing lots of fruit on the list. Not sure about the other stuff tho.

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squilly Sun 27-Jan-08 11:05:05

I was looking here for some reassurance/see what advice you got as my 7yr old DD just doesn't like food. I think I'm hijacking your thread (I'm new to all this, so excuse me if that's the case).

I've worked like buggery to get her to broaden her food choices...used bribery, force, the not interested approach...you name it. I try to put one new thing on her plate at each meal and sometimes I leave her to try it...sometimes I bribe her...sometimes I force her. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn't and it's just a constant, wearing battle.

We've currently got the following on the menu:-

pasta (no sauce)
cucumber
Peppers
Carrot sticks
carrots cooked (sometimes)
green beans (sometimes)
bread & butter (unless it's a bread roll, in which case it has to be rustique and plain)
cheese sandwiches for lunch (yes every day)
McDonalds chips (a rare treat) always with 2 chicken nuggets (she won't eat more than that).
Small chunks of meat (ie 2 small bite sizes of lamb or beef)...but reluctantly.

Ice cream and chocolate

She won't eat any food mixed together (ie anything with sauce) so there's no opportunity for stealth feeding and she's just not interested in food...ever!

Her dad & I both love food. We eat as a family and we love to eat socially. THAT's the thing we see our girl missing and it just makes me sad.

Sorry...I'll stop ranting now....I am a bit depressed, so probably not a good time to come on line...but hey...a girl's gotta vent when a girl's gotta vent.

jellibabe Sun 27-Jan-08 14:02:17

Good to hear from you squilly. I totally understand how you feel as I constantly worry about my 9 year old. Feel like I have tried everything too. Have resorted lately to just making what I was going to make for dinner and trying to not cringe as she removes every scrape of veg from her plate. She does not get money for playtime unless she has breakfast before she goes to school. And while I do allow the kids sweets they know if they don't eat (some) dinner they don't get anything later. Mine not keen on sauce on pasta either will eat pasta with grated cheese or tuna and sweetcorn tho. Good luck - if find out any ways of tackling this problem please let me know.smile

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Ponyta Sun 27-Jan-08 14:17:28

Oh, my nine-year-old dd eats almost exactly the same range as yours, Squilly, only she won't eat peppers. I am trying to do cooking with my dd, but it is hard work. Also I eat out with her more than we can really afford; but if she's in a fancy restaurant - er, like Nando's - she will occasionally try new stuff.

squilly Sun 27-Jan-08 14:40:23

Thanks for just knowing how it feels Jellibabe. I feel like a freak half the time, trying to explain to people that no, she won't eat pizza, spag bol or fishfingers! So I know how neurotic it can make you.

Your girl does sound like she's having a good diet though, on the whole. And I guess we have to hope that our little treasures will grow out of it! I made mine watch an episode of Freaky Eaters last year, and tried to explain why she had to eat a wider range of food. She did try for a day or two after that, but it got old quite quickly for her!

Ponyta, I like the thought of taking my girl to a fancy restaurant, like Nando's, but she's definitely a McDonalds girl. We once took her one of the nicest Italian restaurants in Sheffield and she had a bowl of plain pasta. Luckily it was lunchtime, so it only cost me £9 for her. Oh, and she didn't like the shape it was in, so she only ate a couple of pieces of it. AAGGHH!!!

I'll keep my fingers crossed that all our kids grow out of it! SOON...or they'll turn their mums hair white. (Too late, mine's halfway there)

Ponyta Sun 27-Jan-08 15:14:06

Yup, we do the plain pasta thing too smile

edam Sun 27-Jan-08 19:04:10

I can remember being a faddy eater as a child and feeling quite repulsed by foods that were mixed together in any way - so pasta sauce with veg would have been disgusting in my eyes. I remember being amazed that anyone could possibly eat trifle, let alone regard it as a treat! And horrified by my father putting some roast chicken on his fork and a piece of potato.

Hopefully your dcs will grow out of it, just as I did. But while it's going on, if they are anything like me, the idea of mixing foods is really quite disgusting. Don't think you are going to convince them otherwise, I'm afraid.

newyorkdolls Sun 27-Jan-08 19:21:19

Please try every thing you can to get her to eat normal foods, or else she will end up like me. I have such awful fads that if anyone invited my dh and I for supper it would be my idea of hell as I do not like: root vegs, pulses, which leaves one very limited.

squilly Sun 27-Jan-08 21:28:52

Edam...I can tell this is exactly how my girl feels about things. You can see the horror when you suggest something like pizza! GROSS!

And newyorkdolls...I'm so sorry for your situation. This is the one thing I can't imagine, being a great trougher of food. I love eating almost as much as I love breathing and the thought of not being able to enjoy social eating is what drives me to beg, bribe, cajole, incentivise any kind of deviation from the limited menu!

I keep thinking that if she's still the same when she gets older, I'll advise aversion therapy or something similar, but I think you're right. Sorting it out now is probably the only way!

edam Sun 27-Jan-08 23:00:12

I used to eat the crusts from my mother's pizza but wouldn't touch the actual tomato or cheese. grin

newyorkdolls Mon 28-Jan-08 20:03:07

It's not just root vegetables and Pulses, it is a lot more. But, if you live on the crap I do you end up fat. I'll tell you one tng, my kids are not allowed to get away with it, as it is such a limiting life.

maggiethecat Mon 28-Jan-08 23:11:50

Jellibabe your girl eats plenty compared to my 4 yr old dd1 who will not eat eggs, most meat (struggles with chicken), is repulsed by the smell of fish, picks out peas, beans (no chance of protein intake there) but thankfully eats cheese and drinks milk. She likes pasta and rice but is very finnicky and sometimes just will not eat. Eats fruit and few veg like broccoli and carrot but is not adventurous. She is very bright and we explain to her the value of eating well but she stubbornly refuses. We offer treats sometimes and get her to help with food preparation but overall it seems like a big effort with small reward. To make it worse she does not have cooked lunch option at school and very often her packed lunch comes back hardly eaten.
Her dad and I are foodies and there is always variety and good food at home - sometimes we wonder if we try too hard and she knows our anxieties so just tunes out?

jellibabe Tue 29-Jan-08 10:42:09

Can't imagine anyone eating less than my dd (not clued up yet on these abbreviation so hope that means darling daughter). How do you manage to feed her?

I found that if I get stressed out about her eating and turn it into a drama that has an adverse affect. In some ways her limited diet is like a cry for attention. Don't know how to help her (our yours) tho.

God sorry just really depressed today.

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