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3 year old with very limited diet

(40 Posts)
scabbymeister Tue 11-Jan-05 11:56:53

Hello, I'm a newwy!
I am at the end of my tether and I thought it might help to get advice from those who understand. My daughter is nearly three and has a very limited diet, the problem is that she will not even try anything new, even the things that she used to like. The only fruit and veg that she will eat are apple and brocolli but this is under duress. Tea times are very stressful and over the last couple of days I have stopped her having anything else unless she eats the meal (or makes an effort) but she is quite happy to eat the meat off the plate and then go hungry! I feel really guilty and I have started giving her a multi vitamin. When she was a baby she would eat any wierd and wonderful combination but she has got steadily worse since she was two. Any suggestions for a mum who feels a bit of a failure? Thanks

suzywong Tue 11-Jan-05 12:03:26

no suggestions as I have one of those too.
I would give yourself a hearty pat on the back because meat, apple and broccoli aint bad. My ds1 can spot a speck of green at 100 paces.

In my opinion (IMO) it is more stress than it's worth getting in to games of will-testing and stubborness, although I worry constantly about whether or not he is setting down bad eating habits for the rest of his life.


I know my ds1 is hale and hearty, but if you are worried why not take her along to the HV or the children's clinic and just ask the HV to have a subtle look at her (don't tell you dd it's because of food or she will go ballistic) and then when you have been reassured carry on with the multivitamins over winter and then just give her what you know she likes, seeing as she does take meat, fruit and veg.

I have faith that this kind of malarkey stops at school.

Hope this helps


By the way - are you really scabby?

roller Tue 11-Jan-05 12:06:35

I agree with suzywong, my dd is just as good at spotting a speck of green never mind sniffing it out and also wont even try fruit when in a pudding/dessert!

grumpyfrumpy Tue 11-Jan-05 12:12:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scabbymeister Tue 11-Jan-05 12:16:59

Thanks everyone, its always nice to know we are not on our own. I think I will take her to clinic just to set my mind at rest but I think you are right, it is a battle of wills and one i'm probably not gonna win!
No im not really scabby, just one of those silly nick names!!!!

tortoiseshell Tue 11-Jan-05 12:40:37

You're not a failure. I have a 3 year old who is stupidly fussy - only fruit/veg he will eat is peas. Even refuses banana and other sweet fruits. Won't eat yoghurt, eggs, meat, fish, chicken, sausages etc. So I have been reduced to hiding peanut butter under chocolate spread to try and get some protein into him. He won't eat potato, but luckily loves pasta. I'm hopeful it will improve. But my dd will eat anything - which hopefully proves it's nothing to do with parenting!

Hope things get better.

suzywong Tue 11-Jan-05 12:53:31

turnips - that's a good one

Yes we are indeed a club

ourdarling Tue 11-Jan-05 13:07:43

If your darlings enjoy pasta then you can use any veg you like in a home made pasta sauce. Make up a batch, freeze in a ice cube tray.

Puree fruit to make ice lollies.

This helps in our house hold when my 4 year old darling goes through stages of only eating chocolate buttons, strewberries and cumcumber.

scabbymeister Tue 11-Jan-05 13:12:22

Unfortunately she won't touch any type of pasta, not even the character stuff in tom sauce! I like the ice lolly idea though - i'm sure she would go for that.

Blu Tue 11-Jan-05 13:18:03

I have found myself seiving fresh strawberries through a teastrainer in order to conceal something fresh in a yogurt!
I have never made progress in any area with DS where he became aware that it was a battle of wills. We have made progress on eating through a mixture of me backing off completely, making lots of opportunities for him to eat alongside other toddlers who are obviously enjoying something, cutting out snacks in the run up to meals so that he is quite hungry, but allowing him to eat healthy snacks mid afternoon and morning. But not making crisps / sweets available as part of general routine. I just don't keep them in the house.
Otherwise, smoothies, dips (the dipping process seems to appeal, and hummous, homemade guacomole and cream cheese are all good diet additions, if the meat bit is vital, sausages could be the 'dipper') can be a fallback.
The hardest thing is not to stress about it - or at lewast let them know you are stressed.
And I think there is a scientific / evolutionary reason why they tend to resist veg and trying anything new once they hit two - but it does wear off, honest!

Azure Tue 11-Jan-05 13:18:42

So many children go through this - so frustrating when they've previously eaten well. I would try not to make it a battle of wills. A stressful teatime won't help to make her eat more. Do you eat with her? Continue to serve her a variety of food (including the food she likes and the wonderful concealed veg ideas above) and if she doesn't eat it, stay calm but the food goes in the bin - hard though that is when you've spent time and money preparing it. No cakes or biscuits 30 minutes later if she's still hungry. Kids do not starve themselves. I know it's fine saying this in theory, but so difficult in reality. Best of luck.

jellyhead Tue 11-Jan-05 13:19:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kayleigh Tue 11-Jan-05 13:24:26

scabbymeister my ds2 (3.5) will only eat an occasional banana and raw carrots. These are the only fruit and veg he will willingly eat and the carrots are only a recent thing.
My ds1 is a brilliant eater who has a varied diet and will try anything, so ds2 came as a bit of a shock ! I have given up arguing with him, as all that does is get him upset, and then he eats less than he would have done before the argument.

I do give ds2 a vitamin supplement because of his lack of fruit/veg and am just hoping that eventually he will start to eat a more varied diet.

scabbymeister Tue 11-Jan-05 13:31:51

Either one or both of us eat dinner with the children and I have tried nagging, encouraging and ignoring and I have got to say that ignoring probably works the best. I don't allow treats in between meals or pudding if she hasn't touched her main course - its hard though when your 5 yr old is tucking into mint choc chip icecream!! I know deep down that it will sort itself out eventually but god its frustrating.

Tommy Tue 11-Jan-05 13:33:52

At least you're not on your own scabby! We have this discussion every week at our Mums' group - each 3 year old has a little slection iof what they'll eat - and each one is different of course. Hang in there - I too am assuming it will all sort it self out in due course
(DS1 just had 2 waffles, a carrot stick and 2 fromage frais for lunch...)

juniperdewdrop Tue 11-Jan-05 13:42:10

I have another one though he's improving. DS2 is 4 now but I struggled for ages. Now I chill (as much as I can ) and put new things on his plate but only in small amounts.

Today for lunch I put an open sandwich on his plate with pate on it. There's no way he'd eat this BUT I added the secret ingedient, SPRINKLES!!! I only need a few for peanut butter but for savoury like pate I need a few more. He ate grapes today too and only started that after having homeopathy.

I saw a homeopath for DS1 and DS2s fussy eating and they both improved quickly afterwards. DS2 is still fussy but better than he was and DS1 eats anything.

grumpyfrumpy Tue 11-Jan-05 13:58:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

juniperdewdrop Tue 11-Jan-05 14:18:06

I took them to see a trained homeopath and they both needed different remedies. It's a treatment for the whole person so you need one to suit the individual.

ThomCat Tue 11-Jan-05 14:22:16

I have another one with a limited diest. She's now 3 but when she was younger she ate everything. i spent whole days and weekends making just about every single thing Annabel Karmel could throw at me and my own conncoctions and bearly every thing was accepted. Liver, the works.

NOW, well her staple diet is spag bol with lots of veg in the sauce but won't have it too often and other than that she'll really only eat chicken nuggets, which I do try and make myself but they get thrown back at me usually unless they are from the blue parrot range. She eats fruit and stuff but would never eat a plate of meat and mashed potatoes. It gets really dull thinking of what to give her every day that's different and healthy. Have given up trying to be differnt for a while and just trying to make sure she has something healthy. i offer veg with virtually every meal and now and then she'll scoff loads of carrots and peas so I should count myself lucky.

it's just boring trying to think of what to make / pack in her lunch box and i'm constantly looking for inspiration.

marthamoo Tue 11-Jan-05 14:25:53

Roast dinner on Sunday, my 3 year old ds:

"I not like chicken. I not like tatoes. I not like gravy. I not like stuffing. I not like white trees [cauliflower]. I not like carrots. I not like caddige. I not like arsenips."

He ended up having a Yorkshire pudding and cranberry jelly ("I like that jam!") and was bribed by promising him ice cream to eat about 3 mouthfuls of chicken.

He seems healthy enough so I mostly don't stress about it too much: though sometimes I could scream. Ds1 is, and always has been, a fantastic, non-fussy eater and has been brought up exactly the same way - so don't think it's something you're doing wrong: it isn't.

scabbymeister Tue 11-Jan-05 14:34:08

Thomcat, how familiar does that sound, I too was the 2nd Annabel Karmel and how satisfying was it when they were eating everything you cook. I can remember making all sorts of things - I too did the old chicken liver recipe and she could not get enough of it. Oh how things have changed!
Thanks everyone else, just discussing it this afternoon has made me feel better, you know what its like good days and bad days.

handlemecarefully Tue 11-Jan-05 14:56:21

All kids are different so this may not work for you...however my dd (2.6) is difficult with food. Pronounces that she doesn't like something without even sampling it. ......Anyway, had breakthrough in last 2 weeks. Basically I have stared to present her with a meal and told her that is it - she won't be offered alternatives if she doesn't eat it. Plus I have tied in incentives - i.e. if she eats more than half of the meal she can have a choccie biscuit afterwards. It's worked.

ThomCat Tue 11-Jan-05 17:13:39

Having a child with special needs makes understanding bribes etc difficult. If she doesn't want it she turns her plate upside down or just takes off the bits she doesn't want and flings them. Not much i can about it tbh, apart from say ands sign @NO' (and try not to laugh when she's sitting with a plate of baked beans on her head!

As you say Scabby, some good days and some bad. All we can do is offer as healthy a meal as poss and get as much goodness as poss down them and remember that twigglets won't kill them and if that's all they want to eat who are we to argue?!

As much as I would love her to scoff down homemade fish pies and makeral and jacket potaoes etc etc, she won't and there is nothing I can do about it. Every now and then I try again with something and keep a stock of the healthy things she does eat and offer those things in rotation all the time.

lu9months Wed 12-Jan-05 08:48:32

my ds (2 and a half) is the same - was a brilliant eater until ds 2 arrived a few months back! yesterday we had fun making cheesy pretzels (v easy) and he ate loads of the grated cheese, and enjoyed choosing which different shaped pretzel to eat next - diff letters etc, dipped in peanut butter! have also found he eats better if we all go to a restaurant and are tucking in and ignoring his eating habits!

scabbymeister Wed 12-Jan-05 11:05:13

Hurrah! dd2 ate a whole bowl of shreddies with milk this morning and then some toast. It must be a sign, the shreddies came through the door last night (free gift pack) and she requested them this morning! Prap's it will be a good day today

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