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Need to let off steam ... and maybe get some advice please!

(14 Posts)
Millie1 Wed 16-Mar-05 18:34:50

I am so so so so so sick of cooking meals which my children won't even taste ... DS1 (3.5) takes one look and says he doesn't like it, no matter what; and DS2 (15 mths) seems to be living on fresh air. This is day 2 of DS2 having no breakfast, a mediocre lunch and no dinner ... and apart from the fact that I'm worried about him it also meens I'll be up half the night feeding him - last night he'd x4 breasfeeds between bedtime and breakfast time.

Any suggestions to help me keep a cool head and maybe also some new ideas. For the record, last night both refused a beef casserole and tonight it was tuna/pasta bake (well, tuna in white cheesy sauce). They did eat spag bol earlier in the week but won't try things like shepherd's pie/cottage pie, chilli, roast chicken etc - well DS2 is a bit better than DS1 but really I just can't think of anything at the moment.

Much in need of words of wisdom.

Gobbledigook Wed 16-Mar-05 18:43:37

I'm afraid I've no words of wisdom but perhaps some of comfort as I'm in exactly the same boat. Got ds1 who is almost 4 and ds2 is 2 and just now dh is downstairs trying everything in the book to get them to eat chicken stir fry. Every night I positively dread mealtimes and I too am sick to death of throwing away meals they barely touch.

I just cook it and they either eat it or they don't. If they eat it or make a decent dent in it, they can have a 'pudding' - usually some fruit or yoghurt or chocolate/chocolate muffin. Tonight we sat with a tube of smarties in front of both of them but it had no effect I'm afraid.

Basically, they either get dinner or they don't - I absolutely refuse to top them up with different food afterwards. I'm just going to keep going till they 'get it'.

The only difference for me is that mine do eat breakfast and lunch (sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt etc) and so they don't wake in the night hungry.

I don't know what to suggest but send heartfelt sympathies!!

Twiglett Wed 16-Mar-05 18:47:43

let older DS help you cook? that always makes my DS try the food at least

try not to make mealtimes a battle, or react to them not eating, it just makes it worse

think probably DS2 is following DS in mealtimes

could you try to not feed DS2 during the night, he doesn't need it and it sounds like he's filling up on breastmilk at night which becomes a vicious circle with him not eating the next day .. I know that's incredibly difficult to do, maybe give him water at night instead?

Millie1 Wed 16-Mar-05 21:01:55

Gobbledigook ... hope they ate their stirfry! It's just sooo frustrating ... I try to take the 'no dinner = no pudding' stance with DS1 (DS2 too young?) and we were at loggerheads, hysterical crying from him, when DH arrived home the other night. Of course, he sat down, talked to him quiety and he at about 75% off his dinner ... typical!

I think Twiglett's right that DS2 is following DS1's lead ... esp last night cos DS2 does like casserole but DS1 kicked up such a fuss that I think the little guy just decided no way. I usually try to give him a 10 mins head start on his big brother esp if having different meals but must try it out tomorrow evening and see if it makes any difference.

Twiglett ... boy do I know it's a vicious circle although last night's 4 feeds were unusual and were, I think cos he was hungry having not eaten much all day. Usually he feeds once at 10.30pm (having had his bedtime feed at 7.30-ish) and then will go to anytime between 4 and 6am ... that then counts as his breakfast feed even if it's at 4am I won't offer another b/f before breakfast. I'll try DS1 cooking with me over the weekend ... maybe, just maybe that'll help - he loves baking and I've promised him that we can do muffins tomorrow but I haven't really let him help out with dinner yet except for laying the table ... sometimes.


NotQuiteCockney Thu 17-Mar-05 10:21:29

My DS1 can sometimes be a bit like this. I do try to make sure there's something in every meal that he likes (but he does like a pretty wide range of stuff, so sweet peppers, pancetta, etc etc can all be bribes). I also find that dramatic comedy anger that he's eating ("Don't you DARE eat that! If you eat that, you'll be able to run faster than ME! AAAAAARGH! You're EATING!") helps, although it's quite hard work really.

It's worth remembering that they can all be like this, and they'll eat if they're hungry. If DS1 goes through a hunger strike phase, and he's refusing even his favourite dishes, he generally turns out to have been incubating a tummy bug. As long as you're offering nutritious food, and gently encouraging them to eat, well, you're doing your best.

Millie1 Thu 17-Mar-05 14:48:23

Thanks NQC ... not a bite passed his lips at breakfast although he had a pretty decent lunch and I'm hopeful of dinner. Fingers crossed.

starlover Thu 17-Mar-05 16:16:44

Millie... I think you just have to stick with it. He WON'T let himself go hungry, if he wants food then he'll eat what you give him.

I used to look after 6 kids when I was a mother's help and the 2 smallest were a nightmare for "I don't like that"... before they even saw it.
If they refused to eat I told them to get down from the table and leave the room.
When they came back later asking for food I would reheat their dinner and give it to them again.
They soon got the message that it was dinner or nothing.
And yes, to begin with they went without dinner quite often, but once they realised that myself and their mum wouldn't back down they started eating!

Twiglett Thu 17-Mar-05 18:48:10

was thinking about this

another route might be to just change the environment for a meal

make a picnic in the lounge (or garden if hot enough) with a blanket and have party foods

introduce him to chopsticks (you can get kiddy versions that are easy to use .. kind of hinged at the top) and make a meal with little bits that he has to pick up and eat

anything to break the vicious circle of mealtime becoming a fight


giraffeski Thu 17-Mar-05 18:52:32

Message withdrawn

MrsBigD Thu 17-Mar-05 19:23:01

agree with the fact that kids will eat eventually when they're hungry enough. Well except for my dd... she's never hungry

Saying that she's gotten better, but to start with it used to be a battle, until I started not caring anymore and so she had no leverage. She's now 3 and still a rotten eater but sometimes she surprises me and actually asks for food! I've semi given up on regular mealtimes for her, though I do offer her food whenever I'm feeding ds (6 months) and so far she occassionally has breakfast (this morning it was only 5oz milk), lunch (today 1/2 banana, 1 small yoghurt and a couple of bites of ds's toast) and dinner... well that varies a lot (today she asked for rice, then saw it and went 'yuck', in the end I 'deposited' a chocolate type milky sponge cake thingy (comes in Incredibles packaging by Nestle) and she found and ate it.

Oh and she eats dinner if dad is 'racing' her to a fork full of pasta etc. She's a food thieve

Millie1 Thu 17-Mar-05 20:33:47

Thanks for all the extra advice folks ... dinner was a disaster with me ending up in tears - wrong thing to do, I know but I was just soooo frustrated. He started off taking a couple of mouthfuls enthusiastically then DS1 started to kick off and that was the end of that. I even moved him to the playroom in-front of Baby Einstein (great minds think alike Twiglett!) but no luck. He ate the third choice of desert he was offered and then I did him some micro-veg I had in the freezer and he ate carrots and brocolli from that BUT what's really worrying me is that he had a very diarrhoea-like poo and it was so yellow that it reminded me of his milk poos before he started solids. Too much milk or a dodgy tummy?

Anyway, he's asleep now and tomorrow's another day. Am going to try making some porridge for his b'fast in the morning as a change from Weetabix and over the weekend we're going to make sure that he has his meals before DS1 and see if that makes any difference.


MrsBigD Thu 17-Mar-05 20:45:04

Millie... another thing I just thought of...
I used to offer dd god knows how many different things and it was a nightmare... now it's either this or nothing! Well not quite as tragic... I ask her before hand what she wants, verbally offering all sorts of things. If she then says yes to something that's it. And if she doesn't eat it... well then I have to use sneak tactics and leave food lying around.

Millie1 Thu 17-Mar-05 22:09:13

I'm sort of doing that with DS1 but at 15 mths think that DS2 is a little too young to understand ... although I think he understands more than I give him credit for!!

giraffeski Thu 17-Mar-05 23:26:29

Message withdrawn

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