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6 year old (ds) won't eat vegetables or meat!!!

(24 Posts)
sahara Sat 14-May-05 14:39:23

My ds1 used to be the best eater, apart from fish he would eat anything that I gave him, but these last 2 months have become a nightmare.

He won't eat meat, chicken or vegetables. I can't keep giving him pasta and he won't touch rice.

He has also become so afraid of chocking that he will even chew mushy food for about 10 mins per mouthful.

What should I do, I am at my wits end. I have tried so many different things. I cook a wide variety of food and my other 2 kids eat wonderfully.
Help please

sahara Sat 14-May-05 14:50:13


starlover Sat 14-May-05 15:13:59

personally I would just keep giving it to him.
IME a lot of children go through phases like this... it's just another power struggle.
I would just make dinner and serve it up. If he doesn't eat it then he goes hungry.
If he wants food later then he gets it re-heated.

Call me callous, but if he used to eat it all fine then I wouldn't have thought that he really doesn't like it!

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:17:42

Thank you.

I am doing what you said, I cook like normal and serve it up.
But still he is chewing it so much that he has to spit it out because it has gone cold. and so has the rest of it.

And I'm going to flip out on him if this carries on. It can't be good for him surely?

starlover Sat 14-May-05 15:18:40

have you tried bribery? or games?
see who can finish their dinner quickest? or if he finishes in a certain time then he gets a treat for pudding?

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:32:06

Yes I have tried those things. Bribery, games, threats, punishment.

Now he will tell me in advance that he has no intention of eating if I don't let him do what he wants.

He has behavioural difficulties so it's hard to know what will work and what doesn't.

I'm really concerned as he has begun to lose weight and thats not good.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 15:33:09

He will eat,if you can hold out that is. However it does semm odd that he has developed a fear of choking. Has he voiced this to you?

Sorry to disagree starlover,but I wouldn't go the tricks/bribery way. That will really open a Pandora's box.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 15:34:01

What do you mean do what he wants? With regards to what food he eats,or with reference to other stuff?

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:38:37

he threatens me if he can't get his way in just about everything. Telling me he won't eat.

Then when the food gets served, hs siblings get stuck in and he just starts mucking around saying he doesn't like this, he doesn't like that. All things he has eaten happily in the past.

He is worried about choking, as he always say's that he is worried it will get stuck in his throat. I have tried to reassure him on several occasions.

feel like I'm going nuts at the mo.

I just want him to eat again like he used to.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 15:40:01

Sahara,the more you give in,the more he will be in control. Have you tried pretending not to care??? He won't starve you know!
(Is his dad around to back you up?)

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:47:48

His dad is around and not very supportive, he will always undermine my authority and let my son eat what he wants when he wants it.

But I'm dealing with that seperately. He won't be around to cause those problems.

But his dad is not here all the time and even on those days where he knows that his dad is not here to back him up he will still choose not to eat.

And I rarely give in. I just send him to bed starving, put up with an extra 2 hours of moaning that he is hungry but not for food. Until he eventually falls asleep from exhaustion.

There are things he will eat of course. Lasagne, but he will scrape of the meat from the sheets before he eats them. Quiche, eggs and baked beans and plenty of cheese dishes. Oh and potato.

Yes there are meals I can make for him between all those things but I can't have him winning can I. I have done him food of his choice before and he has really enjoyed telling me that he doesn't like that food anymore.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 15:50:28

Well, if you rarely give in, I reckon you'll win out in the end. Just a case of being strong.
He seems to be communicating a deep anger/dissatisfaction with something. How serious are his 'behavioural problems'?

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:52:47

I think serious, he is still being assessed.
Next Thursday I find out if he has a disorder or if I'm a bad mum.

I don't know which one I would prefer.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 15:54:47

Don't be silly.You've done nothing wrong!!
Sounds very draining...

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:57:06

It is ,believe me, it is.

How long do you think a battle of power can go on. As I said it's been going on for 2 months now and he still hasn't accepted that he must eat his food.

sahara Sat 14-May-05 15:59:39

He is doing it now. His brother won't share a toy so he is telling me that he won't be eating his dinner tonight. And how do I like that hah!!!

moondog Sat 14-May-05 16:04:12

I'd just smile and say 'Good! More for us then!'
Sorry,know it sounds so easy in theory and probably isn't. I would just say that as a person who is very interested in Behaviourism you have to keep telling yourself that giving in to him reinforces and perpetuates his behaviour.
Sorry,must go and feed my own two. Hope the assessment gives you more insight. XXX

sahara Sat 14-May-05 16:05:12

Thanks for your advice Moondog.

Got to feed mine aswell

starlover Sat 14-May-05 16:18:04

also, don't "battle" with him at dinner time... make sure he isn't getting lots of attention just because he won't eat.
If he refuses then tell him to leave the table. Then make sure the rest of you all sound like you're having a lovely time!
If he wants to come back into the room and sit with you then he has to eat!

WideWebWitch Sat 14-May-05 17:30:33

I agree with moondog, he knows it gets to you. If you don't seem bothered he'll give it up. It must be hard.

sahara Sat 14-May-05 17:48:07

Just finished feeding the kids. Made Spaghetti bolognese and as soon as he saw it he was saying "not with meat" "not with tomatoes" etc, etc.

But refused to give in as I know he eats this, Gave him no attention while he tried to get jhis own way and I won.

Well he ate is what I meant but I'm sure you know the feeling. Then again his dad isn't here to pander to him.

WideWebWitch Sat 14-May-05 17:50:03

WEll done! Good luck getting his dad on side with this.

starlover Sat 14-May-05 18:43:05

that's great sahara! Now you've done it once you can do it again....

moondog Sat 14-May-05 19:23:32

Good for you sahara! He knows who's in charge!

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