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fussy eater advice needed

(10 Posts)
emily05 Tue 31-May-05 19:42:29

Ds is 2 and a half and a monkey with his eating. He will eat buffet style food - but wont eat meals and doesnt like lumps (although he will big lumps of food he likes!!) His diet isnt really bad but I really want him to eat some proper food.

What I am doing is offering him a dinner and if he eats it - great - if he doesnt I dont make a replacement.

What I want to know is:
1. how much does he have to eat in order to be ok to have stuff after? (I hope that makes sense!) I am trying to make sure that he isnt filling up on snack food, but after dinner I used to give him fruit and yogurt ect...

2. How long shall I make him sit up at the table before I allow him to get down - even if he is not eating? I find that he is so eager to get down and play that often this is why he wont eat - because he wants to play!!!

These may seem like daft questions - but I am having nightmares with this and I need a second opinion!!! thanks

emily05 Wed 01-Jun-05 08:46:08


compo Wed 01-Jun-05 09:15:34

on The house of Tiny Tearaways I think the children had to eat at least 3 spoonfuls. You could say eat 3 spoonfuls and now you can have desert, and the next day make it 4 etc

charlie72 Wed 01-Jun-05 10:20:23

3 spoonfulls doesn't sound much does it??

I had a big problem with my ds and his refusal to eat - it went on for ages and in the end, we didn't let him have anything if he didn't eat his meals (we used to let him have fruit & yoghurt but he was simply snacking on these so wasn't at all hungry come meal time).

It sounds really harsh when you write it (my friend is having a similar problem with her 18mth old & says she simply could not stop letting her have something if she didn't eat her meal because she'd feel cruel) but it wasn't much longer than a week or so before he was eating a full plate and his dessert - mind you, he can take up to an hour to finish he's that slow.

I think the key is, as long as you're happy with the amount eaten, then let him leave the table.

Even now, ds would much rather play than eat but if you're consistent and tell them you have to do so and so before you can play (and carry it through) they learn very quickly!!!

Lots of luck

emily05 Thu 02-Jun-05 19:04:26

thanks for replying - and an update!

I have - over the last two days - started praising him (really OTT way) and giving a little sticker for each mouthful of dinner he has! Yesterday he had 18 mouthfuls of dinner and today he had 15! (counted the stickers!) He loves it and gets really excited!
NOt sure if I should be bribing him - but just so blooming relieved that he has eaten some proper food!!

charlie72 Thu 02-Jun-05 23:15:43

That's great news

Well done to you & your ds!!!

Chandra Thu 02-Jun-05 23:36:20

It's great that it has worked. DS (who was such an fussy eater that he didn't lay his fingers in a piece of bread until he was 14m old) has not yet mastered the idea of the stars but we did the thing of playing with the food (as described in the house of tiny tearaways), and he is eating everything two weeks later.

In case that you need the info in the future, my answers to your questions would be:

1. As much as he wants. However, probably because he is allergic to many things, I don't have junk food at home out of the digestive cookies which I try to limit to one if he has had several spoonfuls of the main dish. If there's no junk food around most things are healthy and therefore is OK if he eats it.

2. We have the rule that nobody leaves the table until everybody has finished. It was a bit difficult at the beginning, but is becoming is easier with time. And you can really see the payoff when you go out and can have a stressless meal in a restaurant with a child that happily stays at the table.


rumplestiltskin Fri 03-Jun-05 09:41:03

this is what we did for ds2 when he was about 3ish. i gave him his dinner on a smaller plate and only gave him as much as i wanted him to finish or thought he could finish, sometimes only 2 tablespoons, then when he'd eaten it all we went completely ott on the praise front and offered more this meant he was in control and it wasn't so scary or threatening. at 6 he's now a dream eater but still can't quite make the change to a large plate but who cares

hope this helps a little. i suppose the key is to set a goal initially they can easily achieve and to stay calm even if you have to go into the garden and shout at the squirels

emily05 Fri 03-Jun-05 12:03:13

thanks for this guys! I have taken all that you have said on board.

charlie - thanks I am so relieved!

chandra - I must admit that I am a bit of a clean freak (we have cream carpet - big mistake) and after watching tiny tearaways I realised that we were part of the problem so we have started letting him play with his food more.

rumplestiltskin - That is a great idea. I suppose I may have been piling his plate up a bit and that must seem daunting to ds. I might try cutting his portions right back. I have to calm down as well - because he is so fussy I am on tender hooks all of the time. I like the idea of going and looking at squirrels think I might allow him to do that!

rumplestiltskin Fri 03-Jun-05 13:28:14

glad to be of service.

if you find it initially difficult to deal with a yoghurt splogged floor why not not have a lot of picnics, in the garden or on a big plastic sheet.

quick before it rains!!!

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