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Now quite frantic over 4 year old's limited diet

(13 Posts)
GothMummy Mon 05-Oct-09 13:34:30

OK - My 4 year old son is now only eating raisins, bread and butter, pasta (with nothing on it) noodles (with nothing on them) and occasionally cheese and fortunately will drink Innocent Smoothies.

I offer him the normal (child friendly, Annabel Karmel recipie) dinners that I have always done, and he refuses them. I dont offer alternatives. Frequently he goes to bed without any dinner. He only has 2 cups of milk per day. I followed the weaning plans, the toddler menu plans etc from Annabel Karmel books but his eating has slowly degenerated from the start of this year until we are at this sorry state.

We have tried sticker charts, and explaning why its so important that he eats a varied diet.

I am moved to tears when people talk about the importance of "5 a day".

I do give him vitamin tablets, but he is slim (not skinny) and always getting colds etc.

He will of course eat cake and biscuits (which I bake at home and try to sneak fruit into etc) but I dont let him eat those in place of dinners. I tend to offer bannana bread for breakfast etc.

Im making our bread too so his is half and half wholemeal and white flour which he is less than thrilled about so isnt eating much bread either.

I dont think theres a health issue (eg no allergies) and he is a very bright, chatty little boy with loads of energy. I just cant see whats gone wrong and how to fix it!
Please help!!

Mercy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:00:24

Gothmummy, I totally sympathise!

My ds more or less stopped eating when he was 18 months old and would only eat a pretty limited range of food. He's now 5.9 and, although still a fussy eater, his diet is more varied than ever before. Interestingly he started to improve when he started full-time school last year.

The main thing is to try and not let him see that you are worried. I found once I'd finally learnt to be less tense and just ignore his fussiness, things very slowly got better.

Tbh, I could be on here all day talking about this!

Tanee58 Mon 05-Oct-09 14:15:28

GothMummy, first of all, DON'T PANIC!!!!!! smile Children can be very faddy, and yours actually sounds much better than the boy who only ate baked beans for 11 years! They do improve as they grow, as long as it doesn't become an issue. As Mercy says, don't show worry, and try not to worry. If he eats bread, past and noodles, he's getting his carbs. Put cheese on them, and he gets protein. Raisins and smoothies, fruit. Sorted. Don't worry about teaching him about a balanced diet yet - that can develop by example as he grows and sees what you eat. At least he's not insisting on McDonalds and Coke 24/7. Just keep offering him tastes of whatever you're having. If he likes it, great, if he doesn't, leave it to another time. My DD - now 17 and trying to be healthy, has gone on and off things all her life. She loved mushrooms - then she wouldn't go near them - now she loves them again. Ditto olives, cheese, eggs... My niece wouldn't eat anything vaguely green for 7 years - but she's a healthy, bright 13 year old now and condescends to eat broccoli.

Some children get lots of colds - especially once they start nursery or school - irrespective of their diet. I was always ill despite having a mother who was - and is -OBSESSED with healthy eating.

Really, from the sound of your little boy, you have nothing to worry about. Keep food as fun rather than making him feel it has to be healthy/varied/whatever. smile

TrinityHasAVampireRhino Mon 05-Oct-09 14:18:58

I have had two extremely fussy children and I have only ever moved forward with it when I STOPPED TRYING

just serve him what he will eat and let him eat it

sometimes add something new and dont make ANY FUSS whatsoever

seriously, the only thing that has worked is realising they are not going to waste away and that any stress, cajoling or basically ANY attention towards it doesn;t help

make peace with his diet in your head

it will not last


MrsBadger Mon 05-Oct-09 14:26:23

[focuses on one thing here]
you're cooking special AK-recipe dinners specially for him?
what are you and DH eating? why not offer him that?
if he's really only eating what you list and refusing even special AK recipes it'll save you a lot of stress and cooking

do you eat with him?

GothMummy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:27:43

Mercy - do you offer alternatives to dinner if he wont eat what you make? Do you offer your son the same dinner as the rest of the family or cater for his fads?

DH says to give our son what everyone else is having and take the hard line. This just means that DS done not eat at all Whereas if I just served the spaghetti alongside the bolognaise sauce he would at least eat the plain spaghetti etc.

Its hard to see what they survive on!

jammydodger Mon 05-Oct-09 14:34:39

Have the same problem here, DS2 eats same as yours except also eats bananas and breakfast cereal. But that's about it.

We do a lot of the plain pasta with butter and I keep trying not to worry about it but it is a bit worrying, plus difficult if you go somewhere else to eat! Abidec vitamins and innocent smoothies are our saviour I think.

Wish the smoothies weren't so pricey though...

GothMummy Mon 05-Oct-09 14:39:17

Thanks for your posts and replies you have made me feel much better!

Mrs Badger - no, we all eat together and I cook mostly from the Annabel Karmel family recipies book. We all eat the same thing - or try to!!

MrsBadger Mon 05-Oct-09 14:52:25

oh I see

had visions of you making her (boakworthy IME) cod-in-orange-juice for ds while you and dh had something delicious...

GothMummy Mon 05-Oct-09 15:11:50

Cod in orange juice? No... i would not eat that either ;)

Tanee58 Tue 06-Oct-09 11:12:52

Cod in orange. Yummm!!! hmm!

Have you tried a beaten egg in ice cold milk? It tastes creamy (make sure you strain out the shalaze first though or he'll retch) - my mum used to give that to us and it tasted nice - not eggy.

With the pasta, just let him have the plain pasta and a pile of grated cheese on the pasta if he'll eat it that way, or on the side if he prefers it separately. Don't worry - honestly, if he's getting vitamins and smoothies (could you make your own?), carbs and protein, he will not be malnourished and he will not starve.

He WILL grow out of it. Honestly! smile - in a few years when he's a hulking teenager eating you out of house and home, you will wonder what you were worried about.

Bucharest Tue 06-Oct-09 11:16:56

My dd is 6 and the same.
This too shall pass!
The only thing I do is control what she eats in the sense that when she's having a faddy moment, she can eat what the feck she wants, but I make sure that she doesn't see any biscuits/crisps/other assorted crap.

Dd refused absolutely everything in AK. Knew from a very early age that bull is bull whatever it is disguised as....

Plain pasta cooked in a veg broth rather than plain water, knob of butter, and loads of cheese works here when dd is having one of her moments.

pinknosedevereux Tue 06-Oct-09 11:27:58

It sounds like he's probably getting everything he needs.

I agree with the other person who said you could make your own smoothies, my kids love helping too and you can get him to choose the fruit-weird combinations will keep him interested.

You are doing a great job; he's just asserting a bit of independence. Try not to worry( I know default position for motherhood)smile

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