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catering for several children. fussy or genuinely dislike foods?

(14 Posts)
littlerayofsunshite Tue 26-May-15 14:28:34

OK I've got three children (almost 7, 5 and 3) and pregnant with number 4. They all seem quite fussy to me food wise, and even though I don't cook more than one meal, they either eat it or be hungry, it frustrates me. I worry that they honestly don't like things and I'm being unfair by putting things on their plate that they dislike most of.

For an example, dd7 likes chicken, fish, most vegetables, beans, eggs etc and will try most foods. But dislikes mince, gammon, basically any tougher or chewy meats

Dd5 likes most meats, loves mince, gammon, chicken, will try things but doesn't like most vegetables, she will east broccoli and sweet corn. Will not eat beans, eggs, mushrooms or veg inside things like stew/pie etc

Ds3 will eat some meat, sometimes eat cottage pie, lasagne etc, loves sweet potatoes but won't eat many other veg, has suddenly gone off any kind of mash which is ruling out cottage pie now. Won't eat beans, eggs etc

I'm losing the plot, I feel like half of anything I make is wasted and I really can't be cooking loads of different things, but what do I do? I can't afford to waste food. I don't know how they've got so fussy as they've always had the same as each other put on their plates regardless of which bits they like. So do they genuinely not like the things? I've no idea. Iv tried reward charts, for trying foods etc

Please any advice would be gratefully received, I'm 10wks pregnant and it's knocking me sick even being in the kitchen so it makes me want to cry when they just don't eat it xxx

littlerayofsunshite Tue 26-May-15 14:29:42

Oh and I try to vary it so every few days they're having something they like but it seems an impossible task! X

OinkBalloon Tue 26-May-15 14:35:14

Similar family, here. Teeth-grindingly annoying wink

I developed a policy of always having something in the meal that each child will eat, whether that's protein, veg, or stodge, but not worrying if they miss out on one component of the meal. Next meal I'll make sure to include that component in a form that the omitting child will eat. Veg is easier, because I just make smaller punts of several veg.

And I frequently make blended sauces or soups, to include everything.

But I also insist that I don't want to have any fuss. You don't like something then just leave it on the side of the plate. No "ewwww!", no complaints. You want ketchup or mustard or whatever to help it down, go ahead.

No rewards for eating up. Praise for good manners, including unfussy leaving-to-one-side.

littlerayofsunshite Tue 26-May-15 14:37:44

Nightmare isn't it?! Thanks, can I ask, what do you do about deserts? Day they've eaten OK ish but eaten no meat for eg do they still get desert? X

FoxyJane Tue 26-May-15 15:03:15

Buffets are your friend.

I have 4 dc, they are simillar to your do in food likes/dislikes except one of my ds has a food sensory asd problem.

So I make a meal and but add ons on the table.

So wraps, noodles, pizza, sandwiches, mini pastry cases, rice, pasta, wonton wrappers, rotis, salad, kebabs, nachos, jacket potatoes and then put fillings on table that they can add themselves.

Sometimes I serve pudding and don't serve a main meal, usually if I know the dc aren't hungry and it's always suet, milk based or cream based.

It's very frustrating.

I've only found a few meals that everyone eats these are spag bol, fish pie, a mild curry and corned beef pie. These however are also sometimes refused.

littlerayofsunshite Tue 26-May-15 16:22:07

So for example, if I wanted to do chilli. I'd make the mince and put that separately, rice in a bowl, cheese in a bowl, kidney beans etc and dd7 would have rice, cheese and that's it really? But then another day we would be having something she would eat the meat. Would you all be OK letting them just have say cheese and rice and a couple veggies for a meal? X

FoxyJane Tue 26-May-15 17:36:24

Yes I'd be fine with my dc eating rice and cheese with veg, your looking for a balance.

So a protein, a carbohydrate and some vegetables for me would be fine.

Ds who has asd has eaten for example yoghurt and an apple for breakfast, rice cakes and jam for lunch with a glass of milk and for supper a potato and cheese and some salad. I might get him to eat peanut butter on a rice cake for tea before bed.

Honestly if your feeding them without despairing and over the whole day they're getting a balance meal then I wouldn't worry too much.

imip Tue 26-May-15 17:36:28

Yes, this drives me crazy! 3 like eggs, 1 hates them. I loves mushrooms (so do I!) rest hate them. They all like different vegetables urgh!

So, I usually give them raw veg BEFORE dinner while they watch tv. A mix to suit their likes - carrot, frozen peas/corn, cucumber, cherry toms, peppers. Then I worry just a little bit less when they don't eat their dinner. They usually eat enough carbs anyway, so it's just proteins I worry about.

But the veg is the bit that's hard to get done them, this is the only things that makes we worry less!

FoxyJane Tue 26-May-15 17:43:43

Or if I think I'm right you said your dd7 likes fish you could buy a tin of salmon or mackerel or some smoked trout. So it wouldn't need cooking but could be served with the other dishes and would give your dd7 another element to her meal and it wouldn't take cooking and would only add a few pounds to the cost of the meal.

Tonight I made a bolognaise and a lentil and aubergeine bake for the non meat eaters in the house and the only added hassle was frying an aubergeine until golden.

Sometimes though it's bread pudding and roasted chickpea peanut butter blondies so I'm quite happy as long as they've eaten something filling and relatively nutrious.

MERLYPUSSEDOFF Tue 26-May-15 18:35:11

Don't try to quantify a day's worth of decent food. Look over the week if they've done ok. Someone told me this when DTs were little and it was life changing. Could you do macaroni cheese to be served with mince or veg sauce. Those that dont like macaroni could perhaps have wraps? Leftovers can be made into lasagne the day after. DT2 survived on cheesy pasta, mortadella sandwiches and fruit for about 8 months. I let him have desert to get some fat into him (went off milk) and he had greek yoghurt (some days) or custard and banana. DT1 ate totally different stuff to him and much more in quantity so I became obsessed that DT2 was starving himself. Didn't help that they are totally different body shapes - DT2 being lean naturally.

littlerayofsunshite Tue 26-May-15 18:55:35

Well I've just done gammon for tea. Didn't nag anybody, encouraged them to eat a bit more when they asked to finish but let them when they'd obviously had enough. They didn't eat any more than usual (dd7 polished off chips peas and pineapple and a couple bites gammon... Dd5 are all the gammon and chips... Ds3 ate some gammon, chips and bit pineapple) then they've had grapes and now eating biscuits, and the fact I wasn't stressing about it made it so much more relaxed! X

lizabeth0607 Fri 05-Jun-15 16:31:27

Same here! My younger two are the fussiest by far, the older two will eat anything and loads of it. I just serve smaller portions for the younger two, I don't really worry about what they don't eat, I just push them to at least try new foods.
I always give them pudding, I feel too mean otherwise blush

lagirafe Sat 06-Jun-15 20:22:42

I have 3 and my eldest DS used to be very fussy but seems to have grown out of it (7 now) apart from egg - which I respect and don't cook eggs for him.
I found that his fussiness was impacting on the younger ones so I decided to just "ignore" it on the whole. I'd keep foods apart on his plate eg. Curry and rice - put the rice away from the curry and always have a salad with every meal from a bowl in the middle of the table. So for that meal he wouldn't touch the curry but would have plain rice and salad hmm fine.
I found by not making it into a big deal but equally not only cooking his favourites for dinner he has just given up and now eats everything!

AuditAngel Sat 06-Jun-15 20:38:20

We have 3 DC, 10, 8 and 4.

They are pretty good with veg and salad. DS won't eat baked beans or jacket potatoes, none eat mushrooms.

DD1 hates wet meat, so anything in a sauce, or a stew is refused.

Generally I won't make 2 meals, but if it is an easy accommodation, I may go with it. So today my mum and the kids all had a chicken steak in batter, chips and a salad. For tea the girls have had a jacket potato and cheese. DS will make himself a toasted sandwich.

If we have stew, DD1 may get a leftover or a jacket, or she may get the meat from the stew, drained of sauce (she doesn't like this).

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