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what to do about the tomato tomorrow?

(18 Posts)
andthenshewasdone Mon 22-Aug-11 20:27:27

in the last 2 weeks or so i have been trying to get back on track with eating habits of my 2 oldest children, ds 5 and dd1 3. they are reasonable eaters, with lots of food they like and will eat with enjoyment. however, they also have quite a lot of foods they don't like and can be very reluctant to even try anything new.
with ds, the big issue for me has been that he wouldn't eat fruit other than raisins and baby fruit pots, or any salad type veg. i had hoped he would just grow out of this, especially once at school. always offered, modeled eating it etc.
dd eats apples, bananas and strawberries as well as raisins and fruit pots. she will not even taste other fruit or salad. she is also fussy about certain pasta sauces, rice,cous cous mashed potatoes and again won't try new food at all. i think she is sometimes using food as a control mechanism too.

so, we had chat about healthy food, healthy bodies, about sometimes needing to practise new foods. been giving 'no' foods as tiny starter, need to be eaten before meal/activity. in two weeks they now both eat cucumber and green grapes and ds has had dried figs and bananas. not too much fuss and they both seem proud of themselves.

today was tomato day. dd1 refused point blank to even try. 'starter' was half a home grown small tomato. neither ate it at lunch-so no lunch. dd1 had 2 apples during afternoon.
teatime-ds ate tomato with big fuss, then veg curry and rice and small cake (from his party). dd1 didn't even come to table but asked and went to bed.

have i backed myself into a corner? have agreed with ds that now he has tried tomato and strawberry and really doesn't like them we will leave them for now and find another red food-tomorrow will be raw red pepper. he needs to choose a red food to add to diet.

i don't want to undermine his progress by changing rules for dd1. so, do i insist on tomato tomorrow or just drop the subject? move on to red pepper for her too?

sorry for essay!

Chaotica Mon 22-Aug-11 20:31:13

Move on to red pepper. If she will skip meals to avoid it, she really doesn't like tomato (or doesn't want to try it). Could you try tomato cooked - it's totally different then.

I eat most veg, but tomato was one of the last. (Didn't like it until my 20s and only then because I had to.)

andthenshewasdone Mon 22-Aug-11 20:34:45

thank you! actually not that keen on tomato myself....

colditz Mon 22-Aug-11 20:36:43

"neither ate it at lunch-so no lunch"

they are 5 and 3. Stop being such a control freak! you can't make infants miss meals because you want them to eat something, it's abusive!

andthenshewasdone Mon 22-Aug-11 20:45:38

definately no tomato for breakfast then...

nickschick Mon 22-Aug-11 20:52:40

Its no big deal let them eat the fruit and veg they do like - keep trying new stuff and it all works out in the end ......my ds1 eats all sorts of fruit and veg loves tomato ketchup and tomato soup but wont touch a 'fresh tomato'(he is 18 tho)

Tee2072 Mon 22-Aug-11 20:55:47

I wouldn't go so far as to call it abusive, but it certainly making an issue out of food. So it is counterproductive to what you are trying to achieve.

If they won't eat it, they won't eat it. They are still very small and have plenty of time to add to their diet and develope their taste buds.

Relax. Let them eat the things that they like. Sounds like a good variety to me already.

WuzzAndBuddy Mon 22-Aug-11 21:09:44

Its amazing how many people dislike tomatoes, I have a friend, fully grown adult with 2 children, who will not even touch tomatoes, nevermind taste one!
I really wouldn't force the tomato, its just not worth it. You could very well do more damage than good!

At 5 and 3 I would say give them a break a bit, be glad they eat any fruit and veg. God, they could be really fussy and refuse to eat anything other than fish fingers and yoghurt!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 23-Aug-11 09:47:37

i'd agree with not making it an issue...esp if you already think there is an element of control going on. Just keep putting stuff on their plate but don't make a fuss if they leave it.

Btw toms are better for you if cooked anyway. Even a good tommy k contains lots of goodness. If you are growing toms and have a glut you could try making your own ketchup with them (toms, sugar, vinegar, onion, spices, boil up and sieve)...will be less sugary than a bought one and might make them less averse to toms.

narmada Tue 23-Aug-11 10:15:35

I loathe the casual bandying about of the term abuse. The OP is not abusing her children, she is trying to encourage them to eat a healthier diet. Some children can be incredibly picky about food and I am not convinced that just leaving them to it leads to them becoming less picky in the long run. I have grown-up acquaintances who still use food as a way of controlling others: they are unhealthy and a royal pain to socialise/ eat with because of their food pedantry.

And children of 3 and 5 are not infants. They are young children of 3 and 5.

nickschick Tue 23-Aug-11 10:53:52

Narmada it may be that the friends you mention are from parents who have 'forced' them to try different things?.

We cant all like everything put in front of us even children with voracious appetites will choose food item over food item.

As adults we are able to choose what we eat why should we force children to eat what they dont like?
I agree that they should 'try' it but I cant see how making a child go without lunch because he refused to eat tomato is conducive to healthy eating.

And I agree children of 3 and 5 are young children -old enough to know what tastes they do like and what they dont.

narmada Tue 23-Aug-11 11:20:33

But nickschick, there is a massive difference betweek not liking something and never having tried it. Many kids say they dislike something after giving it no more than a cursory glance, merely because it's unfamiliar. This is my daughter to a tee. If you can actually get her to taste new things a couple of times then often she will go on to eat them. I would never force her to eat the things I know she really dislikes, like mashed potato.

andthenshewasdone Tue 23-Aug-11 14:05:02

thank you narmada. i would stress i don't continually do this with food, usually just offer, in a very casual 'take it or leave it' way. i do accept children have likes/dislikes-it is just the not trying it! i fear not helping them move forward a little way with food, as ds hasn't even tried fruit/salad in 3.5 years.
didn't mention tomato today. will abandon all thoughts of tomato. will get them to decide what to try next so at least share some control!

girlywhirly Tue 23-Aug-11 14:34:41

As a child in the 1960's, I was made to eat my school dinners, it did me no good. All it did was give me problems with all sorts of food and make me fussier. It gave me anxieties about going to eat at other peoples homes in case I had to eat something I hated. Trying a food is one thing, but being made to eat it isn't necessary.

DamselInDisarray Tue 23-Aug-11 14:46:44

I just serve everyone up the same food and let them eat what they want from the plates. DS1 is 11 and eats just about anything now (having previously been a fussy, non-trier up to the age of 8ish); DS2 just turned 2 and generally eats what he wants and ignores the rest. He often ignores a food until it's been on his plate many times, but once he's familiar with it being there will voluntarily eat it. He seems to have an aversion to peas, and will greet any food with peas visible with calls of 'pea out, pea out'. I don't really blame him; I'm not keen on peas either. What he chooses to eat often depends on his mood too. Its best not to have any preconceptions about what he will and won't like too, as he often surprises us with what he chooses. Sometimes he'll refuse to eat any bread or potato wedges but will eat a big pile of roasted cherry tomatoes (he loves this) with onions, or he'll start eating lettuce and announce, 'I like leaves'.

It really isn't worth turning food into a battle, particularly not with a 3 and 5 year old. Relax and you'll all enjoy mealtimes more. They will eat more eventually.

Davsmum Tue 23-Aug-11 15:55:38

Well, they reckon it can take up to 12 times of trying a food before a child will eat it.
Just put a small slice or two of tomato on their plates every so often - without any talk about having to try it or eat it. If they leave the tomato - say nothing - just clear it away. Be prepared to keep doing this many many times.

colditz Tue 23-Aug-11 16:18:29

In what way is forcing a child to miss ameal because it won't eat a tomato not abusive? Would you honestly treat your own child like that?

I'm a known hardass, but I wouldn't ever do that!

TheBossofMe Tue 23-Aug-11 16:40:06

I too would have gone to bed hungry, can't bear raw tomatoes. Cooked in sauces, fine, any other way, gross

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