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Dreading dinner time...

(8 Posts)
torworwor Thu 15-Sep-11 12:25:01

Hi all,

Looking for some advice with regards to my 3.5 yr old dd who has turned every meal time (except breakfast) in to a battle. Absolutely everything that is put in front of her at home (she is fine when we're out but usually that's because she has nuggets etc), be it a sandwich, soup, cottage pie, anything. Take this lunch time. I have made her a turkey sandwich on her favourite type of bread. She walked in, refused to eat it, screamed then cried. There then ensues a battle between me saying "If you don't eat that, you don't get anything else," blackmailing her with pudding, or other such tricks and her screaming, shouting at me, and other such joyful displays of behaviour.

I have no idea what to do! I know I should just say "OK," and then take it away and give her nothing but, then she won't eat. I don't give in and give her something else ever. Sometimes she asks for something, like a banana, she promises to eat it and then doesn't. The same then follows. I hate picky eaters and the amount of food that she wastes. I just don't know what to do. Please help?

torworwor Sat 17-Sep-11 11:04:00

Wow, thanks for your help!

hels71 Sat 17-Sep-11 14:29:31

I have no advice.....but my my DD who is nearly 4 does similar things.......so you are not alone!

MyRightToAdvice Sat 17-Sep-11 14:43:02

As soon as mealtime becomes a battleground it's all gone wrong, you've gotta put a stop to it. Calm. Don't enter into the battle.

Couple of ideas-
- get her involved in choosing what you're going to have and helping prepare it.
- change the setting completely occasionally,e.g. have a picnic on the living room floor, make it a teddy bear's picnic or a silly picnic where you try something new and see what it makes you do (e.g. a cherry tomato will make you pull a funny face)
- contrary to the silly picnic (!) don't focus AT ALL on the food, whether she's eating or not, try not to mention it once. Instead, talk about anything else, play games like I-Spy that don't interrupt actual eating. When she claims she's had enough bite your tongue, take it away and get on with your day.
- Banning puddings helped for me, dd was always refusing to eat the main course because she wanted to go straight onto pudding
- snack fridge or box of healthy snacks that she has complete control over and can help herself to whenever she likes? (i know not everyone would agree with this). That way, it helps her feel more in control, and you know she's getting some healthy food down her at other times so it relieves the pressure on mealtimes.

GandTiceandaslice Sat 17-Sep-11 14:44:22

It's always quieter on the forums on the weekends.

I wouldn't make an issue with food.
Make whatever she's having. Place it in front of her. Ignore the tantrums. Take away after a reasonable amount of time. Say half hour.

If you're worrried about her not eating, then offer something healthy like crackers & cheese between meals.

Don't make an issue of it.

Also offer less food. Sometimes children can be overwhelmed by amount.

Good luck. They are awful! My 2 year old is going through a pasta phase right now. Everything else is just picked at. He's fit & healthy though so I'm trying to shrug it off. He's my 3rd so I'm resigned to silly eating now! grin

Haberdashery Sat 17-Sep-11 17:45:07

I found that giving two choices, either of which I was happy for DD to have helped. She's a very picky eater (eats lots of different things but really tiny amounts) and asking 'would you rather have macaroni cheese or spaghetti bolognese' helped her feel a bit more in control I think. She has got a lot better over the last year or so (just turned five).

Also, may I suggest that you have a search on Mumsnet for picky eaters or fussy eaters or meal time battle etc. You will probably turn up a hundred threads with decent advice on them.

InmaculadaConcepcion Sat 17-Sep-11 18:44:24

The Food section of MN usually has a lot of threads about this sort of thing with lots of ideas.

It's a nightmare, isn't it? Good luck smile

torworwor Fri 23-Sep-11 13:39:22

Thank you all xx

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