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Please help. Have backed myself into a corner

(18 Posts)
happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 11:49:38

Long story, sorry. I really feel like the crappest mother on the planet. Basically boils down to my 2 DS age 8 and 4 who are difficult eaters. DS1 fab till about 2 1/2. I made all my own food from scratch though admit didn't probably offer a huge variety of foods. Got all guidance from books as no -one else around for guidance and was very much into no snacking between meals as scarred of spoiling appetite. Went down hill when introduced a bit of convenience food, eg fish fingers. Was at full time nursery from 5 months to my eternal distress ( went part-time when he was 3) and they had same problems too.
Neither of my DS's have ever fallen for peer pressure....couldn't care less what anyone else eating!
I was determined to not have same problems with DS2 but had problems from day 1 of weaning. Had HV in alot and we decided to go for BLW which helped.
Basically DS1 eats NO fruit or veg. DS2 will eat apples, grapes, melon, sweetcorn.
Their diets consist of meat, fish, bread, pasta, cheese, eggs.
Can add tom puree to pizza, cheese on toast but impossible to hide veg as they won,t eat mince or have anything like an omlette, soup, smoothie.
DS1 will have mince based food at school but refuses at home.
I have tried EVERYTHING reward charts (usless as they won't even try things once), bribery, telling-off. Visits to Drs, eating at friends houses.
Eventually was advised to just ease off on the premise that I was making too much fuss and they would try things in their own time.
WRONG...has been months now and they are just getting more entrenched in their habits.
In my defense they don't have crisps, cake, fizzy drinks, sweets ( except chocolate) as they don't like them.
They will help me make cakes etc but then wont eat them as they dont like them!
I know I do alot of things wrong....we don't eat together. Husband gets in late and I just can't face dinner at 5 o'clock.
Both boys very healthy. 8yr old never had a day off sick. They don't even seem to get colds. Very active and good def' not over-weight.
Husband doesn't see it as a problem. He was brougt up to eat alone in his room and consquently has his own 'issues'.
Have decided that at half-term I am going to take away all treats, eg chocolate, ice-cream and replace with new fruits. introduce new meals , eat at table with them and just stick it out till they try new foods.
Am dreading it as I know their will be tears and tantrums but just don't know what else to do.
Would be sooo grateful for any suggestions. Sorry for looong post.

justaboutstillhere Thu 06-Oct-11 11:52:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CiderwithBuda Thu 06-Oct-11 11:55:38

Don't make it a bigger issue.

Leave it. They are fine. They are healthy.

My DS is 10 and the only veg he likes is sweetcorn.

Making it a bigger issue will backfire.

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 11:56:19

Thanks. will def try. Have read quite a few books but they all seem to go down the hiding/disguising food route which hasn't worked. This looks good though. Thanks

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 11:59:01

Thanks Ciderwith Buda. That's been my thinking too but sometimes it just hits me when I see the surprise on other parents faces when my kids won't eat this that or the other and I would love them to be more adventurous. I go on such a guilt trip.

pyjamasinbananas Thu 06-Oct-11 12:00:49

I didn't eat any veg apart from raw carrot til I was 17 blush
DS only eats broccoli and dr told me not to worry

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 06-Oct-11 12:01:46

Meat, fish, pasta, bread, cheese, eggs and your youngest also likes a range of fruit? And they don't like or have any junk food? And they're healthy, fit, etc?

Honestly, I think this isn't the issue you think it is. And I agree with those who've told you that making it a big issue will cause more problems. They sound healthy enough. All these reward charts and sitting at the table and insisting they eat is more likely to cause a proper Issue Around Food than the situation you have now.

And to be even more honest, I think you're conflating this food thing with good mothering, a bit too much. You're flagellating yourself about your sons being in nursery, talking about introducing fish fingers, as if these things are a) failings in parenthood and b) responsible for them being fussy at eight years old. You really need to separate this stuff out, because your sons' eating habits are not a direct reflection of whether you are a Good Mother, nor a punishment for your sins.

justaboutstillhere Thu 06-Oct-11 12:02:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutstillhere Thu 06-Oct-11 12:02:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 12:07:56

Wow, T/shell. Reading your post suddenly realised tears were streaming down my face. Quess you must have hit a nerve. Don't know what to say.....

Bugsy2 Thu 06-Oct-11 12:11:21

Back off completely for a couple of months. Then start some of the strategies for really fussy eaters. Keep it seriously low key though. Your boys sound like they get a healthy diet. I doubt very much that for large parts of the year, our hunter gatherer ancestors would have been eating five portions of fruit & veg a day either! In fact it is only fairly recently that people had access to fruit that wasn't seasonal, so don't sweat it too much. The human race is thriving regardless. grin

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 06-Oct-11 12:11:49

Oh dear! I didn't mean it meanly. You just seem to be beating yourself up for somehow failing your children, and you sound like such a lovely, engaged, conscientious mum.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Thu 06-Oct-11 12:14:55

You cannot make children eat anything. All the bribes, treats, threats in the world are pointless, kids will only eat what they choose, what they put in their mouths is one of the few things they have control over and soon realise (if you are not careful) that it carries real power.

Carrying on the way you are does risk creating a real problem, when atm I don't think you have one.

I have a ds(7) who will try literally anything, in the summer at a thai resaurant dp asked if he would like to take a piece of his (whole) fish to try, ds reached over, detached the head and sat munching for a while, before proclaiming it 'tasty but crunchy'.

I also have a dd(3) raised exactly the same way, who until recently liked, oooooh weetabix, juice, toast with honey, warm milk and ermmmmm, ermmmmm, you get my drift.

I just serve the same meal up to everyone regardless, if they don't eat it and they are still hungry, they can have, yoghurt, fruit or toast when everyone else has finished eating.

Dd is just starting to try more and more, we give her very quiet praise when she tries somehing new but otherwise make no comment ever about her eating.

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 12:20:35

T/shell. You've done it again! OMG need to pull myself together. No I know you weren't being mean I think you may just be right about the failing as a parent thing with regard to ''The Nursery Years''. Had a lot of guilt about it for years althogh he obviously seems completelt unaffected by iy now (he was miserable at the time though). Conversley was a SAHM with DS2 who thogh not clinky seems to find it harder to make friends. You can't win!
Any way back to food, I think it is all linked in as althogh I am quiet firm about behaviour, sleeping etc I just can't get a grip with this and I see how other mothers seem to have achieved a healthy eating routine with relative ease and I just can't do it. Arggh

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 13:20:01

Bugsy 2, I agree with you re:trends in diet especially when I keep reading the latest research that refutes the previous latest research blah blah blah. Salt bad, no salt not bad etc.
WTWTW my plan was to serve up new meals gradualy but don't know if I can face them just being left uneaten. Are you not tempted to give your DD what you know she will eat rather than letting her be hungry. This is my big weakness.

Bugsy2 Thu 06-Oct-11 13:44:58

DS was very, very fussy when he was younger. He is autistic spectrum, although I didn't know that when he was little. Thankfully, for my sense of sanity, he ate mince & there isn't a vegetable I wasn't able to smuggle in. However, I couldn't feed him mince every day, so some days he largely ate bread, potatoes, meat & dairy products. The only vegetable he ate other than potatoes for a long time was carrot & for ages he ate no fruit whatsover. He is 12 now & we've got to the point, where he will try most things and will agree to politely leave stuff that he doesn't like on the side of his plate. He still isn't keen on any kind of fruit & never willingly eats any, but his vegetable consumption is reasonable. When he was going through his very limited years, I gave him a multi-vitamin - the bassets ones suitable for small kids, which made me feel better. He was also healthy, fit & active - so I used to try not to worry.
How did I get to him eating vegetables? Partly because I forced myself to stop trying to force him. DD came along & she will eat anything, absolutely anything. I realised DS's issues weren't anything to do with me, they were something going on in his own little head / body. I backed off for a long time, probably about a year. I'd put the same food on the table and I would just agree that they could both eat what they could manage. DD is a sparrow & would eat a tiny bit of everything & DS would wolf down the things he liked. After I'd backed off, if DS was having a good day & not too stressed, we might play "don't you dare eat the pea - or else" - silly reverse psychology games, where I'd tell him if he ate the pea, his nose would turn green. Something really stupid & a bit funny, that he knew was rubbish but still wanted to prove me wrong. Very, very slowly I managed to introduce small quantities of broccoli, peas, beans and "non-threatening" veg. Gradually, this built up.
I hope this is of some reassurance happyclapper.

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 14:45:49

Yes, it is tahnk-you Bugsy 2. I remember posting a similar, slightly less frantic thread about this a couple of years ago when I was at the beginning of our struggle. The only responses I got were from some very smug MN's who jusy proceeded to boast about how much fruit and veg their own children ate. One even went so far as to tell me how she had to hide fruit from her children they ate so much.
How she thought this would be helpful I have no idea but Thank-you all for your support and excellent suggestions.
I am going to take a less argressive approach and follow your ideas for more fun and laid back reintrotuductions......with a bit of take it or leave it.

happyclapper Thu 06-Oct-11 18:42:22

Sorry for all the spelling mistakes. Fingers faster than brain!

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