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struggling with breakfast - and today I shouted :(

(15 Posts)
sleepcrisis Thu 23-May-13 09:19:54

Hi there

DS is almost 2 and is generally a great eater, but increasingly we are having problems with too much snacking. He'll always make a good stab at lunch and dinner despite this and has a pretty varied diet. But he won't eat breakfast, then wants to snack all morning. His other meals while good, are beginning to get tricky in that he'll eat half-3/4 what he used to and I'm sure its the snacking affecting his appetite. his snacks are pretty healthy - fruit, dried fruit, peanut butter on oatcakes, cereal bars and the occasional organix biscuit or crispy snacks) He asks for fruit all day every day but mornings are particuarly bad with me giving snacks at about 9, 10, 11am and then really struggling to stretch til lunch at 1230.

I've always been really laid back about eating and not wanted to get into battles or withold snacks if he's hungry. But it's really getting me down that he won't eat breakfast and then asks for snacks within 30 mins of getting out of his chair. It's so wasteful as I end up throwing breakfast away. I never offer an alternative but I do give into a request for more fruit if he asks.

Breakfast is either weetabix, half a banana and a fruit pot (he'll eat the banana, tip the fruit pot into the weetabix, take a few mouthfuls, make a mess and then give up)

Or porridge with fruit and honey (he'll eat about half a bowl, start asking for more milk and then give up)

Or cereal - he'll pick at it, eat half a v small bowl, then start pouring the milk back and forth between his bowl and his cup. He's obsessed with pouring)

If we give him toast (rarely) he hardly eats any despite always wanting some of ours.

He totalyl refuses eggs at all times so thats not an option.

Any suggestions for yummy and healthy breakfasts that will fill him up? I feel so sad that I shouted this morning and I've always tried not to let meals become a battle so feel particularly upset about this. I hope it doesn't affect his otherwise ok mealtimes.


HerrenaHarridan Thu 23-May-13 09:31:52

Hi op, don't feel too bad for shouting, it happens to everyone sometimes.

My first suggestion would be make breakfast a bit later, some people struggle to eat straight after getting up, could you wait 30 mins, and hour or even til he asks for breakfast, then carry on as normal.

I think it's normal for kids to crave a lot of fruit btw.

waterrat Thu 23-May-13 10:00:38

why not experiment with letting go of the breakfast plan and let him eat when he wants to for a while.....eating little and often is perfecty natural for small tummies....

valiumredhead Thu 23-May-13 14:19:13

Put the breakfast down - smaller portion than you think he will eat and that way he can ask for more if he wants it.

Then give him a light snack at 11am ish and lunch whenever you think he is ready.

My ds was and still is 12 years on and big grazer and not that interested in big main meals, he just couldn't eat enough at one sitting.

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 15:11:53

Personally I would do whatever you are doing for breakfast and give it to him. When he has "finished" with it, take it away and put it in the side. When he asks for a snack, then wheel his partly eaten breakfast out again: if he is hungry he will eat it.

Yes, still have a snack, but at a fixed time (your choosing) and it comes out then.

Yes, I am a mean mummy ;)

3Caramel Thu 23-May-13 15:35:37

I agree with QTPie re putting the uneaten breakfast on the side until later. My DS (22m) can be fussy at breakfast, and then you know he'll be hungry an hours or so later. So if I think he hasn't eaten as much as normal, I then offer it to him a bit later - and if he's hungry, he'll eat it.

And yes, then snacks etc. as normal.

I think it's pretty normal, if frustrating, for 2 yr olds to be fussy with food. We've just started having food thrown & mushed onto things.... V. annoying, but as you said, don't want to make a big deal out of food related things, so trying not to make too big a deal out of it. Am sure, like everything, it's just a phase!

Cloverer Thu 23-May-13 15:39:55

Quite often my 2 year old DS has a banana and a cup of milk first thing, and then something snacky mid morning.

Is it really a big deal if he doesn't eat "breakfast"?

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 16:44:55

I don't think it is a big deal not to eat breakfast, providing that they don't then demand lots of don't is soon after. It is fair enough "not to be hungry" (and I always respect that), but fussy eating is a pain in the bottom... Up to the individual parent, but I always try a no nonsense approach to eating: it is eaten or not eaten (no substitutes unless very obviously ill - then maybe toast) and no fuss or issue made.

Beatrixpotty Thu 23-May-13 16:55:33

Often my 2 yr old,who is unfussy and has a good appetite,often says no to breakfast.He always wants milk but if I ask if he wants porridge,or toast,or cereal the answer is often no,so I don't make it. Breakfast this morning was milk and a small box of raisins.I don't mind because I know he'll eat lunch.I think it's good that your DS asks for fruit & has healthy snacks.If your DS is wasting breakfasts I'd just give him a smaller one-any of the snacks you list are perfectly good breakfasts.It doesn't mean they'll get into bad habits.My eldest son who is 3 was the most rubbish eater ever at 2 and still quite fussy now but always asks for & eats a good breakfast.

sleepcrisis Thu 23-May-13 19:38:25

Thanks for all the replies.

I actually don't think he is being fussy. Just a bit bored of a small repertoire of breakfasts on offer. He generally eats whatever is put in front of him - he's a little wary of new food but I think that's normal for a toddler.

I will try to keep relaxed about how much he eats for breakfast. Today he had about 5 mouthfuls of weetabix (after his half banana) then half an hour later requested the rest of the banana. I gave it to him (I can't bring myself to say no to fruit!) and he lasted until 11 when he had just one snack before lunch at 1230. I managed to keep him distracted from food by staying out of the house! He did eat a better lunch than usual so I'm going to try and stick to the one snack routine and see if we can manage it.

In theory I'd agree with offering up the left overs but frankly, I'm disgusted by the sight of 1 hr old soggy weetabix and so would he be I'm sure. I'm happy to accept that he might not be hungry at breakfast and maybe offer him a bit more cereal at snack time but fresh and dry!

Thanks for reminding me to not worry.

GoldenGreen Thu 23-May-13 20:07:13

I managed this with mine by having slightly later breakfast and early lunch - usually 11.30ish. I hate having to constantly dish out snacks and worry about the effect on teeth etc. DD (3) asks for snacks more than older DS but I think it is boredom/hope of getting a jaffa cake rather than hunger because if I interest her in something she doesn't really ask again.

nextphase Thu 23-May-13 20:16:18

I'd agree with later breakfast - or what about more variety? Crumpets go down well here. Or if you've got time one morning, what about making americian pancakes etc and then eating together (I'd also suggest eggy bread, but guessing that is out!)

Or, fruit when he first gets up, and then an hour later peanut butter on toast/toasted muffin, and then no snack?

We seem to operate a 2 breakfast, no snack sort of routine if were not at work - so toast and milk first thing, then an hour or so later we have cereal, eggs, dim sum or croissants, then nothing til lunch. Might that work for you?

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Thu 23-May-13 20:16:25

All three of mine have seemed to do two meals well and one not so much. Ds isn't mad keen on lunch at lunch time. I don't see a problem with him snacking on lunch type foods through the morning (today he had an apple, a yogurt tube, toast and a lump of cheese.

BrianButterfield Thu 23-May-13 20:30:16

Another way of looking at it - ds is 21 months and had been having tantrums at breakfast and not eating until I figured out he wanted a 'big boy' bowl and spoon and to sit on a normal chair, not in his highchair (where he sits happily for dinner!). Would changing anything like that make a difference?

HerrenaHarridan Thu 23-May-13 20:43:07

If only: you just reminded me that dd does the same, she eats breakfast and lunch like she's been starved for a week but only picks at dinner.

I would say there is 1-2hr interval fruit snacks. She's 16mo and I'm happy for her to eat a portion of her diet outside the three meals a day adults pretend to subscribe to

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