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Meal times - need help!!

(13 Posts)
Anon24 Thu 23-Oct-14 19:03:27

Hi I have a nearly 4 year old..
I have been struggling with meal times for a very long time!
He will have toast for breakfast but it can take him up to an hour of nagging for him to eat it.. He will not touch cereal or readybrek anymore.
Lunch time he will have a cheese roll or spaghetti hoops (only Heinz and only one sort of cheese). Again this can take an hour or more for him to eat with me constantly nagging!
Tea time..well he will eat chips, carrots, pasta or spaghetti hoops.. This can take up to 3 hours before I give in and take it away from him.
He used to eat anything but he's now very fussy and anything he thinks he doesn't like he will sit and scream, cry, throw plate across the table..
I am at my wits end with meal times and don't know what I can do to get him to eat quicker and different things.
I have tried given him a set amount of time and then taking it away and not having any snacks between meals but still it doesn't work..
I don't know what to do anymore

lanleeder Thu 23-Oct-14 20:35:48

My daughter is exactly the same! It's such hard work. I'm constantly juggling my day around her meal time as it can take up to 2 hours.

RabbitSaysWoof Thu 23-Oct-14 20:39:19

I cannot recommend this book enough

number2093847 Fri 24-Oct-14 06:26:51

Stop asking him to eat and accept that he will eat as much as he needs. Allow 40 mins to eat and eat with him chatting about the day.

What percentile is he on? Unless hes dropped off the bottom I wouldn't blinnk

number2093847 Fri 24-Oct-14 06:28:11

Also keep offering him a mix of normal home cooked meals. Don't make an issue of not eating

QTPie Fri 24-Oct-14 15:53:16

Agree with just offering a mix of normal food - don't pander to a very restricted diet. Give him a set time, then take it away.

To be honest I wouldn't accept screaming or plate/food throwing (at that age) either. I would put on the naughty step (or whatever you do), then give him one more chance to eat, then take it away.

If you are worried, then you could take to a GP to rule out any health problem.

Is he at school yet? How does he eat there?

ruddynorah Fri 24-Oct-14 15:56:50

Put the food out. Ask him to sit at the table. Eat your meal at the table. When you've finished remove the plates.

DwellsUndertheSink Fri 24-Oct-14 16:05:16

Think of all that lovely attention while they refuse to eat. No wonder they are dragging out the process.

Id take the food away after 20 minutes. Dont fuss about the food, just keep putting plates of decent food in front of them. Stop offering that processed rubbish. Feed him what yoou feed yourself. DOnt offer anything else until mid morning or afternoon, and then only some fruit or raw veg.

Have and discuss what you will do after lunch, so do a puzzle, go to the park, watch TV. CHange the dynamic at the table from one of cajolling to one of acceptance of their decision with exciting things to be done together after the meal.

WineWineWine Fri 24-Oct-14 16:35:01

Stop nagging and stop allowing him to eat over several hours!
Serve the food up, sit and eat with him, talk about anything other than food while you eat, after 30 minutes, take the plates away. No drama, no telling off, just calm and matter of fact.
He might go hungry a couple of times, but he will soon learn.
I understand why you are doing what you are doing, but you're not doing him any favours

ZenNudist Fri 24-Oct-14 16:38:57

Ds1 is now 4 and he went through a stage of being a very slow eater. It was often when he had snacked or wasn't hungry. Has your ds always been a slow eater?

number2093847 Fri 24-Oct-14 20:27:05

Agree feed him normal home cooked meals. If he throws food/plates, that obviously means he doesn't want any more. You need to take the hint even if he hasn't eaten much and let him finish. Don't offer snacks in between meals or if he is desperate give him a little of the leftovers cold

DwellsUndertheSink Sat 25-Oct-14 07:14:21

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from a HV was about portion size. She recommended that once in a while, you put a kiddie plateful of food in a plastic bag and then scrunch it together - then hold the bag up to the middle of your child - just a reality check on how tiny their tummies are. Obviously doing this too often would be a huge waste, but for eg pasta and sauce, its a good way to check - what looks like a little on a plate looks spot on when in a bag! I think we overload kids plate and then wonder why they wont eat. I also think we need to get over the "finish whats on your plate" mentality.

I let my 3yo eat what he needs but I dont pander to fussiness. He eats what the rest of the family are eating (excluding spicy food). Mealtimes are social events, not a battle of wills.

Failedspinster Mon 03-Nov-14 21:42:45

Check out the Mealtime Hostage blog and Facebook page. My 2.5yo has always been a terrible eater and this blog literally saved my sanity. He is now getting better but very slowly.

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