Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

When approx does fussiness around food stop? Please tell me it'll be soon, am really down tonight:-(

(18 Posts)
dottytablecloth Fri 14-Nov-14 19:19:45

My toddler will eat one day and refuse all except yoghurt, pancakes and porridge the next. I put lots of effort into cooking and I find it so disheartening. sad

This evening was horrific- he didn't want roast chicken, potatoes, gravy, veg and screamed blue murder and he wouldn't allow me to eat mine either- he insisted I walk round the house with him, holding his hand and screamed if I sat down.

I 36 weeks pg and feeling so fed up with the fussiness of him.

He then threw his dinner on the floor and I think it was purely to get a reaction. I'm honestly shattered, I really struggled to keep my patience this eve, I have to confess I wanted to smack him- I didn't of course, but I felt like smacking.

How the hell am I going to cope with two fussy people when this baby comes?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 14-Nov-14 19:27:17

I think all children are different. I was told that it started at a certain age and I was well past that when she went to preschool and decided everything was yukky.

If you are sure it's not food avoidance, SEN and such, growing well, offer healthy food, don't comment, don't react, don't substitute and make no emotional pleas. My interchange with DD now is,

"Mummy, it's yukky, I hate chicken"
"That's fine DD, Mummy is eating" <turns to chat to DH>
"I hate it"
"What do we say?"
"It's not my cup of tea" (we decided this was an acceptable emotion about food etc.)
"Thank you. You don't have to eat"
"I want a yogurt"
"There's chicken right now, if you don't want it, don't eat it"
"I LOVE chicken"
"That's fine, DD, eat it"

No emotion for eating or not eating. Saying "I hate" about food I've cooked is important to me but DD is happy with, "it's not my cup of tea" instead. For the rest, she balances over a day or two so I don't worry.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 14-Nov-14 19:28:33

By the way, we used to get screaming and wailing. Just ignore and move on.

blushingmare Fri 14-Nov-14 19:36:01

Really good advice there! Easier said than done, I know, but if you can get into doing it, you'll find it far less stressful.

I stressed about DD not eating hardly anything and sending her to bed without having touched dinner, but actually every time I have, she's never woken up hungry!

DD goes through intermittent periods of eating really well and then hardly eating anything at all. Relaxing about it, has helped hugely - me and her - just not making a big deal about it. The phase of "I don't like skin", was particularly tedious though....

She's 2y5m

dottytablecloth Fri 14-Nov-14 19:40:42

Thank you, I will definitely try that strategy but will have to wait a while as ds only has a few words yet!

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 14-Nov-14 19:48:14

You can start before a lot of words. Just lose all the emotion around food. He eats, fine. He doesn't eat, fine. He just eats one of the things on the plate, fine.

Someone very clever told me what we do is 'offer them chances to eat healthy food'. They decide how much of that they eat. DD gets one chance at 5.30pm and one at 7.30pm. Dinner at 5.30pm then maybe fruit or peanut butter on toast at 7.30pm. I decide what (excluding things that I know she doesn't like at all unless served with other things). She eats, she doesn't eat, she will get another chance to eat healthy food at 6.30am.

If you try new foods, put them with stuff he likes. He doesn't have to eat them. No comment.

BTW DH would laugh at this advice. He had to sit through me being pretty pissed off when DD was doing what your DS is doing. I've just learned that this way works for DD.

cantmakecarrotcake Fri 14-Nov-14 21:02:23

We read a book called 'Getting the Little Blighters to Eat'. It has something like 10 rules to help stop mealtimes being a battleground.

Pretty cheap and worth a read.

tobysmum77 Fri 14-Nov-14 21:07:22

2 is the low point, it gets gradually better, significantly at about 3 and then plateaus around 4 I found. Relax is the biggest thing, ban the stuff that they latch onto. dd2 went through a yoghurt-only phase, I stopped buying it.

Sameshitdifferentusername Fri 14-Nov-14 21:17:02

DD is 7 and I'm still waiting. She's actually got WORSE with age.

kiki0202 Sat 15-Nov-14 23:03:00

Same as others offer him food if he doesn't eat it fine. I wouldn't let him stop you eating though if he wants to scream leave him to it totally ignore him and eat yours I think getting up and walking around with him is giving his behaviour the attention he's looking for.

RabbitSaysWoof Sat 15-Nov-14 23:11:30

I agree with kiki

he insisted I walk round the house with him, holding his hand and screamed if I sat down.

I don't want sound mean or be judgmental but I think that's an issue away from fussy eating that he has that authority. I would also ignore.

Notfastjustfurious Sat 15-Nov-14 23:19:43

Totally agree with all the above. My dd is 2.5 and has days where she just flat refuses to eat and tells me she doesn't like it. Next day same thing is devoured. The trick is to ignore, they are learning to regulate their own appetite and forcing them to eat overrides this. It's bloody annoying when you've cooked something especially though but you just have to remember they are way too Young to be doing this on purpose - that's what teens are for!

Fantail Sun 16-Nov-14 02:15:29

Agree with losing the emotion, hard to do but I think it works with most children.

DD is 3.9 and is getting significantly better. She gets praise for trying new things and if she doesn't like it then she know to just leave it. Daycare has worked wonders as she knows there are no other options there.

QTPie Sun 16-Nov-14 22:35:10

Assuming no health issues, if they eat they eat, if they don't, then fine.

Unless DS has been ill (in which case buttered toast and fruit offered), he gets his main course (whatever he has chosen to cook) and - if he has a reasonable go - fruit. If he doesn't want to eat, then that is fine (funnily enough that has been very rare!). I just don't worry or stress. DS is now almost 5. A few things he won't eat, but he has a very sensible attitude to food and knows my no nonsense approach (his nursery/school had/has exactly the same approach).

Agree with others, I wouldn't let him disturb your eating: that is wrong.

Chunderella Mon 17-Nov-14 14:47:44

I feel you. I'm pregnant too, DD is 2, and just wept uncontrollably over lunch, a lunch she had devoured the first half of, because of a small lump in her soup. Which obviously rendered it poisonous. Fucking toddlers. Other foods are allowed to have lumps, you understand. That's fine. But a bit of squishy carrot in soup is a gross violation of her human rights .

Honestly I think being pregnant doesn't help either. If you're at all nauseous, which let's face it most of us are at some point, they pick up on it. Same with the beige food phase. In order to manage to eat anything at all, you end up modelling exactly the behaviour you don't want them to observe. It's a nightmare. But you know what, the food DS is eating even on his off days sounds ok. Yoghurt has calcium and vitamin D. Pancakes have eggs, a great source of protein. Porridge is presumably oats and milk, which are both really nutritious.

batmanandrobin Mon 17-Nov-14 19:35:14

i work in a pre school and often come across mums who are struggling with meal times. one of our areas of learning regards texture and we often use food as a tool to play with. i realise you're not going to have room or equip to do this, but maybe have dc cook with you? children love being involved and are more likely to try something they've made. it may not work first time but persistence and patience are key.

maybe try a veg soup first as it's not too expensive if he doesn't like it. don't tell him you're cooking it for him to eat, just ask him if he wants to help make something for you and dp (if there's one around?). we allow children to use peelers when supervised and then you can play whilst it boils. if you have a hand blender the noise will intrigue dc and turns it into fun. if he thinks it's for you and dc he may think he's being cheeky trying some and being inclined.

don't stress if he won't do it first time, they get there in the end. having do involved makes it a calmer environment whilst it's just the 2 of you. another good one is homemade pizzas or pasta necklaces (we've done this with cooked pasta before- gets bit messy but it's the intake that counts!!!)

feel free to pm me if you'd like any more advice smilexx

LillianGish Mon 17-Nov-14 19:46:16

I really sympathise - we've all been there. My advice would be to stop worrying about it. Look at what he eats over a week rather than over a day. Don't take it personally - I always found it harder if I'd taken time to prepare something specially so in the end I just offered whatever we were having or if I made something specially then it was something v simple like pasta or something I'd defrosted. Offer him his meal, let him eat what he wants, then let him get down. Accept that some days he'll be hungrier than others. Don't let meal times become a battle ground.

Chunderella Mon 17-Nov-14 21:18:40

And if you do make veg soup, make sure you get every last lump out of it or your child will have you tried at The Hague. Bitter, moi?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now