Eating worries in 12-year-old(5 Posts)
Apologies if this thread should go in a more appropriate topic.
My DS (12) is an awkward eater and me and him have come to blows this afternoon over lunch. DH, DD and me have had sandwiches as we were going to DH's parents for a buffet tea, but DS won't eat sandwiches when we're at home, instead preferring to have lunch of toast or a large sausage roll, which is fine when I know he's had a good breakfast and will be having a substantial evening meal. I went to the local shop and bought him a Ginsters sausage roll, confident that he'll be fine with this as he's had them before and liked them. I heated it up and gave it to him, like I have done many times before, only for him to take one bite and spit it straight out, saying he doesn't like them now. This happens quite often with food that he's previously said he likes, where he suddenly declares that he no longer likes it, and I'm at a loss for what to do.
DH says I pander to him too much, that DS should either eat what's put in front of him or go hungry. It's not like I'm cooking exotic or weird food - its things like pasta bake that he'll say he likes one week but when I make it the next week he'll say it's not the same and won't eat it, or he'll say he's full after a couple of mouthfuls. It's the same with his school lunch. He takes a packed lunch and in the summer his lunchbox comprised of a cut up peach, a handful of red grapes (can't be too squishy!), a handful of cherry tomatoes and a bag of crisps. As we can't get peaches at the moment he's taken to having a chicken and red pepper wrap with aforementioned grapes, cherry tomatoes and crisps, though I'm not entirely convinced he's not just binning the wrap as there's no one to supervise him over the lunch hour as he's just started secondary school.
There's a part of me that thinks this is part of a bigger problem of control and attention seeking and I don't know what to do. It's things like when we're at the beach DH, DD and me will have an ice cream but DS will point-blank refuse to have anything at all, even a slush or a lolly, and he stands next to us eating our ice creams and it looks like we don't love him enough to buy him an one! The only things he seems to like at the minute are chocolates in the form of Celebrations, Heroes and Chocolate Orange segments, along with Softmints and Moams, and he's had quite a lot of boxes of chocolates recently as he's just had a birthday and then Christmas, and I'm sure he's saying he's full at mealtimes and filling up on these in his bedroom.
Short of a referral to some kind of behaviour therapist or mental health specialist with suspicions of an eating disorder I don't know what to do. Any suggestions gratefully received, and sorry for the long post!
Sounds like he's just a fussy eater? I think your DH is right in a way, you don't need to pander to it, just cook one meal for everyone and let him decide whether to eat it!
Don't worry about ice creams on the beach, nobody would think twice about it, just assume he didn't want one! That's his choice!
Take control of surgery food like chocolates, don't allow him to eat in his room and only let him eat a few chocs after dinner.
Lastly take away all your anxiety and stress about food so it doesn't become an issue between you and your son and a battle of wills.
Thank you jw!
He's become worse over the last year, since his sister (now 6, almost 7) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which makes me think it's a control/attention thing. They both have a normal diet (as normal as it can be anyway) and they both enjoy fruit and veg and I'm grateful that's one battle I don't have, but his reaction this afternoon was scary.
I agree with you OH and pp - cook one meal and he can chose whether to eat it or not. You show him that it matters to you too much and he picks up on it. No child has voluntarily starved himself to death.
I told DH the advice you've given me and last night (the first night we've sat at the dining table for a meal since before Christmas) DH left off with the nagging and DS ate everything on his plate. Time will tell but for now I've persuaded DH to not nag DS to eat. We have a mountain of chocolate and I'm hoping the lure of a Double Decker will persuade him to finish the things I make for tea!
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