arghhh mealtimes!(10 Posts)
I know, I know, I know.......
I've just really shouted at DS (2 years, one month) for refusing his lunch AGAIN. I'm really mad at myself and I KNOW I'm supposed to stay calm etc. but this has been going on for ages. It worries me and frustrates me and its the only thing that is guaranteed to make me want to lose my temper - all else I can cope with - even the tantrums.
Wail!! How long do these phases last? PLEASE tell me that mealtimes won't always be something to dread.
<resolves to aproach teatime calmly with a smile and boundless optimism>
what do you offer? Could you offer something different? Could you change the scene? e.g. have a picnic in the living room (on a mat or bathtowel if you worry about the mess) instead of at the table. Does he sit in a highchair? If he does then try using a booster seat at the table or his own little table and chair instead.
As seona says, but also you don't do treats / sweets / snacks at all do you?
My DD2 (exactly same age) is the same at lunch time. She barely eats anything and is just too tired. She will usually eat her tea though. If I remember, I give her a snack at about 10ish. That seems to give her some more energy to keep going to lunch time and she's not as tired. DD1 was also a difficult eater at times. My tip - remember to take a step back and look at them ... if they have lots of energy and a sparkle in their eyes, they are probably doing just fine.
PS - DD1 (5) is completely different now, so no, it doesn't last forever!
He's generally in a high chair - <otherwise makes a run for it>. I have tried moving it about, sitting at table etc. Wil try somewhere ealse for tea. Like the idea of picnic but he does tend to vanish!
He has a fairly good selection of food - although one of the problesms anyway is that he is pretty fussy - other than philly sandwiches and toast, he takes a pretty dim view of finger foods (will eat the odd cherry tomato recently - whoo-hoo!!) - which is a real pain and source of worry/frustration.
Today was minced beef with mash and stuff - used to be a dish he loved. Did eat a few mouthfuls but that's about it. Then had his banana. I don't let him have much in the way of snacks at the moment - at least not in the mornings because of his current poor eating.
Snacks, when he does have them, tend to be bits of fruit, the occasional toddler biscuit or, if he's really lucky, a couple of chocolate buttons.
Thanks Wishingchair (god I loved that book!). I do try to keep perspective and he is pretty healthy and happy - I just can't help feeling a failure sometimes - must be something rooted in instinct! And I do dread mealtimes - they used to be nice and hereally enjoyed his meals .
Glad it doesn't have to last forever.
I think toddlers often eat less than they did as babies. Certainly happened with my ds.
I would suggest not worrying about what he eats in a day but look at it over a week. He probably has some days when he eats more than others. Maybe keep a food diary for him for a week so that you can look back on what he has eaten, it may suprise you.
Also toddlers need a lot less than you might think. TBH a few mouthfuls of minced beef n mash may actually constitute a good size toddler meal; their tummies are still very very small.
My dd is 5 and I'm afraid mealtimes can still be stressful, for me anyway. The only thing I would say is that they're not if you just completely chill out about it and decide not to worry. dd has always had a tiny and fussy appetite, but she is obsessed with her snacks (particularly chocolate, biscuit or crisp related ) and a while ago I introduced a snack fridge, filled with healthy snacks such as raisins, banana (the only fruit she will eat), oat biscuits with peanut butter, babybels, carrot sticks, etc, and she can help herself to it whenever she likes. So even if she hardly eats any dinner, at least i know she's had some healthy food from there.
Also, she likes to be involved in preparing the meals and is more likely to nibble on the food while preparing it than eating the actual meal! but, i decided not to let that bother me, at least i know it's going down her!
I always, always make sure i make meals that she likes, too, or that at least some of it she definitely likes.
also, if she refuses point blank to eat anything at all at a mealtime, she can choose to eat it later if it's easily reheated (or cold anyway) when she is hungry (which means no snacks till it's eaten, though so she can't choose snacks over meal!). I don't know if that would suit your family though, it's just me & dd here so that's easily done.
All that is during holiday time & weekends - in term time we have a natural (& necessary) routine of snack on the way home from school, get home, cook tea, eat tea, bath, snack after bath. On my work days she gets a snack on our way back from the CM's and then bath then straight to bed once we're home (sometimes some milk at bathtime). it's all much easier in term time, i love not having to worry about it!
it's so weird how food is so emotive as a parent, isn't it? My main concern is that dd has a healthy attitude to food in an emotional sense, which imo means not controlling it for her too much - i find it impossible to say "no" when she's hungry, and baulk at the idea of making her eat when she's not, or somehing she doesn't like.
I think i've always been too anxious about all that though! I can't believe how easy some parents find it to control or withhold snacks, make kids finish their platefuls, etc. I wish i could be like that, life would be much easier if i was in control of dd's food intake & was happy with what she was eating! But i feel strongly enough that that wouldn't be good for dd...
My DS does the same thing - he's 2.2 - it's definitely a control thing. He wants to eat when he chooses, not when I tell him to.
If he refuses to eat, I allow him to leave the table and come back when he's ready. He soon returns when he realises that the rest of the family is eating and he's missing out.
Lunch is normally just sandwiches on the coffee table, so no problems there - he's in control!
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