How do I get them to eat!!!!?(7 Posts)
Hi, I know this has probably been a regular topic on here but I'm really at a loss to know what to do next. I'm having major issues with getting my 5yr old & 2.5yr old twins to eat. The twins are underweight anyway due to being born 13 weeks prem and they've yet to catch up.
I have tried the "who can finish first", "how many peas can you put on your fork", disguising veggies in fish pies, etc, using "I" statements when talking with them, making funny faces out of the food on the plate, etc, etc, etc. Although not necessarily healthy I even give them biscuits or chocolate just so that they have had something to eat but they won't even eat that half the time. I don't shout at them and make an issue out of it, we always eat at the dining table and eat as a family altogether. Their weight is not drastically dropping (they do eat bananas by the bucketful) so I guess I shouldn't worry but I do and it's gone on now for nearly a year.
One of the twins holds food in her mouth as she point blank refuses to swallow it, and the other one has started to do this now too.
I've spoken with the HV who kindly pointed out that her grand daughter is the same and that's about as far as her advice went. The Dr's in my surgery seem particularly uninterested.
I don't know what to do and it is increadibly frustrating and worrying. Both myself and husband have a healthy appetite so I don't know what has gone wrong.
If anyone has any ideas, however wacky, I'd be very grateful for the advice
Have you tried cooking / playing with food with them? Maybe make a homemade pizza with them or something, and get them to decorate it. To feel the ingredients in their hands (so that tasting becomes an extension of this 'play') and the textures of different foods. So they see what food is like, how it is put together etc and have invested in it (so to speak!). No pressure initially, but so they become more involved.
Sounds really tough, but you sound like you're doing the right things.
Also, do they ever eat with other children? Maybe ask a friend if they can eat together, as they often mimmick?
Sure you'll get there ... "it's just a phase" and before you know it, they'll be ravenous teens eating you out of house and home!
Are they really hungry at mealtimes? If you're giving them free access to bucketloads of bananas to be sure they're getting some food, they may not actually be hungry.
It might feel really difficult, but could you restrict the snacking, then just put food in front of them and leave them to it?
As I understand it, normal children will not starve themselves if there is food available, but if they never really want it then it won't be of much interest to them.
Ignore! The best way is NOT trying. Offer food, make no comment about what has been eaten/not eaten, don't feed them yourself. Take absolutely no notice of food-holding in the mouth. It could be attention seeking, but also a texture thing, feeling unpleasant in the mouth. Put very small portions on their dishes so as not to overwhelm them.
Make sure all dairy products are full fat, and sneak extra calories into their food wherever you can. Sometimes children do better with smaller main meals and substantial snacks inbetween. Don't slave over trying to make all their food look like faces or animals, it's not working for your children and in the end, you just end up exhausted and irritated that you spent so much time and effort on something that ends up in the bin. I think the only rule is not to give biscuits and chocolate instead of meals, they should be at the end when at least some of the meal has been eaten.
Have you tried letting the 5 yr old help you prepare meals? It can help them to try and eat what they have made themselves.
Agree - bananas are really filling. I find my 20mth ds will not eat his dinner if he's had a banana, i now give half at most and no less than 2 hours before his next meal.
The big breakthroughs I've made re eating new foods are usually when we've been busy and I've forgotten to feed them.
One example - chicken fajitas with peppers. Went to wakefield sculpture park - too tight to go to cafe. They got lost in woods and had to be found by a ranger with a walkie talkie - they'd been hunting tigers and emerged carrying large sticks, covered in mud and leaves and absolutely starving. All we had in - chicken, peppers, cheese and fajita mix. They scoffed the lot and it remains a favourite dish despite previous aversions to anything spicy and red peppers.
A little neglect goes a long way.
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