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To just feed her pizza?

154 replies

DomesticBlisters · 11/09/2022 11:05

Does anyone else have a child who eats very very little?

Our daughter has just gone into year 1 and she doesn't eat. She's very thin and the list of foods she will tolerate just seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

It's not picky eating and she won't eat eventually if we give her food and say it's that or nothing. Believe me, we've tried. She has had meltdowns lasting hours about meals. Last night she went to bed after eating just a corn on the cob 😩

She has school dinners but she doesn't eat much of them. We've kept her on them in the hopes she will be encouraged by being around her friends while they eat. She usually just has some bread and carrot though. Except on roast dinner day when apparently she will eat although I can't get her to eat roast at home. I think she must like the cheap meat they do at school and as much as I've tried to recreate it at home I can't 😂

AIBU to give her a small pizza (one of her safe foods) every none school day for her main meal, along with a tiny bit of what everyone else is having so she's still being exposed to new foods and flavours and might try them.

I'd give her a corn on the cob and some raw carrot too because she will eat those.

Is a pizza that bad? I've had some people say it's unhealthy but if I was giving her a cheese and tomato sandwich that would be ok 🤷

On a school day she has a cold tea which is usually a peanut butter sandwich or a sausage roll, some carrot, grapes, some plain Greek yogurt and some ready salted crisps. The same every day.

I'm so exhausted from battling with food. 😭

To save the drip feed, she is on the waiting list to be assessed for Autism and ADHD

OP posts:

converseandjeans · 11/09/2022 12:45

Well she eats more than my DS does. That sounds fine if she eats peanut butter, Greek yoghurt, grapes, carrot sticks, corn on the cob, roast dinner in school.

There is a FB page for ARFID which is a food disorder. Join that and you will see she isn't that bad.


converseandjeans · 11/09/2022 12:48

We had appointment with dietician and didn't end up going back. But they check food groups - so if she eats pasta or pizza base that will be carbs, milk, cheese on the pizza, yoghurt covers protein etc

I think the not sleeping and low weight might need looking at.


KermitlovesKeyLimePie · 11/09/2022 12:49

Just read your update OP.

My DS also ate like a horse as a baby, looked like a little Phil Mitchell and then just stopped.


chesirecat99 · 11/09/2022 12:49

Flowers for you. I have been there, it is exhausting.

Will she drink flavoured milk? The Paediasure meal replacement shakes are good, if she will drink them. A scoop of ice cream makes them much nicer, if she likes ice cream.

Smoothies can be very gloopy, especially if they have banana. I would try freshly squeezed juices first, starting with single flavours that she ate as a baby. You could try the same with very thin, smooth soups. You might find it easier to start with cold "fruit soups" for pudding, if she prefers fruit to vegetables, as a way to introduce her to the idea of eating liquids with a spoon, if she doesn't normally eat soup.


Merryoldgoat · 11/09/2022 12:50

I have a tricky eater but he has ASD.

I wrote down every he’d eat and just gave him that on rotation. Then added bit to the familiar plate.

From 2-4 he ate:

fruit purée
peanut butter sandwiches
mashed potato

Very slowly we’ve now added fish fingers, chicken nuggets, pizza, tomato pasta, macaroni cheese, and lasagne to the list of acceptable, other cereals like Rice Krispies and porridge.

This has taken 5 years.

Go slowly and have a dialogue. We talk about ‘new food’ and when he says he’d like to try something new I get it for him. It was strawberries recently. He didn’t like them but he tried them.

It’s hard for some kids. Be kind and patient and don’t make mealtimes stressful.


Completelyovernonsense · 11/09/2022 12:52

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn at poster's request

InsertPunHere · 11/09/2022 12:57

I had one exactly like that. The ASD diagnosis was a long time coming, but it made sense.


Mossstitch · 11/09/2022 13:01

I've had two fussy eaters out of 3 (but I'm quite restricted on what I'll eat from childhood issues, can still gag everytime I think of stuffed marrow I was forced to eat🤢) I'd say from what you say she is eating its quite good. One of my now 30+ sons still eats pizza about 5 times a week and he is perfectly healthy (I do make own from scratch which is healthier as I used fresh mozzerella & cheddar, olive oil, tiny bit of onion and passata for sauce) but if he's not at mine he will eat those really cheap supermarket ones that you are talking about or dominoes. Another son wouldn't eat at all at school for a long time, I discovered chocolate ovaltine light has added vitamins and minerals and he happily drank that before bed. Don't worry too much, it sounds like your going about it the right way with no pressure and great that she likes cooking with you, I'm sure that will lead to her trying more things as she gets older🍕


N0tfinished · 11/09/2022 13:03

Hi OP. My younger DS is a problem eater, has low functioning ASC and is non-verbal. His list of safe foods is extremely short and completely deficient in some areas. I do an awful lot of supplements, under the guidance of a clinical dietician.

He's 15 now so I've learned a lot over the years... First of all, the foods you've described would have me turning cartwheels with joy! She's got
Something from all the food groups if I'm not mistaken.

I would do just as you describe. Give her pizza. Keep her non safe items on a separate plate. Don't put your anxiety on her, she'll already be feeling a lot of anxiety at disappointing you.

Focus on calories - Full fat everything! Don't tie yourself in knots comparing your DD to mythical children who love wheatgrass and sushi. Just focus on progress for her.

I like the ReviveActive range of multivitamins, I give DS the teen one, because he cant swallow tablets. It's a powder that you mix with water. Have a look for Biocare, they have a powder multivitamin for children that might work for you. Controversially, I use ice cream syrup to disguise the taste. I mix it all up in a little egg cup & give it to him in a medicine syringe. Have a think about iron too, low iron can cause poor appetite.

Anyway, take heart. My DS is tall and energetic, and he has never eaten a 'dinner' in his life. His diet is 80% shreddies! Or I think so, a good portion end up on the floor Confused


MmeHennyPenny · 11/09/2022 13:17

Would she eat a pizza she made herself?
Start with bought pizza base and progress to all home made.
Make a face out of the topping
ham smile
mushroom eyes
tell her she needn’t eat the “face”.
I’ve done this with children who are food adverse.


MmeHennyPenny · 11/09/2022 13:18



TheHideAndSeekingHill · 11/09/2022 13:20

Was posting in a hurry. My experience is that extremely fussy children who like bread will sometimes at least dip it in soup or a broth.


thinkfast · 11/09/2022 13:30

My sister pretty much only ate the following until she was about 15:
Chocolate croissants
Tuna pasta
Iced buns

She's now a slim and healthy 34 year old who eats absolutely everything. Everything.

She says she just wasn't interested in food as a child, and then one day she suddenly started to like food.


Workawayxx · 11/09/2022 13:39

YANBU. I'd give her the pizza and safe foods, just keep her eating something - it's calories, carbs, fat and protein. Maybe she'd accept a little extra cheese on it, maybe the ready grated mozarella would be most similar to what's already on there? Just thinking that I don't think those little pizza's have much cheese on.

It's great she has corn on the cob and carrots and milk. I'd also keep offering really small amounts of what the rest of you are eating but just don't comment on whether she tries it. And keep cooking with her, even if she can't try it, it's all normalising foods/textures/smells and hopefully will help eventually (even if not, cooking is a good skill!). I'd also see if you can get to the GP and get a referral to a dietician - I imagine waiting lists are really long so worth just getting on the list asap.

A friend of a friend would only eat plain chicken breast, oven chips, peas, bread and marmite till after uni age! In her 20s, she expanded the range and eats a much bigger range of foods now - curry and veg and rice and all sorts. So, sometimes it just takes a while!


BestCatMumEver · 11/09/2022 13:39

If she is autistic and not sleeping then you may need to go down the melatonin route. My DC have it and it’s been a life changer in terms of getting to sleep. Has to be prescribed by a paediatrician though. Where we live, anyway.

One of mine won’t eat any vegetables but I put a tiny amount on his plate and don’t make an issue of it if he doesn’t eat them. Her safe foods don’t sound too bad really. We had a break through with curry recently which was huge.


winniesanderson · 11/09/2022 13:43

It sounds like she has a pretty good diet all in reading your op. There's protein, carbs, some fruit and veg. Some fats. And if she can take a multi vitamin as well that's brilliant. I definitely wouldn't try to add or change things if it will impact on her eating a previously accepted food. And for what it's worth I think your instinct to just give her what she is comfortable to eat is a good one.

I do often use a strategy recommended by an OT for children I've worked with and add a little bit of other foods we're eating to a 'tasting plate'. I just add tiny amounts of food (typically avoiding sauces) to a separate plate and make it clear there are no expectations to try it, but it's there if they want to. This can work well if proximity to different textures/smells etc is tolerated. I use the same alternative plate each time so they know this isn't their meal plate and just place it within reach but slightly to the side. There's also a useful guide 'steps to eating' which you can Google and which might help.


AliceMcK · 11/09/2022 13:54

Give her what she wants, even if it’s the same foods. Keep adding little extras for her to try, if she dosnt she dosnt but your offering them. I have 2 very picky eaters, one definitely has texture issues, the other it’s all in her head from copying her sister. Over time they have gotten better, well one has, the other seems worse. I don’t fight it, I was a picky eater as a child so I’m not going to force them when I know how it feels. My third has allergies so we have limits with food there.

I think sandwiches, pizza, carrots, corn on the cob, yogurt, peanut butter, sausage rolls, grapes and a good base to work with. Two of mine would not even touch any kind of fruits or vegetables, now they are 8 & 10 and one will eat a few peas the other will nibble at carrots, fruit is still a massive no.

I ended up giving mine packed lunches so then I knew they were actually eating something everyday even if was the same food everyday.

You could do packed lunches except on roast dinner days or packed lunches 3 days a week so she’s still getting to try something new at school.

I found with mine they’d start asking to try things as they got older because there friends like it.


TheHideAndSeekingHill · 11/09/2022 13:57

FWIW I only ate a tiny list of things as a child and it all changed when I was in my mid teens. Foods just started to seem “ok”. Humans really don’t need a vast variety in their diet as long as they’re covering most nutritional bases and it’s good to add a vitamin in this case. I lived on potatoes, tinned spaghetti, pasta, boiled eggs, toast and carrots. Sometimes ham. Wouldn’t eat fruit or any other vegetable but would drink juice or milk. You really can’t tell as adults who lived on yoghurt, pizza and carrots and who was eating Thai green curry at 5.

you sound like you’re doing a good job. All I’d add is don’t worry about giving her the same thing more than once a day if she needs the calories and will take it


perenniallymessy · 11/09/2022 14:01

I would highly recommend a referral to a dietitian- it won't change what she eats but it can provide you with some advice and reassurance.

DS1 has always been underweight and has restricted eating. I got all the usual advice from people- just give them what you're having, if he doesn't eat it then don't give him anything else as he won't starve, get him involved in making things. None of it worked at all and he would happily not eat at all rather than be forced to eat something he didn't like (it was mainly texture driven as he'd say things were 'too crunchy' and would happily eat some quite daring foods like curry and blue cheese sauce).

Seeing a dietitian was brilliant as it meant I could happily tell people to back off with the well meaning advice and that yes, some children will starve themselves.

She said that getting calories into a child like that is much more important than trying to make sure they eat a varied and more socially acceptable diet. We were told to build him up with lots of high fat foods like custard, sausage rolls, chunks of cheese, crisps, nuts etc. He's always happily eaten broccoli and peas so those were good. We were also told to add extra milk powder to his milks and hot chocolate for extra protein and calories.

I'd love to say things are better now at 13 but he's still very fussy and small. We are trying to push him to eat more as there are no signs of puberty yet and I think he needs more weight before it will start. We've gradually added new foods to his repertoire (processed meats were finally accepted after his giant tonsils were removed, in the last year he will accept a very tiny piece of chicken that's not minced and in breadcrumbs!) but it's slow going. However I know that in the end as long as he's getting proteins, fats and carbs, plus a good vitamin (Vitabiotics are good) then he'll mostly be ok.

And yes, he was also diagnosed adhd (with asd traits), so I think there have been a lot of sensory and control issues around food.


Sneezesthrice · 11/09/2022 14:06

My 10 year old has existed on cheese and tomato pizza, roast potatoes/homemade chip and carrot sticks/cucumber sticks/sliced raw peppers for about 18 months now. (She also eats fruit) and she’s almost as tall as me, strong as me and very bright. It’s not ideal, but she’s Autistic and really struggles with flavours and textures. We put no pressure on, sometimes she will try something new and like it and be happy to have it occasionally, more often she doesn’t like it but we always say it’s great she had a try.

I refuse to make mealtimes a battle. Her safe foods mean one less area of her life that’s overwhelming and unpredictable.

Freinds with super selective eaters who are autistic found things improved as they got older. For us it hasn’t but it’s good enough for now.

if she likes the school roast it’s probably one of the long meat sausages made of reconstituted chicken/turkey. The texture is very samey and quite salty. She might like it because of that. Try one of the Bernard matthews roasts if they still make them, it’s very similar to school roast ‘meat’

Look into ARFID, some areas have self referral services for help and support.


perenniallymessy · 11/09/2022 14:07

And getting my son to help with cooking never worked either.

Either he'd hate seeing what went into foods and stop eating one thing that had previously been acceptable, or he hated the raw (crunchy or slimy) texts of things so longer want to eat it cooked, or he had no bloody patience with cooking and just wanted to run around or wave knives around.

He makes very good scones and cakes these days though.


gogohmm · 11/09/2022 14:08

I would suggest getting her to participate, start with making pizza - make dough (I use a machine), make a tomato sauce with purée vegetables without her seeing (eg sauté onions, carrots and celery plus garlic, add chopped tomatoes, cook 10 mins they purée) then let her build a pizza - eg pepperoni for eyes, red pepper for a mouth and a mushroom for a nose to make it fun then lots of mozzarella for gooey texture. It worked with my fuss pot


Northe · 11/09/2022 14:30

I have a fussy eater. My only warning with restricting what you offer so much is that things like going to friends houses or kids parties or even holidays with restaurants etc become very stressful for the child if there isn't an option they will tolerate or if an item they usually like isn't quite as they were expect. Continuing exposure with school lunches and some of your main meal on the side sounds like a great idea.


Sirzy · 11/09/2022 14:37

I have only read your posts.

i would look into ARFID (there is a great fbgroup for parents and carers of children with arfid)

as someone with a son with severe arfid then it sounds to be like your doing things right. I would maybe try to move to a packed lunch on days other than roast day so she is eating more then if she will


pastypirate · 11/09/2022 14:43

As a person with probable afrid - I'm 43 so no one gave a dam when I was little so no dx.

I'm so bloody traumatised by my parents trying to expand what I would eat.

Please don't mess with her safe foods. If you do as other pp suggest and try and sneak vegetables into the safe pizza she will most likely freak out and restrict even more if she can't trust you. Her anxiety at meal times will already be so high.

If it were my child I would back off completely and get some professional advice. So yanbu at all let her eat the sage foods for now.

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