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Chips, Crisps, Chips, Crisps diet

26 replies

parent · 24/09/2002 00:11

My two year old son is proving difficult when it comes to meal times as all he wants to eat is crisps and chips and sweets. Anyone found a way around this problem. When I've asked anyone they say i should just give him the normal food. If he doesnt eat it thats okay as he'll get so hungary that he eat whatever I give him in the end. Whats your views on this.

OP posts:

ScummyMummy · 24/09/2002 00:16

Not very sure of myself on food issues at the moment(see other thread re nursery food!) but I'd broadly agree. Maybe cutting the "junk" food down a bit (or even out entirely for a while if you're feeling brave) would help his appetite for healthier fare. Hard one this as it's really horrible to feel that your child is hungry even if it's due to his own stubboness. Still, I guess that it's true that healthy kids don't starve themselves so maybe getting a bit tougher is worth a go?


Jasper · 24/09/2002 00:50

Scummy, what are you doing up this late?
I sympathise ....I have a variant of this problem in that dh is the main carer and IMO feeds the kids (3 and 2) pretty junky stuff a lot of the time..bread and butter, chicken nuggets , spaghetti hoops etc. he gets all miffy if I say/do anything which he takes as calling his parenting skills into question.


robinw · 24/09/2002 07:33

message withdrawn


Enid · 24/09/2002 08:13

parent, we found going 'cold turkey' was the best way, NO sweets except on Friday, NO crisps at all, and, best of all, NO squash. The last was the hardest but it brought about a really big change in her eating.

She still gets chips occasionally - fish fingers, chips and spaghetti hoops is her favourite 'junk' meal (and mine too I am ashamed to admit). If you buy oven chips I can recommend MCains Home Fries as good ones, they are quite fat and 'potatoey'.

We had a day or so of moaning and whining, but it broke the habit quite quickly.

Good luck!


Bozza · 24/09/2002 10:48

We have had this problem with our DS. Actually we're lucky that its not so much crisps and sweets he is asking for as yoghurt and fruit. This is because he's only 19 mo with a limited vocab and we tend not to have the other stuff in the house so he can only point to the fridge (yoghurt), cupboard (raisins) and fruit bowl (various). However I am not prepared to put up with changing the nappies that his preferred fruit only diet would entail

It is difficult because although DS is a good weight and I know that he won't starve himself I also know that he is stubborn and will make himself very hungry and grumpy in the meantime. It particularly bothers me if he won't eat in the evening as I don't like the idea of him going to bed hungry.


zebra · 24/09/2002 11:16

Parent: I wonder if you will just have to put foot down & insist that the treats can only be given as pudding, after your child has eaten a main course? And make sure that they don't get more pudding than they do main course (meaning, pudding is an equal or smaller portion)?

Nearly 3yo DS gets a quota of 1 bag of crisps, and 2 biscuits/day, generally as snacks, and right after I have managed to coax some fruit or scone or some other not quite so unhealthy food into DS, so that he isn't very hungry, anyway. Usually at MUM+Tots groups, we rarely keep crisps, chocolate, sweets or biscuits in the house, which helps. Cake, Chocolate & sweets are very unusual treats. Bit of fussing sometimes, but accepted as long as he knows the rules and he gets some most days. And if we do have chockies in the house, we certainly don't let the kids know about it! .

I don't mind my kids having chips; toddlers need fat.


Batters · 24/09/2002 11:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SueDonim · 24/09/2002 14:09

I'm another who went the cold turkey route. My DD was eating only junk food and one day I decided it had to stop. We had no junk food in the house at all and amazingly she didn't even whinge about it, just accepted that those were the rules and she began eating with us again. It was almost as if she was waiting for us to say 'no more'. It's easy to slip back into old habits, though and we've had implemement the cold turkey regime again, luckily with equal success.


WideWebWitch · 24/09/2002 21:44

Parent, I don't have any junk in the house most of the time and it works for me. In my case if ds is hungry the only options (usually) are pasta, baked beans, fruit, vegetables, yoghurts, nuts or something else that isn't junk. And so that is what he eats and likes. I don't think there's anything wrong with fat and agree that toddlers and small children need it, ditto there's nothing wrong with the odd packet of crisps or chocolate or whatever. But if the only option is to eat something healthy or starve most children will eat. So my advice would be to chuck out the junk, brave the tantrums for a few days and see what happens. Good luck.


susanmt · 24/09/2002 21:48

crisps crisps crisps - sounds like my dh!


FrancesJ · 24/09/2002 21:58

Just echoing what other's have said, really. We just don't buy the stuff (although dh occasionally casts longing glances at crisp packets in the supermarket). When we're out, or on holiday, or as an occasional treat (everyone needs those), I buy dd nice yummy things, which has the nice side-effect of keeping her happy when otherwise she could get a bit whingey and over-tired. Oh, and one thing, she adores things like dried mango slices, just as much as junk food, so they count as treats, too - might be worthwhile trying something like that, if you haven't already


Lizzer · 25/09/2002 11:47

I've been through all this with dd and my mother in the backround going 'its alright, all children go through these phase, keep offering her different foods and she will eventually stop eating so much rubbish on her own accord' Well, my mother is right to an extent, but its still harder to get dd interested in raisins over choc buttons as a treat, so now she has ta-da chocolate raisins instead! There are ways of making improvements to their diet without them really being aware. I agree that chips on their own aren't that bad, if they haven't been boiled in rubbishy-oil for an hour. Going low fat on children isn't the best idea so try frying some potatoes in olive oil for example - see what he makes of that... Also try homemade onion rings and strips of sweet potato.
I think making things a 'special treat' (said with as much enthusiasm as you can muster) really helps with dd. She now can't wait to get home from playschool and help make her 'starfish' which is strips of cucumber carrot and breadsticks arranged in a star shape around an egg cup full of hummous and one of philidelphia. But that said she's now coming up three (in Dec) and its only recently she's been interested in trying 'dippy' things... I used to poo-poo Annabel Karmel and the 'making food look like a face' brigade but now she's getting older I'm slowly changing my mind!!!
Good luck with it all, Parent


Bozza · 25/09/2002 11:57

AK suggests food faces etc at 12 months Lizzer -thats the problem. IME with most 12mo you are lucky if the food stays somewhere near the plate. Totally different with a 3 yr old I agree.

The up side of my DS refusing to eat his tea on a fairly consistent basis is that he is taking more milk at bedtime. I think he is trying to prove that although he has mastered eating with a fork/spoon he doesn't have to if he doesn't want to. Also trying to see if he can get away without eating any savoury.


tigermoth · 25/09/2002 14:18

I second the advice about not keeping junk food in the house. It works for me when I get harsh and do this. It means both me and my sons go cold turkey together. With no treats around, I can't give in to a tantrum even if I want to.

Also, I've found french bread and butter is a good subsitute for a pleasing toddler snack, especially if it is warm and has that lovely bready smell.

My two sons are very into making and eating fruit jellies at the moment. Fresh fruit surrounded by jelly, disappears incredibly fast in our house. The same fruit would languish in the fruit bowl for days until it went rotten.


Bumblelion · 25/09/2002 14:34

My son's (5) best "dish" is cucumber - he eats about 2/3 a week and if he has a choice of a penguin - always available in the fridge or a slice (or chunk) of cucumber, he will go for the cucumber every time!

To get him eating anything decent (fresh vegetables, etc.) I tell him that I can see his muscles growing. Every time he eats a mouthful (whether chicken, vegetables) he asks me to check his muscles to see if they have grown but I tell him that I will check once he has finished his meal. He is quite short for his age and I tell him that I can see him physically growing with all the good things he ie eating and he seems quite happy to eat as much as he can.

I make sure the fruit bowl is always on offer and in reach and if any of the children are feeling peckish, they can have anything they like from it. Saying that, my fridge is always full of kit-kats, yoghurts, penguins, etc. but I find that, since these things are always available, they invariably go for the fruit/yoghurt/cucumber rather than the penguins/kit-kats.


Azzie · 25/09/2002 15:36

My kids (just 5 and nearly 3) love having what they call 'bits' for tea. 'Bits' is a plate with a yoghurt on it, plus a selection of other (mostly healthy) things: a cut up apple, a few cherry tomatoes, a few grapes, some cubes of cheese, cucmber sticks, maybe a few hula hoops occasionally (I don't feel one small packet between them is too OTT), plus anything else we have left in the fridge/pantry that is suitable (such as raspberries, which dd loves, or dried fruit, or tiny squares of leftover pizza, or breadsticks, or cold get the idea). It always surprises me what they will eat if it's presented this way, and they seem to like to pick and choose and mix and match as they eat.


Janus · 25/09/2002 18:02

My daughter, just over 2, doesn't really eat much junk food, doesn't like many biscuits, eats a little of my chocolate if I'm having some, a couple of my crips, etc. I feel if I'm eating it she can share a little.
BUT my problem is she doesn't eat a lot else either!! She won't do chips, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, etc. I'm completely running out of ideas of what TO feed her. She'll eat pasta, a certain type with a certain type of sauce (creamy), spaghetti hoops (not exactly 'good' food, I know), baked beans, spaghetti bol, sometimes, lamb stew, sometimes. Sometimes ham, sometimes corn on the cob.
She's at home with me, we eat together, breakfast is hit and miss although I persevere until something is in. If find it hard work coming up with the other 14 meals a week (ie lunch and dinner every day).
Anyone got an ideas of what to try which doesn't include crumb coating (I think that's the problem with nuggets and fish fingers).
She does eat fruit, lots of it, this is her main soure of goodness really but isn't getting any weight on her.
She is underweight and very small for her age so it is a genuine concern, if she was a 'bouncing baby' I wouldn't give all this another thought but she is so thin (about 25 or 26 lbs at just over 2 - I know most one year olds are at this weight).
I think I've just run out of ideas, what do you feed yours?? Can't tell you how much I would value your help as I have to find something else to offer her.
If anyone knows any good toddler recipe book I'd really appreciate that too.


lilibet · 25/09/2002 18:12

I have a faddy eater who will make himself sick if given food that he doesn't want. Looking at your list is does seem as if your daughter gets something from each of the major food groups, you haven't mentioned any dairy products? My advice is giver her what she will eat and leave it at that for a while. The practice of making food into interesting faces/shapes has never worked with mine. If you are stressed at mealtimes and I am the Queen of that, it doesn't make mealtimes a good experience for her and she is unlikely to feel comfortable enough to try something new. Concentrate on what she will eat for a while and her weight will pick up then try introducing new foods very gradually, my success rate on new foods with ds1 is about one a year so don't despair!


Tinker · 25/09/2002 18:27

Janus - will she eat sandwiches? My daughter's diet still consists, mainly, of ham sandwiches, a particular (non-cheap) cheese, grapes and yogurt for lunch. YOu could cut the sandwiches into shapes with pastry cutters - might help. I wouldn't worry to much about variety if what she is getting is healthy. I also used to mix in a thawed out 'pellet' of frozen spinach into tinned spaghetti etc. It worked for while. Made me feel beter anyway!


Twink · 25/09/2002 21:54

Janus, my dd (just 3) doesn't eat much variety, I made a list in desperation one day and got to 30 things but that included various types of cheese as individual items...

She won't do pizza, chips, nuggets, tinned pasta or anything else they are 'supposed' to like. I thought peer pressure at nursery would help but no, even star charts for eating at nursery aren't helping either. She will not eat things she perceives that she might not like, even though she knows she'll get nothing else until the next mealtime.
Her favs are sandwiches, with goats cheese and garlic sausage (!), no marmite, peanut butter,honey although recently started on jam occasionally. She will also eat homemade bol sauce with pasta twists (no other shapes..) and rice with various (Waitrose fresh counter, not mine) chicken curries. If she's eaten well, a treat is tortilla chips with houmous which is laden with calories. She also adores cheese, and now helps to grate it for her pasta bol so I let her eat the last bit. She's definitely improved in the last 3 months as we eat together twice a week (can't face any more meals at 5.30, sorry crap mum) if daddy is there she trys even harder to experiment.


Janus · 26/09/2002 20:43

Thanks Tinker and Twink, unfortunately she won't touch bread, any sort, except the odd bread stick and can't get much sandwiched in that!
I made meatballs tonight, about an hour of cooking and she actually ate it. I'm in clover!! I've had so many times of spending an hour cooking to get met with a clamped mouth it was heaven to see her eat 5 or 6 of them (hope this will last longer than today). One more thing to add to the list which does make me feel better already! I'm going to try and make hummous tomorrow and see if she likes that, I remember the last time I gave it she had a face like a smacked ass (!) but sometimes her taste changes!!
Also, the idea of adding an icecube of 'real' food to the tinned spaghetti is brill, can't believe I hadn't thought of it but it would be great to think of some spinach, etc, getting in her diet.
Thanks to you both.


sobernow · 26/09/2002 20:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

parent · 26/09/2002 23:49

My two year old son started eating tinned casseroles and soups. I had it cracked. So I went out bought tonnes of tins. A few days later he refused point blank to eat any of it. A few days ago I happened to go to the bakery and I asked if they had anything a two year old might like to eat. I was told that the pasties were quite popular. So I tried and to my amazement he liked them. So instead of McDonalds I take him to the bakery for his pasties. I think what the problem might be is that when we find something they like we just keep giving them that item, and they then get bored of it. So how long he will like pasties for I dont know as I am up town everyday. The only healthy item though that my son never seems to get bored of is yougarts.

OP posts:

parent · 27/09/2002 00:01

I think a good point was made when it was suggested to offer a wide selection on a plate. This would at least delay bordom of certain foods.
I really must try to get around to trying this theory out. Its just too comfortable giving easy food that doesnt need much preparation. Doesnt that sound lazy.

OP posts:

Hilary · 02/10/2002 22:26

My eldest goes through phases of being a bit faddy and I deal with it by just cooking something (I only very rarely ask him what he'd like)for everyone, we all have some of everything on our plates and he leaves the things he doesn't like and eats the things he likes. No replacement food if he refuses to eat, he just goes without. No pudding if he hasn't made a decent stab at the first course. He usually gets over his faddiness pretty quickly otherwise he gets hungry!

I also find that he might refuse something the first time he sees it because it looks unfamiliar but the second time I give it to him, it looks familiar but he still doesn't eat it, then the third time he might still not eat it and the fourth or fifth, he might eat it like he always has eaten it. Then once that has happened, I make sure that dish comes round every couple of weeks so he doesn't forget that he likes it. What I'm saying in a long winded way is, don't give up if they refuse something once!

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