Thursday, 5 May 2011

“I don’t want that!” - Fussy Eating!

Being a relatively new full time mum one of the many things I am having trouble with is food. Or to be more accurate the refusal of eating anything that is given to Son No 1 to eat, be it homemade or brought.

While I was working it was all too simple. The nursery took care of all his meals so when I got him home all he needed would be a yogurt or piece of toast. I would get his day sheet; they would wax lyrical on what a fantastic eater he was and how often he asked for seconds. Well, I am not sure whether they got my little boy confused with another child or not but that little boy is certainly not the one I have at home. Over the last few months with him having started school things have continued to escalate.

Now, I admit I am no domestic goddess in the kitchen but I do think I can put together rather tasty meals for us all, with no complaints from the other two in the house. But with Son No 1, I have tried everything, eating together, bribery, M&S kids’ meals as he used to love these, cooking with him, letting him choose what to eat and nothing seems to work. Don’t get me wrong some days he will eat everything put in front of him but the next he won’t or I will cook a meal I know he has eaten before and he will refuse it. His best excuses are “don’t like the smell”, “sore tummy”, “it will make me sick” or “it’s not what I wanted or meant”. The worse days are the days he will just walk up to the table look at it and tell me he doesn’t like it and then walk away! There has been tears (both of us) shouting (both of us) and even door slamming (him).

My friends all tell me that this is normal and I have seen similar behaviour in some of their kids. Mr P thinks he is just a “snacker” and a “grazer” so he is happy for him to eat when he wants and more often than not will let him eat what he wants as well. This in turns makes me mad! Husbands, no idea!

So I am beginning to think I have the problem and not Son No 1. Perhaps I am expecting too much and that this is perfectly normal behaviour? Perhaps with his jaw problem I am getting too stressed that he is not eating enough and getting too skinny.

Perhaps I just need to chill out about it and find some coping strategies of my own to deal with it. Other than a big glass of wine.

Any advice welcomed....

9 comments:

Emma said...

How difficult for you! In all honesty though it sounds like he is asserting his independence, I wouldn't worry too much, especially as he ate so well at nursery! My son went through a simlilar phase, it's hard but we had certain rules like no snacking in between meals if attempts weren't made at mealtimes, eating the same as everyone else, and no pudding etc. if meals remained un-eaten. I only let him choose his meals on very special occasions too! He is much better now, but I remember how stressful it was! Like all stages of parenting remember the mantra "this soon will pass"! Emma xx

Mrs E said...

I have no advice as my daughter is only four months but just wanted to send sympathy- must be so hard! The wine sounds a good idea!! x

Frankie P said...

Thanks for the comments, think last night i needed a pep talk and Mr P is useless at the sort of thing.. x

Expat mum said...

I think you need to chill out sweetie - for your own sake. I had years and years of this and it's not worth it. A lot of kids go through this phase and he'll come out of it eventually. In fact, when he's a teenager and eating you out of house and home you won't believe he ever did this.
A few sugegstions - how about getting him to suggest meals by going through your cookery books with him and letting him "choose".
One thing I wish I'd done was get my kids more involved in cooking. When they help in the kitchen they're more inclined to eat it. It's time consuming, but it gives them a great life skill later.
But most importantly, don't make a huge deal out of it. Good luck.

Frankie P said...

Think you are right as not normally this uptight about things. I think it stems from the fact that i have no idea if or what he is eating at school... So chilled out i will try to be..

Fox in the City said...

Well now, seems like what we are going through as well. For Little Miss, who is 3.5, we leave her dinner on the table and she can go back and snack on that if she is hungry. For Buddy, who is 1.5, I try and at least offer one thing that he almost always eats (generally yoghurt). Ultimately, rationally I understand that they will not starve themselves and they will eat when they are hungry but it is still the source of much frustration.

Good luck.
Jenn

Mari's World said...

Of course the big glass of wine at the end of the day ALWAYS helps but I do see your point, in fact I had that x 2 with the girls, they went through a very tiring stage of turning their nose up at everything and being very fussy so we started to eat with them as much as possible so by watching us eat they were encouraged to eat off their own plates, we also started offering mouthfulls from our plates so they could try new tastes, they seemed to take it better after watching us ummm and ahhh about it. good luck!

Frankie P said...

Thanks, i need all the luck i can get. its jsut so frustrating...

Mañana Mama said...

Ah, this is so difficult. I think kids all go through stages of picky eating, and then for no apparent reason they snap out of it on their own time...good luck :)