Author Topic: Fallen into the trap! How to climb out?  (Read 891 times)

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Offline Gobolinosmum

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Fallen into the trap! How to climb out?
« on: July 25, 2014, 22:24:29 pm »
 So I've fallen into the classic trap of only making dishes for our 2.5yo that I can be fairly sure he'll eat. Duh. Of course this is quite narrow and now we have come to the point where most of the meals I cook for us are far healthier and more varied than the meals I cook for him. Not how I had imagined things turning out but at least he eats them. If I was to revisit the baby led weaning principles that we began with, I would just serve him up whatever we're having and he would choose what to eat or not. I can predict with accuracy that he wouldn't eat much of it and would then demand something else. As demonstrated tonight, it would be hurled on the floor, followed by an epic meltdown and demands for fruit. I said no fruit as he chucked his dinner on the floor. In the end he didn't want the fruit anyway and was so angry he wouldn't eat so just went to bed without supper  :'( he rarely ever goes to bed without eating as I always offer him an alternative if he didn't eat supper so he at least eats something, even if it's just banana and crackers. But I fear I have created a mealtime tyrant by letting him have something else when he refuses dinner. It's not like I feed him junk food, far from it but I don't dare offer him most of what we eat as it usually contains far to many things on his reject list.

Has anyone had the guts to just let go and offer them what you're having whether they eat it or not? Then if they hurl the whole plate on the floor without even tasting it, do you let them have anything else or refuse? How to achieve this seemingly impossible task of letting them eat whatever they want/need without nurturing a little tyrant??

Example:

Tonight's supper that was hurled, I really fancied making it but knew he wouldn't eat it and as predicted, he wouldn't even try a mouthful:

Bacon, egg and pea frittata. (Infested with peas = reject)
Potato salad. (boiled potatoes = reject. Mayo = reject)
Green salad with broad beans and fennel. (It's green = reject)

How do you trust a 2yo to know what he needs to eat when he thinks what he needs is chips/cake/enough blueberries and strawberries to give him diarrhoea?!

I'm struggling with trusting him on this one!



 



 

Offline Katet

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Re: Fallen into the trap! How to climb out?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 23:41:23 pm »
With my boys when I found they had limited eating, I started what to a degree I still do.

5 things on the plate... 1-2 always eat foods, 1-2 sometimes eat food & 1-2 never eat foods... so say with the dinner you had, I'd do 2 of those, then I might put say a small pile of grated cheese & 1/4 apple, (always eat) & some of the bacon pulled from the frittata (sometimes eat) & be 'ok' with the fact that they might only eat the apple & cheese.  As the habit got more in play, they learnt they couldn't ask for more of a preferred food until they had eaten 3 (then 4) things from the plate... even now if I serve up something that DS2 turns his nose at I still do it in a way that he has 5 things on his plate & has to eat 4 of them before he gets more of something he does want... so say it is curry & rice, it is the meat, veg, sauce & rice (I put a small spoon full on his plate & then I might put 1/2 slice of bread... not enough to fill him up, so he will ask for more, but he knows he has to eat the "taste" before he can get a tin of spaghetti & eat that. or boil an egg (which he will do, with minimal help)

I know I was a limited eater as a child & my brother ate everything... as adults we are the reverse & being a researcher by profession, I read up on tastebuds etc & know that from 2-5 & older, children taste food much much more strongly than do adults, so they are sensitive to flavours, so I worked with that & honestly DS1 has taken off... he can eat curries that are hotter than I can & apart from cooked carrots & raw tomato, I can't think of much he doesn't eat... compared to the 2yo who ate 15 foods (total)... FWIW DS2 was a far better eater at 2yo & he is now where near as good at 9yo as DS1 was, so I don't think what he does now will be long term the issue.
dc1 July 03, dc2 May 05

Offline creations

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Re: Fallen into the trap! How to climb out?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 08:23:01 am »
I don't consider my DS picky because he eats a huge list of foods, however I have altered my cooking to accommodate him so for instance until more recently he wouldn't have eaten the frittata you served because he didn't like mixed up food but if I'd been determined we were having it I would have either made him an omelete (so that it was similar to what we are eating, and not a huge inconvenience to my dinner prep as it only takes 1 min to whip up an egg) or I would have made sure the accompanying foods were things he would eat (either things he likes or things he will eat at a push if hungry enough).  So mine would have had a small taste of the potato salad and some of the salad and beans. I would have offered a half slice of bread and butter to fill him up or more likely I would have made some healthy chips in the oven (sweet potato, swede, turnip, carrot, celeriac, not much white potato...over time mine has learnt that 'chips' means a variety of veg, roasted not fried so whilst he feels like he's eating chips I know he's getting a variety of veg).
Most foods I would ask him to try a taste but a few which I know he has never liked I didn't push too much, just kept serving them alongside foods he did like.
It's not too early to be explaining why you won't give him the foods he desires, I've done that with fruit when DS was much much younger and whilst it wasn't particularly nice for a day or two he caught on very quickly. I told him I couldn't let him have just fruit because it would give him diarrhoea and make his bum sore.  Cuddled and sympathised during his frustration and crying and within 2 days he was over it.  Another phase where he didn't eat much dinner then asked for food at BT so we started to save his dinner and re-offer it saying "if you are hungry this is your dinner otherwise it's BT" (making sure the dinner wasn't all things he detested), amazing how much he could eat when he realised there was nothing else.  (we also just stood in the kitchen whilst he ate and he was told it was a time to eat and not chat as our sociable meal had been offered earlier and now it was pure hunger eating iyswim).  Again the phase didn't last too long.
Now that you've made a stand I would continue to some degree as you are probably half way there already.


Offline Gobolinosmum

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Re: Fallen into the trap! How to climb out?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 14:47:36 pm »
Thanks! Yes, he also can be funny about mixed up foods, but not in all cases. I think a lot of the troubles are teething related (short temper) but also pushing the boundaries at 2.5. He has a will of steel. If he doesn't want to taste something, no amount of bribing or cajoling will change his mind. He has actually eaten carrot sticks in the past few days, raw only and has wanted two bananas in a row for pudding every day, having refused bananas for months. HO hum, I suppose there's no second guessing a 2 year old!