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Thread: DD's eating habits have me at my wits end

  1. #1

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    Question DD's eating habits have me at my wits end

    hi all;

    Miss M is a great eater, she loves almost everythng we give her... Well until dinner time comes anyhow!

    Every night I make dinner; I always include at least ine of her favourite things, I serve it to her. And nope, she wants something else. When this first started happening I decided that the only other option that I would allow would be fruit, well for ages now she eaten 3 mandarins each night, or a bowl of grapes, bananas, any fruit so long as it wasnt what I served.
    The other night I just couldnt be bothered making something that would be yet again thrown out, so I made fruit salad, everything she prefers to eat normally...
    But she didnt want it!!!
    Im going crazy as to how to solve this. I am tired of the nightly act that happens. Tonight, Im fed up, at my wits end. She just wont eat her dinner. I even tried the but look Miss H is eating hers, so it must be yummy. But nope. Im that fed up that tonight I am seriously considering not giving her an alternative and sending her to bed. Why? Because I just cannot face peeling another mandarin. Im tired of the battle to feed her. Im tired of having to cook dinner during the witching hour, then having it thrown out. Sure the dog is getting fat, but she has her own food to eat.

    What on earth can I do to get her to eat? Tonight, its the 'well thats all there is, so eat it.' Sure shes whinging and carrying on, but I just deal with it anymore. Im over it.

    What can I do? How do you all battle dinnertime?

    Cheers
    Justine


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by beansbeans! View Post

    What on earth can I do to get her to eat? Tonight, its the 'well thats all there is, so eat it.' Sure shes whinging and carrying on, but I just deal with it anymore. Im over it.
    Do that and keep it up!

    and I don't do dinner time battles, it does my head in. Never regretted it for a second.

  3. #3

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    I second lulu. My eldest is almost exactly the same age as you DD and we have you eat what you're given rule. The only time I make an exception is if it's a totally new food or a spicy food, then he can have fruit or yoghurt but he has to at least try it first.

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    Thank you Lulu and Spring Angel;

    Im just wondering though, what do you do if they dont eat dinner? Do you give them something else before bed? or let them go to sleep without anything? Also how long do you reckon it will take to get her used to the idea and start eating again?

    Cheers
    Justine

  5. #5

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    depends on the tenacity of the child! It might only take 2 days - or as soon as they realise you are serious.

    It's hard to know if to give something else...cos it's sort of like giving in again but haaard to do. I gave mine a piece of buttered bread (i'm not sure how to make gruel ) but nothing else.

    One thing that is BRILLO (imo) is that she will eat everything otherwise.
    Another good tip - Nelle gives her boys dinner at lunch time so she knows they have had a good hearty meal at least once a day.

    GL

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    I had this issue tonight with dd1.... although we had the screaming, the grabbing the food in her hands and squeezing it... so we sent her to her room and she continued to scream.

    I kept her food in the fridge until she was hungry again and heated it up. She ate it finally.

    Thats the first time I have done this... usually I give it to the dog and she will get a banana or custard later on. I am over cooking for nothing, so now this is how it will be. I hope it works!

  7. #7

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    Yeah, filling her up earlier in the day when she's more amenable might be a good idea. What time do you have dinner? Maybe she's too tired to eat properly? My DS is younger, but we find we have to feed him early or he just can't eat.
    We do offer him a supper plate before bed to fill the gaps. It's hard to find that balance between getting them to eat properly and getting them fed so they'll (hopefully) sleep.

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    We don't give him anything else. Perhaps a cup of milk but that's it. Dinner goes in the fridge and he is hungry I can reheat it for him. Sometimes he goes to bed without eating but sometimes I just don't feel like dinner either. I also second filling them up with good stuff during the day so you don't have to stress if they don't have a great tea.

  9. #9

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    Thank you all so much!

    We normally have dinner round 5ish, 5:30 at the latest, bedtime is 7pm... We have dinner then casue Miss H is ready for bed by 6 and its easier to feed both at the same time.
    Usually we do have our big meal at lunchtime too, as DH goes to work after lunch and he uses lunch as his main meal too.

    buttered bread sounds good, I reckon gruel might be too labour intensive for a second option

    Im going to stick to my guns and get her eating dinner, actually all I really want at this point is for her to actually try dinner before she makes up her mind as to what its like! I wouldnt mind giving her something else, or having her skip dinner if she just tried what I was giving her just once.

    I think she must be hungry, given the chance she will eat 3 whole mandarins by herself instead of dinner, But we might shake things up a bit tomorrow and she how she goes I think. Anything can be better than tonight. After not eating her dinner for over an hour and it going all over the kitchen, she ate 2 bananas!
    Worst thing is that I know she loves the food Im giving her, she always has!

  10. #10

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    DS does this sometimes, and if I spoon feed him he'll eat it all - have you tried this? Else I just put him to bed without tea.
    There's a mum I know with 3 kids, and she makes 4 different meals each night - you really don't want to be in that boat!!!

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    It sounds so much like my first DS and I know how hard it can be We definitely had to stop offering an alternative and it was amazing how quickly he learnt to eat the first thing offered. However, as the others have said, he has never, even at 5 now, been as big an eater at dinner as at lunch and breakfast. I am not sure it's because he's tired, or just that he uses more energy during the day so fuels up earlier to meet that need. But whatever it is, dinner is and always has been his smallest meal of the day, or close to it. For quite a while we'd do the dinner for lunch thing. It's not so easy now he's at school but he eats enough at dinner now that I know he's getting a good variety and quantity of meat, veg etc. I am sure that not offering her an alternative will help you, but don't worry too much if a big dinner is still not really her thing just yet.

  12. #12

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    With DD we had to stop all snacks after 330pm (to eat dinner at 530-6). We give her what we are having if she doesnt eat it then she gets nothing else except for her dinner, if she still refuses to eat then she gets nothing else until breakfast. The only exception is when we have new foods or a food she hasnt previously liked before and as long as she tries it Im happy for her to have a sandwich, fruit or yoghurt. We very rarely have any issues with eating anymore

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    I'm just throwing this out there and it's just IMO.....but does it really matter?

    What is the problem, that she will not eat or just not eat dinner? If they are getting enough variety during the day then I fail to really see the problem...

    I understand the whole teaching them it's dinner time etc, but I don't see the point in fighting it. I'm not a fan of all the baby books that tell us we have to do this and have to do that getting us all worried about one persons opinion that worked for them, but I did get advice once and that was "pick your fights"....if it's not worth the fight then why not leave it.

    Don't get me wrong, we turn off the telly, set the table with our placemats and DS1 special placemat and his special cup. We always serve up a plate of what we are eating and we let him know it's dinner time. 9 out of 10 times he will not eat it, but he gets the point that we all sit down to eat dinner. He doesn't always sit at the table either but he knows we will not play etc until dinner is finished. It saves the stress & there are no fights....I cook a nice meal I like to enjoy it also without out all the fights and stress just before bed time. He is a day eater, from breakfast on he will just eat and he has a good variety and diet, so I just go with that. I know he's eaten enough, he hasn't had junk and if he wants something at dinner that's not what we are having then he gets a choice of something easy like an apple or a bannana. (so I don't have to cook another meal). I understand the "if you don't eat it then go to bed without" approach but hey I know what it's like to be hungry and try to sleep, or just not feel like something. Nothing worse than hunger pains early in the morning.

    I'm yet to meet someone who only eats apples at dinner because that's all they had at age 3......but like I said, it's just my opinion. I think if you just set the example and don't worry yourself over it, lots of kids that age don't eat certain things, or dinner etc. It will all change again. I also rather not make dinner time a battle as to me it will set a negative example on dinner time.
    Last edited by Erin_25; July 6th, 2010 at 02:36 PM. Reason: add something.

  14. #14

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    Thanks Erin;

    It is starting to matter. This has been going on for months. She just doesnt try anything anymore. I hate the fact that I am taking fruit away from her, but I am tired of serving a meal, that she doesnt even look at most of the time before she says yuck. But it does matter, I hate that I spend ages in the kitchen preparing something for the 3 of us to have. I hate that after spending the time to cook it, I spend the rest of dinnertime peeling mandarins, bananas and what not. I dont like that her sister sits there and watches her get something else without even trying it... She may be little but she is stilll learning.
    I love that she is a great eater the rest of the day, well most of the time. I love that she has a great palate. What I am tired of and what is getting to me, is that no matter what I give her she just wont eat it! The other night I even gave her what she normally opts for instead (mandarins, apple, banana, yoghurt, and strwberries) of making a meal that she wouldnt eat, I served it to her, and she tells me yuck, not having it! Its that attitude I want to change, I admit that right now she has it all over me, and Im paying for it. But I want that to change, I want her to at least try what i give her before she tells me she doesnt like it.

    Tonight Im making sausages cooked in a tomato sauce on cous cous. She loves sausages in tomato any other time Ive given them to her. Cous cous isnt a favourite, but its mine. Miss H loves it all. so Im hoping Miss M will eat it and enjoy, or at least try it would be good. And tonight there wont be any other alternatives; well unless she trys it out, seriously. Then I might be able to find something else if she is seriously hungry.

  15. #15

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    OK so an update;

    Tonight, I sat Miss M down, explained that dinner was the only choice for the night. I told her what it was. Went into the kitchen brought it back and gave it to her.

    Well to m surprise, she ate the entire lot, then went back for seconds and thirds!! Totallly unexpected, but Im not complaining!

    Now Im just hoping that this will continue in the days and weeks to come!

    Thank you

    Justine

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    she really has you on your toes!
    But that's good news

  17. #17

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    I've been researching fussy eaters latley. My DS isn't overly keen on dinner either, but it's because he is too tired, I think I need to bring tea time back about half an hour. but anywho, it sounds like she's fighting for control.
    We have an eat what your given rule too, and if your hungry enough you will eat it.
    She might be old enough for you to start geting her to help choose what is for tea before you make it, then she might eat it, because it was her choice already?? after all she is already showing you she wan'ts to choose, but it's after you've done all the hard work

  18. #18

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    I read something good in Pinky's Toddler tactics book last night. She says it is your responsibility to provide a range of healthy foods and your child's responsibility to eat. You can't make them eat and turning it into a battle can cause lots of issues. They will eat if they're hungry, if they don't, that's ok!

    I agree with just giving her the one option and if she doesn't eat it, too bad. Hope you keep seeing improvement!

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