Friday, November 19, 2010

Confessions of a Fussy Eater

So I have a fussy eater. 
I often hear mums say that, but mostly I find kids just have likes and dislikes..
I think mine truly is a fussy eater.... I say it like a confession because I feel in society, our parenting is often judged by the food our kids eat, and mine eats virtually nothing. Master 3 is strong willed, super intelligent (according to his equally intelligent and modest mother) and stubborn to a point where bribery is something he does rather than something that is done to him.
Before I confess- know this- his little brother eats everything- and I am wholesome to a fault, veggies, wholegrains, free range, organic blah blah blah..(there.. I feel better now)
So here is his diet..
Sakatas- classic bbq only (sometimes kruskets)
Cheese, grated and kraft singles (to go on the sakatas)
Apple in a blue moon
Watermelon (to the extreme- will eat a qtr of a watermelon to himself easily in a sitting)
Hundreds and thousands
Meat ONLY when taken from a meatlovers dominos pizza. Now you might say- “well make healthy pizzas”- and we have tried, we have made them, gone to pizza capers, saved the box, even reheated.. BUT it would seem it needs to be dropped off fresh, in the box, with the whole fan fair that comes from the awesome take away pizza experience.
You might wonder why I include 100’s and 1000’s and it is simply because it is part of his every day diet. After several days of not eating anything, I made the mistake of bribing him with toast, vegemite and 100 and 1000’s and he ate it. So now I buy the no colour/flavor blah blah  version, add it to his vegemite on toast and that is his breakfast.

How we got here
Not really sure to be honest, one day he ate raw capsicum, the next he wouldn’t eat chicken. He went to daycare for a couple of days for about 3 months, and was never the same again- a cop out? Perhaps, but that is how it seemed to have happened. 
Is it his stubborn personality?
Is it the fact our kitchen table is often our work table with brisbanekids and our building business and sometimes we just don’t have time for dinner round the table? Master 1.5 seems just fine, so I come to think, it is just something that just happens to some kids.

What we have tried
  • Starvation- doesn’t work. Point blank, tried.. I hear you say ..really? really??? YES!! and I think because he will eat toast that becomes the deal breaker- so I buy bread fortified with everything
  • Try food 10x- we have done it with tons of different foods- he just grows more anxious every night
  • Just put a tiny miniscule piece of something on his plate every night- he simply ignores it or throws it off
  • Get him to kiss it- he will kiss it until the cows come home- infact he thinks kissing a piece of sausage is hilarious- he just won’t lick it or eat it.
  • Serve it on a stick- (this was in some random book, and no it didn’t work)
  • Take him to a psychologist- NO HELP- she did invite me back by myself though to confront my own inner child
  • Take him to a pediatrician- she was lovely- commended master 3 on his puzzle making ability and then suggested we make him eat milo, lots and lots of milo, for the iron. According to her- he will get over it.. 1 year on we have an appt in a couple of weeks for an update, and no he wont eat milo (BUT I can sneak an iron supplement into cordial)- and he loves ovaltenies
  • We started saying “you need food to grow big and strong like daddy’.. it has become a family mantra. BUT it has also resulted in master 3 asking me to stop feeding master 1.5 any food so he doesn’t grow big and strong like daddy
  • A dietician- she suggested everything above.

SO we are we are. Today he eats little, but he grows well, and has a mighty amount of energy and a good sized belly. I know his body will extract more than I believe is possible, even the tiny amount of protein from the horrible dominos meat pizza. I relish in the occasional apple, and should start growing watermelon.
The poor love has come to realise that he is missing out on something good, and has begin to talk about food and touch it and wonder perhaps what it might taste like. BUT, that is a long way from trying food.. or changing his ways. I look forward to the day when I make a hot dinner and he enjoys it, My approach now is to stress less and hope the stories are right- he will grow out of it J
Any tips/encouragement are well appreciated- best leave your judgement aside.



Jelly Bean Books said...

I can't imagine what you must have gone through just to get to where you are now. I have no tips (sorry) but lots of encouragement :) ~ Christine

Deb_in_oz said...

Big hugs to you - When we moved to Brisbane from Sydney just under 4 years ago, my older daughter (3 1/2 at the time)started dropping foods like crazy. Within months we were down to bare bones and just kept riding it out thinking it was the changes in her life etc.

4 years later we are still dealing with this with our now 7 year old. I do not believe in forcing kids to eat, bribing or using any manipulation so we have worked with her as best we can. She has managed to grow extremely well in spite of my fears and now it is mostly about my own issues and worries (embarrassment when at friend's houses, difficulty feeding her when traveling, sick of cooking boring foods for her over and over)

We reached breaking point while traveling in Europe visiting family and friends and upon return to Brisbane went to a nutritionist who deals with children's food issues. If you like, I can email you her details. We have had major progress in the last 3 months (with trying foods - only liked 3 or 4 of the dozens but amazing that she even TRIED after all these years).

my daughter's main diet consists of
daily banana for school fruit break (eats no other fruit or veg)
peanut butter (could live on this but not acceptable at nut free school)
fish fingers - only bird's eye brand
wholemeal tortillas with shredded mozarella cheese (heated up quesedilla style or just rolled up)
cereal or porridge for breakfast every day
homemade macaroni and cheese
plain pasta with nothing on it
crumbed fish from the local shop
homemade pancakes and muffins that i hide fruit and veg in
rice and bread - plain
crackers (basically loves carbs!)
and a few other items + snack foods and treats

eats no chicken or meats of any kind, no fruits, veg, sauces, dips, dressing etc

Anonymous said...

Hi Ngaire,

The butcher at Keperra (Dallas parade) has sausages with vegetables mixed in. The butcher gave us a free tray to try one day and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed them, and my son didn't mind them either, he had no idea they contained cauliflower.

Capricious said...

Hi Ngaire, I read a great quote that might help you out....

'Your job is to offer nutritious food choices at meals and snack times. You decide the what, where, and when of eating.
Your child's job is to choose how much he or she will eat of the foods you serve. Your child decides how much or even whether to eat.

If this idea is new to you, it may take a little time for both you and your child to adjust. In time, your child will learn that he or she will be allowed to eat as little or as much as he or she wants at each meal and snack. This will encourage your child to continue to trust his or her internal hunger gauge.'

I live by this as my son will go from eating heaps one day to next to nothing for the next few days. I hope it can help!

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