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Fussy eater driving me crazy!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by mrst77, May 31, 2011.

  1. One of my daughters is a really fussy eater. She hasn't always been fussy but she is steadily adding more and more to her list of foods that she doesn't want to eat. It started with bananas and mushrooms when she was a toddler and now at 8 she won't eat tomatoes that are too squishy, apples unless they are chopped up, tomato sauce (in Spaghetti bolognese etc.) unless it is a smooth sauce with no lumps. She complains if she can see onions. Only wants to eat peppers (not green!) and carrots if they are raw. I could go on and on. It is driving me well and truly around the bend!
    We have tried to deal with this in a number of ways - allowing her to help us decide which meals I will make during the week, getting her to help me cook, avoiding foods we know she doesn't like and basically telling her she eats what she is given and there is nothing else that evening.
    She is 1 of 4 and I don't see why everybody else can eat their tea when she can't. I don't have the time to prepare separate food for her every night and I don't see why I should. Harsh? Maybe but that's just the way it is.
    If you have any advice it would be much appreciated before I completely lose my marbles! x x
  2. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Very sensible.Eat what has been cooked or cook something for herself. Do not do it for her.
  3. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    If there is no underlying reason for her fussiness (I have ASD and although I am a keen cook and eat most things - I have certain flavours and textures that I cannot eat) then firmness is the answer.
    Let her know in the morning what there will be for tea. If she complains then tell her it is either that or a ham sandwich (or something similar - quick to make, and not too 'interesting'). The 'alternate choice is the same every night of every week. This means that if there is something she genuinely will not eat then there is an option.
  4. I agree with PFF. Generally speaking, this is an attention seeking ploy and the less attention you give her the better she will eat.
    Put the food in front of her, tell her that that is what is on offer and enter into no negociations. Ignore the fuss and remove her plate at the end of the meal. That's it. No snacks, nothing. Praise her if she does eat something but not excessively.
    She will soon learn that she will get no attention for not eating and that being hungry isn't much fun. I promise!
    But don't crack - be consistent. It's astonishing what my grandaughter will eat at my house that she won't eat at hers. Her mother gives in and I don't.
  5. I am not disagreeing with the make her eat or go hungry people but I am wondering if some fusses can be met

    Teen is not keen on onions so she picks them out ... no effort on my part

    We always have a variety of veg so I make sure that I include something we all like ... she may have a meal with just potatoes and baby corn but if the rest of the veg is something she is not interested in ... so what

    When I do a bolognese or similar I do her a separate pan that just has meat and toms in ... no hardship really

    If we are having a curry I do her something else (well I used to ... she is now able to make something herself)

    She has gradually become less fussy and more willing to try stuff but it has never really been an issue to adapt a bit
  6. You see, I agree that it may be attention seeking which is why I never worried about it ... I see insisting as being more attentive than just adapting and ignoring the issue
  7. Hi, I think she is just fussy, no reason for it. I like the idea that of telling her in the morning but I'm not sure if that will ruin the mornings as well. She can really drag out a 'trauma'! Ham sandwich every night sounds like another idea to try. Thanks x x
  8. She is an attention seeker but I just find it hard to ignore.
    I am obviously concerned that she doesn't each much but I absolutely agree on the no snacks idea. I am normally very consistent but tonight I had just had enough. Early bedtime I think! x x
  9. grammarlady

    grammarlady Occasional commenter

    Have her volunteer at a soup kitchen, someplace where disadvantaged or homeless people are given meals. Maybe she'll see how fortunate she is.
  10. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    FWIW here is what I would do...
    1. Sit her down and have a chat, find out if she has any genuine concerns about the food. She's old enough to explain herself. In this conversation you could explain that she needs a balanced diet to be healthy.
    2. Then cook whatever you want and she eats as much or as little as she chooses BUT don't let her make something else, if she won't eat what the family eats then she can go hungry.
    This type of thing happened to one of mine and it came from a school friend, school friend was allowed to be a fussy eater and got away with it, the fussiness didn't last long in our home [​IMG]
    Good luck x

  11. She is an attention seeker but I just find it hard to ignore.
    Of course you do - you are obviously a good mother and that is exactly what she is banking on. Put the same food in front of her that you do for the rest of the family, she can pick out the things she thinks she doesn't like but NO substitutes!
    No making separate meals - you are creating a rod for your back if you do. I promise...,,,she'll soon learn but you musn't cave in. You and your family must all stand firm. She is very unlikely to starve!
    Just remember.......no comment, no fuss and ignore any complaints from your daughter. You'll both be fine.
  12. I am quite a fussy eater, mainly because I don't like the texture of certain foods (slimey or soggy stuff... eyuck!). It's not that I won't try things, I do. It's just sometimes I come across things I don't like to eat.
    My parents dealt with it in two ways:
    1) If it wasn't a bother to 'adapt' then that's what they did.
    For years I didn't have chilli with kidney beans (I was convinced that's where the spice came from [​IMG]) and the beans and the spice were added after my portion had been dished up, and even now I don't put milk on cereal becauseI physcially cannot eat soggy cereal.
    2) I had a list of 3 things I wouldn't eat and everything else had to be eaten.
    I was allowed to change it every 6 months or so, and mainly involved leeks and cabbage. Everything else I ate, because I had no choice.
    I also learnt early on that making a fuss would result in being sent to bed without any tea.
  13. And I'm good at finding things I don't like and picking them out. But
    again, I don't make a fuss. Took ex boyfriend's mum months to discovere I
    don't like kidney, because I used to quietly pick the kidney out of the
    steak and kidney pie and pass them to ex's plate!
  14. I am fussy to be honest - some foods make me feel sick, just the thought of eating them make me feel sick. Kidney beans are one of them, along with peas, broccoli, crisps, tomatos. The thing is I never feel fussy because I don't buy or prepare foods I don't like! I don't know where it comes from, but it wasn't an attention thing for me, I just genuinely hate certain foods. I've never actually heard of fussiness for attention before?
    I'd agree with RF, as far as possible, be flexible [​IMG]
  15. Some kids can be attention seeking. After a while of not caving in and seeing no change, you soon know if its a genuine taste/sensory issue. I try and make things we all like or on occasions, a Mr & Mrs Fig meal and a 2 x Mini Fig meal. They eat what they get and if not enough is eaten, no evening snack. We have a very limited selection of likes in our house!
  16. My son, who has ASD is what you might call a "fussy eater". Having read exhaustively about ASD, it is quite common for people on the spectrum to have strong dislikes for foods. He would rather go without (indefinitely - and with ASD that is a REAL problem) than eat something that he can't abide. We dealt with it by always allowing him an alternative to our food, but it was always the same alternative (usually something that didn't involve cooking/preparation). As he grew older, he was able to be more specific about what he didn't like, and now eats a variety of food. However, mushrooms (slimy) and sprouts (disgusting) are probably never going to appear on his plate. It seems to be more a question of texture or strong taste for him (goats cheese was an instant dislike!)
  17. If she's 1 of 4 then it could be attention seeking, but since it started as a toddler, it sounds to me like there's more to it. Bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, smooth sauce with no lumps? Not sure about the apples, but the rest of it sounds like an intolerance to mixing textures (which is common in people with Dyslexia, for example).
    I liked the suggestion that she eats what everyone else eats, or makes a previously arranged alternative (like a ham sandwich) for herself, which is the same every day, no messing about with variety. That way you deal with the attention-seeking, if that's what it is, or accommodate the specific need, if she has one.
  18. Young children go through phases, so I wouldn't make a fuss; take the line of the earlier poster who serves at least something in the meal they will eat without going to too much trouble of pandering to the wants. The more you rise to the bait, the worse it will be, and I don't agree with the one meal suits all idea entirely either.
    I think you have to ask yourself, as an adult, would you eat anything put in front of you:
    Here's a list of things I won't eat:
    Any seafood
    Liver and offal
    Most tomatoes unless processed
    Most fish
    Eggs unless sieved of membrane
    So you see, you could invite me round, and I'd sit there with my mouth closed if you gave me that. And I won't be growing out of it either.

  19. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    If you find an answer can you let me know? I'm convinced my 8yr old is so used to being hungry that he thinks it's normal...
  20. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I can't abide fussy eaters. It's fine if someone genuinely dislikes a particular food, but fussy eaters are a real pain.
    My stepdaughter is fussy. OH used to fanny around after her and molly coddle her, pandering to her fussy ways, which just made things worse.
    Now I offer just two choices.....take it or leave it. End of. I do not cook food for her she obviously won't eat, like liver or a curry, but I run a home not a restaurant and if everyone else eats it then so can she.
    Strangely enough, she will eat sprouts like other kids eat Smarties (but she won't eat Smarties!)
    She is, slowly but surely, becoming less fussy.

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