To Parents Of Fussy Eaters…

To Parents Of Fussy Eaters…

 

Many parent’s refer to their child/children as a ‘fussy eaters’, but few experience the completely soul crushing reality of it. Don’t get me wrong, having a child who is selective about food is hard no matter what the severity, but when an entire family becomes affected by mealtimes it becomes a far more serious issue…

For nearly three years now I have dealt with Theo’s food struggles. Three long hard years have been spent cutting sandwiches into dodgy looking Disney character shapes, googling methods for tackling the issue and weeping on my kitchen floor because I’ve run out of options.


This is my three year old son, yes, three! His weight is far below the ideal weight for his age, his features and build are that of a child at least a year or so younger than himself. Theo sobs at the sight of a plate, he struggles to control his emotions if the food he is given is not a ready salted crisp or an apple. He gets angry, he hits out, and usually, he remains hungry.

His developmental needs are still awaiting diagnosis and I know that these issues are a huge part of his problem with food, he uses food as a control and struggles with texture, but every difficulty can be somewhat managed and until recently, we just weren’t managing!

Yes you read that right… until recently.

Just a few weeks ago, something magical happened. Out of the blue he picked up a carrot stick, held it between his fingers without crying and took a bite. Not just one bite either, he ate the whole stick! I’m not ashamed to admit I cried buckets, I was so proud I could have burst. This was momentous, to me, this was a milestone similar in importance to his first steps.

My mind pondered over the last three years, what had I done recently that I hadn’t tried before? Was it my fault? How could I not make this happen sooner? And then I realised… I hadn’t done anything. I’ve been so unwell for the past few months that the majority of our meals have been nugget or finger shaped, it’s been safe, I haven’t pushed the boundaries.

All I’d had to do was bide my time…

When people had told me he’d get there eventually I hadn’t believed them, I saw no light at the end of a tunnel. I thought that I had to be the one to fix it, but the truth is, the only person that could change things was him… when he was ready, when he was willing, when he was able… and he did just that.

Every child is different, but all children will get there eventually.

I asked a few other bloggers about their experience with fussy eating and here is what they had to say, maybe you can pick up a few tips, or maybe you’ll just think ‘wow, we aren’t the only ones!’.

Leanne Cornelius (A Slice Of My Life Wales) tells me… ‘People may disagree with this but we’ve gone from sitting at the table and eating our meal to sitting on the sofa watching TV while eating. Our two year old eats so much more now, she is distracted by the TV and doesn’t think about what she is eating and just shovels it into her mouth! When we were all around the table she would look at the food, throw some on the floor and just generally be fussy with it. Not ideal but it works for us.’

Wendy Mallins (Daisies & Pie) has some fab recipes for sneaking extra veg into your child’s food, have you ever attempted to sneak carrot into your child’s diet? These recipes will help you do just that.

Debbie Sharatt (My Boys Club) gets her children involved in the kitchen and says ‘if they cook it, they eat it!’ – a fab tip – perhaps I’ll be getting Theo a little apron and chef’s hat.

And finally, I love this post from Emma Dowey (Me & B Make Tea) for her, presentation is vital, and ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt… Kinda‘ is a stroke of genius!

Do you have any tips to share with other readers? Pop a comment below!

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25 Comments

  1. Oldhouseintheshires 20th April 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Ah bless him! I was so happy for him and you whilst reading this post. I’m sure he will now have the confidence to try different things. Good luck! #sharethebloglove

  2. Mama Grace 22nd April 2017 / 7:21 pm

    I’ve not experienced this, so I have to trust your experience. I hope he becomes more flexible and more importantly gets the nutrition from a variety of foods. #SharingTheBlogLove

  3. Amy Stainthorpe 24th April 2017 / 9:11 am

    My son is very particular about what he eats and is super suspicious before trying anything new. I’ve gone with the ‘not make a big deal of it’ approach. I think the more we push, the more of an issue it can become. It’s tough when they are underweight though, hope he keeps surprising you xx

  4. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons 24th April 2017 / 1:07 pm

    That’s great you feel like you’ve turned a corner – I really hope it continues for him! I was really lucky with my son at first – he would try anything when we were weaning, and would eat a whole variety of foods. Then he hit two, and if it wasn’t coated in breadcrumbs and oven cooked then he wasn’t interested anymore. He’ll eat fruit still sometimes, so I do rely on that, but he won’t touch vegetables at all (unless they’re in something like a bolognese). I’m fairly laid back about it though, I figure it’s something he’ll grow out of in a bit. The getting them to help make it is a great tip though – I’ve never had him turn his nose up at something he’s made! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  5. Jennifer 24th April 2017 / 7:51 pm

    That’s brilliant! My children are quite fussy, they eat enough different foods that I’m happy their nutritional needs are being met, but they are quite limited and it makes eating out or at a friend’s house very difficult. I just comfort myself with the fact that I was a very fussy eater myself as a child and I did grow out of it eventually, even if it wasn’t until I left home!

  6. Leanne Cornelius 25th April 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I’m so happy that you’ve turned a corner, it is such a worrying time when they refuse to eat.
    Great post and thanks for including me!

  7. Rhyming with Wine 25th April 2017 / 10:04 pm

    Yay to your little man and hurray to you too for being such a fab mum and letting him get there in his own time. My two are both picky eaters too and it’s heartbreaking at times as it goes against our maternal instinct to feed! I must admit that things got so much easier with our two when we just stopped paying attention to whatever shenanigans they pulled at the table. Once they realised that their mealtime circus antics weren’t getting them anywhere they got bored and figured that they may as well just eat. Every child is so different though and these tips are brilliant. I’ll definitely be trying then out! Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x

  8. Jessicah - @thornylullaby 27th April 2017 / 6:43 am

    ll children a different. My daughter is semi veggie – processed food free – and sugar free. And she’s so selective. One day she likes carrots.. the next two weeks she wont even bite them.. GOOD LUCK MUMMA! #dreamteam x

  9. Amy 27th April 2017 / 9:42 am

    My son is so fussy and at 5 I have given up the hope that he will grow out of it…
    #sharingthebloglove

  10. Laura @ Little Ladies Big World 27th April 2017 / 12:55 pm

    So happy for you that there has been a breakthrough and i for one would have cried buckets too. #sharingthebloglove

  11. Katherine 27th April 2017 / 4:46 pm

    It’s so frustrating, especially if they used to eat things that now get thrown to the dog. I would agree with Debbie’s point about encouraging kids to cook. It has really helped my daughter’s adventurous side with food 🙂

  12. Susie at This Is Me Now 27th April 2017 / 5:11 pm

    Really pleased you seem to have turned a corner. I think a lot of it is just biding time and waiting for them to do it on their terms. Mine used to like tomatoes now she doesn’t – I’m just waiting for her to like them again rather than force them into her. #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. Chloe 27th April 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Hi, great that you’ve hopefully turned the corner and food will become fun, good old carrots #sharingthebloglove

  14. Mummy Snowy Owl 27th April 2017 / 10:02 pm

    Bless you! I’m very lucky that my little one likes most things but he does have a few bits he goes off or refuses. I tend to still put them on his plate in small amounts, and like your little one, he sometimes picks them up!
    #sharingthebloglove

  15. Becky MommyandRory 28th April 2017 / 5:52 pm

    My little boy has always been picky, even with his milk before he was weaned. It’s taken us nearly a year of trying and he still eats considerably less than children his age. It’s been such a worry for me but the less I stress the better he seems to eat. I really sympathise with you, it must be so hard #sharingthebloglove

  16. Jaki 29th April 2017 / 3:20 pm

    My little man doesn’t eat brilliantly but he does eat. Just a very selective amount. I decided a while back not to stress about it. I don’t believe it will last forever and know one day he will eat me out of house and home! So pleased you have turned a corner. #sharingthebloglove

  17. Helena 29th April 2017 / 6:14 pm

    It was once suggested to me that they may take after another family member. If that is the case than eldest may well take after me when it comes to eating. #sharingthebloglove

  18. Kate 29th April 2017 / 6:27 pm

    ‪It must be something about Theos! Mine is also 3 and I’m at my wits end‬. He’s currently on a dairy and gluten free diet, has texture issues and only 6 teeth so chewing is a nightmare! I’m hoping something clicks soon orbhe’ll be sustained on peanut butter sarnies, fish and Ella’s kitchen fruit pouches for the rest of his life!!

  19. Tracey Bowden 30th April 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Aww bless him I can’t even imagine how amazing that was for you to see him do that. I do believe they all get there on their own too. My daughter wasn’t fussy to that extreme but even now she is 11 it takes a lot to get her to try new foods and it can be frustrating at times when she won’t eat something you know she likes because you didn’t chop something small enough so that she couldn’t see it! #blogcrush

  20. Peachy and her Mommy 1st May 2017 / 1:00 am

    Our mealtimes are up and down. Sometimes I’m amazed by how good Peachy is and sometimes it’s a nightmare. Teething doesn’t help. Just after her first birthday Peachy entered a period of several months of teething which resulted in months of screaming, crying, and food throwing at every meal. It was hard. I can only imagine the relief you must have felt to see your little one take that step. We seem to have passed that bout of teething and we’re back to just occasional fussiness. We also employ the tv trick. We still eat at the table but we bring the tablet and watch that. Not ideal but sometimes you have to chose the lesser of two evils. #SharingtheBlogLove

  21. Tooting Mama 1st May 2017 / 7:01 pm

    My adopted kids are fussy eaters. Over the years it’s got better but it has literally been a battle. It’s small steps. But I truly empathise with you. But great you have made a breakthrough that’s fantastic. #SharingtheBlogLove

  22. Dave - Dad's Turn 3rd May 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Our guy’s a fussy eater too, although this puts our troubles into perspective a bit! Some good ideas too #SharingTheBlogLive

  23. Lucy At Home 3rd May 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Aaaw I’m so glad you’ve had a breakthrough! I really related to your desire to be the one to “fix” the situation – it’s hard to be patient. I am definitely the sort of person to search for answers and beat myself up when I can’t resolve the problem, but I love your advice just to wait it out #blogcrush

  24. Lisa (mummascribbles) 7th May 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Oh that is fab that you had this breakthrough. I always say that every child is different but it must be such a worry when it’s something as serious as food intake. I hope this is the start of better eating. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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