Turning a Corner with Fussy Eating – The Ordinary Moments

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For about 2 years now, Max has been a very fussy eater. Despite eating anything and everything when he started weaning, once he turned two, he became very picky, and his diet became more and more restricted to breaded chicken, fish fingers, chips, and the occasional bolognese. Any kind of vegetable was out, and we couldn’t persuade him to try new things. He’d even go through phases where he wouldn’t even eat freezer food, and only toast and butter would do. He’d even start picking out the cheese from his cheese sandwich (the only sandwich of choice), declaring, “I not like diss”. Oh, how many times I’ve heard that sentence over the years! I would read posts from other parents who would say how guilty they felt about dishing up their child freezer food a couple of days a week, and I’d feel absolutely awful, because that’s pretty much all Max ate.

All the advice you read about fussy eating says to take a laid back approach, to just keep serving up options and not making a big deal about it, which is what we did. You’re advised not go down the route of ‘if you eat your vegetables you can have dessert’ as apparently that can create negative food associations that your child will carry with them. But it gets very disheartening two years down the line, when you’re still serving up portions of peas, just to throw them in the bin at the end of the meal. And the most frustrating thing? At nursery, he eats vegetables without any issues! To be honest, that’s the one thing that’s allowed me to be more relaxed about it all, knowing that at least he has two days at nursery where he’ll get some goodness into him – that, and the fact that he does like fruit.

But this last week we’ve turned a real corner. A couple of weeks ago now, I decided enough was enough, and that it was better to build bad food associations than to never eat any vegetables at all, so I insisted that unless Max tried two spoonfuls of peas, he wasn’t allowed any dessert. For two weeks he held out, deciding that he’d rather not try them and miss out on dessert. But he gets his stubbornness from me, and I stayed strong on this one, and this week I watched in amazement as he tentatively raised a spoonful of peas to his mouth and ate them. My jaw just about dropped to the floor when he declared them to be “deninish” (delicious!). He had his two spoonfuls and that was enough to get his jelly, so he didn’t have any more that day, but I was over the moon. Ok, it’s two spoonfuls, and yes, they were smothered in ketchup, but it really was one of those small victories that feel huge!

I wasn’t sure if it would be a one off, but we persisted throughout the week with the same approach and it continued to work. Carrots, sweetcorn, and more peas were all eaten, without complaint – and I gradually I noticed that he was starting to eat more and more of what was served up.

I’m still not pushy about him finishing a portion, but I do think he needed that push to try things at home – we were stuck in a rut and his eating was getting worse and worse. Sometimes I think you need to go with what you feel is the right thing for you and your family, regardless of what the current thinking or advice looks like. I just hope this new approach to food continues for us!

 

The Ordinary Moments
15 Comments
  • Laura | Little Ladies Big Worl
    January 21, 2018

    Yay to the peas! I really hope that he has turned a corner now and that he decides vegetables are the best from now on!! Well done you x #TheOrdinaryMoments

  • Kate Jayne
    January 21, 2018

    Well done for staying strong – fab news! My little one is nearly two and has just started becoming a little bit fussy and I’m nervous it is going to get worse, fingers crossed it’s just a ‘stage’! #theordinarymoments

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      January 22, 2018

      I hope it does turn out to be just a stage for you – I think all children go through ups and downs, ours has just been a very long stage!

  • Donna Wishart
    January 21, 2018

    Oh this is great news! Well done for sticking it out – hopefully now he’ll continue to try new things. Such a good move forward x

  • Laura @dearbearandbeany
    January 22, 2018

    This great news Katy, as a mum of a fussy eater I know what a big step this is. Holly ate chicken casserole and rice this weekend with no problem x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      January 22, 2018

      Oh that’s brilliant, well done Holly! Max has last week declared he likes rice too, although so far hasn’t branched beyond breaded chicken with it, but it’s still progress! Maybe it’s just their age?

  • Talya Stone
    January 22, 2018

    That is amazing I’ve had moments like this with my daughter and fussy eating and I really wanted to do a happy dance. We worry so much when they are not eating all their veg and wanting beige all the time don’t we?

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      January 22, 2018

      I think you can’t help it when the ‘phase’ seems to be going on and on – you worry it will be forever. And these kids can be so stubborn!

  • Jemma Louise Brown
    January 22, 2018

    Fussy eater here too, mine apparently only eats from the beige food group, 🤦🏼‍♀️. I have stressed and fought him (my own worst enemy sometimes) compromised that all he has to do is try his new food. He is stubborn as hell, he would sooner go without anything at all because he doesn’t want to try anything.

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      January 22, 2018

      I totally get the stubbornness, my son is exactly the same. He doesn’t normally respond to bribery of any sort, as if he doesn’t want to do it, a reward just isn’t good enough. I really hope things improve for you guys too – hang in there!

      • Jemma Louise Brown
        January 23, 2018

        Gosh we are trying, so hard thou isn’t it.

  • Jonny Reeves
    January 22, 2018

    “Max likes hams” – another culinary milestone! 😂

  • Helena “TheQueenofCollage” Ash
    January 24, 2018

    It’s great that he’s eating his greens and getting the nutrition he needs. My girls love their veggies and it’s a good job too as their Dad likes to put them with everything. #theordinarymoments

  • MudpieFridays
    January 27, 2018

    Oh yay thats brilliant, I am so pleased for you. I would have been the same and totally agree with going with your gut. Well done Max I hope he continues xx #TheOrdinaryMoments

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