Help me deal with his faffing!

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Help me deal with his faffing!

Postby roseyposey » 04 Jul 2013, 10:53

My 3 year old is driving me up the flipping wall.
He is reasonable fussy but will eat an ok range of healthy food so not worried (though slightly bored of the same old..) Anyway, the thing is is just takes ages and ages to eat his meal. Often hes actually not that interested in what he's eating and gets distracted by everything - his fork, his drink, his chair, chatting to his sister... Recently I've been getting really cross with him, and using phrases which horrify me -
hurry up and eat your supper or we wont have time for pudding for eg.. I hate it when I hear myself cajoling him and getting crosser and crosser.

He is quite a skinny little thing and I think he needs to eat his meals. If he doesn't he then complains of being hungry later on, or worse, just gets really grumpy and lethargic. Its as if he wants the food but cant really be bothered. I have tried cutting out snacks so that he is actually hungry at meal times and this is ok for things he likes (mainly pasta and veg) but even if he's hungry he'll leave things that he's less bothered by (rice, meat etc) and I just think that he's old enough to diversify a bit - I would never force him to eat anything or make him have something he doesn't like but he cant (and the rest of the family) cant have pasta for every meal.

Any thoughts on how I can break this horrible cycle we seem to be in of faffing, cajoling, getting cross and taking hours to get the meal finished? Should I just serve up, leave him to it and hope he eventually gets on with it? What if he doesn't eat enough and is grumpy later on? Will he learn?

I know if someone else had written this post and I was reading it I would probably think just let him get on with it and if he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat... so difficult when its you in the situation!
DS - 28/11/09 and DD - 11/07/11
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Re: Help me deal with his faffing!

Postby Eleanor » 04 Jul 2013, 11:07

roseyposey wrote:Recently I've been getting really cross with him, and using phrases which horrify me -
hurry up and eat your supper or we wont have time for pudding for eg.. I

Mine don't get pudding if they haven't eaten much of their main course (I don't insist on clean plates though). 'If you're not hungry enough to eat some main course you can't be hungry for pudding' tends to do the trick, either in getting them to eat a reasonable bit of the main first, or deciding they really aren't hungry and they can get down.

I'm reluctant to restrict snacks personally - my blood sugar goes very low if I go more than a few hours without eating something and I get grumpy, so I can imagine the kids feel the same. I know it's different for everyone though, not saying it can't be a good idea.

Just one more thought, does he drink enough? The lethargy could be a bit of dehydration especially if it's hot.
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Re: Help me deal with his faffing!

Postby jvnt » 04 Jul 2013, 11:39

I know it's very un-blw but when the boy is like this I offer to feed him. I also often spend the whole meal just reminding him of what he's doing!

Also, if he's really messing around then I have put him to bed without dinner a couple if times - he knows I mean it now and has to be very sure he's not hungry to risk that happening again!
jvnt, mother to The Boy, August '09, Baby Dragon, January '12 and HP May '14.
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Re: Help me deal with his faffing!

Postby madcatmummy » 06 Jul 2013, 07:17

AD was like this (and still is to a point) it all started to improve about 2 weeks before her 4th birthday. She will eat more things now and try a lot more. You may just need to stick it out a bit longer, but I feel your pain!
mum to AD (03/09) and JT (08/11) and 2 mad cats!
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