Lots of mums have difficulty getting their children to eat and especially getting their children to eat healthy food.
Dinner can be a battle ground. It becomes one food discussion, debate and negotiation after the other. Nobody can relax and just enjoy it. Several meals are cooked all at the same time because one child won’t eat this and the other won’t eat that! It can make every day life such hard work.
I, on the other hand, have the opposite problem. My children eat everything and almost anything. Great you say, what is the problem then? Well, yes it is great, I never have to cook different dinners. My motto is, ‘if you don’t like it, don’t eat it’, but there is nothing else. I also never have to worry about whether they have eaten enough or that they have had healthy, nutritious food.
However, I do have to worry about rationing/portioning the food correctly, or I swear they would just keep going and going (I know BB would, you should see him at a party!). I don’t know how much a 5 yr old boy and 3 yr old girls should be eating. They clear their plates everyday, so I think, should I be giving them more? Am I depriving them of the nutrients etc they should be getting? Are they going hungry? They are often asking for more. It can make me feel like I am causing malnutrition in my children, it is hard to say, no!
All 3 of them pester me for snacks, what feels like constantly! They have a bowl of porridge, muesli or cereal plus a piece of fruit and a cup of milk for breakfast everyday at around 7.30am and there are days when they are asking for a snack before 9 am! They know they can have a snack at around 10am and in the afternoon around 3/3.30pm, yet they will ask me constantly for it until that time. It is very wearing!
I wonder sometimes if I should relax with the food and let them have more. Thinking, by letting them choose the quantity etc, it could remove the issue of them actually wanting it so much? A bit or reverse psychology. But, I don’t think I can do it. For me, it is all about teaching children to be healthy. To be healthy, you don’t over eat and you eat generally healthy food (with the odd treat thrown in too, my children do get treats as well, as you can see from the teddy bears picnic we did).
From a newborn baby, my son has always wanted more. I remember him screaming and screaming for his milk, it was horrendous! He was bottle fed, so it took time to make the bottle etc, it was awful making him wait. Now, 5yrs later, not much has changed, he just doesn’t scream for the food now, more constant pestering and asking.
When I was pregnant with the twins, I thought, there is no way I will get away with having 2 more good eaters, but I have. The twins are not quite as bad as my son, but they are not too far behind.
I am very lucky really, as, on balance I think I would rather have over eaters, than fussy under eaters. I have friends who have the complete opposite problem to me. They are constantly trying to get their children to eat and spend their day battling with food. One of my friends kids will only eat veg, so she has a huge problem trying to get the calories into them. We meet up regularly and frequently have a laugh about our opposite children. There’s me sat there saying ‘no more, that’s enough’, to my kids, while she is sat there saying, ‘come on, try a bit more’!
I think we both maybe need to relax more. My children are physically fit and healthy and I know BB is the correct weight for his height, so really I have nothing to worry about, I must be doing it right! I think it is more about me feeling bad for constantly having to say no to them.
Do you have a fussy eater? Or are you like me and have to keep saying ‘no more’?
Please leave a comment, I would love to know your thoughts on this subject as it is quite an emotive subject and we all have different experiences.