My Little Fussy Eater

23 Feb
This girl may have licked the bowl!

This girl may have licked the bowl!

My daughter always has had a mind of her own – this is no secret! But when it comes to food, she has caused me stress for a few years.

Food obviously plays a huge part in my life and I have always, even as a child, eaten most things. So now my daughter is so fussy, I am stumped as to what to do.

I make a wide range of homemade food every night and although I wouldn’t expect her to eat some of the things I like, such as curry or salads, I do make many things with her in mind. She’d have pasta and cheese everyday given the chance. And she has no problem with cake mix either!

She helps me to cook and bake as I think she might like to eat the food more if she’s made it, but she’s so strong-willed that she makes a decision about whether she fancies it or not and then that’s it!

I’ve tried to give her things that she likes, but then she changes her mind depending on which way the wind happens to be blowing that day. I fear that she’ll get scurvy from the lack of vegetables (she doesn’t eat green things apparently, unless they’re olives!). But she will eat pasta sauce that I make with onions, celery, carrots and tinned tomatoes, so she gets that 3 nights in a row sometimes and that can’t be good! She’ll eat the veggies in stew, even swede and parsnips, but turns her nose up at the meat.

She eats carrots under duress, but prefers purple carrots (she’s a diva) and will have red cabbage braised with spices, so I spend my time tracking down unusually coloured vegetables!

She’s never drunk water, even as I was weaning her she wouldn’t drink water from a cup, she was all about the milk. As she got a bit older she’d have squash and then she went through a period when she’d only have fruit shoots! And now she won’t have those at all (phew!) but she’ll only have apple juice, but not cold! I have to warm it with a drop of boiling water.

I know I let her do this and if she was that thirsty she would drink water, which she does do in desperation to be fair occasionally, but I really don’t want her to get dehydrated.

She loves eggs and cheese, but these are not food you can eat every day, but she doesn’t really want any toast or bread to go with it.

She leaves her crusts on sandwiches; this drives me mad! How has she learnt to do that? We eat every scrap of everything in this house. And if I am daft enough to actually cut the crusts off for her she eats up to an imaginary crust and leaves the edge…what’s that all about?

So, in desperation, I have cut her normally plain cheese and boring-shaped sandwich out with biscuit cutters so we had heart-shaped sandwiches. This did capture her attention temporarily…I’ll keep doing it if it stops her messing with her food.

Heart shaped sandwiches

Heart shaped sandwiches

Please tell me she will grow out of this! I just need her to eat good, nutritious food that I put in front of her!

I should have known this was to come when she refused to drink from a bottle aged 4 months! As I’ve said all her life, it’s a good job she’s cute!




6 Responses to “My Little Fussy Eater”

  1. Camilla February 23, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I feel your pain. I have a 9 yr old daughter who can as you say change her mind about food as the wind blows. Generally she doesn’t like much meat especially if there’s any connective tissue or red blood vessels but then occassionaly she’ll eat say my Yogurt/Parmesan coated chicken breast and take me by surprise. She loves avocados, olives and cucumber but if the avocado is a bit too ripe for her liking she’ll moan about that! Like you say she could happily live off cheese, pasta and scrambled eggs oh and porridge for breakfast. She also doesn’t drink enough which caused huge problems when she was younger with an irritated bladder, so I spend most of my day taking drinks to here which she’s left or making chocolate milk drinks to tempt her. So in short, I do want to tear my hair out most days as everyone has different taste in this house so on a day where I make Ratatouille & pasta for her then I get moans from my OH, so I have to explain that she had only eaten the veg the previous nights so its her turn to have something she likes! The school got so fed up with her not eating a lunch times that the teacher had me in several times and in the end I buckled and she now has packed lunches and eats them all up – probably just as well in light of the horse meat scandal!

    • bakingaitch February 23, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      The left drinks annoy me the most!

  2. Cybèle February 26, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I have one extremely fussy eater – she’s almost 14 though. I was thinking about this the other day and realised that I’m pretty much to blame. When I was growing up, we just ate what we were given – okay, there were things I liked less and things I liked more, but I don’t remember having fads such as not liking things hot or cold or with or without crusts. My eldest is just as you describe Evie, but then I let her be like that. She’ll look at something, lick it and decide she doesn’t like it and then not eat it, but then have a sandwich or cracker instead. Once I realised that, I started telling her that it isn’t going to kill her to eat it (‘but I don’t like it’, well tough!) and that there isn’t an alternative. I cook what I like, within reason, and if she doesn’t like it, then she can learn to like it or eat it and hope that tomorrow’s meal is nicer. There were lots of things I didn’t like as a child that I love now, and I want her to be the same. ‘Oddly’ enough, she’s never fussy about junk food, which really annoys me!

    • bakingaitch February 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      I think I’ve let Evie too, there is always something else to eat and she is only 3. But like you say, I just want her to eat what I make! All junk goes down nicely. She always prefered the jars of babyfood to any lovely veg I made specially for her too. I don’t want to be that parent who makes her clear her plate though because I don’t want her to be overweight and have problems with that…we just can’t win!

      • Cybèle February 26, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

        No, I don’t want to be too forceful either, but I think what hasn’t helped in our case is her knowing that there is always an alternative. Almost a bit like our breastfeeding story – it would have been easy to give up if I’d had formula in the house! I’m hoping that by not giving her an alternative, she’ll stop being so quick to decide she doesn’t like certain things.

  3. Karoline March 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    My two are pretty fussy about things as well, Christopher would happily just have sausages every night! We have a rule that they have to have a certain number of bites of their main course if they want pudding which generally works with Rosie these days. And they both know that if they don’t eat what I’ve made there is no alternative.

    I read somewhere that at this developmental stage my responsibility is to make sure that there is a varied nutritious meal in front of them, it’s up to them to eat remembering this has made me a lot less stressed about the times they refuse to eat.

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