Mealtime battles

Mealtime battles

Our week in Spain is already feeling like a lifetime ago!  We’ve been having pretty much daily mealtime battles with Monkey, for what seems like months now.  It’s really getting me down.

It’s so disheartening to cook a good wholesome meal, and then spend the next hour watching it go cold while he decides whether he will eat it or not.  Mealtime battles when you KNOW he actually likes what you’ve cooked, it’s such a nightmare.

I know I’ve written about this before, tonight I’m tired, it’s been a long day, nothings gone to plan, and I feel like the worst Mother ever.  I know I’m not, but you know that moment, when you have just had enough?

Tonight, after another hour of trying to get Monkey to eat a meal that he’s eaten many times before, I’d really just had enough.  The meal ended up in the bin, I really don’t do waste.  I picked him up, carried him up the stairs and got him ready for bed.  I didn’t brush his teeth, no story, just go to bed.  He protested, obviously, but all went quiet and he’s asleep.

What do I do?  He’d live on cheese sandwiches at the moment.  That’s not the answer.  Most evenings I have to feed him myself to get him to eat his meal.  He’s 4 years old, that’s not the answer.  I’ve tried swapping lunch and dinner around, with limited success.  I’ve tried earlier dinners, later dinners.  Do I stop afternoon snacks?  I’ve threatened to.  I’m tired, and I find it hard when I’m home alone with a very wilful Monkey.  No idea where he gets that from.

I love cooking, but at the moment, I dread it.  Please someone tell me that he’s going to go back to eating anything and everything sometime in the next decade! I worry that he’s not getting all the goodness a growing little boy needs.

Inadequacy, tiredness, heading to the wrong side of 45 hormonally, frustration, what am I doing wrong. When will mealtime battles end so we can enjoy our dinner times, enjoy chatting about the days events.

I know people are facing far worst things than fussy eating, I’d just like to see an end to this. Now please!

Mealtime battles

10 thoughts on “Mealtime battles

  1. I don’t know how I would cope with a fussy eater. I know I stress on the (thankfully) odd occasion my two play up. I know you have probably tried everything but perhaps try not to stress about it. Give him a choice – he either eats it himself or it goes in the bin. He is old enough to understand that if he doesn’t eat what you give him there is nothing else. I am sure he won’t go hungry, he will soon learn (hopefully anyway!). Good luck!

    1. Thanks, it’s heart breaking at times, when I remember the days he loved everything you put in front of him. I don’t expect him to like everything, but he is taking it to the limit at the moment.

  2. Bud is quite fussy, he is just starting to try a few more different foods but it is very much on his terms. I got so fed up a while ago that I decided that he eats what I put in front of him or he doesn’t get a bedtime story. If he tries the food and doesn’t like it fine, but he must try it. It’s hard because you don’t like to feel like they will be hungry but they are old enough now to understand that wasting food is bad, and that they need to try the food that we cook for them. Be strong, I know it’s tough.

    1. Thanks, I know. He got away with a lot when we were away, just to make life easier for everyone, whcich hasn’t helped me now we’re home. But I didn’t want to ruin things for Mum and Dad. My old boss had a son who was 8 and literally lived on grilled chicken breasts and bread. He would eat nothing else, I would be beside myself if it got to that stage.

  3. LP is 2 and a half and she has times when she will not eat anything I offer. When her Brother arrived 10 months ago I decided I was only cooking one meal, take it or leave it. If she doesn’t eat dinner she doesn’t get anything else and if she refuses to eat dinner for a few days in a row I then stop all snacks/treats until she starts eating dinner again.
    Reading that back I sounds like a disciplinarian! I’m actually incredibly laid back but I know long term I would find it very hard to deal with fussy eating.
    We’ve also found that often if LP has a big breakfast and smaller lunch – Just bread & butter and veg sticks or something, then she’ll eat more at dinner. She only really needs two big meals a day x

    1. Yes, I’m all for one meal and no alternatives! I’m removing afternoon snack today and will see how we go. He only really has a sandwich and cucumber/tomato etc for lunch with fruit. All good fun!

  4. Mine can be like this, they do eat a good range of foods, but prefer different meals to what I would rather eat. When they do refuse the meal, I don’t stress or argue with them anymore (wasted too much energy on that), I just put it in the fridge and tell them if they get hungry that’s what they get. Sometimes they will finish it because they want pudding, other times B goes to bed with no dinner.

  5. I could tell you all the things you already know, like ignore it, don’t give him snacks, he will eat when he is hungry. But I know you know all of them already. I had a brief spell of this with my son at this age so know its not easy to ignore it, but that is what I do. I have plenty of other battles to fight and don’t want another. If mine dosent eat what I cook then that’s it!! no pudding either. I found it got worse with moving teath, but has settled back now, and just goes in fits and starts! Stay with it, and you are not a bad mum, just one who cares 🙂

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