Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sensitive palate or just plain fussy?

It's official, my daughter is a fussy eater! For several months now, I've been dreading meal times. It seems the more my 3 year old daughter is exposed to different foods, the less she will actually eat. I know without fail that we will have tears, and tantrums (which now she has hit 3, have dutifully trebled in size and effort) unless the answer to her "Mummy, what's for dinner?" question is either "Ham sandwiches" or "Macaroni cheese."

I've tried all the ideas people have suggested, like giving her choices so you maintain some control but she thinks she is calling the shots, and getting her to help me make it, or making it look pretty or funny on the plate, but she is so stubborn (no idea where she gets that from!) that nothing will work!

There's certain foods she won't eat at all, in any shape or form, most annoyingly, potato and tomato. I'd just love to be able to get in from work and shove some chips in the oven occasionally, or a pizza, but no. Ironically she's really good with nearly all fruit and veg, but so limited everywhere else, and she picks up subtle differences so easily. Normally I get Sainsbury's sweetcorn with no sugar or salt added. The other day I got Green Giant as it was all they had and she noticed the difference and consequently refused to eat any of her meal!

She also won't touch anything with skin on. She loves satsumas but won't eat them because of the skin. The other day I even found myself peeling sausages so she'd eat something! 

We're supposed to be going round to her friend's house to play and have tea later and I know she'll be getting fish fingers and mash. Something a year ago she would've gobbled up, but I'm already dreading it!

She does like really plain food so doesn't go without but it makes going out for food so difficult. Is this something that all 3 year olds go through or am I stuck with a fussy eater for life now?! My son will eat anything in sight, including his sister's leftovers given half the chance! I've always been one to stick to my guns, I won't cook another meal if she refuses to eat it, and now I have 2 children I know I need to offer a wide range of foods and get them all their nutrients, but at the same time, I don't want her to starve! On far too many occasions I've picked up from nursery and literally all she has eaten while there has been carrots!

However what prompted me to write this and find out if I'm alone if this has been going on for months? Well, I had to buy granary bread today as there was no wholemeal (she won't eat white bread!). I didn't really think much of it, but my dearest was screaming straight away "Mummy my bread is all dirty....LOOK!" So after 45 minutes of me telling her that the bread is perfectly normal and her screaming that it's dirty, pointing out every single seed, I thought I'd try taking the visible ones out and seeing if she'd eat it. It did work, so at least she's not hungry, but as I'm sat there concentrating on picking bits out the bread, I looked over, and what was she eating? Quavers dipped in raspberry yoghurt - I give up!

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