View Full Version : Can of worms - do you believe in fussy eaters?

24-07-2011, 06:22 PM
As the title says. Do you think that most children whose parents say they are fussy eaters are fussy eaters? Or do you think it's more to do with parenting?

24-07-2011, 06:28 PM
depends a lot on the age of the child - my son has always been a 'fussy eater' but he is now 4 1/2 and I have just started to be able to explain food to him in a way he understands which has just resulted in him eating a whole bowl of chilli - something he has previously gagged on. His gag response is purely mental and always has been but I've never been prepared to push him through gagging in a way that I consider bullying in order to get him to eat something I want him to - but I have hidden veg in many of his foods so i know he's getting his 5 a day etc.

24-07-2011, 06:33 PM
Just found this article about fussy eaters, make for good reading :thumbsup:


24-07-2011, 06:36 PM
hmmm,, can of worms is right lol
well heres my opponion,, after looking after one child who wont eat my dinners because he wants to eat with his family at home and after looking after a child who will eat one thing one day but gags on it the next then having looked after a child who uses food as a control,, ie wont eat as they know it upsets parents and whose parents make a big fuss when the dont eat then yess I would say its the parents
having a child myself who is fussy to the point he would rather make himself ill through not eating rather than eat somthing I am not so sure,,my son would rather go without than eat or try somthing he didnt recognize but he has ADHD and sensory issues so for him it was the texture of the food rather than the taste etc , he does now have a varioed diet and has got a lot better as he has got older but it was a struggle when he was older,, he would rather eat a bowl of fruit than a full roast dinner.

so in conclusion it depends on the child, the parents and any special needs the child may or may not have , wether known or not.

24-07-2011, 06:44 PM
That's it - I think there are some children who have genuine food phobias or issues, I think the majority of them go through a fussy stage, but I do think a lot of the times it's the parents not being consistent and firm.... An extreme case would be a friend of mine whose son was 1. He'd always refuse his lunch/dinner/breakfast. She was worried about him so when he complained of hunger then she'd give him sweets. She had him down as a fussy eater....

The girl I'm looking after at the moment, I've been feeding her the last few weeks rather than Mum. She doesn't do veg, apart from carrots and cucumber and is a very fussy eater. But today she turned down a lollipop in favour of a yoghurt which is a massive step forward. I think that all this time being fed exclusively by me is having an effect, which is why I'm beginning to doubt she is genuinely a fussy eater....

blue bear
24-07-2011, 06:54 PM
When chatting to other minders there is only a couple of us who eats anything, so I think lots of adults are fussy about what they eat, children tend to stand out more because they don't choose the menu.

Of course some take it to the extreme, a child who only ate chocolate, croissants and frube yogurts comes to mind.

24-07-2011, 07:03 PM
I think sometimes it down to parents. I looked after a little boy who started saying yukkk to feed he had eaten before, I mentioned it to dad and he blamed mum, he said she is fussy and therefore making LO fussy. But then I have got him to eat things that she says he wont.

But and a big but, my own DS is really fussy and wont eat veggies but will eat all sorts in casseroles and shephards pie etc. He drives us up the wall, I was going to say we arent fussy, well I am not but hubby is

24-07-2011, 07:29 PM
Fi Fi, Youve said what I would say. If we all put the things we didn't like to eat we could be classed as fussy. For example I don't like fish other then prawn or tuna sandwich, I don't like lamb not too keen on beef. My ds seems to have a texture problem which he has had for awhile. I still give him what I know he wont eat but just a smaller portion for him to try.

With mindees I have worked out one doesn't like food that is mixed esp pasta and we love pasta here. I only have him in the holidays and Im going to see if I can introduce him and ds into more tastes together. One mindee came refusing cheese which is hard when the others love mac cheese so that is the only meals I'd do a tom pasta as well. last half term he came last minute on inset day and I had pizza making planned. Well mindee asked which cheese to put on the pizza. i asked him to try both turned out he loved them and fighted my son for the leftovers! since then he has eaten more cheese but only a small bit like on pasta ect. I have another mindee who says she doesn't like certain foods but most of the time she has eaten part of it. They all understand that sometimes they may not like all of the dinner I give them, if not I'd cook sausages daily.

24-07-2011, 07:38 PM
I think it's a mixture of a lot of things and every child is different.

I think you do have to take into account that we all dislike certain foods. We never have Macaroni Cheese as a family because nobody like it except DS.

Also sometimes we all have to be in the mood for certain things. I prefer toast for breakfast but if I had cereal put in front of me and I was three (not 37), even though I actually like cereal I might not want to eat it.

Also sometimes things can taste different if you cook them to a different recipe to home. Or veggies can vary new spuds may be particularly earthy or a peice of celery stringy.

I think you have to judge each child as an indivdual and work out how to handle each situation.

24-07-2011, 07:43 PM
I have a very fussy teenage daughter - she was a fussy little daughter too :rolleyes:

she ate everything till she was 1yr old then when she was feeding herself more, became more picky. I know I gave in a lot of the time and stuck to what she liked as there was enough healthy stuff she ate, son was the same but not quite so bad as her.

She doesn't like sauces on food, only like certain veg and fruit, is funny with textures and smells - quite acute senses all round. At 3 yrs old she could tell when I had bought a different brand of mature cheddar cheese and when petit filous changed their recipe 'new and improved' - not for her! If I hid veg in things she would gag and go hungry.

I know I was fussy as a child, like more now, but still hate a lot of things we had as children, I like lots of new things we never had in the 'old days' of my childhood :laughing: peppers,aubergines,asparagus,mushrooms,spinach,nec tarines,cherries (too expensive for my mum)

I didn't want food to be a battleground - I am over weight and have my own food issues, she is a good weight and healthy - hopefully she will try new foods as she approaches adulthood

As for minded children, I listen to parents and offer children what I usually do, if they don't eat it, I adapt ideas and try again another time. If they really don't like something it is one battle I will leave to parents.

24-07-2011, 08:24 PM
i cant eat fish due to being forced to eat it as a child,i want to try it but just cant .ive never forced my children to eat anything they all eat their fruit & veg aimee was known at age 4 to sit happily with a bowl of plain cauliflower .some days even we dont fancy foods and as has been said we have a choice .though mrs cauliflower eater now is my worst eater shes 21 with autism and has a dreadful diet.my middle one eats anything even tried her nans jellied eels yuck!!!!!

24-07-2011, 08:43 PM
Hmmm, I think there is a mixture of fussy eaters caused by parents and also the child. My sister has 4 children only one of which was an extremely fussy eater. At 12 months he would refuse to eat any baby food except spag bol. He would eat bread, marmite, yogurts, (only certain ones) green grapes, quavers and choc chip cookies. If my sis didn't have the biscuit or crisps he liked he would go without. As the months/years went by he slowly added more things to his diet. He is now 12, still fussy, but will eat a lot more. He eats a lot more hot food including a full roast. He has never grown out of it completely. He will only eat cadburys choc now.....My sis didn't do anything different with him than the other children. One thing that worked for him was a star chart when he tried something new he got a sticker, when he'd tried 10 things he got a toy for a treat. Sometimes he got a sticker for smelling or licking food rather than eating it. It's all very interesting about what may cause it. x

24-07-2011, 08:59 PM
I once asked a child about 6yrs old if he liked macaroni cheese he said yes l love it so l made it for tea he ate a mouthful and said he didn't like it and refused to eat it. I mentioned it to mum who said we always have tinned.

I also have a strange teenage son he will not and has never eaten, since he could feed himself, food with gravy or sauce, foods cannot touch each other on the plate and he eats each food one at a time all the potato then all the meat etc. I didn't bring him up like that.

24-07-2011, 10:23 PM
I think most of us are in agreement - we all like most things but there will be things that we don't like - children and adults alike. And yes, we choose the food to feed children, so we will encounter things that they don't like.

But i also believe that children are very clever, and quickly learn to manipulate their parents if allowed. I look after a little girl who when she came to me would only eat cheese on toast, cheese sandwiches, cheese on jacket potato and biscuit sandwiches!!! I consistently ask her if she likes things and she says no - even though she has never tried them! this is what she is like with mum and dad, so they never give her anything new.

Well i explained that in my house it is good to try new things, and if we really don't like them then it is fine, we don't have to eat them. I started off by giving her cheese based food (as she liked cheese!) - cheese and tomato pizza, macaroni cheese, scrambled egg with cheese, etc. Then I added other flavours such as onion. Then I added meat (she would not touch meat as mum is a vegetarian and so she thinks it is all yukky - dad isn't a vegetarian by the way). Then I dropped cheese!! Now 12 months later she eats everything that we eat which is a very varied diet.

Everyone in my house (my own children and mindees) know that if you don't eat a reasonable amount of your meal then you won't get anything else until the next meal time! And I NEVER back down!

The Juggler
25-07-2011, 07:40 AM
both my two were fed exactly the same foods as babies and both ate the lot. my ds is now the fussiest eater ever, eating less and less foods as he gets older (11) my dd will eat and try anything.

I think it can be made worse by parenting and we were probably guilty of the 'just one more mouthful and you can have........' but we were always strict, no proper attempt at the proper food, def. no treats and no puddings.

I think it is to do with tastes too but obviously if children know that if they hold out long enough parents will offer an alternative or give them 5 yogs to fill them up, then that doesn't bode well for the future. However, having said that my ds would rather just go without anything than have to eat anything green :panic: