My Meal Time Mayhem And How I Am Trying To End It

I think good food habits and eating is definitely where I feel I fail at parenting. When my eldest was younger, he would eat anything. I used to pride myself in being able to say that he would happily wolf down a healthy hearty shepherds pie with a generous helping of broccoli. And then something happened. He got fussy and I sort of allowed it, without meaning to. 

It's probably what I worry about the most. Whether they are eating healthily enough. I try all sorts to get them to eat better. 

My eldest is frightened of "new" or "forgotten" food. So on his reward chart- I have 'Try new food' as one of his daily tasks to gain a sticker. He literally has a lick or a slight crunch then screws up his face and,


The delightful sound fills my ears. Why, oh why can't he enjoy sampling the wonderful textures and tastes I offer on his plate? 

When did food become a challenge? It's gotten worse lately, he now spends FOREVER eating. And I mean forever. The other Friday he was eating his dinner for 2 hours. 2 hours. Thank goodness it was a Friday evening. We've had to tighten up on this now and I have some plans in place; 

One being a time limit. I set the egg timer for half an hour and that is how long he has to eat his food. I feel mean though, I am questioning why I am doing it? Why like everything else in our modern day culture do we have to even rush our meals? I let him have his sweet afterwards, whether that's a yogurt or a biscuit. Also, I usually do end up being quite lenient. 

The other thing we are trying to reduce, is the amount on his plate. It may be overwhelming to look at a plate full of food. I have found this has massively helped. If he finishes it quickly and asks for more then I am over joyed. 

I have done endless research on eating. I have tried so so much. 

My youngest is so much better already at eating, he just wolfs his down. The problem with him is to keep him seated at the table as he gets bored and fidgety easily. He also likes to shovel far too much food in his mouth and whatever he ends up struggling with is sometimes spat into a pile on his plate. This is obviously a habit we are doing something about and it doesn't happen too often. 

I just feel like mealtimes are a constant battle. I no longer look forward to dinner in the sense that it is such a tedious task. We try so hard to encourage healthy eating. The youngest eats all sorts of fruit and vegetables but the eldest has the ones he likes and that is that. 

I think slowly, we are getting there. By using the new tactics I researched, we have managed to ever so slightly increase the variety of foods my Son eats. At the same speed of his increasing, my youngest is deciding to test what he likes or not. But this time I am far more strict, through fear of history repeating itself. 

The biggest thing I try to do is not make an issue out of it in front of the boys. The suggestions I read were to act unfazed when they didn't want to eat their food, to ignore the pleas of how much the food is hated. I used to bribe, I used to beg them. Now I act less bothered and it is actually working. 

Bit by bit we will get over this mealtime mayhem. Bit by bit my sanity will return over dinner time. We just have to keep encouraging and knowing that this phase of childhood fussy eating, too shall pass. 

Have you got a fussy eater? Or is mealtimes also mayhem in your house? What tips can everyone share? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you. 

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