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Very Fussy 4 year old Lock Rss


My 4 year old DS is very fussy and always has been. He pretty much lives on vegemite sandwiches and dairy products. After a visit to the CHN before Xmas I was refered to a dietician. We went this morning and was pretty much told that it will be a long hard process to break this habit and I am to let him starve each night at dinner if he wont eat what we are having. I am happy to give it a go, I am wondering if there is anyone else out there that has tried this and had some luck??? I am feeling really bad about doing it but I know it is for his benifit in the long run. I also have a 4 month old DD which CHN said will copy her brother!

Thanks guys
My DS is 3 and has been a fussy eater since around 18 months old. He hardly eats dinner of a night. He looks at the plate and says yuck I don't want that, or I'm not eating that! He is offered the same meal as everyone else each night, and if he refuses he does not get anything until breakfast the next morning. Some nights he will pick at the food, however most nights he refuses. We don't make a big deal out of it, just remind him that there is nothing else until breakfast.
Yep it works. My DD1 started to head down that "fussy" path and it bothered me as I know she eats anything at daycare. So I started with egg as I know she would refuse to eat it. So the first time we offered it she refused we asked several times for her to eat it, she did a little bit after much crying and us telling her that was all she was getting. She went to bed that night with little food in her tummy. 7 weeks (we do egg night once a week) down the track she eats egg without fuss. They say it can take up to 7 tastes to introduce a new food.

If she is has a fussy night and refuses to eat, we don't make a big deal and just remind her that is all she is getting. She know that we will follow through with this (I have also been know to feed her dinner left overs for lunch the next day and that certainly gets the message across), so if she is hungry she will eat and if not she will not. Children will not stave themselves and if they are hungry they will eat, especially if they know what is all they will get offered.

So to sum up...if you do this these are the important things I learnt...
1) be calm at all times
2) remind them that what is on they plate is all thats up for offer
3) if they eat well, praise them for it
4) if they totally refuse to eat, remind them again "nothing else" and if they don't eat after that. Dinner over and they go to bed with no other food given to them. YOU MUST DO THIS NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS!
5) Don't let them fill up with milk, so perhaps just offer half a glass with dinner. If they eat well, give them more if they ask for it

Hope this helps and lets us know how it goes
I have the nothing else rule here too, always have, within reason though, I cooked butter chicken the other night and DD2 does not like anything with too much flavour in it, we did make her taste it and she did have a few mouthfuls but didn't like it, I did allow her a bowl of tinned spag as its her fave.... but a normal meal.... you eat or you go hungry.....

DS will NOT starve, kick up a fuss maybe but will not starve, I would still allow vegemite sandwiches for lunch but not for every meal, he will soon learn that you won't be giving them to him, at the moment he knows that if he doesn't eat you will give something else so he has no reason to try anything else.....

Does he have a fave meal (besides vegemite sandwiches?!) Our DS used to be a pain in the bum at dinner times and he hated vegies apparently but I would serve him what we had .... and if he behaved and ate what we did a few nights in a row I would treat him with spag bol, also only dish up a small amount, I used to start out just dishing DS up a tiny bit, say a spoonful of mashed spud, a couple of peas, a piece of carrot etc.... and if he ate that he got a yogurt .... I gradually increased and he didn't notice..... and there is nothing wrong with rewarding for eating their dinner, we do with yogurt, fruit, an icy pole etc
Well Im glad that my son isnt the only one!! He's 3 and refuses to eat so many foods, he wont eat fruit or veges at all, and he knows if its healthy and wont eat it. It drives me crazy, he only eats weetbix, toast and dairy products (or junk food). His younger brother eats everything (hes 18 months) so nothing to worry bout him. I dont want to do the starving thing but I think im going to have to! unsure
My almost 5 year old had a food phobia. He developed this because he had severe reflux from birth to 2 years old. He literally threw up after every meal.

When he was 14 months he started to eliminate food one by one to the point he was only eating crackers and slice bread-literally-that was it.

After 3 years of hell i finally took him to a child psychologist and he is on the road to recovery.

What they told me to do was this:
*Don't do the starving thing/if you don't eat what i give you go hungry
*Put food that he likes with one other thing you want him to eat
*start a reward chart which works like this:
Every time he tries a new food (even a lick to being with)he gets a sticker.
To begin with he should get something small after 3 stickers so that he can see rewards soon as they forget if it takes to long and loose interest.
After a certain number of stickers (say 10) he gets a big reward-let him pick- my son wanted an outing with daddy to the water slides.
Make the chart visual, print out a pic of the reward and the outing and stick it on the chart and put the chart near the dinner table if possible.
*lots of praise, encouragment,i use to make up stories about how strong he will be and that if he eat healthy food he will grow up to be a super hero lol
*don't scream, threaten or punish
*tell special people in his life, nan, pop,teachers etc about him trying new food

Good luck, it's a long, hard road but us mums are the super heros i reckon!

The day i broke up with normal was the first day of my magical life...

Thanks for the responses guys! I am of the opinion my son needs to go to a child shrink he is really developing a phobia he is really scared to death of trying new foods to the extent he gags! Maybe I will do that as well. It is so hard to know what to do so many different opinions out there! I dont think making him starve will work I think he would starve rather than trying a new food.
well the child psychologist help my situation so it's worth a try, although the first one i got was a total moron and gave really bad advice, so make sure that if something dosen't sit right then don't do it.

Also it is important to find out what triggered this. Did anything happen to start this or was he always like that?

The day i broke up with normal was the first day of my magical life...

well the child psychologist help my situation so it's worth a try, although the first one i got was a total moron and gave really bad advice, so make sure that if something dosen't sit right then don't do it.

Also it is important to find out what triggered this. Did anything happen to start this or was he always like that?
He has always been fussy and has never been keen to try new things. It did get worse a couple of winters ago when he started at daycare and was constantly sick. I was giving him anything to get him to eat! I have made it worse yes I know! Do I need a referal?
My nearly 5yr old daughter is extremely fussy!!!!!

The only thing for dinners that she will eat, is fish fingers (but only one brand of them, birds eye!!), honey sausages, and number 4 spaghetti with nothing on top.

Lunches, is a flat roll with no butter, ham and vegemite(weird i know), or frozen bread with nothing on top.

Breakfast, at the moment is just a cup of milk, but sometimes she will have frozen bread with nothing on top, or toast that has burnt bits on it and just butter, or very occasionally a weetbix.

Snacks, she will have a salada with either vegemite and ham, or just by it self, never with butter.

She eats apples, peeled and sliced and no other fruit or vegetable.

Now, when she was about 18mths i took her to many a health nurse about her eating. They said that she just has extra sensitive tastebuds blah blah blah. They said (at the tiem she would only eat weetbix), if that was the case give them to her for brekky lunch and dinner, as long as she is eating. That was the worst bit of advice ever!!!!!!

fast forward to when she is 3, and still no improvement. I went to our local health nurse who gave me the number for our closest PPP course. It is a FREE course, and it went for about 3 half days. It was fantastic, and really i knew most already but it was good to refresh, adn give new ideas.

ppp= Positive Parenting Program by the way wink

From that, i PPP'd my Hannah, and not long after i got her eating Apples!

Basically, i had to stay calm at all times, and that is bloody hard i know!! I had to be stern about what i wanted, and expected her to eat. I never offer her anything that is beyond reason for a young child. Simple foods only.

I had to let her know that if she didnt eat what was given, that thats ok but you will get nothing later on.

Stick to a meal plan of;


Morning Tea


Afternoon Tea



Have a time frame for all these and stick with it as best possible.

I would tell hannah she couldnt have a cup of milk until her breakfast was eaten, and most times she refused, even lunch was being refused, and it got to arvo tea she was so hungry, that she started eating the apple, at the start, she would chew it up adn spit it out on the plate!! so annoying!!! But then she wasnt getting enough from that, she then started swallowing it. Now she has 1 or 2 apples every day!!!!

I have 2 more kids so it is a little hard for consistency on my behalf, but i am strict at dinner time. I serve up something she likes one night, adn something i want her to try the next. Just so its not all bang bang bang for her!

She is starting school on friday adn i have been telling her for the last couple of months that she is to start eating veges every night,because thats what happens when you start school. They say to prepare them each day for what they are having that night for dinner.

They also say to not make a child sit at the table until its all finished. Set 20 minutes to half an hour for dinner time and after that its taken away.

With Lunch, if it doesnt get eaten, it gets wrapped up and put on the bench/fridge for when they are hungry and they have to eat that first.

Its tough love, but worth it if it makes a difference!!

Hannah will literally dry retch on veges, but i think she works herself up that bad thats more the reason.

She is only allowed to have plain milk or water,never had cordial or softdrink before. They also arent allowed to have dessert, they dont even know what it is! smile

The problem with hannah stems from me, i dont think i gave her enough variety at a young age! Im really fussy too! :0
She smells stuff before she eats it and if she doesnt like the smell, she wont go near it!
Her sister eats anything and everything! Her brother is just like Hannah unfortunately!! sad

3 Little Ones to Love.....

Hi guys

Thanks for all the replys. Last night I dished DS up a small plate of our meal, at first he protested crying etc... Then I asked him just to come keep me company he then proceeded to chop up everything on his plate. He didnt eat any of it but him even going near it surprised me! He did ask for snacks later I refused had to stay tuff! So we will see how tonight goes he has requested mashed potato, carrot and sausages, fingers crossed.
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