Picky Eaters – Fish Flingers!


My youngest is a nightmare eater. My eldest was the same, for a few years she would only eat fish fingers & chips. I dont really know where it went wrong as when I started weaning her she would eat most things. But gradually over time she started to refuse more and more of the foods until there were only a handful of things she would eat. Now she is 10 she is much better and I never thought that would happen.

A lot of people told me that she would get better when she started school but actually it wasn’t until she was around 7 that she started to eat more variety. I have since learned that children have a lot more sensitive taste buds than adults which makes them very sensitive to strong tastes until around that age of seven. Although a lot of her problems seemed to be with texture as well as taste.

My middle child was the exception and despite being weaned exactly the same way as the other two was never particularly fussy except for mildly over the toddler years, but nothing that would cause concern.

It’s interesting as I always thought that we were to blame for my daughters fussy eating but the more I go through parenthood the more I realise that it’s just something that’s already in their genetic make-up and if they are destined to be a fussy eater nothing you do will stop that. I rode it out with our eldest and we have come out the other side and we will do the same with our youngest.

My youngest is currently in nursery and starting in reception in September. The school offer a lunch time visit to the lunch hall so they can get used to the whole school dinners thing. We went for his lunchtime visit this week. I didn’t hold up much hope that he would eat much but there was breaded fish on the menu which he does eat at home (along with any other beige freezer tapas we have) so we got him that and some chocolate pudding for afterwards. There was literally nothing else, despite there being lots to choose from, that he would eat.

We sat down at a table with my other two and lots of other children. Well, I have to say I have never been so embarrassed. He threw an absolute wobbler fit and actually picked up the breaded fish and flung it across the table! Having rescued it from the other end of the table I decided that he may eat it if I cut it up for him but no, he then started punching the cut up fish! Let me just say that again, actually punching the fish on the plate! All the meanwhile a table full of bewildered year 1 children and meandering dinner ladies looked on in disbelieve!

Now I know he is very awkward at home with food but he has never thrown his dinner or punched it so I wonder why he chose to do that in front of a whole dinner hall full of people. It’s the old thing of “hes never done that before” and you can imagine the dinner ladies thinking “oh yes we’ve heard that one before too” .

He ended up after about 10 minutes of screaming eating about two mouthfuls of the fish – mainly just the breadcrumbs. I decided that didn’t earn him the chocolate pudding as he’d hardly eaten any of his lunch. When we did finally get up to scrape our plates the chocolate pudding unfortunately had to be scraped into the bin in front of him which set him off again!

So if you are having a bad time with your fussy eater maybe you can read this and think well at least I didn’t have the embarrassment of dealing with a room full of people watching my child assault seafood today – it’s not all bad!

I will continue to send him for school dinners in September as otherwise we will never get beyond where we are now, but I do worry for the dinner ladies on breaded fish day that they will be finding it in their Tabard pockets on the way home!

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