My Son Is A Hamster And Other Suspicions

Right.  I’ve blummin’ well had enough of my two fussy eaters now. The husband has legged it to his annual jolly (or ‘sales conference’ as he refers to it) and, whilst he is building camaraderie by walking up snowy mountains in Canada, I am going quietly mad trying to feed his offspring.

fussy eaters - retro housewife with a baked sponge
I had hoped that, by now, both Caitlin and Ieuan would be vacuuming up food to nourish their ever increasing frames. To be fair, Caitlin will try most foods and is pretty good at eating – as long as you have about 90 minutes to spare for each meal.

Ieuan is STILL vegetable averse, although he claims to eat carrots and broccoli in school and has developed the trick of hiding pieces of food in his cheeks to make it look like he is eating.

Last week, I presented him with a plate which had a salad consisting of a microdot of cucumber and a slither of greenery and he promptly burst into tears. Hamster-boy will eat fruit till it comes out of his ears but we have got into the bad habit of designing meals around what he may, or may not consume. This makes meal planning for our fussy eaters nigh on impossible unless we eat pizza or curly pasta on rotation.

Caitlin and Ieuan at tea time
A temporary lull in tea time hostilities

Caitlin has a fear of peas but will eat olives. Ieuan’s food of choice would be Quavers. Now I know you are all probably tsk-tsk-ing at this point, but short of sitting on them and feeding them intravenously, I am a woman short of a strategy.

Some would make them sit there until they eat and reserve the hated dish for each subsequent meal. Some would just remove the uneaten food but offer nothing else. I find myself worrying that they may starve or wake up hungry, ignoring the fact that they are both already so tall they reach my chest.

I watched the BBC’s Eat Well For Less programme recently which featured various families and looks at how they can reduce their shopping bills whilst not compromising on the taste and quality of their food. I was transfixed not by the advice being handed out (although I recognise I have a weakness for a BOGOF and yellow stickers call to me from miles away), but by how the children ATE ALL THEIR FOOD. They were not fussy eaters.

Not only did the kids eat but they managed to do so in about 30 minutes – not the hourly endurance test the Husband and I have to sit through.

The Husband finds it equally hard to deal with and after half an hour of cajoling, threatening and pleading, resorts to shouting “eat, eat” like a malfunctioning robot.  I caught the kids shouting “eat, eat” at one another behind our backs the other day which adds fuel to the Husband’s suspicion that, as usual, we are being “royally played”.

Still, I’m not giving in. I have just bought Nadia Sawalha’s “Fabulous Family Food” and will be trying out old-fashioned cottage pie (Ieuan hates mashed potato – go figure) and other family favourites because our current family menu plan is duller than a rainy bank holiday Monday.

I’m not expecting them to turn into foodies overnight but, since Ieuan is given a pot of strawberry jam for his chicken nuggets when we go to Cafe Rouge (as bribery so he’ll eat them), something needs to be done.

How do you deal with your fussy eaters?


  1. Alice & Amelia New Young Mum
    26 April, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    I struggle when Amelia won't eat a certain meal so can only imagine how frustrating it must be. Keep persevering! Thanks very much for linking up to hope to see you again tomorrow, Alice – host x

  2. Gemma Louise
    26 April, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    jam and chicken nuggets?! that is a strange mix that I really don't wish to ever try lol. I can only imagine how frustrating and hard it must be for you. Good luck with trying to get better at all 🙂

  3. 20 April, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    Oh my god, I am so glad you wrote this post! My boy takes like 2 or 3 hours to eat lunch, by the time he's finished, it's dinner time! Also very fussy, only eats pasta with NO sauce, cucumbers and cheese – and only dairylea cheese strips at that! I am glad I am not alone – thank you! #mummymonday
    Sabrina x

  4. Sarah Sukarna
    13 February, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    Oh my, you sound like a fly on the wall at all of our dinners! There is NOTHING i can cook that EVERYONE will love. Drives me bonkers. "Mummy i dont like mushrooms" "mummy i dont like onions" "i dont like cucumber anymore!" Dinners take at least an hour with us saying "eat please" over and over. Its nice to know I am not in this struggle alone. We should have dinner together one night and watch our children pick at their food. Laughed throughout this whole post (out of amusement and possibly a little bit of despair). Good luck to the both of us.

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