Mum’s The Word - October 13, 2015

William Mellor may not be keen on vegetables, but he does make sure his sister Gracie eats her peas
William Mellor may not be keen on vegetables, but he does make sure his sister Gracie eats her peas
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I’ve just done a dance around the dining room table.

And I mean a proper fist-pumping, jumping for joy, embarrassing kind of dance.

Thank goodness no-one else was watching apart from my 22-month old son, who – after weeks of becoming the fussiest eater I have ever met – ate a bowl of cottage pie!

Hoorah!

You’re probably thinking what on earth is the big deal? People eat cottage pie all the time.

But, the dining room has become a battle ground at our house of late, and with me becoming increasingly concerned by William’s lack of appetite for anything nutritious, it felt like I’d won the lottery.

I’d initially put his sudden food fussiness down to a mixture of a cold and teething. But even after he was back to full health, he just wouldn’t eat any of the foods he’d normally munch on.

He’d stick out his tongue at the sight of fruit, and by the look on his face when trying to get vegetables down him you’d think I’d just told him Postman Pat was retiring.

And teatime was a recipe for disaster, with more spoonfuls ending up over me and the dining room floor than in his mouth.

I tried making eating more fun by bringing tractors, a bus and even a bin lorry to the table, where they were each given a spoonful of sausage and mash. And even a tea party picnic with some teddy bears and dinosaurs was only half a success with just one fish finger disappearing.

It was a saving grace that breakfast has never been a problem – he’ll gobble up porridge or cereal no problem. So during his fussy few weeks of refusing his tea, I’d end up caving and giving him cereal – just so he was at least getting something in his tummy.

But I knew that was only a short-term fix; he couldn’t eat cereal three times a day for the rest of his life.

And I certainly didn’t want him turning out like one of my friend’s exes who would only eat beige coloured food (it’s easy to see why he’s an ex).

So, though it pained me to do it, I took the tough approach and when he refused his lasagne the other day, I told him “Well, there’s nothing else if you won’t eat your tea” and took him down from his highchair.

A couple of days of this (and I’m not going to pretend it was easy – there were tears and tantrums aplenty) and hey presto – the cottage pie (with hidden vegetables) didn’t look too bad after all!

Now, I’ve just got to find a way of getting the little chap to rediscover his love of fruit.