Sunday, 8 May 2011

Feeding time at the Zoo. How do you deal with a grazer? AKA how do I get out of the house in the morning?

I've been thinking a lot about what my kids eat lately. I've been blessed that I've never had majorly fussy eaters unlike Ellen over at In a Bun Dance whose autistic son's picky eating is being battled. Any suggestions your guys have are welcomed so do pop over if you have time.

Both A and B eat well, almost too well for their respective ages but never seem to put any weight on (most unlike their mother). I breastfed both of them but their weight development was at polar opposites. A was a  huge baby and looking back on some of his baby pictures at 7-9 months before he was walking properly they are hilarious. Here he was, my beautiful boy, the most handsome boy in the world according to me and he looked like the Michelin man! More Chin's than a Chinese phone book and more tyres than Goodyear as my father used to say (really un-PC!). I used to take him to the baby clinic to be weighed every week without fail as I worried that...well, I just worried I suppose. As a first time mum, I was reassured by the service. The Health Visitor thought this was hilarious given that he was putting on around a pound to a pound and a half a week for the first four or five months. A now enjoys three courses dinner and lobster!

B was entirely different, dropping well below the acceptable weight loss after birth, having a tongue-tie that needed to be snipped and never really beefing up until around 5-6 months old at which point she dropped again due to weaning, early walking and prolonged colds and sickness bugs over the winter. I've pretty much fretted over her weight since she was born and even now when she never stops eating!

But herein lies the problem, she never stops eating and it's incredibly time consuming (unless she's sleeping and then I suspect she's dreaming about food). I'm flummoxed as to how to get her to eat within a reasonable time period and how to fill her up. She's never really been given huge amounts of filler-type foods and now hates breakfast cereals. We were investigating a cow's milk allergy that almost everyone on my side of the family has but the hospital referrals etc took a long time so she wasn't given massive amounts of baby rice/porridge at the weaning stages, only ever getting as much as I could express to make up the cereal. It is surprisingly hard to fill up a baby or make sure they get a decent amount of fat into their diet without cow's milk. But what do you give kids instead of cereal? We tried goats milk and soya but neither has a particularly high fat content. So instead of filling up on cereal she has a smorgasbord of delights in the morning. I'm getting fed up of it though as it takes ages for her to eat. Even if I do get cereal down her, she still eats the same enormous amount of food afterwards. When I mentioned this to the Health Visitor she stated that it was my fault. That I'd allowed her to become a grazer, letting her pick at food at will. I protested stating that she was not wandering about eating, that she was sitting in her high chair eating the entire time. So can't be a grazer, can she?

Take yesterday for example, a day where I actually got some cereal down her: she had a decent sized bowl of muesli, followed by an entire apple, then a slice of toast, then 6 rice cakes, then a bowl of blueberries and then a bowl of grapes, then a bowl of Cheerios and some raisins. She stopped eating for about an hour and then was at me for Elevenses before her nap!

She has breakfast, elevenses, lunch then an afternoon snack and then dinner. I spend all day at the moment feeding her! I'm currently online doing the weekly grocery shop and cringeing at the amount it's costing! So is she really a grazer? What strategies do you suggest?


  1. Ooo. Amy (five) is a terrible grazer. She started out as one of those babies that never ate anything and looked like a bean pole.

    We have had to seriously take to task her snaking because 1) she wasn't eating her dinner, having filled up on other stuff and 2) it's costing a fortune.

    I have combated this by becoming evil snack mumfrom hell. The rules are breakfast - lunch + one snack - after school one snack - dinner (of all eaten pudding or snakc). Under no circumstances will food be served after dinner. If you're hungry, tough - should have eaten all your dinner then.

    I now have a special 'snack pot' that I fill with snacky type things, both healthy and not so healthy. When it is snack time they are allowed one thing out of tha pot and nothing else.

    We have had tears and tantrums and even death threats, but we're getting there.

    Good luck.

  2. Thanks! I've tried upping her portion sizes as she does actually eat three square meals a day (why I was confused about the you've caused her to be a grazer slur!). So far it's not making much difference but time will tell. xxx


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