refusing to eat anything but chicken nuggets and candy

Alexis - posted on 01/06/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )




my step daughter is almost 4, and is a picky eater. i know she's going through the stress of her mom running off, but im worried.
me and my husband have been making her meals for 2 days now that she refuses to eat, she demands candy and mcdonalds... (her mom only fed her junk food). she knows she is not allowed to have candy without eating dinner but refuses to eat then screams at me for being mean to her when i dont give her candy.

i never yell at her for not eating, and just expain through the family meals several times that "this is dinner, you do not have to eat, but i will not give you anything else."she moves her food around and says that she will eat it later. then when the meal is over (we have been giving her an hour) we take the food away and she happly follows us to the kitchen then askes for candy or other junk food. we then tell her we cant have candy without eating first, then the crying starts she usually screams "i'll eat it next time" or "but i ate it all" or "i want something else." but im starting to worry.

normaly we just give her time to eat then take it away when dinner time is over, but she hasnt had anything at all to eat in over 2 days, and just refused to eat her oatmeal (even though she asked for this). and we do have a lock on the fridge due to her sneaking sweets, so we know she hasnt been eating anything. how long should we wait before we give in.( she has been going to the bath room regularly, and says no if we ask if she's feeling sick or if her tummy hurts)....

so far we have made her cerial, poptarts, and oatmeal for breakfast. mac and cheese, and PB&J sandwiches both with apples and carrots for lunch. potato soup and spaggetti for dinners. she usually likes this stuff, but wont even try it, not even one bite.


Jodi - posted on 01/06/2013




It's been 2 days. You can't expect miracles in 2 days. You need to be consistent for a longer period of time. She won't starve herself. Maybe for a few days, but not on an ongoing basis. How long should you wait before giving in? Don't EVER give in. Make baby steps. Show her what she must eat before she can get some candy. Keep serving it up to her each time she asks for something to eat. You may need to start with small portions and gradually increase the portion she needs to eat before she can have any candy (and then you LIMIT the amount of candy). Even SHOW her the candy she can have if she finishes what is in front of her (you can have this, if you eat that). Or even better, allow her to have a choice of which candy when she is done.

I know, it's bribery at its worst, but given her background, it sounds like the best way to get her to start eating some half decent food.


View replies by

Alexis - posted on 01/06/2013




she finally ate today after seeing her dad eating bannana pudding. she ate all her chicken and then her veggies and i guessed realized how houngry she was and asked for seconds, ate all that then passed out for a nap forgeting all about the pudding. lol. glad to finnaly see her eat (she's still underweight buy about 8 lbs from her mom). she is going to therapy starting this month and hopefuly day care in a month or so if we can get her behavior undercontrol (shes a little violent twards children her own age).

Dove - posted on 01/06/2013




I agree with Jodi. Don't give in, but start small. If she is used to chicken nuggets and french fries.... you can make your own as a 'compromise' (but not really cuz it's pretty healthy). I don't know if she will eat them, but I do chicken nuggets all the time by cutting up boneless, skinless breasts, dipping in egg, rolling in Italian seasoning bread crumbs, and baking. My kids love them. A dip that I like to make for them is 1/4 cup of ranch dressing w/ a well 'pulverized' avocado. I also buy frozen (cuz I'm hopeless at trying to make them from scratch) sweet potato fries.

If she normally likes the stuff you are making... she is probably just going through an emotional battle of the wills because of the issues from her mom.

You guys have an appointment with a counselor soon, right? Good luck!!!

Tojo - posted on 01/06/2013




I think you are doing the right thing. She is protesting because she wants her mum...understandable. She thinks if she has the junk food her mother will return. Give her the option of dinner....she can choose to eat it or not. Do not lose your temper but give her love but be firm. Try fruit instead of candy.....she will eventually try the food when hunger develops. Junk food once in a while won't hurt.....maybe promise nuggets in three or four days if she tries your food. .

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms