my daughter is now 3 years old and she has never eaten she gets up and eats a few spoons of cereal and dinner is a choc spread or butter sandwich and tea is the same she will not eat anything else at all, ive been health visitors for 3 years now and all they say is she is the right weight so not to worry but it cant be good she is going to end up really bad she is always ill and tired and weak and now she has started refusing sandwich cause she is fed up of them but when u offer any other food she heaves and says yuk i have tried everything in the world can any one help me please?
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Nat - posted on 10/26/2010
I think there are many valid opinions here. I do believe you need outside help here. Get a referral to an OT and see where that goes. There are many children that have a sensorial problem with food, but they are able to be worked with and slowly slowly are able to experience food in a positive way.
She does need to develop good eating habits, which is in no way an indication of your mothering...we all know here how hard you are working and how difficult this is for you. But she can not get into her teens eating chocolate sandwiches for three meals a day. Her body will not cope.
Perhaps making small bowls of food eg cut vegies or fruit (not mixed) available for her to graze on during the day to build up her interest. Perhaps getting her to help prepare meals discussing the good ingredients and how they help you to grow. (no, 3 is NOT too young to help prepare meals and have an intelligent discussion). You could also perhaps offer the same food in different ways, maybe fresh one day, maybe steamed another, maybe pureed another. Make it fun! Try to avoid the "hiding" vegies ploy though. I think they need to know what they are eating.
Best of luck with it...and please let us know how you go with it! You are doing a great job Mom!!
Emma - posted on 10/25/2010
have u found out why? i have a 3 year old son which has never really eaten as well some days he will go a hole day with out eating anything or mayb juss somethink really little i worry aswell but doc say he the right weight and all aswel
Kerry - posted on 01/21/2009
hello, I have a family of fussy eaters (autism) but didnt have the size problem you have. Mostly i think it might be bad medical advice. Ask fir referral to paediatrician and show them a daily food diary. Her size might be bloating from an underlying medical problem. A kid will always eat if they are hungry and she should at 3 be hungry.
V8 juice is as sian says a wonderrful thing, you know they are getting the vitamins. maybe there is a way to trick her into trying it, she might even manage to keep it down. Things like putting the drink in a pretty glass with lots of ice and some cool straws (like the little umberella ones) might entice her to drink it. I also like the blank plate appraoch and showing your enjoyment, might just make her think she is missing out, the old kid trick that they always want what they cant have.
One of the autistic children in the family (a neice)was a tiny little thing, she would not eat anything but cucmber sandwiches with the crust removed. By the time she got to 5 we had found severl new foods she would eat. at 6 she is relativly healthy with some meat on her tiny bones, but still fusses, but is happy to drink soy flavoured milk to top up her nutrients.
Please seek better medical advice even if it is to see a naturopath or an alternative medicine practitioner of some sort, chinese herbalists are good, iridology, someone to help sort out where your daughter is "out of balance". A tonic might be all that is needed, if you can get the usually yuckky tasting thing down her. I
F you still cant get someone to listen and do full blood work and body health tests you may need to resort to calling your local child protection authority and give them your story ask them to come visit and watch your daughter. This might seem an unusally harsh step to take,BUT they are the people who have acess to the best in medical help in your area, and can steer you toward help.
A child of 3 who is constantly sick and not running all over the place learning new things, has got to have a problem if they dont eat at least one food in regular amounts. SEEK help NOW. I dont think its a control issue, i think it is a medical one. keep working on solving it.
Sian - posted on 01/21/2009
im actually so relived to read so many have this prob! my daughter now 4yrs old eats yoguart,nuggets,yorkshire pud,chips,waffles,bread,banana,cheese,ham and sausages! thats it!!!!!!!!nothing else, never a veg or any other fruit! i got fed up worrying shes a perfect size and weight and i give her V8 veg and fruit drink and thats me sorted!!!! ive jus ordered the books 'the sneaky chef' and dceptively delicious for tips....apparently they sneak carrots etc in cake!!!! you never know.
Gretchen - posted on 11/25/2008
Susan, I think your daughter just stole my daughter;s crown for Queen of the Picky Eaters, lol! Mine was a picky eater, still is, but I tried a few things that had pretty good results. First, I would sneak in a few things into what she did eat - if yours like butter sandwiches, try sneaking some fruit preserves on with it. Also, I started taking her grocery shopping with me, and let her walk around and pick out new and exciting things - if I picked something for her, she would not touch it, but if she picked it out, it was like a new and exciting adventure - point things out, like the bright colors of the fruits, and the beautiful labels on packages, but let her make the final decision. Also, if she's not on vitamins, maybe start her on them - there are all different kinds, hold up a selection you approve of, and ask her to choose which one she'd like to take. Maybe a play date or something, too, where she could see that kids her age eating different things that she normally wouldn't try, and a rewards system for when she does try a new food, whether she enjoys the taste or not - for every 5 new foods she trries, maybe a new movie, or an activity for just her and mom. Also, I would just set a plate of food in front of her and walk away when it wasn't a formal eating time - if she was coloring, I would set down some fruit and things arranged like a happy face - I wouldn't tell her to eat, just set it down and let her try on her own. I hope something helps soon, and good luck!!
Denise - posted on 11/25/2008
mmmm well see if you can get het involved in cutting fruit and veg. let her lick her fingers cean so she gets new tastes, with the sandwiches use a goood healthy bread.try frozen juice icy poles with bits of fruitin them(home made)a kids vitamin supplement may increase the appetite as well.she will be tired and wea because of lack of the good stuff,other s are right some kids will just survive on little and grow into healthy people,but if you can get her into healthy stuff now it would be good, their is a thing called sustagen that has a lot of goodnesss and tastes yummy.frozen yohgurts aswell(make your own and puree some fresh fruits and mix through if she wont eat the lumps of fruit).i also used some plain old fashioned:if you dont eat and try some of everything you cant have....(whatever)
Dawn - posted on 11/25/2008
i have the same problem with my girls...maybe get some childrens vitamins and childrens drink suppliments. if she likes pbutter...give it to her on a spoon a few times a day yum:) and fruit!!! maybe also try making the food look really yummy. like making smily faces on pancakes or shaping the sanwiches, peanut butter or oatmeal cookies, nuts and trail mix...it was tough for me too, but hang in there and keep trying different things...be creative and always check the circle of moms for suggestions. :)
Elliott - posted on 11/24/2008
To Trish: What kind of devastation? I was an insanely picky eater my whole childhood (phase to phase what I ate changed, but it was always really limited), and as long as Mom made sure I got my Flintstones vitamins and that the total food intake was fine, I grew and developed just as normal.
Trish - posted on 11/23/2008
I soo feel for you.. I have one that refused to eat anything but peanut butter sandwiches.. which i have seen the longterm devistation that it causes... (friend with older kids who just let them eat that and eat when they felt)
This is what our doc told me to do and it has worked, but there is still lots of work to go....
no more of those inbetween snacks of what she likes.. she is to only eat at mealtimes and what is served.. if she does not eat at the dinner table.. that is fine.. then she does not eat till next meal time.. with no snacks inbetween... OK i know this sound harsh.. and my dd actually went 6 days without eating a dorp of food.. and began to look anorexic.. so it freaked me out...
I woudl allow her to have one pediasure for breakfast.. a little expensive, but better for her than the sugary cereals she woudl only eat with tons of sugar cuz dad is like that...
then if she drank it.. the i would only allow her to eat a snack if it was fruit... no eat fruit.. then you wait till lunch... you server her whatever everyone else is eating.. if she does not eat.. no eating till next meal... at the next meal.. she needs to eat what is there.. or no food till breakfast...
i know this sounds harsh.. but that is what you have to do to break this cycle.. and also i have had to make sure that we are all sitting at the same table.. even if its a card table... and the one not eating must sit there till all others are done... whether they eat or not...
she is finally eating more and i can give her those peanut butter sandwiches now for a snack and they not ruin dinner so to speak.. but remember,, if you feed them something too close to dinner.. no kid would eat..
Ann - posted on 11/23/2008
I know it can be tough my daughters picky as well but when i want her to eat something and she wont try it I start eating small bites from her plate and say yum its good soon she takes her plate away to try it sometimes shell eat sometimes she wont but it gets her to at least taste it
Mindy - posted on 11/23/2008
This may be a crazy idea but it worked for us!!!! Our son is a HORRIBLE eater...so for us to get him to at least TRY new foods we had a friend call the house for him and pretend to be his favorite superhero (Spiderman,Peter Parker) and talk to him about how important it was to try new foods and to eat healthy. Our son was SOOOO excited about talking to Spiderman that even though he still doesn't like half the foods we introduce him to, he still TRIES them and once in awhile likes them.
Laura-Lee - posted on 11/23/2008
Not sure if someone already suggested this or not. My friends son is the same way. He has a very limited diet and urges and vomits at the sight of some foods, some the texture is just too much for him. She has been referred to a OT to see if its a sensory issue. He also has autism and she is having a battle getting him to eat anything. He likes what he likes and wont touch anything else. Good Luck with your little one....If you feel something isnt right get a second opinion.
Erin - posted on 11/22/2008
One of the things i have always done with my kids are only offer them what we are eating. If they are hungry they will eat it. If you let her get away with eating junk then she will continue to eat unhealthy choices. Quality healthy food is not alwasy the tastiest. Try to give her rewards for trying new foods or give her one bite of everything you are eating and then offer a special treat for cleaning her plate. We call it a "happy plate" when the kids eat everything and they do it every time. Also try to read books about healthy eating. I also think a nutritionalist or food specialist could be a good idea. Many kids look healthy but if they arent eating healthy you are setting them up for obesity or health issues into adulthood. Get a different doctor your child is obviously suffering she should be healthy and happy... as should you!!
Kate - posted on 11/22/2008
Susan this is good advice. Food and body functions are often the only ways that a small child has to try to control the situation. A hungry child will eat. Always.
If your child is underweight or failing to thrive - it is not a control issue and you need the help of a responsible pediatrician and a nutrition expert.
Outside of that - you can stop paying attention to the eating situation (all attention is good to a child, reinforcing attention or detrimental attention. Attention IS attention), and just put a healthy eating pattern out for your family. Your baby will eat. Really.
Becky - posted on 11/22/2008
Are you making a big deal about her eating in front of her? Sometimes it's an attention thing. If you are eating at the table as a family, just ignore her and go on with your famiy's dinner as if she is not there. Most likely, she will ask for whatever it is you are serving so she can be like everyone else. Also, a lot of kids have texture issues and it will take up to 15 times of them trying and refusing a food before they get used to it. Until she starts eating, Pediasure probably is a good idea...also there is a supplement called Juice Plus that comes in Gummies and they are fruits and veggies. I have them for my daughter and she loves them...they are like candy, but healthy! Good Luck.
Jaime - posted on 11/22/2008
What your child is doing is having control. You are the parent and you need to take control. I watch The Doctors and they had a similar issue come up with their show. Here is what Dr Sears said to do (and he went to a house and it worked the first try).
First he said stop making them eating/not eating a big issue. Don't beg or plead with them to eat, and don't applaud them if they do. This isn't something to reward, it is supposed to be done.
He said fix dinner and set the table, and put your child at the table with a blank plate. Then completely ignore them. Describe the food as you eat, for example "Oh, this chicken leg is so good." or "Yummy Corn", etc. He said don't even look at your child. Eventually the child will ask for the chicken leg or the corn or whatever you are describing. When they do, you say "Oh you want some chicken, here you go". Put some on their plate and continue to eat yours without making a big deal over it.
By ignoring the child and not making a big deal over anything, you are showing them they aren't in control anymore. If they want to eat, they will ask for it. Feed them what you eat, don't make your dinner table a restaurant menu.
When they did this, they were doing it with a 2 year old on the show. If he could understand it, your child can.
Sarah - posted on 11/22/2008
my little one would only drink her milk and eat cheese then we went to stay with my sister and her son....she wanted to eat everything he ate!!!...sometimes now she wont eat and she too uses that word,yuk!!! but i find that if i tell her its ok ill eat it instead she quickly eats up so i cant have it!!!lol
Jessica - posted on 11/22/2008
My daughter is the same way!!!! It bothers me so bad!!! I think you should be concerned if she LOSES weight.... My daughter is petite and in the 20th percentile.... but she has never lost weight.... that is what makes me not worry about it too much. When she starts actually losing weight, then it might be an issue..... One thing my daughter does like to eat is a "peanut butter spoon".... I just put PB on the spoon and she'll eat that... and i can get her to snack on crackers and such throughout the day... also she will eat bananas. She does "eat" but she is so darn picky!!! One thing you can do is see if she'll drink pediasure... If she isn't losing weight, then she is probably just like my daughter... frustrating, I know!
Heather - posted on 11/22/2008
I have read what others posted and agree with some of the responses, my son is going to be 4 in a few days however we have battled the whole eating thing what seems like forever, but I have found that he will eat when he is hungry, if I try to feed him when I want him to eat it is just one more toddler battle. This was my doctors answer as well, so long as he is not underweight and seems well do not worry. However he is different than your daughter he is rarely sick and is very active. I also agree that you should try those health drinks or granola bars in the baby food isle, but remember to follow your instincts if you think there is a serious problem then go with it and seek additional help from a doctor. Good Luck to you!
Lindsey - posted on 11/22/2008
hello, how about asking ur doctor to referr her to a nutritionist? they will give you diet advice and maybe even what kind of supplements (if any) your daughter can have, it is really stressing when kids are like this my 2 year old does exactly the same, just know your doing evrything right and dont be so hard on yourself.
Cindy - posted on 11/22/2008
You should look into Feeding Therapy. I had never heard of it until it was recommended by my son's pediatrician. It was covered under insurance too (which was good, because for us it seemed pricey). The specialist that did it was a Speech Pathologist and they were to incorporate speech too (although he didn't end up needing that). He also saw an Occupational Therapist that discovered it was a sensory thing for him. He had to get over the textures of food -- in his fingers, his mouth, etc. The OT had him cured of that in less than two months. We've been in Feeding Therapy since February of this year and he is about to be discharged, after doing it consistently 1-2 times a week. He is 3 1/2 yrs old and when I describe what we went through with him it was as if he was anorexic. He just wouldn't eat! Does your daughter have food allergies? My son does so that just perpetuated it all. Good luck and God Bless.
KRISTAL - posted on 11/22/2008
buy her fruit. Plenty of all natural, not in the can fruit. Banana's , strawberries, apples, pineapple etc.... she won't miss a beat.
the other thing you can do is juice ( all natural juices 100% homemade) if you have a juicer, and make her smoothies.
You'll have to contact me and let me know if you need further instruction.
She doesn't need a doctor she just doesn't like the garbage that is typical of the Standard American Diet. She's a wise child.
Dawn - posted on 11/22/2008
Not to worry... I am sure she will be fine. When my son was little he would NEVER eat anything. The most he would do was take a couple of bites and be on his way. He always looked thin but the Doctors said he was fine.Well, let me tell you he is not 18 years old, about 6 feet tall and a very healthy 190 pounds. He's practically eating me out of house and home. I assure you she will grow out of this.
Brit - posted on 11/22/2008
You need to get her to another doctor. Food is fuel and what she's eating isn't helping her much. There has to be something wrong with her...food allergies are definitely a possibility. It might just be a behavioral issue too...if that's the case you have to figure out how to help wean her onto other food.
Katarina - posted on 11/22/2008
You need to find yourself another doctor and then continue to go the different doctors till you find one that will help. She could have unknown food alergies and that is the reason that she will not eat many things. In the meantime get some pediasure or something of that nature to be sure that she is getting the nutrition she needs. Most kids will drink it -- you can mix it with a bit of ice cream and tell her it is a shake.