Daughter hardly eats

(12 Posts)
Tiny12 Wed 02-Jan-13 14:45:00

Hi all, hopefully posted in correct place, this is my 1st post.
My daughter who is 11 hardly eats anything and is underweight and really small height wise. Just looking for advice & tips on best way to handle this. Keep saying to her she needs to eat or else she won't grow and develop as all her friends are but don't really think I should be saying this to her either. I'm really worried about her. Thanks

GrumpySod Wed 02-Jan-13 14:54:49

What are her numbers, especially on NHS BMI calculator?

Tiny12 Wed 02-Jan-13 17:01:15

I'm not sure as haven't weighed her in a while. She's about 138cm and weighs just over 4 stone. According to nhs bmi she is a healthy weight but she is stick thin so to me she is not a healthy weight.

botandhothered Wed 02-Jan-13 17:30:32

Just looked and she has BMI of around 14. That's quite alot under what she should be.
Does she eat at meal times? Does she snack? Is she a fussy eater?
I was quite a small thin child, and couldn't eat a big meal like the rest of my family. Maybe you could try smaller meals more often?
Also a nice flavoured protein shake for her to have with her breakfast. Lots of calories in those!
If she has always been a fussy eater, I wouldn't worry too much, but if this is a recent thing, I think you need to take action to prevent her getting any thinner.

Tiny12 Wed 02-Jan-13 18:21:46

I must have calculated it wrongly.
She eats very small amounts at meal times. Yeah she snacks, I know I should try cut this out but think well least she's eating something. Sometimes she can be fussy eater. She will try things where as my son who is 15 won't. Yeah going to try the smaller portions approach.
She's always been quite fussy & picky but seems to be worse over last month or so.

GrumpySod Thu 03-Jan-13 09:08:20

Is she energetic? I have a small scrawny 11yo but she's full of beans and enthusiasm, good colour, no sign of anemia (loves her meat, anyway).

Friends have an 11yo who is super skinny by any measure, but still fit, energetic, plenty brainy, creative. They pulled their hair out for years trying to get her to eat more but now accept she was just meant to be built out of twigs (several solid siblings in comparison).

You could raise your concerns with GP (without her present). But I think main thing is to encourage a healthy relationship with food. It's there to be enjoyed in a relaxed way.

botandhothered Thu 03-Jan-13 09:35:01

Well it does sound like she has always been like this.
She will only have space for smaller meals so don't put too much pressure on her to eat large meals, maybe offer a pudding with cream or custard half an hour later?
Also, I don't think you should limit her snacks, just try to keep them healthy but with cheese, full fat yoghurts rather than crap. If she doesn't eat much for breakfast then put a sandwich in her bag for break time, so when she is a bit hungry she has something.
I expect she will fill out a bit more over the next couple of years, but as long as she has plenty of energy, and no health problems, I don't think you need to worry.

roseelizabethlane25 Thu 03-Jan-13 09:54:36

Try asking her about what food she really likes and then make it. My sister was a fussy eater and was really underweight. Every day I would buy her small snacks so she would eat something like carrot sticks and cheese strings. We ate pasta a lot with plain tomato source, over the months I introduced healthy light meals to help her and in the end she realised I had adapted all the meals to help her and she started eating more from then. Make her want the food, even if it means giving her puddings after a meal. If eating is a challenge for your child, rewarding her will make her feel that you have understood the fact she finds it hard to eat. If she doesn't want to eat pudding take her shopping or to see a film if she eats well for a whole week. Those are just some tips I picked up. Hope they help.

DeWe Thu 03-Jan-13 14:36:10

I've a 12 yo who hardly eats too. She's not skinny though. She's very normal size, if a bit frustrated because her little sister has nearly caught up height wise.
I try and make sure that there's something she will eat and if that's all she'll eat that's fine eg for lunch she had a chicken sandwich, she picked the chicken out because she "doesn't like the bread".
Her 9yo sister eats everything going and is very very skinny.

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 03-Jan-13 14:39:14

Bring her to a dietician. Not a "nutirionist" but a proper dietician.
Have you spoken to her? What does she say? Is she trying to lose weight?

Tiny12 Thu 03-Jan-13 18:23:07

Yeah she's energetic, always dancing around the house.
She is chalk white but winter months don't help either with being stuck indoors and no sunshine.
Gave her smaller portion last night and seemed to nearly finish it all so hopefully on the right track with regards portion sizes not that I ever gave her massive amounts anyway.
Will try maybe a small sandwich/roll for break time at school. We spoke to her and said tell us all the foods you like & dislike, I sound like I don't know my own daughter, believe me I do. Thought if she has a say in what I'm buying when I go food shopping then might encourage her a bit more to eat it.

Tiny12 Thu 03-Jan-13 18:26:37

Yes we spoke to her. She said she's not trying to lose weight. She hasn't started developing really yet where as all her friends are and she asks me when she will. We told her that she needs to eat to stay healthy and develop into a young woman.

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