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nearly 5 years old and still not eating enough

(7 Posts)
marykat2004 Sat 08-Aug-09 22:10:54

Now that we are on the school holidays I am seeing how little DD eats. When she was at school I just hoped for the best, and hoped they would tell me if they were concerned.

Today she had half a pancake and a glass of carrot and apple juice for breakfast (fresh squeezed so at least some nutrition there), for lunch 2 slices of ham and a fruit smoothie, then some sweets at a kids' party at 4 pm, but refused ALL of the other food on offer while the other children gleefully stuffed themselves with sandwiches. She refused to eat any dinner until I begged and pleaded and finally got one piece of salami and a small yogurt into her.

This week I looked after a school friend, who was hungry again 2 hours after eating a full cooked lunch of hamburger, pasta and some vegetables. I couldn't believe it that this child wanted more food so soon. I'm lucky if DD eats one proper full meal a week.

She weighs 32 lbs and will be 5 in September. I have my baby book - I weighed 32 lbs when I was 2 1/2.

DD has never eaten, it has been on ongoing battle since she was about 6 weeks old and found her thumb and went off the breast. She still had some breast but not enough and when she went on solids she never ate enough.

Her poos are normal, she doesn't get constipated I guess cos she has a lot fluids like juice and milk. I never let her drink before a meal but in between meals she has drinks like juice or smoothie, no added sugar, or water or milk.

She often takes one or two bites of dinner and says she is "full" but when I ask her she says her tummy does not hurt.

Should I take her to the dcotor? what would they do? If her poo is normal, and she doesn't have pain in her stomach, what could be wrong with her? I have never seen anyone eat so little.

Is there any kind of protein drink you can give children who don't eat, so they get some calories and nutrients? I'm sure I asked a few years ago and was told she would eat what she needs to. It's just that she doesn't seem to want to eat anything. Her friend couldn't stop talking about food or asking food all day when she was here but DD still wouldn't eat much.

Sorry so long


thisisyesterday Sat 08-Aug-09 22:19:52

maybe that's all she needs, it might just be how she is

you say that you begged and pleaded with her.. maybe that doesn't help? have you tried just being totally relaxed about it (well, giving her the impression that you're relaxed anyway!) and just going with it?

i think i would maybe tend to just make lots of food available all day, let her know it's there and offer meals but not make a big deal out of it if she doesn't eat.
just let her find her own way. if she is anxious around food then I think making an issue out of it may just make her even worse iyswim?

snice Sat 08-Aug-09 22:23:21

I tend to agree with thisisyesterday - BUT -if you want her to eat more at mealtimes you will have to cut out juice/milk/smoothies between mealtimes

MollieO Sat 08-Aug-09 22:41:09

What centile is she on? When ds was younger he barely ate a thing. I was concerned but his paed wasn't as he reckoned he could live on air and there were times when ds seemed to be doing so. Ds did drop down the centiles but not badly and it has gradually improved. His eating improved a lot once he started school - actually after October half term. The first six weeks he didn't really eat his school lunch and I had a discussion with his teacher because she was concerned.

I would not offer drinks other than a small glass of water at meal times. Fruit juice and smoothies will fill her up. I agree with thisisyesterday in not making food a big issue.

Even now ds is 5 (June) and isn't a brilliant eater. I don't pander to him. He gets a choice but I don't beg him to eat if he doesn't want to. Today he had a yoghurt for breakfast (ate one mouthful)(he was offered a choice of cereals, toast, croissant etc), ignored a picnic at lunch and had one biscuit. Tonight all he wanted was scrambled eggs (2 eggs and didn't want them on toast or with anything else) and 2 slices of garlic bread. Water to drink during the day. He is never going to be fat but he isn't fading away.

marykat2004 Sun 09-Aug-09 09:28:09

MollieO did you get it checked that there is nothing wrong with him physically? You say "paed", are you in America? We don't have a paed, only a GP. We'd have to get referred and so on, I don't know if that's worth it, if I can't really tell, it's not like she is listless or in pain or anything. GPs are gatekeepers and it takes ages to see a specialist.

Things were better when i didn't pay any attention to how little she ate, it's just summer holidays so I can't assume she's eating a school lunch as I see her all day and see her eating nothing.

thanks for replies

morethanyoubargainfor Sun 09-Aug-09 10:11:31

my ds is exactly the same, up until recently, (and i mean i n the last 6 months) he would go up to 3 days at a time without eating anything more than a couple of mouthfuls of cereal each day. He is a nightmare with food, doean't get any pleasure from eating etc, ( a bit like me). He would often go to friends houses for tea and come home having not eaatne a thing, it was rather embarassing.

He is now a couple of months of being 7 and thi9ngs have improved a little, he will now atleast eat somehting most days, yesterday for example he had two bites from a sandwich, 2 pieces of popcorn and two tortilla wraps(plain). But i couldn't write a list long enough about what he ate Wednesday and Thursday, he just wouldn't stop eating.

I never force or overly encourage him to eat, i just let him have 'natural consequences' eg if he doesn't eat then he gats hungry. He has always been like this, when he was a baby usually one day a week i couldn't satisfy him but all the others it was a struggle to get one or two full bottles into him.

I wouldn't worry about her weight either my ds has visited a pead all of his life, and on the visit befor last (feb) his pead got very excited and congratulated my DS as it was his first time in his life he was somewhere near where he should be on the charts!

I asked my HV about it when he was tiny and she just said "well if you think about it he has it right unlike all us other humans who insist of eating 3 meals each day which we don't actually need, he is like a lion he has one big feed a week and then just tops up with little bits the rest of the time" he has always been a healthy child, and actually expierence his first cold ever in may of this year! I have to say though those words from the HV have stuck and i often tell myself that when he is on a non eating day.

Sorry about the lenght of post, i got a bit carried away and now not actually sure what helpit will be to you apart from its nice to know your child is the same as others. Please don't worry about it as hard as that is, i think she is just doing what her body tells her to.

mummytopebs Sun 09-Aug-09 20:31:52

My dd is 4.6 and weighs 25lbs. She is a fussy eater and i used to really worry. She does have a paeditrician and has seen a nutrionist all found nothing wrong, they are more concerned if they suddenly start to lose weight. We wer just told to be totally relaxed about food, I make it and if she eats it she eats it if not its no biggy. As long as they are getting a good mixture of everything they are not concerned. There is a high protein milk shake which has a lot of calories in that can be prescribed off dietician. My dd quite liked the chocolate ones x I f you are concerned i would go to the gp just to double check that not losing weight.

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