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Doesn't Eat

(43 Posts)
motorbike Thu 15-Jul-04 11:32:54

My daughter is now 32 months old and she has NEVER eaten "normal food". As a baby she was a good feeder and when she stated eating she ate from jars. When i tried to put her nto home cooking - I added a small amount of potato to one of the jars of food - she would nt eat it and has not eaten jars or normal food since.
She has never tasted a potato, chps sausage or anything and although she sits with us at mealtimes and has the same food as un her plate (which she asks for) she does not eat it and will only try and feed myself and my husband.
She eats whotsits, chocolate yoghurt, fimble chocolate and quavers - she will drink milk but only out f a bottle and she drinks lots of juice and water.
Help!!

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:37:15

Just don't let her have any junk food from now on - give her a normal meal and if she doesn't eat it - just leave her until the next meal. After all, she won't let herself starve. You can't let her live off junk permanently.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:38:41

I will be following this thread with great interest. I have a 26mo. old who will not eat rice, pasta (except Bob the Builder tinned ), potatoes, anything in a sauce and exists on a diet of sausages, scrambled eggs, toast, grapes and broccolli. Nutritionally not bad, I suppose, but very limiting and don't like giving her eggs too often.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:39:18

How many meals do you let them miss before you cave in??

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:41:48

boots - what she's eating doesn't sound too bad so she might just want that for a while and then move onto other things. As long as she eating healthily it doesn't matter too much IMO.

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:43:15

IMHO (only my opinion) if they won't eat ANYTHING healthy you should leave it as many meals as it takes - I would say they'll cave in after 2 at the most. And as long as they drink well it won't do them any harm. But if they're eating healthily but just eating strange stuff, you should probably let them and ask the gp.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:48:22

Thanks WK - I am MUCH less worried about this than I used to be and she is at least eating something every day, but I can't help wishing she would expand her horizons a bit as she gets sausages for the fourth day in a row!!

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:50:35

Naturally it would be nice if she ate a wider variety but as long as she's eating a fairly healthy diet I wouldn't be too worried. Heard of one boy who only ate jam sandwiches and a tiny bit of veg for every meal and this went on for months, then he started eating more normally and he was fine.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:52:14

I WISH she'd eat jam sandwiches!! Considering covering whatever we are eating in chocolate sprinkles and seeing if that does the trick

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:52:48

Sorry motorbike - didn't mean to hijack your thread.

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:53:52

I've heard you shouldn't do that sort of thing because then it makes it look as if the food is bad and needs to be disguised. I'm sure she'll start eating more after a while - she sees you eating it and one day curiosity and wanting to imitate you will get the better of her.

wobblyknicks Thu 15-Jul-04 11:54:13

Will she eat cakes?

bundle Thu 15-Jul-04 11:56:11

I'm not a big Gina Ford fan, but had a flick through a proof copy of her latest book on diet for children and she has some good ideas about how to tackle difficult issues like this. i think the key to this is the amount of fluid she's drinking, she's *full* on liquids, as well as eating only crap stuff.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 11:58:53

Not really tried her on cakes, although did think of trying carrot cake and/or making homemade parsnip/carrot etc crisps which I believe you can do in the microwave. Not got round to it tho - maybe I should have a go on the earth mother thread??

motorbike Thu 15-Jul-04 12:31:20

It is easy to say don't give them anything but proper meals and they will eventually eat something. I tried that b4 and she went for 10 days without eating anything and being an absolute nightmare - up 4 or 5 times a night. Survived on 12z of milk and 2 cups of water a day

bundle Thu 15-Jul-04 12:36:30

motorbike, i will try & dig out the book for you if you like. it wasn't cold turkey or anything, just gradual strategies for difficult eaters.

StickyNote Thu 15-Jul-04 12:39:29

Is 12oz of milk quite a lot for a 32 month old? Honest question, it sounds a lot to me and could be what's filling her up.

mummytojames Thu 15-Jul-04 12:43:39

motor bike have you tried the bribery i know people who have done it and it works give her a small meal about half the size of her normal meals and say if you eat that all up you can have desert then keep slowly increasing the size of the meal or another trick is put the food on your plate and say stuff like oh this is yum yum would you like a taste food on somebody elses plate always seems nicer than your own try this for seven days and not giving her any junk food if she havent caved in by then see your gp

motorbike Thu 15-Jul-04 12:51:22

I have tried to get her to eat something but everytime I offer her something she puts her hand over her mouth and starts to scream. I spoke to my HV and she suggested not giving her anything but water but after 3 days I caved as she was being such a nightmare as she was really tired and would not sleep.
I am waiting to see a dietician at the hosp - i know she is ok as she is only slightly underweight for her age and hgeight but she was small when she was born and she is very happy and playful little girl and mixes well at nursery.
Even when they offer her meals at nursery she takes a plate and cuts food up but will feed the other children rather than herself. Someone has said to me their is something wrong in her head and she is just attention seeking which greatly upset me but also got me thinking as to whether there is some underlying cause or if she is playing me up.

bundle Thu 15-Jul-04 12:52:47

I'll try to find the book, it's at home somewhere. it's co-written by someone from GOSH

aloha Thu 15-Jul-04 13:02:51

I suspect too much fluid is filling her up, and the junk food too. I'd personally cut a lot of it out, especially before meals, and put the food in front of her, ignore it if she doesn't eat and praise her a lot if she does. Don't give her attention for not eating - just for eating.

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 13:11:56

Motorbike - Idon't think that there is anything wrong in your little girls head - what a thoughtless thing for someone to say, as if you don't worry enough as a parent anyway! I think some kids just aren't interested in food.

On other threads people mentioned changing the location of meals, e.g. picnics in the garden or in a tent or playhouse - weather permitting. Have you tried this. We sometimes let our DD graze whilst playing if she is really not bothered by a mealtime, although I am sure this may be frowned upon by many.

motorbike Thu 15-Jul-04 13:27:39

I have tried picnics outside, on th living room floor, taken her to the shops to choose what she wants to eat - macaroni is her thing at the moment but when I make it she takes it on the fork and tried to feed me - says she does not like it, even though she has not tried it. In an afternoon she is only allowed one cup of juice so she is not full for tea time. Yesterday she only had 4 oz milk and 2 cups of juice as well as 2 mini yoghurts and 1 chocolate fimble all day

clary Thu 15-Jul-04 13:34:04

Motorbike what a nightmare for you. I really sympathise. A friend has a dd who will eat only a very limited range (not as limited as yr dd tho) and they are going to see a dietician.
Must admit that it does seem worrying; unlike Bootsmonkey's DD who at least is taking in some protein and vitamins...
I won't say don't worry, obviously it is worrying. She sounds quite sweet with the cutting up and feeding others! Have you tried having a pal round to tea who eats well? Or eating out - often children do better in these sorts of situations.
If it's any consolation at all, my brother as a child refused to eat any veg at all beyond maybe potatoes (no salad, no greens, no carrots, no mushrooms, peppers, onions)...and he is now a vegetarian! not sure what that proves really but most people will change.
Has she really been like this for two years? or has it got progressivly worse - and if so has there been any kind of trigger?
Not sure what to suggest beyond what's said here but you'll always get support on Mumsnet

bootsmonkey Thu 15-Jul-04 13:34:36

Could she be cutting her back molars at all? Whilst teething, my DD was down to 2 fromage frais a day!

She also will not eat anything new even though she has not tasted it. Drives me mad!!!!!. We finally, through bribery, persuasion, pleading etc., got her to eat a mouthful of scrambled eggs (after ages of 'don't like it mummy, don't like it' and it is now her favourite food. I just feel she would be similarly converted to other foods if she at least tried them!!

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