6 year old 'scared of new food'(7 Posts)
Agh where do I start. I've tried not to get too stressed about this but at what point do you think you should consult a health care professional? I was referred when my daughter was about 3 due to fussy eating habits but they said she was getting enough nutrients. She is not overly thin or anything but it's due to mainly eating crap. And she won't try new food and often says she's scared of it. This morning I refused to give her Frosties yet again (DH introduced them but will stop buying them) to give her toast but she's even going off that. I think she needs some psychological help to understand where the fears have come from but don't want her to have issues in the future. She used to eat great when younger until about 2 and then it all went to pot. My other 2 children did this but went back to what they liked when teething was over etc. My 6 year old is very strong willed and can refuse to eat with great gusto. WWYD?
If she's not too thin and getting just about enough nutrients to get by, I'd just stop worrying. Often it's the stress that builds up around mealtimes and food that makes it ten times worse. Just leave it. Let her eat what she likes, remove all pressure and stress and review in a year.
I'd still give her a variety of foods/the same as everyone else, but don't make any comment (either positive or negative) about what she's eaten/left. Just clear her plate at the end of the meal and carry on.
Does she have school dinners? My youngest had a very limited diet when she started school and came home at lunchtime for the 1st 4 weeks until her 5th birthday. She knew she would have school dinners then. I went to see her teacher and explained that I wanted no pressure on her to eat. The first day she had nothing according to her worried teacher. The 2nd day when I picked her up I said,"What did you have for dinner?" Her reply, "Cheese pie. Can I have it for tea?" I think being with her friends and realising that no-one would force her to eat made all the difference.
She does but it's grab and go so a packed lunch. The dinner lady actually asked me on the street if I was aware she had dry bread for lunch and if I was ok with that. I said yes but the fact she mentioned it.
I gave school dinners the first 3 months and teacher said she wasn't eating anything. Unfortunately on the limited food she eats she's regressing even further and hence my worr. I can tell she's bored with her food but is too scared to try new food.
I could have written your post op, having same issues with my daughter aged five. Agree this is more like a fear of trying than just pickiness.
Following with interest.
Lush I'm another one who could have written your post about my 5 year old. His list of acceptable foods is still very short. I keep thinking it will improve, he is growing well and fit and healthy, but it's a constant worry.
My DH says he was the same and we shouldn't push DS as he still remembers the fear he had of new foods (he's a totally normal, unfussy adult now).
My younger DD already has a far wider diet than her brother, so I'm fairly sure it's nature rather than nurture.
I make sure he has the healthy things he will eat every day plus a multivitamin. School lunches are no good for us, as only DH or I can make things exactly 'right' so it's an (identical) packed lunch every day. Thankfully no lunch box police at his school or we'd struggle. Following your thread with interest.
Wanted to revisit this post following a number of successes in case they help anyone else...
We did a few things initially, we got totally packed lunches at school except for Fridays when chips are always served as part of school meals. We then backed right off - she eats a consistent breakfast, the same packed lunch every day and I don't worry if she doesn't eat much dinner.
Next, about a month of this later, we booked 'the rainbow fairy' www.iknowwhyitsyummum.com who does fruit and veg parties for her birthday. As well as somehow magically getting her to try a bunch of different things as part of food games, she and her friends have learned loads of songs about veg and why to eat them... weird but it works.
Following that we've had lots of mini breakthroughs - school friends getting her to try baked beans - and her liking them..., her helping cook dinner one night and agreeing to try a bit of it (after I told her she couldn't as it's all mine...) and finally trying a few techniques like sitting her in front of the TV and feeding her myself with a spoon (totally opposite to the normal advise but hey it's not like that was working... the distraction seems to have helped her try stuff without fear!
Also been trying 'food chaining' (google it) which has led from being able to tolerate Apple and mango juice to willingly trying mango chunks and now loving them, and (I know it sounds like ridiculously small progress) going from having only frozen peas to first cold defrosted peas and now warm cooked ones!
All told a few things seem to be working for us finally.
Good luck those others of you who were suffering.
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