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Dd2 isn't eating poperly. Not sure if I need to do anything, and if so, what ??

(18 Posts)
TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 09-Dec-12 19:18:21

Dd2 is 13 next week, and I posted a thread a while ago about her refusing to take lunch to school, or buy lunch to eat.

At that time it was only really lunchtimes at school that seemed to be the issue. She was eating lunch at home of a weekend, and eating all other meals, although was getting very fussy.

Anyhow, now, she is still refusing to take lunch and has now started refusing breakfast too except of a weekend when she wakes up late and has it in bed.
I have offered lots of choices of cereal, toast, brichoe rolls etc, and she tends to eat them for a couple of days and then stops again.

She is still eating snacks most of the time if offered, so i can't work out if she is just being picky, or deliberatly doing it to lose weight. Having said that, i've just realised that she hasn't eaten the chocolate that my mum bought over.

I don't know wether i should be making a fuss about it, ignoring it or what, but I find it hard not to say anything to her when I know she is going all day without eating. If i do bring it up then she just says that she isn't hungry and to stop going on about it.

Does it sound like i should be worried ??

diddiehunter Sun 09-Dec-12 20:04:47

i dont have teens...yet. but if it was my daughter i would be a little concerned. a dont have any advice as such but if youre close enough to her, maybe you can try having achat about body image and see what her opinions are? might help you find an answer. i hope another poster replies to your thread and has experience as il be reading it for future reference too! smile

eatyourveg Sun 09-Dec-12 20:24:56

Would she take a multi vitamin and mineral in the morning? Teensense from Haliborange with Omega 3 or Bassetts active health chews for young adults both in Sainsburys, they might just lessen the worry on your part if you know she is at least getting essential nutrients. Sorry don't have any better advice.

coldcupoftea Sun 09-Dec-12 20:33:39

How about buying smoothies for breakfast, or encouraging her to take a cereal bar to school?

It would worry me confused. Could your older DD talk to her?

TheProvincialLady Sun 09-Dec-12 20:33:59

I would have a look at the websites she has been visiting recently, in case she has been looking at eating disorder/dieting sites.

Has she lost weight? Have a look on the BEAT website here and arm yourself with information about the signs of an eating disorder and who to contact for help. If she does have a problem, acting quickly is important both because of her health and because it is harder to treat when habits become entrenched.

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 09-Dec-12 21:04:24

Thank you all.

Multivit is a fab idea, I shall buy some tomorrow. She never says that she thinks she is fat, but i know she thinks she is ugly sad.

I think she has lost a little weight, but then she has also got taller so not sure if that is the reason for that. I'm taking her clothes shopping next Saturday so I should be able to get a better idea of what size she is, and how skinny she is looking.

I have offered smoothies and cereal bars but she has turned those down too. There aren't many things I haven't offered tbh. Of a weekend she is better, especially if I offer to do her a bacon sandwich or egg on toast. Don't really have time for that in the week though.

She uses my laptop a lot, and I haven't noticed her visiting any dieting sites, but I will keep a close on on that. I asked dd1 if she's noticed anything out of the ordinary, or if dd has been commenting about food or dieting, and she said she hasn't. They aren't that close though.

It is worrying me, because dd is someone that over thinks to the point of worrying herself, and has been since she was little. She had a handwashing ocd as a 4 yr old, and is a hypochondriac. I really don't want this to become her latest 'thing'.

I will take a look at that site, thank you.

ImperialBlether Sun 09-Dec-12 21:19:15

Personally, OP, I would make time in the morning to cook her something that you know she'll eat.

You're right, you have to stop any kind of eating disorder really quickly.

Why does she think she's ugly? That is so sad. Is there anything that could be done to help her there?

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 09-Dec-12 21:59:31

She hasn't got very high self esteem tbh. She got bullied at primary school for having teeth that stuck out, but we were lucky and she got referred to have them sorted when she was 11, and now they are lovely. She still has the braces, but they will be off in July.

She has gorgeous, long, dark, thick hair, but she hates it because she says it is too thick.

She is very very moody, and sometimes i think she is refusing food just to be arsey.
I will try and do her eggs or something in the morning, but I have a feeling that she will refuse that after a few days too. It's a bit like a control thing.

Having said that, she's just helped herself to a cupcake, so she does eat sometimes.

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 09-Dec-12 22:00:30

Should also add that she gets told a lot how beautiful she is, and gets a lot of positive comments from family and friends.

ImperialBlether Sun 09-Dec-12 23:31:37

Would hair straighteners do the trick?

Could you get her interested in something other than her looks? Does she have any hobbies? I wonder if she has something to absorb her that might help.

happygolucky0 Mon 10-Dec-12 11:34:59

My son is the abit like this. He has breakfast though. I had calls from the school that he doesn't eat lunch a few months ago. He throws it away, I often find it in the bin. Have had enough of going mad about it. What can I do, I am not at the school. He usually eats evening meal though, as long as its something he likes. It is a tough world out there where the image is to look slim. I would just say nothing for the time being and watch how it goes. Try and encouage healthy snacks at least to keep her well.

TheProvincialLady Tue 11-Dec-12 09:37:49

Big alarm bells are ringing here Nutcracker. A girl with low self esteem and obsessive tendencies who is avoiding food - I would speak to your GP straight away.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 10:50:26

I think I remember your previous post ( here everyone ), and I posted to tell you about my experience with my DS, so I'll try not to repeat myself too much. smile

He didn't understand the connection between food and nutrition; he just thought of food as 'calories', and he was worried about being fat, so he cut down what he ate. It helped/motivated him to understand that good food was important for his whole health, and that eating well meant that he would grow taller, stronger, have better teeth and skin, fewer spots, etc...

I also told him that I would have to take him to the GP if he didn't eat more, because it would be bad for his health. He didn't want to go to the doc, so this motivated him too!

I think 'eating issues' like this are about control. My DS liked having control over what he ate, and for him making his own breakfast and packed lunch were/are an important part of growing up and becoming more independent. When I was worried about how little he was eating, I encouraged him to prepare more of his own food, and said he could do this is I was happy that what he was preparing was healthy and nutritious. He wanted to do it, so he made an effort. If your daughter also likes to have control over what she eats, could you try something similar with her? - Give her more control, and help her by buying a good variety of things she likes, and teaching her to prepare them...

I've read some of your other posts, and you've had quite a lot on your plate over the past couple of years, OP. It might be that this is your DD's way of expressing her anxieties... Some general emotional support for her might be good. The school may have a counselling service or mentoring scheme she could access... It's worth finding out... smile

By the way, what you said about your DD's hand-washing phase is reassuring (IMO - providing that she doesn't do that any more). Some people do go through odd phases, at different stages of their lives, which mostly pass. Your DD may be one of these people smile My son is too... His phase of not eating has passed, and your daughter's probably will too smile

TheOriginalNutcracker Tue 11-Dec-12 16:21:53

Ah ha, thank you flow. I searched, but couldn't find the other thread.

We have been through a lot as a family and I do worry that dd has been affected by it. I will have a think about counselling. She would hate to go though, i know that much. She can be very shy, and this is causing her problems, as she will not go anywhere where she thinks it will involve meeting new people. When my brothers new gf came round the first time, dd sat crying in the bathroom because she wanted to come down and say hi, but felt she couldn't.
Eventually she came and sat on the stairs and played with her brother, and then slowly made it into the living room. Once she'd done it, she was fine.

So anyway, yesterday, she came in from school and made herself a cheese sandwhich. She then didn't want to eat her dinner later on, but I compromised and got her to eat half.

Today, she went to refuse breakfast but then seemed to think better of it, and so had a brichoe roll. She didn't take any lunch, but has just got in and done cheese and crackers. So, a slight improvement.

I have never ever heard her mention calories at all, and have never seen her checking food for calorie content either. This is why I am not sure if it is dieting thing or just a 'i will eat when i want to and not when you tell me to' control thing.

I will try and involve her more in choosing what food we buy. I think she would like that, and she then can't say that it's something she doesn't like.

My plan at the moment is to see how she is over xmas and then if she is no better I will take her to the gp.

It is her birthday tomorrow, so she gets to choose what we have for dinner. I will report back on what she choose smile

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 19:39:22

You're welcome, Nutcracker. Sounds hopeful... Does she have any interest in cooking? She might enjoy helping to make meals, as well as choosing the ingredients. smile

BTW, lots of kids hate the idea of 'counselling', so schools often have support that is more low-key - more like a friendly person to chat too. Sometimes it's a school nurse, sometimes there's a mentoring scheme, sometimes it is a trained counsellor but they don't make a big deal about it, sometimes it's someone in the pastoral team who the child/young person already has a good relationship with... It's worth asking, anyway, so you/your DD know what the options are...

TheOriginalNutcracker Tue 11-Dec-12 21:31:40

She is doing a Food Tech (bet it's not called that now) taster session this week to see if she wants to take it as an option next year.

She does like making easy dishes, so I will get her to help me with some meals. I'm making my dad chocolate concrete for xmas, so dd can do that too.

I have got to go and speak to the school about Dd1 and her op at some point soon, so i will mention about dd2 then and see if there is anything they can do.

RitesForGirls Thu 13-Dec-12 19:15:03

Hi, I would suggest that you trust your instincts. If you feel that something might be awry with your daughter's eating then I would say that this is worth paying attention to. Take it seriously. However, with your daughter, I would not focus on her eating when talking to her. She clearly does not want that scrutiny right now. I would focus on building a closer relationship with her, regular time just the two of you, doing something together that she loves. Be interested in her life, what matters to her, and get chatting. Seek to discover if there are any underlying issues that are troubling her. The food and eating are just indicators, not the actual problem. Listen lots. Love her as much as possible. The solution will not be instant. My best wishes.

cafecito Fri 14-Dec-12 03:19:36

Be very concerned. Are you sure she's eating normally in the evenings too? You need to nip this in the bud while you still can. She sounds very vulnerable to an eating disorder. I had anorexia from the age of 8, I had all those tendencies, very low self esteem even though I was (then) extremely pretty I thought I was hideous, etc etc. perfectionistic tendencies, and so on. I ended up at my worst with a BMI of 8.5 in a coma. I don't want to be alarmist but it's such a difficult age and if you have any worries, do not brush them aside.

Try talking to her about what is worrying her, what is giong on in her life, how she feels. Encourage healthy things and fun activities. Be supportive. Don't force food at her, it will have the opposite effect.

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