Posted by: A mothers'  helper | 2010/01/20

Child refusing to eat? - Fussy, Fussy eater - SOME ADVICE

Dear Sandar,

I know exactly how you feel.

As much as I can respect the opinion of the expert comment above, I would also like to offer my suggestions and opinion.

I have 2 girls and had similiar problems - NOW: Both my girls are on Multivitamins i.e. Dynajets and Choco Vites.
I came to the realisation that as a Mother we see food as a responsibilty and forget that kids develop tendencies and mannerisms that we sometimes don'  t even realise.

When I use to get home in the evenings, it was always such a rush and I hardly had quality time with the kids (bath, cook, check homework, get ready for the next day) BUT the only real minute or two that I dedicated to either one of my girls (youngest is 5) was when they would'  t eat and later I discovered that it bacame more frequent.. But I too got a little wiser and realised that they would do this as a means to get attention so I diverted the focus...

THis is how I do it
- Put my girls on vitamins.
- If they wouldn'  t eat - then that was fine but no dessert - calm with love(cos you are obviously not hungry)
- put up a reward chart in both their rooms (NOT regarding the food but redirecting focus to little chores, responsbilty, kindness, etc)
- NEVER force feed - especially girls... they end up hating food.

My advise to you is to try a few methods with her. Make her fee proud of herself in other aspects of her young life.

Maybe step 1 should be to teach her to stop drinking formula with the use of the reward system e.g. For everyday that she doesn'  t drink her formula, she gets a star and for every 5 stars she gets, she get an Ice-cream (keep the gift/reward simple) BUT whatever you do, do NOT reward her for eating.

Eating is not an achievement but a neccessity. Remember, your little one will NOT starve herself and die. Kids are active and automatically need to refuel to keep going so give her Vitamins (for your peace of mind as well) and leave her if she doesn'  t want to eat but you need to be firm about the intake of sugary snack, etc. - In my case my girls are only allowed sweets and chips and chocolates over the weekend (friday eve till Sunday noon) and that too in moderation i.e. only one chocolate, one packet of crisps, jelly babies, wine gums and/ sucker. They re not allowed fizzy drinks until they are about 13 and that excluded coke....

I could go on and on but I guess you get the picture. I hope this affords you some insight and help but if I were you, I would try every thing I can before going to a "  Shrink"  cos the last thing you want to do is make your kid feel like something is wrong with her for just being a KID!

Good Luck.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Mother's Helper
Thank you for your kind input.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Shrink | 2010/01/21

Dear A Mother' s Helper.

As a shrink myself I just want to say that you' ve given some really excellent advice with regard to the situation.

I' d just like to comment that in working with children, particuarly in a situation like this, I might see the child for a brief time to get a sense of him or her, but would mainly just work with the parents giving them similar advice that you' ve provided, thus not spending a lot of time with the kid in therapy as such. Hats off to you for managing to implement this system on your own! But I do think there is value for a lot of parents in receiving continued support and management in trying to implement such change in the home.

Unfortunately I think there is often a misconception about what it is us child shrinks do, but more and more, providing support and management ideas for parents as they go about implementing change in the family is what its all about. There' s also a misconception that children will think there' s something wrong with them, but mostly kids, especially younger ones find it fun going to a psychologist for a couple of sessions of assessment and think of it as play time.

While for a lot of people parenting seems to happen easily, its not the most natural thing in the world (especially as our lives have become busier and parenting has changed) for many and having someone to give ideas and support difficult adjustments can help a lot.

Just my 2 cents! :)

Reply to Shrink
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/01/20

Dear Mother's Helper
Thank you for your kind input.

Reply to DietDoc

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