My 14yo, adopted 18 months ago from Ukraine will not eat at school. She eats ALL THE TIME at home (evening, nights and weekends). A LOT. She came home VERY undernourished, and has grown a lot (although still very skinny). She does not vomit, or anything else. It worries me because she leaves home at 6:45 and return at 4, and will not eat anything during this time.
She says she is embarrassed of eating in front of kids.
We tried to help by offering small lunches from home. Also tried getting protein bars, but never lasts more than few days.
We are trying not to make a battle out of it, but it is becoming hard. Even teachers are worried.
What should we do?
In between, she seems well attached, no ODD, no RAD, she is almost fluent in English and surpassing all expectations in school (made the honor roll twice last year, and once this year already).
First, so sorry for the delay--there were a few glitches with my forum set-up and also with my knowing how to WORK the forum!
In general, we hate to ever make anything around food a struggle or battle. Just don't want to associate in a kid's brain nourishment and negativity. Let me first say, this is NOT medical advise, and I would of course recommend that you be in consultation w/ your ped about this... but my instinct on this is to continue providing her a few sources of "low profile" food in her backpack, pockets or whatever--hi-density, small-bite stuff--and then just try and relax. Sounds like she makes up for it when home. From what you say about school performance it doesn't sound like she get spacey or anything like that. And how wonderful that she shows no signs of any of the "D"s and that she's learned such a difficult language as English so quickly. These are HUGE accomplishments!!
The mind is an awesomely powerful process, and one possibility that occurs to me is that early on in her life she may have associated needing to eat with just that--NEEDING... and many of us adoptees (and many non-adoptees, too, who for whatever reason didn't have needs met very early in our lives), unconsciously made the decision that it was too scary/vulnerable to need anything of others. Eating in front of her peers might be just too close to that...? Thus the embarrassment.
Is there a way you can sort of make a game out of it? Take it OUT of the realm of a battle and try to steer it INTO the realm of play. Give that some thought and see if anything comes to you.
Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. --Rumi