He will, eventually, eat. Right? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 4.5 years and honestly lives on yogurt, the occasional oatmeal, juice, a banana, one or two bites of pizza, cream cheese, and a pretzel or 2. and never all in one day. Seriously - the past couple days he's just had some yogurt for lunch, some juice, and a half a banana.

A brief peanut butter phase encouraged us, as did a scrambled egg phase. I don't think meat has EVER passed his lips.

He just doesn't seem to care about food. He doesn't even ask for food. He's got tons of energy, and knock wood has been sick only maybe twice in his whole life.

I try to make food alluring - i buy things i think he'll like based on his previous selections. I offer food every couple hours, but never force him to eat. It's not as if he wants "junk food" and we don't have it - he just doesn't really want anything.

But really - eventually he'll start eating more, right? I really don't know what else to do.

I'm gonna give Smoothies another try this week - banana ones, with yogurt and possibly peanut butter.

any ideas? anyone BTDT?
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#2 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 01:45 PM
 
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Hi, just wanted to let you know that my 6 year old barely eats as well. My 9 month old, on the other hand, LOVES to eat. They are very different in this way. Seriously, my 9 month old eats more than my 6 year old at just about every meal. I don't know what to do about it. He is very thin and people comment on it all the time, but what can I do? The food is there. It is hard, isn't it?
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#3 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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He may just have a small appetite. This will be a good thing later in life! I would definitely not force him to eat. You are doing the right thing by offering him healthy food choices every couple of hours. If he's hungry, he'll eat.
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#4 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:27 PM
 
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Yes, he will eventually start to eat, and will eat if hungry.
I have a wonderful book by Joey Shulman - it's called "Winning the Food Fight" I highly recommend it.
http://www.drjoey.com/
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#5 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:29 PM
 
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I'm in the same spot...dd is 4.5 also & hardly eats. I *really* don't want food issues, esp. with a girl but it's so hard. I have no suggestions, but wanted to commisserate (sp?).
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#6 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 03:59 PM
 
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yes, i think so.
my 8 year old is a dreadful eater.
i think he would go for days with no food if i let him.
even things he LIKES.
he doesn't like the way food feels in his mouth.
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#7 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I offically feel better

I was sorta dreading going for his well child visit - he actually looks really healthy, but he's always been on the small side (DH is tall and built like a coat hanger, i'm short and small-boned). I just know the Ped is gonna say "well, he's still in the 5th percentile - he needs to eat! give that boy some french fries!" sigh...

I know alot of it is his hyper-sensitivity to smells (which has imporved alot in the past couple months). Also, we as a family are not big eaters. So he comes by it honestly. But I don't really know anyone else with kids his age, so i had no frame of reference regarding his eating habits.

Thanks, y'all! I'm hoping the smoothies will at least be a hit, even if only for a breif while.

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#8 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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riley is SUPER sesnstivie to smell as well.
he can go to his grandparents for the weekend, and return home sunday evening, and say.. " hey, you had french toast!" and uh, yeah, we had, but we had it on FRIDAY!!
he can pick up any smell.
which comes in handy if i need to know if one of the wee ones has a dirty diaper, it keeps me from having to go in close for a butt sniff.
but still.
GRRR!
the smell thing i think has a lot to do with the non eating.
its like a plate of food, has so much smell to it, even if WE don't feel overwhelmed, i think they do.
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#9 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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My boys(4 and 2) are both high-energy kids who eat next to nothing all day. They do snack a little here and there, but they're really picky, and don't seem to be eating much (especially meat!). And they're both in a lower percentile. My ped says that they're doing fine- growing at their own rates, etc. As long as they're developmentally ok, they're ok.
Our ped actualy prefers for them to be in the lower percentile. He says that with the childhood obesity/diabetes problems right now, it is better for a child to learn to eat healthy foods when they are hungry and be a little thin than to be force-fed high-fat foods just to be in a higher percentile.
Your dc sounds normal. It sounds like you are giving him plenty of oppurtunities to eat. Keep doing that, and he'll eat when he's hungry. Or during a growth spurt.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#10 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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My ds hardly ate for most of his fourth year. A growth spurt must finally be kicking in because he has actually been eating lately.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#11 of 20 Old 09-27-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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They really don't need meat -- especially if they're eating yogurt and peanut butter.

Good for you for not pushing them to eat and making it into a stressful time at the table! I know it's hard not to noodge them when it seems like they aren't eating ANYTHING ...
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#12 of 20 Old 09-28-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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I had a similar situation with my 7yo when he was 2yo. DS wanted to have a chocolate bar for supper one evening and I had said 'no'. I told him to eat his supper first then he will get the bar. Well he did not eat so I did not give him the bar. He decided to stop eating altogether. He ate NOTHING for 2 whole weeks! I brought him to the doctor to find out why he was not eating. The doctor looks at me and says 'It's normal'. I did not believe this at all. I was so worried for him I didn't know what to do. I told DP that if DS does not eat for 1 more day I will give him a chocolate bar. Well, the next day came and again he did not want to eat, so I went to the store and bought him the bar and gave it to him to eat. He ate the bar! For the next few days I gave him anything he wanted to eat. Even if he wanted 'junk food' for breakfast he got it. I did not do this for too long though. I was just relieved he was eating again! During the 2 week period he had lost a few pounds, but the doctors insisted it was normal. Everything then placed itself and DS started to eat more healthy foods. He only did this the one time.

Back to the OP, I wish you the best with your son and his eating habbits. It's never fun to see your child not eat alot or at all.
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#13 of 20 Old 09-28-2006, 12:09 PM
 
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Don't worry, this is really, really common. My SIL and BIL are going through this with their 4 year old and I told them the same thing, they didn't believe me - they asked their ped. He agreed with me I was like this as a kid, always underweight, ate like a bird, hated meat and refused to eat it - didn't hurt me any
My 3.5 year old has a voracious appetite and will eat anything. My 17 month old hardly eats and is pretty skinny. Depends on the kid.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-28-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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Another Mommy of a non-eater here. DS is 3 and in the 10th or so percentile for weight. He is so thin that you can count his ribs. Well, lots of food is available, he just generally isn't interested. Some things he does love (super ramen, tofu, oatmeal, eggs, clementines) but only in small quaintities and such. I try to give him what he wants - e.g. he can have oatmeal for dinner if that he what he is hungry for.

I think it is normal. I mean, it isn't as if he doesn't have access to food. We are very relaxed about eating - pretty much any time and anything (ok, within reason, there are no Little Debbie et. al. in the house). He just doesn't care.

I was actaully thinner at his age then he is - and continue to be a pretty thin adult (who likes to eat).
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#15 of 20 Old 10-02-2006, 01:33 PM
 
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My 6yo is a phase eater. I have never worried about it because she has a great amount of energy
and she is healthy. She won't eat meat, except for occasional chicken, but I don't mind. I am glad
she isn't interested in beef. But like your child she does enjoy yogurt, banana's, peanut butter, cereal,
other things sometimes, somedays. She loved broccoli for a long time, then all a sudden she wouldn't
eat it. Last night at her grandmother's house that's all she would eat.

Yeah she is slightly short, and good weight for her height though. Her Dad is also short. Our ped has
never said anything negative about her weight. He always has remarked that she is a very healthy
gal. I believe that kids have a greater intuition than we do. Many times when my dd has her phases,
like eating nothing but yogurt for a day or too then I believe that is what she is craving, and what her
body needs.

I think it's great that you don't force food. My only advice is try to keep lots of choices in the house.
I used to buy a bunch of banana's, a bag of apples, the largest bad of carrots but many times would
find myself trying to force them on myself before they went bad. Now I try to keep 4-5 different fruits
plus different vegetables in the house in smaller amounts so there is always a choice.

It could be worse, your child could refuse to eat nothing but Doritos.

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#16 of 20 Old 10-02-2006, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
It could be worse, your child could refuse to eat nothing but Doritos.
heehee.
thats what i keep telling myself.
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#17 of 20 Old 10-02-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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Happy to see we are not alone in this. My oldest dd will be 6 on Wednesday. At about the age of 2 she completely changed her eating habits! She has gone through a few small phases where she'll try something new but it's rare and usually short-lived. I give her vitamins and also Pediasure when we can afford to buy it. I'm 99% sure she has sensory integration disorder and that is a big reason why she eats like she does. Every time she has a well child checkup she is super healthy and she's above average developmentally so no worries there. I just always make sure I buy the healthiest versions of what she will eat and always have other things available to her. I've read up on feeding disorders in kids and alot of it makes sense for my dd but I've also read that alot of times even with help it's very hard to change. There is a book I've heard good things about but haven't been able to buy yet for those interested...
http://www.sensoryresources.com/details.asp?pid=112

Good luck to all of you....it can be frustrating and confusing and nerve wracking!! Thanks goodness I only have one tough eater! My other kiddos eat like there is no tomorrow, lol!

Sky, mama to dd 10/00, dd 3/02, ds 7/04, dd 3/07, ds 7/10, dd 11/12,
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#18 of 20 Old 10-02-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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My dd has some major feeding problems and has seen a therapist for it on and off. One thing they suggest to increase volume intake is to increase food variety. So when your ds is about to lose interest in a food he's eating, immediately present him with two more choices for food to follow. It's a lot of work but it's very effective with some kids. Don't ask if he wants it. Just put a few more choices at the table or even sit down and eat some of it in front of him and make it look really yummy.

Does he like chocolate? Try warming up 2 T of Nutella and stirring it into vanilla yogurt. It will add a lot of calories, fat, and protein.

If you think this is turning into a power struggle, stop offering food at all for awhile and see if he starts asking for it. He needs to take control of his own appetite and learn to follow his cues.

Some kids are born with less sense of an appetite than others for various reasons (infant reflux is a common one). Some kids have sensory issues that make certain foods uncomfortable to them. Other kids have undiagnosed food allergies. They may not cause GI problems or rashes, but they can make a child feel generally bad and perhaps moody and tired. If you haven't already, I would suggest getting him tested for food allergies. He may be intuitively avoiding what he's allergic to without realizing it.

BTW my dds have not ever had meet cross their lips either. We are vegetarian.

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#19 of 20 Old 10-03-2006, 12:40 PM
 
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Dear Uberwench, my eldest daughter at mashed apricots almost exclusively until she was 4 or so. Occasionally, she ate dry cereal. She hates milk to this day. My son, at 9 months, ate a few bites of a banana daily, living exclusively on breast milk. My twins enjoyed a little mashed oatmeal with banana or a yogurt at around 7 months; but, were also exclusively breastfed.

I would say, not to worry. A child will never let him/herself starve. They know what their bodies need.

Isn't it a pity that more adults would just follow their true urge to eat when necessary and not because of gluttony. There would be far less overweight people in the Western world than there are at present.

Have fun with your son. He sounds wonderful.

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#20 of 20 Old 10-03-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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It can be really tough when your child doesn't eat. I have worried a lot about my older son.

Some children just seem less interested in food than others. My older boy who is now almost 4 and is generally not into food, but my 9 month loves to eat.

DS1 was not interested in solids as a baby - he just wanted breastmilk all the time. Since then we have gone through periods when he eats lots and periods when he does not eat. He often loses his appetite when he is sick or stressed about something. At the moment he's stopped eating because he is getting over a cold and his daddy has gone overseas for two weeks.

Food allergies could be a possibility. We did find out subsequently that DS1 was allergic to dairy until he was 21/2. I didn't give him dairy until he was nine months old but I think he was reacting to it in my diet. So it could be a good idea to look into allergies, especially if your child is displaying some of the other signs. My son was not healthy. He would get frequent colds as a baby and wake a lot at night. He then got a bad nappy rash when he ate dairy.

We also found that he was low iron at 10 months. And as soon as we started giving him fluoradix and lots of iron foods (prune juice, quinoa - we are vegetarian), he started to eat more. So I would recommend that you check on your child's iron levels and stores. I have also found that multivitamins can help too.

DS1 is a picky eater. I have found that having lots of variety of food helps. He gets very bored with food easily. Also we try to make meal times special. We have a pizza night and mexican night. I encourage him to help me cook when I can. He always shops with me. It is tricky as I have to make multiple meals at the moment. My baby has lots of food sensitivities(with his excema) so he and I have to be on a restricted diet. But sometimes my older son eats very well so it's worth it for us.

Good luck
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