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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to try and keep this short and sweet! My DD is nine and she will only eat - starting with breakfast - cheerios, rice crispies, waffles, pancakes, french toast on occasion, eggs on occasion, peanut butter (only Peter Pan), saltines, ritz crackers, white pasta, white bread, bagels, cream cheese, parmesean cheese, provolone cheese, white rice and couscous. Notice it is ALL white??? HELP ME!!!! This is more than being a pickey eater, she has an eating disorder at this point. The nutritionist didn't help, the blood draws testing for anemia didn't help (ironically she is VERY healthy). I am a nervous wreck...the rest of us eat very healthy. We are at about 80 percent health foods / organic foods while she is eating all processed unhealthy food! I make two dinners every night. If I don't I feel guilty, I can't let her starve to death! I have tried everything I can think of to get her to eat, whether it made me feel good about myself or not! I have tried to persuade her to eat, I have begged, bribed, tricked, I have gotten goofy with her about trying things, none of it works. Here is what she does - if she does "try" something AKA lick with the tip of her tongue, she throws up. I am at my wit's end here. It could stem from abuse she suffered through from her bio-father, it could stem from needing attention, who knows! Should I just let her eat what she will and stop fussing over her??? Does anyone have any advice? I will try anything! TIA!
 

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Well... I see protein...grains..milk...

the only category that is missing is fruits and vegetables...

As long as she isn't losing weight and the doctors say she is fine, i wouldn't really worry about it.

I doubt there is any particular reason behind this, its likely that she has just become picky and it will go away in time....

Take her grocery shopping with you and go through the produce aisle, ask her if there is any fruits of vegetables that she likes and buy them...

Keep in mind.. if you provide her with that unhealthy food she will eat it.. if you remove it from the house then she will have no choice but to eat whatever else is available...

if she is hungry she will eat..

She seems to be consuming alot of sodium though..
 

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Have you read Child of Mine? I think the advice there on food is really excellent. And basically, she recommends stepping back and letting your child be responsible for what and how much she eats. No pushing, no pleading, no bargaining, and especially no fixing special meals to order. Let her serve herself at the table from the same healthy normal food everyone is eating, and either she eats or she doesn't -- it's up to her. She won't starve herself, and with the pressure off she's actually likely to eat more, because it's not a power struggle and she doesn't feel pushed or forced to eat.

Good luck!
 

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It can be scary to think our child's health is in danger, but IMO, you really dont want to push in this area. Food is such a personal situation and it can really create some lasting damage if it turns into a struggle between you, her and food.

I agree with inviting her to be involved with shopping, looking up new recipes, or cooking. Just invite her or ask her if some recipe you've read sounds good. If she declines that's fine. Kids tastes change so much that I imagine she will be changing too before long.
 

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My DD use to be like that but now she eats quite well she still won't eat meat which i don't blame her but it takes time. But as long as she s healthy don't worry !!
 

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I don't have older children (my oldest is 3.5), but I do have a couple suggestions for you (being that I'm young and still remember well what it was like to be that young). Something that I have found with my dd and with other kids that I babysit on occasion (that are used to the very SAD diet), is that if they're hungry, they'll find something to eat. If it's not in the house, then they can't eat it. Maybe get creative with your healthy options, like if you make pancakes and you can't get her to eat the whole grain ones you prepare, than maybe start shifting her towards it slowly by starting with the ones she's used to and slowly adding more whole grains until it's all the way there (an example for other foods as well). Also, maybe try not to force her to try anything. I remember when there was pressure on me to do something as a kid, it made me hate it even more. But when the pressure was relieved, I'd sneak it and realize that I liked it, and sometimes I really didn't. But you also have to remember that when she does decide to try something on her own, you don't make a single comment or give any looks. Just act as though she did a perfectly normal thing. Otherwise she might go ahead and protest anyway. Does that make sense??

As far as out of the house, there's not a lot you can do about that as they get older. But I will say, because of my mom's example I've returned to eating waaaay healthy after my junk food binging teenage years. And I've learned a few lessons to boot. So also your example is your biggest ally. Maybe also making comments on occasion about health that she'll hear, but wasn't directed at her. Maybe discuss it with a like-minded friend, or your dh with her nearby or take her to lectures where hip, fun people are discussing how cool it is to eat organic, etc. (there's even organic kid's groups, if you're really gung-ho and live near a bigger city). You kinda have to make eating healthy look cool in order to combat all of the "this junk food will make your life fun" advertisements coming at kids these days.

Just some general ideas. But also remember your relationship with her is definitely more important than food... If the bond between you two is strong then she'll have a lot of respect for you, and therefore eventually your health ideals.

If she does have an eating disorder for sure (and make sure it's for sure and not just a dramatic phase), then I'd work on her self-esteem and get her some help (what that entails, I don't know, but from what I've heard eating disorders don't just go away, they are an obsessive thing, so must be worked on with help).

Just my .02!!

HTH,
Sarah
 

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This soudns just like my 9yo-but yours may have a BETTER diet. It did not start stressing me until recently, as it has gotten worse this year. She knows what healthy foods are and asks for them but does not like the taste and will rarely try it when it is given to her! On rare occasions she tries it-she likes it. But if I push it she stands her ground it is gross... I do not push it often but this year she is having more problems fighting colds, etc. and (in frustration) I catch myself saying "Eat better or deal with staying sick."

I know I need more time at home to cook and such. I have on occasion whipped up concoctions she has loved (rice broccolli chese and beans in a tortilla shell). Which is odd cause she definately has texture issues to some degree (my diagnosis there). Day by day is all I can do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your replies and advice! I do involve her in the shopping every grocery trip and she loves to pick out fruits and vegatables to make for her baby sister so I know there is some interest in there somwhere. I also got a Food magazine for kids recipes and let her and her brother initial everything they want me to make...she initialed the desserts!
I ordered the Child of Mine book as well as another one called My Child Won't Eat. I am going to be nonchalant about it and hopefully she outgrows this phase! Thanks for the support mamas!!! I don't feel like such a bad mom anymore!
 

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Not to be alarmist, but I've read in a few places that autistic children often only eat food of a certain color. Also, they may not like it to be touching other food. I was a really picky eater, although not regarding colors, and I'm not autistic, however, so take this with a grain of salt. Which is also white.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MyNameIsBen
Not to be alarmist, but I've read in a few places that autistic children often only eat food of a certain color. Also, they may not like it to be touching other food. I was a really picky eater, although not regarding colors, and I'm not autistic, however, so take this with a grain of salt. Which is also white.
My autistic ds is alot like your dd. He is not only really picky but will puke on food whose texture is not quite right or taste not quite to his liking. He will also puke if something smells "gross". It might be your dd has some autistic inclinations. or it could be she has food issues because she sees that has at least one way to control what is happening/being done to her. It does sound like she is getting some foods from at least a few food groups- lacking mainly in veggies and fruit. Ok, admittedly alot of it is processed. That would be one area that you could quietly target. Try to steer her towards as healthy foods from what she will eat. While I doubt how well our bodies absorb chewable vitamins, maybe see if she'll gobble one a day. It's a tough call to decide to get into a food fight with dc. Sometimes it makes them more neurotic and other times it turns them around. I guess if I were you, I'd go about the task very gently and slowing. I'd stay away from (not that you do the following!) shaming, name calling, all or nothing situations, etc. Taking her grocery shopping and letting help cook are good ideas too, from pp...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I am positive she isn't autistic. She is nine, so we would have known much sooner than this but it is a good thought. Interesting how she has the same food aversions as someone with autism might. She does take a multi vitamin, even though she will only take the generic Flinestones and that goes against just about everything I believe in when it comes to food coloring, additives and preservatives. In this case, though, I figure she has to get vitamins from somewhere! The organic vitamins are WAY too expensive for me to buy her so the generics will have to do!
 

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I haven't been in MDC for a few days and didn't see this thread til now. About a week ago, I started an identical one--same aged DD, same distress about all white foods, wondering what to do. It is so hard to be nonchalant, and letting my DD make all these awful food choices makes me feel like a terrible parent. But I did get DD's attention with a gentle discussion about why I worry, and together we did a little bit of research about nutrition. This week, she tried several new foods and discovered that she loves yogurt, dried fruit, whole wheat bread/bagels, whole grain pizza dough and oven fries made out of fresh potatoes.

She has seen me and DH in the past couple years really focus on cleaning up our diet, and she sees her little sister eating the same stuff as us, and I don't know if part of her resistance to new foods had something to do with being different? In any case, for her it very much has to do with texture and a fear of new textures and tastes.
 

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In terms of absolute numbers of foods, your daughter actually eats more foods than my dd, 12, does. My dd also does the "tasting" by touching a minute amount of food to the tip of her tongue and then making all sorts of ugly faces and gagging noises. My dd is adopted from Ethiopia and I know that the food here is different, but her attitude toward eating was really bugging me. I talked to our social worker and some other adoptive parents about it and here's what we do:

DD makes her own breakfast, choosing from what is available in the house.

DD makes her own lunch, choosing from what it available in the house.

I make one dinner. DD eats it or she does not eat it. We say nothing.

It hasn't changed her eating habits. She will still eat only Ethio food, pasta, couscous, or peanut butter and bread. However, I am no longer stressed about it and DD has learned that I'm not willing to make it a power struggle anymore. She no longer gives me the silent treatment if I don't make Ethio food, pasta, couscous, or peanut butter and bread.

I buy the food. I solicit her input before I go shopping. Anything healthy that she asks for, I buy. Any junk, I don't.

HTH!

Namaste!
 
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