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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And, by won't eat..... litterally will NOT eat. She will eat some cookies, but, only maybe one or less. She will not eat anything else.<br><br>
It started small. A year ago, she ate everything she could. She'd wake up early before everyone else, and eat everything she could find. Then, it was only pop tarts and breakfast foods. Then, her parents put a lock on the pantry.<br><br>
In the last three months (since the pantry was locked) she has slowly stopped eating everything unless it's absolute junk food. They were buying her doritos and cookies for a while, but then it got to the point that she'd finish a whole bag of doritos by herself, and then eat nothing for two days. Now, she won't even eat those.<br><br>
How long before they find a doctor for this? The pediatrition says it's just a stage and when she's hungry, she'll eat. But, she doesn't.<br><br>
Edited to add: (Mom just called me) she says that she needs a referral to any kind of specialist (and doesn't know where to look anyway) or she can't make an appt.
 

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I would just only offer non-junk food. Thinking about my 3 yo - he wouldn't let himself starve. He'd eventually settle for a banana or some cheese.<br><br>
Does she drink anything besides water? I'd wonder if she was filling up on milk/juice/etc., and getting calories that way.<br><br>
Hope they figure it out soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Drummer's Wife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15415981"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would just only offer non-junk food. Thinking about my 3 yo - he wouldn't let himself starve. He'd eventually settle for a banana or some cheese.<br><br>
Does she drink anything besides water? I'd wonder if she was filling up on milk/juice/etc., and getting calories that way.<br><br>
Hope they figure it out soon.</div>
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Here, she only drinks water. Milk bothers her stomach. But, I don't know about home.
 

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I would take away all the junk. No junk in the house at all. If she gets hungry enough, she will eat whats available. It sounds as if she has a stronger will than the parents. They need to stop giving in and only offer healthy alternatives. (She wouldn't eat junk if it wasn't an option.)<br><br>
I am not really sure what a doctor could do about this. It seems to be more of a parenting issue than a medical issue but I could be wrong.<br><br>
I would explore the possibility of medical issues and food sensitivities though.
 

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I would not offer any junk food and I would trust that she would eat when she was hungry. Kids can hold out for a long time and the trick is holding out longer.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>One_Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15416055"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would not offer any junk food and I would trust that she would eat when she was hungry. Kids can hold out for a long time and the trick is holding out longer.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: You said it much better than I could have.
 

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I'd ask the pediatrician for a good dietician, or see if my insurance company (in the US) or province (in Ontario) had a hotline to one that might give out referrals. Although I believe most kids will eat when they're hungry, there will always be some extreme cases.<br><br>
After that I would honestly give the child a very small amount of junk food weekly, because the parents have been and it won't kill her. I would walk to the store with her, buy the small amount I was going to, and bring it home so that there are no storage issues.<br><br>
Then I would let her figure out when she wants to eat it, with the understanding that's it for the next week. And I would stay extremely consistent on this apart from the odd party.<br><br>
After that I'd unlock everything and store only things I was happy with her eating and let her get back to self-regulating. I'd also make relatively kid-friendly (but not junky) meals and make them as pleasant as possible without correcting her on her eating or tracking it.<br><br>
But I'd still start at a dietician. The eating like crazy early in the morning sounds a bit off and there could be a problem.
 

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It's pretty normal for 2 and 3 year olds to become picky eaters and even eat less than they were. Maybe the parents can find some healthy versions of the "junk" foods. Putting a lock on the pantry made food even more of an issue and that probably made things worse. The best way to control a childs diet is by controlling what foods come into the house. We discouraged junk foods by not buying them. DD has had a few types of cookie but hasn't had a poptart or dorito.<br><br>
If the little girl hasn't lost any weight she may be eating more than they think she is.
 

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I also say cut out the junk food and eventually the child will eat what's available. But the pantry needs to be open and the junk needs to be gone, period. I'd say that the parents of the other household probably created the problem and the power struggle in the first place by letting the kiddo have doritos and pop tarts to begin with. (Why would a 2 yo be eating that kind of junk food, anyway??) Kids get a taste of processed food and it becomes highly addictive.<br><br>
Unfortunately, it sounds like she spends time with you, too, so you're kind of stuck in the middle.
 

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Does she have any kind of special needs or sensory issues? Does she have any dental problems? Mouth sores? Food sensitivities as an OP mentioned? Digestive problems?<br>
If she is really not eating anything, I would want to rule out a lot of other stuff....especially with the previous history you describe....maybe take her to a therapist or counsellor?<br><br>
How long has she been like this???
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>proudmamanow</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15416419"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Does she have any kind of special needs or sensory issues? ??</div>
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She is deaf.<br><br>
She's also kinda crazy. She makes Shawn White and Tony Hawk look like pansies. Seriously... she needs an agent.<br><br>
She went through many months of food hoarding and stealing food. That's when this started. I know this must go much deeper than just food hoarding. I just don't really know what happened, or when.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nextcommercial</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15416459"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She went through many months of food hoarding and stealing food. That's when this started. I know this must go much deeper than just food hoarding. I just don't really know what happened, or when.</div>
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Yes, this sounds like there is something else that is just being exhibited through food. Perhaps having a lock (I'm assuming a physical lock) on the pantry is a clue... if the other household is that controlling, there may be many issues at play.
 

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Well, the food hoarding issues imply that there have been a lot of issues around food in that house, so I don't know how much the advice from all of us out here in internetland who don't know those issues is worth!<br><br>
But, I did want to add that between 3 and 4 is when a lot of kids really lose their baby chubbiness and get very skinny. I know that among the kids I know, between 3 and 4 they almost all gained several inches in height and no weight at all (and a few even lost weight that year). I just remember talking at moms group once about how none of them were eating anything except crackers when they could get them, and then a few months later we were all talking about how SKINNY they all were all of a sudden.<br><br>
So maybe it's a normal developmental stage that's just being made worse by the food issues/control issues in that house?
 

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Sounds like a handful. Would she be still long enough to make some food? She's 3? That's plenty old enough to help make a cute snack (ants on a log, or a pear sailboat, etc). She could help make more healthful cookies or muffins. I make a banana chocolate chip nutty seedy muffin that's really pretty healthful. I use whole wheat flour and sunflower seeds, flax seeds, smashed bananas, and a few chocolate chips (maybe one adult handful for 12 muffins). My kids love them and love to help make them.<br><br>
Maybe she should specifically ask the pediatrician for a referral, or look for a new pediatrician if it continues. It sounds like they could be some pretty serious issues.
 

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I don't understand why they're buying her Doritos and cookies and all the rest of that. I mean, I get that there are probably some issues, but still. Get rid of the junk. Fill the pantry and fridge with a bewildering variety of fresh, nourishing, whole food, and then let the child choose what she wants from what's on offer. It's not like we're talking about a teenager, who's old enough to go down to the store and buy the junk herself. She's 3. If she's eating junk, it's because it's in the house, which means the adult in her life isn't taking responsibility. A lock on the pantry? What for?<br><br>
That would be my approach, anyway. Maybe I'm being harsh, though. I'm thinking it over and I really do think this is what I believe.<br><br>
Picky eating is normal and typical at this age. But the way to deal with it is to keep offering good healthy foods, and limit junk, and otherwise leave the child be. White flour and sugar and processed fats are highly addictive, and a lot of kids just cannot self-regulate their consumption of these foods.
 

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Yeah, another vote for just no more junk food. When she's hungry, she will eat. She just knows that if she holds out for long enough, she'll get poptarts/doritos/cookies/whatever. So she does. Mom & dad just need to be more stubborn than her. And obviously their not. So, she wins. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Get the mom some info by, or maybe a phone consult with, Ellyn Satter. <a href="http://www.ellynsatter.com/" target="_blank">http://www.ellynsatter.com/</a>
 

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I havent read the other replies....(dont you love that...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
But my advice is to check her teeth. Does she have a cavity? Some children will be picky with food b/c their tooth feels hurt/funny/whatever. ( Deca, from the sugar, I presume...)<br><br><br>
Also. it seems like she holds out for what she likes, but with that much junk food, I would see about the last time she had a check up too.<br><br>
I have a picky eater too, and it turned out to be teeth problems in disguise.<br><br>
Not too mention that his love for crackers must have helped.....<br><br>
HTH Hugs!!
 

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I agree with almost everyone else, just don't keep junk in the house.<br><br>
My daughter is not picky but she got her father's junk food obsession. She eats and enjoys lots of good things (I can't think of anything she refuses to eat and she'll try anything, loves trying new things and always has - we got lucky) but if there is junk she can not stop thinking about it. She still, at 4.5, does not have the patience to wait till later or a real grasp of "just one today" so it's easier for everyone - most of all HER - if we don't even have that stuff in the house.<br><br>
I've read several books on kids and food in the past few months and the things they all agree on are:<br><br>
offer planned, sit-down snacks and meals at regular times<br>
everyone should choose from the same foods<br>
don't force anything, just keep offering<br>
parents decide what and when, kids decide if and how much<br><br>
Because she has had some food hoarding and binging issues, I would never make food off limits. I would try to make sure there's a drawer or cabinet or space in the fridge with pre cut veg, fruit, cheese, etc and let her know that food is always available if she wants it.<br><br>
It will probably be a big struggle but as long as this kid knows Doritos will happen sooner or later, she is going to hold out.<br><br>
I hope they find some kind of help for her. I think I remember you posting about this child in the past? And it sounds like she has just had one difficulty after another. Her parents always sound kind of inconsistent but then faced with multiple difficulties and new and changing ones all the time, it is probably exhausting to always do the right thing, and when you're in the middle of it, it can be so hard to see what "the right thing" even is.
 

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I'll be standing on the other side of the fence. While agree that a child should not be given only junk food I have a child that virtually stopped eating everything around that age. We could not wait him out he was severely underweight. We saw a dietician and he actually has a pretty good variety of foods he will eat, he continues to not eat a big enough volume of food. I would keep a weight log or drop in to the pediatrician every couple of days for a weight check. It has been a very long 10 years dealing with food issues in our house.
 
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