Child Nutrition Expert Forum
Six Year old with eating difficulties and anxiety
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Six Year old with eating difficulties and anxiety

I have a six year old DD with a complex medical history who eats very little. DD was born premature at 30 weeks. Oral motor difficulties as an infant (gagging issues due enlarged tonsils and adenoids (adenoids) and texture issues). Tonsils and adenoids (adenoids) removed at age 3. Major texture issues (will not eat anything with skin, crunch or mixed texture). She also has food allergies to milk protein (casein and whey), peanuts and eggs and a sensitivity to soy. Eating has been an issue as long as I can remember and I always put to much pressure on her to eat. This resulted in fidgety nervous behavior and distracting attention getting behavior at the table. DH and I finally gave in and allowed DD to eat in front of the tv, where she was less nervous. She is easily distracted, grazes in front of tv with food and refuses to eat at table. We have always been on top of her to eat, to pay attention to her food, etc. So even tv is just a bandaid. Now in Kindergarten, she will not eat lunch at the table. Appears less interested and easily distracted and knows she will be fed in front of tv at home, when she wants on her terms. She also doesn't eat if there is something more interesting going on. Pediatrician says she is normal weight at 47 pounds (60th percentile), and grows 2" per year. Psychologist says she has huge control issues with food and everything. We have just started insisting that all meals are at table and will try for one month. We are trying not to mention food but its very difficult when we see her not initiating anything at the table. We are obviously very concerned about a developing eating disorder, even though she has no issues with body image or weight. She is a very picker eater. Only likes rice, chocolate soy pudding, pasta, pasta soup, animal crackers, and seasoned beef and gets bored easily. Hates smoothies bc of texture. Cannot do Ensure or Pediasure due to allergies. How do we get out of this cycle.

Is your child male or female?
:  
Female
What is your child's age?
:  
6
What is your child's height?
:  
45"
What is your child's weight (kgs or lbs)
:  
47 lbs.
267079_tn?1195146570
From your measurements, her weight is between the 50-75th percentile for her age which indicates she is normal weight. She must be eating enough food to maintain her weight within normal levels. Engage her in the kitchen more. Children love to be a part of making food. Have her help you with preparation of food and setting the table. Hopefully this will increase her interest in eating. The most important thing is to RELAX at meals. You do not want mealtimes to become the battle of the wits between your child and you. Relax at meals and let her eat what she wants and likes. If she does not eat, then do not make a fuss and let it go. Hoped this helped you.
3 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
my oldest was alot like yours,I let her eat what she wanted finally with a multi vitamin,mac&cheese and peaches for about a year,then she slowly became interested in what was my plate,now shes fully grown with picky eaters of her own.
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Avatar_m_tn
Since she is of normal weight don't pressurize her to eat anything. Let her eat what she wants, Make sure that the TV is switched off while eating. Also make her notice your plate by saying how yummy your food is- that way she would get interested I feel. Hope this helps you.
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