25 answers

6 Year Old STILL Does Not Eat Well.

My 6 year old still does not eat well. I wondered if anyone else had struggled with this. He has never, and I mean never, eaten a fruit or a vegetable. He will eat bacon, but no other meats. He used to, but will no longer eat cheese. He will eat cheese pizza and nachos. He eats a variety of carbs, sweets and junk food -- although he has limited access to that. HE is the youngest of 4 kids and the others eat fine. His main source of food is peanut butter (only on a spoon, no sandwich, no jelly) and chocolate milk (made with instant breakfast so that he can get those nutrients). Over the years we have tried everything to get him to eat. If you tell him to eat his dinner or go to bed, he'll go to bed. If you tell him that that is all that's offered and if he doesn't eat that, he goes to bed hungry. He goes to bed hungry. If you by chance get him to try something, he usually throws it up and ends up in tears. I've taken him to the doctor several times. There is nothing digestively wrong with him. He is normal height and weight (thankfully the pbutter is enough). He wants to be able to eat more food too but doesn't know what to do. I continually offer him other food choices, but he has never taken a bite. Has anybody had a child like this that has outgrown this issue?

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So What Happened?™

I'm reading and trying to absorb all of the advice. Keep sending it my way if you think of something else. I'll keep you posted. THANK YOU for taking the time to write to me. For some follow up information. We have dealt with this from infancy -- he wouldn't eat babyfood. And yes, he brings tubs of peanut butter with a spoon for lunch, but it is starting to embarrass him (which is a good thing, I think). I have been to the pediatrician and ped gastro dr. but not a nutritionist, allergist or occupational therapist. All great recommendations. THANKS Again.

Featured Answers

So what do you pack for his lunch? (I assume he doesn't eat the school meals) Do you pack him a tub of peanutbutter and a spoon?

M., I suggest getting him some good vitamins that will replace what vitamins he is lacking by not eating. All people children and adults alike are not getting the vitamins that we need even when we do eat well. A company that I am affilated with Arbonne International has great vitamins for children and teens. One is a powder that you mix with water to make a cherry drink. One of the ingredients is superfoods. If interested give me a call or ck out web: www.successfromtheheart.myarbonne.com ###-###-#### Thanks, K.

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Hrm... well what we have been doing, and I believe is reason why my 4yr old eats so good, is this... I tell him 'this is brain food' (referring to proteins) and will make him smart, 'this is muscle food' (referring to carbs), 'these carrots help you see in the dark' you get the point. Find out what benefits him ad tell him in excited way and feel his bones when he eats cheese or drinks milk annd say whoa your bones are stronger. May seem silly at first but sure gets them excited to eat things that have results at the same educates them about nutrition. We call cakes, chips, etc 'feel good food to eat cuz we feel good after eating body food' and we eat those in moderation AS A FAMILY. We have one rule, you eat what we eat or just sit at table. If I make something new or exotic, I make him a sandwich (usually peanut butter and bread cuz he doesn't like jelly either)

Sounds like my 8 year old, but yours eats more than mine! He may have texture issues. My son throws up from fear if my daughter eats ravioli/spaghetti in the same room. Jake has ADHD/Asperger's too.

If he likes shakes, I suggest the Shaklee meal shakes. Also our Ocean Wonders multi. Everything is 100% guaranteed.

You can find them here, http://www.wellnessiseasy.com


I hear fear that if you do not give your child the foods he wants, you think he may not eat at all. That is not the case. The only way your child could have been exposed to the unhealthy "junk" foods he eats is through you. If you give him healthy foods only, that is what he will eat. He is manipulating you with guilt and fear to get what he wants which will ultimately hurt him. It is going to be harder not at his age than it would have been when he was a year old, but if you stick it out, and only feed him fruits veggies, whole grains lean meats, and healthy foods, that is what he will eat and he will thank you later when you have prevented many diseases through good nutrition. Be strong and confident and believe that he will not starve!
B. S. RN. CCM.


This is an eating pattern, some call eating disorder. It is most common in boys that have other texture issues. Like children that are very picky about the texture of their clothes, or the tags, or the seams of their socks. I have two friends that have had boys that eat this exact list of foods. THe only one you didn't mention was eggs. they will both occassionaly eat eggs. One is now 16 and eats fairly normally. When he was about 10 the doctor had them to begin having him eat chicken just an ounce or two a couple of times a week with his peanut butter, bacon etc. This was the beginning and of course lots of tears from everyone. THe other guy is 9 and he lives on carnation instant breakfast, peanut butter, cheese, and bacon. oh, he also eats yogurt. You might try it if you haven't it has such a smooth texture, it might be appealing. Is your son tongue tied by chance? Both of these boys where mildly tongue tied. They both have since had surgery and their eating has improved. Neither one was very sever. he would eat a pound of bacon at every meal if his mom would let him . I would make sure you always have what you know he will eat on hand, make sure he has good choices and offer him whatever is knew, I know it is frustrating but he really can't help it. This is not stuborness issue that you can out last. This is a medical issue that has to work itself out over time. It will. Just keep overing him things, make sure he takes a good chewable vitamin every day and give him carnation instant breakfast, whole milk, milkshakes etc for the calcium and vitamin D. Good Luck

I have a 6 year old who has a very similiar problem. she will only eat hamburger pattys from McDonalds(No bun), french fries (McDonalds only), pizza, breadsticks with cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, mozeralla cheese, parmesean cheese(by the spoonful), fried pepperonis with taco seasoning on top, taco meat, hot dog(No bun), Gogurt sometimes, doritoes, Cheese puffs, and a few other unhealthy foods. She will sometimes eat apple bites and drink some milk. She will not try hardly anything, not even new cookies or cakes. She will not eat sandwiches or regular meals. Because she doesnt eat breakfast and very little for lunch at school, her eating and refueling occurs from 2:45 until 9:00 P.M most days. I hate to send her to bed hungary but my husband says she will eat when she get hungary enough. And eat what we tell her to. My concern is if she is getting the vitamins and nutrients she needs to continue to grow healthy both physically and mentally. She also seems to be getting slightly heavy and pudgy, but what do you expect with what she eats and when she eats it. I can watch her and know that her body is craving new foods and tastes. She is searching by eating a little of this and then searching for something else to eat. I beg her to try things and if she finally agrees, she doesnt get enough to even allow her to get a slight indication of what it tastes like. Smells bother her too. Everyone says she will eventually start eating better but I have no idea when. I am running out of things (variety) to feed her. She wont even eat mac & cheese. It's good to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. Any suggestions are appreciated.

M., I suggest getting him some good vitamins that will replace what vitamins he is lacking by not eating. All people children and adults alike are not getting the vitamins that we need even when we do eat well. A company that I am affilated with Arbonne International has great vitamins for children and teens. One is a powder that you mix with water to make a cherry drink. One of the ingredients is superfoods. If interested give me a call or ck out web: www.successfromtheheart.myarbonne.com ###-###-#### Thanks, K.

First, TRY TO RELAX! I know that is the hardest thing to do about anything when it comes to our children... but there are bigger battles to fight that will have longer consequences. Try to focus on how thankfull you are that this isn't something (take you pick) more serious. It is good to see you are noticing this series of events in your child's life... that alone already makes you a great parent!

Quietly observe closer clues. Are there other behaviors that you are noticing? That may help to identify what the underlying cause for the dietary aversions might be. It could be anything from reflux and allergies to sensory integration disorder to growth phases requiring different nutrients. With out close observation you will never know what is really going on. Taking notes will help keep observations in perspective; maybe this isn't as often or as big of a deal as you think. Seeing the bigger picture may show this as a simple manipulation tactic to get more one on one focus from you (posative or negative) and that is simple to repair early on although it gets harder and harder over time if ignored.

Remember also that sometimes it is just a phase and if you don't make a big deal of it, it will resolve itself... however, if you make comments around your child and get upset (kids pick up on the mildest things) these litle quirks can often develop into something more difficult to deal with. If he is very active he may just need all that protein and carbs. Maybe this is a phase where he is building up for a growth spurt... I am always shocked how much people worry about having a "plump" child when the real situation is nothing more than normal hereditary growth patterns.

My child hit a few patches of peanutbutter & chocolate milk. It has come and gone and come back a few times. I'm certain if you looked closely at your own diet there have been points where you have cravings and not for the good stuff. I personally get cravings for strawberry flavored milkshakes... while I dislike strawberries because they have seeds. My 11yo nephew will not eat anything but oatmeal or soggy cold cereal. We are all very healthy people. Mom told me that when she was pregnant her neighbors believed that if she mentioned any food they should give it to her because her body knew what she needed to make a healthy baby. I feel the same about our kids... with all the enriched & vitamin fortified stuff, our children are not hurting as much as we think. If it really bothers you - switch to natural peanut butter & talk to his dr. I'd hazzard to guess the Dr is not worried or he would have said something. You must be doing fine.

I make my 4 year old taste at least one bite of any new food on our plate.even if we are at the table for an hour waiting.and I have found through consistency,she is bent on not tasting it and crying but then after trying one bite sometimes I'm shocked to hear," mom mmmm I like this can we eat this tomorrow again.so new creations and making them try just one bite works even with my very picky eater. Charlotte

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