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Please Help! My 10 Year Old Refuses to Eat & Weighs 64 Pounds

My 10 year old daughter weighs 64 pounds and is 4'6. She has always been a picky eater and it has shown in her weight. She is very skinny and tall. I know this is mainly a concern to be directed toward her pediatrician, but I thought I would seek some other parental advice before making a phone call to the doctors’ office. She is pretty active but is very insistent on not trying new foods. She has been this way since she was very little and because of it, she does not participate in our family dinners. Most of the time she will choose a sandwich over meatloaf, or stew, or chili, or any kind of food that may be considered a "normal" food to eat. I don't have any ideas in how to get her to at least TRY new foods. Most of which I have just mentioned, she has never tried. Once I insisted that she at least take 1 bite but it was just torture for the both of us. She will cry and actually starve herself if it means she has to put a foreign food in her mouth. I feel I have catered to her long enough and I am beginning to think we just need to try something new. Please help me, any advice is much appreciated.

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This may sound harsh, but she's seems that she's in the habit of getting a choice. If she's hungry, she will eat what you fix. Have her help you fix dinner so she feels some ownership and desire to eat what she's created. My mom had times that she just left my brothers plate at the table and if he was hungry he had to go back and eat his dinner. Not got dig something out of the pantry or some alternate item. Don't let her argue with you. Tell her no one else wants to listen to her complain, so this is it, do pander to the tantrums. It's more psychological for her now, she trying to push you into giving in. Just think what that will be like later on. Are you really going to give her something that is bad for her or will make her sick...no.

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This may sound harsh, but she's seems that she's in the habit of getting a choice. If she's hungry, she will eat what you fix. Have her help you fix dinner so she feels some ownership and desire to eat what she's created. My mom had times that she just left my brothers plate at the table and if he was hungry he had to go back and eat his dinner. Not got dig something out of the pantry or some alternate item. Don't let her argue with you. Tell her no one else wants to listen to her complain, so this is it, do pander to the tantrums. It's more psychological for her now, she trying to push you into giving in. Just think what that will be like later on. Are you really going to give her something that is bad for her or will make her sick...no.

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I really feel you on this one! I was the exact same way as a child, believe me. My solution for this issue: don't cater to her anymore. If she doesn't like or want what you make for dinner, or whatever meal for that matter, then she doesn't have to eat. I know that you say she is getting thin but she is old enough to know that when she gets hungry enough she is going to have to eat. She needs to learn that your kitchen isn't a restaraunt and you won't take special orders. It's hard enough these days being a mother and making a household work without our children's willful personality rearing it's head.

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my 8 yr old daughter is a really picky eater. always has been. she is very small and has recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder b/c she is so thin and not a good eater. her nutritionist suggested starting her on pediasure. this has made her gain weight and she's getting the nutrition she needs. i only give my daughter 2 a day so she depenent on them. good luck!!!!

She is old enought to help cook. Give her one night a week to cook dinner with picking what she wants to make and getting the supplies. (even if it's pbj's and juice) You could even get her a teen cook book to pick from. IF the family is proud of what she made she may even want to try it herself. My son is 5 and a very picky eater. Sometimes only eating one meal in 2 days. Haveing him help make the food has helped him try new things and feel good about himself. Sometimes he wants to make some crazy things that we wouldnt have otherwise but he thinks it good and is willing to try it. The kids have one night a week that they pick whats for dinner and get to help cook it. We all have a wonderful time cooking together. ANd each kid gets some one on one time with who ever is cooking with them (mom or dad). So you get 2 things at one time. Dinner made and some time together. Also just having her sit at the table while you are eating is good even if she doesn't eat. This is kinda mean but, if the kids don't like what we are having for dinner and start to throw a fit I have them stand in the corner by the table while we eat. That way they are still in the room and have to hear what everyone thinks about the dinner. Most of the time they will come back to the table and eat or just sit and not make any complaints. Dinner time is our family time and is the only time that we can all get together so it's a big deal. Even if they don't eat. Maybe just some one on one time with you and her would help. Have her go shopping with you and help pick out foods for whole family (her too). Good luck.

I completely agree with some of the others-your giving her a choice. The way I have always done with my kids is I make something that isn't strange or out of the ordinary every night-you either eat it and be happy about it or you go hungry. They might not adore what we have for dinner-but I'm being honest when I tell you that they have never once decided not to eat it and just go hungry. I think sometimes we as parents give kids too many choices-dinner shouldn't be one of them. In my house we don't cook special meals for each person.

There is a childrens book, right off the top of my head I can't remember what it is called exactly, but it is with the character Francis. But Francis will only eat Peanut butter and jelly. Until her mom some how tricks her into trying other food. I know your daughter might be to old for the book, but it worked on my neice. I will try to find the actual title of the book and get back to you on that.

I found the book, like I said it is a childs book but it worked for my neice who was 8. We had her help read the book to my younger child and she kinda got the moral of the story.
Bread and Jam for Frances
Russell Hoban, Lillian Hoban (Illustrator)

I know what your going through, when my daughter turned 2 she went nuts on me and wouldn't eat the things she used to, for 5 years she would only eat, hot dogs, eggs, chicken noodle soup and peanutbutter sandwiches. I tried everything from giving in to making her sit there until she ate some. nothing would work. Finaly last summer she tried hambuger and ate it, I just kept not giving her desert when every one else had some, I think that was harder on me than her, it took awhile but now she will eat some of the things I consider normal food for suppers, she is still very very picky but she'll eat about half the things I cook. I know people and dr's say you can't force them to eat and you shouldn't bribe them but after such a long time of them hardly eating real food with every one elseyou end up with nothing else to try if that doesn't work maybe maybe she'll out grow it soon. I really wish there was more I could tell you I know how hard it is to watch your daughter go day after day with out eating hardly anything. let me know how it truns out

Shopping for food with her and having her helping to cook is always a good idea. As well, take advantage of the things she likes. If she will eat sandwiches, make sandwiches that are a whole meal, with some salad, onion, tomato slices, cress and so. Try to add relish or flavored mayonnaise. Maybe is you make a sandwich night, she will eat with the family.

At her age, may children do as their friends do. Maybe you could invite home some other kids that are good eaters, or take out for dinner a bunch of them. She may be willing to try things if she sees her friends do it - my 10 year old never wanted to try Chinese food when I offered but it became her favorite when she went to a Chinese restaurant with friends for a birthday.

Volunteer for school cook outs and ask for her help.

Whatever, be reasonable, patient and firm. If you want her to try peas, just say "Please, I want you to sit down and have a spoonful of peas." And repeat it like a broken record until she has done so. Then praise the effort and tell her you are happy.

Forget that bribery shouldnt be used to get your kids to eat, I did it and now my 7 yr old eats broccoli, cauliflower, and lots of other "yucky" veggies. Since she is 10, saying she cant have dessert and such isnt going to work anymore, she probably really doesnt care and she still gets her own way. The best thing to do is take way something she DOES care about like a video game, the phone, cant watch any TV that night, and so on, but if she DOES eat and eats everything, then she should be rewarded with something like picking out a video at the store to watch that night or getting to decide what game everyone gets to play and so on. Im sorry I dont know much of what your daughter likes. Maybe even some new cheap makeup for practice wearing. Whatever your standards are and what her likes are, go with that. If she refuses to eat, take away something important to her, but if she does eat, reward her with something important to her. If you have to buy something, make it inexpensive. At her age, she will understand money and can pick something in the price range YOU set. Good Luck and I hope something in here will help. My 7 yr old was very picky too. I caved in and for a yr or better he ate nothing but chicken nuggets and french fries with maybe some fruit and sometimes peas. He isnt fat nor is he skinny, but I knew he wasnt eating healthy, so I switched it. Now if he doesnt eat, he cant watch tv, play his gameboy or do any electronics whatsoever. He hates that, so I usually get a clean plate 90% of the time. Yes he choices once in a while to not eat things, and thats ok, but he doesnt get to pick something to eat, he goes hungry. I have made TV and his gameboy a reward, not some kind of punishment, just so everyone knows this. He doesnt get to play or watch TV all day, its a reward for doing something good for me. Good Luck!

I am now 35, but I sound a lot like your daughter growing up. I am still to this day a very picky eater & don't like to try new foods. I always had people asking me if I had an eating disorder, which I never have. People called me toothpick, twig, bean pole, ect. I am 5'6" and weighed 102lbs when I graduated high school. I had even gone to an nutritionist to try to help gain weight. I was never given an option growing up to eat something else, but remember many nights sitting at the table by myself crying becaue I refused to eat what was made. That isn't a happy memory. As long as your daughter is healthy, and growing, and it's not an issue with the Dr., don't make it a battle or you may end up creating an eating disorder with her. Maybe have her talk with a nutritionist as I did, to help her understand why it's important to eat, and try new foods. Again as an adult, I still don't like to try new things so it may not 'cure' her. I agree that maybe having her help you cook might help, she might have fun, and will learn to cook as well. Maybe find some recipes she wants to try, or that she thinks sounds good. I am no longer under weight, but am also not over weight, and am a healthy adult. Good luck!!!

That is kinda funny! I am ten years old 64 pounds,
and i am 4'6 too! But iʻm not really a picky eater. I will eat chicken,eggs,steak,pears,strawberrys,macʻnʻcheese,pizza,soup,chips,
crackers,pretzels,grilled cheese,candy,egg salad sandwiches,spgetti, pasta,fruit snacks,tacos without veggies,and other stuff. But now i am on a diet.

I was reading this and swore I had wrote it about my own son who is 5. I have had this horable issue with him for about 3 years or so now and finally decided to ask my doctor about it. He said that children are only in charge of 3 things in their lives. Sleeping,Eating and using the Restroom. Because of this there is no way to force them to Eat what you want. However, your daughter seems to be a healthy child who is smart, so I will tell what he suggested I do. Make only one meal at dinner for your whole family. Ask your daughter (calmly...) to eat her dinner. If she says she doesn't want to then tell that her it is fine but she has to sit with you until dinner is over. Then DO NOT give her anything else. Do the same thing each night. The Dr. said that children will not starve themselves. I started doing this the first night and my son ate pork chops and green beans. Not alot. But it was so much easier knowing that I didn't need to MAKE him eat. He had a choice and so did I...everybody wins.
Hope this helps.

hi there i have 3 kids and out of all of them my youngest is the pickiest and he too will not try new foods and i pretty much let him eat what he can find that he likes or he eats what we have after relizeing that hey i am hungry still maybe i will try what they had he says i dont like this or that and i said really ? cause u have had it before? and that changes every thing. he is 11 and he too is active and hes a sadwich chips and dip kid lol but he will eat spahgetti like no ones business. and even though he eats supper he still has to have more before he does tobed cause hes hungry then too. but hes okay throught the night. i think its just a faze with some kids. but hang in there she will come out of it.if shes not snin and bones she is okay and if she not malnuroished she will be fine good luck and lets stick together

Kids will eat when they are hungry. My ten year old only weighs sity-five pounds. I was the same way. My parents made me clean my plate and now I am overweight. I don't blame them but I hated meal time in my house. Unless your daughter shows other signs of anexia, I wouldn't worry. Her taste will change with age. My mom still hates a lot of foods. Just remember, meal time should be time for family closeness to develope. It can't be that way if every mealtime is a battle. Just keep the foods that are mostly good for her and that she likes always available. If you back off, maybe she'll be more willing to try a new food. Kids don't like to be forced to do anything. I agree that food should be tried before pronouncing it yucky but at the same time I understand that kids can be very picky. I was one. I hated vegies and meat and oh, so many things, just let it all go. Is she anemic, is she sick a lot, is she too pale? If not, let it rest. Good Luck!!!!!!!

My 7 year old is exactly the same way. My husband and I do not see eye to eye on this. I was the same way when I was little and had food forced down my throat... guess who is overwieght now??!! I do not believe in the suppertime battles. I will not make different meals either. The way I like to handle it is to have him eat what he can off his plate and when he is done take his plate to the kitchen... if he does not eat what is on his plate he is not allowed to have any snacks or sweets later. My husband would have him sitting at the table all night balling his eyes out and eventually puking... not the way I like to handle things. Basically I try to make my husband get on the same page with me as I am not willing to have the mealtime battle every night and I think my way is a more peaceful, sensible solution. It's not worth arguing over and like everyone says he will eat when he's hungry. He weighs 47 lbs. I take him to his pediatrician on the regular basis and he has no concerns with his health. He is also very active and into wrestling and track. So after speaking your concerns with your pediatrician I would not be concerned with it. In my opinion we are all different and come in different shapes and sizes... adults are too concerned about being a member of the "clean plate" club and making our children overweight. We need to teach them to listen to their belly and let it tell them when they are full.

Don't worry, our pediatrician told use that your child will eat what they want and what their body needs. I have a 15 1/2 year old that only weighs 90lbs. Keep making the foods u know she will eat and but keep offering foods that you have. Even if she doesn't eat it you are still trying and she will try them when she's ready. If she is just eating junk food then i would put them up or stop buying them and have other things to offer. I know that it is hard with girls now a days with the way pop star are and even the media precevies things. Just make sure that she is at least eating somthing. I would also talk to your doctor and see what the suggest. GOOD LUCK! S.

My youngest son tried this with me. I have involved my boys, a little, it's getting better over the years, in making decisions on what to have for dinner. I also let them know that I'm not a short order cook. I will make one meal, and they will either eat it, or wait until breakfast. She will still have a choice, and she will eat when she gets hungry. We went through some screaming fits, and it was stressful at the time, but he hasn't tried it since. This was about a month ago, and he's the same age as she is. He tried it every few years. Also, allow her to make her own luch for school. That way she has full say in what goes into it. You can even take her shopping, so she can design it herself. A friend of mine took her girls shopping for school lunch stuff, and found that they like to snack of thawed frozen peas. They are healthy, and a tad bit sweet!

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