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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.

What can I do next?

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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.

1 mom found this helpful

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.

1 mom found this helpful

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.
A.

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.

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