Having trouble getting my five year old to eat

  • My daughter has always been a picky eater, but it just keeps going downhill. She's already seen a doctor and a nutritionist about this. All's they say is it is a control issue. She stores her food in her mouth, and one time most recently it took her 80 minutes to eat 7 bites. I tried to get her to pick up the fork but she wasn't doing it so I ended up putting the food on her fork and just held it out for her to eat. I have been really concerned about the way she barely eats anything most of the time. Her doctor prescribed her two pediasures a day, and sometimes that's a struggle to get into her as well. I am just wondering if there is anyone else out there that has had the same issues with getting their child to eat, or if anyone has any avice as what can be done to get her to eat better. I've tried games and a bunch of different things to get her to eat, but it's a struggle practically every time to get her to eat. So any advice or tips would be helpful, thank you!

  • Have you seen an OT for this? There may be something they can do to work with her...it may be a texture thing and she may have trouble with textures etc.. They can work wonders, I sent my son to an OT for sensory issues and within a few months he was markedly better. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to an OT that specializes in children and sensory issues. This may help!
  • Thanks fo the tip but my daughter has already seen an OT for this, and they said she has no sensory issues, or texture problems at all. I was told it was a control thing, and I am just wondering if there is anything I can do to help her eat better, I've tried a lot of different strategies but sometimes nothing really works and she just doesn't eat well.

  • i  have a six year old who has better things to do than eat. i used to fight with him about it (feed him myself). My doctor ok d everything health wise so i decided not to make an issue of it. I keep healthy snacks (kid cliff bars are a favorite)within reach in the fridge and cabinets and let him eat when he is hungry. He still has to sit and "eat" or better yet talk ,with us at the table during meal times.all in all let her lead. hope this helps

  • My son is 3, almost 4 in September. This past year was a struggle getting him to eat.  He particularly loves fruits and vegetables.  They say that appearance is alot of it.  And I found that the more you focus on the issure of eating, the more they make it an issue.  I would put his favorite channel on, and leave out apple slices or cantelope pieces on the coffee table, something cut up rather than giving him a whole apple and don't watch her eat, leave her the choice to eat it or not.  I would also encourage him to go grocery shopping with me and he would help me pick out things he liked.  The Ore-Ida company makes tater tots shaped like letters, which he likes to play games with.  And white pizza he likes, rather than red pizza.  He would like to pick out bagels or a roll from the bakery department and eat while we shopped.  Sometimes I will even buy a 20 piece McDonalds chicken nuggets to keep in the freezer in bags of 4 so I would always have a backup.  One time I even made him a smoothie (he actually didn't really drink much of it, but it was a good thought) and put yogurt, fruit and milk in it!  I also found gogurts worked well. I encourage him to go to the fridge or pantry to pick out something that he wants.  Also, I found rewarding with a lollipop or popsicle would work. 

    Try not to focus on forcing her to eat, but encourage her independence in food choices and even if she eats a couple of quick snacks or finger foods throught the day rather than a big meals at once. 

    I hope that any of this advice helps!  Good luck!