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16th July 2012 03:18 AM #1
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- Jul 2012
What are some ways to keep my 5-year old eat her meal?
My daughter had just turned 5 last June. Ever since she was 3 years old she had been a very picky eater. She's not gaining so much weight. She doesn't want to eat vegetables but she loves fruits so I make sure that she ate a lot of them. Every time meal is set, she seems not happy. She seems to dislike eating of which I worry much. What am I going to do with her that she will love eating? She's weighs 17 kilos.
18th July 2012 10:24 PM #2
This can be difficult can't it - lots of children go through stages of being picky.
Does your daughter eat with the rest of the family at meal times? This is an excellent way for children to learn from adults about eating habits and it is also great to make meal times a fun, sociable family time. I would also recommend not rushing your daughter - giving her plenty of time to eat her dinner without putting pressure on her. This will help to avoid emotional responses being associated with food.
Does your daughter enjoy helping with cooking or watching you in the kitchen? Some children eat best when they are included in the preparation of a meal. There are also lots of children friendly cookbooks available to help little ones to get interested in cooking.
I would try not to let your daughter know that you are worrying about her eating, as this could put extra pressure on her and make eating an issue for her. If you are worried about her weight gain you could speak to your doctor. Focus on making meal times a stress-free experience for your daughter where she is involved in helping prepare the meal.
I hope some of this helps,
Please let me know how you get on.
25th July 2012 02:48 PM #3
It's hard to know just exactly why your daughter is not interested in eating a variety of foods, but sometimes parents unknowingly create a situation where the child starts to feel as if they can pick and choose the foods they want, and if those foods aren't available then they do what they can to control the situation and this can range from refusing to eat (unless they get what they want) to throwing a tantrum (to get what they want).
One way to test whether your daughter's "pickiness" is due to "control" or due to her body truly needing only certain foods is to remove all junk food from the diet. No sugar. No cookies, candy, pies, cakes, white bread, muffins, and simple carbohydrates like pasta, crackers and white rice. All of that simply turns to sugar in the body and has very little nutritious value.
Once you've weaned your daughter off of those types of foods, then you can start to offer a variety of whole foods. Make sure that the fruits and vegetables offered each day are all colors of the rainbow. When we think of a rainbow we think of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Carrots are orange, strawberries are red, yellow squash is yellow, green leafy lettuce is green, blueberries are indigo, red cabbage and beets are purple. Every fruit or vegetable has micronutrients that other fruits and vegetables don't. Root vegetables have nutrients that vegetables grown above ground don't have.
Variety is key. Once you offer variety your daughter will pick and choose the fruits and vegetables that sound good to her, and those fruits and vegetables will most likely have the nutrients her body needs.
However you can't really tell what nutrients your daughter needs until you have her off of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates.
She may also crave whole milk or nuts, and these pack more calories and can help a child put weight on. But again, you want to avoid the ice cream, initially, and instead, offer an eggnog which is 1/2 c. whole milk with 1 egg yolk and a little maple syrup or agave nectar or stevia or even a little sugar to make it slightly sweet. It's okay if she has 1/2 tsp. of sugar in her egg nogg, if she's not having sugar in other foods.
Some children find that they want to eat an entire mellon for a meal, and this can be fine if they are craving nutrients in that food.
But, if the "picky eating" is more of just not wanting what's served, then you can just let her know that what she doesn't eat at dinner will be served for breakfast, and if she doesn't eat it for breakfast, it will be served at lunch. She will eventually eat it as long as the only other thing she is allowed to drink during the day is water.
And when you all are eating at the table, you can overemphasize how yummy the food is. Lots of mmmmmms and "this is so good" and give her the indication that if she doesn't eat, she will be missing out on something really yummy (without using words, just with expression of face and commenting on how yummy the food is).
Please let us know what you try and if anything seems to make a difference. We can give more ideas if needed.
12th January 2013 07:07 PM #4
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- Jan 2013
Thank you very much for share it with us.