The key is to introduce new foods next to familiar foods. Put a small amount of the new food on her plate next to the pasta that she loves and ask her to describe the taste. Is it salty, sweet or sour for example. This is better when there are other children there to play the game too. A trusted adult will work also. Do not ask her if she likes the food, but ask her questions like what animals might eat this food? What colors does she see in the food and other fun things.
When everyone is together eating casually talk about how healthy certain things are: how meat has protein and vegetables have vitamins and minerals. Let her know that we eat to keep our bodies healthy. Do not make a big deal out of the eating situation, but when she tries something new, congratulate her on working to make her body healthy and strong.
It is often hard to get children to eat new things. She may be using food as her only source of power. It sounds like she has little control of her life. If possible, give her chances to have power over other things in her life too. Can she decide what to wear and what shows to watch on tv? Giving her power in other parts of her life may take the need for her to have power over food.
If you need more ideas I would be happy to help you. Just give me a little more information about the girl and how much time you spend with her. Do you have the ability to introduce the foods to the young girl? Is the mother supportive at all of the idea that she needs to introduce more food to the child?
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Hello! Please remember that my responses are informational only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.
I agree with Howard, if the mother is providing a "healthy" vegetarian diet, Child Protective Services is not likely to respond. However, it sounds like you believe that the diet is not healthy--and failure to provide adequate food IS a form of abuse (neglect). Rcdaycare has some good ideas, but if you don't have enough access to the girl, or if the mother will negate your efforts, then that's not going to work.
I would suggest that you consult with Child Protective Services, describe to them in detail what is going on, and let them decide if they will take a report. I assume that you are not a "mandated reporter," therefore you can make this report anonymously.