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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I have a three year old that doesnt want to eat, she has never

Resolved Question:

I have a three year old that doesn't want to eat, she has never try a piece of fruit, never tried a piece of vegetable, every thing has to be smash, it's a pain to feed her, the fruit juice in the morning takes almost 1/2hr to give to her, and dinner could be as long as 1,1/2hrs. I get so desperate that i spend most of the day shouting at her, for her to eat her food, it's now affecting my 4 year old, which is a fantastic eater.
i don't know what to do anymore, i have introduced different foods, once she didn't eat anything for 4days. this situations is creating problems between me and my husband.
i need your help
Ruth G
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

It is not uncommon for children of this age to have extreme dislikes around food and eating.

CoachJenK :

It is hard for you to deal with since your older child was not like this.

CoachJenK :

As you know the shouting doesnt help and may even cause her to dig her heels in deeper and not eat.

CoachJenK :

It can be very frustrating and scary for you and the less you battle the more likely that over times some preferences of hers will come through.

CoachJenK :

She is also at an age where she is trying to assert some independence and because there is some battle around this it becomes a good place for her to take a stand.

CoachJenK :

so what to do? pull back a bit...see what her desires are and know that over time this stage will lessen.

CoachJenK :

It is also known that kids can take up to 3 weeks to see a new food and try it, but that is without being forced

Customer:

that is what we did once and she lost 1kg

CoachJenK :

so if you prepare something then put a new food on her plate...dont force her to eat it but keep it on her plate and every night put it there and in time she may just try it.

Customer:

how do i make her to a piece of fruit

CoachJenK :

what has her doctor said when she lost the weight?

CoachJenK :

you cant make her eat anything.

CoachJenK :

does she enjoy a shake or smoothie? you can try to blend some delicious fruits together with some milk and ice...put in the the blender and give it to her.

CoachJenK :

I know you are worried about her nutrition too and she most likely will come out of this if the battle quiets down.

CoachJenK :

There is also a wonderful book to help parents with this. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent/dp/0684837722/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338808511&sr=8-1

CoachJenK :

My twins are 3 years old and I try to not make battles around food and the dinner table and there are some days when they wnat to eat well and others not....

CoachJenK :

I truly feel that once the battle lessens around this she might loosen her grip.

CoachJenK :

I would take her to the doctor and get a well check up and then if all is well you can rest assured that this is normal and not uncommon at all.

CoachJenK :

Oftne it is about control for them and if you give them some, they ease up

CoachJenK :

I empathize and feel for you because it can be so frustrating.

Customer:

doctor was shock, that she wouldn't eat.

CoachJenK :

and how was her health?

CoachJenK :

are there any foods that she likes?

CoachJenK :

anything?

Customer:

rice

Customer:

just plain rice

CoachJenK :

ok then make her rice and put something else on the plate next to it...dont even talk about it or tell her she needs to eat it, but let it stay on the plate. you can even say you dont have to eat it but it is staying on the plate. do this every night for a few weeks.

CoachJenK :

i think the book I mentioned above will also be a great help for you and your husband.

Customer:

ok if i tried and give rice every night with some veggies every night for few weeks,

Customer:

do i need to put the same veggies

CoachJenK :

yes and put the veggies on the side so her rice is plain as she likes it

CoachJenK :

yes the same veggies so it becomes familar and i would start with only one and put that same one on the plate next to the rice.

CoachJenK :

not several veggies just one.

CoachJenK :

maybe some zucchini which has a sweeter taste

Customer:

do i put enough rice for her to get full, or just little so she still hungry

CoachJenK :

saute it up with a touch of butter or olive oil and put only a few small cut up cubes or make them long like frens fries and give it a silly name zucchi fries

CoachJenK :

put the amount that you know she enjoys and will eat...let her feel full and ask for more if she wants.

CoachJenK :

the goal here is to not battle with her but to let her have some control

Customer:

what do i do for her to eat fruit

Customer:

so if she wants more rice, i give her rice,

Customer:

so she will be eating rice for three weeks

CoachJenK :

at lunch the same thing. if it is rice then put rice and the same small cut up piece of fruit next to it....every day and dont force it

CoachJenK :

yes give her more rice

CoachJenK :

unless there is something esel she eats that is a staple...I am just suggesting that whatever it is she does like that she can eat freely without a battle that is what you go on

CoachJenK :

I worked with a woman whose son would only eat chicken nuggets for every meal and she was pulling her hair out but once she pulled back and let him the other desires were able to come through

Customer:

the problem is that we still have to feed her,

CoachJenK :

if you think she might like the smoothie of fruits then have her help you make one...make it fun to do together and then you both drink it

CoachJenK :

why?

Customer:

because she doesn't eat, she talks her way out all the time on the table, and makes my husband so desperate that he feeds her

Customer:

she eats lunch at school.

CoachJenK :

at 3 years old she should be feeding herself. i would ignore the talk and let her know you are a big girl and big girls feed themselves

Customer:

and teachers ar egetting a bit desperated

CoachJenK :

there is too much focus here on the food.

Customer:

so what do i do when we have finished and she hasn't eaten

Customer:

im desperate, when my husband is at home Im out of the room

CoachJenK :

then meal time is over...give her enough time to get comfortable...and after 1/2 hour meal is over. no fuss no yelling just time to clean up.

Customer:

she doesn't like smoothie, i tried for a week, she picked the fruit and she always said it was discusting

CoachJenK :

If you are still worried after a few weeks of trying this then please take her to a child therapist.

Customer:

that is why is blend the fruits in the morning and my helper give it to her, other wise i star my day shauting

CoachJenK :

please get the book above..I truly believe it will be a great help and also help you not to feel alone.

Customer:

ok i will give three weekds

CoachJenK :

she needs to feed herself. put the food down and do not make a big production....after 1/2 hour its clean up time

Customer:

does she needs to eat snacks at the table or can be at the sofa or play area

CoachJenK :

I would be less rigid right now as there seems to be so many rules...ordinarily i would say at the table but she seems to need some freedom to just be and to feed herself

Customer:

she still drinks milk out of the bottle, what do i do about it

Customer:

is the only way she drinks it

CoachJenK :

dont change that now...too many changes at once but it could also be that the liquid meals are preventng her from being hungry to eat other meals

Customer:

what snack should i give her, she only has fruit juice that i blend, but it takes 1/2hr while she watchs tv

Customer:

she takes milk morning and before she goes to bed

CoachJenK :

ask her what snack she likes....graham cracker, etc

CoachJenK :

and when you give the graham cracker put it on aplate with a few small pieces of fruite cut small. again she doesnt have to eat it but it is there on the same plate

Customer:

what food do i offer to my other child white her sister is having rice, do i offer the same

CoachJenK :

dont change things for your other child..if your other child eats well then let them continue on this path.

CoachJenK :

please buy the book above too.

Customer:

i just ordered

Customer:

thank you

CoachJenK :

excellent. come back and let me know. as best you can stay calm...like everything else this phase wil pass too....try to battle elss and it will pass quicker

CoachJenK :

and if you are still worried in a few weeks then take her to see someone.

Customer:

i just i feel that i"m the worst mother in the world

CoachJenK :

dont give milk before or during meals because that is filling her up.

CoachJenK :

Please come back and let me know how it is all going.

CoachJenK :

please click accept if i have been helpful

Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K.
Social Worker, Professional Coach
143 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.