Thank you for the reply; it's very helpful. So, let's get started.
Based on what you've shared with me, you're not concerned about an eating disorder or body image issue. She has a successful social life. The problem you identify is preoccupation: she's much more excited to talk with friends at lunch time than to eat.
It is difficult to say for sure that this is a benign problem that you can just let go. I agree that, from what you've shared, it doesn't cause her any problems currently to skip lunch each day. However, long term not eating is not a good stress coping mechanism. Why do I call it a coping mechanism?
Excitement is one form of life stress. How we deal with excitement when we are kids often translates to how we cope with other stresses when we are older. And to ignore eating when life gets stressful is indeed one way we see problems arising today. I don't mean to make it into a big issue that you should turn into a struggle between you two. Rather, I'd like to suggest a way to encourage her to find some other way to deal with her excitement.
And I'd like you to bring it up to her as, indeed, excitement even though we know that being busy talking when other tasks are at hand is a form of social stress. I'd suggest starting a reward system for getting her "task" done. Explain to her that lunch is the task at hand and you know she's excited, but she has a task she needs to accomplish and you want to recognize her for accomplishing it when she does.
This, of course, is predicated on your being confident that she will be honest when she brings the empty lunch bag home that she ate the lunch. Reinforce this by asking her how lunch was, what her favorite part was every so often.
This is a way to be proactive without making a big issue out of it. Because, given her being a healthy weight and being happy socially, it is not a huge issue.
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