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Old 10-24-2008, 09:43 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,561
Re: How do I make her eat?

My daughter went through that. From 3 1/2 until about 6. She's 8 now and eats EVERYTHING in sight. Seriously, you can't fill her up. And she's 48lbs. At 8. So yeah, not a huge kid. Things that helped were ice cube trays filled with nutritious foods like grapes, cheese, whole wheat crackers, baby carrots, banana chunks rolled in crushed cheerios, etc. Also, she drank a carnation instant breakfast every morning and LOVED it. We called it "Mady's special milk" and I let her make it each morning by measuring out the powder from the canister and putting it in a thermos and shaking it up. She loved making it herself and with whole milk and a splash of half and half, it's pretty high in calories and fat. Also, sometimes I could convince her to eat a piece of toast and a banana with it. We did things like whole milk instead of skim and margarine on her pasta when possible and appropriate to add some extra calories but didn't force food on her or try to fighth with her. It doesn't work and it just makes food a contention point between you which isnever good. Offer food, don't freak out if she says no. Remember that you are the parent and obviously you can't let her eat ramen all day because it'snot healthy. You already knew that. but don't let her manipulate her into letting her eat it. A healthy child will not starve themselves. Encouraging her to eat healthy is the best way to handle this. Maybe examining your own relationship with food will help. I used to say things like, 'Oh man, I am STARVING!" Or sometimes I would use the word "fat," as in "I am feeling so fat today." And tha'ts not healthy for a little kid to hear. I would remember to say things like, "well Mady I would love to play trains with you but my belly is telling me it needs some food so I will make a snack and when I am finished we can set up your trains." I tried to set a good example of eating healthy when I was hungry and not waiting to eat when I felt hungry or eating junk food. Mentioning that my body was giving me hunger cues helped her to notice the hunger cues in her own body. Ya know, you can lead that horse to water all day long but you cannot make it drink. Just offer healthy foods at appropriate times and see if you can't break this habit. Don't obsess and don't force because that only makes it worse. It really is hard to just sit back and let them NOT eat. It's hard not to make a big deal when all you want to do is shake them repeatedly and shove chunks of bread down their throats. But I truly believe that it's just something that they grow out of eventually. Mady seriously cannot eat enough these days eating 3 meals and 2 snacks with second helpings at each meal and she's the smallest kid in her class. But she's SO incredibly healthy and active and happy.
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