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Picky Eaters

Question of the Week


Updated October 31, 2004

Q. My daughter is eight and we have a problem with eating - she never wants to eat dinner even if it's something she likes. And then she will pick and an hour later say she's hungry. She never completes everything she eat, always leaving a bit, no matter what we feed her. Should she be forced to eat dinner and if she doesn't, have only the dinner to eat later? Any ideas as to why she always leaves something and never eats it fully? Lisa, Canada

A. The most common reason to be in a situation like this is because she knows that she will get sometimes to eat later. While she shouldn't be forced to eat, she should learn that her main meal in the evening will be served at dinner time.

Some other things that you might do to help deal with your picky eater include:

  • make sure that she isn't eating a big snack after school or filling up on juice, soda, or even milk before dinner.

  • offer her smaller portions so that there isn't as much left over on her plate.

  • don't offer bribes or rewards for eating.

  • not talking about dieting, calories, and such, especially if she or other family members have problems with being overweight. Instead, talk about eating healthy.

  • consider not offering her anything else to eat if she misses dinner or just offer a small, healthy snack.

  • don't let your concerns about her eating become a power struggle.

  • set a good example by eating a variety of foods.

  • encourage your child to get involved in planning and preparing meals

A visit to your Pediatrician to monitor her growth and development and eating habits would also be a good idea.

Child Nutrition Books

Related Video
Feeding Picky Eaters

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