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4 year old doesnt want to eat

I have a 4 year old daughter, shes almost 5. She is very picky on what she eats. She only eats what she wants or if its considered junk she will eat it.

I hate supper time...thats when its the worst. I make her stuff I know shes ate before and loved and now she dont want it. She will say Im done before she even gets her plate or the minute we put the plate infront of her she says she has to use the bathroom. If you tell her to eat a few bites to get up she will either chew them a bit and spit them out or chew swallow then gag.

Ive tried everything I can think of to get her to eat and it just doesnt work...unless its food she wants.

Any tips to get her to eat or is this early signs of an eating disorder

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Asked by WildAngel86 at 10:50 PM on Oct. 24, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (7 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • This is one of the first areas that kids figure out they can control, but the thing to remember is no child has starved themselves to death. You need to make it a non issue. Put her food in front of her. If she says she doesnt want it, tell her ok but she has to sit at the table for dinner with the family, and when she gets hungry she will eat her dinner. Then go on with your meal like the issue is over and dont address it again. Its only a big deal if you let if be one. I did this with three kids, with the exception that for meals I knew they truly hated Id let them have a PB&J. I never reacted to them fussing, bargained with them, or tried to conjole them to eat. Be matter of fact, this is dinner, eat it when you are hungry, end of story. The being picky and fussy ended very quickly.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 10:57 PM on Oct. 24, 2012

  • Its a phase but can turn into a problem. She realizes she has a bit of power of what does.& doesnt go into her body. As long as you stick to your guns you should be okay. Also her being almost 5 there are lots of jobs she can do to help to cook the meal

    Answer by flowersmama at 10:59 PM on Oct. 24, 2012

  • My 4 yo is similar, but I've found that if I offer a dessert, he will eat all of his supper to get it. Some nights it's only 1 cookie, but because it's a treat, he will eat his supper to get it. I don't consider it a bribe because I don't hold it over his head - he knows if he eats good then he gets it. Since he realized that's it works with his older siblings, he's been more than willing to eat.
    But our rule has always been that you don't have to eat supper, but if you don't then you can't have anything else to eat until breakfast.

    Answer by missanc at 12:13 PM on Oct. 25, 2012

  • I agree with Nimue, although hard, exaclty what i learned at parenting classes as well as from dr's.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:26 AM on Oct. 26, 2012

  • I have a child of the same age who does the same thing. What we worked out is that if she's not hungry or too stubborn to eat, fine. She'll sit at the table with the family, no TV, till dinner is over. If she doesn't eat dinner at mealtime, then there's no dessert. If she's hunry later, I'll heat up her dinner and she can eat that, but nothing else. She's eaten her dinner later in the evening a number of times, but she gets no dessert unless she eats at mealtime with her dad and me. It's hard, but the more you fight it, the harder your kid will push. Try not to make it a battle. One day your kiddo will hit a growth spurt and start eating like she's never seen food before, and you'll wonder where she's putting it all.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:57 AM on Oct. 26, 2012

  • You have already gotten some great advice. I have a ridiculously fussy eater. I never force him to eat and I try to make him what I know he likes but if he doesn't want to eat it, I don't force him. He eventually will eat. Two things have helped: I make him help me shop for food and pick out what he wants for meals and snacks at the supermarket which helps alot and secondly I make him cook with me. At four he can pretty much roll pizza dough better than I can and I always know he will make what he lovingly prepared.

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 3:54 PM on Oct. 26, 2012

  • Try no treats for a while, then IF it gets bad enough, or lasts more than 2 weeks, you amy want to call your Doctor for advice as well.

    Answer by SarasMother1 at 9:29 PM on Nov. 13, 2012

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