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5 year old hiding food

I have a 5 year old daughter, she was adopted at 3 from a foster home. So the typical response i get when i have a problem is because of her prior history...that being said this sneaking food into her room and bathroom (eww) she has never been told that she can't food only that it is to be eating in the kitchen or dining room. one day i found a egg shell and yolk from a hard boiled egg under her dresser, along with an orange peel and pudding container. all sorts of candy wrappers (right after easter) she had already eaten all the candy in her easter basket and then at all her brothers while we were sleeping. she also ate a tube of tooth paste and chews on her dresser. one time she ate paint. i'm really worried that one of these days she is going to get sick or choke and we won't even know it because she's sneaking it into her room or bathroom while everyone's sleeping. we just don't know what to do anymore.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:39 PM on May. 12, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (10)
  • PICA is a term use by doctors for this kind of situation.

    Answer by Energ8zr at 5:43 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • Have you asked her why she does it?

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:43 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • Also anemia/low iron will make her crave things like tooth past, wood, dirt etc.


    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 5:44 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • This issue sounds like it needs attention from her pediatrician. He/she should be able to direct you further. I hope you can get this figured out quickly!

    Answer by winterrose82 at 5:54 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • i forgot to mention that we have had her tested for pica and deficiencies of any kind. when i asked the doctor he recomended a pschyatrist. when i ask her about it she won't say or she'lll say some weird answer that has nothing to do with the question. she often lies about things she does as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:08 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • You're going to have to supervise her all the time. If you can't get someone to help you. If she can hide food and eat tooth paste, she is not being with adult supervision.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:13 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • As pp said Why are you leaving her all alone allowing to do all these things. You're the mother and you must say no to her every time she does this things. Shame on you for allowing this to continue.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • You're going to have to put babyproofing locks on all of the cabinets and fridge so that she can't get to the food. You're right it could make her sick. Especially if it is something like toothpaste. I agree that maybe a psychologist is a good idea. Maybe she has memories from before you had her where someone was starving her and she had to hide food if she wanted to eat. You never know what happened to this little girl before you adopted her. She might not even fully remember what happened but still have the fear of going hungry. Only a child therapist can work this out with her. Now lock everything up and keep things high up so she can't get to it. Talk to her and let her know that she will never go hungry as long as you are her Mommy and that you will always be her Mommy. Let her know that the reason you don't want food anywhere but the kitchen is bc bugs, mice, stinking, choking etc could happen and u r protecting

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:53 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • It does sound like an issue that needs to be addressed with a medical doctor and a psychiatrist and a counselor....

    Answer by BJoan at 10:13 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • I saw a show once where a family had adopted kids from Russia and they had to deal with the hiding of food issue because the kids came from an orphanage where they didn't get enough or something and would hide what the did get - or any extra they could get. It took awhile before the kids finally understood they would get enough and not have to hide it.

    That doesn't explain the toothpaste though, but who knows. Maybe it was a substitute for food if she wasn't getting enough food to eat in her previous situation.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:03 PM on May. 13, 2010

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