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My three year old daughter WONT eat

My three year old daughter will not eat her food. We have tried the timer, we have tried the bribing, no snacks, rewarding her if she does eat, sending her to bed if she doesnt. She is losing weight and is already small for her age. Dr. told me to get her to eat foods in high fat like peanut butter, but it doesnt help. she wont eat her cereal anymore, wont even eat mac and cheese anymore. Im a step away from giving her baby food. please HELP

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Asked by aromo61009 at 7:51 PM on Feb. 17, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (36 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • If she is losing weight, don't be afraid to Pediasure. Really . . . you need to do what you can to get some protein and nourishment in her. Please keep talking to the doctor about it . . . there may be a physical reason.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 7:53 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I think you need to talk with the doc because it sounds like there is either something physically or mentally wrong with her if she is absolutely NOT eating anything at all.

    Answer by aeneva at 7:53 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Give her baby food if she will eat it. Give her what ever she will eat.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 7:54 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Stop pushing her so hard. Leave snacks/foods out that won't spoil, and let her eat when she wants. See what she likes that way and let her eat more of it. Does she have any problems that make it hard for her to eat, namely oversized tonsils? My DD hardly ate til we had her tonsils taken out (for sleep apnea) and now she eats fine. Another DD ate much better too after having hers out (for recurring tonsillitis), because her throat didn't hurt anymore.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:54 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • I think you need to back off a little. I know it sounds crazy, there are only a few things in a child's life that they can control and eating is one of them. When my middle one wouldn't eat I did a few things. First I started making smoothies with fruit, yogurt and milk. I would have him help me so he could feel a part of the cooking process and I also let him decide what kind of fruit we put in them. Second I got my kids helping in the kitchen, even at her age so she see how her food is made. The rules in our house are, you have to try everything on your plate and eat at least one thing in total. I also brought in a trying plate. When we have new foods they go on this special plate and everyone gets to try what ever it is.

    I would talk to her and see what she likes, I know for my son at this age he ate a lot of peanut butter and ice cream.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 7:58 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • have you sat her down and asked her specifically why she doesn't want to eat anything? is it the taste, texture, smell, temperature? does it make her feel bad when she eats? is she pre-occupied with other things? imo it could be something physical (like it makes her tummy or throat hurt), or maybe she has a food aversion which she will need to see a therapist about. it maybe something simple....really sit her down for a serious talk (not angry, but tell her that you need to have a serious talk and she needs to tell you why so you can work together to take care of the problem). maybe letting her prepare the food herself will spark interest. gl...hope it's nothing more serious than she's just bored.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 7:59 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • im not trying to sound rude or mean, but backing off doesnt work. she is losing weight and you want me to back off? i have a 4 year old as well, so leaving snacks out wont do any good because he will eat them and the be mad and throw one of his attitudes when he doesnt get everything she gets. I have talked to the dr and they told me to not use Pediasure because its to expensive and doesnt have everything she needs. the doc said get the carnation instant breakfast instead. which yeah is fine, but she cant live on just that. this has been going on for a while now so it has nothing to do with im pushing her to hard, BECAUSE IM NOT. we have tried the food hot, cold, mushing it up, making it bigger pieces, smaller pieces. ive tried leaving her in a room by herslef so theres no distraction. And as for asking her why she wont eat......She is three, she doesnt know why she wont eat. and she has separation anxiety.

    Comment by aromo61009 (original poster) at 8:22 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • It sounds like you've tried everything already, but I wonder how long exactly this has been going on? How long is "a while"? Is a while a month? Or a year? Toddlers are known for being weird, and for doing the opposite of what you want them to do. My advice would be, if it's been going on for what I consider to be a long time(a year or more) and all the normal methods aren't working, then maybe the last resort is a therapist. A 3 year old can definitely know why she doesn't want to do something. My 2 year old does. And if it has only been going on for a short while(less than a year) then I would say keep trying the "back off" method.... I know you are concerned about her losing weight, but if this resolves itself soon then she will gain it back. When my toddler knows I want something from her, that is when she absolutely will NOT do it....

    Answer by cookincat743 at 8:33 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • And as for asking her why she wont eat......She is three, she doesnt know why she wont eat. and she has separation anxiety.

    ok.......i have a 3yo too. have you tried actually asking her? because at 3 they are capable of telling you things. it sounds like you're not giving her much credit.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:39 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Thanks, you all, for your positive (and negative) feedback!!! I will be making an appointment with a pediatric nutrition doctor next week. She just worries me.
    @princessbeth79 - I give my children all the credit in the world. Thats why I have resorted to asking questions ONLINE!!!. Thanks though.

    Comment by aromo61009 (original poster) at 11:04 PM on Feb. 17, 2011

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