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My daughter -who is almost 3 years old- never picked up any new foods since she was a baby. She only eats formula milk, yogurt, sliced apples, bananas, and rice cakes. Of course, she does eat candy and sweet cakes of any texture, taste and temperature, but we never give her candy as an alternative for real food.

She never ate anything like breat or meat. She did eat pureed vegetable soup before, but a food advisor told us to stop all non-solid meals as part of a failed program and since then she never picked it up again.

She seems afraid of new foods, even when she's hungry and others eat. We usually sit her at meals with us and offer her what we are all eating, the same thing is done at her kindergarten. She often plays with her food with a fork and even makes a mess with it, she peels hard-boiled eggs, puts salt on it, but she would never put it in her mouth. After she rejects everything and is very hungry we give her a side dish of white cheese with something she does eat.

We went twice for professional advice, once in a known clinic. They told us not to worry and be consistent with meal plans and family dinners. Her two younger sisters eat very well, as do all her peers and friends at her kindergarten.

Psychologically her life is good and stable, she has a clear daily schedulle and is cheerful and jolly at everything. We moved house once but stayed in the same neighbourhood. She looks healthy and well. We never fought with her on the issue. I once tried to put food in her mouth by force, she cried but suprisingly she felt proud of haven eaten a meatball and talked about it.

Of course, I'll follow up any advice with professional counceling and a steady program. Thank you for your concerns.

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Of course she doesn't eat. First she gets to make a mess (what fun) and play with putting things on food like salt (something a 2 year old doesn't need extra of). And when shes done she gets her very own special dish of cheese (something that's not particularly good for her).

There is zero incentive to eat real food here. What about only offering her a couple of healthy options?

Pick things she did eat before and refuse to give her anything else. Tell her tonight's choices are potato, carrot and peas and that is all there is in the house.

You don't have to force feed her, that backfires later in life because they tend to never enjoy the food they were force fed (http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/2012/07/what-forcing-kids-to-eat-looks-like-20-years-later/). And you don't have to send her to bed hungry, just keep offering those same choices.

  • If I tell her that there is only potato, carrot and peas, she'll go to bed hungry after a lot of crying (and making a mess of them). That will affect her all the next day at kindergarten. How long should I keep that happening untill she realizes she has only the few healthy choices we offer? Thanks Rachel. – Ronen May 26 '16 at 12:07
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It doesn't seem something to lose your sleep over, however:

A) Psychologists make a big deal about how people's ability to 'try new stuff', be open to change, etc, is useful in life. Your degree of openness to change is one of the "big 5" personality traits.

B) If you want her to eat something else, you have to stop feeding her what you don't want her to eat. We typically say "this is the food that's available for dinner today, you can eat it or not, but there's no other food available".

C) There's fun book called something like "new cheese" about a group of mice, some of which don't want t try new cheese and so suffer when the old one runs out, while the others go on finding new cheese of different kinds. You can read her the story and then explain how n'new food' is like 'new cheese'...

D) We've 'explained' to our kids that you only like food after trying it seven times! Seven! So when they say they don;t like something we just counter that its because they have not tried it seven times yet! You can also point out to the fact that they did not originally like the food that they do like now...

  • We don't feed her things we don't want her to eat other than for the occasional treat. I'll try to talk to her about trying new things, but one professional advisor told us not to make food a big issue to her, but manage it very casually. – Ronen May 26 '16 at 12:11
  • Are you referring to the book titled "Who Moved My Cheese?" perhaps? (see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F ) – Attila Csipak Mar 23 '18 at 9:15

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