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Question

26 Jan 2004

TACTILE DEFENSIVE
My daughter, 8 years, refuses to eat most foods stuffs due to texture and/or smell. She hates touching stuff like cotton wool. Her diet is what concerns me most, as she is not getting a balanced meal. Vitamin tabs are not the answer - if it was we would all be living on tablets and not be eating any food. I know that a balanced meal leads to better concentration etc. Please help: how do I get her to eat or even try out new food, as most foods and the smells thereof turns her off. We have been told that her body will eventually tell her to start eating, but we are waiting with bated breath! Her daily diet is: yohurt (smooth no pieces) wheatworths, marie biscuits, tennis biscuits, milo, dry cerelac, custard and McCains' potato chips (fries).
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Mmmm, MM, hardly a balanced diet, indeed. Atually, all our readers have made sound points -- tj and 007 suggest subterfuge and ingenuity ; Koos reminds us that you are supposed to be the boss, and a kid isn't supposed to have unlimited freedom to be fussy. And a little hunger can do wonders to encourage interest in healthy food, if whatever she prefers isn't available.
If she objects to the texture of some foodstuffs, well, texture can be altered --- puree or mash it, fry it, coat it in batter, whatever. And the foods she's refusing seem to include every possible texture, colour and smell. Some don't have much smell, and what thee is can also be altered by the method of preparation. And doesn't there need to be more discussuon of the fact that her objections are both illogical and unhealthy ? She's old enough to be logical about it, if she chooses to be. Often a child's finickyness with food is a method of controlling the household and feeling like she's in charge --- so allowing her to be in charge of different areas of less importance, including being in charge of preparing a healthy and balanced diet for herself, and preparing the food, could help.
And Koos --- you speak far too directlyand frankly to be acceptable to the Dept of Health as a Spokesperson ! They prefer 'em mealymouthed.
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