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27 Feb 2004

Six year old refuses to eat fruit or vegetables
I have a six year old boy who refuses to eat ANY fruit from when he was a baby. He ate fruit purity but no solid fruit. He is willing to eat pumpkin an peas but no other vegetable.

We have tried MANY times for him to eat fruit and other vegetables - only to end up with war in the house. Yesterday it took him 30 minutes to eat a piece of cucumber ! I also think the texture of the food puts him off.

What must I do ? Leave the matter or force him to eat fruit and other veggies ?
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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Venessa
Don't force your child to eat fruit and vegetables as this may put him off for life. Certain vegetables are an acquired taste and it can take years for an individual to develop the taste for them. It may help to ignore the fruit and veggie issue for awhile - he may be doing this avoiding act to get more attention. Just go on serving fruit and vegetables to the rest of the family and don't even serve him any. If he should ask for some, then give him a small portion and if he should eat the portion then don't make any remarks - act as if this is natural and expected. Once he realises that he can't get attention this way any more then he may well start eating fruit and vegetables. If he does not change his habits after 3 months, then it may be an idea to consult a clinical psychologist as some childhood problems manifest through avoidance of certain foods, e.g. hyperactive children have very fixed likes and dislikes when it comes to certain textures. The clinical psychologist will also be able to ascertain if this behaviour is indicative of an underlying psychological problem, such as separation anxiety, attention-seeking, other depression, etc.
Best regards
DietDoc
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