I worry that I am giving my daughter issues on her eating, and I worry about the lasting affects it’s going to have on her.
She has always been a fussy eater, but it’s getting to the point where she is sick all the time, she is lethargic and looks so unwell, because she refuses to eat.
Her father feeds her whatever she wants on his weekends, she eats toast and nothing else for 2 days. She is putting on weight like crazy!
I tell her that she needs to eat healthy foods, and she needs to be healthy with her eating so she doesn’t have the same problems I have with my weight, but I worry that I am having a detrimental affect on her!

Does anyone have help? I know they say kids won’t starve themselves, but she really does!

Posted anonymously, 30th June 2015

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  • I had the same sort of issue with my daughter, I am obese and have slowly been making changes to lose weight (I have currently lost 30Kg and am still going). My daughter started eating too much at her fathers, while I have taught her from the start to only eat until she is full (I am quite okay with her leaving leftovers as long as she has eaten till she is full), but her father gives her adult servings and forces her to eat the whole lot. She started putting on a LOT of weight and despite my daughter being active with dance she was putting it on quicker than she was losing it.

    Eventually I sucked it up and had a chat with her father, I explained why she needs only a smaller portion, why she should only eat until she is full (my mum always told me to eat the whole amount on the plate even when I was full, this resulted in me not being able to recognise until recently my bodies signals). I then sat down with my daughter and explained what is healthy eating, what are sometimes foods and why we need to be active. I then ensured that this is something she does with me, she has my support and I am more motivated because I have hers. She is back down to the 50th percentile for her weight.

    Seriously have a chat with her dad, tell him your concerns, maybe if he is open to it sit down with her and you and talk about healthy eating. Encourage her to eat healthy and be active (and let her know being active is not boring, it could be jumping on a trampoline, riding her bike or just playing outside). Get on it yourself, if she sees you doing it, she will mimic you, don’t just tell her, show her. It worked for me and my daughter, hopefully it can work for you.


  • I really like the first comment about making changes that involve your daughter. Ultimately she needs to feel in control of any decision to change her eating habits and she needs to feel that there is a good reason to maintain those changes or she won’t.
    Maybe you could talk to her about how she feels and why she eats the way that she does? If she is like a lot of kids and won’t open up to you, perhaps you could seek some familly counselling together to help get you into a constructive conversation where food is concerned (you never know there may be other triggers to the problems that she is not telling you about as well).
    Best of luck, I think it is great that you are trying to find a constructive approach!


  • Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. Why don’t you try to make some changes yourself and involve your child? You could cook together for example.


  • Have a chat to your GP it might be a good idea and have some blood tests. It might also be a good idea to have your daughter get a refferal so she can have a chat to someone. She might have a few issues that she can not talk to you about. My son talks to his pshycoligist for other reasons and it has helped him in so may ways. He is now gaining confidence in things and in the way he does things.


  • I think a dietician is a great suggestion. Hope things improve for you.


  • It sounds like your husband is undermining your efforts. Is there some way you can talk to him about the fact it’s your daughter’s health that is the problem?


  • Have you thought about talking to a dietician? Hope you find a way to help your daughter.


  • Your gp should be able to give her a referral to a dietitian that may help, or family counselling


  • i think that you should seek some help. try to get her to help make healthy and fun foods like a yummy pizza and start educating her about food. Maybe you could both start a healthy eating plan together and support each other. You are her role model and her guardian. You have to shop well and try to resist temptation buying. This can be hard but i suggest that you try online shopping. I find that once you go to review your cart, you get a wake-up call. You see just how much junk food that you have put into your cart. I changed my shopping habits after i started shopping online. In the store, i would load the trolley up and buy tim tams because they were on special…again… and my treats would get lost amongst the cleaning products and baby nappies. I was able to lose accountability for what i was buying and fool myself into thinking that no-one is noticing all this junk food that i am trying to buy. Now i really do limit the junk that comes in. If we want treats we will make them or bake them. I haven’t bought chocolate or chips for months now and i can honestly say that i don’t miss them at all!. We have apples and plain yoghurt or popcorn instead. We just swap the unhealthy for the healthy. I can see that hubby is getting slimmer but i am yet to see it in myself lol. My children have a great selection of food to chose from and i feel happy that they only have the good stuff. Lots of fruit for quick snacks. Take some time to prepare things like freezer bags full of popcorn or nuts and then later on it will be so easy to grab it and snack on vs going for another donut because you bought the jumbo pack (even though it was a bargain). It was hard to change to this style of eating because i didn’t know what foods were healthy but do some research. Make little changes and be healthy with your family!

    • yes i agree that if she is not eating the right amount, she could be slowing down her metabolism so when she does eat, she stores more energy but do get a check-up so you can rule out a medical issue.


  • If she is overweight and she is starving herself in front of you she must be getting her calories from something else as it does not add up. I think perhaps some professional intervention may help here to address why she is not eating. Would you take her to a psychologist? Maybe gave a chat with your GP to see what they suggest. Good luck and I hope you manage to get it sorted our quickly.


  • Absolutely talk to a dietician, and rather than talk about issues with weight, concentrate on healty eating for health reasons

    • I forgot to add a checkup and possible blood test to see what she is missing in her diet


  • I would recommend a dietician to talk through a healthy and well balanced meal plan.


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