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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Just Ask Joyce: My Child Won't Eat!


Q: “My 4-year-old is no longer interested in eating. He’s decided he doesn’t like food. I do give him yummy treats because he doesn’t eat, and I know he burns a lot of energy. He has a strong will and can sit and stare at food the whole meal. We make him stay at the table until he eats, but he’ll just sit there for as long as it takes. Is this just a stage?”

Joyce: It could be a stage, but don’t let him write the script! There is a basic principle about all humans: If we get hungry enough, we’ll eat most anything, and when it comes to survival, we’ll drop the “most” part.
Here is a 1-2-3 plan that should work:
Stop the treats! Why supply his demand with something not nearly as good for him? When he wants a treat, remind him when the next mealtime is.
Feed his tummy with balanced nutritional goodness such as carrots, celery, grapes, or a banana. A child who can open the refrigerator door and graze on healthy snacks should be afforded that opportunity any time.
Wait this out. We often allow our tender hearts to interfere with our good sense. A child’s needs should be considered first. He needs to eat, but it doesn’t have to be what he wants. One thing you can bet will happen: when your child gets hungry enough, he’ll eat. Not to make a hasty judgment here, but chances are, he has caught on to how to manipulate Mom and get his way. Win this tier of control, and save yourself a lot of heartache in days to come.


Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro, at justaskjoyce@gmail.com. Check out her books and other resources at JustAskJoyce.com. Listen to her live talk show Monday through Friday on WFIA 94.7fm/900am at 3pm.

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