Refusing to Eat

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2011
Refusing to Eat
Sun, 12-04-2011 - 1:51pm


I'm wondering if anyone has had this problem with an older child. My DD is eight, and no matter what I make, she refuses to eat, or if she does eat, it's nothing more than picking. I've tried only making things she likes, not forcing her, making her sit at the table until she eats something ... nothing works.

Today, she's been sitting at the table for three hours, looking at a piece of roast chicken and three pieces of carrot, because suddenly she "doesn't like how the chicken was cooked."

Anyone else dealing with this? Any suggestions before I pull ALL of my hair out???

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 7:15pm

First off, welcome! I'm sorry to hear you are dealing with such a challenging (and maddening!) situation with your daughter.

My kids are picky eaters (they get that from me, sigh) so I can definitely empathize there. However, they will happily eat foods that they do like and from what you said, it doesn't seem like your daughter is even willing to do that. I would suggest that you don't make it into a power struggle, but you said you've tried that as well !

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2011
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 7:29pm

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the welcome!

I too, have always been a picky eater, and her older brother is as well (but he has a gag issue that I'm hoping he will outgrow), I'm sure that it isn't medical, because she was actually crying that she was hungry, but refused to eat the chicken.

So, after much deliberation I decided that she would be grounded for the temper tantrum, because I won't tolerate her acting like a two year old - and that she has to be responsible for preparing her own meals and cleaning up afterwards. Then she can't complain about not liking what's being served...

So after school today we headed to the grocery store for her to choose her supper. She wasn't at all convinced that I meant it, but after a few minutes of thinking, she decided what she wanted...

Are you ready for this?

Chicken nuggets.

I can't even make it up.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2008
Fri, 12-09-2011 - 11:46am


Are things any better? How long has it been going on for? I may have some insights. I was the type of kid who would refuse to eat for different reasons. My max was two days of nothing because I had a loose tooth.

At least chicken nuggets are something, right? :)


by sara photo sigbysara.jpg
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2011
Sat, 12-10-2011 - 7:11pm
hi Liz,

She's always been strong willed, so I'm used to that. But she always used to be a great eater - would eat anything and everything, but has been getting progressively more selective - and the not liking chicken thing was the last straw.

So for this week, she has been responsible for cooking her own meals. I'm biting my tongue because her choices are all processed, not-what-I-would-make things. She's doing some grumbling about how hard it is to pick things to eat, but knows that as long as she's refusing to eat what I make, she's on her own. She also knows that whenever she's ready to participate in our meals, we will be glad to have her.

I'm just wondering how long she can last on her new diet. She's already moody and has less energy. It's quite a switch for her, because she usually eats so well. It's a waiting game now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2005
Fri, 01-13-2012 - 12:52pm

Hi Jenn,

It's been a few weeks, so I thought I'd ask how your daughter is doing with her eating habits.

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
Fri, 01-20-2012 - 7:33pm
Hi Jenn! How is she doing with cooking her own meals? I've done that with my boys before, they are all very picky at times. It is pretty ironic when they get tired of eating the same thing all the time because they refuse to try something new.