AnnLanders.com - Advice for your Everyday Life
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Section: children, general-health 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am raising my 7-year-old granddaughter because her parents are divorced. I am concerned that the girl has an eating disorder. She eats no fruits or vegetables, and if I offer her something she doesn't like, she gags. I realize children can be fussy eaters, but the reason I suspect a serious problem is because the girl's mother eats exactly the same way. My ex-daughter-in-law eats only at fast-food restaurants and limits herself to chicken and fish (fried, of course). She told me she has NEVER eaten a piece of fruit or a vegetable in her entire life. This woman is 29 years old. Her mother and brothers eat like this, too. I'm at my wits' end to help my granddaughter eat a more healthy diet. When I try to force nutritious food on her, she throws up. I am worried about her health, Ann, and need some advice. -- Frustrated Grandma in Kentucky

Dear Grandma,
The problem that needs attention is not what the child is eating but what is eating the child. She is using food as a weapon, and you need to learn how to deal with it. I urge you to seek the guidance of a pediatrician who will recommend a therapist for this angry little girl. She needs help, and it's up to you to see that she gets it.


"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers