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.