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xdolliejox
xdolliejox asks:
Q:

5 year old girl with an eating disorder?

My 5 year old daughter will not eat. She has a few bites breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mealtimes have become battles. She makes comments like Skinny is prettier. What do I do???
In Topics: Physical Health, Nutrition
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Oct 30, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Pay attention. Start by eliminating TV in the daytime where the ads are all about "thin". Don't fight over food, but don't enable bad habits. At five, she can only eat what you buy or have at home. Stress breakfast. Explain all types of pretty and beautiful. Ask her why she feels thin is pretty.  If she starts to practice food avoidance, try calorie dense foods. It might help speak with your pediatrician for advice.

good luck.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (1)

chemteacher
chemteacher writes:
My neighbor went through this with her daughter in kindergarten. There was another girl in the class who talked about being fat (she was thin) because she heard her Mom talk about it constantly. The other girls in the class picked up the idea and ran with it. My friend brought it up to the teacher, and eventually the school counselor got involved. They had a "nutrition and exercise" talk at school with the entire class and invited parents as well. They also talked about body image with the girls. Even at that young age, they are aware of what we idealize, but not as aware of the drawbacks of being too thin. Maybe you could check with the parents of your daughter's friends and see if they are having the same issues. It is easier to work as a team than attack one at a time.
> 60 days ago

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