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Is this normal 8 year old girl behavior?

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I have an 8 and a half year old stepdaughter who has always been a great eater the 5+ years I've been in her life. Willing to try anything and we've never had to beg her to eat. She's not overweight by any means and is very active and 'solid'. The past 3 weeks I've been noticing that she barely eats and is taking small bites. At supper she will push food around on her plate to make it look like she ate. I find the snacks I pack her for school untouched in her book bag. It almost seems like when we all sit down to have a meal that she will try to talk and avoid eating. She rarely eats snacks anymore where she used to. I'm not saying she over ate at all, but it was just very normal habits whereas now it's concerning as I've never seen her be so particular. I did have her and my son start gymnastics a few weeks ago and am wondering if that is influencing her? Anyone have any advice?

answers (1)

Tell her you noticed that she isn't eating very much. Then I'd ask her, "does your tummy hurt, do you not like the food, has something happened that makes you not want to eat?" I'd also compliment her on how nice she looks too, maybe if it's a bully or something someone said that will help. Make sure that you explain to her that she is a beautiful, normal healthy girl and she needs to eat to stay that way. I'd end that with "please tell me or your dad how we can help you with your eating." Let her tell you why it's happening. I'd definitely let dad talk to her too and compliment her as well. My guess is another child told her she was fat, etc. and possibly another one gave the advice about not eating to lose weight. Both you and your husband complimenting her and talking to her will help a lot. I'm sure she will tell you why she is doing this.

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