Daughter’s Worrying Eating Habits

Dear Sara,

My daughter is fifteen. Her eating habits are terrible. She has decided that she wants to be a vegetarian and won’t eat any meat. She says she “won’t eat anything with eyes.” She doesn’t look too thin but I worry about her. What can I do to get her to eat more?


Dear Michelle,

The first thing to do is to have her checked over by your pediatrician. At her age she is still probably growing and needs nutrients like calcium and iron. While you can find these in salads and vegetables there may not be there in sufficient quantity. Her doctor might want to have her take a multivitamin with iron if he finds out she needs it.

It’s OK for your daughter to be a vegetarian but have her go on-line to see what a healthy vegetarian diet looks like. If she’s not losing weight, where are her calories coming from? There are a lot of calories in things like potato chips and buttered popcorn. Try to think about what she should eat the next time you go grocery shopping. Try things like carrots with dip or apples if she likes them or snacks made with cereal pieces. You will have some control over what she eats if you shop carefully. Kids often come home from school hungry so make sure only healthy snacks are available.



  1. Eugene Neufeld says:

    And make sure she knows potatoes have eyes.

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