Hi all - I searched the archives but haven't seen much about older picky eaters and am hoping there might be some advice (or commisseration!) out there on the boards.
My daughter is about 5.5 yrs old and has a long history of picky eating. When we started out with solids, she ate an awesome variety of foods. But after about 18 months they dwindled one-by-one. We had a pretty okay pattern for a while with a decent selection but have recently been truly struggling with getting her to eat anything at all.
We've brought this up with her pediatrician every year at her well visits and her advice has always been to provide the nutritious food she will eat and try not to fight about it since it seems not to be a sensory issue but more of a control point. We offer her new foods often, she helps in the kitchen (but then won't eat it), and regularly declares foods she's eaten for years off-limits. She won't even eat the unhealthy foods that most kids would love to be offered!
Last night she had one bite of macaroni and cheese, which she picked from her dinner options, spit it back out into her bowl and said she was too tired for dinner and just wanted to go to bed. The night before she declared she doesn't like chicken nuggets anymore after eating one off her plate and leaving the rest. Then this morning she resisted breakfast and barely ate any of her waffle and milk before school.
We were hoping starting school would help her see other kids eating different foods and entice her to try things - no dice. Do I take her to the doctor? Do we just switch gears entirely and give her what we are making ourselves and she can eat it or not? I'm honestly afraid she will just choose to not eat anything rather than try something new or even eat her stapes at this point. Or continue trying to get nutrition into her however we can by offering the things we know she has liked before and not worrying about it if she decides not to eat.
Thanks for listening and any advice you might have!