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We have a child that attends my setting 2 full consecutive days a week, each day is 6 1/2 hours long.

The child in question refuses to eat or drink anything whilst in our care, I've spoken to mum who has no quarm with leaving the child in our care, however by the afternoon the child has low blood sugar and is quite destructive. Today the child bit me quite hard breaking the skin, last week he bit another child.


Any advice?

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Oh dear how dreadful for you and him. Before I might beable to offer any advice, are you able to tell us how old he is, how long he has been with you, and finally has mum discussed his eating habits/ likes dislikes etc. trying to get a picture of what might be going on there.

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is there a reason why he wont eat - do you provide food that he doesnt like - or does he bring in foods that he doesnt like? is snack time at a time when he is busy playing - can you let him eat first? does he not like eating as part of a group - woould he eat before / after the others?

think you need to speak to mum as he cant possibly go on without eating - chat about his food times at home - what are they like - does he have a routine prior to eating - does he have cerain plates he only likes to eat from etc

- think the answer will come from home and chatting to mum x

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It is easy to relate one of the issues to the other one but the biting and not eating could easily be 2 separate issues..


Not eating at the setting could have several reasons... apart from not wanting food or feeling hungry.. I have often had a child not eat or drink during a session but not as long as 6.5 hrs. The key to not eating will need a chat to mum about a possible reason.. not liking to eat in front of others, too much to do so not wanting to stop. disliking the foods on offer, but whatever the reason pushing or forcing them to try will usually cause more issues..


what is his diet like at home, does he usually have regular meals, what kind, fussy eater, eat well, so many questions need answering to find a solution.


we used to not push eating knowing that they were fine at home and eventually moved to sitting with the others while they ate, small steps to gain some progress..


I would probably deal with the biting as a different issue..

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I'm tempted to ask if the low blood sugar is documented? If it is known they get this, then there should be details on Registration form. Otherwise, I'd agree with Inge that the biting is a different issue. As well as her other comments.



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Hi again


The little boy in question is nearly 3. Mum brings food in for him but he has no interest what so ever, mum wants us to ensure he eats.....this is easier said than done.


Our snack is a rolling snack so he can have it whenever he's hungry/thirsty, however he never visits the snack table even though encouraged (we've tried a variety of items, cooking items to eat etc)


Mum says at home he's allowed to walk around and eat - pick at food rather than eat a meal.


The biting only happens in the afternoon when he is very fractious.



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if he is allowed to walk around and pick at food at home this will be what he is used to and expect ... in today's culture they may never sit at a table to eat.. many use trays in front of the TV, and whole family never use a table for meals.


think I would chat to mum about sorting out something that you could both follow when he is eating, trying to get him to sit in one and not the other may well be counter productive and same as with behaviour issues I feel should be tacked together.


Maybe have a period where all sit together to eat at a table, even if he does not eat he is getting a message that others sit down to eat..rolling snack is fine for most children but we often had some who never used it... but I did know those were having a breakfast, and we all sat together for lunch even if they did not eat while the others did, we all sat together for about a 15 or 20 min period , we never pushed the eating side though as it can be used as control tool , the food was there and they could eat or not, but they did sit together..



and I still feel the two need dealing with as different issues.. afternoons can be tired as well as low blood sugar...


is he thriving.. developing physically and not undernourished.. so getting adequate calories overall. Our non eaters tended to eat a lot more outside and when they got home to compensate for not eating while with us. One we discovered was getting most from the huge quantities of milk she was drinking all the time.

Edited by Inge
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Thank you all for your comments - very usefull.


I've spoken with mum many times - due to their life style (travellers) she finds something's difficult to enforce.


The child in question is offered 2/3 different meals at home and chooses what items if any he would like to eat, if nothing he likes mum cooks something different, Mum says normally nothing eaten so she gives him a bottle of milk.


We have now agreed that we will have a bottle & a sippy cup at the setting and if he chooses not to eat or drink we will offer him milk/water in these.


We'll keep trying


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