I was talking with a father a few days ago who was concerned about the eating habits of his little six-year-old. The child would not eat meat or chicken and just wanted fruits and vegetables. The family were not vegetarians. The father said his daughter would eat a hamburger at McDonald's and loved chicken nuggets and other fast foods. He also said his wife was a very picky eater and would smell food before she would eat it. I asked if the father liked to cook and he said that he did. "Why don't you buy a children's cook book", I suggested, "and cook some of the dishes with your daughter. "That's a great idea" the father said. "I'll go to Barnes and Noble this afternoon and get one." I also suggested he should ask the family doctor or pediatrician to talk with his wife and if necessary a dietician could talk with the woman. My concern was that the child was being set up for a possible eating disorder. Children usually mimic what their parents eat. For example, when I see a greatly obese child, I look at the parents and usually one or both of the parents are quite obese. I think parents have to be careful about the eating patterns they establish.
If you have had to be the doctor for a child with anorexia or bulemia or other eating disorders, you want to nip any problems in the bud before a serious eating disorder occurs.