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mom2-4 02-24-2003 07:57 AM

3 y.o. eats everything, but what she should
Help, my daughter is scheduled for her 3 y.o. check up in April, but I want help now!!!! I have mentioned it to the doctors in the past, I don't think they believe me!!!:ugh:

The problem, my daughter eats everything, but what she should, and I don't mean junk food, I would be happy if that is what she were eating!!! She eats crayons, chalk, markers, stones, sand, soap. And it is not just a matter of putting them in her mouth...she is actually eating them!!!! I have such a hard time keeping her away from alot of the things, because of the older kids. Over the summer she would literally put a hand full of sand in her mouth!!!! The first time she did it I thought she'll never do that again....well as soon as she was done eating that she put another handful in her mouth. She picks up handfuls of little stones outside and chews on them!!!!! Lip glosses and chapsticks even the unflavored ones just eats them. Glue she ate an entire glue stick one day.

She has been diagnosed as having an Iron deficiency, she is taking Iron tablets daily, but she still eats these is almost like she craves them.

Has anyone else every experienced a problem like this? She is my third child and I have NEVER had a problem like this!!!

Please help!!!!!


Melanie 03-09-2003 12:27 PM

Karen ~ your daughter has an eating disorder called Pica. Here's more information on it:

Hope this helps!

blondie29697 03-09-2003 12:51 PM

This is more than an iron deficiency. There is a disease with the word "pic" in it. I can't recall the whole name, but I'm sure if you ask the Pediatrician he/she can tell you what it is. Ask the most important question when you first speak to the doctor. Studies have shown that after 30 seconds, you have lost their interest. I take a list with me and put the urgent item at the top.

mom2-4 03-09-2003 01:01 PM

Thank you both so very much, that website sounds exactly like her, she does have an iron deficiency. The doctor put her iron but as soon as she was at a comfortable level for them they took her off. I can always tell when her iron level drops.


Jeannie 03-09-2003 03:50 PM

It certainly sounds like she has Pica.. try going to

and put Pica in the search line.
I would also speak to your pediatrician about this as soon as possible, and do it face to face at the exam. I would bring her in as soon as possible. If your Doctor doesn't believe you, change doctors! .. you can contact a teaching hospital in your area or close to you ...and write to the head of pediatrics for assistance. They probably can refer you to someone as well.

Katnhat 03-12-2003 08:31 PM

I had two children. The second was just as you describe your's to be. She ate any and every thing. Acorns were the scariest. We had huge oak trees everywhere outside. My oldest daughter I eventually found out was actually giving them to her. Because "She likes them so much". Oh my goodness, I went through it with her, I must say. The answer was extremely simple though. I hit on it by accident out of desperation. By the way, my little one was only two at this time. I made up a bowl of a fried chicken leg, four vanilla wafers and a few bits of cheese. Her favorites! I showed them to her. SHE was not interested>.....
I made her stand there and listen to me. I told her over and over again tonight when Manda gets hungry (Oh by the way, her "binges" happened mostly at night when we slept. She would go through the house plucking buttons off of clothes, etc.
Anyway, I made her listen to me about this being "Manda's bowl". She finally repeated it. I said yes and we went on with it. The next morning I checked .......the bowl was empty except for the chicken leg!!! She was sleeping soundly. I was doing the dance of JOY! From then on, I kept a bowl strictly for Manda in the fridge from that day on. I kept the bowl filled whenever it got empty or almost it was filled again. Day or night she had food when SHE chose the time to eat it. That was all she needed. She needed a yes for the fridge for food when she chose to eat not when we did. I always tried to have GOOD food in the bowl of course. She never ate to any degree any thing she was not supposed to again that I know of. I mean yes, a few tastes but never to the same extent again. The bowl of her own when ever SHE wanted it was the answer to the problem. It sounds too easy, doesn't it?
Try it and let me know how it works for you??
My Email is open to you. It is [email protected]
Sincerely, Kat :cat:

mom2-4 03-13-2003 03:46 AM

I believe you that it worked, but, she is a picky eater, she is a different picky eater, one day she wants fruit, the next day she wants cheese, the next day she wants chocolate, the next day she wants is never the same things. She changes from day to day...I have to wait to see what she wants, she is very head strong...with an attitude like you would not believe!!!! She is the youngest of four. She was on a fruit binge the other day, so I had a bowl of fruit for her. I opened the can she ate 1/4 of the can, I put the rest in a bowl in the fridge, it is still there, I will need to throw it away.

Thanks for the input, I really think this is a doctor's supervision, type thing, she has low iron, which I believe leads to the binge eating. She had low iron at her 6 mos check up, they put her on iron, then tested her every six weeks, when she was ok, they took her off. Then I found out she was low on iron again, around 1 1/2 years, I told the doctors, they put her back on iron, they tested her every so many weeks, until it was back up, and then took her off the iron again. I have found that after reading the info on pica, that I am really sure that is what she has. She is not a meat eater, so that adds to the problem. I hate giving her the iron tablets without a doctors supervision, so I give her half of one every other day, she seems to be doing better, but will tell the drs. at her checkup, in a few weeks!!!

Thank you again, for your input!!!!


mousebyte 03-13-2003 07:54 AM

Karen, my son has Pica. He is much better now and will be 14 next month. We have always had to hide the glue, mostly the liquid glue but he would eat the sticks also, couldn't have a game in the house cause he ate all the plastic pieces, had to take him to Scottish Rite hospital twice cause he swallowed pennies that got lodged in this throat, ate paper and books like a billy goat. Anyway the doctors weren't much help so we just tried to watch him as much as we could. He seemed to do it more when he was nervous about something. Finally a counslor told us to put a bowl of sugar free gum on the table and tell him he could have gum anytime he wanted. As long as he had gum in his mouth he wouldn't put anything else in his mouth. Amazingly it worked 95% of the time. There is a behavior modification training they can go through but our insurance wouldn't pay for it soooo we were just sorta stuck with trying to help him on our own. He no longer needs the bowl of chewing gum. Like I say it just seemed to get better as he got older. Every now and then he still has a problem with the glue but I don't notice chewed up books or papers in his notebook anymore. Good luck on finding doctors that will help and you might want to give the bowl of gum a try.


mom2-4 03-13-2003 09:21 AM

I will deinintely try the gum, idea, she will love that, I am pretty sure she is this way because of the iron deficiency, I am pumping iron foods into her, and she has left the crayons alone for 2 days now, but can't seem to let her hands off the chalk and pencil erasers. She did eat paper as a baby, but it never occurred to me to be a problem, all my kids liked to play with paper and make it crinkle, but they were not big on putting things in their mouths. Right now, I am fighting with her to stop eating the piece of chalk that she was pretending to draw with.

I will let you know how the bowl of gum works, the only thing is she will be swallowing all the gum, and they say they should not do that, but hey it is definitely better than, chalk, glue, crayons, pencil erasers, sand, pebbles. She has never eaten plastic or reallly even put money in her mouth, I never even thougth of that.

Thank you so much for the suggestion!!!!


mousebyte 03-13-2003 09:48 AM

Swallowing gum might not be good for you and a doctor would probably tell you it is bad for you BUT I have swallowed my gum since I was a little kid. It just slides down my throat before I even think about it. I don't chew it much now a days for that reason but my mom use to tell me it was going to make a big ball in my stomach. I clearly believed when I had my first son and they did a C-section that they were going to find this BIG ball of gum in my stomach but of course they didn't. LOL boy did I feel dumb believeing that until I was 26. Anyway even my kids swallow their gum and I don't really worry about it cause I suffered no ill results and NO I don't tell them that the doctors are going to find a big wad of gum in their stomachs. Funny when my mom said if I swallowed watermelon seeds I would grow a tree in me I never believed that one. Have a great day and hope the gum works.


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