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Dear David Coleman: My 11-year-old daughter is throwing tantrums and has issues with food

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Allow your daughter to express any fears she may have

Allow your daughter to express any fears she may have

Allow your daughter to express any fears she may have

Q I am at my wits' end with my 11-year-old daughter. She's become so difficult with food. She will not eat but roars crying when she's hungry. Literally, all she will eat is Coco Pops, chicken goujons and plain pasta. Today was the second day she came in from playing and started roaring "I don't know, I don't know" and then it's "I'm starving, I'm starving" and threw herself on the kitchen floor in full tantrum. I have sent her to bed hungry because her tantrum upset my six-year-old. Please help.

David replies: When you describe your daughter as having become "so difficult with food", I wonder if that means she hasn't always been so fussy or restricted in what she chooses to eat? If this does represent a change, is it a change that has developed since the Covid-19 pandemic has started and we have faced so many other, potentially anxiety-provoking changes?

Often times, when children are faced with situations in which they feel out of control (like now with the changes brought about by the coronavirus), they can instinctively and subconsciously try to exert control in an area where they have the capacity to do so. Typically, children can control what goes into their bodies and what comes out.