I am new to posting here (not reading here) but I can talk about this
We have a little daughter who we adopted at 3 1/2 that is now almost
6. She came from a history of severe neglect and malnutrition. She
came home with a tummy full of parasites, and an appetite that seemed
to never quit. We treated the parasites, but doing so could not treat
her underlying fears around food. Fears that she would never have
"enough". She also seemed to have no "off" button and would eat until
she couldn't move, or until she vomited. She also panicked if one of
her siblings was eating and she wasn't. If we went anywhere, her first
questions were always about when and where she would eat.
Two and a half years later and she is NOT the same kid in regards to
food. Yes, she gained a lot of weight, but she is healthy and active
and is just now leveling off.
I think what's most important, is for you to address your own fears
behind your child's eating. For me, my daughter's eating brought up a
lot of my own fears from my childhood and mealtimes. I realized at one
point, that it was better for me to set her food in front of her,
smile at her, and calmly leave the room than to stay with her. She was
picking up on my anxiousness and it was making her more anxious. I
allowed her to eat in peace, without me hovering over her with MY fears.
We stopped regulating her eating at all. I let her eat what she wanted
when she wanted. I also made sure that I was filling her "love tank"
constantly. I wanted her to associate filling up with love to get rid
of her feelings of "emptiness". We kept finger foods handy in a
cupboard where she could reach them at anytime. We told her it was
"ok" to be full and that she could eat HER foods anytime she wanted.
We told her over and over that there would "always be food". She would
often go to the cupboard just to open it and see if there was food
still in there.
It broke my heart, but we stayed consistent and loving.
Today she is healthy and her eating issues are mostly a thing of the
past. I still remember the first time she left food on her plate and
walked away. I cried. :) I knew she had reached a place of some
healing. She now regularly "forgets" to eat or chooses to eat later
when she is busy playing. She leaves food if she is full. She still
loves to eat and still worries some, but she trusts me to care for her
now and is not obsessed with food as she once was.
Just wanted to give you some hope. :) And hope I didn't ramble on too