4 yrs. old and won't eat

Jill - posted on 10/05/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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It has been so hard to try to get my 4 yr. old son to eat reagular foods (pizza, mashpotatoes, veggies, pasta, ect.) He has been a nightmare with food since he was a baby. It took forever just to get him to eat baby food, but once he did that's all the healthy food we could get him to eat over the last 4 yrs. He eats some food with his hands chips, pretzels, cookies, but refuses to eat any breakfast, lunch or dinner items. Sometimes when we are successful enough to get him to swallow a piece of food, he will make himself throw it up on purpose. That's how much this kid refuses to eat. We asked his pediatrician what to do? She said to stop feeding him the baby food and junk food. Leave out his lunch and dinners on a plate, If he eats it then great if not then he will eventually come around. My son found a way around that, he fills up on liquids and goes in the cabinet when we're not looking. This kid appsolutly hates eating regular food. He throws temper tantrums, screams bloody murder, spits out the food, anything so he doesn't have to eat. It took us 2yrs just to get him to try ice cream, now he loves it. What do I do? The only source of nutrition he eats comes from the baby food and he can't eat that forever.

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Michelle - posted on 10/06/2013

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At 4 I would be demanding something be done for him. Go back to your doctor and get him to refer you to a specialist.
It's NOT normal for a 4yo to be refusing food.

Natalie - posted on 10/05/2013

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Hey my daughter was doing the same thing and she is 2. Just wondering if maybe he has low iron levels because it decreases your appetite and makes you irritable, my daughter had low iron levels cause she was a fussy eater. She has just started on her supplements after going to doctor and shes already eating more of her meals and her behaviour is changing. It takes about 3 weeks for it to start working. Not sure of your circumstances but if you want to rule that out, just a simple blood test. Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2013

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Hi Jill,
I know exactly what you are going through, although our circumstances are different I might be able to give a little insight :o) My son is 15 months and does the same exact things your 1 year old does, except my son hates baby food and gets his nutrients from pediasure, and my son has a disability that causes many delays in this area (chiari II malformation hydrocephalus). He attempts to eat but would gag and choke himself until he threw everything up, except with sweet foods like yogurt, ice cream, soft cheesecake, I used to try EVERYTHING to get him to eat but giving him sweets makes it harder to get them to eat the healthy foods so try to steer away from that.
Have you asked your pediatrician to refer your child to an oral/feeding therapist? My son goes and she has helped tremendously. The therapist has given me tricks to try also has told me to in a sense let my son go hungry, he will not be as picky. He fills up on pediasure and doesnt feel hungry enough to even want to deal with food, I was told to not give him a bottle all day and just keep putting him in the highchair and attempt to feed him for 20 min at a time, your son is eating and swallowing baby food though so are you sure there isnt something wrong that makes it difficult for him to swallow solid foods? I would also ask an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat doc)to check his throat. How is his speech? I learned from the oral/feeding therapist that if the child isnt eating properly the muscles in the mouth arent getting strong enough and will later effect speech, thats the only reason I ask..Your pediatrician has said exactly what Ive heard before, you def have to let him have his tantrums and not pay attention to them, I know its hard bc I cant do it myself, nor do I want to not give my son a bottle when he is hungry but the theory from the medical experts makes sense its just not as easy as they make it seem. Our children know they have us mommys wrapped around their fingers and obi. know they will get their way, we have to reteach them, let them know they are not in charge. I would take all the junk food out of the house, or out of his reach try giving him water and give him the options of whatever you guys eat for bfast lunch dinner and 3 snack times a day as well. He will throw a fit but also will eventually get hungry enough to give in. This will be a 2 week transformation the therapist told me. Hope this helps sorry Im all over the place in the email ...

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