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Child refuses to eat. Seems to dislike food. How can I feed him nutrition?

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Practicing since : 1982
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My son is 23 months. Suddenly he has stopped disliking all the food. He just removes it from the mouth. I make healthy receipes for him but he is not willing to trying anything new. He does not eat any fruits or vegetables. Please suggest how to introduce variety of foods.
Posted Thu, 14 Jun 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 15 hours later

I am Dr. Taher K and I will try and answer your query - a very common type of problem in toddlers. Children between the ages of 1 and 5 are picky eaters and eat only when they are actually hungry. I have often seen my own children as well as patients pass through these "phases" they are active and alert but do not seem to be eating anything. On close enquiry, I often find that parents or care-takers have often introduced them to chocolates, sweets, chips and fast foods - the children eat these very well, fill their tummies, and then develop a liking for these foods to such an extent that they refuse to eat home food.

This is most likely the cause of his selective appetite, and you must stop giving him junk foods and treats to the extent possible. Use the chocolates etc. as a reward for having eaten food, and not as a bribe (for example, if you tell him that if you have this salad, I will give you a Cadbury's - that is a bribe, and he will eat the food without enjoying it! just to get his chocolate, but if the chocolate is given to him as a surprise on him eating a healthy food with the statement that "I am giving you this as a prize for your eating the salad", he will pick the habit of eating the food given to him much faster).

Also, try and garnish the foods with interesting colours, and give him small quantities of the food in large colourful plates, and he is more likely to eat them. Try using milk cream, jelly, fried items and ketchup as attractions on his plate to make him eat the healthy foods.

Revert to me if you have further queries or problems.

-Dr. Taher
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