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Child reluctant in having solid food. Taking only porridge. What could be the cause?

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Practicing since : 2008
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Dear Doctor,

My son aged 7 does not have any solid food at all so far in his life. He has only porridge ( semi liquid form). How do we get him to eat solid food. He just refuses to eat solid foods. Some doctors said this is due to oral sensitivity. If so, how do we treat it? Do children after treatment come out of this?

Posted Sat, 6 Jul 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shruti Rijhwani 33 minutes later
Hi !

Thank you for posting your query on XXXXXXX


Looking into your problem I get that your child has developed a habit of eating semisolid food in the form of porridge and is reluctant to accept solid food .

Well what I feel about your problem is that it is unrelated to oral hypersensitivity, rather it is a problem related to autism. Eating disorders are well known in autistic children which come under the heading of autism spectrum disorders .

They generally prefer to stick to one kind of food, are extremely choosy about things they would not eat and resist and won't accept any change in their menu easily .

You must be aware that children with autism require special attention and same applies here. Behavior therapy is the mainstay of the treatment .

Try to introduce new foods in very small portions , a new food in a new location where porridge is not available like parks, etc can be tried sometimes they try new food in public places.

Make it interesting by combining it with some toppings that he likes, whole family should have the same food at that time.

Children like to eat in the company of other children when they like to have what the other child is eating. These small things will show a big change.

Be in touch with the treating doctor and follow his advise. As the child grows he becomes more adaptive for changes and come out of these problem but no time span can be predicted for this.

Take care.

Dr Shruti
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child reluctant in having solid food. Taking only porridge. What could be the cause? 15 hours later
Dear Doctor,

Thanks a lot for such valuable tips. I hope and pray it works.

I also thought of giving some more info and request your approach.

1. As said already my son's main stay staple food is porridge. In addition, based on our reltatives advice, we try giving boiled vegetables mashed and mixed with rice. Sometimes he has and sometimes he doesnt. Vegetable usually like carrot, dhal, mutton broth, chicken broth etc.
2. He also has boost / tea / coffee. Had bit of ice creams when he had his tonsils operation.
3. We had taken him to few Occupation therapists who forced him to eat food which had lot of negative effect on him, so discontinued.
4. Presently we take him to a OT , who doesnt force and he loves to go to her. Her major approach has been to make him get used to different textures - first playing with them. He loves alphabets and numbers, hence the OT makes him create alphabets and numbers in sauce, porridge, etc. Makes him to put lipstick on him in way of applying sauce on his lips. He is doing this and enjoying it. Any other ways recommended by you?
5. We feed him separately and he does not have his food with us on the dining table. Any comments?
6. Unfortunately since we dont get porridge in hotels in India, am really scared how he can manage as he grows up. What is the best next alternative food item which is available in hotels / eateries.
7. Any examples of children who have made good progress and their contact details ( if possible) in India.

Warm Regards,
Answered by Dr. Shruti Rijhwani 7 hours later

First thing don't force him to eat or do anything he would retaliate that and everything will go in vain.

You should form him a habit of eating with you on dining table on specific times . When he will see you eating different things he might try them . Eating alone will not help.

One good thing is you should associate some meals with cartoon characters like what his favorite character eat he will follow that .

Mashed vegetables are good but for starters you shoul give him some food that is tasty enough to develop his interest .

Other thing is make him feed his toys as games with other foods . He might follow that.

Try to keep him in company of kids if possible .

Make food a part of game for him and yes children do improve a lot and you shoul keep your hopes afloat.

Take care.

Dr Shruti
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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