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Child not eating properly. Very choosy with food and does not feel hungry. What to do?

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Practicing since : 1997
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My 8 year old doesnt eat food at all, the only meal he has is what i feed him as dinner in the night. he says he is not hungry and is also very choosy on what he eats...always nagging about eating food and is very fussy. He currently weighs 23 and is bony.
He is a biggest tension in my life. sometimes i feel if he is doing this wanted as we are not with him during working hours... i do not want any impact on him or his health.. please suggest.
Posted Tue, 25 Jun 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 10 hours later

One good thing here is you are very open and do not want to force him. His weight is also good for 8 year old even though he is bony
I think you need to make him independent and stop feeding him with your own hands.

Discipline in children comes with denial of acts. You sit with him, plan a weeks diet for him; decide food of your style but in the form he wants. Say if you want I'm to eat wheat and he does not eat chapatis.. you may switch to parathas.

Once the schedule for week is ready. Display it in dining area. Serve him food as period it along with other family member. Discourage the habit of feeding him with your hand. If he does not join dinner... serve a plate and keep it covered. In begining he may not eat a day or two or eat little late. This is good as it will discipline him.

Now the reasons why a child may not eat can be an illness, fever, throat infection or constipation , sore throat, tonsil swellings etc. All these need to be taken care.

I hope this addresses your concern. Being choosy is good but being stubborn needs denial.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child not eating properly. Very choosy with food and does not feel hungry. What to do? 1 hour later
Thanks Doctor for your suggestion. will surely implement your ideas. Can you kindly suggest an ideal diet for 8yrs on a weekly basis, probably the way it is served to him might differ but the structure-is what i meant.

Thanks a lot for your help
Answered by Dr. Santosh Kondekar 2 hours later
Hi again
I am sure he may be hyperactive but discipline is the only way to tackle this at this stage and complaints.

Routinely an 8 year old needs at least 3 snacks and 2 full meals.

Snacks should preferably be non-milk items: can be sandwich, bread, paratha, dosa, etc but all will depend on pattern of diet you are having in family.

Full meal should consist of rice or similar cereal with taste for easy palatability. One may mix with thin daal or ghee. A small roti or chapati or paratha may be assisted by ragi pappads at dinner or curds.

I hope this helps you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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