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How to increase the child's apathy towards food?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 3315 Questions
My perfectly happy & healthy 5 yr old son is very very fussy with meal time. He has 3 older brothers that eat well, veges etc.
My 5 yr old has got to the point where he'd rather go to bed then even taste the food served. I was raised that you eat what's put in front of you or go without but it's not working with him. This has been going on for a couple of years. The last few months occasionally he'll go to bed a vomit during the night but after such he's absolutely fine again. I'm not sure if this is related or not. Also could he have some sort of sensory issue with food? If I force him to eat he chews and chews then gags on it and sometimes vomits it back up. But he's not ill and he's actually very smart intellectually and XXXXXXX physically with sports.
Posted Wed, 11 Jan 2017 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
A change in approach is essential.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. Incidentally your problem is not unique. Children are often fussy eaters. My suggestions for you would be:
* Do not force feed the baby. This will increase the child's apathy towards food.
* Treat the child as a member of family and make him dine together with others. Even if the child is not eating, make him sit with others while they take their meal.
* Keep the meal amounts small and keep other food items readily available for the child to pick up. For example, keep fruits ready to be picked up from the table.
* Take the child along with you while you go to fetch groceries. Pick fruits and vegetables as per his choice (ask for his choice). Make food preparations using those food items. The child is more likely to eat those without a fuss.
* Award the child a star for every day be feeds well. After he collects a certain number of stars, promise him some non-food reward like extra sleep time or something that you would possibly have given him anyway (a pencil, eraser etc. of his choice).

With such improvisations I am sure that the situation would improve.

Feel free to write back.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to increase the child's apathy towards food? 19 minutes later
I have tried rewards. I always keep fruit very available as my 10 yr old is a big fruit eater. He comes shopping with me and even helps prepare meals at times. I give him very small serve, even smaller than his 3 year old brother. We always eat as a family and talk about each of our days while there. I ask him to just try a bit of each then he can have a sandwich but he refuses.
Nothing seems to work 🙁
Also is the random vomiting a result of this?
Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You have to go for the trial and error method.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing back. I understand that you are trying your best and have already tried a number of the mentioned steps. But unfortunately there is no short cut. You have to somehow coax and lure your child to eat. Use delayed gratification in case of rewards, rather that immediate ones. Immediate achieving of the reward makes it lose its value.

A clinical evaluation is needed for the cause of vomiting. It could be due to overstuffing during the meals or could be due to gastritis. In case of the latter, giving Lanzol Junior (lansoprazole) once daily before breakfast should provide relief.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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