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Children who won't eat
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Children who won't eat

I have two children, a boy who is 9 and a daughter who is 7.  Neither of them eat normally and never have.  Both were breast fed for 18 months and both were difficult nursers and had problems moving to baby foods.  Neither have any allergies.  They are both considered completely normal except for being below the 5th percentile in weight.  She's in the 53rd in height, he's in the 60th.  

We've tried numerous approaches and even had our son (at age 2) evaluated by a team of feeding specialists at Cincinnati Children's hospital, where they found nothing physically wrong, and gave us behavioral advice and said that he would eventually grow out of it.  He hasn't.  We were hoping that our second child would have regular eating habits, but she's worse.

Neither of them seems to get hungry.  When we've limited options and said, this is what you must eat, she has gone 3 days on bread and water and he has gone 4.  Gagging and projectile vomiting on the normal foods that we try.  Again, pediatricians and specialists say stick with it and there is nothing physically wrong.  Both of them react strongly to smells, to the point that they will not enter the house or kitchen if I'm cooking a food with strong odors-onion, garlic, mint, any meat send them from the room.  They cannot use mint toothpaste because they say that it burns.

As a result we are presently feeding them a bland diet.  He will eat potatoes and rice, which is great, and if I boil chicken he can get it down.  Toast and peanut butter are foods that he can stomach, and grilled cheese has worked out. He will also eat jarred peaches and peeled apples. She is limited to yogurt, a plain thin-sliced baked potato, bananas, toasted bread, saltine crackers and milk.  They both spit out juice-he says that it is "too spicy".  

Neither of them complains of stomach pain or nausea, the problem seems to be in the mouth.  Are there ways to get the tastes OUT of the food so that they can eat it?  Or the smells?

My husband and I continue to eat normally and invite and encourage our children to try foods once a week, telling them that eventually their tastes will change.  Now even I'm beginning to doubt it as our son is about to turn 10 and cannot eat anywhere but our house.


This discussion is related to My 5 year old daughter won't eat anything but what I consider junk!.
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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13167_tn?1327197724
I know several children like this.  

Give them whatever they want to eat,  in whatever quantities.  

This isn't about power and discipline,  this is about kids who can't accept different food textures and tastes.

What would they eat?  Chicken nuggets?  Pizza?  Granola bars?  Boiled noodles with butter?

Mint toothpaste does burn,  actually.  Adults somehow perceive that it is "cool" but it burns our tongues.

Best wishes.  
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535822_tn?1389452880
I read your post and I had to ask myself why do they have to have mint toothpaste to a child it does taste strange,also how about you ask them each to make a list of foods they like , if you like spicy food thats okay a lot of kids dont they also dont like the foods we think are 'Healthy' Eating has been made a punishment in your House you need to make it a Joy and Fun.A lot of children find it hard to eat vegetables so let them have the fruit they want, ask them and let them make choices They make ,A List and let them eat what they put on down on it, dont make it a Battleground, also when they dont eat what you want them to let it go, say nothing, in fact if you know they dont like it why offer it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have a child who displays the same behaviors/symptoms? that you have described in your children. My daughter will soon be 11 and has a simple diet of pasta, rice, saltines, cereal, milk, and sometimes green beans and red delicious apple slices. I have the same experience here with my daughter including the limiting food and surviving for days on rice and milk, the vomiting, the smell factor, the taste, etc. The check up results are that there is nothing physically wrong. My almost eleven year old cannot/will not eat anything out because there is nothing on the menu she likes (unless there is pasta or mac n cheese). Going to a friend's house or party she will not eat anything (she will "fake" eating pizza. She will pick at the crust until everyone starts to be finished and then she will throw it out. Also, I think she feels like she fits in more if she attempts to look like she is eating pizza). I am not concerned with her appearance in terms of vanity, but to give you a better idea I will tell you that she is often mistaken for a 6 - 7year old. She willl be eleven and is going into the 6th grade.

Have you found any help? I am wondering if this could be something neurologically based i.e sensory motor disorder. I am really very concerned and also frustrated. I am tired of losing sleep over this.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi all, also experiencing the no eating with my 6 year old boy.  Have had this issue since babyhood.  Pudding was his first birthday "cake," otherwise he would choke on real cake.  He had yogurt smoothies until he was three.  He freaks out if eggs aren't cooked "right" and would live on hot dogs and bologna alone if I let him.  At six years old I could get him to eat if I sat with him for a hour and played airplane, but I don't.  He gets to eat what we eat in small portions.  If he doesn't eat it for dinner, he gets it for breakfast, lunch, until it's done.  I ask my children every week what they would like and I complement their choices with healthy sides.  The problem persists.  I have looked into mania for kids that don't eat AND don't sleep, but my son sleeps.  I've looked into ADHD because he is also hyperactive, but he doesn't  take any meds yet.  I can't even try the Feingold Diet because he won't eat.  Lastly, I've looked at the Aspergers Spectrum, because he loves salt, will eat it like candy, and water, drinks like a fish, but he is very social.  Mothers of Autistic children experience the craving salt thing. I've heard these eating disorders could be psychological as well.  Just a mom with the same concerns, he gets comprehensive therapy over the summer.
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