Child Nutrition Expert Forum
What do you do when your 3 yr old has no appetite
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding child nutrition issues such as: Acne and food, Allergies and food, Balanced Menus, Diabetes, Finicky Eaters, Healthy Snacks, Nutrition, Weight Loss.

To help the Registered Dietitian evaluate your child's nutritional status, please state your child's weight (in kg or lbs.), height, and age in the content of your question.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

What do you do when your 3 yr old has no appetite

My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and has no appetite. She never says she's hungry. She is a very picky eater. She won't eat meat. When I make her a sandwich she only eats half, and its a struggle. I have to help her eat it. She stores food in her mouth like a squirrel. Sometimes we can only get her to eat 1 or 2 bites of a chicken nugget and she'll store the food in the side of her mouth until we make her spit it out, b/c we won't let her lay down or play with food in her mouth. We used to give her books and toys to sit with at the table and eventually that stopped working. If we don't feed her (put the fork or spoon in her mouth), she won't touch her food. It's also very hard to keep her in her chair. We had her in a booster seat, but we wanted her to feel like a big girl and let her sit at the table in a chair like mommy and daddy. It's just not working. At this point it has become very overwhelming to deal with. We also have a 16 month old who has a pretty hearty appetite. He eats pretty much whatever we are. I'm a stay at home mom, so I have no other help. I have also been trying to potty train her for about a year and she has the going potty part down pat. We no longer put her in pull ups. She is still struggling with going #2. She continues to go in her underwear. I've tried to make her clean them up herself, and that doesn't work. I ask her if she has to go and she says no, and 2 minutes later, she goes in her underwear. I don't know if this is somehow tied into her eating behavior, but she's been a picky eater since 12 months old. We try and make her apart of the kitchen, nothing seems to work. I thought about skipping a meal to see if she tells us she's hungry, but I'm afraid with her weight already on the low side, that she'll start to lose weight. Please help!!!! Desperate parent!
Is your child male or female?
:  
Female
What is your child's height?
:  
38 inches
What is your child's weight (kgs or lbs)
:  
30 lbs
Related Discussions
267079_tn?1195146570
Her weight is just below the 50th percentile and her height is just below the 75th percentile for her age. She is normal for her age. I can understand why you are concerned if she losses weight. Main point is to relax. It is important that mealtime does not become a battlefield of the wits. You need to enjoy your meals as much as she does. It is not good to force the child to eat. If she only wants ½ a sandwich , then her only has the ½ sandwich. After mealtimes are calmer, try to introduce some food (one item at a time) to her. If she refuses, then do not become upset. Let it go. Try again after a few months. If she does start to lose weight, suggest giving her milkshakes (milk and ice cream blended) or yogurt smoothies (yogurt, and frozen fruit blended) or Pediasure in place of milk so she gets the nutrients she needs to grow. Hope this helped you and thank you for your question.
2 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Desperate,

You might want to read my post from a few days ago, "Toddler with no apparent appetite".  I read your question and I can totally identify.  In fact, I check this board daily, as it sometimes provides me just a little comfort that others are going through this too.  My 26 month old too has no appetite.  She used to eat "ok" at times (for her, at least), and now she lives on Pediasure (2 bottles of it a day).  I feel like I have tried it all: Ellyn Satter's book, eating while distracted, eating in a chair at the table, having her help me prepare food, etc.  I even waited her out the other week to see if she evetually asked for something - after 18 hours when she didn't, I caved, and prepared a meal, and she still wouldn't eat.  She never appears to be hungry, will not accept a snack, and rarely asks for anything...sometimes when she does, and we give it to her, she then won't eat it.  She weighs 21 pounds, so is nowhere near "on the chart", and I worry that she will in fact starve herself.  I am fearful that a feeding tube might needed, but I hope not.  At this point I guess the Pediasure is what is keeping her going.  She only eats 1-2 bites of something then says she is done.  How long has your daughter been like this?  I am due with my 2nd child in about 3 weeks and am so overwhelmed that I just cry every day.  Anyway, just know some of us out there totally understand what it is like.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi i have a 2 year old son who has the exact same problems.. It really upsets me when he doesnt eat.. I am so frusturated with this problem that i cry every day. Feeding him is a battle. i feel like i realy need help with him. I realy envy other peoples children and feel awful as i have no patience left with my son and he sees how upset and angry i get at him.. I feel horrible afterwards! If there is anything that anyone can share with me in regards to how to overcome this problem then please do so. I am realy gonna go crazy or get depression or have a nervous breakdown cos thats how bad its become with him!
Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank