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In a child refusal to eat solid food could be because the child finds semi-solid food or liquids easy to gulp down while solid food need time. Dental caries is another cause as chewing may be causing pain. If this problem has been there from the start, then he could be having swallowing difficulties. If the problem started recently, it could be his way of seeking attention. Try and talk to your child. Make meal times fun. Help him choose his own meal from a combination of solid and semisolid list. Many children favor baby foods as they are easy to eat. Also over-coaxing the chewing process can make it a game—to be played at times other than meals. You could try eating together from same plate. That may capture his interest. You can stop this process of teaching about chewing and just let him be. Introduce meats, veggies etc in pureed form. Protein and carbohydrate shakes can be given. Egg can be beaten into milk. Place small portions of what he likes in front of him without forcing him to eat. Eat with him—the things he asks for. This way with time he may start eating with you. Try giving him food along with others of his age. Children mimic their peer groups. Keep a watchful eye if he eats. As long as he is growing normally, do not be over-concerned. Give 2-3 months with this new strategy. If this fails then you may need to consult a specialist. Do mention this to his pediatrician at the next visit to take his inputs. Take care!
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