Help, My Child Won’t Eat!

Grumpy Boy
Is your child the boss in charge when it comes to food and eating?  Did your child suddenly stop eating the foods they usually liked?  Will your child eat better for someone else but not for you at home?

Is your child:

  • refusing to eat?
  • getting upset if they don’t get the food they want?
  • eating only certain foods that they choose for themself?
  • playing up at mealtimes?

Have mealtimes become:

  • a battle?
  • very long?
  • frustrating and stressful?
  • worrying?
  • non-existent?

These are some of the signs of Food Aversion.

Is Food Aversion important?

Yes! Your child is growing and developing since the day they were born. They need fuel to grow. Food is the fuel.

When growth and development is observed to be exceptionally slow it’s called Growth Faltering and can result in Cognitive Delay and behaviour problems.

What can you as a parent do?

  • Most children need to taste a new food up to 12 times before they accept its taste, so keep offering new foods even if they are refused at first.
  • Try to eat at the same time as your child, they will learn from you especially if eating is enjoyable and sociable.
  • Sit together at a table, use bright fun plates and cutlery.
  •  Try to eat in a calm quiet area-children are very easily distracted by TV or toys.
  • Allow about 30 minutes for a meal and 15 minutes for a snack and no longer.
  • Offer 3 regular meals and 2-3 snacks rather than let the child “pick” through the day.
  • Check out the helpful links and resources section for lots of  ideas for meals and snacks that are free to download and keep.

I’ve tried that, but it hasn’t worked!

I have undertaken Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) basic training, run by the UK Sensory Integration Network.  I can help you and your child by identifying the cause(s) of food aversion, identifying realistic expectations and making a plan specifically for your child.

Eating is the most difficult sensory task that children do but it is not a natural instinct.  It is a skill that has to be learned over time and practised on a regular basis.  Children need to help to be taught how to eat and drink according to their age and stage.

Food refusal in children is not behavioural in origin but over time it can lead to the development of certain behaviours around food and eating.

The reason(s) are many, can stem from anytime in that child’s history from the prenatal stage and might not be obvious or have a medical cause.

To arrange a consultation, please contact the clinic directly.