Our expert says:
Children and teenagers can be most frustrating when it comes to eating. In many cases this is a type of psychological warfare and a method of controlling parents. The parent is usually so worried that the child will starve that he or she gives in and allows the child to "win the contest". I think you must sit down with your son and talk to him - at the age of 7 years he is old enough to understand clearly that human beings need to eat a varied diet that must contain more than a few favourite foods like the bread with golden syrup and cheese. Explain to him that he needs a variety of foods like milk, yoghurt and cheese, bread, breakfast cereals and/or porridge, meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables to grow into a healthy, strong man. Ask him if he has any emotional problems (which can sometimes be the reason for refusing food) and if there is nothing bothering him, then tell him that from now on he is going to eat the same food as the rest of the family. Dish up small portions of the usual food the rest of the family eats and if he refuses, offer him water to drink (so that he does not dehydrate) and let him skip a meal or 2. Once he gets hungry he will start eating esp if you withhold the favourite foods. If there are indications that his refusal to eat is due to underlying psychological problems (jealousy of a brother or sister or his father or fear or anxiety or depression) then you would need to take him to a child psychologist to get his problems worked out.
I do hope your son settles down and eats a normal diet
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