Posted by: Rhubarb | 2008/01/23

Four year old with selective eating

I am concerned about my four year old's eating habits. He eats a very limited diet and is extremely reluctant to try new foods. He will not eat anything with a sauce on it and I'm concerned he will be hindered when he starts school.

His height is above average for his age and his weight is on the light side for his height.

He also has always had loose stools / sometimes watery diarrhoea and complains of tummy ache sometimes. Any advice to help him improve his diet, try new things.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Rhubarb
I would firstly have the child examined to determine why he always has loose stools and/or watery diarrhoea as this could be the reason why he is not thriving and why he tends to be a picky eater. Conditions such as infections, malabsorption, food allergies and/or intolerances can severely affect the appetite and prevent a child from growing properly. If he is given a clean bill of health then you can introduce him to new foods. This can entail exposing a child to a certain food up to 20 times before the child will either show interest or agree to eat the food (esp vegetables). Offer him one new food a day, repeat this for a few days and then go on to the next food. Always be encouraging and praise him if he eats a new food. But do have him checked for underlying conditions first.
Best regards

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