Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Algetha | 2012/05/21


Fussy/Weak Eater

Good morning Dr.

I have a 3yr old son has never been a big eater but lately its a concern to me. When he was younger I literally forced him to eat something, now that hisa bit older I have to bribe him to eat. His diet mainly consists of oaties,fish fingers chicken pops and 2minute noodle. He refuse to eat vegetables excepts and odd potatoe know and then. His at creche during the week and they teachers say they dont have a problem with his eating habits.Its at night and over weekends that it becomes a major problem. What can I do or what do you suggest I give him to boost his appetite. Many thanks


Expert's Reply



It is strange that your son is such a good eater at the creche. During the week if he does not eat well in the evening it should be fine as he is getting a good meal at lunchtime. It is at weekends that it becomes a problem.I know it is difficult when you have to struggle to get your son to eat, but usually at this age children will eat what they need.He must join the family at the table at suppertime. Put his food in front of him. Do not watch him eat and do not say one word about his eating while he is at the table. He will watch you eating and gradually he will start eating better and better. If he leaves any food on the plate do not say a word about it and simply take the plate off the table once the meal is over.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2012/05/21

It sounds like a behavioural issue - perhaps see a psychologist.

Unfortunately forcing a child who is not hungry to eat does backfire in this way. A psychologist may be able to help you to learn other methods of encouraging him to eat.

If he is eating well at creche, you know he won''t starve. Just don''t keep sweets and chips and biscuits in the house that he can fill up on, and just continue to offer healthy foods to him at mealtimes. If he eats, don''t make any comment. If he doesn''t - leave it - don''t say a word. If he was hungry, he would eat.

It will take a while to break the association between meals being a time to dig his heels in and fight with you - as it is something he has control over, but it will eventually happen.

Make sure that in the rest of his life he has some control - hold out two shirts and let him choose which he will wear. Take him to the shop to choose which shoes or duvet cover to buy and so on. Then he won''t feel such a need to control the one thing he can control -what goes down his throat.

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