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Most common reasons a child refuses to eat at meals (And what to do)

by Ortwin Brauer
child refuses to eat at meals

child refuses to eat

If you’re worried that your child isn’t eating well, you’re not alone. Most parents of young children have the same concerns, and your worries are perfectly understandable. In fact, the vast majority of people who see a nutritionist are quick to transfer their concerns about their own growing bellies to their children’s empty stomachs. But are these concerns really valid? Is your child not eating well, or are you just over-analyzing things?

As children get older, they tend to avoid sitting down at the table and eating a real meal. Sometimes it happens that children throw tantrums early in the weaning phase, depriving the mother of sleep. Several factors can come together to cause your child to lose his appetite or avoid eating.

However, as in most cases, this is simply an over-analysis of the situation. He can’t eat as much as you can. This obsession with not eating right and getting thin may just be your desire for chubby cheeks. If you are worried about not being able to pull your child’s cheeks, the problem is with you, not your child.

The first thing you should do is set the standard for healthy eating and optimal weight for your child. A simple number on the scale cannot be the only standard for assessing your child’s health.

Your child’s physical activity, lifestyle, family history and general preferences also play an important role in determining his or her health. Therefore, the child you think is a week old may not be that old at all.

There is no denying that many children have disordered eating habits that can affect their overall health. If you think your child is weak and needs special attention, here are some reasons why he or she is not eating well. If you have failed despite all your efforts, it is time to consult the best pediatrician in Lahore.


Picky eaters

Sometimes children can be very picky about what they eat. The sensory process plays a big role in food refusal. If something is perceived as disgusting in their mouth, they are likely to stop touching it. It may be the texture, a certain taste, the appearance, or the smell. In medical terminology, this is called tactile rejection.
Another reason for your child’s poor eating habits may be a lack of interest in food. If you can find out why your child is refusing food, it may alleviate half of your worries. Unfortunately, no one can do this better than you. But a pediatric dietitian can help you correct your child’s behavior.

Poor chewing

Watch for signs of poor chewing and swallowing in your child. It can be tricky, but your child’s food avoidance may be the result of poor oral motor skills. Difficulty chewing or swallowing may cause your child to avoid food altogether. In short, your child may not know how to eat. It can be difficult to confirm, but some indicators are vomiting barely chewed food, gagging, or swallowing food without chewing. This can happen when he switches from one texture to another. Simple chewing exercises can help. You can also ask a therapist for help.

Poor routine

child refuses to eat at meals

You may also be the cause of your child’s poor eating habits. If you fail to establish a good routine for you and your child, it is likely that they will not eat properly. These children are used to snacking indiscriminately, but avoid eating a proper meal. It is important to establish a good routine for your child. A good sleep-wake rhythm and eating pattern can ensure that your child eats a full meal. Eating in front of the TV or late at night can disrupt your child’s eating habits. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy routine.

Medical conditions

If your child is not eating well despite your best efforts, there may be a medical reason. If your child is already a picky eater and has a medical condition to boot, it means there are two problems. These conditions are not always serious; even a simple viral infection can affect your child’s ability to eat properly.


Your child is likely to stop eating if he or she is constipated. He or she may not be able to identify the problem, so you should look for it yourself.

Food sensitivities

Food sensitivities are not necessarily serious. They can be very mild, and if your child has them, he or she may not be able to recognize them. These sensitivities may prevent your child from eating normally, even if you serve him foods to which he has no intolerance.

A virus

It can be detected relatively quickly. A virus can be detected relatively quickly. If your child, who used to eat well, has suddenly stopped eating, it may be a stomach virus.

An eating disorder

Eating disorders are thought to occur only in teenagers, but they can happen in children, too. Although the chances are slim, your child could be suffering from anorexia nervosa, as this condition has been found in children as young as 6 or 7 years old.

Severe diseases

Diseases like eosinophilic esophagitis can also affect your child’s food intake. They can cause swelling in the throat that makes eating extremely difficult. Other kidney, stomach, or liver problems can also affect food intake.


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