WHY WON’T HE EAT? The age old question. If you have a picky eater, you have asked this question a million times. I know, I have heard you do it. And every time you give me that look. You want me to say it – validate how you feel – you want me to say “He won’t eat because he is a jerk.” Well, I won’t do it. Because there are a lot of reasons your child won’t eat, and this isn’t one of them…well at least we hope not.
So why won’t your child eat? We haven’t done a list for a while, so let’s keep things simple and do this list style….here we go!
- Pain – not like “this meatloaf pains me to look at it,” but real pain. Does your child have reflux? Is your child getting teeth or maybe have a painful cavity? Does your child wince when they swallow? Take a good hard look at these things before you write off that your child is just being a turd.
- Discomfort – I know, it is kind of like pain, but kind of not. Constipation is not painful, but it isn’t comfortable either. Chronic nasal drip down the back of your throat…nope, not painful….but not comfortable. You see what I mean?
- Immature motor skills – Is your kiddo a gagger? Maybe they just haven’t figured out how to move that food around with their tongue yet, or close those sweet little lips as they chew. If you feel like they may need a little help in this area, check out how munchables could help them out here. And then get your grocery list of munchables here.
- Sensory Issues – Are you seeing a theme in what your kid won’t eat? Hates slimy things? Won’t do anything mashed or pureed? Might be a sensory issue. Get it check out!
- Learning or Behavioral Issues – Your child might need a little extra coaching. Food is overstimulating for a lot of people (sometimes for me!). If your kiddo has issues sitting at a table for other activities, it isn’t likely he is going to sit at the table for a meal. If your child can only handle one task at a time, setting a plate full of food in front of him might be way too much.
- Nutritional – If your child has issues gaining weight, gaining too fast, reacts to certain foods or products…well, your life is tricky. You have to work around what they can and can’t have paired with the fact that they relate eating with feeling yucky. It stinks, doesn’t it?
- Environmental Factors – Are you eating the same things as your child? Are you eating around a table? Are you serving family style? Is the TV off? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions…yay you! If you answered “no,” fix it – and then you can rule this one out as the reason your kiddo doesn’t eat!
If you have questions about any of the above…don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You and I both know I love nerding out about feeding – so take advantage of it!