Join a discussion about growth and development by Dr. Hands, who presents all that any parent would like to know about any health concern during the first few years of child's life. This video teaches you about children who refuse to eat.
Read the full transcript »

What to Do When a Child Refuses to Eat Often when parents approached pediatrician at the visits, one of the big topics that they wish to talk about is eating, nutrition, all of which we’ve discussed. But they’re biggest concern is when the child refuses to eat. We call this the F.E.D. U.P. Syndrome. Fed up is actually is a way for us to remind ourselves of the different courses of food refusal. The F is a fear of food. This often comes from some event that occurred surrounding eating and in something that historically we try to find from the parents if he child is having episode of choking of food which is distasteful. It could produce the fear that is causing the child to refuse to eat. The second is anorexia which is obviously associated with illness. This is when the child doesn’t feel like eating because he’s sick to his stomach or he has the feeling of fullness with no desire to eat. This can occur with illness and prompts us to evaluate medical illness in the youngster. The D is developmental phenomenon. Developmental phenomena have to do especially with young babies who are premature, who haven’t suck and swallow reflex as well. There are neurologically impaired youngsters who basically are in the situation with a really can’t swallow well or use oral muscles or pharyngeal muscles. These patients often actually requires specialist in the field to work with them or in feeding. It can also be developmentally normal in the two-year old or the one to two-year old, who they all which refused to eat and we have quoted earlier in the DVD, the doctor’s—gives him observation that they one eat the same foods all the time and be tend only one meal a day and that tends to be breakfast. The P is for pain and this of course is a youngster who has gasoesophageal reflux, dyspepsia, some sort of ulcergenic disease which can cause pain. And of course the U which is the most important. This stands for obstruction. Obstruction is a major medical problem related to inability for the food to get from the mouth to the rectal area. And this is something that must be considered. It is usually associated with vomiting, abdominal distention and other medical problems. The last course of child refusal of food really is behavioral. It can be an aversive oral experience or it can be an attachment disorder. Attachment disorder is probably more common is when we see a mother-child interaction problem related to making the feeding a battle ground. This situation has to be faired it out and psychologically dealt with so the child may return to normal choices, normal feeding and get over the food refusal which is often become a circular phenomena driving the mother to become more demanding that the child eat and the child in turn to becoming more oppositional and refusing to eat.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement