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My son won't eat

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My 5 year old son has suddenly decided not to eat his food for the past week, he wasn't a huge eater anyway, he also suffers from constipation in which he is on Movicol and lactulose. I am really worried about him because his ribs are showing under his skin and his belly is bloated. I heard you can get paediatric high calorie drinks so I took him to the doctor earler this week and she just referred him to a dietian but that will take weeks! He has had a cough for about four weeks now but that was dimissed as viral. Has anyone had any problems of this as well? Any ideas? I'm at my wits end.



hi hunni i know exactly how u feel my daughter will be 3 in march she has severe constipation she has 4 satchets of movicol a day and occasionally lactulose with it she has also been reffered to a dietician shes due to go there nxt wednesday so i am hoping to get sumthing usefull from it.She has a restricted diet she eats dairy products loads of yoghurts which makes it worse she cant use a spoon so she just dips her fingers in she doesnt eat much either.i think its hard when your giving your chilld medication for constipation and there not eating much im constantly worrying about my daughter.

Does your son have a restricted diet will he only eat certain foods?

just wondered has anything happened to change his way towards eating?

im happy to give u any feedback when i attend my appointment with the dietician see if you find any of it usefull.

If you are really concerned i would just keep taking him to the doctors and say you are really concerned till they have to listen to you x x x

i remember when i took my daughter i took a stool sample coz they didnt believe how severe it was and he listened then my daughter has really big hard stools something a child of her age shouldnt be doing she was in pain she wouldnt eat because it was that painfull to pass a stool and they smelt really foul from all the dairy products x

hope someone can give u sum better advice x

Hi, thought I would respond as my son was diagnosed last October, but has had a eating disorder for 3 years now (he is 5) I have been to diaticians and still see one, but to be honest we had the drinks, he wouldn't have them and he always looks ill and weak and his bones also stick out.

Apparantly children with autism/aspergers do have issues with food it is their sensory pallet which causes the problem.  My son is currently on a very limited food intake but he goes through a phase of just crunchy foods like cream crackers or biscuits.  Now I know that biscuits are not ideal but anything to get him to have something.

You feel frustrated because you can see your child not eating, losing weight and no one seems to care, you just get its their condition. Well I have started keeping a food diary to try and see if there is a pattern to the months of the year...god knows what I am hoping for but I have his sister who will have anything and him just picking at food.  Sometimes I feel he is too weak or tired (he has had sleep issues) to eat and that is his problem.

I would say try keeping the diary as the diatician will probably ask you to do this anyway and don't pester about food, I ask my son once and then say to him let me know if you change your mind. He will have milk so that is a good source and if it means I have to give him a biscuit to get him to eat I will do.

Hope things get better, I sense your frustration and I know its hard but the worst thing you can do is to go on and on about food I have learnt that one.


This is a very touchy, intricate, extremely difficult and sensitive subject.. for kid and parents (therapists)..

Haven't any of you seen a SALT or an occupational therapist?! Highly recommendable! Find a SALT who has specific knowledge about sensory issues in and around the mouth (and the rest of the body)! ...When you call, make sure you find out if they are specialized in SPD (sensory problems disorders).

They know technics to calm that part down, or to calm the whole system down. In more severe cases.. like the above mentioned, both therapies (SALT and OT) may be quite advisable (for a while), to compliment each other and get better result!

It may also help to explain what food is.. what food does for your body.. Why do we eat? In their mind.. it might just aswell be plastic, poison or poo!! really.. Would you eat then!?!

..What is most frustrating for parents: The more it upsets you, as a parent (and for it is your kids life, so it does worry you... a lót!!) The more it upsets your kid; the more stressed he/she becomes (they are that sensitive).. the less open to trying out new things.. or even old for that matter.. the issue itself becomes ahighly stressed issue!

Listening to the amount of problems you have.. and if I were a parent.. I'd look for a hospital specialized in kids and eating disorders.. who have a view that fits yours! (there are a small few who would force-feed or starve a kid to make him/her see what is necessary.. Not something that suits my view.. desperate messures if y'ask me..)

Interesting book to read on overall sensory problems: Olga Bogdshina

Do you est with him and what you give him to eat?

my 14 year old son has stopped eating

hello can any1 give me some advice, my 14 year old son has autism and has became really picky with food he has been like this for a couple of weeks. from what i know he eats all his food at school and goes to his grannys on a thursday he eats everything there. but when its school holidays he hardly eats i even let him pick his teas but still nothing. i am getting worried and very frustrated i do get angry sometimes and i know i shouldnt but i need 2 try and encourage him 2 eat as if i didnt he would go hungry for days. i have even tried to take away his fav things off him but still doesnt work i am probably putting more stress on him but i always think its me or living in my house thats making him not eat. but after reading some of these forums its obv just with him having autism. he was like this when he was a baby but i thot he had grown out of it but its came back with a vengance. can any1 give me tips please thanks.

Reply to my 14 year old son wont eat

Hi I had to respond to your message because I obviously have this situation with my own child and this has gone on for a very long time.  My child is under a diatician although they really cannot do much but advise on different types of food and food suppliments.  What the diatician has said recently is that someone who doesn't eat will be lacking in iron and that can lead to them not wanting food at all so getting some kind of iron in them is very important. 

It is very frustrating but basically having gone through years of my child not eating and going on at him to eat and taking away favourite foods I have realised this doesn't work because of the sensory issues he has you can do this but at the end of the day they have an issue with how food tastes, texture etc.  The advice I was given and I have stuck to this although my husband finds it very difficult is to ask my son once when it is a meal time and give him the options available, if he says I don't want any of that I just want some chocolate then give the chocolate it is a food source and my diatician said that this is better than nothing at all.  If you say no to things like this they are in control and will just not eat because it is easier for them to not have anything and you are the one worrying.  My son became so angry at us asking him over and over about meals he just hated it and I reaslised I wasn't doing any good by going on at him.

My son also eats at my mums it may only be a few cream crackers or chicken dippers but he does this but she doesn't pressure him and I think he feels more relaxed with her than with us because we are always worrying about him and at one stage going on and on about food, no wonder he didn't want food.

It is hard to take a step back but over the last 5 weeks my son has lived on dairy milk bars (not lots of these I am talking 2 a day) and pure orange juice which again is a good source of vitamins.  Gradually he has started introducing other foods such as a bit of pasta (there has been no pressure and I think this has helped him in him taking control of his food and he has been the one instigating the pasta and fries) not alot I know but for us this is such a step forward.  My son was so poorly a year ago because he refused to eat for over 2 months and I have really had to have words with my husband to get him to stop going on about food all the time and give him what he wants he is the child with the food issue, we has parents don't understand what they are going through so why should we go on and on at them.

In your situation I would look at offering something you know he will have even if this is some chocolate, show him you are being supportive and yes you are worried but he needs some support not anger or you taking away the things he likes, he has no control over his sensory pallet.  The diatician told us to keep a food diary which we have done to see how long he goes on a certain food and then a break from food and what foods he changes to.  She also said that by doing some mouth exercises don't know if you can get your son to do this but moving their mouths around can sometimes bring back their sensory awareness.

I know you are a parent who is worried and trying your best but if he is drinking he may be ok for a while without food, it depends how long this lasts, but you must make sure he drinks lots of fluids and look at iron suppliments which you should get from your GP.  Ask to be referred to a diatician if you haven't been already all these facilities are available but you have to ask and fight for them. 

Please let us know how you get on and take a step back.