My 10 year old hardly eats

My son was diagnosed almost 2 years ago. He is almost 11 years old and due to start mainstream high school in September.  He is only 135cm tall.  His height and weight are monitored when he attends appointments every 6 months or so.  I took him for his most recent appointment and he appears to have lost weight unless they screwed up last time.  (His height chart said that he had grown 12cm in 6 months!!).  

The problem is, he hardly eats anything.  Chicken nuggets, sausages (picked apart while he is eating), fish/fish fingers, meatballs, roast dinner (no veg and only chicken).  He will only have cheese spread in a sandwich.  School check every day to make sure he is eating his lunch which he does but to be honest I don't think I put enough in his lunchbox because if I put anything other than a sandwich, a frube and a couple of small cake bars he will leave everything else. 

We are constantly trying to get him to try different foods but as soon as it hits his lips he is pulling his face.  I tried to get him to eat a jelly the other and he gagged on it.

Can anyone help with how I can persuade him to try other things or help in any other way.  We are at our wits end.

Thanks guys

  • Hi,

    Sounds like he has a strong interest in 'meaty' flavours (umami is the name for this taste perception).

    The items he likes also sound as though they have quite a uniform texture - almost a thick paste type quality. 

    Some things that came to mind: 

    Disguising veg in some of these meat products ('Heck' brand do good sausages & burgers(?) with veg mashed into the product)

    Making different types of veg mash to see what he may accept

    Veg burgers and sausages (give this meaty flavour & texture but give him veg goodness). 

    Gradually phasing in new foods alongside the ones he likes so he can adjust gradually. 

    Wondering if your son has had a sensory assessment and what advice he may have been given?

  • Lots of kids use food as a method of control - they very quickly learn that your anxiety over him eating is a perfect way to push all your buttons.   

    If you make food into a battle, you will lose.   

    Our daughter was a 'super taster' so it was really difficult to get her to eat a balanced diet - so we made food fun to take all of the stress out of it.   The main rules were 'eat the good bits and don't feel you have to clear the plate'.

    We made Tetris toast, towers made from fries, what bad words can you made with alphabettis etc.  and we understand that kids are not really interested in veg - so small bits decorating tasty things seemed to disappear.

    As she got into her teens and began paying attention to what her peers were eating she became more adventurous and now eats almost anything.

  • My daughter is similar  no veg apart from potatoes and parsnips. Will eat bacon or breaded chicken mostly cheese pasta for dinner. She has a marmite sandwich bag of crisps and a biscuit at lunchtime. 

    We were told to focus on quantity that she will eat as trying to get her to eat new food just results in her refusing to eat