He wont eat ANYTHING!! Now what?!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Dara, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I dont know what to do. Sammy wont eat. He has been on a hungar strike since saturday. I thought maybe he was having stomache problems but there are no issues that I can tell. I took him to school to see if he would eat there and sure enough he will. SO now he wont eat for me and my husband. What the heck do we do?!!!! :hammer:
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Call your peddoc. I would have to think he will eat when he gets hungry enough unless there is something medically wrong (but if he's eating at school it appears not to be).

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I know Sammy's only 3, but do you have any idea why he's not eating? Did a traumatic event occur that might have prompted this reaction? If he really is eating nothing, you need to be in touch with your pediatrician to rule out anything phsyical and perhaps the developmental pediatrician to come up with a plan to deal with this. Obviously, not eating can be a very serious situation for a child.

    M (my easy child/difficult child 3) refused to eat last summer because she developed a choking phobia and was convinced she would die if she ate. She refused to eat for 5 weeks before she was hospitalized and fed through an NG tube for a month. Through intensive therapeutic interventions and medications, she is eating normally today and truly thriving.

    In your shoes, I think I would just leave some food you know Sammy likes within his reach and not say anything about it. He may just eat when he gets hungry enough. Is he drinking anything? Perhaps you could try Pediasure or a milk shake to get some calories and fluids into him.

    Definitely talk to the docs tomorrow if nothing improves.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'd call the doctor. There is some weird stomach flu stuff going around here--upset but no other outward symptoms.

    Try putting finger food you know he likes out where he plays in containers you wouldn't normally use for him. Don't say a thing--just put it there and walk away.
  5. Dara

    Dara New Member

    He has been eating at school, just not at home. He finally ate some Trex cereal tonight. We did have an incident on friday where he went poopie in the tub. Something he has never done in his life. It scared him to death. As soon as he saw it... Now bathtime is an issue. Tonight I put my swimsuit on and got in with him. IT helped a little but not much. I am actually wondering if he is trying not to go becuase of the incident. He finally went again today at school... We actually have a friday appointment at the doctor so I will call them tomorrow with any tips or if we can come sooner! I dont know what to do with this little boy!
  6. Dara

    Dara New Member

    By the way he is drinking a ton. IF he was not drinking at all I would have taken him to the ER because we are in texas and it is insanely hot here!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Both my easy child daughter and difficult child son went poopie in the tub and refused to take baths for a cpl wks. It was aggravating but funny at the same time.
    They got over it. (I think I moved them to another bathroom... they didn't seem to "get it" that it was their behavior and not some creature from the black lagoon, LOL.)

    Does your son have a fever?

    The fact that he's drinking a ton means he's not really on a hunger strike, or at least, is only on one to the limits of his 3-yr-old capacity. He's not going to starve if he's eating at school. My kids have done that and we just put food in front of them, ate dinner as usual, and cleared their plates when we were finished. Eventually, they forgot why they'd quit eating and they started eating again.

    When he starts eating again, don't spazz out! Act normal or he'll realize he can manipulate you.

    My husband has asthma and when he wheezed badly, he felt like he was drowning, and he quit eating. His parents were so alarmed, that he realized it was a great manipulation tool. So he quit eating any time he wanted something (usually attention). So if your son is truly sick, you still don't want to make a big deal out of it or he'll learn that this is one of your triggers.

    Good luck.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Dara, sometimes when kids consume large quantities of liquids, they become full and refuse to eat solids. I'm wondering if that's contributing to the problem here. You might want to ask the pediatrician the amount of liquid he absolutely needs and then limit it to that in the hopes he will then start to supplement with some solids.

    by the way, the heat frequently can dampen a child's appetite as well.
  9. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Thank you so much. I am going to call tomorrow to see if we need to come in then. He is drinking a ton but only after turning away food. I tried doing the bath upstairs instead of downstairs...It didnt work. I am really being careful and not reacting to the not eating. I put it in front of him if he eats then he eats and if not I take it away. He is extremely picky about eating anyways. It is always hard to tell if there is something actually wrong or if it is another manipulation. NEver a dull moment with this one!
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Dara, when I took M to a feeding specialist at Children's Hospital in Washington, Difficult Child, she told us she sees three kinds of feeding issues in young children: 1) sensory food aversion, which is when tastes, smells or textures turn kids off (the picky eater to an extreme); 2) infantile anorexia, which is low appetite and should not be confused with anorexia nervosa (seen in adolescents); and 3) post-traumatic feeding disorder, which is when an event (like choking or vomiting) triggers a fear of eating. In addition, most kids who exhibit feeding issues are anxious children to begin with. It turns out M has a combination of all three feeding issues, but what sent her over the edge last summer was her fear of choking.

    I hope you get to the bottom of what's going on with Sammy soon.
  11. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I know that Sammy does have sensory food aversion. He also is high anxiety. He did have the post tramatic feeding disorder very young from choking on stage 3 baby food while sitting in the high chair. We thought he had muscle issues with eating. Turns out, if he ate away from the high chair he was ok. He is extremely picky and it does include places. He will only eat grilled chicken but it can only be from WhatABurger. I cant make it, he wont eat it. He will eat a burrito with rice beans and cheese, again only from a certain place. He loves cereal with-o milk. He loves chips and rice cakes. Thankfully enough, he loves fruit! HE will eat a cheeseburger with ketchup only. For lunch everyday, he has a turkey and cheese sandwich (used to be PB&J) strawberries and yogurt and Choc milk. THe same thing everyday! Oh and he will eat a grilled cheese sandwich from a certain place and mashed potatoes and french toast at IHOP. That is all he will eat so when he stops eating it is quite dramatic because there are no substitutes. He also has a mother who is a picky eater...My food cant touch. Yogurt makes me gag and so does milk. I wont touch fish am trying to like chicken and my meat has to be burnt so...
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    For such a young child with sensory aversion, that looks like a very extensive list. My difficult child won't touch fruit or veggies, and the only meat he'll eat is a few bites of MacDonald's nuggets. He's taken a peanut butter on white bread with crust cut off sandwich to school nearly every day for 5 years, with the exception of the past few months when he switched to pita.

    Maybe a break from the bathtub for awhile would be good. Bathtimes were a major hassle for my difficult child and for several years he was on the once a week plan. Honest, a little dirt won't kill a kid.

    Another option is to see if he won't hop in the shower with his dad.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    SRL, M is the same as your difficult child -- PB&J sandwich every day for lunch since kindergarten. The amazing thing, however, is that Prozac has really helped her branch out in the food department. She ate two helpings of green beans tonight at dinner and declared them delicious. Unbelievable!
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Offer him what the rest of the family is eating at mealtime. Vigilantly guard your pantry, and let him get hungry enough to eat. Assure him that if he gets ill you will take him to the hospital and have him force fed. He won't starve. He can only make food an issue if you let him.
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    That *is* amazing but Shhhhh, don't let the makers of Prozac hear you. I can just hear their new marketing strategy now. :doctor:
  16. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My difficult child didn't eat for 6 weeks. He was 6. A neighbor man who he really liked(had a motorcycle) died in his sleep. difficult child would not eat. Thought if he ate he would choke and die. We saw doctor, we saw stomach specialist, they did a scope to make sure things were ok. We were advised to give him pediasure for all the vitamins and such. They had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. He drank that.
    After about 6 weeks easy child was able to get him to eat a french fry. When he saw he didn't choke and die, he slowly started eating again. it is scary. Hope he is alright.
  17. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    He's only THREE and has speech/language delay, anxiety, and sensory issues involving foods.

    Kids with sensory integration problems in the areas of foods will cut off eating entirely if this is their only option.
  18. Dara

    Dara New Member

    I am calling the dr today to see if they have any ideas or want to see him before our scheduled appointment on friday. Thank you for all of your advice it always helps to hear from others who have been through it! I will let you know what happens!
    SRL, you are absolutly right, if we make the slightes deal about eating first he will use that as a manipulation tactic and if we tell him hes going to the hospital to be force fed he wont have a clue what I am talking about! At this point I am happy if he eats cereal his fruit, whatever! I will let you know what the dr said!
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That *is* amazing but Shhhhh, don't let the makers of Prozac hear you. I can just hear their new marketing strategy now.

  20. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Just spoke to the Dr. He said not to worry. Since Sammy had such a traumatic experience with the poopie monster in the bath, He is going through this little food strike. He is eating a bit and has no other symptoms so is not actually ill. We will see them on friday to discuss all of his fun issues. I had to get in my swimsuit last night to give him a bath and he clung to me like glue. He is partially clean at least! They have water play at school today so we will see if he still enjoys it! Poor kiddo! Scared by a little poopie!