My two-year-old won't eat

My two-year-old doesn’t seem to want to eat anything. She only likes taking milk and juice. She isn’t losing any weight, however, and looks quite healthy but I’m worried. I have tried to change what she eats to find out what she likes but she doesn’t seem interested in anything. Is something wrong?

Dear Doctor,

My two-year-old doesn’t seem to want to eat anything. She only likes taking milk and juice. She isn’t losing any weight, however, and looks quite healthy but I’m worried. I have tried to change what she eats to find out what she likes but she doesn’t seem interested in anything. Is something wrong? Mary

 

Dear Mary,

 

Normally children grow fast from one to two years of age, after which the growth, weight gain slows down a bit till five years of age. Hence, along with slow growth, the appetite also slows down a bit from one to five years of age.

 

A child’s brain guides them to eat the necessary amount of calories needed for the growth and energy of the body and they would normally eat that much amount. However, parents try to forcibly feed worrying that they may remain hungry or develop deficiencies. This forced feeding makes a child lose interest in food.

Juices are full of calories, so is milk. If the toddler takes a lot of juice and or milk throughout the day, she will definitely feel full and have no appetite or interest to eat food. Limit the amount of juice she takes to less than six ounces per day and limit milk to less than 16 ounces per day. Avoid giving snacks too frequently, as otherwise she is bound to feel full with snacks. Try to give healthy, nutritious snacks in small quantity around tea time. Make meal times a pleasurable play time. Never be critical or unnecessarily persuasive while feeding a child.

So far, as long as the child is sleeping well, is not cranky or irritable, is not losing weight, there is nothing to worry about.

To ensure she is healthy, exclude any medical disorder by necessary tests.

Among medical disorders, deranged functioning of the thyroid gland, chronic constipation, chronic or recurrent tonsillitis, gum or dental problems, any infection, are conditions that can kill the appetite of a child.

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