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When Kids don’t Eat

imageIs It a Behavioral Issue or an Appetite Problem ?

I had seen plenty of poor eaters in my practice, but this one had left me with no doubts that he was the worst amongst all. . With a history of bird’s appetite, this time he was breaking all records. It was nearly three days since he had taken a morsel. It looked as if he had taken recourse to some kind of Satyagraha. Any attempt to feed him forcefully would end up in a vomit. The young parents were nearly on the verge of a breakdown, when on the fourth day he ended his fast.


When kids don’t eat, why is it that they don’t eat? What makes them a poor eater?

The Eating disorders are complex disorders. It could be a simple behavioral disagreement to food or as some Research shows that its origins can have more than one reason – Biopsychosocial. A neurobiological brain disorder with a strong heritability component is also under investigation. Some individuals with eating disorders have an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion. The exact meaning and implications of these imbalances remains under investigation. Behavioral disagreement occurs if the child is force-fed or over -fed.

When kids don’t eat, it can be very distressing for their parents, but is this disorder treatable?

Yes, but first it is important to understand the relationship between the child?s total family environment and his eating disorder. The individuality of each child is an important factor in assessing the most suitable approach for dealing with food refusal. It would simply be illustrated by a case that I treated without any medication. A child of two had developed a very obstinate food refusal. It was assessed that the disorder had no biological angle, but was a case of behavioral disagreement. The mother was feeding the child at an inappropriate time, seven thirty in the morning, as she had to leave for her job by eight, which had resulted in an overall refusal to food. A simple adjustment in the feeding time gave the desired results.

In another case a little one had developed disgust for food after her mother used harsh punishment for not finishing meals in time. Such a situations can become a psychological deterrent and the child may sub consciously develop a contempt for food.

Homoeopathic medicines are very helpful in treating eating disorders.. Antimonium Crudum, Lycopodium, Nux Vomica are a few of the important homoeopathic medicines. Antimonium crudum is very helpful for infants who vomit milk immediately after breast-feed. Some peculiar mind symptoms easily identify the child who requires this medicine along with a very weak appetite he is Cross and contradictive; whatever is done fails to give satisfaction. The little one is Sulky; does not wish to speak. Child cannot bear to be touched or looked and gets angry at every little attention.

Lycopodium has a very strange indication. Although the child may be very hungry, eating ever so little satiates him easily. Nux vomica is often an abused appetite stimulant. Nux should only be used only when it is indicated. It should not be used as an appetite panacea. Homoeopathic medicines should only be used with the advice of an expert homoeopath.

Eating disorder can result out of general ill health as in chronic disorders like asthma and recurrent coughs and colds, also at times a result of over or an improper medication. Such children need to be treated with a constitutional and holistic approach where the root cause is identified and remedied.

The child being referred as ?he? in the above feature is just a grammatical connotation. It does not favour any sex.

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  1. N.Dev das singha says:

    My daughter 02 yrs old has complains of recurrent cough ,cold and fever for last 01 yr for which allopathic medicines helped to improve her I’ll health and she was taking food properly but recently she is under homeopathy medication for recurrent cough and cold which also helped to improve her health condition but she refuses to eat food. How she will become as normal as earlier?

  2. Chandrasekhar says:

    My grand daughter, aged 10, has some unidentified reason for not eating. She takes the lunch to school. But returns back without eating. Many a times she doesn’t open the box also. My wife feeds her after she returns home. What’s the solution.?

  3. Priti Bhargava says:

    My daughter age is 8 yrs she don’t eat food properly her diet is not well only eat one chapati in lunch and dinner she is very active but underweight pls suggest me some medicine for her diet

  4. Syed Mohammed Rizwan says:

    My son,10 years of age does not eat fruits. I have tried giving him all the different fruits avaiable through out the year but to no avail. Forcefully he might take a bite but he will not reach out to eat any fruit even if its the only thing available to eat.

    His weight is fine according to his age, he is active but keeps falling ill every now and then. Most of the doctors who treat hiim are surprised that he doesnt like fruits.

    Is there anything that can help him develop an appetite for fruit?


  5. Hello mam ,my son is 2 yr old ,he is not liking to eat food but he is hungry when we eat he comes to us to taste it but he doesn’t like it .For suppose if he eat banana today again he eats after 1 or 2months later ,he doesn’t eat repeated food hardly he eats for two days .Upto 1yr he ate every thing whatever I give him .please give him a medicine mam .

  6. Pritha Kundu says:

    Dear Dr.Sharma, even as a parent we are facing the same issue with our son, he is 3.5 years and is performing the same behaviour of not eating appropriate meal.
    Please suggest a medicine which will help him to eat an appropriate meal

  7. Srila dey says:

    Hello madam, my child is 19 months old now. He is feeling hungry but he cannot open his mouth when we offer food to his mouth.
    You can ask me how we can understand he is feeling hungry?
    When we offer food to him he often have water in his mouth but he refused to eat.

    Pls madam give your valuable suggestions.

    • Tilottama Choudhary says:

      My son is 16 months old.Now he is suffering cold and cough. He is taking medicine.But he always refuse to take his diet.He is feeling hungry but doesn’t open his mouth.Please madam help me by giving your kind suggestion.

  8. Mudassir Ahmad says:

    my grandson is 2 years old. He will not eat hardly anything. He would not eat chicken occasionally eats few french fries. he does like bread but very small amount makes him throw up and he loves a slice of cheese. He will not eat meat, vegetables. He eats only blue berry and strawberry,will not drink any kind of juice or milk, only water.

  9. Savita Bothra says:

    My daughter is 1.6yrs not eating food and drink milk she is always irritating what to do

  10. Gaurav jain says:

    My child girl is 1.25 years but she didn’t drink milk it Is very tough to give her milk and give her food please suggest some medicine

  11. my grandson is 4 years old. He will not eat hardly anything. He would eat chicken nuggets occasionally and maybe a few french fries. he does like bread but very small amount makes him throw up and he loves butter. He will also eat applesauce. Will not eat meat, vegetables, or any other kind of fruit, will not drink any kind of juice or milk, only water. He lives in a nurturing environment, his parents are both teachers, a little 2 year old brother that likes everything and is full of life. This has went on now for over three years, I don’t see how the little guy is making it. Concerned, Any remedy recommendations.

  12. Sushmita Mahapatra says:

    My child is 13 yrs old . he does not like to eat anything. When ever he is seeing the food he feel vomiting. He has no appetite. In the morning when he was going for school . at first he vomit the breakfast first. Please suggest some medicine

  13. Md Yaseen says:

    My child is 9 years old he develops mouth ulcers very iften and does not eat food without being irritating.
    Constipation and loose motion are a problemn and was on medication because of lower abdominal pain

  14. Mrs Ahmed says:

    Hi. My 1.5 yr old baby girl doesn’t eat anything.. not drinking milk with feeder or sippy cup or glass. She is only depends on mother feed.. plz help

  15. Maria Bukhari says:

    My daughter is 1 year old and doesnt want to eat although remain so hungry

  16. Sandeep Khare says:

    My daughter is 3.1 years old and she does not eat anything happily.Even her growth is less.please suggest some medicine for increasing diet.

    • Abdul Baari says:

      My son aged 22 months frequently stops eating and he wants to vomit to see food but drinks water so much.what is the solution?

  17. Raghu Sharma says:

    My daughter is 2 years old and does not eat anything happily.Even her growth is less.please suggest some medicine for increasing diet.

  18. Kinjal Bhatt says:

    My son is 15 month old , weight 9.3 kg is he 1 kg under weight according to his pediatrician , having anemia , we have given him iron supplements for 3 months , main issue is he is not at all interested in food or milk , always have to distract him for even few bites of food tht he eat . It is getting very difficult and worring .

    Already giving him five phos 6x and alpha alpha pediatrics solution as prescribed by our homeopath but didn’t seem working at all

    Pl suggest some medicine so tht he eats well. He is not constipated generally , but we do see undigested food in his poops.

    Pl reply

  19. Ashok kumar says:

    My grandson 3.5 year old not taking food except milk with proteins powder,kindly suggest any homeopathic medicine

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