My kid is 2 years and 8 months old. From last 2 weeks he has totally lost his interest in eating. In a day he hardly eats anything, for example 3-4 strawberries, few nuts and just a bite from some other snack. His milk intake is almost the same which is 500-600ml a day.

I have already consulted a doctor and she doesn't see anything wrong with him. I am extremely worried about his appetite loss; if somehow we convince him to take a bite of what used to be his favorite eatables (like banana, cashew etc.) he just spit it out. He has also lost more than 1 kg of weight. He is already under weight and now only weighs 11.2 kg .

How should I deal with this?

  • Welcome to the community and thanks for your contribution. Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 19:40

6 Answers 6


Thoughts based on experience:

  • You have taken him to the doctor and been told they found nothing wrong, but if this persists, do not be afraid to take him back to the doctor, especially with your concerns of additional weight loss.
  • If you do not have faith that your doctor is correct for whatever reason, you perhaps can see another doctor for a second opinion. Doctors diagnose, in part, based on the history of patients they have seen before. A different doctor may see things that the first one does not recognize.
  • Children do go through phases of eating and not eating, usually before or after growth spurts. Each child has his own pattern here. So your doctor may be right that there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • Keep a journal of any symptoms you observe. Additional information may shed light on the cause. In particular, keep an eye on his output - bowel movements and urination. If he is having unusual bowel movements (particularly small volume, runny in consistency), he could have a blockage (so only little bits of excrement are managing to get past the blockage). A common side effect of blockage is reduced appetite.
  • Make sure your child does not become dehydrated. It is good that he is still taking milk. If he is becoming dehydrated, you will notice a decrease in urination and also possibly sunken eyes. Perhaps offer sips of water throughout the day to make up for any shortage of fluid in his diet.
  • Another thing to watch is his energy and concentration level. If he is playing normally and seems able to concentrate at normal levels, then it is more likely that this is a normal developmental phase.
  • 2
    Was drafting up an answer but yours hit all the inportant points. (and was better written than mine :-)
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 13:06
  • So thorough and concise! Commented Jan 5, 2014 at 19:44

Disclaimer: I Am Not A Doctor

Recommendations regarding "see another doctor" are spot-on. Given the weight loss I suggest having him evaluated by an allergy specialist, particularly looking for an allergy to gluten. Our daughter (now 12) was having a great deal of difficulty with digestive issues and stopped growing at age 3. Once we found she was allergic to gluten (part of wheat, barley, and rye) we eliminated it from her diet and she's been fine since. This may not be the problem with your son but since it's often overlooked it might be good have the blood test performed. In our case the blood test indicated that she had the allergy; the doctor then wanted to do an intestinal biopsy, which required general anesthesia, which we declined to do - we didn't feel that it was appropriate to subject a four-year-old to general anesthesia, and since eliminating gluten from her diet produced immediate improvements in behavior, food intake, and growth we decided the more invasive procedure was not needed.

(And yes, I'm aware that in recent years gluten has gotten a bad name, and eliminating gluten from the diet has become something of a fad. For those who are not allergic getting rid of gluten will do no harm but probably won't do any good. However, for those who are allergic to it, such as my daughter, eliminating gluten can only be beneficial).

  • Welcome to the community and thanks for your contribution. Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 15:33

My kids went through cycles of constant hunger followed by reduced appetites. As long as liquid goes in and liquid comes out, there's unlikely to be anything wrong. You could weigh him once a week and see that he's not really getting smaller, and you'd feel better.


A very specific cause that we found when our sons didn't want to eat, were canker sores. They make it really painful to chew and to eat, while drinking is still pretty much painfree.
Ask your kid if it hurts when eating, if so, where. Your doctor can prescribe lidocaine, to be applied to the sore before eating. Also smoothies or a drinkable porridge will provide nutrition while not hurting as much.


This sounds really harsh, but both of my step-children have these stages... It is normal. Biggest thing we got told by the doctor and other mothers from my mothers group, keep serving up food. Have your daily meals and plate it up. If they choose not to eat then they choose not to. In their eyes playing is more important. So when they do eat praise them. Get your child involved in the preparation, make a veggie patch, and trust me, eventually they will give up and just eat. They learn their lesson quick smart. Just a fact of life and you can't really force them to eat. But if it does persist to more than two weeks, head back and see your doctor.


This kind of problem actually was one of the problem that I was afraid of that this will happened to my first son. Especially when our kid get sick, they tend to have a low interest in eating. But thankfully, I already anticipated earlier since my wife was breastfeeding my first son. The key to this problem only related to these two foods : honey and dates. Since my wife having pregnancy for the first time, I always asked my wife to eat honey and dates twice a day. And keep doing it when my son is entering breastfeeding phase. Now the result is my wife and I having trouble in handling his high appetite even when he got sicks. From this experience, I suggest you to start giving your kid to eat honey/dates. If he/she didn't want also, when he/she is sleeping, I suggest you to apply the honey to his/her lips. I hope this could give you another solutions to your problem.

  • 1
    Keep in mind though, that there is a general advice against gving honey to children under a year old.
    – SQB
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 6:56

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