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Why Your Kids Refuse to Eat? These Could be the Reasons

Why Your Kids Refuse to Eat These Could be the Reasons

Sometimes, it’s hard to get your kids to eat, especially if they’re still toddlers. But, if they are refusing to eat on a regular basis, that is no longer an annoying issue, but a concerning one because their health could be in jeopardy.

Seeing your kids refusing to eat food you provide for them could be really frustrating. But, before you get angry and yell at them, take a moment to think about what could cause this behavior. To help you, these are the possible reasons of why your kids refuse to eat.

Medical Issue

For some people, this is the most obvious reason of why their kids refuse eat. But unfortunately, it’s often not explored thoroughly or even overlooked. It’s easy to see your kids are sick when there are visible signs, but some medical signs are subtle and not visible.

The two biggest culprits of the refusal to eat that you can easily miss are constipation and acid reflux. Both of these can make your kids lose their appetite. Even though acid reflux is widely common in babies, older kids can also have this problem even though they’ve never had it as babies.

As parents, this can be really confusing because most kids don’t even know there’s something wrong in their stomach so they don’t usually complain. Especially for babies and toddlers since they still are not able to explain how they are feeling.

Fatigue, teething, and not feeling well can be another medical reasons of your kids losing their appetite. Please take your kids to the pediatricians as soon as possible. But if you think none of them is the reason, there are also another less likely reasons of why your kids refuse to eat.

These reasons are your kids may have food allergies or food sensitivities to certain food, delayed stomach emptying, eosinophilic esophagitis, abnormalities in the gut, mouth or throat. The signs that could tell you that your kids might have one of these are eating in small portions only, having difficulty swallowing food with dry or rough textures, suddenly dropping food they usually like, or pocketing food.

Oral-Motor Skills

Chewing is also a coordinated skill, just like walking, reading, and talking. Most kids might be able to do this without even trying hard, but some kids might have some difficulties. Kids with this issue might just simply tired and exhausting trying to eat well, and that’s why they often refuse to eat.

The signs that your kids might have oral-motor skill are choking after the food is already in their mouth for several seconds or minutes, spitting out half-chewed food, throwing up hardly-chewed food, accidentally dropping food out of their mouth, or having a history of difficulty in breastfeeding.


For some kids, eating is not an enjoyable experience. This could be because their parents often force them to eat, they have a hard time chewing, or often get stomachache every time they eat so they get anxious every time eating time comes.

If a child is over 5 years old and having clinical anxiety, without other underlying causes that impacted their eating habit, they may qualify for the diagnosis of ARFID or Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. But this often gets misdiagnosed with PFD so you need to take them to a professional to be sure.

So, there you go, reasons that could be the cause of why your kids refuse to eat. Growth and health will be heavily depended on eating habit, so make sure your kids don’t skip any meal.

Faisal “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

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