5 year old vegetarian

by Lauren
(Alabama)

My 5yo seems to show some signs of SPD in relation to textures and the sensation of being hungry. He basically only eats fruit, vegetables and crackers. He alternates between not eating for days and binging on fruit until he has diarrhea. He usually has diahhrea 2 to 3 times per week. He is five and a half, but still wears a 3T in clothing and looks very small for his age.




Even though he doesn't feel hungry, he has meltdowns if he has not had anything to eat or drink for a few hours. As soon as he has something to drink he is better.

On the flip side, he is thirsty all the time. His teachers say he is drinking water all day at school. He survives soles on chocolate milk. I know people would say to deny him the drink until he eats but that does not work in his case. The "eventually he will be hungry and eat something" advice just does not work for a child who never feels hungry and feels full enough after a few bites to make it for days without eating.

So far, we have tried talking to the dr about his diet but have only been told that small children are picky and that he has grown SOME over the past few years. We were told to keep cooking what we have been cooking and eventually he will eat it. After noticing this site, I am beginning to think there is more going on than just being a normal picky eater or a slow grower.

Does this sound like SPD or might he have other internal issues going on as well?



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Apr 20, 2020
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Vegetarian Son
by: Anonymous

I'm vegetarian and my son has been vegetarian for most of his life, he likes hot dogs and pepperoni, and they need to be in Lunchable boxes. If you have a iron skillet, you can get iron in the food just by cooking the food in it. Talk to your child about why he likes the food he does. Get him vitamins, (his favorites,) and tell him he has to take those no matter what, maybe give him a treat, (not food.) I think you need to get a sensory evaluation, to rule it out. Good luck.

Apr 20, 2020
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Oral Sensitivity could be the problem
by: Raya Rody Burstein, MS OTRs

Oral sensitivity can bring about picky eating behaviors. Your son could also have a zinc deficiency. I would take him to an experienced occupational therapist.

Apr 11, 2020
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Eating Disorder
by: Anonymous

It could be an eating disorder. Anorexia or Bulimia

Aug 05, 2012
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Iron gummy bears
by: Anonymous

I give my son (who is a picky eater) iron gummy bears supplement and he loves them!!! You should try them...

Apr 27, 2012
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vegetarian followup
by: Laurn

I took my "five year old vegetarian" to the doctor and he ran a bunch of blood work and a bone age scan to test for diabetes, growth hormones, vitamins and any other physical causes for his low appetite and lack of growth. The only thing that came back abnormal was iron. He is low on iron but not anemic yet. Since they have ruled out physical causes for his pickiness and since he has had a low appetite since birth and he is only now deficient in iron, they sent me to an OT for an evaluation.

We will start therapy soon to work on this as well as some of his other sensory sensitivities.

In the mean time, does anyone have any idea how to sneak a iron supplement past a child who can smell or taste it in ANYTHING?? I am only giving him a half of the dose he needs but he can tell even with that small amount.

Apr 26, 2012
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5 year old vegiterian
by: Anonymous

I have a five year old son who has similar eating patterns But my son doesn't drink a lot. I read your post to my husband who is a physician and he thinks you should have your child tested for type 1 diabetes. I hope he's wrong but it might be worth checking. Good luck!

Mar 29, 2012
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test him for zinc deficiency
by: mjb

you can buy a test on line for zinc def for @ $20.00 - low to no appetite can be a sign of this deficiency-
good luck

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