Q. My 2. 5-year-old baby refuses to eat anything and immediately spits the food out of his mouth. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Adithya Sunka
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 19, 2021

Hello doctor,

I have a 2.5-year-old toddler who will only drinks milk. He refuses to eat anything. He will put the food in his mouth for the taste, then spit it out. He told me the other day that he is scared to eat. This has been going on for a year, and I took him to three doctors, but it is only last week that he mentioned his fear of eating. I think he is afraid of choking. Any advice, please, would be really helpful. The doctors we saw said that he is healthy and that it is not a physical thing. The psychologist said he would slowly start to eat and that it is a phase.I am quite sure the fear of swallowing needs to be addressed.



Welcome to

I understand the kind of distress you are going through currently. Definitely all your concerns will be addressed.

Hello doctor,

Thank you.

Socially he is fine, and he is smiling, friendly, smart, has excellent eye contact when talking. Very kind and loving. He drinks milk about five times a day. Yes, he has sleep terrors at night. Most nights, he wakes up screaming three times. He will not eat any food at all. It has been like this for an year. Nothing has worked. I even tried giving soft food, purée, but nothing is working. He will drink juice sometimes and a few spoons of yogurt. If he does swallow food, he wants to spit it or start to choke. It seems like he is scared to eat, and the fear causes some choking. I can tell that he wishes to eat, but he cannot, which is really upsetting. His weight or height are normal for a child of his age, but he definitely lost some weight. When he was younger and eating better, he was a bit chubbier.



Welcome back to

As per my opinion you should consult an ENT specialist or a gastroenterologist because he might be having difficulty with the throat or intestines which he may not be explaining. If any previous records of consultation kindly send those records or reports.

The Probable causes:

Not yet.

Investigations to be done:

LFT (liver function test), TFT (thyroid function test), RFT (renal function test), Serum electrolytes, FBS (fasting blood sugar), CBC (complete blood count), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) if previously done kindly upload it.

Differential diagnosis:

Eating disorder.

Probable diagnosis:

Not yet diagnosed.

Treatment plan:

After diagnostic clarification.

Preventive measures:

After diagnostic clarification.

Regarding follow up:

As early as possible with previous records.

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