4 yr old child not eating, very thin with stomach pains

Posted , 7 users are following.


My four year old daughter has always been petite. She seems 'young for her age' too. She has, for the last year or so, complained about having a sore tummy. She does not eat a lot, picks at her food. She is incredibly fussy about what she wants, and when she does eat, she then complains about her tummy being sore, often holding it and squirming around. We have taken her to the doctor, who felt her tum and said it felt fine, and said to keep an eye on her weight. But she is just so very thin, and is eating less and less. Every so often, she will eat a lot and be fine. But this is a rare thing.

We are very worried about her, she is so small for her age, and so light. Is there any condition this could be that we could treat? Should we be concerned?

Many thanks


0 likes, 14 replies

14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    I can fully understand how this would be a concern for you. Sometimes younger children loose their appetite due to an underlying casue not related to their digestive system, ex:toncils, ears etc. But if that is clear than I would suggest to have your daughter see someone who specializes in the digestive track just to ease your mind and see if there is anything they can reccomend. You could also check with a nutrionist to see if your daughter is at an appropriate range for her age and if they have any suggestions that would help to improve her status. I know that with my son if he isn't up to eating he really enjoys chocolate milk which was okayed by the nutrionist as well as fatty food such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, p. butter is all helpful if she can tolerate it. Good luck, i really hope that she feels better soon.

    • Posted

      I did try to think about some fatty small things she could eat to compensate. she doesnt eat egg yolf though! She is weirdly picky, and her pickiness does not have any consistency. one day she hates something, the next she loves it. she only really wants to eat gherkins!
  • Posted

    Hey Sam, is she vomiting, showing any signs of tiredness? Does her behavior change in anyway?
    • Posted

      This could be the cause of many things. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or some type of intolerance. How would she describe her pain?
    • Posted

      Hi - her behaviour doesnt seem to change - the pattern is - she is fine, sits down to eat, barely touches it, says 'i have a sore tummy' we get her to eat a bit, then she starts holding her tummy and moaning. this goes on for a long while after eating, depending on ow much she has had. sometimes she is happy to eat, munches away, but sure enough, after a while, she gets in pain, think the pain is just a normal tummy ache.
    • Posted

      Hmmm doesnt really seem to be anything wrong with her stomach (im not medically trained but im just guessing) This can because she doesn't want to eat, or even for attention. I wish you luck. smile
  • Posted

    Sometimes children loose their appetite due to an underlying casue which is not related to their digestive system. You obviously need help and need to go for consultant. Also go for some charity that helps to solve the childrens problems.
  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    Another thought that i had was, is there a possibility that she might be bored with her food or what she is eating isn't from the right food groups. You could try presenting her with small amounts arranged on a small platter or in muffin cups.Grapes, berries, cheese cubes, diced meat or tuna with some pita or small portions of veggies and dip. Or apple and cheese.Then you could include the gherkins. See if that helps. Maybe she can only handle small portions at a time but if she has choices it might encourage her to eat a bit more. If this doesn't work and she still is complaining of a tummy ache then she really needs to be assesed to rule out any possible issues. The reason we give our son chocalate milk is that it provides the nutrients and calories but isn't hard to digest and he too loves dill pickles and olives. I hope that everything works out for you in finding some resolution.

  • Posted

    Thanks. And thanks everybody else.

    She likes food one day, then hates it another. I have read up on it - I gave her treatment for worms as I know that has gone round her school - and in the meantime, I am sitting back, giving her smaller portions and trying not to make mealtimes stressful . She ate last night, she did moan about her tummy - but I also wonder whether this is for attention too. I will keep an eye on things and if it keeps going on, we will go back to see a consultant. thanks

  • Posted

    Hi Sam,

    I wish you the best of luck. I know how hard this can be.

  • Posted

    Hi Sam

    We had the same problem with our youngest Emily.

    Like yourself we took her to the doctors and after extensive testing we were told that she was a bad eater!

    To cut a long story short we started to learn about what Emily needed and what these things were contained in and as she was still drinking the answer seemed obvious and we purchased our first juicer.

    We also included other health strategies into everyday life for example adding dried ground seaweed to all our cooking.

    The seaweed, due to having an abundance of glutamic acid actually enhances the flavour of our meals naturally and provides a welcome nutritional punch for virtually no extra effort which makes it perfect for not just fussy eaters at the young end of the spectrum.

    Back onto juicers again though, there is an abundance of information on the best juicer to get in terms of the quality of juice they produce.

    My advice on this is simple:

    Buy one that you’re going to be comfortable using and that does it in the time that you have.

    I’m sure there are nutritional differences between juices coming out of a masticating juicer or a centrifugal one but a juicer you’re not using for whatever reason supplies no juice at all and the fact is that whatever juice you produce will be far superior to any of those dead juices you’ll buy from the Supermarket.

    Emily flourished on these juices and the little she ate and is now thankfully eating at as level we'd consider normal.

    Good luck with it all and remember that just because you've eaten doesn't mean you've fed yourself :-)

  • Posted

    She might be constipated? I had issues like that at her age and I lost my appetite quite quickly after eating because of a tummy ache. How often does she have a bowel movement? Even if the stool isn't hard, she could still be backed up. Unless she is very constipated, the stool usually can't be felt in the abdomen so even if the GP doesn't think she's constipated, it might be worth trying a low dose of something like movicol to see if that helps. 

    Also, does the type of food make a difference to her symptoms? If the pain is worse after eating foods containing lots of fat or fibre, then she may have a slow digestive tract. Some people naturally have a slower transit time so in that case, eating soft and well cooked foods, like bananas, yogurt or cooked vegetables may help and also having 5-6 small meals spaced throughout the day instead of three bigger meals might help increase her calorie intake. Good luck and I hope that you get to the bottom of this!

  • Posted

    Hi sam,

    ?I know it has been awhile since this post was created. I found this looking to help my sister and I thought hey I might be able to help her. I hope all well now but if not it could be her gallbladder.

    ?I had terrible stomach aches my entire life for as long as I could remember, way back to age 5. The pain would be worse after a very heavy meal, like dinner, so I remember never being able to go to bed and my dad thought I was just making it up but my mom sided me.

    ?The pain was like an aching black hole around my belly button like my stomach wanted to collapse in on itself. Sometimes my whole abdomen would just be throbbing.

    ?Well when I was 10 we finally found a doctor who, despite swearing I was to young to have gallbladder problems, sent me in for an endoscope and gallbladder function testing. It turned out that I had acid reflux for years and the top of my stomach and the lower portion of my esophagus were actually dark brown in the pictures from the acid damage. I also had an ulcer, very minor, and my gallbladder was functioning below normal so I had it removed.

    ?All of these things are serious medical issues and the only reason I was not taken seriously was because of my age.

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