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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Should I be concerned about my teenage son's diet?

    My 16yr old son has always been a fussy eater. He is not very interested in food and would rather go hungry than eat something he doesn't like. He won't eat fruit or vegetables and very little meat, mostly just chicken. I've had to hide vegetables in other foods eg grated carrot in a hamburger but he is getting worse. I used to make him a banana smoothie with yoghurt but now he won't have that because he says he doesn't like bananas. I'm very concerned. He is very thin. Please help.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • I think you should care and see your GP. The teenage years are very important growing years for your son and this can only be achieved with correct nutrition. And correct nutrition is also important for good mental health too.Your GP will refer you to the healthcare professionals ( HCP) which will help your son.Through this process your son may learn more about looking after his health and make some positive changes with the help and support of these HCP.

  • Nicole Kopel

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Nicole is founder of Eat in Peace, a private practice providing nutrition counselling and services for individuals, families and communities.Eat in Peace supports individuals, families … View Profile

    A 16 year old male's nutritional requirements are increased due to all the growing required during this stage, so its understandable you are concerned if his intake has changed in the absence of "being thin" (someone's body shape/weight is not always an indication of their health status).  It may be useful to approach your son with your concerns - a decrease in food intake could also be masking a range of different things emotionally or psychologically. You may like to express your concerns, and suggest seeing a dietitian to assess his intake and offer suggestions to help fuel himself more optimally. You can also talk this through with a GP you have a good relationship with, and they can offer you referrals to the appropriate practitioners, particularly if his weight has decreased recently. I would be happy to talk this through more with you if you wish. All the best.

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