Decreased appetite & picky eater - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Decreased appetite & picky eater

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Hi - So my 6 year old son has been on Adderall XR and as his dose has increased we are now seeing a large decrease in his appetite. He is a thin kiddo as it is, so losing weight isn't something he has much leeway on. He's just over 4ft tall and 46 lbs. I've been giving him incentives for eating which is hit or miss. I am also going to look at getting some protein drinks in hopes that those will help too. What tricks have you used that have helped a picky eater who just doesn't want to eat?

5 Replies

We increase protein at every meal. Including smoothies during the day and protein shakes with cookies at night. This was just a phase for us, now our son eats a lot.

Good luck..

We are in the same boat. I've tried to add calories at breakfast (before he takes his meds) with things like bacon and orange juice, and we also offer snacks regularly and focus on protein (the Fairlife chocolate protein shakes from Costco are a favorite). But, during the day, when the meds have kicked in, he will only graze. You could also try adding in a bedtime snack - we've had limited success here. Good luck!

My son is also 6 and very picky eater. On Ritalin. He was 49lbs last summer and 47 this summer. I know how stressful it is counting calories! As I said my son is quite picky. I have had to let go a bit on when meals should be and what a meal should always be. I tell him if he wants cartoons in the morning he must eat his breakfast first. This way I see what he eats before school. I know he eats next to nothing from the school lunch so I recently have started packing him "add on's" for his lunch. Things I know he will eat. Yogurt drinks, cheese sticks, Graham crackers. Whatver to get even a few hundred cal in him. I try to bring a small snack at pick up as well to eat on the ride home. It makes him feel happy to have that "treat" in the car. Again at dinner he wants I pad time then food has to be eaten first. Lastly, right before bed he gets a burst of appetite so I let him eat whatever. He wants a bowl of mac n cheese at 8pm then okay do it! I tried many of the protein shakes others have suggested with no luck unfortunately. Closest I can get is an organic chocholate milk.

I love the way you handle this. I agree our son always gets a hunger bust right before bed time. We also let him eat anything..he would love ice cream every night, but we limit him. He also loves smoothies so we let him make mango smoothies as long as he adds a large scoop of whole fat yogurt.

Again, for us this is not an issue right now.

Good luck

Here’s the ideas I collected when I asked a similar question for my 11 yr old grandson. See below. We ended up having him off med on weekends and summer. Also allowing eating whenever hungry, even right at bedtime. And no guilting when unable to finish food. And allowing more Oreos, cheese it’s, pizza, than we’d normally allow. Because in the end something is better than nothing. Though we continue to teach and model balanced diet, and making the best choices. We didn’t try all these suggestions for various reasons. But you can see if any work for you. Good luck.


Orgain chocolate protein shakes on Amazon

Orgain chocolate fudge powder

Bacon and eggs

McDonald’s burgers

Banana, peanut butter, almond milk, snd chocolate protein chocolate protein powder

Breakfast essentials drink mix

Drops for under tongue increase appetite



Initiv. Non stimulant helps focus, sleep, mood regulation

Intutiv plus low dose of Focalin XR 10 mg

Improved appetite

Atomoxetine non stimulant

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