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Parents of ADHD Children

Son's appetite

I can not seem to get my son to eat. he has weighed 50 pounds for the last two years. does anyone know of a med that will not effect his appetite? the doctor put him on one med to increase his appetite but made him act up in class so had to take him off.


Don’t panic that’s the first thing. Our daughter now weighs less than before she started meds three years ago. But she eats, she is healthy and active.

Do you see your son eat?  If you are then don’t worry so much. If you are really concerned have your pediatrician do blood work to make sure he is not malnourished.

But if your son is on a long acting meds it may need adjusting timing wise. Our daughters metabolism is so fast the long acting last about 6-7 hours then she gets a booster at school to be able to engage in activities and homework. I give her whatever snack she likes so she will eat it and she always has breakfast then meds.

This is not the worst thing. The worst thing is untreated or poorly managed ADHD going into adulthood, doing poorly in school, in relationships, shreds children’s self esteem and that is not necessarily fixable. So if your meds are working figure out an eating plan around them. Don’t put the cart before the horse, though I know the eating issue goes straight to the emotional core of parents! Try not to let that worry interfere with managing your sons ADHD well.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:21am

Yes, that’s all very good advice and very true. Personally I’ve not heard of an ADHD medication that doesn’t effect appetite in some way, so the key is to work around it. Finding out how to circumvent the problem can involve a few tricks that work, but it is manageable. Treating ADHD first is absolutely the first, most important goal.

For us dealing with the appetite issue means trying to make sure my son eats as much as possible prior to taking the medication. Then we try to provide easy options for meals afterward. Whatever really appeals to him. Packing a lunch over the years was a total waste of time. He always said ‘not a sandwich’. Not a sandwich or anything else I tried!

For lunch he has a nutrition bar and a fiber bar. As much as I have really, really tried to provide a lot of other types of food, it was never eaten. The nutrition bar does and it’s easy for him. Sometimes string cheese or yogurt tubes go over well.

I’d read that having smaller, but higher calorie meals, can work well for children with ADHD. This will get easier with practice. I don’t worry as much what he eats, just that he eats. Overall it’s worked well. Best of luck and try not to worry!

Posted by Havebeenthere on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:36am


What was the med to increase his appetite? My DD is on Periactin 4 mg for her appetite. It’s an antihistamine. She only takes one at night although some kids need one in am and pm. It can make them drowsy so it helps her fall asleep, too. Definitely helped with food. She doesn’t eat a ton but she does eat like a regular kid. And she grew! She had a skirt that fit her fine and she actually grew out of it. Jeans, too. It is a big deal as she’s been in size 8 for two years. (not all because of ADHD meds. That started before she was on them)
Posted by momodoodle on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:03pm

Our pediatrician prescribed an allergy medication called Periactin that increases appetite.  It has made a huge difference and helped his seasonal allergies.
Posted by KKmom2002 on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:40pm

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:57pm

There’s a great article on called, “When ADHD Meds Suppress Appetite: How to fine-tune meal schedules to minimize weight loss in children taking ADHD medication.,” I think it will give you some ideas on how to improve nutrition with appetite suppression.

When my son had this problem, I put carnation instant breakfast in every glass of milk he drank; I served him full-fat milk, cheese, mayo, etc.; I made sure he ate before taking his medicine, I made lots of high-protein shakes for him (again with instant breakfast or protein powder for calories); I even added protein powder to muffins.

Consult your prescribing doctor about your concerns as well.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 30, 2014 at 7:04pm

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