You asked

My toddler has tonsillitis, and won’t eat at all. How can I get him to eat?

Many young children and toddlers get tonsillitis, sometimes more than once. That’s because the tonsils, which are actually almond shaped lymph nodes, found in the throat, can sometimes get infected, and swell up. Their job is to fight off infection, but while they’re doing that, they sometimes become infected by the virus or bacteria they’re battling.

If your child has tonsillitis, it’s best to visit your doctor. He or she will be able to prescribe treatment; however, it’s worth noting that while older children may be treated with a tonsillectomy, toddlers often aren’t, as they are too young for surgery.

One of the common symptoms of tonsillitis is a refusal to eat, although that can also be a symptom of another problem, like a sore throat or a mouth infection.

If your doctor has diagnosed tonsillitis, the best way you can get your child to eat is to offer him liquid foods, like milkshakes, smoothies, or soups. Yogurt, ice cream, and frozen lollies are also soothing for inflamed tonsils, and warm foods like soup or broth, or milky tea, can also help. Avoid hot foods, which can be painful to swallow, and don’t try to get your child to eat rough or hard foods.

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