COVID-19: Children ‘become picky eaters’ after getting coronavirus, experts suggest | UK News

More children become picky eaters after receiving COVID-19, experts have suggested.

That virus This is leading to an increasing number of young people developing parosmia – a disorder in which people experience strange and often unpleasant odor distortions, researchers found.

For those with the condition, chocolate could smell like gasoline, and lemon could smell like rotting cabbage.

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Odor experts at the University of East Anglia and Fifth Sense, a charity for people affected by odor and taste disorders, say children may have particular difficulty eating food they once loved.

Children ‘have difficulty eating’

Professor Carl Philpott, of the UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said in many cases that the condition “exposes children to their food and many may have difficulty eating at all”.

“Parosmia is thought to be a product of fewer odor receptors acting, leading to the fact that one can only capture some of the components in an odor mixture,” he said.

“We know that an estimated 250,000 adults in the UK have suffered parosmia as a result of one COVID infection.

“But in the last few months, especially since COVID started sweeping through the classrooms last September, we’re become more and more aware that it also affects children.”

Fifth Sense chairman and founder Duncan Boak said the charity has heard from some parents whose children are suffering from nutritional problems and have lost weight, but doctors have put it down to just eating picky.

He said he sees teenage patients with parosmia for the first time in his career.

‘He just stopped eating’

Malisse Kafi, 11, had coronavirus in September and found it difficult to eat since then because everything tasted “like feces and rotten eggs,” his mother said.

“He just stopped eating, the food made him bend over and gag,” Dawn Kafi said. “It was awful.”

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He was diagnosed with parosmy and received a nasal spray, but it did not help.

He lost 2kg and was rushed to hospital in November after being dehydrated and starting to blur his words.

The pup was to be fed via a tube through the nose and into the stomach.

Malisse still has the disorder but he has some safe foods that he can eat and start to get better.

Loss of odor due to coronavirus may be due to genetics

Advice for parents

Prof Philpott and Fifth Sense are launching guidance to help parents and healthcare professionals recognize the disorder.

Parents are advised to keep a diary of foods that are safe.

“There are lots of common triggers – for example, cooking meat and onions or garlic and the smell of fresh coffee brewing,” said Professor Philpott.

He added: “Parents and healthcare professionals should encourage children to try different foods with less strong flavors such as pasta, bananas or mild cheese – to see what they can handle or enjoy.

“Vanilla or tasteless protein and vitamin milkshakes can help children get the nutrients they need without the taste.

“And it may sound obvious, but kids could use a soft nose clip or hold their nose while eating to help them block the flavors.”

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