The parents of a 19-month-old Sydney boy have told how their young son developed such an aversion to eating after suffering early health problems that he has never actually tasted food, The (Sydney) Sunday Telegraph reported.

Alex Tesoriero was born 11 weeks premature, weighing just 15.41oz, and the tubes that kept him alive have left him with a physical aversion to anything going near his mouth or face. He is the boy who simply will not eat.

He is fed through a tube directly into his stomach and although Alex's parents and doctors have tried desperately to give him solid food for the last 12 months, they have made no progress. The toddler does not even like being kissed by his parents.

"Trying to get Alex to eat is the worst part of my day and everyone ends up in tears," mother Lisa Tesoriero. "Just coming near his face is distressing for him and it's 100 percent due to all the treatment that he has had.

"Alex has chronic lung disease and remained on oxygen for the first 12 months of his life, so he has always had tubes stuck to his face. When we try to feed him he either won't open his mouth or he'll just freak out."

Alex spent the first five months of his life in the hospital, where he was resuscitated three times, had 10 blood transfusions, and suffered a collapsed lung and fractured wrist.

Aside from his psychological aversion to eating, Alex has other ongoing health issues as a result of his premature birth, he is behind developmentally and just started to crawl, and has chronic lung disease which will affect him for life.

"Because it's a psychological problem and there is nothing physically wrong, each specialist sends us to the next specialist, who tells us to give it time," Tesoriero said.

She said the situation was isolating.

"There are a lot of babies born premature, but there are not a lot of kids being tube fed for this psychological reason and support is very hard to find," she said.

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