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Why won't DS (19m) eat????

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

This is mostly a vent, but any commiseration or words of advice would be greatly appreciated as well!


My 19mo DS has always LOVED the boob and been picky/weird about solids.  He seemed to have a very strong gag reflex when we started him on some solids at 6m and he just didn't "take" to eating the way I saw other babies do.  So I didn't push it and I wasn't too worried about it. He was chubby, happy, and healthy on just BFing.  He clearly hated purees so I went for a more BLW approach.


Well, fast forward and although he does eat some solids now, it's not nearly what I see other toddlers his age eat. He is still super picky about foods and even foods he usually likes will often get rejected.  He doesn't even like to touch his own food much and prefers that I feed him, although he is enjoying using his own spoon and fork lately.  He seems "normal" in every other way (doesn't seem like he has sensory issues for ex). Again, happy and thriving on about 80% BFing. . .BUT he seems skinny these days. He hasn't gained any weight since his 12m appt (maybe a pound but no more).  And I am just starting to worry. . .the past month he's been even less likely to eat food. . .and I'd like to nightwean him, but at this point I am worried to take away those calories.


I just don't know how to deal with this.  I don't just want to feed him cookies and chips b/c he'll eat them.  I cook often and let him "help", he sees us eating and enjoying good, whole foods.  Why is he so reluctant to eat????


My other worry is he has been breaking out lately in eczema. . .and I wonder if he is sensitive to a food and that is causing both the food aversions and the eczema???


Thanks for reading. 

post #2 of 10

My kids don't usually ramp up their solids intake until they are nightweaned.  As for meat, they aren't big fans.  I introduce protein in other  ways and try to make sure that if they are at that 'not eating much' stage, every bite they DO eat is full of really good calories.  Whole grain noodles in different shapes with olive oil or butter and fresh grated cheese is a good go-to around here.  Toast with a nut butter (kid dependant- I introduce this at about 18 months unless I have a reason to worry.)  I keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge to quarter and dip in whatever sauce they want. 


I make chips once in a while using sweet potatoes- slice and bake then crisp momentarily under the broiler.  Yogurt!  We eat a lot of homemade yogurt with fresh fruit.  In warmer weather I freeze this in popsicle holders to make yummy afternoon treats. 


My oldest has only recently begun climbing out of the weight chart percentiles at age 9, she's still a kid who is not drawn to healthy and whole food, so I've had to learn which battles to fight.  I keep fresh pizza dough in the fridge for her along with homemade sauce and a few toppings.  When all else fails, she'll make herself a 6 inch pizza.  She doesn't know that I hide a bunch of veggies in the sauce. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your thoughts. . .maybe night weaning will actually help with the appetite for food. Part of the problem is even if he likes something he usually stops eating after about five bites. . .this morning I made oatmeal for breakfast that he likes (and yes, I laced it with coconut butter), but after 5 tiny bites he refused any more. Sigh.


Here are the things he will eat, but in small amounts--cheerios, bread and hummus, dried blueberries, apple (sometimes), beans and rice mexican style, mochi (br. rice "cakes"), broccoli soup ( pretty much the only way he'll eat a green veg), nori, guacamole (but not plain avocado), tofu.


We are vegetarian and have not given him dairy yet.  So we eat a lot of fresh veg, beans, whole grains.  but sadly he just doesn't seem to enjoy eating. 

post #4 of 10

Have you thought about leaving out a monkey platter?  Five bites of anything is about right for a kid that age in many cases- their tunnies are tiny.  When mine are in that nibbling stage monkey platters are great. 


This site may give you some inspiration. 



post #5 of 10
DS didn't start eating what I consider "reasonable toddler amounts" until right before his second birthday. Suddenly he just started eating. He's still a bit erratic and some days he doesn't want breakfast or only wants two bites of dinner, but for the most part he eats well. Once he started eating well, THEN I partially nightweaned him... He wouldn't have tolerated it sooner anyway, but it helped that I had confidence in his eating abilities before I took the plunge & cut him off for 6+ hours a night! The first time I tried to nightwean (around your DS's age) it was a disaster, not only because he wasn't ready but also because I kept thinking he must really need to nurse since he wasn't eating. I needed to have the right level of confidence before *I* could be strong enough to get us through those rough nights... especially because I'd seen other kids partially or totally wean and NOT substantially increase their food intake!!

So I guess I'd give him a couple more months.

Also, one of my friends went through EI to get feeding therapy... I do believe that most kids will start eating better on their own eventually anyway, but if you're uncertain, or you want/need to push him along a bit for other reasons, they might be able to help...
post #6 of 10
If it makes you feel any better, A hasnt really gained weight since around 9 mos.

Will he eat something if he sees other kids eating it?

I know for A, i had to figure out how he liked things. His eggs have to be scrambled w Sriracha or he wont eat them. Cheese needs to be in relatively small pieces or they wind up on the floor. Beans have to be highly flavored (he likes baked beans or beans at a restaurant - i havent figured out plain beans at home). He also likes sausage/hot dogs or ground meat patties but wont eat a slice of roast. Thats all about texture. And while he wont eat plain green veg anymore, he likes my meatloaf w chard and apparently the liquid from broccoli soup (found him sticking his fingers in my cup from lunch yesterday and licking them).

My point being that even without "sensory issues", flavor and texture can play a large part in a toddler's dietary choices.

Will be eat muffins? A loved the carrot/pumpkin muffins i made recently. And i was happy he was eating lots of veg.

How about french toast? For carb loving kids it can be a good way to get them to eat egg.

Oh, and as far as not liking to use his fingers, im the same way. I hate the feeling of stuff on my hands. You can try chopsticks or just let him use a spoon.

As for the eczema... I'm taking A for allergy testing tommorow and i'll let you know how it goes. It may be worth considering for N.
post #7 of 10


  I don't have a lot of real advice but I can commiserate as I worry terribly about how my 19mo eats too! (he has always been on the thin side anyway)  He is still BF as well and this def helps me to feel better about his nutritional intake. I try and remind myself of the things I've read about toddlers' eating habits that I am sure you have read as well. For example toddlers are PICKY and one day they like something and the next day they don't!  Plus they are so busy thinking about all the new fun things to do and experience that they just don't find eating that fun.  Another thing I've read is that they only need about a tablespoon per their age of food at mealtimes. We try and follow Chinese Medicine for our diets and this doesn't recommend too many food choices for toddlers until they are two anyway.  Sp maybe they are picky for good reason.  It's hard though hang in there! 

post #8 of 10

I think it's just the age.  My youngest dd, 17 months, "doesn't eat" anything.  She was heavy on solids from the moment we started BLW.  At about 13 -14 months she just started rejecting more and more foods.  It's such a crap shoot day by day and meal by meal.  I just keep offering and give her certain healthy foods that I know she'll eat.  I still offer her many, many foods.  I really think this is a time where people often end up with kids who "only eat nuggets" because it works and they don't try the other foods as much.  This baby will even push a doughnut away.  Last week she was eating greek yogurt and yesterday she pushed it away.  I will still keep trying.  I believe she will outgrow it.  She is still nursing so that is a load off of my mind.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!  I hadn't checked in on this thread in a while and I guess the MDC updates to my email haven't been working. . .so it was nice to find some more replies and to "see"some mamas from my DDC!  love.gif


I do need to figure out the eczema, that really bothers me, although I am suspicious of strawberries and his legs do look less red after cutting them out as of a week ago or so. . .I also worry about gluten as my mom has celiac. . .but that's another topic really.


But all in all, I guess he just has the normal toddler eating style coupled with some sensory "issues" around food. My mom told me she remembers as a child foods many tasting very strong/strangely to her and she was a super picky eater (I on the other hand ate anything!).  


I'll just keep on trying with the good food--I refuse to turn into a parent who feeds her kid only ice cream and french fries b/c that's all he'll eat!  Last night he downed an entire container of coconut milk yogurt and this is after months of him refusing it. And I made some yam and carrot soup (blended soup) instead of the usual "cream" of broccoli and he ate that too even though he rejects sweet potatoes/yams in chunks.  French toast, however, he wouldn't eat this morning. . .although I suspect he would like it on another day.  He had one "big" eating day this week, which I am happy about.  Today he's hardly eaten anything all day. . . 

post #10 of 10

My 19 month old will only eat pureed food. He gags if I give him anything chunky or table food. He eats 3 jars per meal, that includes protein, vegetable and fruit and is gaining weight and growing nicely. However, I feel like this is not the norm and that most if not all kids his age eat regular table food and I can't wait to see him do that. I am wondering if any parent had this issue with their child and did you seek help or did you just give him time to outgrow it.


Thanks for your responses in advance:)

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