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Desperate for any food ideas. New question post #12.

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

DD is just about 19 months, 20 pounds. I won't go into the background again-it's been a while since my other threads on this. We've got her in OT for some oral issues and she's been looked after by a pediatric GI guy for another issue. She's getting healthy/happy!!! now... just skinny minney and no appetite.


Spam me with what your toddler actually eats, even if you don't want to admit you serve it. I will try anything, although she does not have a huge sweet tooth.

Edited by Buzzer Beater - 12/18/11 at 8:23am
post #2 of 53

My toddler eats a huge range of things, but here are some things she eats that I shake my head at -- maybe some would work for a fussy kid.


Cooked and frozen vegetables still frozen. This is bizarrely one of her favourite things in the world.


Hummus with a spoon. Bread next to it apparently makes it inedible.


Some toast with her butter.


Cherry tomatoes: just the insides, which she sucks out of them.


Frozen yogurt.  For breakfast. She isn't big on dairy so it probably fills a need.

post #3 of 53

he eats other things than this but here are some things he really likes:

yogurt, bread, cereal (both "baby" cereal and regular cereal), applesauce, bananas, milk, crackers, apple juice, small amounts of meat like bits of hamburger, granola bars, anything sweet


he sometimes eats brocolli if I cook it well- and likes it more if I put pesto on it!


If you are trying to put weight on her and you are not opposed to sugar, you could try making a good home made custard or home made pudding

sometimes he will eat a little almond butter with a little jelly on bread, french toast, once in a while scrambled eggs with cheese (but never cheese alone),


he eats other things than these- veggies as much as I can get him to, plenty of types of fruits,  but the above things are some go to foods for him (he is 21 months)


OP- what does your toddler like and not like? If you give me an idea of what she likes maybe i can give more specific suggestions


ETA oh he loves fruit smoothies

post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post


OP- what does your toddler like and not like? If you give me an idea of what she likes maybe i can give more specific suggestions



Things we consider no-fail she'll eat:

Amy's frozen Mac-n-cheese

Black beans in most stuff

Broccoli (must have lemon)

Curried lentils, garbanzos, or sweet potato (but won't eat meat this way)

Pad thai

cheese ravioli


Things she will not eat:


oatmeal, french toast, pancakes, really anything breakfast






Hit or miss, small amounts:



pb sandwich


fruits and veggies


She does at least try new stuff, and prefers to feed herself. She sucks with spoon and fork. Most food items she'll start on, act like she likes it, quit at a few bites, and then refuse after that. We really really need to put weight on her. She does not ask for food ever.


post #5 of 53

OP, just to give you some assurance...my niece is the same as your DD, about 20lbs and almost 20 mos.  Maybe your DD is petite??


My DS is not a picky eater, but often not a big eater either.  If she likes Mac N Cheese and she likes broccolli, I'd suggest trying broccoli cheese soup.  My DS LOVES this recipe.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/broccoli-and-cheese-soup-with-croutons-recipe/index.html Super easy to make.  Now, with DS, I can sneak pretty much anything into this soup and he'll eat it.  More veggies (like peas), meat (esp. roasted chicken), fish, etc.  I've also used it as a sauce on other things like mashed potatoes or roast beef to get him to eat them.  You can make a big batch and then freeze it into ice cube trays, then pop out the cubes and store them in a ziplock in the freezer for easy lunches.


If she likes lentils/garbanzos, you could try hummus on crackers or toast, or falafel might be good.


At least it sounds like she does like a variety of healthy things.  She isn't a "white only" kid (white flour, white rice, white bread, etc).

post #6 of 53

does she drink milk? Dh likes milk a lot and I think that put a lot of weight on him. He was pretty skinny for a while when he was younger and he has bulked up a lot.


will she eat "baby" cereal? My ds still likes it sometimes- and I add milk and a ittle maple syrup to make it taste good- I personally like how it tastes--! I think that bulks him up.

maybe you could find a good smoothie combo that she likes and add yogurt to it- whole mlik yogurt for the fat content.

post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 

Ohhh falafel sounds like a possibility. I need to try that, thanks. Yes she's petite, mostly skinny. She's about 32 inches tall I think.


She does not drink cow's milk, which is okay with me since we don't use it. She will not take PediaSure (which I felt desperate enough to try because at one point she had lost about 15 ounces) but she does tolerate a toddler milk drink which is high in protein. We started that after she turned up anemic.


We've just got to get her eating, taking in some calories, it's time.


I must be hungry. Falafel and smoothies sound good.

post #8 of 53

My DD will dip just about anything in ranch dressing, ketchup, and fresh guacamole.  She lives to dip.  She's been known to dip fruit into ketchup.

post #9 of 53

My DS will almost always eat a quesadilla. I use whole wheat or spelt tortillas.

post #10 of 53

DD2 went through a spell where she would only eat banana's and rice cakes.  And she was also a little thing.  Now she eats everything.


DD1 wouldn't eat anything!  My brother got her to eat thick round noodles to dip in pasta sauces.  He would put out things she would eat along with new stuff and always ketchup since she would dip things into it.  Strawberries in ketchup were her favorite for quite sometime.  I'm going to call him later to find out what he did.  He lived with us until DD2 was born and took care of DD1 while DH and I worked.  Awesome situation by the way!  My brother kind of rocks.  He came up with all sorts of crazy things to get her to eat. 

post #11 of 53

A good and very healthy source of fat that my DD loves is avocado.

We just cut it in cubes and she eats it up. She will easily eat 1/2 an avocado and sometimes the whole thing.

Very rarely she will eat it if we smash it on toast. She prefers it in cubes or slices.


She LOVES olives. But we limit them due to salt.

Cucumber slices. Sweet pepper slices.

Loves bananas, pomigranate, apples, pears, blueberries.


Also quesidilla. We process veggies that she doesn't usually eat, left over from dinner, into a paste with beans. Smear that onto a tortilla with some cheese and grill it.


She also loves dip. She will eat anything dipped into hoisin sauce. And she will only eat pancakes or french toast if it is dipped into maple syrup. If you put the syrup on top she will not eat it.

But she will eat french toast on the go, in the stroller, but only if it is a whole piece.


She will eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Sometimes I put it on a tortilla and wrap it. She likes it like that (and its less messy.



post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 

Lots of really good ideas here, thanks. She used to eat avocados like they were going out of style, I'll have to try that again now. And quesadillas, I think she would eat that but haven't tried.




Anybody have an estimate how many calories their toddler about this size consumes in a day? The only reason I know is we had to keep a food journal for medical reasons.

post #13 of 53

Nutella, cheese, bread with coconut oil, peanut butter (straight or on stuff), milk, fish stew, roast chicken, veggies with butter, anything with butter, oatmeal with a little maple syrup and milk, yogurt, fruit (whole, pieces, fresh and frozen), stuffing (made from a mix), pumpkin or sweet potatos mashed with butter or coconut oil and "pumpkin pie" spices, and tostadas with black beans, rice, cheese and salsa.


Ok, both the kids will eat about anything. If you want her to gain some weight, give her full-fat EVERYTHING. If she'll eat it with butter, coconut oil or peanut butter, put it on with much generosity.


My brother, as a toddler, was so underweight the doctors told my mom he just "wasn't meant to live". She fed him mostly marshmallows because that was all he would eat most of the time. He's still kicking at 30 yo, so he survived the sugar diet.

post #14 of 53

I believe it's 1200 to 1300 calories.  Our Ped told us that we should be looking at weekly intake.  Which helped us when dealing with what to feed the non eater.  If she wanted to eat only bananas one day and green beans that next that was ok. 

post #15 of 53
Thread Starter 

So yeah, the non-eater label. Not picky, it's beyond that. She is not interested in eating. Doesn't really want to learn utensils, but doesn't like to be fed, prefers to play with foods (dips are a nightmare) which is okay, we allow that... at least she doesn't throw it. At OT we are working on getting her to bite off the end of something- like a banana or cheese stick or cracker. Most days average around 800 calories and we do look at the long term, but it's hard when she has 500 calorie days. Our ped wants us to go to the Denver Children's feeding clinic, but we're trying a (third) local feeding therapist first.


I'm holding out hope there is a food that will spark her appetite!

post #16 of 53
DS didn't really eat until he turned 2 (like no more than 100-300cals a day I'd guess... fortunately he nursed a ton so we never had to push eating). Then he just started eating normally, quite suddenly. Now at almost 3yo he is still an absolutely AWESOME eater, eats large amounts and huge variety. Maybe your DD will have a similarly great turnaround!!

Some things he especially loves (he eats vegan & gluten-free versions of these):

seaweed snacks
soup (chili, sweet potato soup, any kind really)
homemade muffins, but only if they are just out of the oven...
pasta & veggies (with lots of tomato sauce, or a coconut peanut Thai-style sauce, or cheeze sauce)
roasted veggies, esp. zucchini, potatoes, or brussel sprouts
coconut milk
Indian curries (veggies or beans)
tofu pups (hot dogs)
sunflower seeds
dried cherries... actually any dried or freeze-dried fruit
shredded salad of kale, beets, carrots, etc. in a ginger-soy dressing
post #17 of 53


what do you think the reason is that she won't eat anything? Is it a health issue, or a sensory issue? I hope you find some resolution with it. what would they do at the clinic?

post #18 of 53
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post


what do you think the reason is that she won't eat anything? Is it a health issue, or a sensory issue? I hope you find some resolution with it. what would they do at the clinic?

We're not sure. She has had unresolved issues with her latch since birth (we rarely nurse any more). I think it was just too shallow and she didn't want anything in the back of her mouth. It hurt for a year. She started falling off of her curve around 8 months I think, we delayed solids because we couldn't get her interested in putting anything in her mouth. At some point she'd lost weight and I wasn't interested in giving her anything less caloric than breast milk. We actually nursed every 2-3 hours round the clock until she was about 16 months old. We think we've ruled out everything medical- we have refused a scope under general anethesia and have not done allergy testing (we did do some elimination work much earlier). 


The OT is trying to figure out what her sensory issues/oral issues might be. I'm not sure I understand it all as we've only been a few times. She still doesn't like anything in the back of her mouth, and tries to mash her food in the front or roof of her mouth with her tongue. She also hates to bite into a piece of food, say a sandwich or fish stick.


And then there's just the low appetite.



Tonight for dinner we did quesadilla with black beans and cheese. I cut them into strips and she would not touch them. When I cut them into bites she seemed to like it, but would suck the beans and spit the tortilla. Then she chewed and spit her broccoli, which she has not done before. So pretty much a big fat zero for dinner. Luckily lunch was good.


post #19 of 53

DD eats bread and butter like it's nobody's business. Lately that's her favorite thing to eat. I make bread just about every week so it's always hanging out on the counter. It's one of the things we do together. She also loves blueberries. Crazy expensive at this time of year but she loves them. During the summer I think she ate her weight in strawberries and blueberries every week. lately she's been eating bowls of Cheerios and a little tiny bit of oatmeal too. When she was younger she wouldn't touch oatmeal with a ten foot pole. I've noticed though that if we're trying to get me out the door in the morning when we give her breakfast, she will barely eat. If I get up five or ten minutes earlier and sit down with her she'll eat quite a bit more. But then again she's a breakfast food kid (waffles with butter and syrup, pancakes, french toast, eggs). And pasta. DH makes pasta at least once a week because she will generally eat a lot of it.


That said, what about smoothies or something like frozen yogurt? DD also loves these coconut milk ice pop (slushie) things we get at whole foods. If we are not paying attention she'll eat the whole box in a couple of days.

post #20 of 53

How does she respond to "baby food"- pureed food? My ds loves pureed food still.I think there are some good brands- some of the organic ones, that put out good food. Does she respond well to that type of eating?

In what form is her easiest way to injest food- the way she accepts it most happily?

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › Desperate for any food ideas. New question post #12.