His daily meals go like this. When he wakes he gets 5oz of milk, for breakfast he will have a few pieces of cereal or a few bites of banana. And when I eat my cereal he wants to eat the same thing, but from my bowl. If I give him the cereal I am having in a separate bowl he won't eat it. He eats lunch at daycare and they say that he usually eats well there. He has 5 oz of milk before his afternoon nap. For afternoon snack he has about 7 or 8 bite size crackers, maybe 6 grapes and a couple of bites of yogurt. For dinner he has either beans or potato and veggies and he will eat about 2 or 3 tbsps full. He has 5 oz of milk at bedtime.
I feel this is not enough food. Does anyone have advice for me?
I wouldn't worry too much yet, if I were you. My daughter was very slow to take to solids, but we just let her be and she improved a lot between 18 - 24 months. If you're concerned about calories, make sure you're offering your son really calorie/nutritionally dense foods. And don't be afraid to offer drinkable foods, like smoothies or pureed soups instead of "regular" foods. My daughter definitely took to drinkable foods earlier than "regular" food. That 15 ounces of milk he's getting per day is giving him a solid 1/3 of a typical calorie intake for his age, just to put things in perspective. I know it's easy to worry, but he may just need more time.
Hi, I don't know if this will help, but my DD (15 months) hates, absolutely HATES, having to eat from a plate or in a high chair. She wants to be on the move, and she wants to eat from my plate. I decided it's not worth the battle--she gets a plate to eat off of (and sometimes she'll eat a little bit, usually a few bites, but sometimes a bunch), and I sit on the floor/chase her around and offer food till I think she's full. It works. My mom thinks it's weird, but hey, my DD gets enough food, and we don't have any power struggles over it. (She's skinny but has always been that way, and growing steadily.)
I also offer healthy snacks if I get the slightest hint that she's hungry, and I often will leave a few bites of bread or pear or veggies on a plate where she can cruise by later and grab a handful when she happens to see them.
Oh, and my DD is crazy about Cheerios, which I do not consider a healthy snack, so we celebrate Cheerio Day. She gets Cheerios on Fridays--as many as she wants. Now she knows the days of the week, and she gets reeeeeally excited about Fridays. :)
Good luck! Isn't it frustrating trying to feed a toddler? Your son's food intake doesn't sound like any less than my DD's, but I have to admit that she still nurses a lot. Is he growing steadily (has he always been in the 3rd percentile for weight)? Will he eat high-calorie stuff like avocado, cheese or almond butter? My DD is crazy about toast with almond butter.
Mom to the wacky and wonderful Kalyani (August 2011)
I would also second your suggestion that baby eat cheese. Our toddler loves chunks of Parmesan reggiano, jarlsberg or other real cheese. It's a yummy, filling & high-fat snack, especially balanced with fruit. Toddlers don't have to eat the processed "cheese" products that are marketed as food for them. Also, those taste bland (ok, or so I imagine--can't say I've eaten them or fed them to my son). So I'd go with a flavorful real cheese. Babies like interesting tastes (at least ours does).
Around age 19 months or so, DS started to take an interest in hot spices, too. Always likes to grind black pepper into his soup (like mommy) or try hot sauce on his eggs (like daddy). Has always loved Indian vegetarian food, but is now starting to eat the spicier dishes, as well. Lately he's developed a passion for samosas (which are hardly health food! but they're a nice occasional treat). If the food makes his mouth burn, he guzzles water and yogurt to cool his mouth, then reaches for more . Maybe Pregg's son might like to eat more like mommy and daddy do?
Pregg, come to think of it, your son might enjoy feeding himself some grownup foods--if you're interested, check the BLW link about introducing solid foods, even though he's not in the first-intro-to-food stage. He can eat almost everything you eat (except hard things like nuts and raw carrots) at this age. He probably acquired a taste for mommy's usual diet in utero--apparently amniotic fluid takes the flavor of what mommy's been eating.
My DD loves using the fork, although she's not good at it, it does help her stay interested in eating. We usually fill a bowl with food and either me or DH will share that with her, it's good modeling of behavior and it's what she wants anyways. I hold onto the bowl. She did some throwing of food too. I'll offer her something else but as soon as she starts throwing it we're done eating (which is probably what she's telling me anyways) and that's stopped that mostly- at least she doesn't think it's fun anymore. Once she starts throwing it, there's very little more that actually makes it in anyways so I'd rather not fight over the last few bites.