So frustrated with my toddler's eating habits! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-07-2002, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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My son is almost 17 months old. His main diet consists of baby food and dry foods. This is what he eats on an average day:

Dry cereal
A whole banana
Yogurt (sometimes)

Jar of veggie or veggie/meat combo
Jar of fruit

Jar of veggie or veggie/meat combo
Jar of fruit

Crackers, raisins, dry cereal, bananas and things of that nature.

Here is where I am frustrated. I am so tired of feeding him baby food. He does not want to sit in the highchair. When I feed him he spits half of the food back out. I try very hard not to show any signs that I am upset and stay positive and upbeat, telling him he is a good boy and he is going to grow so fast with all he eats when he swallows without spitting out whatever I am feeding him. I am pretty mainstream and I do feed him commercially prepared baby food and Gerber Graduates crackers and things of that nature. The only "real" food he will eat is pizza (which we do not eat all of the time, it is a rare occasion to order pizza), baked french fries and grilled cheese. I keep offering him things that we are eating but he is not interested. He will not even eat stage 3 babyfoods. I guess it is the wet feeling in his mouth. There are times when he will eat some real food and that is only when my sister in law is eating. He will eat almost anything off of her plate. I can't go and eat at MILs house every mealtime though. She lives an hour away and SIL is in school during ds' breakfast and lunchtimes anyway. I have tried to get him to eat from my plate and he flatly refuses. Are there any "tricks" to getting my ds to start eating more real food? I have asked the ped about this and she only said to try to get him off of baby food by the time he is 18 months. Well, I'm not going to stop feeding him baby food if it is the main staple of his diet, kwim? Ds is growing and gaining weight, he is 27 lbs and 33 inches. If anyone has any similar experiences to share I would appreciate it. I guess I am just really frustrated with his eating, especially today.

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#2 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 01:34 AM
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HHmm...I don't know really....I guess if you fed him a jar of chix w/peas and carrotts, you could just fix a chicx add cut up carotts and peas and try it!

You know?? Just take whatever he eats out of a baby jar now, and fix that in an adult version....really cookled so he could eat it of course!

My guy is the same age, and loves dipping corn chips in smashed avacado!!!

You can start messing around w/dry cereal in a bowl w/a little rice milk and a spoon .....add in his banana. serve him slices of toast!

I never bought one jar of babyfood....ds won't let us feed's all himself or not at all!!


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#3 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 02:31 AM
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There is practically nothing more frustrating than trying to get atoddler to eat!

Is he still nursing? How much? If he's filling up on that good mama-milk beforehand it may be that he's just not hungry enough to be interested.

I dont' know what it is about other people, but both my kids are the same way- they'll eat like famine victims if other people are feeding them but flatly refuse to eat for days on end for me. What is up with that?!:

Maybe you could try something where he's responsible for feeding himself- a tray of assorted soft foods seemed to work well with both my kids- something that separated all the foods seemed to be key- a deviled egg plate or ice cube tray or compartmented plate or something... we'd put things we knew were proven successes along with things that were new and generally both kids would at least graze off a little of most things.

Things we tried were: avocado chunks, tofu cubes (soft, squishy and flavorless!) cooked carrot rounds, cheerios, banana, little bits of diced chicken or salmon, hard boiled egg wedges...they seemed to kind of like stuff they could pick up easily and play with before eating (or throwing on the ground)

I'm not sure about the whole weaning him off of jarred food- my kids weren't all that bummed about leaving it behind. How about refried beans as a sort of interim food? They're kind of baby food-ish but could lead to other things like tortilla rollups.

Anyway, good for you for staying neutral with you reaction to it all- seems like he already has a good assortment of solid foods in his diet and has the ability to get beyond the baby food. Going into two y.o. he may just be trying on some early power experiments. What fun!
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#4 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 03:52 PM
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Hi there,

My son is 15 months and showed interest in eatting "big boy" food at 4 months which we didn't start till 6 months.

When we did start on solids, I made my own and had a little plate for him, so that he felt like he was the same as us.

There are times when he will decide that he doesn't like carrots or orange foods and so I take the food away and take him out of his chair. He is allowed to not eat the foods but he is then done eatting, till snack time or the next meal time.
I'm sure this seems very harsh to some parents but I believe that he needs to know that he CAN control his life to an extent, but that we are not going to sit and coax him and bribe him with several different foods. (He normally gets more then one food in a meal, so if he doesn't eat's not the end of the world). suggestion is that if he spits out all his food, so be it. That is his meal and that's it. As Dr. Phil says..."they are not going to wither away if they miss one meal.."
He needs to feel that he is in control of what he eats and how he eats it but also has to realize that there are only so many options.
Maybe to encourage him to eat more "big boy" foods, you can try at snack time and just give him something that he can eat on his own and not be near him...if he doesn't eat it, then he has to wait till the next meal time and see if he decides to eat better...eventually they will get hungry and they have to like some foods!!

This might not be for you, but you may be able to pick some ideas out of it...

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#5 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 05:32 PM
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My son is the same age and I'm lucky if he'll eat that much in a week!! Like mamapoppins, he wants to feed himself, with a fork and spoon and that's it! He used to be interested in what was on my plate, but not much anymore... he's happy to eat (or play with) what's on his plate.

Somedays he'll eat 1/2 an apple, a few sips of soy milk and 3 bites of an avocado and that's it!! He's 20lbs 4oz., but I'm not worried - other days he'll eat like he's storing up for hibernation, and he's still breastfeeding a lot.

Also, he doesn't want to sit in his highchair anymore, either. So I let him sit at the table next to me. He can barely see over the top, but whatever works, right??

Does your son have his own plate, cup and spoon? These things helped us - gave him his independence.

The problem with Gerber Graduates and stuff like that is that it's so processed and refined it's not like real food anymore. It's probably very bland compared to what you're eating, so your food doesn't taste good to him. Just my humble opinion, of course. I would try just leaving stuff on his plate for him to have fun eating himself... brown rice, grapes, chickpeas, green peas, cherry tomatoes, etc. - stuff that LaLa suggested.

Also, the dipping thing - DS LOVES to dip stuff now. I do watered down refried beans, soups thickened with rice flakes, avocado with salsa, hummus and pureed carrots, tofu and garlic.

I don't know what it is about bread, but most kids this age love it! Try making your own pizza with carrot sauce and shredded cheese. DS would eat this all day if I let him!
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#6 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 06:32 PM
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Don't stress about his eating.

My son is going to be 3 in February and his diet currently consists of peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, pizza, cheese, baked fries, mac and cheese, chips and the occassional cookie or rice krispie treat. For drinks he will drink water, lemonade, mama juice, and milk. I have had to learn to rotate this stuff around so that I can serve him something interesting at each meal. He has always been a challenge to feed.

He used to like lasagna and veggie egg rolls and lo mein, but he is now off those.

Feed him what he li!kes. Try to introduce something new at each meal or at least a couple of times a week. Just try to make sure the item is the same for the whole week or the times you try. If the child sees it often enough they may become interested.

Whatever you do, do your best not to pressure him into eating something he really isn't interested in. This only leads to frustration all around. I don't believe food should be a battle ground, so withholding food or forcing a toddler to wait until the next meal is out of the question for me.

Your son sounds like he is eating fine. I know the baby food doesn't float your boat. He might be sensitive to textures and finds comfort in those smooth foods. I would just make a tray of the big people foods that he likes and go for that. Mash your own veggies and puree up some beef that you are cooking for your meal. I used to cut up Sam's bananas and apples so he could pick them up. He really got a kick out of stuffing his face himself.

As for his growth. He sounds like he is doing great. He weighs more than mine!

Good luck

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#7 of 7 Old 12-08-2002, 10:30 PM
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My son came very late to solid foods, even pureed foods (at about 9 mos), and stayed on the pureed foods until at least 18 months. (I can't remember exactly.) It turned out that he had a very high level of oral sensitivity and a minor oral-motor delay, which made it hard for him to propel the food to the back of his tongue and swallow. He too did a lot of spitting out, which we were told sometimes shows difficulties in getting the food down the right way. We had him evaluated by a multi-disciplinary feeding team (gastroenterologist, psychologist, occupational therapist), which was really helpful.

In case this all sounds very worrying, he is now a normal toddler, which is to say eating table food fine but picky (and fickle) about what he eats. The tips we got from the feeding team were to try different foods, avoiding those with mixed textures (like yogurt with fruit chunks), which can be confusing. We were also encouraged to retry foods that my son had rejected, since we never knew when he would be ready for them. My son ended up eating a lot of fruit--bananas, apples, pears--and liked pasta, rice and macaroni and cheese. He is still not too keen on the vegetables and meat. As I mentioned, he stayed on the pureed food for a long time but did eventually stop eating it, less because of the food itself and more because he didn't want to be fed by another person.
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