My 16-month-old won't eat. Argh. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-23-2007, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My 16-month-old has gone on a hunger strike, and it's stressing me. Ordinarily, I wouldn't freak so much about what he eats/doesn't eat, but he's no longer nursing, so I can't rely on breast milk to make up for what his diet is lacking. I'm 12 weeks pregnant, and my supply totally tanked, so he weaned last month. I know that is early, he should have gotten two full years of my milk, blahblahblah, but it is what it is.

Anyway, he's pretty much limited himself to only accepting cheese grits, pureed prunes, applesauce, and the occasional banana. Oh, and yogurt. I offer him a variety of things, and he might take one or two bites here and there. He's been moderately constipated, so I'm wondering if that has something to do with it....? I've been offering him more cow's milk than usual, just to get more calories and fat into him, but that can't be good for him, either. Especially because he's been anemic in the past, and it can't help his constipation, either, right? Ugh.

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that this is normal, and my kid isn't going to starve to death. It's worrisome because he used to have such a big appetite! Just last week, he was happily chowing down on a huge bowl of beans/rice/cheese/spinach for dinner, and this week, the stuff makes him gag. I don't get it.

Is this something all toddlers go through? I'm worried he's going to start losing weight or something. I can't let the kid live on graham crackers and Ritz, even though he'd be happy to do so. That's gross.
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#2 of 6 Old 04-23-2007, 09:52 PM
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just bumping this up for you...I'm sure some other mamas will have better advice for you. I have a somewhat picky eater, too, but she's still nursing. I try to remember that her eating tends to even out over the week and not to look at what she eats in a day, but rather a few days or a full week. I also try to live by the philosophy that my job is to offer food and her job is to decide what (if any) to eat and how much. . I know it's difficult to do, especially having weaned...

Oh, and I've heard good things about the book "Help, My Child Won't Eat' (I think that's the exact title...). For reasurrance, if nothing else.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-23-2007, 11:24 PM
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Toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. They also go through food ruts, where they will eat the same thing over and over one week, and then totally refuse it the next. It is so frustrating, but the best thing to do is to keep offering the healthy stuff. The banana maybe making him constipated as well as the applesauce. Will he eat pasta? You can sneak lots of different veggies into sauces and the same goes for muffins and pancakes too. My 16 month old would gobble up muffins every time he is offered one! You could also try smoothies as well. I guess as a last resort, you could give him a vitamin supplement. If you are concerned about the cow's milk and his digestive system, you may want to look into goat's milk instead. It is much easier on our digestive tracts.
I am wondering if maybe your son is teething as well. I notice my kids appetites would drop considerable when they were teething.
I hope this helps and I am sure I would have more ideas, but right now my brain is starting to shut down for the night

Tanya, wife to my best friend momma to Blake 2/02, Jacob 5/04, Parker 12/05 and MaKenna : 6/09
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#4 of 6 Old 04-24-2007, 10:41 AM
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We just went through this and it seems to be getting slightly better. I think it had something to do with teething, but mostly just a phase. It sounds as though what he does eat is pretty nutritious, so just give him what he likes--you can add flax oil to his yogurt or grits, sneak some nutrients in here and there. Veggie booty was always a huge hit here. For the constipation, I would start by trying to get him to drink more water or even juice (diluted prune or something--apple juice is constipating, I believe). Applesauce and bananas are both constipating, too. Mix some ground flax seeds or wheat germ or something like that into the purees to add some fiber. I know how frustrating this is!!! Hang in there--I kept telling myself it's normal, and ds is now actually eating food again!!

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#5 of 6 Old 04-24-2007, 10:47 AM
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Cheese can also constipate.

Married to DH 7 years and have three fantastic kiddos! DS 6, DD 4, and DS 2 ...... lo and behold another is on the way!

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#6 of 6 Old 04-24-2007, 12:45 PM
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You know, I wouldn't worry about it. It's probably a phase, and as long as you offer the food, he'll eat when he's hungry.

I have read that a good way of sneaking vegetables into the mix is to put them in muffins--grated zuchinni, for example. And I'll bet you could puree some zuchinni or something else pretty bland and sneak it into the cheese grits. If he likes applesauce, he'd probably like sliced apples as well, and that's a bit more fiber into the system.

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