BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Toddlers Not Eating
Berkeley Parents Network >
Toddlers Not Eating
I have a happy 15 month toddler. Who eats only puree foods only while watching a
dvd.He eats very little regular food. I am worried. Is he going to be eating baby food
while needing to watching dvd forever or is this a phase? How do i stop this?
From 12-13 month he went on a spoon strike. He just breast fed. I was so
worried.So when he began eating with a dvd i was glad.Now it has become a habbit.
I see other kids eat regular food and think i must not be doing something rigth but
don't know what it is.
Sure would like to hear from other moms who might have delt with this.
Thank you for you'r time.
My daughter only ate pureed food at that age, too, and I was
amazed to see her peers eating adult-type food. From the time
she started solids, she hated anything with any texture to it.
She would just spit it out. Her favorite food was breastmilk for
a long, long time. I really just went with the flow and assumed
that there was a good reason for it (like maybe some delay in the
ability to chew and/or swallow). As time went on she accepted
soft foods and then crunchy or chewy foods, and now (age 4) eats
just about any texture. I also discussed it with her
pediatrician, but he was not especially worried, probably because
she was doing well otherwise.
I'm not sure what to tell you about the DVD part of your
question, but I definitely relate to your desire to do whatever
works to get food into your child!
Your toddler doesn't need this, he's only trained you to think
that he does. It's very very normal for toddlers to start eating
less, and bending over backwards to get them to eat only teaches
them about manipulation and even eating when not hungry. They
are instinct driven creatures and won't starve themselves. My
son would go through periods of barely eating for several days,
then eating non-stop for several days. It's really hard not to
panic when they don't eat as much as we think they should. I
really had to control myself from just giving him unhealthy
choices, bribing, or using tv to get him to eat and it paid off.
Now he is 3.5 yrs old and a very healthy eater - he prefers
healthy food, and stops when he's full, even if it's something
like ice cream.
One thing that worked well for us was ''grazing,'' that is having
healthy snacks sitting out for periods of time so he could be
active and come and go to eat as he pleased. Now that he's older
we've been able to gradually train him to sit through a meal.
And since toddlers are so active and don't like to slow down to
eat, it's good to give them high calorie/fat foods so they get
more bang for the bite. Like whole milk, not skim. Our doctor
illustrated it with an ounce of whole milk cheese compared to an
ounce of let's say chicken protein. The cheese has more calories
so they get more for what they're eating.
One more thing, studies have shown that children tend to overeat
when eating while watching TV. They are so distracted and they
mechanically eat. So there could be weight issues down the line,
or again, they learn to eat when not hungry.
You need to stop showing DVDs as a way to get your child to eat.
It's not a healthy association - the brain is occupied with the
sound and sight, and not registering the enjoyment of food, or,
more importantly, whether the body is truly hungry and when it is
full. It it too easy to over-eat when watching TV or a movie.
I would talk to your pediatrician regarding your child's health
and food requirements. The doctor should be able to give you
information on correct amounts and portions your child needs
right now. It's much smaller than you think!
Try to relax and keep exposing your child to food, even if it's
tiny, tiny amounts. Let him have fun squishing bananas - and then
licking his fingers. Show him how to dip foods - apples slices in
yogurt, for example. Play with cold noodles. Roll frozen peas.
Make sure he's present when your eat your meals, make it
enjoyable and talk about the food. Give him tiny tastes.
Different textures, tastes - as long as it's all safe sizes and
he won't choke on it. Let him explore safely on his own rather
than insisting he eats with a spoon.
Children want to copy the people they love the most - their
parents! And even the pickiest children do get hungry.
It will happen.
Have you tried non-pureed foods in broth? The foods might be
soft and wet enough for him to eat. This could be a start?
I just wanted to respond b/c I wanted to give you a different
perspective. I have two kids - a one year old and a two year
old. My one year old is a GREAT eater - solid ''adult'' type
foods that she can feed herself. Little bites of steamed
broccoli, cubes of tofu, cooked chicken, carrots, crackers -
you get the idea. A dream come true when it comes to eating.
My 2 year old was NOT. At her age, he NEVER ate things like
this. He'd gag if his food was not pureed and chopped up into
the tiniest pieces. He also didn't want to eat in his
highchair, but rather while playing or watching a video. I
decided to pick my battles. And eating was not one that I
wanted to pick. He ate well while playing or occupied with
toys, videos and so on. As the months went by, he graduated to
foods that were chunkier in texture and...he starting eating
sitting down in his highchair or at a table. As they say -
monkey see, monkey do - and that was the truth with my son. At
his playgroup, or if we were at the park, he'd see other kids
sitting down eating and he'd do the same. I find that he eats
much better with other kids or when other people (aside from
myself) offer him different foods. He's not the greatest eater
today at 25 months, but I don't have to occupy him with toys
and videos to get him to eat either. I guess my point is that
my son grew out of the pureed/dvd dining phase and is eating ok
these days. And my other point is my one year old eats like a
dream and I didn't do anything differently with her - same
parents, same parenting methods, offered her the same foods I
did my son - and she's just a better, more advanced eater than
he was at her age. I also am not opposed to letting my kids
watch a video or dvd from time to time either and I think I
have a bit more of a relaxed attitude about some things in
general. I don't let my kids run around and eat b/c obviously
they could choke, but I don't sweat it if they want to eat a
bagel on the sofa either. My parents had a similar attitude
about feeding me and my siblings and to this day, we can all
make it through a meal without watching a video! :)
Just a different perspective
My fifteen month-old daughter has started refusing food. When
she refuses the spoonful of food that I offer her, I simply put
it away and try a few minutes later. It worked in the past, but
not anymore. I have always fed her with a spoon from her baby
bowls, and in the past few months, I have started giving her
finger foods. The main foods, though, come by way of the
spoon/bowl. I have the feeling that she wants to feed herself,
or, that she wants to try new foods. Regarding feeding herself,
aside from a few finger foods, she hasn't really starting using a
spoon on her own because she mainly wants to chew the spoon.
Regarding new foods, I have been trying a wide variety of new
foods, but they usually do not stimulate her to eat. I am
worried that she will not gain weight and/or start declining on
the growth curve. I feel as if I am failing my daughter in this
way. Can you recommend any books of recipes for small children?
Do you have any other advice? Thank you.
My daughter has been eating finger foods as her main source of
food since she was about 12 mos (she is now 19 mos). She found
it much more interesting to feed herself than for me to feed
her. Almost anything can be finger food--just cut the food
into bite-size pieces. Yogurt was about the only thing I had
to continue to spoon feed for a while, but there came a point
where she'd rather try to eat it herself with a spoon (and get
very little) than have me spoon feed her. I mush cooked sweet
potatoes into little balls so she can pick them up and eat
them. Same with squash. At 15 mos, I still steamed most
veggies, so that they were soft enough for her to eat, again,
just cutting them into bite-size pieces. Pinto and black beans
are good finger food, as are tofu, corn, scrambled eggs, toast,
and chopped fruit. I believe most 15 month olds are definitely
ready and prefer to feed themselves. Good luck.
I think you may have found the answer to your own question,
which is that she may want to start eating on her own. Our
daughter flatly refused to be fed by us beginning at about 10
months, I think, and it was hard because she had no idea how to
use a spoon. But she learned, and for a while she ate almost
everything (even things like cream of wheat) with her hands.
What's wrong with letting her chew on the spoon? It's part of
how she'll become familiar with it. Our daughter went through
stages where I was sure she would die of starvation, but so far
she hasn't! What I do at every dinner meal is offer her a
fruit, a vegetable, a starch and a protein in one of those
plates with compartments (hers happens to be Winnie the Pooh)
because she is a good eater, but does not like it when the foods
mix. At breakfast I give her some dairy thing (cottage cheese,
yogurt), fruit and toast or pancake or waffle. She gets cheese
at every meal because it's the one thing she'll reliably eat. I
also give her foods over and over and over. I probably gave her
broccoli 10 times before she ate it -- now she's a big broccoli
eater. I haven't found a great book for recipes for this age.
I have ''Super Baby Foods,'' but hardly ever use it.
Also, ''Baby's First Meals'' is popular but waaaay too much work.
I used those more when I was actually making baby food. She
basically eats what we eat now, so I'm not too concerned about
recipes. Anyway, I don't think your daughter will starve! I
have heard, though, that it's a bad thing to force the issue.
She's probably going to be eating well again before you know it.
Used to Worry About the Same Thing
I've read the helpful posts on BPN about picky eaters but am
really struggling here and hoping for help. My daughter
stopped really eating solids around 8 months after enjoying
nearly everything. Since then, she only eats crunchy cracker-
type things and nearly freaks out when she even sees the dinner
table, a plate of undesireable food or her parents eating
something she doesn't like. She won't try anything and I'm
loathe to shove it in her mouth. Other than cheese and some
soy based crunchy snacks she's getting no protein- seems like
it's a texture more than a flavor issue but who knows. We're
still nursing but trying to limit it.
Even with snacks she loves, she doesn't eat a whole lot and I'm
wondering if I should just stop giving her things that are non-
healthy and have all options be good ones. Should we make her
sit at the table when she so hates it? will this end?
many thanks, we've tried nearly everything.
I could have written your post. My son never ate baby food. He lived on mother's
and Cheerios for months. I ended up getting a bunch of stuff from ''Just
It's all freeze dried food. He eats freeze dried tofu (God knows why, but thank
goodness!). The first veggies and fruits he would eat are all freeze dried too.
give it a try. They have a web site.
Also, try bacon in the microwave. It comes out crispy, and is one of the few
animal protein my son will eat right now.... Good Luck!
Picky eater's mom
Help. I think my wife and I have mis-trained (?) our son's
eating habits. Our 18 month old son does not eat very well at
home. He often doesn't want to feed himself and won't eat (or be
fed) unless we read to him, play with him, sing him songs or let
him play with his toys while being fed. He goes to daycare
8am-5pm where he supposedly eats lunch well (and eats a lot) and
at times by himself, but at home, he has to be fed while being
entertained and sometimes won't eat very much.
I think that this could be because since he started getting
squirmy and impatient in his in high chair (maybe around 15
months?), we really didn't want him to be a child who wouldn't
eat in his highchair and runs around the house only to come back
every so often for a bite. So, we started letting him play with
his toy cars and eventually other toys and now his read his books
while in his highchair. We've even resorted to singing him songs
to get him to stay in the chair, all the while feeding him his
food which he will eat if he's occupied somehow.
Now, the problem could be just that he likes the food at daycare
and not ours, but I suspect that even with less desirable food,
he would eventually want to feed himself without being
I spoke with someone who suggested that we try just giving him
his meal and then letting him feed himself. If he doesn't eat
then take him out of his chair and keep putting him back in an
hour later until he gets hungry enough to eat himself. However,
since we both work and he has to go to daycare 5 days/week, we
don't really have the time to try this out except on the weekends
which sadly are often as busy as the weekdays.
Has anyone else had any other experiences like this? Should we
continue to cater to our son's meal expectations to be
entertained/occupied just to get him to eat? Or, anyone have any
surefire 18 month old appropriate recipes?
Entertaininment for meals
It's not that you've mis-trained your son, it's that he's
It's quite common at your son's age to be a picky eater or even
to eat less than before. And especially if he is an active boy,
they just don't have time to sit and eat. It will pass. My son
was never a very good eater, and there were days when I was
really concerned about him not eating enough. He just didn't
want to eat no matter what I did. But everything I read said
that this is normally at this age, and that if you really push
it, you're just teaching them to eat when they're not hungry.
They WILL eat when they're hungry. And there are some kids at
this age that are naturally just ''grazers,'' that is, they'd
rather pick every now and then than sit for a big meal.
So pick your battle. Do you want him to eat without the constant
entertainment, or do you want his butt in that seat no matter
what? I chose the eating w/out entertainment and would set out
several things out on a kids table in the dining room for him.
He'd run around and kept returning for food, he was a grazer and
there was no way around it. When it was time for me to take him
to day care I'd sometimes put some stuff in a tupperware and
give it to him in his carseat. Not something I thought I'd ever
do, but hey, he'd eat and we'd both avoid a power struggle. Your
trying to get your son to stay in a chair and eat on your terms
can start becoming a power struggle. As your son gets older
he'll be better about doing what he is told as long as you are
consistent. They mellow out and are better about sitting still.
You know that expression ''the terrible twos?'' Well, I think the
two's are a breeze compared to the 18 months to 2 years.
We accidentally started raising a grazer and a kid who wouldn't
want to eat unless he could beg and walk around with stuff. I
decided to nip it in the bud. We are making some progress with
our kid who is now 22 months by establishing a routine and
sticking to it.
First, we were told by our friends with kids that it is highly
unlikely our kid will starve. If your kid is eating at daycare,
you have a little manipulator on your hands and you need to
break him of it.
We also work full time but have gotten very good at the same
dinner routine. My husband comes home around 7. Son and I get
hom around 5. When we come home, he and I unwind together by
reading or listening to music. Then, I prepare dinner. I serve
him what we are eating (and, to be fair, I do try and prepare
stuff he'll like like chicken, pasta, potatoes).
When it's time to eat, he gets a plate just like us. I give him
various utensils to experiment with and something to drink.
He does not have to eat what we give him. It's his choice. At
first, there were many dinners where he ate nothing or had some
yogurt for desert. We let him do what he wants. It took some
time, but he's gotten so much better at being a good little
diner. You just need to keep at it. Do the same thing each
Our rules are: if he throws food on the floor, we assume he's
done and he goes down. Anytime he begs for food, even snacks,
we put him in his high chair to eat. If he pitches a fit or
refused to eat with it in the high chair, too bad. It's the
high chair or nothing. Again, it took a while, but he is now
getting the picture.
Also, we had to curb our roaming and eating too. So, now, Mommy
and Daddy only eat at the table (and the house is cleaner for
it). He really is getting the point that you eat at the table
and he's been so much better at trying new things.
Worth a shot.
Hi! It sucks, doesn't it? Toddler eating habits are so off the wall sometimes. But I can
honestly say that this might be one of those times where a little tough love is in
order. My son can be soooo squirmy and all that in his highchair (he's 20 months)
so we have decided to live by the golden rule of ''parents decide what and when they
eat, the kids decide how much''. If he gets out of control and stays that way after a
few warnings, then he's out of the chair. You don't need tons of time to do this. You
have dinnertime, use it. Then, he's done eating. No more food... our son has a cup
of milk before bed, and if he didn't eat dinner, he stays hungry. He learns that there
are consequences to his actions, and dinner has become a lot more fun for all of us
now. Sometimes there are days where he had a lot to eat all day, is actually NOT
hungry, and will go play while my husband and I finish our food. I let him decide... it
takes a while for him to figure this all out, but believe me, if you stick with it, your
child will unlearn the habits.
I would imagine your very young son might be needing attention
from you. Why not treat mealtimes as a special time to talk to
your baby, smile, joke, eat, play, sing....It sounds like he
spends very little time with you as it is, let alone singing,
playing, reading, etc. and maybe he is smart enough to have
figured out a way to get more positive attention from you.
Also, all the things you describe sound like things that relax
him and make him more in the mood to eat. Maybe he is not
feeling so relaxed, or is picking up on your constant on-the-go
energy and this is affecting his appetite. You can do some
hardline behavioral things like taking him out of his seat and
trying again an hour later, but I would suggest you first
analyze the motivation/need behind his behavior.. My approach
would be to talk to him and have fun with him during meals,
just as you would with anyone else. Play counting games with
his food, joke around, make the banana do the banana dance on
his tray(those slippery peels have some smooth moves!), have a
good time. Meals are supposed to be a fun, relaxing, social
time anyway, right, more than another thing to get done in a
day full of to-do's?
- A single mom who loves to talk to her baby and play during meals
My daughter is 19 m and nursing about 5 times per 24h. I've been
thinking that she'll wean when she wants to do it by herself
(though right now I'm not quite sure that it would work).
Anyway, that's not a problem yet (will be around her 2nd
I'm worried about her eating, she really doesn't eat much, but
she's not skinny. Has chubby legs and arms a.s.o. There've been
some changes, like moving to Berkeley from Sweden when she was
15 m. She did eat a little better before. Now it has gone so far
that she would choose breastmilk instead of other food.
I have to put on her favorite dvd and while looking at it I can
put food into her mouth. Not always anymore actually, now she
turns away her head sometimes. I really don't know how to deal
with this. I'm worried that it's not enough with breastmilk and
just small amounts of regular food. During one day she eats for
example: a small portion of yoghurt (with pumpkin seeds), a half
avocado, a cooked carrot, 1-2 small meatballs/fish, a small
portion of porridge. A half of banana and raisins as snack.
Almost every evening I'm thinking that has she really got enough
of food today.
My youngest is 26 months old and still nursing, on-demand until about a month ago. He's gone through phases with food, eating lots for a while, then eating frighteningly little.
He's completely healthy though, so I don't worry about it.
The day's food you described for your daughter is actually more than my son eats some days, and it sounds like she's getting a good variety. As long as she's healthy, and you aren't locked in a power struggle over eating, I think you can trust her instincts regarding how much she needs to eat.
If food becomes the object of a power struggle, it can be so damaging---to your relationship with your child, to your child's ability to even know what and how much they want/need to eat---and food can get attached to all kinds of complicated emotional issues, etc. To me, it's not worth that kind of stress to cajole my child into eating what someone else thinks he should.
Is she gaining weight well? Does her body have enough iron? If the answer to both those questions is yes, then you're only dealing with a behavioral issue and not a nutritional one. A great book is Ellen Sattyr's ''Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense''. She says over and over again that many toddlers would happily drink their entire diet than eat, and talks about behavior strategies for parents to make sure that toddlers get an appropriate diet.
I would definitely get her blood checked for anemia. If a big portion of her diet is milk (of whatever kind) it's a risk, both because calcium interferes with iron absorption and milk can displace more iron-rich foods. I would closely follow her weight gain. Any concerns with those would need to be addressed promptly. Otherwise you can try to transition her to a more food-oriented diet as quickly or slowly as you like.
Breastmilk alone can and does provide sufficient calories and nutrition for some children for 2 or even 3 years! So if your primary concern is your daughter's health, relax. Monitor her weight gain and overall health, of course, but if she is growing and developing normally, then she is getting enough to eat.
If your concern is that you can't handle how often she is nursing, or if her diet is not calorie-dense enough for healthy growth, then you may consider weaning -- total or partial (I do know a couple of toddlers who had weight-gain problems that were resolved with weaning) -- or you may be able to get your daughter to eat a higher proportion of calorie-dense, nutrient- dense foods without the trauma of parent-led weaning. But given your list of what she typically eats, you are already doing a pretty good job of that (the avocado and yogurt are great choices), and actually it looks to me as if she eats plenty.
Remember that small children have small tummies!
You might also want to look for ways to offer your daughter some extra love and comfort, which she probably needs right now as she's still adjusting to the big move, other than nursing. This will be especially important if you do decide to wean her before she self-weans.
I have a nearly 15-month-old daughter who nurses quite a bit more and eats a lot less other foods than her older brother did at the same age, or even at a substantially younger age. But both kids are quite healthy -- and I am a big fan of toddler nursing for all sorts of reasons -- so I don't worry.
First off, if she's not skinny, she's getting enough food. Kids, unless they have a severe health problem, do not starve themselves. If she's hungry, she will eat what she needs.
Second, the more you obsess about her eating solid food and try to force her to eat it, the more problematic it is likely to become. Between
18-24 months is when kids start saying ''no'' like it's their favorite word -- and resisting stuff parents try to get them to do.
One strategy you might try is to always give her solid food before nursing, so she'll be hungry, but not to allow her to become extremely hungry (offer her snacks every 3-4 hours or so). And often what works is to put her in her high chair, put some food in front of her (I usually tried
3-4 pieces of 2-3 different foods, say chunks of avocado, bits of pasta, and chunks of chicken), and then to do something else yourself but in the same room, so she doesn't have your undivided attention.
She might not eat much at first, but if she gets used to this being the routine, she might start eating more.
You might even think about alternating solid food sessions, and nursing sessions, so that she doesn't learn to just ignore the solid food and wait for the milk. Try things out, giving them a few weeks before rejecting them, to see what works best.
That sounds like plenty of food to me, and an especially well- balanced diet for her age. A couple things to consider:
* It's very common for 1-year-olds to have a sudden decrease in appetite/interest in food as their growth slows down and their mobility increases. It's not necessarily due to your recent move or other life changes.
* The average weight gain in the 2nd year of life is only about
4 lbs, or a 20-25% increase. (Compare that to the 1st year, when babies' weight increases ~300% from birth!)
* The pediatrician Berry Brazelton has written (see his book ''Touchpoints'') that minimum daily food intake for a 1-year- old should be: 1 pt milk (or yogurt, cheese, etc.), 1/4 c. of food with protein and/or iron (such as meat, egg, or fortified cereals), 1/8 c. fruit or OJ, and a multivitamin if you can't get the kid to eat additional fruits and vegetables. And that's IT!
* Have you tried letting her self-feed? It may be a battle over control rather than over food per se.
Check with your pediatrician of course, but it sounds like she's doing fine.
Actually, it sounds as if she's getting a good amount of food.
Don't worry unless she's not gaining enough weight, really.
I wonder about weaning. My daughter, 20 mo, eats so little,
mostly she thinks that breastmilk is hear main food. I know that
she has no intensive growing at the moment, but when she gets
hungry she only wants to nurse. She'll cry if I tell her to eat
something else, or serve her something else. Should I let her
cry? It feels cruel to me.
I've started the weaning process, so she doesn't nurse at
daytime anymore, only sometimes at noon before nap.
She shows no interest in wanting to eat proper food, accepts
only a couple of things. What should I cook, how can I serve her
food? I am tired of trying and thinking out things, when she
does not like anything, refusing or spotting out the food. Why
can't she eat like other kids... Is it stressy for her while
weaning? I'm afraid that she doesn't get enough nutrition when I
stop nursing her.
No grandparents of other relatives here (live in Europe). I
guess that most difficult will be to stop the bedtime nursing.
Any ideas how to manage this? Does she forget about nursing
after a while, starts eating well?
Give yourself a break and see a lactation consultant for a
weaning plan ;) I saw Sarah Duskin at Day One in San Francisco
and we made a daily and month-long plan for weaning. Her best
advice: give real treats for snacks - like cookies, and
distract your toddler by taking them outside or to exciting
activities during former nursing times. Lots of toddlers eat
very little so take heart!
Mom of two - one weaned one nursing
Just keep working at it. Try offering baked goods (muffins,
bread, bagels,), pancakes, waffles, toast (different ways). Try
really good, ripe fruit. Try steamed green beans, broccoli, baby
carrots, red pepper.
Sometimes the shape matters, so try presenting it different ways.
My daughter liked stuff that she could grasp herself and feed
herself ( so long rectangles worked best). One shape of pasta may
be fine and another yucky!
I think it helps if your child can see you eat something. I swear
my daughter wouldn't touch pasta until her grandpa took a big
hunk of spagetti ( without sauce) and ate it in front of her from
the ends up!
Our otherwise perfectly healthy 22-month daughter barely eats.
It started during a bad cold, so we just assumed it was that.
However, it's now been almost a week since the cold got better,
and she literally eats next to nothing. I feel overjoyed if I
get her to eat a cheese stick or a few bites of avocado. She
will sometimes eat bread products, but that's really about it.
She sometimes acts like she wants to eat--takes a bite or two--
but then she spits it out or pushes it away.
She does drink a lot of milk (soy). I know this may get in the
way of her appetite, but I only offer it once she's denied any
and all food. She drinks up to 30ozs of soy milk a day. Is this
the reason? (This has only been happening since she stopped
eating; normally she drank 6-10 ozs a day.) I'm afraid if I
take the soy milk away she'll dehydrate and wither away to
I recently heard someone describe kids like this as ''air''-
eterians, since they seem to live on air. Is this normal? When
do I worry? Should I be putting her on vitamins? Any tricks?
Thanks for your thoughts,
Jewish mom wanting to feed her child!
If you're not philosophically opposed, switch to real milk and please do
not give your daughter so much soy milk. For one thing, soy is being
revealed to be pretty bad:
http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/. But aside from that, if you give her
real milk (preferable raw, but ok if not) you'll get more calories out
of the 30 oz she is taking in. If the food intake is limited, try to
think of the most calorie and nutrient-dense food you can for each bite!
Your child is practically two. Barring any medical problems or other
developmental stages (could she be teething?), many pediatricians and
dieticians say that 2 year olds ''know'' how to regulate their food
intake. There are days when they will eat all day long and others when
they will barely touch two slices of bread. My son didn't seem to eat
as much as his friends or cousins but he is not underweight and I have
learned to just relax when he doesn't feel like eating. We used to give
him everything under the sun because we were worried he'd wither away.
But then, I just decided that he'd eat what we ate or I'd place a
variety of things on his plate that I thought he may like; if he didn't
want any of it, then we wouldn't feed offer anything else to him. We'd
take away his food after we were done having our meal and by the next
mealtime (or the next day if this was dinner) he'd want to eat. Have
you tried this? good luck!
You may wish to read about soy milk at www.westonaprice.org and at
http:// www.thewholesoystory.com/, both of which have some really solid
data and studies about the use of unfermented soy. As the information
therein relates to your daughter's lack of appetite, soy does contain
trypsin inhibitors that block protein digestion.
This is such a difficult age child to feed. Children this age eat a
small amount; generally the growth rate at 2 years, is much slower than
that of 1 year olds.
Serving sizes are 1-2 tablespoons for each food group. Given that,
drinking lots of milk can really fill up these kids, and take away
desire and interest in feeding. It is recommended to limit milk to
16-24 oz for this age. You can give it to her frequently, just smaller
amounts. Also, children this age also are beginning to act more
independently, so will do the opposite of what you want; it is
recommended to just offer the food in small amouints, and not focus or
comment on the quantitiy:
You are in charge of the food and she is in charge of the amounts.
Check out Ellyn Satter's books on feeding young children. Another
factor is the more attention one gives to a bad habit, the more that
habit is being reinforced. It is a lot of work to feed young kids Peds
I listen to ''your own health and fitness'' a radio show on KPFA,
hosted by Lana Burman. She had a physician/chemist on her show years
ago. He said that excessive soy can actually turn off pancreatic enzymes
that facilitate the absorption of vitamins A,D, E & K. Her digestion
maybe effected by the
amount of soymilk that she is taking in.
I have also met two women in the past year who are in their 20's and
drank soymilk as children and now vomit when they eat anything that
contains soy. Please go to www.kpfa.org and look up the radio show,
''your own health and fitness'' shows' host email address. Lana Burman
is a nutritional expert lunayogini[at]yahoo.com
I think it is quite normal to loose your appetite when you are sick.
And sometimes it takes a while to get back to normal. You said that it
has been almost a week since the cold got better. She could still be
recovering from the cold even though she seems fine. Sometimes cold
viruses can irritate the digestive track. I know they do for me. You
might try giving her foods that are easier to digest and won't irritate
the stomach. Rice is good, and so are vegetables. I would avoid cheese
or bread because dairy and wheat are hard to digest. Whenever my
daughter got sick, our whole routine would be thrown off.
Her sleep patterns would change, her emotional needs would change, and
her eating habits would change. And these changes would sometimes
continue for several weeks AFTER she got over being sick. I called it
the ''1 step forward, 2 steps backward'' syndrome. Perhaps your daughter
desires only soymilk because it reminds her of being more of an infant.
Did you feed her soy milk since she was on infant? Did soy milk replace
breast feeding? Do you give her the soy in a bottle? Sippy cup? Anyway,
my point is that the soy drinking might be giving her a feeling of
comfort and security. You might try to give her other things that give
her a sense of comfort and security, like reading to her, cuddling with
her, etc. I would also caution against too much soy for long periods of
time. There have been reports on the possible harmful effects of too
much soy in children's diets. You might consider trying rice milk or
almond milk instead. And if you are worried about dehydration, then add
a little water to the soy milk, increasing it each time she has some.
This may help ''wean'' her off of it too. Also, talk to your
pediatrician. They may have other suggestions on what to feed her while
she is on her ''hunger strike''. They may say that the soy milk is fine,
and that she is just going through a phase, as long as she is getting
enough calories and is not loosing any weight. Good Luck Laurey
Is it possible that your daughter has a sore throat? My daughter will
not eat solids when she has a sore throat, and will make up for it with
liquids (nursing, in her case). Hopefully the problem has resolved by
now, but if not, you might check with her pediatrician anon
I had a very similar problem with 2 children. Both of my sons scarcely
ate for a period of at least a year for the eldest and several months
for the youngest. I did not try anything drastic. It has turned out that
as they discovered foods they really enjoyed they began to eat
Also, I am a child care provider and I have noticed recently that at
least 2 clients supplement their children's diets with pediasure,
prescribed by their children's pediatricians.
The taking bites and spitting them out sounds a lot like pain from
teething. Try giving baby ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil), and then feeding
half an hour later. If that doesn't work, it may also be a mild stomach
bug, which should resolve in a few more days. (I remember when my son
had one whose only symptom for about five days was refusing food. I was
beside myself, and actually relieved when he finally threw up, so I knew
what was going on!)
If the solid food strike goes for more than two weeks, a call to your
dr. may be in order, even just to get a weight check and set your mind
at ease jewish mama feels your pain
this page was last updated: Oct 6, 2006
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network