My 18 months baby boy doesn't want to eat

Sueli - posted on 08/09/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I don't know what to do anymore.

When he was a little baby, he was a good eater, but after his first birthday he just stopped eating.

Every meal I try everything, but every day gets harder.

Some one has some advice to me, pleeeeease!

I'm starting to get desperate!

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Kerryn - posted on 08/10/2010

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Hi! My son is 18 months old and has the same issues. It's definately worse when he's teething. Won't eat a thing all day except for a few mouthfuls of weetbix in the morning.
I have found that the more I stress, the less he eats. I know, it's hard because we all want to make sure our children are healthy which means eating plenty of good food.
I have read a book that states that a lot of toddlers use eating as a power tool. It's something they can control and if you try to force them and stress on it, the more they refuse to eat. Something to think about anyway.
Also, something my child health nurse has told me that has eased my mind HEAPS: your child will not starve themselves. Simple but has been very effective for me.
So I try not to stress or make a big deal out of it. I set a good example by eating the things I want him to eat, I eat at the table with him, and I praise him when he eats. When he tells me he's had enough I ask him if he's sure and offer a little more but if he really doesn't want it then I let him finish there.
Those things have worked for me, with the emphasis on NOT STRESSING too much about it.
Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 08/09/2010

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My son is very picky too. Up until last week, he ate so few foods and just wanted snacks all day. I was so worried about his eating that I would carry snacks with me everywhere I went and give him granola bars and crackers in between meals because I thought that since he didn't eat breakfast I better give him a snack or he would be hungry and cranky and wouldn't be able to sleep.

This weekend we had a family reunion and we were kept so busy that we didn't have time to stop and snack. He then had a huge lunch and dinner. So now I have cut out all snacks except one scheduled snack time after nap.

We have also had a hard time getting him to try new foods. I have found that if I say "Show Dad how you can eat your chicken!" really excitedly he wants to make Dad proud, he will actually try the food and eat. When Dad's not around I say "show me" or "show Rocky" (our dogs). It probably sounds silly but I sure you know, as a fellow mom who's son won't eat, you do anything that works!

Shela - posted on 08/08/2012

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my baby take very llng to feed but he wasnt like that before. if i gave food into his mouth he dosent eat it he keep it into is mouth.please what can i do for him

Crystal - posted on 08/09/2010

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My son is the pickiest eater EVER. His palate is very limited and if I push to hard then he turns his nose up at everything! if its orange he wont eat it, if its mushy eh wont eat it and it cant even be on his tray.
I've had to get creative and I surely cant feed him myself. I cant hover either, I also notice (sad to say) he eats better if the t.v is on, he just zones out and starts eating, thankfully we have a small t.v in our kitchen. When that dosnt work I try to find finger foods he can munch on in the living room. Which brings me to the fact that he isnt big on meals, he is a snacker and eats maybe one big meal a day.
So....for breakfast he gets dry cereal (he preffers banana cheerios) and then I put some yogurt in a small plastic bowl, give him a spoon and I have to let him do it himself, same goes for oatmeal. I have to pretend to busy myself too, LOL because if he thinks I'm hovering he wont eat.
Snacks I've found to be great are things he can carry around all day LOL and eat on his own.
-Graham crackers
-Quaker soft/chewy granola bars
-crackers with peanut butter in the middle
-uncrustables, those pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches in the freezer section
-fruit snacks, sunkist is a pretty healthy brand
-nutrigrain bars
-his new favorite is a Z Bar, its made by Cliff bar I think but its for kids and has a lot of good nutrients
-tater tots
-eggo waffles (no butter or syrup, just dry)

For mealtime try to get creative. If you give him chicken nuggets give him some applesauce to dip them in.
-cheese pizza cut up into small bites
-grilled cheese, I hide very thinly sliced lunch meat between two peices of cheese, if he see's the meat its over, LOL


My son also wont eat fruit BUT he will eat freeze dried fruit from Trader Joes!
Good luck, maybe something will be of help
They say stay consistent and it sometimes takes trying the same thing 15 times before a picky eater will try it!

Sueli - posted on 08/10/2010

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thank you moms, all of you helped me a lot!
I already heard it's probably just a fase, but it's really tough deal with that!
I'll keep trying all you told me to do and praying to God help us to normalize the situation! :)
Thanks for the tips!

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15 Comments

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Tammy - posted on 06/28/2013

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My daughter is not a picket eater at all but some days she eats great but then the next day she doesn't want to eat at all, should I be worried?

Dina - posted on 08/24/2010

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My son Grga is also 18 months old and he lost 1kg during summer because he did not want to eat. I steel breast feed him,so I was not worried about that. Try to give to your baby as much as he want,that is just a part of his feeding circle. I have one oldiest boy so I know everything about difficulties with feeding baby! So,do not worry he will stay alive!

Cyndi - posted on 08/13/2010

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My son is the same way. He LIKES most foods but after a bit or 2 hes done. We talked to our dr. and she recommended Pediasure but you've got to be careful cauz it will fill him up and make him not hungry, and the vicious circle begins. We have started mixing it with his milk and he only gets it at naps and bedtime or he would drink it all the time like formula. It keeps him healthy and he hasnt lost any weight. He was 23lbs at his 18 month check. Hes just under the 25% mark. Not great but he's not boney like he was and were staying on top of it. I'd say check with your Dr. first but this works for us. Good luck I know how stressful it is to have a little one that will not eat.

Atushe - posted on 08/12/2010

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I notice when my son doesn't eat theres something bothering him..like last week he barely ate anything all week because he was teething. I had to sooth him with orajel and tylenol before he would even eat a little bite. He also wont eat when he gets constipated, so watch his diaper changes to make sure hes going ok..and also try feeding him after he has filled his diaper, because they are usually hungry after that!
but as long as you are trying your best and offering food often Im sure he is eating as much as he needs. good luck!

Jolandie - posted on 08/10/2010

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My daughter only eats peas and bananas. Thats it!!!. She wont try anything new. Was big on bread with marmite on it, but not anymore. She'll have a little bit of peas for dinner, and of course wakes up several times at night because she isnt full, (she drinks two bottles Needo at night) and for breakfast and lunch its a banana. She was such a good eater and slept from seven to seven, but after her first birthday, everything changed. Dont know what to do anymore!!

Dawn - posted on 08/10/2010

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All the above is great advice!! This is just a stage; a practice at independence (is there anything that isn't a practice of independence??? I feel like my son is fighting me on ANYTHING & EVERYTHING!!) Like the others said: keep offering him new foods, try eliminating snacks and drinks prior to mealtimes, let him be in control and be patient!!! I have read that toddlers only need 1000 calories per day...that really isn't a lot if you calculate it up.  I feel fortunate that my son loves most fruit and green beens and peas...I can always count on getting that in his belly!! One trick I have is to make cheese quesadillas and hide ground beef inside...then I top with avacado (seasoned with salt and lemon juice)...he eats it right up. Another thing, and I know some may have a problem with this, children this age (unless you have been adviced by a doctor otherwise) do not have to worry about fat intake, so some french fries with ketchup or pizza is actually a good meal...you just need to be careful to not have this be the norm as they get older!! Good luck! :)

Mel - posted on 08/10/2010

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Is it that he doesn't want to eat or that he doesn't want YOU to feed him. My son is 18 months and is a great eater except when I try to feed him. He prefers feeding himself. He eats everything I eat, just a whole lot messier! But it works for us letting him do it and on the up side, he is now handling a fork and spoon amazingly well!
Also, when he refuses food all together, I make a fruit smoothie with his milk and put it in his cup with his jumbo straw and just leave it there for him to reach and he ALWAYS goes for it and drinks it all up. It's not an actual meal, per se, but it's nutritious and fills him up for a while so he won't go hungry.

Lisa - posted on 08/10/2010

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My son did the exact same thing. When he was younger he would eat anything and now it's getting harder and harder to find something to feed him. We try a lot of cereals like flavored mini wheats and fruit loops. He also likes almost any type of cracker, pizza, mozzarella cheese sticks, and sometimes macaroni. Just give him different things and see what he will eat. Maybe he just doesn't like his food bland, that was my son's problem for a while. Maybe he just wants some seasoning. It's worth a try right?

Kim - posted on 08/09/2010

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my 18mth old daughter is exactly the same,good to know im not alone in this! She wont eat meat at all sometimes she will eat chicken nuggets,wont eat cooked carrot but will eat it raw,loves nutrigrain,weetbix,yoghurt,toast,apple,pumpkin,wont eat bananas,broccoli,mashed potato,eggs in any form! Its so frustrating it must be the age!

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