Tips on getting my 16 month old son to allow me to feed him

Natasha - posted on 12/21/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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When I started feeding my son baby foods, he would only allow me to feed him certain things such as bananas, yogurt and green beans but nothing else. Now that he is able to eat table food everything he eats he has to feed himself. He will not allow me to put anything in his mouth unless is junk like candy, ice cream, mostly sweets. I will give him finger foods and he will eat them but he doesn't eat much. I asked his pediatrician and she stated to give him PediaSure. I started giving him that but I want him to eat and allow me to feed him so that I know he is full. After asking his pediatrician and no luck I know there is a mother out there that has come up with a solution to this problem Help??

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Angela - posted on 12/26/2011

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my son is 13 months and my daughter is 25 months, both have been feeding themselves since about 8 months.... they eat absolutely everything, It is a lot messier but it means they have the oportunity to experiment with texture and feel and with managing on thier own. The best advice I got was that children will never starve if they are given the oportunity to eat healthily, I will always remember a study that had a room full of kids with a table of 'good' food as well as sweets etc that they could choose from; at the beginning of the week alot of the kids went for the lollies but by the end of the week every single kid had had a balanced diet - this study has been repeated many many times... I would allow your son to feed himself and offer (and keep offering) good food and only having sweets occasionally (they really dont need them..) of course there will be some things that he wont like but tastes change - my son didnt used to like pumpkin but now he loves it... - hope that helps :-)

Natasha - posted on 12/25/2011

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Well I have seen recently an increase in him eating. I use to go out and purchase all types of baby food like spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese but he wouldn't eat it. So I started just giving him food that I cook and he eats it with no problems now. I made him chicken and carrots the other day and he ate all the chicken and most of the carrots. I just thought that it was very unusual to have a child that won't allow you to feed him. I know that children are different and my first son is a picky eater also but he would allow you to feed him. My only concern was for him to eat so now from the help of you all I have discovered tips on what to do. Thanks for the information. Patricia, I will start putting out bowls of different foods and just allow him to snack. Happy Holidays!!!!

Patricia - posted on 12/25/2011

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my son eats all day long but i have bowls out with carrots, fruits, cold cuts, cheeses, he snacks on them all day cuz he is the same way. At least it isn't junk food and I know he is eating. My son is only 12 months old.

Lori - posted on 12/22/2011

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You're welcome. It was a change for me too with this one. My first daughter had no problem letting me feed her. But now, even at 3 1/2 she still wants me to feed her. Ugh.... she is quite capable of feeding herself. However from the first time I tried to feed my LO, she refused to eat food I fed her. If I put food on a spoon and put it in her mouth, she promptly spit it right back out. I thought at first she hadn't lost the tongue thrust reflex. But then after doing some reading about feeding baby I came across the Baby Led Weaning site, and decided to let her give it a try. Sure enough, the same foods she'd rejected from me, she ate just fine when allowed to do it herself. That was at 6 months old. Now at 13 months she is a better eater than my 3 1/2 year old is. She eats turkey, and pulled pork, and all kinds of beans, and just about any fruit or veggie. We also do alot of puffs and gerber yogurt melts because they're non messy finger foods. I've also discovered she likes to hold a whole apple and just chew on it rather than have me cut up apple slices or bite size bits for her. Same with banana - I peel the peel down a bit and just give it to her. She'll eat much more than if I peel it and slice it for her. It's almost funny that she gets characterized as more difficult this way when in reality it's much much easier to feed her this way. Once you get over what you expect him to do and just go with what works, you may also find it's much easier to feed him the way he wants to be fed.

I wish you the best!

Natasha - posted on 12/22/2011

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Thanks Lori! I will give him a spoon and let him feed himself. Just never had the pleasure of feeding him. He is just an independent child so I must get past me feeding him and understand that he wants to do it. I will also get prepared for the mess. Thanks again!!!

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Stacy - posted on 02/01/2012

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i have the oppposite problem. Michael (dob November 16, 2010) won't feed himself. He won't even hold his own bottle and a sippy cup is OUT OF THE QUESTION. I can't figure out how to get him to eat. If i put food on the highchair tray he either overstuffs his mouth or throws it to the dog.



How do i get him to safely feed himself???

Sarah - posted on 01/03/2012

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My 13 month old daughter hasn't let me feed her in about a month... She wants to do it all herself and mealtimes are a HUGE mess and that's pretty annoying but it's not forever so it's all fine for now... She uses both her hands and a spoon, whatever is most useful to her atvthat moment. I can see that the independence is extremely important to her and i'm happy to honor that...sounds like things are better for you guys now, just wanted to chime in about independence.

Sarah - posted on 12/27/2011

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my son was like that for a while so i started doing the choo choo train and airplaine noises with the spoon, it helped for a while. But eventually i had twins and I just let him feed himself.

Natasha - posted on 12/25/2011

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Lori you are absolutely right it is easier for me because I prepare his food, give it to him, and just monitor him a little bit so he doesn’t choke but I am free to do other things. I do enjoy his independence very much.

Lori - posted on 12/22/2011

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My LO (13 months old) also does not want me to put foods in her mouth. She will however gladly feed herself. It's a bit more messy, but I just let her feed herself. I give her a bowl and a spoon and just let her do it. Many foods that I don't consider finger foods, she makes them be finger foods, and things like yogurt, she either uses a spoon herself, or she doesnt eat them. Your 16 month old is plenty able to feed himself the things he needs to eat. Green Beans don't need to be pureed for him, just cooked till they're soft. Then he can use his fingers.

It's actually a very good and healthy thing for babies to learn to feed themselves.

If you want more info - google "baby led feeding" or "baby led weaning" Your LO is obviously past the "weaning" stage and is eating foods, but it gives good info on letting your LO feed themselves.

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