my one year old son is refusing to eat spoon fed food - advice needed please!

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My one year old son is refusing to eat spoon-fed food now. I've tried distracting him and shoveling some in, but he's on to me and can spot that spoon a mile away.

And for finger foods he will only eat cheerios, cheese duck crackers, bread, and oranges. All other foodgroups are completely cancelled and end up on the floor. He's been doing this for over a week now, and I am concerned that he is not getting a healthy balanced diet. He's also eating far less than when he was spoon fed pureed food.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Penny - posted on 03/16/2010

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i take the approach, not to seem too bothered to your child. if they see theyre getting extra attention for this fussiness they will keep doing it. my son has gone through different phases of not eating mashed up, refusing to eat anything etc. but dont get too stressed over it, it has always passed in my case. my nan said something to me that i always think of when i feel im working myself up about him not eating and thats " eating is for moms peace of mind, not the babies health" a child wont starve itself.

Michelle - posted on 03/19/2010

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Two things to remember. One, kids won't starve themselves. They eat when they are hungry. The second thing is all kids go through stages. Your child might not want to eat as much right now, because he just isn't hungry. Just keep trying to feed them small portion sizes. In a month or less he might start eating tons of food. Also, if you are giving snacks maybe cut back on them or don't give him snacks for awhile. One other thing to remember, kids also go through another stage of liking certain foods and then not liking them. Another thought is maybe he wants to try and feed himself.



Don't get discouraged. It's probably just a stage. I have four boys from ages 6 to 2 yrs old and have gone through this and am still going through this issue even with the older ones.



If you are really worried you can always talk to your Pediatrician. Good luck.

Jane - posted on 03/18/2010

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i LOATHE the self-feeding stage! but that's just how it is. they have to go thru it to learn how to feed themselves. he won't starve. they go thru phases and it's messy and you worry about their intake but you can't do anything about it. sorry, i wish there were a magic answer. if you find it, let me know. as long as he's gaining weight and giving you wet diapers and dirty diapers, he's fine. milk goes a long way in keeping them fit and most foods are iron fortified now. a lot of can be teething as well. we don't feel like eating a whole lot when our teeth hurt either. their bellies are a lot smaller than our grandmothers and mothers make us think.
one mom on here said that you can't control how much they eat, but you can control what they eat. so if he's only going to make a mess of your floor, give him what he'll eat and save the worry for when he's 16 and goes on his first date.

Lisa - posted on 03/16/2010

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Hi laura, Try putting on his fave show that works for me and also make it a game, he's also getting milk which helps he won't starve himself when he's hungry enough he'll start eating try not to stress as he can feel that and try not to make too much of a fuss. I know it's hard not too stress or fuss about ur baby not eating but it will get better

Gina - posted on 03/16/2010

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Hi Laura-

Have you tryed mashing up his food really well,almost like it was "baby food"? and let him try to feed himself with the spoon.

Or I found that when my daughter wouldn't eat a certain food it helped to make it a game -"i try it,then you try it" -she would feed me by hand and when she saw how much i enjoyed that food it made her want to eat too.

I hope any of these work for you and good luck,keep trying!

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Katharine - posted on 03/19/2010

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Sounds like your little one is very much being indepentent. I give mine a spoon to hold too while I feed him! And as much of mess it makes...I just let him make it. He loves to try to do it himself. Also, depending on your babies age, the amount of food their body needs changes. So my pedi's advice was quality over quantity. She stated not to be too concerned if they go a few days with out having a large appetite, that it's very normal and common, but to only have heathly choices available to them at feeding time. This advice was for both my 2 1/2 yr old and my baby that is 15months. I also keep reintroducing things i.e. Banana's...My 2yr old stop eating them for a year!!!! Now he begs for them! Hope this helps, but if you are really concerned I always recommend contacting the pediatrician, even if it's just for some peace of mind! Have a great day

Shivaun - posted on 03/19/2010

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finger foods are the way to go, make a up a plate with a variety on, when my son went though this phase i would put fish fingers, hash browns, apple slices, cheese cubes, broccoli and sliced up sausage on one plate an let him go for it, what ever went on the floor was replaced by more of what he was eating. its a great way to get your child to experience a diverse range of food, and a great way for you to figure out new foods your child may end up enjoying. dont give up, and also try making the food look interesting, my son liked when he was a wee boy and still does now at 6 his toast cut into heart and star shapes by using the cookie cutters. good luck

Renee - posted on 03/18/2010

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Perhaps he would enjoy feeding himself. Tyr to give him finger foods or let him make a mess. It helps him develop his hand to mouth coordination.

Cassie - posted on 03/18/2010

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well Laura I have four kids who were all picky eaters at one time, I too had the same concern until someone gave me some good advice, and now all my children eat really well. First quit tring to spoon feed your son. Second offer him the food he eats most in small amounts as snacks. Third offer him foods he tends not to eat at meals, by the end of the week he will probally eat more willingly. never stop offering new foods to him. you can tell if he really dislikes something or is just being picky. If he is hungry enough and he know you wont give in he will eat the new foods.

Trinity - posted on 03/17/2010

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my twin boys dont want anything to do with me feeding them from a spoon. they just turned one feb. 21st. and would much rather feed themselves. good luck :)

Jaime - posted on 03/17/2010

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Like I already read at least once he will eat when he is hungering. Just keep giving him different chooses try it in different ways. Like take yogert put in a small paper cup put some very fine chop fruit in the freeze it when it is haf froze put in a bitter biscet let freeze the rest the way the serve. If at first he don't try it try try and then try again. baby at this age slow down in eating one of mine wouldn't eat any thing but mac and cheese for a month so i know where you are coming from.

Ivy - posted on 03/17/2010

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I could have sworn I posted to this question yesterday. Anyways, by now he is realizing that he can feed himself as you taught him by all the finger food you offered him. He is now at the next step in his life that he wants to be independent when it comes to feeding.

All I can say is what I have done for my daughter to see if this will help you. Try to make all his food finger food. I've cut my daughter meat and veggies into bite size pieces for her. If there is anything mushy like mash potatoes, which she loves, I put it on a spoon and feed it to her in between bites that she picks up herself.

That worked for awhile, now I have graduated to get some food on the spoon, putting in her hand and letting her feed herself with guidance of my hand. The last day or two we have been putting food on her spoon or helping her scoop up some food on the spoon and put in her mouth herself. When your son does it himself with your help, make sure you say good job or good boy so he knows he is doing right. So when it comes to the time when you allow him to feed himself, he will know he is doing it right.

Myra - posted on 03/17/2010

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He may not be as hungry, he could be trying to assert his independence, or he may just be needing something new on his palette. My advice is to try new food...COLORFUL food. My daughter loves berries. She is almost 22 months old, and has been eating them since close to when she was 1 yr. I still have to cut the round berries in half because she doesn't chew round things...just swallows. So a flat edge might be a tip if you try that with yours. My older daughter went through a period of wanting sweets around that age, so I loaded her up with fruit...she still eats lots of fruit since she has only in the last month been given refined sugars. If she eats dinner well, and has been good, she gets one cookie at the end of the day.

Most little ones do go through a period of not eating as much, though. So, he's not abnormal. It's hard not to worry, but do your best not to unless it lasts for more than 2 weeks or so. As long as he's taking 3-4 8oz servings of milk or formula, he should be fine with the decrease of food. If, however, it lasts more than 2-3 weeks, definitely consult with your sons doctor about it.

Nyssa - posted on 03/16/2010

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He'll probably eat better if you let him have his own spoon. I'm starting to give my one year old a spoon, but holding the bowl myself. (Less mess) I make the cereal a little thicker, so it's not as likely to fall right off if he tips the spoon upside down. I still give him bites, too. It is messy when they start to feed themselves the soft stuff, but they need to learn to use a spoon and fork, too. :) Goodluck!

Jennifer - posted on 03/16/2010

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My 16 month old has been doing the exact same thing, and Im pretty sure that it is an independence thing. He wants to hold the spoon himself and if I try to hold it for him he will turn away and say 'no' even when he is hungry. Then I will give him the spoon and he will (messily :)) feed himself. If he wont eat healthy food, talk to your pediatrician about giving him Kid Essentials Nutritional Drink, made by Boost. They are made for children 1 year old and older.

Kim - posted on 03/16/2010

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Well oranges are from the fruit and veggie group, the others are from the breads and cereal group. Is he drinking milk? That woudl cover the dairy group. The only thing is protein and he can get that from the milk too. Try breaking up chicken or other meat into really tiny pieces and see if he will eat that, my kids loved it. Its only been a week he will probably change his diet if you just keep putting some, not a lot of other foods on his plate. Or just tell him after he eats his Cheerios or whatever eat some of this and you can have more of that. My older daughter lived off Yogurt and breast milk for the longest time.

Krystle - posted on 03/16/2010

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My daughter does the same. now i feed her out of my own bowl of food and shes happy to eat or i just give her finger foods which usually get wasted. If your concerned about her getting the nutritional requirements ask your doctor about giving you baby pentivite. Thats what i gave my daughter but i dont bother anymore because shes 18mths old now and seems to be growing fine

Lindsay - posted on 03/16/2010

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My daughter did that when she was 9 months old. It turned out she wanted to eat what we were eating. It lasted about a month and then she continued eating our food and started eating spoon foods again. Just hang in there and give him what he's willing to eat while you wait. I find for introducing something new my daughter (now 17.5 months) needs to see me eat it, then I say Mmm good! and she is usually more than happy to try it.

Rebecca - posted on 03/16/2010

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I would say to quit giving your kid the puree. Find the foods in bite size pieces. He will be much happier when he can feed himself. For the food he doesn't want, my advise is to take a bite yourself. Make lots of yummy sounds when you do. He'll be more likely to try. Don't cave in and give him what he wants. Your son needs to learn to eat what he is given or he can go without. There may be a few rough meals, but he'll be fine.

LaCi - posted on 03/16/2010

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Let him use the spoon himself. Mine refused to let me feed him around 10 months, only because he wanted to be a big boy and do it himself

Taralee - posted on 03/16/2010

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Hi Laura,

I hope my advice will help along with all the great advice these moms have given you!! I just found these neat little tools made by Gerber. They are not really spoons, but are a large handle tool with grooves in the tip made to encourage the child to feed themselves. The pureed/mashed food sticks to the grooves. My little girl thinks this is fabulous! Also a product I bought for her teething, but is actually intended for self feeding is a small mess bag on a large soother like handle. You place different foods (I put frozen fruits) in the bag and they gum and chew on it working the food out the tiny holes in the bag. It may help encourage him to eat....if eating becomes fun. Good luck :) It will pass!!

Gina - posted on 03/16/2010

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your nan is a wise woman Penny! i never thought of it like that. but it makes perfect sense, kids will eat anything when they get hungry enough.

Caitlin - posted on 03/16/2010

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Try changing the food you are giving him. If you can, try having someone else feed him. Sometimes my son would refuse to eat for me but when my husband would try he would eat him. If you are really concered about him not getting enough food try talking to your pediatrician

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