20 month old son is an extraordinarily picky eater and too skinny

Melanie - posted on 02/26/2013 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hello! I'm looking for help with my 20 month old son. He's a skinny little dude, weighing only 21 pounds soaking wet. I have tried everything to get him to put some weight on. I have tried encouraging eating more frequently to the point where most of our time together is spent with me asking him if he wants this to eat? or this? I have tried calorie dense foods, but he'll eat most of the "classics" (peanut butter, cheese, full-fat yogurt, etc.) only sporadically and then minimally at best. Smoothies were a great idea that lasted all of about a week. Pediasure? Yeah, forget it. He won't touch the stuff. Meat? Ha, ha! Right. I might be able to get him to eat an all-natural beef hot dog or an egg yolk now and then. Basically he likes toast with butter, bananas, and frozen peas. He is so picky that even ice cream only gets a few licks at best! He is otherwise healthy and energetic. I am quite slim naturally and my husband is a healthy weight, but we both love to eat! We can't figure out why our son doesn't. Any new ideas?

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Randi - posted on 03/09/2013

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I feel like I can relate. My son to is 20months old and for bout a month he would only eat hot dogs and any kinda bread, rice, plan noodles. I struggled with this stressing he wasn't getting what he needed he'd only eat breakfast sausages n eggs to and any kinda crackers. His doctor said it was fine as long as he was getting his milk in and protein. I didn't care that the doctor said it was okay i was still worried. Will one night my mom suggested we try something new. She said that once i made dinner i should let him see me taste it out of the pan than let him to taste it and help make his plate. So we did this and to my amaze it worked. So now i have learned that if i let him help mix and beat the scramble eggs before cooking he will eat them if i let him help make his own taco he will eat that to. If i let him help mix mac n cheese he will eat it. Any way possible if i let him help make his plate he will eat it. I just always make sure the food is cool enough for him to help mix it or taste it or what ever it may be. And it works now he eats all the foods he did before. And its been two weeks with no hot dogs. So i suggest u just let him help make his plate it makes it fun and he will see that and it may make it more enjoyable.

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Randi - posted on 03/09/2013

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Yea my son too. So when my mom suggested it and it worked I was extremely happy.

Melanie - posted on 03/09/2013

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Thanks Randi! That's a great idea! I'll give it a shot as he loves to see what's happening in the kitchen anyway.

Nikki - posted on 03/08/2013

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I am so happy you posted this!!.. my son is 12 months and is also a poor eater. I started him on solids at 6 months from 6 moths till his birthday I didnt give him anything with salt or sugar as per the doctors orders and my beliefs as well. during those 6 months I tried all kinds of variatins and found he hated meat and certain vegatebles so I only fed him what he liked but still would not eat alot of anything including fruit he liked.....he is the saem weight as last months vist has not grown in height either she now has him on pediasure once a day....I was not like that at all as a baby I loved food ate anything and everything bu my husband on the other hand was worse than my son!...Im just hoping it will change sooner rather later bc it is so frustrarting!!!!

Cleaver - posted on 03/02/2013

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my son is super skiny too and well i spoke to his doctor because like you i was concerned he told he hell eat when hes hungry and if i can get him to eat multi vitamines

Melanie - posted on 03/01/2013

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Thank you Ladies for your help. It is hard to let go and know he'll be all right even though I know that's what I need to do. My parents saw a report on the news that said regardless of a child's size they will all level out by the time they hit their early teens. I know my little guy must be doing okay because he has boundless energy and is bright and inquisitive and engaging. I guess I get hung up because I worry if others will think I'm not taking care of him properly. I love that little dude so much!

Carol - posted on 03/01/2013

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Leave him alone. He will eat when he is hungry. Donot give him liquids in a bottle. Talk with Dr. but after 4 kids , 12 grandkids and 5 great grandkids most kidas will continue to take a bottle and not eat food. Watch hot dog he can choke on a small piece. I have had one g.kid who only wanted to eat pickles, she still loves them, but is 23 years old. Normal weight, height, in college and still eats alot of veggies and little meat. She is on the go so she is eating properly for her body.

Susan - posted on 02/27/2013

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Hi Melanie... I have a super picky eater as well. Not so concerned about her weight though. She 21 pounds (almost 19 months). Hasnt put on much weight in ages but is growing and seems healthy so its not a big deal. She wont eat more than 2 bites of ANYTHING. She still on formula, from a bottle and seems unlikely to change it. I havent tried too hard either because i have too many battles to fight and I've chosen not to fight this one. Figure all kids will eat eventually. My mom says I didnt eat any solids pretty much till 4 and barely ate them even after that till about 8. Now im a giant foodie.

Anyway... Im sure you know all that, the only weight gain tip i have for you is to put a tablespoon of table cream or a couple of spoons of half and half into his milk - maybe his last one for the day. Does he have milk? Tried this for my daughter more to get her to sleep at a point when she was waking for night feeds than to help with weight and found she gained a pound quickly in 3-4 weeks and i stopped. (wasnt really helping her sleep)

This was a tip from my cousins daughters paed.

Good luck

Emily - posted on 02/26/2013

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I know exactly what you are going through! My son will be 3 in july and weighs 25 pounds! Finally! When I was little, people thought I was anorexic! My husband was very thin until his 20's. My son is not really picky, he will eat almost anything, but doesn't eat very much of it! He was put on Pediasure and he loves that, but I can't let him live on just that! My husband and I really aren't concerned that he is very slowly gaining weight, however, WIC wanted him to see a speacialist, so we did that. Now they want to do a scope on him. That means putting a tube down his throat to check for blockages/etc. Well he doesn't have a problem chewing or swallowing, just gaining weight...i'm getting too chatty! lol My advice to you, if your son is hungry, he will eat. Don't try to force him, and don't let it be the main topic of conversation! I know it's a big decision, but let him pick what's for dinner one night! Hope this helps!

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