help! my son hardly eats anything!!

Tamara - posted on 05/21/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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my 18 month old is hardly eating anything nutritious. Any ideas on different foods i can try with my son?

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Julie - posted on 05/21/2010

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Remember that he can only eat what is offered, since cannot buy or prepare the food himself.

There are tons of threads on picky eaters with good suggestions for fun/healthy foods.

In general, they will eat when hungry and won't starve.

Good luck.

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Chasity - posted on 05/21/2010

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Make foods/ snacks fun! One example would be "Ants on a log" used to be a favorite with kids that I babysat. Use celery, peanut butter, and raisins. You can also make "Food Faces" Pasta Hair, Cheese (cut into circles) for eyes, and a hot dog "mouth" and of course you can change out the foods....string cheese "hair" cucumber slice "eyes" and Bana slice "eyes"
Who knows you might stumble across new foods that he likes.
Another suggestion would be to get a few inexpensive plates that have his favorite character on them. Lightly cover them and that way he can "find" his character by eating of course!! Healthy drinks (100% juice instead of concentrate and milk) in plastic cups with his favorite character might encourage him to drink more as well!
I wouldn't cut junk food out 100% just simply offer it at the end of the meal. If you feel like he has ate enough of his healthy food through out the day then after dinner you could offer a pudding cup, fresh fruit with cool whip, etc. However, if he hasn't eaten healthy foods through out the day then skip the treat and offer plain fresh fruit.
Finally kids like to feel like they are making their own choices at his age...and to a degree you can let him. Instead of asking him What do you want to eat? (which is a very broad question that allows him to say cookies, or chicken nuggets for the 10th time that week!) Ask him if he wants to have "carrots" or "celery" sticks for snack. At breakfast do you want "toast" or "eggs" this morning. Be ready to be flexible if he picks another healthy option such as "string cheese" for a snack or "bananas" for breakfast then you know you are heading in the right direction!
Finally sometimes a little distraction is the key....when all else fails try reading a story to him while he is eating, or making it into a game.... (mommy eats one bite from her plate every time he eats on bite from his)

Good luck!!

Anndriska - posted on 05/21/2010

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I have a 6mnth old boy weighing at 18lbs and he hardly eats anything, he is still drinking 4 oz feed when I think he should be drinking at least 6-8 oz. I don't know what to do about that be he loves to eat his mash foods and bread. I am not sure why that is so, but he still continues to gain weight every month, strangely. The doctor said don't force him to eat more than he doesn't want to eat, so he always maintain a healthy and moderate appetite and when he gets older he won't be overweight.

Emily - posted on 05/21/2010

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I agree with others... don't offer him junk if you don't want him to eat junk. Just offer him a variety of healthy foods. He won't starve himself. If he's hungry, he'll eat. Also remember their tummies are much smaller than ours.. so sometimes it seems like they're hardly eating anything, but really they are getting enough.

Joann - posted on 05/21/2010

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If he is stll on the bottle, he won't eat as much, so you will have to take the milk away from him during the day. If not, try fun foods tht are god for him such as : dry cherrio's, animal cracker's, fresh banana's cut up, etc. thing's he can feed himself sitting in his chair and set down with him and eat a snack or dinner with him, but also he might be a more of a small meal eater ( smaller meals more time's a day) my daughter is 5yr and is like that. Mainthing is as long as he is healthy.......

Alecia - posted on 05/21/2010

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anything ur 18 mnth old eats should be nutritious. he shouldnt be given the choice of things like fries and junk food. i was never the healthiest eater until i had my daughter. i am working on changing our lives for the better. i am more active, drink more water and eat healthier. as a parent it is our responsibility to set a good example and teach our kids to live active, healthy lives. if we teach them from the very beginning then its all they will know. keep only healthy foods in the house (its not ok to have "adult" food and "kid" food. everyone should eat the same.), and he will start eating it when he realizes its all he has. i promise that he wont let himself starve, but there will undoubtly be fights. u are the parent and need to be strong and put ur foot down.

Alison - posted on 05/21/2010

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Oh God yes i agree. My 20 month old is the pickiest eater. The only thing he would eat was oatmeal and apple sauce and yogurt. Now he eats scrambled eggs and penut butter and jelly but he won't touch veggies or fruit. He does like banana's but they bind him up. Just keep trying because obviously he is getting something in him.

Ebony - posted on 05/21/2010

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Try making food fun for him. I use to go the extra mile of buying food that was shaped like an animal or anything whacky. Then I would shape his food into funny shapes and he would eat it because they weren't green beans, they were SUPER COOL CHINESE FIGHTING STICKS! Lol...don't ask it worked for him! Get whacky with the foods they need and they will want to eat it. Another idea to try is giving him/her a small job in helping prepare his/her own food. Kids are super possessive and once they take the time to work on it, they usually want it. Good Luck

Tara - posted on 05/21/2010

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Your role is not make your son eat, but to provide a variety of healthy, wholesome food through out the day. It is his job to eat when he is hungry. No child has ever starved themselves and in fact when left to choose from a variety of good food, on their own time frame, toddlers will actually consume the correct amount of calories within a balanced diet all on their own. Just as some days you are hungrier than others so will your toddler be. Just keep offering good wholesome food, he'll eat what he needs when he needs it.
:)tara mom of 6 healthy children who were all "picky" eaters at some point in their lives.

Amanda - posted on 05/21/2010

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Children will only eat what is offered to them. If you only offer fruits and veggies that is all they will eat. If you give them a choice of junk food and fruits and veggies of course they will eat the garbage food. My best advice to any mother with a picky eatter, is go through your fridge and cupboards, remove any food that is not healthy from the home, go grocery shopping and only buy FRESH. The first day or two your child will fight with you and prob not eat, but children will not strave themselves, and will give in! You are the parent, so put your foot down, and fix his diet.

Bridget - posted on 05/21/2010

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I have a picky eater also well he used to be... I found it was a texture problem with him not that he didn't like the taste.. "Mushier" food would trigger a gag so I tried mixing crunchier foods with the mushier stuff...ie crunching up crackers with spaghetti, letting him scoop manwhich with crackers instead of buns etc.. He still has problems with rice and things like that but once I realized the problem dinner time is sooo much less of a struggle for us both. Also 100% juices are great substitutes for fruits and veggies.. unfortunatly I still haven't found a solutions for that..lol

Rebecca - posted on 05/21/2010

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I started making red sauce and putting chopped veggies it. Don't worry about the mess as long as it gets in him! Good Luck!

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