18 answers

14-Month Old Only Wants to Eat Fruit

Hello. My 14-month old son has always loved strawberries, watermelon, and bluberries, which is a very good thing! However at dinnertime, he only wants to eat fruit. I always give him thingsI know he's like in the past--chicken, nuggets, potatoes, bread, etc. Lately he just turns his head and points to the refrigerator and says his version of strawberry. He takes the food from his highchair table and throws it on the floor. Last night I just said all the fruit was gone, and he still wound't eat. I tried to offer him his dinner a couple of different times throughout the evening, but he just pushed it away. At 7:00 I finally gave in and let him have some yogurt. I just don't know what to do or how to handle the situation. I think it's ridiculous he won't eat anything for me other than fruit. During the day at his day care, he'll eat just fine. I would appreciate some advice!

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Featured Answers

Jamie,

I have not been in this situation and so I don't know how I would feel doing what I suggest. However, if I were in this situation I think that I would give him fruit for breakfast or whenever you normally do and then no more throughout the day (or whenever you do, only do it at those times, so it's consistant)
Then, when he is hungry at the other times of the day offer his regular food make that the only thing you give him no matter what. If you give in he will know he just has to fuss long enough and you will break and he'll get what he wants.

It will probably take a while and he will go hungry for a portion of the day, but if he is hungry enough then he'll eat what he is given.

That is what I would do with my 18m old daughter who is VERY strong willed. I have had similar situations and this method has worked very well.

Hope that was helpful, just be tough and consistant :-)
B.

Fruit is the healthiest food on earth. If that's all the kid wants then let him have it. He can get just about everything he needs from it, provided he is eating a large variety of fruits. My son has been the same way, especially since it has been so hot outside. Don't worry about it because it will pass, just like everything else does. Hang in there!

More Answers

I'd try telling him you're out of fruit and give credibility to your story by not giving him any for a day or two, so he has a chance to be reminded that he does in fact like other things. Then reintroduce the fruit. I think the idea of keeping it as an after dinner snack in the evening is a good one though. Kids all go through these phases. For the most part, kids will eat what they need, but i have known people who as children were actually hospitalized for nutritional problems, due to their mom giving in and just giving them the hot dogs they were obsessed with for months on end because she didn't want to deal with their tantrums. I've always figured it is better to err on the safe side. Good luck with your little guy!

If he is getting a good breakfast and lunch at daycare, I wouldn't worry too much. Offer him the food and if he doesn't eat it than he's probably not hungry. Toddlers won't starve themselves. Does he get fruit at daycare? If not it may just be his body's way of getting a certain vitamin that he needs. If you have a problem just giving him fruit, go ahead and don't buy it so there isn't any to give him. Good luck.

He'll be fine. He won't starve himself. Just make sure to offer him other things, like you are, he'll eat it eventually. My 19 month old is the same way. In fact, they will both eat fresh fruit, yogurt, raisins, etc. all day if I let them. Relax and know that he will eat what he needs and find comfort in the fact that he's eating healthy things!!

~L.

my daughter was the same way - I mixed fruit with anything to get her to eat it! chicken barley and apple she would eat - whatever it had to have fruit!!

she is 15 a black belt in karate and a fruit HOUND STILL!!!!

Fruit is the healthiest food on earth. If that's all the kid wants then let him have it. He can get just about everything he needs from it, provided he is eating a large variety of fruits. My son has been the same way, especially since it has been so hot outside. Don't worry about it because it will pass, just like everything else does. Hang in there!

Hi Jamie,
I have a 2.5 year old who has never ate well. He only likes carbs (crackers, cereal, oatmeal bars) and bananas. We make sure he drinks one of those pediasure milks per day. It states right on the bottle, "source of complete, balanced nutrition for children 1 - 10 years of age". It contains 100% or more of the recommended dietary allowances for protein, vitamins and minerals. I know for a fact how hard (if not impossible) it is to get a little one to eat something that they do not want. These pediasure drinks work great. He continues to have great check-ups with our pediatrician and he acts and looks healthy. Our son enjoys the drinks. There are several flavors to try, but the chocolate and the strawberry are his favorites. Good luck to you and your little one.
J.

Kids this age need very little food and sometimes go on binges. I'd limit the fruit only because of the sugar. If he's eating at day care, then he'll be fine. The yogurt was a good idea. You might want to give him kiddie vitamins unless you're breastfeeding in which case, it's probably not necessary.

My son is the same way, but I found the more I force him the more he resists. You could try makeing him wait for the fruit untill he has tried a bite. Or put all on tray and let him pick. I found every once in a while he will actually eat all his meal when there is no stress on what I expect of him. And I have finally come to the point that he's not asking for twinkies or doughnuts so apples and bananas are okay and nothing to stress him out over. If your worried about protein like I do sometimes the yogart you mentioned and cheese and milk and somtimes peanut butter are good replacements for the meat. hope this helps.

We had the same problem with our son. He's almost 20 months now and eats everything. I would put whatever we were eating for dinner in front of him and at the end of the meal give him a little fruit as dessert. I worried about him not getting enough to eat but toddlers are crazy little people and only eat when they're hungry. It's typical for them to eat only one good meal a day. He probably isn't hungry because he eats such a great lunch. I would continue to give him regular dinner foods and than a little fruit at the end of the meal. If he's not waking up hungry he's probably just fine.

i wouldn't force him to eat anything if he get's ugry hell eventally eat his food my son is like that with fegitables like greenbeans and peas try offer him some of the and see if he eats them if so make that a meal for him with his fruits.

I am afraid I don't have any great advice but I wanted you to know you are not alone. I have a 17 month and he does the same. LOVES fruit, lately will barely eat anything else. Except maybe pasta. We are battling the food throwing too. People have told me that the best way to handle it is to end the meal once the throwing starts. I haven't gotten the courage to really follow through with that yet, but I may shortly! Good luck!

let him eat the fruit....it's hot out...its summer...even us adults tend to eat lighter in the summer...as long as he's getting a vitamin, and eating all groups during the rest of the day, he's fine...

I'm a mother of 3 and a grandma of 5 so I've been through all that you're going through now. My advice is to take it easy on both of you.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. For now, I'd go ahead and give him what he'll eat. If he'll eat yogurt then he's also getting calcium and protein. He's getting other foods at daycare as well. Given that, he is probably getting a pretty balanced diet. I firmly believe that our bodies sometimes know what they need and that we have to respect that.

I don't think it will hurt him at all to give him fruit and yogurt for a while. Maybe you can find ways to serve him other foods that are fruit flavored -- like cereals with bananas or blueberries on it. Maybe he'll eat bread with peanut butter if it also has fruit jam on it.

We have to pick our battles with our children. You have to decide if this is important enough to be one of those things worth fighting over. In my experience the more I would push, the more resistant the child would become.

I would simply feed him what he will eat and continue to offer him other foods at every meal. You can give him a plate with a chicken nugget, some potatoes, and some fruit. He may eat the fruit from his plate and reject the other foods. If so, ignore it and don't push the other foods. He may eat just the fruit for a couple of weeks but he will eventually eat one of the other foods from his plate. When he does, make it a great big happy deal.

As long as he is healthy and is eating healthy foods I wouldn't worry too much. Of course, if this continues for a couple of months you may want to consult your pediatrician.

Good luck, mom.

Jamie,

I have not been in this situation and so I don't know how I would feel doing what I suggest. However, if I were in this situation I think that I would give him fruit for breakfast or whenever you normally do and then no more throughout the day (or whenever you do, only do it at those times, so it's consistant)
Then, when he is hungry at the other times of the day offer his regular food make that the only thing you give him no matter what. If you give in he will know he just has to fuss long enough and you will break and he'll get what he wants.

It will probably take a while and he will go hungry for a portion of the day, but if he is hungry enough then he'll eat what he is given.

That is what I would do with my 18m old daughter who is VERY strong willed. I have had similar situations and this method has worked very well.

Hope that was helpful, just be tough and consistant :-)
B.

My son is the same way. He is also 14 months old. I keep reminding myself that he will not let himself starve. I can only control what he eats and when. He controls weather he eats and how much. My son LOVES his mandrin oranges. I wait to pull those out after he is all done eating. He does tend to eat a HUGE breakfast and eats lighly at lunch and dinner. I still sometimes worry when he does not eat much but he will eat more eventually and it evens out. Hang in there!

Hi Jamie. Your little guy has learned exactly how to "push your buttons" and loves watching you scramble. This is a battle you can't win without a lot stress for everyone concerned. Give him the fruit. Still try other foods but if he throws them on the floor, without a reaction or comment, simply wipe it up when he's finished eating. The most important part here is to be non-reactive. He will not starve to death and he is eating well at day care. Just be thankful it is fruit and not M&M's! This to shall pass. Denise.

Jamie,
I have 5 children and the youngest is 17 months old. I would just give him the fruit. Don't let it become a battle. The only reason I would withhold fruit from him is if he's eating so much of it he's getting diarrhea. As long as hes eating something good for him I wouldn't worry too much about it. Toddlers seem to get what they need in a crazy way. Mine would go a week and seem like they were eating nothing and all of a sudden they would act like they were starving and eat, eat, eat. A growth spurt would usually follow shortly after that.
As far as throwing the food on the floor, when mine do that I usually start to dole out the food a bite at a time, and you can tell if they're not hungry anymore because they quit eating it and start playing with it. Thats the time to put the food away and wash up baby and take them out of the high chair. Good luck to you.

I read that the best thing to do is offwe something he likes (fruit) with whatever else is being served for breakfast/lunch/dinner. If he only eats the fruit and pushes the rest away, store the leftovers for later. Then, when he says he's hungry again, give him the leftovers. If he doesn't eat it, he goes hungry. Only offer the leftovers one time (throw them out after that). If you stick to it, it will only take a few times of this for him to get the hint that you mean business.

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