19 answers

16 Month Old Picky Eater

Hello,
I am a little frustrated with my little guy. He has got to be the world's worst eater. He was started on pretty much everything very early on so he has already been introduced. He is a yogurt lover which is about the only thing I can get him to eat on a regular basis. Occasionally I can get him to eat applesauce and canned peaches. Once in awhile I can get him to eat some meat at dinner. I offer him a variety of foods. He turns his head and or pushes the spoon away. If I do manage to get a bite in I am lucky that it didn't get spit out. I found that if I keep his hands busy with toys while eating I have better luck. He does not like much fruit or veggies. This is very hard for me. My other children (I changed nothing this time) love every fruit and veggie available. We only cook fresh veggies and fresh fruit. He does not like sandwiches. He will eat snacks and I only provide these occasionally and after I have tried and tried to get him to eat. This is so I know at least he has something in his tummy. I also have started buying the V-8 Fusion with 100% juice and it provides a full serving of fruits and veggies in 1 8 oz cup. I know he will get the necessary vitamins this way. He only gets 3 bottles of milk a day and they are usuallly only 6 oz and 1 cup of diluted juice. Any mom's out there with a very picky eater and what helped????????

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Well working with children 0-3. What I suggest is to bring things to the table such as fruits/veggies. and just put it on the table first and talk about it. The color the size, the smell. etc. Then do this time after time and then you start with letting him/her touch it even play with it!!! I know as moms we do not love this, but it lets them be in controll in a different way. Then eventually give him/her a tast of what it is. My son is a picky eater and he never was as a little guy, but then they hit that 1 1/2 -3 mark....and boy do they know what they want or not want.!! :0) But I do the same thing you do by buying the v-8 fussion and also give him gummie vitamins and we have no problems. I'v talked to his pediatrician and they do not have concerns...just as long as he is getting his daily vitamins some how. Don't worry just keep trying.

With my daughter she has always been very picky. At first we were giving in to what she wanted. She would have totally different dinners when the family sat down to eat. Then we thought this is ridiculous. So I just started making her a plate of what we were having. So now she either plays with her food and will try things here and there or she just try it and like it and eat it. If she doesn't eat that is her dinner. If she does eat we try not to make a big deal out of it. I think it would drive her away from it. So she has been doing a lot better with trying things.

More Answers

It could be he's getting too much milk from a bottle so he's not hungary. If you go to http://www.dietsite.com/dt/Diets/InfantsChildren/ToddlerD... and click on the individual servings, it will tell you what a serving is for each. If he's getting three 8 oz. bottles of milk a day when at his age he should only be getting at most 16 oz., it could be filling him up. Then if he's getting yogurt on top of that, his dairy intake is very high.

Also he should be feeding himself by 16 months. If he's not wanting to touch the food, then I would be concerned he may have sensory issues. Something you may want to talk with your pediatrician about. You can also contact your county health department and they will send out a public health nurse for free that will tell you about other things that can help him.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi T.:
it could be a phase - one thing I remember from Ellyn Satter's book "Child of Mine, feeding with love and good sense" is that it's VERY common for toddlers, even ones who were eating everything you put in front of them a month ago, to go through a phase where they keep refusing even foods they were wolfing down a few weeks ago - it's a developmental phase where they're beginning to assert their independence. Her advice is to keep offering a variety of things and know that you might have to offer something ten times before your toddler will even let you leave the item on his plate and maybe another ten times before he takes a bite. The one thing she advises that parents avoid is only serving the foods they know their child will eat, b/c eventually the child gets tired of those things and the parents feel even more panicky b/c they don't know what else to feed their child and the child can often sense the anxiety and may feel even less inclined to try something new.

So my suggestion is to keep offering healthy choices to your son - it might be that his personality/temperament will mean it takes him a bit longer than it took his siblings to come around to eating a bigger variety of things. Personally speaking I can say this happened in our household - i have 6YO twin girls: one of them never met a fruit or vegetable she didn't like and has always been more willing to try new foods than her sister was. The other one seemed to subsist mainly on yogurt, milk, and rice cakes but over the past few years she's come to tolerate and even enjoy a lot more variety of foods.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear T.,
Picky eaters can be the WORST!!!!!!!!
I, fortunately, never had to deal with that when it came to my own children, but I have had my share of being told at birthday parties or whatever that this child will only eat this or I can't serve that. NO WAY!
First of all, relax. Because he may not be acting picky. Maybe he just isn't hungry. They go through phases like that. Trust me. My kids will eat anything on the planet, but believe me, they went through spells where they wouldn't eat anything. I came to learn it signalled a growth spurt.
For one thing, a child will never let themselves starve, so you don't have to worry about that. They will eat anything they can get their hands on if they are truly hungry. The other thing is....NEVER substitute snacks or make anything other than what the rest of the family is eating. If the child won't eat, you can try again at breakfast.
Honey, you think he's being picky now? If you cave and cater, you're going to have a 13 year old that will freak out if ketchup accidentally touched his tater tot or you will be driving numerous circles through the Burger King drive through if there is a drop of mustard on anything which makes the food completely inedible.
Do not set yourself up for that. One of my very best friends, who happens to be a teacher, of all things, tear herself away from the dinner table to drive and go get the kid chicken nuggets or something because he doesn't "want" spaghetti or the steaks or the salad or the pizza because he wasn't in the "mood" for pepperoni that night. Girlfriend, you do NOT want to go there. Offer your kid what everyone else is having or what you would usually serve him and if he won't eat it, save it for the next day. He could be teething. It could be anything. He will not be a truly "picky" eater unless you let him become one. If a kid is truly hungry, they'll eat dirt on bread.
Don't try to force him to eat, but don't cave.
He will be all the better for it. And so will you. Trust me.

Blessings!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried mac n cheese? My daughter loves it and you can hide just about anything in there if you puree it... chicken, pork, beef, any vegetable. I can use broccoli, brussel sprouts, colliflower, anything!! Just add mac n cheese and dont put too much puree'd food in there at first. Slowly add it. They will eventually get used to the flavors. Good luck! Hopefully it's just a phase. ;o)
Also, she used to eat sandwiches, but stopped eating the bread. But, she will eat it toasted. So for breakfast I give her toast and eggs - she preferred the over medium to the scrambled. Or you can try grilled cheese too. For lunch she will eat the meat and cheese, just not the bread so I give her wheat thins, or any whole grain type cracker so she still gets her grains.

I have picky eaters (two out of my five. Don't give in, it makes more work for you and feeds into the problem. I have just this year stopped short order cooking for my kids. They eat what I fix (I fix very kid friendly food) or go hungry. What I have noticed is that they wake up hungry, eat a good breakfast (which is a better start to the day) and usually try to eat something at dinner. I don't allow food after dinner unless we have dessert planned (usually Friday) and they don't get that unless they've tried dinner.
Don't feel you have to pander to him. When he gets hungry he will eat. I read somewhere recently that toddlers take in most of the calories before five o'clock. So mabye make lunch time his bigger meal and don't worry if he doesn't eat dinner. He will be fine. He'll give you a run for your money when you stop feeding him carbo snacks, but I totally agree with the other moms about limiting his snacks. I have had to drastically reduce my toddlers snacks. I also have changed what I offer. If they won't take the fruit or veggies offered than they're really not hungry. It met with a lot of complaints at first but my kids have accepted it now. They cry, whine or complain and when I don't give in they either take the fruit or go find something else to do besides eat.
Stay firm and don't let it get under your skin. It does get better.

With my daughter she has always been very picky. At first we were giving in to what she wanted. She would have totally different dinners when the family sat down to eat. Then we thought this is ridiculous. So I just started making her a plate of what we were having. So now she either plays with her food and will try things here and there or she just try it and like it and eat it. If she doesn't eat that is her dinner. If she does eat we try not to make a big deal out of it. I think it would drive her away from it. So she has been doing a lot better with trying things.

This is worse for you than it is for him. Every mom is scared that her child is going to starve. They won't. Even if he eats a little of this and a little of that, you can supplement with vitamins til he eats more varied foods. Also make sure he's hungry so he's more apt to eat than if he's been grazing all day.

Well working with children 0-3. What I suggest is to bring things to the table such as fruits/veggies. and just put it on the table first and talk about it. The color the size, the smell. etc. Then do this time after time and then you start with letting him/her touch it even play with it!!! I know as moms we do not love this, but it lets them be in controll in a different way. Then eventually give him/her a tast of what it is. My son is a picky eater and he never was as a little guy, but then they hit that 1 1/2 -3 mark....and boy do they know what they want or not want.!! :0) But I do the same thing you do by buying the v-8 fussion and also give him gummie vitamins and we have no problems. I'v talked to his pediatrician and they do not have concerns...just as long as he is getting his daily vitamins some how. Don't worry just keep trying.

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