18 answers

Help! My 1 Year Old Won't Eat Veggies or Meat!

HI moms! I am need of help on what I should do (or think) about my 12 month old daughter's eating habits. I am concerned she is not getting a balanced diet. She basically won't eat any veggies or meats. I always offer them to her for lunch/dinner but all she does is play with them or throw them on the floor (which is starting to wear on me). I always offer them to her first and after the playing and then screaming I give her bread or yogurt or fruit so that she gets something to eat. She would eat fruit every meal if she could. She does drink all her milk (16 oz a day) and occasionally eats cheese so I know she is good on getting calcium. Is this just a phase or should I be concerned about this? Her Dr said she "should" be eating veggies and meats....sigh. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank ya'll!

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My 11 month old would eat meat or veggies for about 2 seconds then she would start to play with them. After that i would either mix her veggies or fruit with her cereal or even fruit. It always does the trick and she can never tell the difference.

1 mom found this helpful

I doubt I have any advice for you, because my (almost) three yr. old daughter is the same way & always has been. She LOVES her milk & always eats her fruit. Sometimes eats her bread, rarely eats her meat, but never eats her veggies.

I just keep doing the same thing my doctor told me - serve her the same food you eat & if she doesn't eat it, she doesn't get anything to supplement it (like making a PB&J sandwich).

Sorry if this doesn't help - just wanted you to know mine does it too & she's pretty healthy (so says her dr.) and happy (so says me).

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Very normal. Kids go through food phases. Continue to offer her a variety of food like you are doing; one day she will eat. She is exploring her taste buds right now. I remember my husband was so concerned with my first daughter b/c she never ate any meat; pretty much lived on green beans and fruit. I was so concerned about her iron intake. I gave her lots of cereal with iron in the morning and gave her vitamin with iron. However, I kept offering her the meat and one day she ate it. Hang in there and continue to offer her the meat and veggies; one day she will surprise you. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I doubt I have any advice for you, because my (almost) three yr. old daughter is the same way & always has been. She LOVES her milk & always eats her fruit. Sometimes eats her bread, rarely eats her meat, but never eats her veggies.

I just keep doing the same thing my doctor told me - serve her the same food you eat & if she doesn't eat it, she doesn't get anything to supplement it (like making a PB&J sandwich).

Sorry if this doesn't help - just wanted you to know mine does it too & she's pretty healthy (so says her dr.) and happy (so says me).

1 mom found this helpful

Try blending some spinach in water, add a banana and ask her to taste the green banana.

1 mom found this helpful

Fruits and vegetables are one food group, so as long as she is eating lots of fruit, I don't see what the problem would be. My children hardly ever touch meat, except turket bacon, but there are lots of vegetarians out there who are very healthy, so as long as she is getting a protein substuitute it shouldn't matter if she eats meat. I would do my best to make meals a happy time instead of stressing about her diet so much. You want her to have a healthy attitude towards food and having a stuggle at every meal will not accomplish that. Both my children are super picky and we've done everything we can to have them be healthy eaters, but we can't force them to eat what they don't want. They are, also, very healthy children who enjoy mealtimes. Just keep offering her new foods and choices at meals and
put something on her plate you know she likes that is good for her and let her eat what she wants. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I too have had this problem with my son since he was about 12 months (he is now 22 months). I used to get completely stressed about meal times until my doctor told me not to worry. He said eating is one of the few things can control. He suggested tha I continue to offer a balanced meal which I do. I've heard of several mothers "hiding" foods in other foods, i.e. hiding brocoli in turkey burger, veggies in a smoothie. etc. Unforunately it hasn't worked for us. You might also want to try beans as a source of protein (my son doesn't care for beans either, lol).

Do know that it is normal for toddlers to be picky eaters and your not the only one stressed/concerned about it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My 11 month old would eat meat or veggies for about 2 seconds then she would start to play with them. After that i would either mix her veggies or fruit with her cereal or even fruit. It always does the trick and she can never tell the difference.

1 mom found this helpful

None of my kids (I have 3) would eat meat until they were about 2 1/2 or 3. They were also very similar to your daughter about veggies, and still don't really like cooked vegetables. They do now love raw veggies, so as soon as your little one can safely eat raw vegetables (especially with dip) you may find you have a vegetable eater after all. My youngest (almost 3) likes to sip tomato soup and V8 butternut squash soup out of a cup with a straw,and also likes Spaghettios and spaghetti, which both have a lot of Vitamin A from the tomatoes in the spaghetti sauce. If she likes spaghetti, you could try shredding some zucchini or carrot into the sauce or adding additional vegetables to the sauce and blending. This works well for pizza sauce too. Good luck and don't worry. It's just a phase.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't give her other foods if she doesn't eat what you offer. Since the day my kids started solid foods I give then only what I've planned for that meal and don't offer them options. Now both will eat just about anything. (the are 2) No matter how young kids will not starve themselves, they will learn to eat what you give them if nothing else if offered. Some times this harder than others but worth it in the long run.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a few ideas for you because my son is just like that. He really doesn't like to eat veggies or meat.
1. give her something to dip the meat in. My son will usually eat a few bites of chicken or whatever meat we have if I give him ketchup to dip it in. You can also offer pureed sweet potatoes for a dip or anything like that.
2. sweet potato fries. I cut the sweet potatoes into strips like fries, put some olive oil on a pan and bake them like french fries. my son will eat that!
3. there are bags of basically baby food you can get, I've only seen them at babies r us/toys r us. They are organic bagged baby food that you twist the top off and they can suck the food out of the tube. My son likes these too. There are several flavors, but they almost all have some veggie in them
4. Manna Bears. They are sold by Mannatech and there is a store front Coppell. Let me know if you want more info on this, but they are like gummy bears and if a kid eats 4 of them in a day, it's the complete servings of fruits and veggies for that day. You should still offer meat and veggies, but at least this way they get the nutrients. I split my sons into 3 so they aren't so big for him.

Good luck! I've had some luck rolling ham into a tube and letting my son hold it and he'll eat the meat that way sometimes. And, don't forget about beans and eggs as sources of protein. My son will eat scrambled eggs (after a while of offereing it, he finally ate them) and he'll eat bean quesidillas.

1 mom found this helpful

My 18mos old son won't eat veggies or meat either! Have you tried tofu? You can find it in most grocery stores nowadays in the veggie fridge section (around the bagged salad area). I boil tofu in veg or chicken broth and other seasonings and my son likes it a lot. Tofu provides a good amount of protein too. My son doesn't care for beans but you could try lentils, black beans, or maybe even hummus. Eggs are also a good source of protein! My son likes it boiled or scrambled.

As far as veggies go, I am still having a hard time with it. I plan to try to make mac and cheese with some pureed butternut squash or cauliflower. You can find different recipes like this online. I just got a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious and it has many good recipes where can sneak in servings of veggies!

Hope this helps! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I have an 8-year-old that stopped eating meat at nine months and never ate veggies. She is perfectly healthy...although Grandma was a big worrier on this issue! She eats nuts (all kinds), a small amount of peanut better, yogurt each day, milk, some cheese, pasta (sometimes with a little sauce), pizza (cheese, of course), and lots and lots of fruits. She doesn't drink sodas or eat fries and chips. So she is a healthy eater, just a picky eater. I focus on the healthy foods that she eats. And again, she is tall, slim, and not constantly sick. So don't over worry and don't make mealtimes a battle. Just offer healthy choices and enjoy your time together.

1 mom found this helpful

You have to stop giving in. She plays with her good food because she is not hungry and because she knows she can get other things she likes. I know you hate to hear her fuss but it really won't hurt her. Don't start letting her guilt you into doing her will because you know whats best and we are all behind you. This is just one of the things you will have to be tough about but it is ok, she won't be hurt by eating veggies and meat. There are much tougher situtations ahead and you need to believe you are being the good mom by letting her fuss and finding ways to raise her that are going to benefit her and her family. Take courage!

1 mom found this helpful

M.,
I have a beautiful, near-40 year old red-haired daughter who was a vegetarian from babyhood. I nursed her for a year and a half, but gradually began to offer table food from about 6 or 8 months onward, standard American menu at that point, and from 6-months old, she would spit out scrambled egg, and never would accept meat nor any meat taste. When she was finally old enough to verbalize her thoughts about it, she said it was a texture thing. She did not like meat, eggs, nor milk after weaning. That was unlike any of her siblings who followed. She has remained a vegetarian for all of her life, (but she does eat vegetables, and always did.) Likes cheese too. She is very healthy, strong bones, good immune system... so I guess that dietary approach works for her; maybe it was in her genes, to be a carb nutritional-type. Maybe your daughter is too.
Look into www.mercola.com, and search Nutritional-Typing in his archives, and see what all he has to say about it. According to him, in the human species, there are three main nutritional types, a protein-primarily type, a carb type, and a kind of in-between that eats a bit of each. I'm clearly a protein type, but love vegetables. You might look at what you and your husband test out to be just to become familiar with the concepts, and then consider how that might impact her. Just a thought, worth checking out.
You also might look into juicing and making smoothies. If she turns out to like fruit smoothies, you can add greens and other vegetables into smoothies, where the fruity tastes overpower the veggie-taste, the blender pulverizes the veggies into tiny bits that are barely discernable, and see if she will accept them instead. As well, you may be able to get some whey protein powder and gradually add it into the smoothies, a little bit at a time, where they are barely there, and increasingly there...as a way to get more protein into her while her bones are still growing.

1 mom found this helpful

12 months is hard. The more you try to force things on them, the more they will reject it. For meat, you can substitute beans, mini pepperonis, scrambled eggs, etc... As for the veggies, try some of the sweeter veggies: sweet potatoes, nibblets sweet corn, carrots cut julienne, young sweet peas.

Since she is drinking her milk and eating cheese, she is getting protein and the fruit has some of the same nutrients as the vegetables. If too concerned, you can try giving her the protein drinks for kids (we like Boost Essentials) or add a multivitamin to her diet.

Patience is key at this age.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

I've got a great DVD to share with you by Dr. William Sears, Pediatrician and author of about 30 books on all things pediatric. It tells about 9 Simple Steps to Healthier Family Nutrition. Send me a message with your mailing address and phone number and I will send it out to you. You might also find some answers on his website, www.askdrsears.com.

Blessings,

M.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is 13 months and is in the same boat. She loved jarred sweet potatoes, beans, anything veggie as a baby. Once she started with finger foods, the fruit was so easy to give her as I can dice it up small and know she won't choke because it's soft. She won't touch a green bean or corn. I believe this is because of the texture. The fruits are slippery and will dissolve in her mouth. A green bean or corn kernel have that "covering". She won't eat meat, either. I love the Yo Baby meals. They come in 3 flavors, and are yogurt mixed with fruit AND veggies. For instance, one flavor is called green beans and pear. I know it sounds gross, but you mix up the veggie from the bottom and you can't taste it at all. I even started adding some extra baby food to it....although my daughter is quickly figuring that out....changes the flavor a bit TOO much. Granted, this isn't getting your child accustomed to eating the veggies by flavor alone or texture, but they ARE getting those nutrients if that is your main concern. They are $1.00 each but there are coupons inside each lid for buy 2, get 1 free. My daughter can easily eat an entire container -and they are full YOGURT size containers! :) My son was very picky and lived on french fries and rice when he was little. I can't get my daughter to even TRY the rice. He's still an extremely picky eater but doesn't really eat fries anymore. Guess we O.D'd him on those!? :) Good luck! I feel your pain. My dr says try a food 20x before you give up. Crazy, I know but one day they may try it and like it!

1 mom found this helpful

It may not be the taste at all but the texture of it. I had severe texture issues as a child and wouldn't eat anything. I recommend changing the texture of the vegetables ie finely cut up cooked broccoli and add some melted cheese. You can also puree many different vegetables and add them to about anything. There are plenty of veggies that won't alter the taste too much. Meat is still an issue for myslef so maybe try altering the texture (not sure what she is trying to eat). If meat still isn't working try substituting foods high in protein ie. for my child she LOVES Bush's baked beans but won't eat them if they are whole beans I have to mash them. They are sweet and tasty to her. If she doesn't liked them mashed, try them whole as finger foods etc. But keep trying! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the Mom's that say to just keep offering. Some kids are just pickier than others. Keep trying different things. In the meantime offer a good multi-vitamin to ease your mind a bit. I think I have the perfect product for you. It is a powder you can add to her food or juice.

http://www.shaklee.net/healinghappens/product/20057

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