21 answers

Needing Suggestions for My 21 Month Old Daughter Who Does Not Want to Eat.

I have a 21 month old little girl who just barely grazes. She no longer drinks formula. She drinks milk and juice. We can barely get her to drink milk so her pediatrican said that we could add chocolate because she is so small but not to make it a habbit. She loves cheese. She yells for cheese all of the time. I am very concerned because she eats very little. At dinner she may eat 4 little pieces of fruit, cheese of course and maybe a few bites of chicken and noodles. I just don't see how this could possibly be enough for her. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Featured Answers

I have a 10 month old who usually pitches a fit whenever I put him into his high chair to eat and also is not wild about eating very much (although he's not picky, really). I have found that giving him toys to play with while he's sitting there distracts him and calms him down - enough for me to feed him, and he doesn't mind at all then - lets me feed him the whole meal. I am not at all familiar with what 21 month olds are like, but maybe that would work for you. Blessings to you!

when you make her meals (lunch and dinner) melt cheese on her veggies and chicken, we have to do that sometimes. also, take her to the store with you and let her tell you what looks good to her, you know. You may even learn together what she likes. As you know so well, Ha, you must empower a women and help her feel as though she is in charge. In all serious, it may just be a phase, but you can always try.
Hope this helps!

More Answers

S....I had this same problem with my little girl at about this same time. Our peditrician told us that no matter what she wouldn't starve herself. So, what we ended up doing was placing whatever meat we were eating on her plate first, or vegetable and waiting patiently for her to eat that. We made a BIG deal about her finishing that first before we gave her any cheese or fruit and seemed to work. Now our daughter is almost 3 and she always eats her meat and vegetable first on her plate. Might want to give that a try.

T.

My daughter is 2 1/2 and is very small for her age and I have had the same problems, so much so that I have her seeing a Therapist for eating disorders. Just learned that what your daughter eats is perfect for her. Tblsp of meat,veg,dairy and fruit is all that is required. I know it does not seem like much but that is all their little bodies require. I trick my daughter into drinking milk by adding sugar free syurp like straberry and chocolate.

hi I have 3 kids and one of mine eats very little. Your have to remember that kid will never starve themselves and they will eat when they are ready so dont let it stress you. When they are teens you will wish they would stop eating so dont worry just offer her what she likes and she will eat when she gets ready to

I struggle with this, too, but we have to remember that their tummies are tiny. Some resources say 2 tablespoons of food is enough. If your pediatrician isn't concerned, try to wait it out. We have basically told our (just turned last week) 2 yr old, she has to eat something on her plate in order to get what she wants after (e.g., cheese) and that seems to work much of the time. Hope this helps.
J.

I don't know a whole lot about this age, but I remember my sister having problems with her son "grazing" and not eating meals. One day she decided that she had had enough of him constantly begging for food, but not sitting down with them to eat meals, that she just stopped giving him food. Not all together, but she explained to him that he was not going to get food (NONE!) unless he was sitting at the table at scheduled mealtimes. Since his snacking was stopped, he didn't have "just enough food in his belly to make him not hungry" After a while, he would get hungry, and would eat a meal. He put up a fuss for the 1st few days, but she stuck to her guns and he responded positively. It's instinct to eat when you are hungry to survive. Your daughter has just "conditioned" herself to eat little bits all day long. Like I said, I don't really know anything about this, but I know it helped my sister. I hope everything goes well with you and your daughter :)

I know the grazing thing can be very unnerving because you never think the little ones are getting enough to eat. But remember, their stomachs are about the size of their little fists, so a little to us is a lot to them.

I discovered a nutritious snack that my 3 year old and my 15 month old both love - frozen corn and peas. They'll eat them right out of the freezer like candy (they're actually kinda sweet), and at least I know they're getting some veggies in them. It might be worth a try.

Go with the grazing - it's actually a healthier way for kids to eat. Just make sure that when they're snacking, you're offering a variety of foods. And trust your daughter's instincts. She'll eat when she's hungry.

S.,

Really there is no need to worry just yet. When my son was 18 months to around 3 years, all he would it were small amounts of scrambled eggs, and tomatoes. I too was concerned, he would not even drink milk, so I asked the pediatrician. He said as long as his weight did not drop more than 2-4 pounds then he would be just fine. He would eat when he was hungry. The doctor suggested instead of putting him on my schedule of eating to allow him to eat whenever he felt the need. Now that meant putting food out all the time, cheerios, cut up fruit, you name it I tried putting it out. Eventually, and as you can see it took awhile, he started eating and his health was always just fine. My pediatrician said there are some children who just don't fit the regular/normal diet plan and that doesn' t mean there is anything wrong, just that they have really different taste buds and eating times. My son is now 18 and I have to tell you that he is an extremely picky eater, but even to this day if you don't try and force the issue of food, he eats what ever is there to eat.
So don't panic and maybe just try to allow her more opportunities to eat other than when the family sits down for dinner or lunch. Let her eat small amounts all day. Just keep plenty of fluid in her.

I have a 10 month old who usually pitches a fit whenever I put him into his high chair to eat and also is not wild about eating very much (although he's not picky, really). I have found that giving him toys to play with while he's sitting there distracts him and calms him down - enough for me to feed him, and he doesn't mind at all then - lets me feed him the whole meal. I am not at all familiar with what 21 month olds are like, but maybe that would work for you. Blessings to you!

I'll ask you what my mom used to ask me; Does she look like she's starving? If you can say no to that I'm sure she is fine.

Kids will eat when they are hungry. My son's pediatrician said what you have already heard from some of these comments, he will eat when he is ready to eat. In the meantime, give him a flinstones vitamin and stop stressing yourself out over it. They make great liquid vitamin drops for little ones too! At her age, half a flinstone will do. If her stool gets hard, make sure you stay away from added iron in the vitamin. Cheese can bind up the bowels as well, things like grape juice (white or red) raisans, applesauce and prunes can help with that. If she will eat them of course. On the bright side, all that calcium can ensure she will have nice strong bones!

Relax...if she isn't sick and is in her normal growth averages for her age group, you have nothing to worry about.

I'm sure you here it a lot, but I think it's just a "phase".
I have a 23 month old who went through the same thing a few months ago. He was eating so little that I didn't know how
he had any energy to play. A few grapes, a bite here, a bite there. She may be cutting teeth and it may be hurting her to eat. Anyway, my little one is now getting back to eating somewhat normal. Keep in mind too, that their bellies are little and a "portion" to them is a lot less than it is for an adult. I wouldn't worry (although I did too at the time!) :)

Normally kids will eat when they are hungry. But if she is grazing during the day it is very likely that she is just not that hungry when her meal times come around. I would try to limit cheese to maybe one snack a day, so that she will look forward to what appears to be her favorite food, and make breakfast lunch and dinner her main meals, and no eating between except for her cheese snack. She will probably fuss with you at first, but soon she will start eating more regular meals with the family. Good luck.

I have a 23 month old who is a very picky eater and really only eats veggies and french fries...we have also struggled getting her to eat more rounded meals and at one point were advised by her pediatrician to give her a small amount of GNC powder in her milk...almost like a protein shake to ensure she gets enough nutrition. We have since stopped adding this supplement because she is eating larger quantities (still not expanding her palate though). I would suggest you talk to your daughter's pediatrician to see if you should try the same thing.

S.,

I would not worry either. A toddler's stomach is only the size of their fist. That's not much space... Also when children drink juice, it will make fill them up and they also lose their appetite when they drink juice. I would try to stop the juice and put the cheese away. Out of site, out of mind. And when she asked for the cheese, just tell her "we are out, we will have to buy some later".That way it doesn't seem like you are just being mean. She is old enough to understand that. As long as you reasure her that you will buy some later at the store. Another thing, be real careful about how much dairy products she takes in, my daughter was drinking a lot of milk and eating some cheese and it made her become anemic. Too much dairy causing your body to not be able to absorb iron. I had to learn the hard way. Once we changed her diet she was fine and did not have to take iron pills. I hope this helps

Jenny

Hi S.,
My oldest son is 4 years old and was the same way, still is to some extent. Stick with 100% juice drinks like Juicey Juice and Flintstones vitamins. Try to limit the juice before meals so she has room in her tummy though for the meal. If she will not chew the vitamins, get some infant vitamin drops and sneak them into the juice before you give it to her. My son is rarely sick and the doctor was not worried. We just found some things he did like and tried to prepare them as healthy as possible and let him eat those things at every meal. He is still a picky eater but healthy.
Best of Luck,
S.

Hey. I have a 6 yr old son and 3 year old boy/girl twins....I had the same problem with my 2 boys (my girl eats just fine)..ne way, the doc told me it was normal..my son only wanted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like 2 or 3 times a day and she said as long as they're eating something it's fine, it doesn't have to be a whole lot either. She said at that young age, it's very normal to go through stages like that. My sons still do every once in a while go through times when they just aren't hungry or thirsty too much...but, i feel confident that it's just normal. Good luck! Don't worry too much about it, unless of course your pediatrician tells you different...have a great day!
T.

If your daughther likes cheese, you might want to try grilled cheese sandwiches. I have a ten month old son and he LOVES them (he eats at least one a day)! You could try sneaking turkey or ham in there too. I was also having a hard time getting my son to eat fruit and veggies so I started giving him mandarin oranges and he will eat them all day. They are easy to chew and are really sweet. Still having a hard time with veggies though - he refuses to eat baby food anymore.

Have you tried giving her pedia sure??? It has all the essential nutrients in it, it also comesin vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate flavors when mine would not eat she loved it, the Dr. said it is great especially for the kids who don't want to eat!

Hi S.- My name is R. and I have a "grazer" too. She is 4 years old. It is very frustrating and worrisome. However, she is very healthy. I gave her Pediasure (or the store brand)twice a day from the time she was about 18 months until about 3 years. I knew that she was getting all the right nutrients even though she didn't, and still doesn't, eat that much. You could also give her a multi-vitamin. And cheese is good! Maybe there are other dairy products like cottage cheese she will eat and you could put some fruit in with it. I had a very trusted doctor tell me once that kids don't starve themselves. When they get hungry they eat and when they are not hungry they don't. It's that simple. I hope this helps.

Hey! I have a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a two year old and a 5 month old. At some point in time I have had the same problem with my older three. The doctor has always said that they will always eat the amount they need to eat even though it may not seem like alot. My 2 year old is going through the cheese phase too. Any time the fridge is opened she comes running saying she wants a cheese stick. She'll eat grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese and just about anything as long as I put cheese on it. You might want to try putting a little cheese on veggies. It might work.

Have you tried Pedisure? That is flavored and full of the nutrients she needs. Kids will eat what they need. Like us, when we were pg, we ate what we craved and that is what most likely, our body was lacking. If she eats cheese, as long as she doesn't get constipated, it is good for her! Let her eat it! Try grilled cheese, putting a little bit of cheese sauce of vegies, then gradually wean the cheese away. But I would try the Pedisure! Good luck!

when you make her meals (lunch and dinner) melt cheese on her veggies and chicken, we have to do that sometimes. also, take her to the store with you and let her tell you what looks good to her, you know. You may even learn together what she likes. As you know so well, Ha, you must empower a women and help her feel as though she is in charge. In all serious, it may just be a phase, but you can always try.
Hope this helps!

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