Eating Habits of a 1 Yr Old... Massive Loss of Apetite

Updated on January 16, 2010
S.M. asks from San Jose, CA
12 answers

Does anyone know if I should be concerned that my 1 yr old son has recently loss his apetite? Prior to his 1st birthday he had a very healthy appetite and would eat a bottle of Gerber 3x a day. Now, he won't take anything. His pediatrician doesn't believe he is teething and he has no symptoms of any serious illness, aside from his usual asthma attacks. I appreciate any advice or possible similar experiences. Thanks!

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answers from San Francisco on

Have you tried giving him food that you are eating? Kids like mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, mashed anything and at one year old he could eat his food with his hands in little bite size pieces. Does he like little bites of chicken? Many toddlers want to feed them selves at this age.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Every Child goes through food jags or Food Strikes. Don't sweat it!! Both my boys went through this between 1 year and still at 3 years old. I just make sure to offer healthy options and have found every time they WILL get hungry and eat something once again. He may be ready to eat more than bottle feed..just offer lots of choices that are safe and small enough to eat. As long as he is not losing weight over 30-60 days you will most likley see a turn around. Good Luck :)!!!



answers from Boise on


My best advice for you is to follow your own gut instinct.
God gives you that for a reason. You are the best one to determine that something is wrong- trust your gut.

There have been many times when my gut told me something was not right, but I trusted a doctor, or a freind, or my hubby, to steer my logic process. Later I regretted it.
Trust yourself.

Keep a journal of everything he eats, drinks, how long he is sleeping, any actions, happenings, or symptoms that might not seem related (sometimes they are).Journaling is a great way to see a pattern start to emerge that you normally might not notice.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.: While I don't have this much of a problem with my kiddies, I do have picky toddlers. Check out my blog, and hear my rants and raves about feeding my kids (Lisa 33 months and Di Di 19 months).



answers from San Francisco on

I wouldn't worry about it. they usually go through a period when the world is too exiting to stop and eat. as long at his growth curv doesn't dip over the next few doctor's visits he'll be fine. :)



answers from Phoenix on

How long has it been going on? Is his pediatrician concerned? Why does it concern you?

My own child is a *very* light slim petite kid - (31-34 lbs in 2nd grade) We worried and stressed but came to accept that he is a small kid (we were small as children ourselves, so why should we expect him to be big?!)

What we have learned about WHEN to be concerned: If he suddenly starts losing weight, for no explained reason - that's when you get him checked out.

If he's holding steady on his weight, just not interested at the moment in food, he's probably "feeding" more voraciously on experiences and taking in all that his world has to offer.

Another thing to consider is the growth rate of babies. When they are weeks and months old, they grow - A LOT. They double their weight. But around the time they hit a year old/start walking, they slow down. If your year-old kid continued to gain at the rate of an infant - that's trouble!!

So, enjoy his "other" ways of growing and all its ups and downs.

My son would eat a lot and I'd be happy, thinking "finally! he has an appetite! he's eating as he should!" then seem to stop eating (but not really, he just ate "just enough" which was not nearly enough for ME) and I realized he was on a growth spurt. They do eat more for a little while, then stop and then you see that they've grown - either physically or developmentally or both. It's a fascinating process!

So he may be coming off a recent growth spurt to where he's "just not that into" food at the moment but he will eat again. And again. And again. and when you're a teen, you'll wonder why you ever thought his eating just a little bit was a problem! ;-)

and yes, I agree, try different things. Give him tastes off your plate. Also, snacking continuously makes him not hungry enough for a meal. Feed him 5-6 times a day (breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, maybe bedtime snack. All about 2-3 hours apart)



answers from Stockton on

I think every mom goes through this with their toddler. Both of my children were the same way. My daughter is 2-1/2 years old and she doesn't always eat. I discussed my concerns in length with our pediatrician when my son went through this and he assure me that they will not starve themselves and they will eat when they're hungry. That's hard to deal with when they have eaten 3 cheerios and a sip of juice ALL DAY!! I did give my son PediaSure for a while but the doctor said it was a waste of money. That may be something for you to consider. It's a little expensive but full of nutrition. Just a thought....
Good luck and remember......he won't starve! He's just too busy to eat =)



answers from Redding on

Dear S.,
I know how scary it can be when your kid "quits" eating. But, barring any obvious illnesses, this is actually very normal. Fortunately for me, my nephew went through doing the exact same thing before my kids were born and it was always just before a growth spurt. I got to where I could time my kids needing new shoes because they would barely eat and wanted to sleep alot. My mom always told me that babies grow when they sleep.
My son is 14 and still does the same thing. He'll go from eating every last speck of food in the house to "just not being hungry" and I know exactly what's coming. Within 2 weeks, he's another inch taller. I'm 5'8" and he's already passed me up. My 19 year old nephew is 6'3". Their little phases of not eating did not stunt their growth by any means.
Try feeding your child what you eat. He may be more interested in food that tastes like food. At a year old, my kids didn't eat anything Gerber except for the apricots and plums. They loved that.
Continue offering a variety of things, even things off your plate to gain his interest. And if it's just a matter of him not wanting anything, don't worry unless he won't even take liquids or loses a significant amount of weight. Chances are his appetite will come back with a vengeance and you'll have a hard time keeping food in the house when he's a teenager.

Best wishes!



answers from San Francisco on


My son's appetite dropped also at that time. The doc said it is because their body's are changing and they are eating more solids so it stays with them longer and they don't eat as much.

My son's appetite is back to normal, but there are days when he hardly eats anything and days he eats like a horse. It is normal, but if he goes days without eating I would be concerned.



answers from Sacramento on

Try him on regular food, just cut up small so he can handle it. Also, if you are not already doing so, have him sit at the table and eat with the rest of the family at regular mealtimes. I know some people will feed the baby, then have their own meal at a different time, but they are missing a great opportunity for teaching the child good eating habits and table manners. I realize one year may seem young to start, but it really is an excellent time to begin letting a child learn these things. I also realize that it can be inconvenient, and Mom's usually feel like they are not getting to eat their own meals when the small child is at the table, but you can do it, and you'll probably be surprised at how well your son learns even more things than eating habits and manners. Table talk is another bonus and will help him learn language skills and develope and interest in things around him.



answers from Sacramento on

My 1 yr old has just done the same thing. I think he's teething (molars) so he wants to be held and take a bottle. Plus the doctor said his growth spurts will have slowed down now. He doesn't want his usual cereal or soft Gerber baby foods (he has 8 teeth but has a hard time with whatever we are eating although he will eat some of it.). I think he is just slowing down in the growth are and my son is wanting a little more mommy time w/the bottle because of his teething. I think it is all normal and while all babies are different I see this as yet another phase they will quickly grow out of. Then we're onto something else. He eats enough during the day and sleeps through the night. I say as long as they are eating something they should be ok. Hope this helps. At least you have someone else in your same shoes.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.,

I noticed in your request, you mentioned that your son has asthma. I assume you are using medication to treat his asthma. A few of my mom friends have children with asthma. They have removed gluten and sugar from their child's diet and it has improved their asthma. One of my mom friends took her son off of the asthma medication after she changed his diet. In addition, the gluten and sugar trick the brain. It's almost like a drug for the brain, and then the kids don't want to eat anything else. My 5 year old son has a severe peanut allergy, and I removed gluten and sugar from his diet. He eats a lot more food now, and he eats whole foods, not processed foods. If you want to explore this more, I would recommend taking your child to a nutritionist. I took my son to see an excellent nutritionist in Scotts Valley. Her name is Pat Adams and her website is

Lastly, I have 14 month old twins and I haven't given them any gluten, sugar or cow's milk. They have great appetites. They eat lots of fruits, veggies and protein like chicken and egg.

Good luck!

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