I Have a Problem - Decatur,IL

Updated on May 23, 2010
A.B. asks from Decatur, IL
16 answers

I have a son that is 13 months old....all through the first year he was all right with jars that was available but not anything green, such as green beans, peas, and broccoli. But now that he's older he's saying no to anything from a spoon (jars, yogurt, applesause, ect.)and anything with chewing that hes not used to. I do think it has something to do with textures but foods he was once ok with is now not an option anymore. He'll eat crackers or thing he can feed himself but here's a kicker...he don’t like Mac and cheese, spagatii -o's, Gerber trays, any fruit or veg that he would be able to feed himself. I feel like he’s not getting any of his nutrition or a good amount of protein. A good food he will eat is a peanut butter sandwich but him being so young I don’t want to overdo one option...any opinions??

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So What Happened?

Ok so i have been letting him have the spoon that was one problem..he is being very independent to the point even finger foods he has to be in control...well of everything.. but hes still very picky on the chewing thing, i feel that its because (maybe) he has 8 teeth..4 on top and 4 on bottom and maybe teething so once more teeth come in he should be able to chew more.

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answers from Columbus on

I don't think you can over do any one option. It kind of sounds like he does not like the processed stuff and that is a good thing. I would get a slap chop and just cut up what you eat really small, put it on his high chair tray, and let him feed himself.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux Falls on

Once my children were old enogh for solids, I fed them what I eat. Just cut up into the sizes he can feed himself. None of my kids would touch baby food or processed foods!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Indianapolis on

He is young, and you have a great window of opportunity to develop good eating habits now.

Unfortunately, Mac & cheese, Spaghetti-Os and even the Gerber meals are some of the worst things you can give your child because they're all very high in sodium, have very few vitamins or other nutrients.

He'll eat when he's hungry, and if you have several options available to try over time, he'll learn to like them. My kids (2 and almost 4) will eat broccoli just about anytime, and it's on their plates at least 2-3 times/week.

Fresh is usually best, though frozen vegetables can have more nutrients because they're frozen immediately after picking vs. the time it takes to get to the grocery store. Canned is usually awful because of added sodium and sugar to preserve the food.

At 13 months, there's really nothing he can't have other than foods that pose a choking hazard. I'd get things like lunch meat (ham, turkey) and american cheese from the deli and offer those at lunch (neither of my kids liked bread until older). keep fresh fruit around. Apples, bananas, grapes, pears. Babies can gnaw on a slice of apple or pear for a while getting the juices and fiber from the meat of the fruit.

Things like chicken nuggets are usually pretty bad, but Jamie Oliver has a great recipe on Oprah.com.
Try scrambled eggs, string cheese, yogurt.

Just about anything in a diabetic cookbook is going to be relatively healthy - and, almost all recipes are online and free.

Good luck! The earlier you start, the easier it will be!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

He sounds like a strong willed child who wants to take care of himself and do things for himself. Lets hope he will be that determined as a teen and adult. He wants to be a big boy, mom! My kids liked smashed bananas mixed with about a tablespoon of honey. It's really goooood. I know it isn't protein, but kids don't need as much protein as you would think. If he likes the banana w/honey, try mixing a little peanut butter in that. That's all I've got. Good Luck, R.



answers from Wichita on

I would be very careful with the peanut butter. My youngest is now 4.5 y/o & I started giving him PB sandwiches when he was about 14 mo. old & he lvoed them, but he started getting ezema type rashes. He was having an early allergic recation to PB. We stopped all peanut products until he was about 2 - 2.5 y/o & he hasn't had any more recations to PB.
Have you tried tiny pieces of chicken? It sounds like he doesn't like 'slimy' foods. I used to give my oldest a whole plum when he was a year old. Again it is something you would have to watch him carefully with incase he bit off a large piece. You can also try cooked beans (not canned b/c they are 'slimy').
Have you given him the spoon to use himself? My boys eventually didn't want me to 'feed' them anything & would only eat it (yougurt, applesauce, ect.) if they had the spoon.
Good luck & God bless!



answers from Chicago on

something that worked well with our son when he was younger was giving him food that he can dip - refried beans and chips, cheese and chips, nuggets and ranch dressing, pita and hummus, etc. other options that we used are:
soymilk (flavored or unflavored)
grilled cheese sandwiches
cheese cubes
edamame (plain or seasoned with soy sauce & toasted sesame oil)
beans/bean salad
cubes of tofu (plain, marinated in juice, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, etc.)
scrambled eggs
rotini pasta (try to get the whole wheat or the fortified stuff since it has more protein). you can serve it plain, or what we like to do sometime is serve it with marinara to dip in or toss it with butter and parmesan cheese (kids seem to like food when it's a little salty)

hope this helps and good luck!!



answers from Cincinnati on

My son doesn't like any of the "traditional" kid foods, either. One way you might be able to get him to eat vegetables is to steam carrots or yams, which are sweeter. If you steam them, you won't lose the nutrition the way you do if you boil or microwave, and then you can cut them up and turn them into finger foods for your son. Another think you might try is exposing him to other foods, like Indian (without the spices, of course - often packed with vegetables), Chinese or Japanese, or Mexican. My son LOVES the different flavors of these foods, even though he won't touch mac&cheese. If you don't personally like any of these foods, try instead to give him what you're eating for lunch/dinner every day. He is more likely to eat it if he sees you eating it, and my husband and I found that it has helped us to eat healthier (since we don't want to feed him junk food!) Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

My kids have gone through picky eating phases - the doctor said as long as they get their vitamins, it'll be ok. We use the gummy vitamins - a multivitamin, immunity vitamin and omega 3.



answers from Washington DC on

Between 12-18 months is the window for when kids can become picky eaters , if you make him different foods when he has refused to eat one , you will be on a slippery slope to having a child that will not eat alot of foods....believe me I have been there done that!. I would stop with the Gerber trays , jars and sloppy applesauce and give him what you are eating , cut up smaller and cooked a little longer if need be , if he doesn't eat then take it away and offer nothing else , he won't starve and he will soon learn that you mean business , at his age he is still having plenty of milk , so he does have a food source , also watch the amount of juice you give (if you do give juice) as this can also fill them up so they won't eat.



answers from Chicago on

I have a 13 month old daughter who does the same thing with the spoon fed items, and you know what I discovered? She refuses it when I give it to her because she wants to feed it to herself! My pediatrician told me that the time was coming soon where she would only want to feed herself. Turns out, that's what was going on! I set the spoon and food down on her tray and went to get a napkin - when I turned around, she was feeding the food to herself! Now I just drape her in the biggest bib I own and let her go to it. She is not very nimble with the spoon yet, of course! But she is learning it pretty quickly. Maybe your son is trying to tell you he's ready for that independence too. Give him the spoon and let him go at it! It couldn't hurt to try.



answers from Chicago on

I would start him on regular foods. Keep trying. Eventually, he will get used to what you put in front of him. How about freshly cut cooked corn or peas (not gerber but fresh or frozen), cooked baby carrots, fresh banana, kiwi. My son used to love those diced peaches. Cubed cheese. Make a fruit smoothie with orange juice, yogurt and fruit in the blender, dinner can be fish sticks or chicken nuggets, cut. You should wait to feed him peanut butter until he is 2. Hummus dip is good for protein. Drain garbanzo beans, add a little olive oil, garlic and juice of 1 lemon in the blender with a little salt. He can eat it with crackers, pita chips or pita bread.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have three kids my littlest boy is 15 months and he is at the same phase as your he wants to be a big boy...doesnt want anything that i have to help him with. hes just getting better and wants to be a big boy. So we strip the clothes off and put him on the tile floor in his high chair and just let him go at it and do it how he wants with a little baby fork. its messy but after he had tried for a while on his own toward the end of eating he lets me feed him just a little more. For the part where he is being a picky eater hes big enough now to be eating most of what the rest of the family eats. Be glad he doesnt like the spaggetos and mac and cheese and stuff. Those arent foods that are giving him any nutritional value anyways. Offer him what you are eating and lot of different fruits and veggies as well as chicken and turkey cut up and see what he likes. Decided what you are giving him for that meal and that is it. IF he doesnt eat then tell him thats all your getting. Try to get him to try at least a bit of everything, if he still reefuses tell him ok all gone and take the plate away. he will soon learn to eat what he is given. i promise it doesnt take long and he is not going to starve. make sure he at least gets some milk to put something in his tummy. if your really worried make sure at least one mean is something that he likes, like for lunch give him his peanut butter sandwich but try other things for breakfast, dinner and snacks...good luck i hopw this helped. It worked for all three of my kids and now they eat fruit and veggies for snacks and every night with dinner with no problem. Continue offering those things even if he refused them before his taste will keep changing. again good luck



answers from Chicago on

Feed him what you feed the rest of the family, every time. At that age a child should eat breakfast upon waking, a snack after waking from morning nap around 10, lunch around noon, another snack upon waking from afternoon nap around 3, dinner around 5:30 and a small snack before going to bed around 7.

Here is my picky eater plan... try it out and you will be amazed.

There is a great book by William G Wilkoff, MD called Coping with a Picky Eater that every parent or provider of kids should read and have a copy of. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent...

This book has what I call the Picky Eater Plan. I have used this plan with kids that literally threw up at the sight of food and within 2 weeks they were eating normal amounts of everything and trying every food.

First you need to get everyone who deals with the child on board. If you are a provider it's ok to make this the rule at your house and not have the parents follow through but you wont' see as good results as what I described up above.

The plan is to limit the quantities of food you give the kid. When I first start with a child I give them literally ONE bite worth of each food I am serving. The book suggests that every time you feed the kids (breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner) you give all 4 food groups. So, for lunch today I would have given the child one tiny piece of strawberry, one spoonful of applesauce, 3 macaroni noodles with cheese on them, and 2 oz of milk. Only after they ate ALL of what was on their plate would you give them anything else. They can have the same amounts for seconds. If they only want more mac and cheese, they only get 3 noodles then they would have to have more of all the other foods in order to get more than that. If they don't eat, fine. If they don't finish, fine. Don't make a big deal out of it, just make them stay at the table until everyone else is done eating. They don't get more food until they are sat at the next meal and they only get what you serve. When I first do this with a child I don't serve sweets at all. So no animal crackers for snack but rather a carrot for snack. Or one of each of those. I don't make it easy for them to gorge on bad foods in other words. Now if they had a meal where they ate great then I might make the snack be a yummy one cause I know they filled up on good foods.

Even at snacks you have to limit quantities of the good stuff or else they will hold out for snack and just eat those snacky foods. I never give a picky eater the reward of a yummy snack unless they had that great lunch prior to it.

It really is that easy.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

He is getting protein from the peanut butter. It makes a great meat alternative as does tofu. They sell, at least here, fruit flavoured tofu (dessert tofu) which is really good to eat like you would yogurt. It gives the protein (meat alternative) and is better than a bowl of ice cream.
Try pasta too. He can pick that up and eat it. You could even offer tomato sauce as a dip.
He's only 13 months old. I wouldn't worry about the spoon thing. If he wants to eat with his hands let him. That's how kids learn about things. They touch and feel and taste. Eating can be a messy prospect with little kids. As long as you continue to use utensils he'll eventually decide on his own that using a spoon/fork might not be a bad idea.
Hope that helps.


answers from Kansas City on

It's all about presenting him with choices and then letting him be the guide. Since he likes to feed himself, here's what I suggest. Take him to some buffetts and or soup and salad places as often as possible. Pile his plate up with small amounts of as many choices as possible. For soups, drain the broth as much as possible and just take up the veggies. Salads, use a small amount of dressing. At his age, I'm sure he has plenty of teeth and most things are cooked very well. But don't shy away from some meats. Choose some that are well cooked and cut them up small. Let him go to town. Don't put a bunch of bread or crackers or pasta on his plate. He already likes that. These trips out are his way of being shown what a variety of food looks like and allowing him to try a bite or two of whatever he chooses. This is how I turned my children into great eaters.



answers from Chicago on

If he is having a textural problem. Try going to speech therapy. It has been great for my son. We've been doing the Program at Children's on Clark/Deming. I know the speech thing throws you off. They will do an evaluation to see if it's any thing related to swallowing/ chewing. If it's not that then the will work through some techniques on how to have your child try new foods/textures. We were doing it on a weekly basis. Now my son is doing so well we switched to monthly. Basically what happens is you sit down and feed your child with the speech therapist helping you figure out ways to let them try it.

If you don't want to go; Try having your son touch/ play with the food. Then, once he will touch/play with it, try to have them kiss it good bye and put it in a "no bowl". Then once he has done that a couple times have him give a doggy lick and put it in the "No Bowl". Then have him give a chomp and let him spit it out into the "no bowl". Once he has done the chomp thing usually if they like it they'll start to chew it. The other thing is don't force them to eat it; let them do it naturally.

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