My One and Half Year Old Doesn't Want to Eat.

Updated on November 25, 2011
A.F. asks from APO, AP
7 answers

My oldest son who is one and half doesn't want to eat. My husband tried to give him breakfast this morning and he didn't eat and I tired giving him lunch and he hasn't touched it. What should I do?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone. I didn't know. He has been kind of clingy but he's still his normal hyper self and loves to play. He's drinking ok and his urine and poop are normal. I think he has a sore mouth since he is cutting teeth. I will keep an eye on him. We don't cater to his eating habits. He eats when we eat and has two snack times a day. His temp is fine too. :)

More Answers



answers from Colorado Springs on

It's not unusual for little ones to be up-and-down when it comes to food. You don't want to start any food wars, because you can't win a food war if the mouth isn't your own.

But this is what you must keep in mind: your baby has a good brain. He's sensible. If he is hungry, he WILL eat.

Is his temperature normal? Is his energy level normal? Is his attitude normal? Does he LOOK healthy? Then stay cool about this. He's just not hungry or interested in eating right now. Don't worry in front of him. Provide him with nutritious food at mealtime and snack time, and let him take as little or as much as he desires. He will not starve! (There have been a number of studies done on this, if that helps.)

Right now my youngest grandchild (almost ten months) is eating as if there is no tomorrow. Food is his favorite hobby; now that he has six teeth he finds it more fun than ever. That will not last, and his parents will worry just as you're doing.

You can always talk to your doctor if you're still worried or if you just need more reassurance.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Nothing for now. He'll eat when he's hungry.

There could be lots of reasons for his not eating...
upset tummy
wanting to do something else
just not hungry

You should only be concerned if he isn't drinking, as he may get dehydrated. He has a high fever. He isn't acting like his normal self (low energy level, very clingy).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My kids used to grow in "spurts" - they used to eat a lot for a while & gain weight & then seemed to hardly eat at all and grew in height! Nature is totally amazing. It has been scientifically proven that a baby or toddler who is regularly offered a variety of healthy food will NEVER starve him/herself. They even did a test over a week with 3 year olds where the toddlers were left alone with a variety of finger foods from "good" (carrot sticks etc) to "unhealthy" (chocolate, marshmallows, crisps etc) while they were monitored through one-way glass. Over the period of one week ALL the kids ate as much (if not more) of the "healthy" options as the "unhealthy" ones - without being told to!! Unless your child is losing weight, is listless & tired all the time or is getting dehydrated, don't worry. I promise he knows his needs better than any of us and he'll eat when he's hungry. Also remember that the normal size of our empty stomachs is equal to the size of our fist. Look at your son's little fist ... are you trying to put too much in? Things like undiluted fruit juice actually contain a lot of natural sugar and sometimes toddlers fill up on juice and then don't want to eat anything else. Despite what I (or anyone else says) the best thing to do is trust your own intuition. If you are worried have him checked out. If not, just keep offering food throughout the day but don't try to "force" and / or "bribe" him to eat. Sometimes kids of your son's age are actually testing their boundaries. There isn't much he has control over at his age ... except whether or not to open his mouth for you! As long as you don't make mealtimes a battle of wills he'll outgrow this stage quickly and never have hangups about food! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


It's hard watching your baby not want to eat. There could be several things going on...

At 18 months - he might be cutting teeth and it hurts to chew.
he might have a sore throat and it hurts to swallow...

You can try scrambled eggs - they are soft.
Pediasure has a protein shake you can give him as well. The commissary should carry it by the baby foods.

he will eat when he is hungry.

On a side note - the problem if you feed on demand right now - it can become a habit of "letting" him eat outside the normal family eating times...I've seen this happen to friends who were trying to get their kids to eat...they fed on demand (not breast feeding) and when it came time for lunch or dinner - they wouldn't eat...

Since he's still in diapers - make sure his urine is still light yellow or colorless - if it becomes dark yellow - he is getting dehydrated and pooping on his regular schedule...

It will be okay!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

When my little one did this we gave her Carnation Instant Breakfast in her sippy cup. At least she was getting nutrients and since she was drinking fine, we figured it would put something in her little tummy. She lived on this stuff for a while but she still gained a little weight. You can also use PediSure but it is much more expensive.
FYI-My friend's little boy was extremely sick and the doctors told his parents to give him Carnation Instant Breakfast since he could not eat. This is how we figured out how to get nutrients into my child.

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answers from Appleton on

Does he have a sore throat? Is he cutting teeth?
Those are the only two reasons I can think of where I child may not want to eat. I would offer the Carnation Instant Breakfast and maybe juice. He will get some nutrients that way. If it continues tomorrow (Friday) I would call his doctor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

unless he is showing other signs of being sick, OR your dr. tells you he is losing weight and MUST eat, leave him alone about it. offer healthy choices when you offer him food, so that whatever he does get, you can feel good about. but don't worry about it. he will eat when he's hungry, and this is one thing you cannot force. maybe he's just learning that he has a choice in this matter, and testing the waters. don't beg, coerce, bribe, etc. no offering other (better) choices. i have to respectfully disagree with the other posters. if you offer him carnation instant breakfast (which tastes like chocolate milk or a milkshake) you are basically saying, "oh it's ok for you not to eat what i made you, here's something better." you make what you make for him, then whether to eat or not IS his choice. let him make it.

the one and only time i gave my son something like that (we did the pediasure) was because he was seriously ill and couldn't eat anything, didn't eat solid foods for a week actually. at that point it was physically impossible for him to eat. he wasn't being picky, it wasn't just for a meal or a day, and he had a legitimate reason. luckily my son is a champion eater so he got back on real food without TOO much fuss, but he still wanted those shakes for quite awhile. i strongly feel those should only be used in extreme cases when nothing else works.

if it's juts a case of a 1 1/2 year old learning that he has choices, absolutely not. just chill about it...he will eat when he's hungry.

1 mom found this helpful
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