No Table Foods?

Updated on July 12, 2007
S.W. asks from Austin, TX
6 answers

My 16 month old son refuses to eat table foods. He'll eat crackers and maybe som oat meal (if he's in the mood), cashews and dried fruit. But that's it. He's only in the 10th percentile for weight because of this, and I'm starting to really worry about him. He isn't getting the fats he needs from baby food, but just will not try anything new. It's almost a battle of wills.

I stopped giving him baby food about a week ago, hoping that he would eat food if he got hungry enough. Well, it's just not working. I don't know what to do. Someone tell me!

p.s. I already give him Pediasure every morning. I'm looking for advice on how I can get him to eat table foods.

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answers from Wichita Falls on

I would set up a "grazing table" for him... finger snacks on a short table so that he could eat when the mood strikes..

i.e. grilled chicken fingers (seriously thin - 3inches long and 1/3 - 1/2 inch square... the texture will break apart for him) steamed baby carrots cut into slivers, yogurt, applesauce.

I'd also switch back to infant formula (if you've already gone to milk) - they have formula for babies older than 9 months that helps with vitamins, calories, and stuff.

Also, keep giving him new foods.. or even let him eat off your plate. It takes my sons 20 tries or more to get used to a new texture, and my oldest (4) still will not eat meat unless it's put through a blender first (i.e. spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe, chicken salad). He just doesn't like the texture.

BTW, how is your son's nose? Does he seem to be (or was he for a couple of months or more) a mouth breather? They hate to chew - they're accustomed to having to keep their mouth free to breathe.




answers from Austin on

I wish I knew an easy answer. I think the important thing I have learned with my 3 kids is not to make it into a power struggle. Offer a variety of foods and some of what he likes. I would continue giving baby food since you mentioned that you are conserned about weight. There is no harm in giving baby food. It does insure you child gets the vitamins and nutrients they need. If texture is an issue you might consider adding table food to his baby food. So if he eats green beans try adding some chopped pieces to the food and put some on the table where he can pick them up. If you child likes smoothies and those kinds of drinks there is a brand like ensure that is made for children. I can't think of the name off the top of my head but you can find it at major grocery stores in the baby food area.
I think the main thing to remember is that this is just a stage and don't let this stress you out.

Good Luck!



answers from San Antonio on

I would try and replace his favorites with healthier versions of the same thing. maybe throw in half whole wheat crackers (the multigrain saltines are good) with the regular ones? it sounds like the foods he eats aren't bed for him, so perhaps supplementing his diet with some healthier things will help? we have an ice cream maker that cost less than 50 bucks, and with it we make frozen pudding with sugar free pudding and fat free milk, and it's actually very good. you can make your own frozen treats at home, and get him involved. you take a gallon freezer bag with a zipper and fill it with ice and rock salt. In a smaller freezer zip bag you put cream or milk or yogurt, and fruit or other treats and zip it and put it in the larger bag. then you toss it back and forth, or even put it in a back pack and have him jump for 20 minutes. when you are done, the small bag inside is frozen like ice cream! and it's a single serving which is perfect. you can try dying easter eggs, so that he may enjoy peeling and salting the eggs before eating them. mac and cheese can be made healthy at home, as are english muffin pizzas with low fat cheese and organic sauce. all things that he can help you make to make it fun. another trick i learned was to take a little bit of every meal and put it in a sandwich bag. after a few days, i would heat up all of the leftovers and put a spoonful of each into an ice cube tray and let my daughter feed herself from it. she loved having the variety and using the tray was fun. she also was alot more enthusiastic about eating when i served her food on her play dishes or with her baby spoons. it made eating like playing for her. she also liked to have her own little table in her play tent, and could set her own table and get her own drink. you gotta be creative if you aren't going to be a heavy hand, like many old folks were. good luck!!



answers from Corpus Christi on

My son is pretty thin, too. I can't remember what those little drinks are called, either, but yeah, they are like Ensure Plus but for kids. I get them for my son sometimes. There are also granola bars (some with chocolate) that are made by the same company.

Beyond that, I try giving my son good fats, like avacado, and even some of the "bad" fats, like ice cream. He LOVES ice cream! I tell him that only big boys can have ice cream, and that he has to show what a big boy he is by eating at least _____ bites of his food. I vary the number of bites by how much he likes the food. I try to make sure he eats at least three good sized bites of each meal (before dessert, if there is dessert) and feed him as often as he is hungry, or at least four times a day if not more.

My son is still pretty thin, but so are his father and I. Part of it is probably just how my son is built. Maybe your son is the same.



answers from Killeen on


My daughter is 14 1/2 months and she as well is not a good eater. I can not get her to eat much from the table but I have had great success in feeding her the Gerbers Graduates Lil Entrees. They are like little TV dinners except they are nutrious and have no perservatives. The food is soft, easy to chew and apealing to toddlers. It is a good transition from baby food to table like food if they seem to be taking a little longer to adjust. They have a main dish and a vegetable. My daughter loves them all. You can get them at any store and they are next to the baby food (they are in yellow packages). They also have sides like mac and cheese, ravoli and soups. Great variety and nutrious. I also heard it is a good idea to keep them on formula if you are concerned of their food consumption. It provides the vitamins and calories they are not getting from food. They make Enfamil formula in 9-24 months. Good luck.



answers from Austin on

Have you tried puree the table food so that it looks like baby food? He might be hesitant because it looks different than what he is used to eating. Also to add to what another mom said- going back to formula just add cereal to it so that it's thick and fills him up so he doesn't get hungry so fast.

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