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Thread: Not interested in "real" food

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Not interested in "real" food

    So, my son is 14 months old and I am REALLY frustrated. He just doesn't like food. Some days he'll eat a bit but most days it's a battle to get him to eat. He's picky in that he likes carbs and cracker type textures but he will and has eaten other textures.

    I offer him 3 meals a day in his chair plus snacks on the go. He nurses 5-6 times in a 24 hours period (more if he's up at night) and I've tried cutting back but that does nothing.

    At what point do I become concerned? I have several friends with kids his age and they all eat actual food (some are still nursing as well). I was hoping to wean sometime between 18 months and 2 years but I am having a lot of anxiety about the fact that he will never eat. My husband and I are not picky eaters at all. Farthest thing from it, so I'm at a loss.

    Has anyone been through this? Did your kid eventually eat? How did you handle it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Not interested in "real" food

    I always made sure that my child had at least 3-5 choices on all of his plates and that none of his choices were garbage. If all there are only healthy choices, the only choice there is, is healthy food. And even if he rejected more than half of it he was still eating all healthy whole foods.
    And at that age the portions would be very small so that I wasn't frustrated or wasting food if he didn't eat so there was no real pressure. Like on an cup and saucer plate or a kid plate with the 3sectionals on it. Also since it was all real food and not a ton of hot stuff after breakfast and lunch if he didn't finish I would move his plate from the high chair to the coffee table so that he was free to graze until the next meal. The less pressure around food the better.
    So an example of a day at that age would Be:
    Breakfast: Apple Slices, Blueberries, Rice Cakes.
    Lunch: Pinto Beans and brown rice, string cheese, Strawberries and sugar snap peas.
    Dinner is whatever we are having but broken out into solids. But we try to eat mostly just meat and veggies for dinner any way.
    So strips of steak and broccoli.
    But if I was having chicken tacos say I would put shredded Chicken on his plate, and refried beans and Cheese and lettuce and we'd break up his taco shell and let him dip it.
    Or if having spaghetti he'd get whole wheat pasta separate from ground turkey and we'd give him baby carrots for a veggie since he didn't like tomato sauce at that age. If all there is, is healthy choices, if that is all there is too choose, than even a Picky eater picks great stuff. And our job is not to worry about how much they eat, it's to control WHAT they eat. We provide quality, they choose quantity. HTH!

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Not interested in "real" food

    Thank you. I appreciate the advice and I do subscribe to theory of no pressure around food but it doesn't seem to be helping at all. No matter what I offer him, my child literally only wants milk. Once in a while he'll take a bite of avocado or a piece of watermelon but in general he really dislikes eating.Like I said, he used to bein to carbs but he'll barely even eat pancakes or waffles anymore. It's wearing on me to continue to be his sole form of nutrition and I'm really at a loss.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Not interested in "real" food

    My youngest also did not take to solids until after 14 months or so. And even then he was picky about textures for a long time after, and when I say "picky", I mean he would gag and spit the food out or actually gag and vomit. And he never lighted on a particular long term favorite, he would like one thing for a few days and then never want to see it again.

    I was terribly worried, but what worked for us was to give him what he wanted/was willing to eat even if it was the same thing every meal for days, and to not stress if he did not eat much. But in my case I was happy to nurse him as much as he wanted, and that makes a big difference in being able to relax about this!

    He was healthy in all other respects and our pediatrician who is very breastfeeding knowledgeable and supportive had no concerns. Sammy had had a slight low iron count at about 9 months but that righted itself in a couple of months. And yes he outgrew all of this and in time began to eat VERY voraciously, but remains to this day (age 6) not a huge fan of variety.

    I imagine you have tried every method imaginable to make food interesting and fun, offered things that are fun but you can pack with nutrition like smoothies, let your child eat when he wanted rather than worrying about meal times, offered lots of variety, etc. So my only suggestion if this is really worrying you is to see a specialist who can examine your child for any physical barriers to eating solid food.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shakedown St.

    Default Re: Not interested in "real" food

    with PPs. My son only started eating solids reliably around 15 months and really wasn't 100% on board until around 18 months.

    I totally agree with having lots of healthy options. My son has 3-5 different types of fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal. He doesn't always want them all, but lately he often will. Also, tastes can change. Mine never liked fruit much, but loves lots of different fruits now. I just had to keep offering and eat it myself when he wouldn't.

    Some things that help my son eat a little more are: me eating food with him off his tray, letting him eat food off my plate (him sitting on my lap or standing next to my chair), and letting him play and zoom by for bites of food. We always sit down for dinner as a family, and I let him have an easily washed toy with his food if he really doesn't want to eat. Then if he hasn't eaten well I sometimes take a plate into the living room while he plays after I've cleaned up and we've had our evening walk. Sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn't. Even at 20 months, he still has days where he nurses a lot and only eats a little, but he's definitely doing quite well with solids now in general.

    My son doesn't like to eat much when he's teething (most of my nieces and nephews were the same); so if there has been a lot of teething, that could explain a reluctance to eat. What you have described does not sound outside the realm of normal, but you can try to see a speech therapist if you really think there is some kind of oral aversion to eating. My nephew sees a speech therapist for precisely that, but he also has always had sucking issues too. He would gag, choke, then spit out food with a pretty horrified look on his face before the therapy.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: Not interested in "real" food

    I was just experiencing the same problem with my daughter. She was nursing at least 6 times per day and had little to no interest in food.

    I felt like I was spending all my time trying to plan/cook her nutritious meals when all she would choose to eat for days was maybe a strawberry and cereal!! Allergies are a problem as well- dairy, soy and corn so that adds to the frustration. I was very concerned but she was happy, healthy and growing.

    Recently, within the last couple of weeks at 15 months old she has started to eat more! I just kept giving her a variety of nutritious foods and she decided when and what solids to eat. Now that she is eating more she is finally starting to cut back some night nursing sessions as well!

    My advice is the same as the previous posts, make sure to rule out any sort of medical condition that could be the cause, and just keep offering tasty nutritious foods.

    Hang in there and trust your boy to know when the time to eat more solids is right for him. I know how frustrating and stressful this all can be!

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