Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

super picky eater @ 13 months

My child refuses to eat what we eat for dinner. He will eat gerber graduate snacks, banana, applesauce and yogurt all day long but no "real food."  It is super frustrating. We try to give him our dinner before offering "snacks" but he just turns his nose up at it and cries. The only way I can even get him to try anything new is to force a piece in his mouth and then he spits it out.  We still have to give him stage 2 and 3 baby food because I don't feel like he is getting enough nutrients otherwise. Any suggestions?
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Re: super picky eater @ 13 months

  • This may sound harsh, but stop feeding him baby food and Gerber snacks or the things he will only eat... he needs to learn to eat other foods... and if he has no other options it won't take long for him to start eating some new things... he won't die from skipping a meal or two, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in making sure my child is getting enough that I lose sight of the big picture. And that is that we are responsible ultimately to teach them to eat, sleep, play etc and sometimes we have to do things that are hard to meet those goals. If you're really concerned that he's lacking nutrition I would suggest you talk to your ped
    eliza bopple
    Eliza born 1-25-12
    Baby 2 EDD 7-18-14
  • I just poasted about this exact thing in the March 2012 board. My 13 month old is the same as yours! He'l eat any purees that I give him but no "real" fruits or veggies. He'll eat toast, eggs, oatmeal and yogurt....thats about it! Then today (of  course right after I posted asking for help) he surprised me by eating a bagel with peanut butter on it and a turkey hot dog cut up....I think its just a phase and we have to keep offering different foods. It can take up to 15 times of introducing a food before a toddler will eat it. I try to offer something he is familiar with and something new....most the time he spits it right out or gives it to the dog....but sometimes, like today, he surprises me. HTH
    image
  • Do you always offer the snacks if he doesn't eat his meal? If so, he knows he just needs to wait for the "good" stuff. My LO was like that for my mom because he knew she would give him oranges eventually, so he wouldn't eat anything else. He would eat fine at home because he knew that it didn't work that way here. She mentioned how LO never eats his supper. I told her it is because he knew she had oranges and that he didn't need to eat his meal to get them. After that, she stopped giving oranges. At first, he still wouldn't eat because he was waiting for the oranges, but he eventually realized it wasn't happening, so now he will eat his meals. He also gets oranges a lot, but he knows he has to eat his actual meals too like he does at home. Not sure if that might be part of your LO's issue, but it would be a good place to start. Not saying that will magically get him to try new stuff, but that can be a second step. GL!
  • image aboynamedbarry:
    This may sound harsh, but stop feeding him baby food and Gerber snacks or the things he will only eat... he needs to learn to eat other foods... and if he has no other options it won't take long for him to start eating some new things... he won't die from skipping a meal or two, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in making sure my child is getting enough that I lose sight of the big picture. And that is that we are responsible ultimately to teach them to eat, sleep, play etc and sometimes we have to do things that are hard to meet those goals. If you're really concerned that he's lacking nutrition I would suggest you talk to your ped

    Good advice. He needs to eat what you offer him, period. My LO does this sometimes and if he cries and refuses everything then the meal is over.

     

    image

    DS born 3/10/12 - Baby GIRL - due 10/5/14!

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  • image kbruington:

    image aboynamedbarry:
    This may sound harsh, but stop feeding him baby food and Gerber snacks or the things he will only eat... he needs to learn to eat other foods... and if he has no other options it won't take long for him to start eating some new things... he won't die from skipping a meal or two, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in making sure my child is getting enough that I lose sight of the big picture. And that is that we are responsible ultimately to teach them to eat, sleep, play etc and sometimes we have to do things that are hard to meet those goals. If you're really concerned that he's lacking nutrition I would suggest you talk to your ped

    Good advice. He needs to eat what you offer him, period. My LO does this sometimes and if he cries and refuses everything then the meal is over.


    Yep. That young I might make sure one component of the meal was a "winner" for him, but otherwise, I make one meal. Don't want it? Too bad. Toddlers don't need very much to thrive anyway.

    imageimage
    E 9.08, V 8.11, J 4.14
  • I agree with the other posters - just keep offering him a variety of "real" food, but don't force it. Also, keep in mind that some toddlers aren't very hungry at dinner time. As long as he gets in plenty of healthy foods earlier in the day there's no reason to force dinner.
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  • I would stop giving baby food, that's not going to encourage him to eat more finger foods. Also, I wouldn't force food into his mouth. They need to learn to feed themselves when their hungry. Plus forcing food on them just p!sses them off worse in my experience.

    DS is very picky as well and refuses veggies and protein 90% of the time, carbs and fruit are his faves. He throws pretty much everything else off his tray before even trying it.

    Yesterday was the first time at dinner I got him to eat veggies. I let him go about 15mins longer than normal before giving him dinner, so by the time I fed him he was more than ready to eat. Instead of giving him his favorite food right away (penne in marinara), I gave him steamed green beans. He ate 5 before deciding he didn't want any more. That was a big win for us!! I'm going to keep trying this approach (least favorite food first and making sure he's really hungry, not just fussy) and hope he learns to expand his food horizons.

    DS born 3.12

    DD born 7.14

  • First of all, as I'm sure you're getting from these responses, this is definitely a phase of toddler hood.  I don't believe in "picky eaters"  I think that probably describes every toddler out there!!!!!!

    The first thing I would do is stop making mealtimes a power struggle.  It's just making it stressful for both of you, and it's not successful.  So now more forcing food in his mouth.  No more stressing out or being frustrated when he doesn't eat (which is easier said than done!).

    With really picky eaters, I offer a mix of what he'll eat and what I want him to eat.  So in your case, I'd serve dinner, and one food you know he'll eat (like half a banana).  Let him eat whatever he will from his plate, and when he's done, he's done.  Even if that means all he ate was the half of banana. But when there's no pressure, he might be tempted to try something else on his plate.  This might not happen the first night, or the second night, or even the 4th night.

    As someone said, toddlers don't need to eat a ton of food.  My son certainly has nights where he has 3 bites of dinner and declares himself all done.  He has nights where he loves a dish, and nights he hates it.  He didn't eat any of his lunch at school Friday, and when I heated it up this weekend he only picked out the beans.  I left to take a shower, and while DH stayed eating with him he miraculously ate the rest of it.  We had tacos and beans on Saturday night for dinner and he only ate the beans.  Then devoured the leftover taco last night. Toddlers are crazy little creatures.

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  • image aboynamedbarry:
    This may sound harsh, but stop feeding him baby food and Gerber snacks or the things he will only eat... he needs to learn to eat other foods... and if he has no other options it won't take long for him to start eating some new things... he won't die from skipping a meal or two, sometimes I find myself getting caught up in making sure my child is getting enough that I lose sight of the big picture. And that is that we are responsible ultimately to teach them to eat, sleep, play etc and sometimes we have to do things that are hard to meet those goals. If you're really concerned that he's lacking nutrition I would suggest you talk to your ped


    This!!!! And keep trying... my son will sometimes surprise me and start eating something that he's rejected the past 15 times.
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  • I just want to add one thing to all these responses: first of all CHILL and take it slow! K was the same way until i relaxed about things and gave her time to explore and get used to it. He kid is only 13 months old for crying out loud. Give them time to learn to eat people food. I does ot come overnight.
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  • Thanks to all of the posters!  I found all suggestions helpful. I have been taking this on as a personal failure so I am going to chill from now on. I love this community!
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