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How do I get my 22 month old to eat dinner?

My son is a picky eater and lately has outright refused dinner. He will scream and fall apart when he sees the dinner waiting on the table or his high chair. He is at school all day and usually eats a good morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack there. But he comes home and only wants his bottle and screams for it and refuses food. We have been giving the bottle and he sucks it down and then is too full for food. I have tried to get rid of the bottle but then he eats/drinks nothing and wakes up hungry at 3:30/4. Any advice would be great, I am out of ideas. Should he be seeing a nutritionist or a GI specialist? Thanks for any help you all can provide.

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Asked by adagolden at 8:54 PM on Mar. 19, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • try taking the bottle away again. one morning clear out the bottles. show your son they are gone & he cant have it anymore.. If its your thing- tell him the bottle fairy came & got it (maybe because he is such a big boy & another baby needs it).... start on a saturday or any day you will be with him all day or have a few days with him... give him milk if he wakes at 4am in a staw or sippy.. i think in 2-3 days he will be OK with leaving the bottle behind & maybe he will start eating?
    My dd is a picky eater. she sits at the table with us when she wants to but if she doesnt want to we dont make her. until she gets older (around 4 or so) she will learn more about dinner manners but for now its more important for us for her just to eat so if she takes a few bites here & there thats ok with us.

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 9:11 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • Let him "help" you make dinner. Kids are more likly to eat what they have seen prepared.

    Answer by lstrickland at 9:14 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • The bottle has got to go. Milk is not providing all the nutrients an almost 2 year old needs. Also, it is going to hurt his teeth. It may be a groggy couple of days with no one getting sleep, but this has to end or he will never give up the bottle. After a couple of days, he will get used to it and want to eat all his meals.

    Kids go through times of growing spells and non-growing spells. If this is not a grow-spell, his body may not need as many calories as we think they do. We are born with an instinct to know when we are full. It's been several generations of us moms saying "you need to finish your plate" that has taught us to ignore this instinct. DON'T DO THIS TO YOUR KIDS! This is why children are being diagnosed as obese!!! Offer a well balanced meal and let them eat what they want. If they don't want their veggies but want extra taters, well, sorry. If you're still hungry, eat what's on your plate.

    Answer by hannjensmom at 9:51 PM on Mar. 19, 2009

  • well I agree the bottle needs to be replaced with a sippy..
    but there are things you can try to help him with dinner..
    give him a choice..
    let him either pick what he wants to eat.. and tell him if he eats so much, he can have his milk after he eats.

    this way you aren't taking it right away.. and you are giving him the chance to choose. He will be more open about it.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 12:45 AM on Mar. 20, 2009

  • I agree...give him a choice to what he wants to eat even if its something you have to prepare separately at least he is eating. less bottles may help 2. the bottle feels up the tummy. they say only 4oz a meal and snack...thats not much but its because they should be getting more food in their tummy. My son has been teething like crazy so he have been eating yogurt,applesauce,banana's,anything that is soft cuz it hurts him to chew. So try something like that.

    Answer by JacobsMommy05 at 3:27 AM on Mar. 20, 2009

  • The bottle has to go. It will be rough going for a couple days because he will fight you but, it has to be done. Give him a sippy instead. When DS first started getting sippys, we went with one that had the soft, silicone spout. We did get lucky and he began refusing bottles at 6 months old. He was still nursing but, got water and a bit of juice and did great with that sippy. And, he does go through phases of not really wanting to eat. We give him the same thing we're eating and, that's all he gets. If he's hungry, he eats. But, toddlers will go through phases of not wanting to eat much too.

    Answer by JamieW at 11:39 AM on Mar. 20, 2009

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