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My 20mo old refuses to eat...

I know my doctor keeps telling me "When she's hungry she'll eat".... but it still worries me that my daughter will not eat. She'll take a few bites of something throughout the day, but that is it. Like today, she took 3 bites of my sausage buscuit this morning around 10:30am... then didn't eat anything else till 3pm and that was three small bites of bologna and two small bites of cheese, then she went to her daddy's house, so I don't know if she's eaten anything else today. Is there anyone else who is having problems getting their little ones to eat anything and do you have any advice as to how to get her to eat? I'm thinking about buying some PediaSure to give her during the day instead of milk. She's drinking plenty of milk, but she won't eat..... HELP!!!


Asked by kayla_trinity at 12:09 AM on May. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • Well, at around 2 years old, a child's growth slows down drastically. Consider how much your daughter has grown since she was an infant. If she kept growing at that rate, she'd be 70 ft tall by the time she was an adult! When their growth slows down, so does their intake of food. They suddenly don't need as much as they did before because they aren't using it like they used to. So it's natural for her appetite to decrease at this age. My son goes some days barely eating anything, then a day later he is eating all his meals and snacks in between. Just make sure her milk intake isn't keeping her tummy so full that she doesn't feel hungry at meal times. She should really only be drinking milk with her meals anyway, and water in between meals if she is thirsty. I am minoring in child development in college and just took a health and nutrition class-it was so helpful!

    Answer by Guaranteed at 2:17 AM on Jun. 1, 2009

  • my son, who is 21 mos, does this to me all the time. It worries me sometimes too, but all you can do is offer it. I do buy the pediasure and give him one cup every morning as soon as he wakes && I'm going to start him on vitamins as soon as he turns 2. Just to put my mind at ease that he is at least getting all the vitamins that he needs.

    Answer by HisMommySince07 at 12:13 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • My friend has that problem with her 23 mo old. Remember, their stomach is as big as their fist, my duaghter tonight took 3 bites of her mac and cheese (with peas and ham in it) and a sip of milk, got down and is running like she has too much energy! You're still offering her food and she WILL eat when she's hungry! I think as a mom we constantly worry whether our kids are getting enough of everything. If she's not drastically underweight I really wouldn't worry about it and good that she's drinking milk! My daughter will barely drink anything but really watered down applejuice during the day.

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 12:15 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • oh, i just read hismommysince07's answer and vitamins are good! I give my daughter the gummies (she's 18 months and has had them since she was 14 mos) but that would help ease your mind worries!!

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 12:16 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • You mentioned that she drinks "plenty" of milk. It's possible she drinks too much and is not hungry because of all that she drinks. Keep her milk intake at no more than 16 oz and juice to no more than 6 oz (mix with water to make it go further) and she will likely develop an appetite for food. Adding Pediasure is really just adding a lot of sugar to her diet. Read the ingredients. It also will make her full so she will not want more food, but less, therefore making the problem worse. Try offering her water throughout the day in a sippy (or however she normally drinks) and only give milk and juice at mealtimes in small amounts. This will cause her blood sugar to begin to dip (like it's supposed to, not plummet!) to signal to her body that she is hungry. If she's taking in too many liquid calories she won't have this blood sugar dip and never realize she's hungry. Remember, you are her nutritionist! Blessings!

    Answer by GrowingMama at 1:04 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • I've thought before that she was drinking too much milk, but when I brought it up to her doctor he said it was okay... and that she'd eat when she was hungry!!! I'm sure it is that I'm just a worried mommy, but she used to have a great appetite and in the last few months it has dropped drastically! I think I will definately look into vitamins, she loves fruit snacks... well, she used to!! Now I can't even bribe her to eat for some fruit snacks!!! I know, it's horrible, but I tried it the other day... her reaction? "NOOOO, Mommee!!"

    Answer by kayla_trinity at 1:09 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • My daughter is doing that right now.She'll eat a little,but she mainly wants breastmilk.It sounds like she might be filling up on milk.My duaghter dose that sometimes.I would try the Pediasure. Make a eating game.Get crative.I use to have to race my son.He wouldn't eat really fast,but he thought that it was fun.

    Answer by elly25 at 3:49 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • Thursday night I was able to get her to eat a full bowl of Kix Cereal by putting it in her elmo bowl. She ate a couple of them, then realized elmo was at the bottom of the bowl. I told her she'd have to eat the cereal to see elmo, so she did. But once she got so much ate and I couldn't cover the bottom of the bowl with the cereal again, she was done. But it worked, and that was probably the most she had eaten in one sitting for 3days. This morning when she had a few bites of my sausage biscuit, she asked me, "me bite?" and I told her, nope!, this is mommy's. She then 'stole' it off my plate, walked around for a few and took a few bites of it. I asked her if mommy could have a bite... she said, "Nope, mine!!!" And that was the end of her eating breakfast. She'd take the biscuit, but wouldn't eat any more of it. Half the time she'll take a bite of something that I know she likes and just spit it out!

    Answer by kayla_trinity at 4:24 AM on May. 30, 2009

  • So even making a game out of it doesn't work half the time..... :( She's not underweight or anything though....

    Answer by kayla_trinity at 4:25 AM on May. 30, 2009