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He won't eat!

My son used to eat anything we gave him then suddenly when he was 20 months or so he wouldn't eat much more than chicken nuggets and mac&cheese. Has anyone else had this problem? I thought it was a phaseI heard from an occupational therapist that he has "sensory issues" like his taste buds aren't as sensative as ours so he likes stronger tasting foods and he has trouble with textures. She said if it's a strange texture to him he'll deam it dangerous to eat. I'm totally confused, does anyone have ANYTHING similar? Even just their kid suddenly not eating what they used to? Tell me about it. AND how do I keep him healthy if all he'll eat is junk food?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:38 PM on Jul. 17, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (7)
  • Supplement his diet with pediasure or vitamins to make up for what he isn't getting && just let him eat what he will eat. Whether it's just a phase or whatever the therapist said, more than likely he will grow out of it.

    My son has become more picky as well && I just make sure he has a whole cup of pediasure every morning with his breakfast.

    Answer by HisMommySince07 at 11:43 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • It's actually fairly common in the toddler and early preschool years for a child to refuse any new foods and drop lots of the foods he used to eat. Part of it is a control issue and part of it is a natural adversion to anything new.
    A couple of suggestions:
    Focus on what he eats over the course of a week. Don't try to get a balanced meal into him. Don't even worry about a "balanced day". Try to get a variety into him during the week.
    Have set meal and snack times. No handouts.
    Limit milk to no more than 24 ounces a day. That includes all dairy. Too much can fill him up and keep him from getting hungry.
    Limit juice to 8 ounces (or less) a day. Again - fairly empty calories that can fill him up. One serving can be used in place of actual food but no more than one.


    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:44 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Dont' pressure, force, or bribe him to eat. No "2 more bites and you can have a cookie". No big sighs as you toss his plate in the garbage. Your job is to make the food and serve it at set times. His job is to decide what and how much to eat. He may choose to eat nothing. That's his choice and he will quickly learn what happens when he does that. Remember - NO HANDOUTS. He can wait until the next meal or snack.
    Don't cater to him any more than you cater to anyone in the family. Don't make his favorite foods all the time. Don't make a seperate meal for him. Do try to make one thing at each meal that he will eat. And try to vary that food group during the week.
    Remember that his food needs have plunged. He does not need the same amount of food that he did just 4 short months ago.
    Remember that his portiions are different than yours. 3 green beans is a serving.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:48 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • give him a multivitamin everyday. my son goes through spurts, he is almost 25 months old, and sometimes he will eat something for days or weeks and then wont even look at it. you can make him eat other things by not giving him the chicken nuggets, mac-n-chz, or whatever else and eventually he will eat something because he will be hungry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • Oh - and since I backed off and now let my daughter politely say "NO" to any foods she doesn't want to eat, she has started trying new foods. It took several months for her to really believe I meant it but she's coming around. Meal times are very pleasant now - even if she doesn't eat a bite - and I have seen that she is still growing right on the same growth curve for both lenght and weight.


    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:51 PM on Jul. 17, 2009

  • My dd is now 20 months and just stopped eating... almost period! She eats new foods, nothing like she used to. No chicken nuggets, veggies (she used to be a big veggie eater)... it seriously took her 1 whole day to learn how to say cookie and that is all she ever wants! I don't give in at all so yesterday she ate half a nutrigrain bar, some orange juice, deli meat, rice with chicken broccoli and cheese (it was new). That was it! She won't eat anything I give her like I used to be able to do. I figure, when she is hungry she will eat and it always happens at dinner! Tonight she ate a box of chicken and broccoli flavored noodles and had a banana earlier. She's not getting that cookie she's been demanding for 2 days now.... and I do offer her foods during the day. If she says "NO" i say alright..... and wait for her to get hungry pretty much.

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 1:25 AM on Jul. 18, 2009

  • My daughter went through that a few months ago... I couldn't get her to eat anything. All she wanted was her Chocolate Milk. I got freaked, cause she literally wasn't eating hardly anything but maybe a few cheerios or a yogurt and wanted chips all day .... so I bought some Pediasure and would mix it half and half with her milk. She eventually started eating again... and now she eats all day if I let her. It is probably just a phase. Keep offering him foods even if he won't eat them. My doctor kept telling me "She'll eat when she's hungry" and she did, eventually!!! It's freaky, I know, but if he's not losing weight and getting enough to drink, I wouldn't worry much about it. Try the pediasure if your worried about him not getting enough vitamins and calories... Good Luck Momma.

    Answer by kayla_trinity at 11:34 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

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