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feeding a picky, underweight 18-month-old

We just took our little girl to the doctors for her 18month checkup only to find out, she is still only about 20 lbs (8.8kg, our doc is english), the same weight she was 3 months ago, and falling (terribly) off the growth charts.

It seems like the skinnier she is, the more i worrie and the less she eats. on top of that, she continually gets pickier every day! If I give her something she doesnt like, she screams at and throws on the floor. The doc also told me to give her 20 oz of formula/day and im luck if she'll drink 6 (she was breastfed untill 14 months)

I dont know if its a high chair issue, she doesnt seem to eat anybetter at the the table, either. I have to find some way to get lots of caloriesand protien in her so that she'll get back on the charts and into a healthy weight again, but nothing seems to work. I've even tried putting peanut butter in a milk shake for her, but she doesnt like that either. Suggestions

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Asked by kitti_kat_1115 at 10:28 PM on Jul. 31, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • Give her chocolate milk..see how that goes. Use Whole milk. At 18mos she shouldn't need to be on formula anymore and you could be filling her up on that so she's not hungry for other things. Offer fruit cubes, (buy the little fruit cups with individual servings..easy storage and whatnot). Keep trying, eventually you'll find out what she likes. My son ate bread and very little else for a few long as he'd drink milk though I didn't worry. He got all the calories he needed from those two things.

    Answer by BisketLiss at 10:45 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Perhaps offer several meals a day - breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper, snack. Little portions of a variety of stuff. Do you think she could be picking up on your anxiety? If my sons threw food on the floor the meal was over, they learned not to do that. But it was a different situation from yours with the weight gain problem. Perhaps give her the food and then turn your attention, as far as she can tell, elsewhere. If she doesn't feel in the spotlight at meal times, maybe she'd try some of the food. I hope you get this problem solved soon. Good luck!

    Answer by Bmat at 10:45 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • I agree with a PP, with offering several meals every 2-3 hours. Also, whenever I give my DD meals, I will offer the "new" food first, before she's aware that there's any other option. If after 5 minutes, she's still unwilling to try it, I'll end the meal. But, if she tries it, she gets the rest of her meal. It's worked well with getting her to eat a better variety of foods.

    Answer by Sagely at 11:30 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • My daughter is the same way.. we started giving her pediasure to gain some of the weight back on because she was losing weight. Needless to say it worked. She at least gained back the weight she had lost (last time we checked anyways). But she has days where she won't eat meals, so we just make sure she gets lots of snackies through the day

    Answer by Skye-Angel at 11:31 PM on Jul. 31, 2009

  • Does she have sensory issues? Look into sensory integration disorder and message me if it fits. Or there are groups on here.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 12:42 AM on Aug. 1, 2009

  • Kids like things to be fun. Offer cheese in fun shapes, veggies with cool dips, smoothies are fun and you can add stuff unnoticed to them. Chocolate milk. You can take like mashed potatoes mix with some shredded cheese and roll into balls, even coat with bread crumbs and bake till heated thru. Toast pita bread, and serve with beans (mashed) mixed with creme cheese. Have all meals be set up like snacks. My kids literally eat all day, they are small but use lots of energy. Fruit is always available to be eaten in between meals. Sometimes you need to look outside of the box. My two year old is quite picky.

    Answer by momtoamo at 2:26 PM on Aug. 1, 2009

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