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How can I get my son to eat more?

I have a 3 yr old and he barely eats, I can name about 10 foods that he eats and it doesnt even consume of meat, the only meat he eats is hot dogs. He used to eat alot of different foods when he first started eating table foods. But he just started eating less and less and if we put something in his mouth he either spits it out, refuses to eat it or gags on it. PLEASE I NEED HELP!! Everytime I consulted the doctor they just told me its a stage and he will get out of it, but its getting worse!

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Asked by ILovemyson1020 at 5:31 PM on Oct. 7, 2009 in Food & Drink

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Keep offering the good stuff, and if you must offer hot dogs try to offer the better ones.

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Contact an occupational therapist.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • You are to the point where I would offer a meal and if refused then he would go hungry until the next meal with no snacks. When they go hungry for a meal they are more likely to eat the next one no matter what it is. I started this with my LO at 14 mos. We have only missed 2 meals in 1 1/2 mos. They are more likely to eat if they realize that they can't get their way. You have to mean business and realize that no child will intentionally starve themselves.

    Answer by coala at 6:01 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • Wait till his next growth spurt. His growth has most likly slowed and so has his eating. Keep offering him a balanced meal, if he doesn't eat the so be it. I would round out his diet with a vitamin, then if he doesn't eat something well that will help to cover it.

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 6:01 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • You can NOT force him to eat anything, Keep offering him a variety of foods and keep him hydrated. If he is growing steadily, he is ok. It is more than likely a stage that he is going through. Do NOT stop feeding him because he won't eat during meals, he is 3 and needs to eat when he is hungry. Try and figure out when he is most hungry and feed him at those times. Have him help pick out and prepare meals, even a 3 year old can help prepare meals with help. You can have him evaluated for a swallowing disorder, see if his tonsils are too big and need to be removed. My son had huge tonsils and would not eat many things, we had his tonsils out and he ate all kinds of things after. I do NOT believe in not feeding a child, to me that is abuse. If a child isn't hungry or doesn't like something, you make sure there is something at every meal that they do like, especially a 3 year old. Do you eat what you don't like or when not hungry?

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:57 PM on Oct. 7, 2009

  • I call this the air-o-tarian phase! They all go through it. First, make sure that he is drinking water, so he doesn't get dehydrated.
    Most important, do not create a monster who only eats nuggets, mac and cheese and hot dogs.
    Just keep offering a variety of healthy foods, and eventually she will start eating.
    Frozen foods are fun to play with, and will get eaten, like peas, blueberries and corn. Chunks of avocado and tofu are loaded with great nutrition, and are fun to squish between little fingers.
    I have never met a toddler who wouldn't eat hummus (lots of calcium, protein, good fats and iron), you can mix it with a mashed egg.
    offer cut fruits with yogurt dip, fresh veggies with hummus or salad dressing, cooked whole wheat pasta and veggies with marinara or peanut sauce or cheese sauce.


    Answer by rkoloms at 6:32 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • We use the 3 bite rule. you must try 3 bites of what is on your plate; if you don't like it, you get peanut butter and honey on whole grain toast with a kiwi or apple. Even my husband is expected to follow the rule.
    If you cave now, you will forever have a picky monster on your hands. I promise that your child will not starve. Moms who cave are part of the reason why by the end of next year one half of American children will be both undernourished and overweight. One third of children born in tis century will develop type 2 diabetes.
    Keep offering a variety of healthy foods; stop buying junk foods until the picky phase has passed,

    Humans don't need meat! Here are some links to meatless nutrition for kids:


    Answer by rkoloms at 6:33 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

    http://www.pcrm. org/health/ veginfo/vsk/ food_groups. html
    http://www.pcrm. org/health/ veginfo/vsk/ children. html

    I strongly recommend the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:35 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • finger foods, finger foods, fonger foods, go to your local supermarket, they have allllll types of good foods designed for kids, to make them much more fun to eat,.,,, and give him small portions, make him ask you for more... if you pile on the plate, kids dont want that, i have a 7 year old, no matter what i cooked for her, we would sit down and she would take a bite and that was it.... well no more i give her just about a bite of a few things, and she will ask for more, if i got to do this 2 , 3 or 5 times, then i will , that was i know she is eating. also pancake syrup was my fav, on my older kids, they are all grown now( in their 20's) but when they were young, instead of nasty ketchup, a little bit of syup.......

    Answer by mosaickathy1 at 8:01 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • This is a stage and he WILL get over it. Don't worry. Listen to your doc. I have 5 kids and they all went through this. My picky 3 yr old is now 23 and eats anything without a pulse!

    Answer by salexander at 11:53 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

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