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My child will NOT EAT. Please help

My son is 17 months old. He WILL NOT eat what is put before him. But I don't think he is old enough to understand that he needs to eat his supper, lunch, breakfast or whatever. He throws it on the floor, gives it to the dog, or screams until you get him down. Then he begs for something else, like GUMMY SNACKS, the worst of them all... He used to love green beans, corn, chicken, grapes, bananas, blueberries... I don't know what happened. I am scared to let him just go to bed without eating SOMETHING, but I know giving in will just make it WORSE. Example last night I fixed, oven fried pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, black eyed peas, and gave him blueberries. he PICKED around at the blueberries, and then threw his milk, AND WOULDN'T TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE. I am at my wits end, I don't know anything else to do to make him eat properly, and I don't want to give in to his every command. ANY ADVICE PLEASE

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:07 PM on Dec. 22, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (12)
  • I understand how you feel! My kids did the same thing. Don't give in when your son refuses to eat. When he gets hungry enough he will eat the food you give him. If he knows that he can refuse to eat and you will break down and give him the junk he wants, then he'll keep doing that. Good luck!

    Answer by RoostersMom4 at 3:11 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • Cow's milk is for baby cows kids do not need to drink it. Toddlers that drink milk can have eating problems, constipation, and anemia.

    You don't say how much your little guy weighs. If he is normal weight there is nothing to worry about. It is common for toddlers to go through periods where they only like a few foods. They should not be forced to eat foods they don't want to eat. You shouldn't have things like candy around so that isn't an issue.

    If he is below the 5th or 3rd percentile on the weight charts then it may be more of an issue. Then you need to start to worry about making special foods and enhancing foods so they have more calories.

    'You don't want to give in to his every command.' Of course a child should have control over what they eat. Everyone should. You may need to learn more parenting skills if tantrums are becoming involved. Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary is a good book.

    Answer by Gailll at 3:18 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • Qiut buying the gummy snacks etc.,when he sees there is nothing else to eat he will come around.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:21 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • If you "don't give in when your son refuses to eat" you may be setting you and your child up for two different kinds of big problems. The first is the battle of wills. You don't want to go there. In that world you have a toddler that screams NO, won't cooperate, bites, hits, throws tantrums, and maybe even hates you. You hit, use time outs, take things away and then write on cm that you don't know what went wrong and you have tried everything and nothing works.

    The second problem revolves around food. You don't want to set your child up for any eating disorders or problems.

    Answer by Gailll at 3:26 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • My 2 year old is the same...has been since she was about that age. You have to stay strong. You're the boss. Do not be afraid to put your child to bed hungry. They will NOT starve themselves. Breakfast is usually the easiest. It's not very hard to find something they will eat for breakfast. But if I give my daughter something for lunch, and she does not want to eat it...I tell her, can get down...but this is what you will be getting for dinner. Then when dinner time comes...if she STILL wont eat it...I tell her'll go to bed hungry. And when I put her to bed, if she screams and says she is hungry...I leave her there for about ten minutes....then I'll come down and say, you want to eat? She then says So I put the SAME plate of food in front of her and say...if you want to eat this. If she's really that hungry...she eats it. If not...she goes to bed. Do NOT give in. You can handle it GL

    Answer by michellelee3708 at 3:34 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • I am and have always been the type of parent that goes by the belief either you eat it or I make you (when they are younger) and now that they are older either they eat it or they sit there until I am just sick of it or I feed it to them myself to make sure it gets in there. I don't make anything special for them; they eat what I cook... an they get no dessert or treats if they don't eat. My kids eat what I tell them to so I guess I did something right. At one point my oldest daughter would refuse to eat when she was on baby food so I'd get daddy to act like he was going to give her the passy then when she opened her mouth for it I would pop food in there, lmao.

    Answer by Memigen at 3:34 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • Sounds like pretty common toddler behavior to me (unfortunately). Two problems to address. We had problems with our son throwing food/milk. We did one of two things. either we picked the item up, gave it back to him and told him to give it to us nicely (keep your hand on it as well if you think he'll throw it again) or we simply ended the meai. If he was hungry (or I really felt he needed to eat more), we restarted the meal 10 minutes or so later with the same food options. I planned what his dinner would be (for a variety of reasons it was sometimes different from our meal at that age) and gave it to him. If he ate, great. If he didn't, so be it. Toddlers won't actually starve but you can't give in to junk. Limit how much food you give him at a time to limit how much he can throw. Whatever you do, stay calm. This phase will pass...

    Answer by momofryan07 at 3:40 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • One thing comes tomind here. Control. He's at an age where he wants it. Don't give into his behavior. Set his food aside and let him do something else when he has his fits. When he comes back for "something else" give him the same food back. If he still won't eat, don't feed him. He won't starve over one meal. And he won't starve over a few days of just picking at his food. Try to give him more control by offering options. "Tonight you can have potatoes or green beans. which would you like" He of course will say something else, but that just means he gets nothing until he's willing to pick what you have. My daughter does t his with her milk and water. She only wants juice. I give her milk, she has a fit, I ignore her. When she calms down I offer the same cup with the same drink and 99% of the time she'll take it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:18 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • Put healthy food in front of him several times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack) and then your job is OVER. Let him eats what he likes and leave him alone. Tell yourself it is none of your business what he eats and doesn't eat, your only job is to provide the healthy food, not to make him eat it. Don't give him something different if he doesn't eat what you serve. He will not starve himself. Kids this age do not eat very much.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 4:53 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

  • I am of the mind set that what I put in front of you is what you are eating. My LO has gone to bed hungry but when she gets up in the morning she is given what she was supposed to have for dinner the night before. My DD will eventually eat. She has tantrums in the highchair and she stays there until she is calm. Usually lasts 30 mins these days, but only happens when it looks like tuna casserole. If she doesn't start eating when she has calmed down, I will let her down and we will start again when she tells me she is hungry. You can't give in. You have to stay strong and remember you are in control and they are trying to be in control. We started this going to bed hungry at 14 mos and we haven't had to many issues with it. And by the way my child is health and happy.

    Answer by coala at 6:57 PM on Dec. 22, 2009

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