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A 13 month old being a picky eater already!

Okay, so I know this is supposed to be a normal "stage" where toddlers all of a sudden get picky about food and won't eat much. My question is, when she doesn't want to eat what I give her, should mealtime be over then? Or should I give her something I know she will eat (namely cheese or bread or some fruit) just so she'll get some nutrition in her? I have conflicting fears here.... for one that she won't get enough food if I don't give her SOMEthing. I mean, I don't know at what age she'll start to GET the fact that she has to eat what is placed before her or get nothing else. But then again, I'm afraid that if I ALWAYS give her something she likes after she rejects her other meals then she will start to catch on to this and do it on purpose. For an almost 14 month old, what is the best strategy here?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:25 PM on Dec. 31, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (6)
  • My DS is 2.9 years old and has been a picky eater since the beginning. Imo, don't give in. Not sure if she is to young but she will soon realize that you will eventually give in. If she doesn't eat mealtime should be over, when she does get hungry offer her what you gave her at meal time. Or like I seen before on here is one mom said if her children didn't eat what she made then the only other choice was a bowl of cheerios. Just please don't give in I wish I hadn't , I'm still waiting for the stage to be over with.

    Answer by ZachsMom325 at 3:39 PM on Dec. 31, 2009

  • Until she is 5 or 6, it's a good idea to respect her appetite's instinct. With her incredibly rapidly-growing body and the often-stressful learning curve she is handling, her tummy is going to sometimes need LOTS of nutrition, and sometimes need rest (when she is tense/excited or tired). Make sure to be offering warm easily-digested food in addition to today's trend of feeding non-baby foods, because her digestion really is different from an older child's and it needs the assistance of "pre-digested" (as in well-cooked - like the difference between applesauce and fresh apple) and "pre-chewed" (as in mashed up for her).

    It really is beneficial to her digestion to serve her warm foods.

    If you don't feed her meat or ESPECIALLY eggs, then her instinct for what foods are good for her, and for when she is full will remain reliable.

    Don't worry that she will be manipulative if you cater to her appetite. Just don't feed (cont

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:40 PM on Dec. 31, 2009

  • (cont'd) ... Just don't feed her sugary things at all when her appetite is delicate, because cookies or undiluted juice do seem to kill the appetite - sometimes for the whole day ! (VERY frustrating for mom !)

    A wonderful appetite helper issome good warm oatmeal for breakfast - served with honey when she is old enough for it, with some cinnamon or vanilla stirred in as a substitute for sugar, perhaps some raisins or berries or diced apple cooked into it, and with some milk. It seems that babies do notice the difference between quick-cooking cardboard oatmeal (from a box or the instant packets) and real long-cooking, even organic, oat flakes. ... With my two boys, this was a cheered-for treat.
    Also applesauce w/cinnamon&vanilla,very warm with a big dollop of plain yogurt in the bowl was a favorite.

    Please do not buy into the weird attitude that she can do something "on purpose". She loves you utterly, and imitates you

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:53 PM on Dec. 31, 2009

  • My son is 14 months old as well. I give him 2-3 healthy choices of foods and if he doesn't want that, then mealtime is over. He can still have his milk, which he loves and he usually likes at least one of the choices so I know he's eaten something and won't starve. Also, at his age it's not long until his next meal/snack and he also is learning that he can go get the box of cheerios out of the pantry and bring it to me if he's hungry.
    Our "problem" right now is him standing up in his highchair and we're trying to teach him that when he stand up, mealtime is over - I don't let him walk around with food or his cup. He's catching on pretty quick with consistency. At his age they will start to catch on to rules and routine - it's just a matter of making it consistent.

    Answer by missanc at 10:16 PM on Dec. 31, 2009

  • At 14 mos meal time was over if she didn't want what was given to her. I occasionally give in but that is because she has had the same thing for several days. If she doesn't want what is given for dinner she gets it for breakfast the next day. If she doesn't eat dinner she usually goes to bed early b/c a tantrum ensues. NO CHILD will starve themselves. My 14 mo old caught on quickly and we only have this battle about once a month. I wish you luck.

    Answer by coala at 9:43 AM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • What is wrong with giving a toddler eggs?

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:15 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

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