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Diaper Diarists Gone Wild!

DCFoodie, Jr.

Every other week or so, I start a post about Noah's eating habits. Even though I know there is nothing more futile than ranting about a toddler's eating habits. And nothing more boring than reading about a toddler's eating habits.

But surprise! That doesn't stop me! I grab the laptop, my sweet hot purring coping mechanism, and start blamming away on the keyboard because WHY! WON'T! MY! KID! FUCKING! EAT! ANYTHING! GAAARRGH! ANGRY! SMASH!

And then I get to the point where I list the pathetic cluster of foods Noah is currently accepting, and I calm down. Because you know what? It could be a lot worse. I might joke and say that he only eats two foods, but look! There are six or seven things on that list! Toss in a multi-vitamin and it's okay. We're doing okay.

So I wipe the rejected hummus from my brow, delete the entry and go on to face breakfast with a renewed determination and purpose.

Which brings us to today.

WHY!
WON'T!
MY!
KID!
FUCKING!
EAT!
ANYTHING!

(puts head down on laptop keyboaar348ooudfj;asd, weee3o3ps)

You want today's list of Things My Kid Will Eat? Here is the list of Things My Kid Will Eat:

- Cheerios
- Yogurt, but not from a spoon.
- Orange-colored cheddar cheese, but only on Thursdays.

Seriously. That is it. Unless you count our checkbook, half of which he ate today.

Our go-to foods (peanut butter on crackers, hummus, pureed fruits) are currently on the shit list, along with everything that requires a spoon. Put a spoon in front of his mouth and he'll twist his entire head around and weep, for spoooons! No spooooons!

I taught him to use the spoon himself and had great success for about two days, which is when the novelty wore off and he remembered: spoooooons! Haaaaate spoooooooons!

Anything that fails the Squish Test is hurled on the floor without a taste. (That is, anything that "squishes" or "mushes" when you suspiciously press your suspicious thumb into it = DO NOT WANT.) Thus, fruit and vegetables and pasta and bread and rice and meats are all out, and why cheese is often a hit-or-miss proposition.

Actually, Noah's on-and-off relationship with cheese is the first story I'll tell when I get back into therapy, since I think it correlates very closely with the Losing Of My Mind and Why I Think Mid-Day Drinking Is Way Misunderstood.

I bought some cheddar cheese snack sticks at Trader Joe's ages ago -- back when Noah was still eating anything and everything in front of him, and I was Great with Smug, for behold! My child eats Indian food! And falafel! No children's menu chicken fingers for US!** -- and Noah loved them. And all was good. Until I forgot to buy them one week. But I had some string cheese! So I gave him some string cheese.

And lo, Noah hated the string cheese. In fact, he hated it so much that when I tried the cheddar cheese a few days later, he refused to even taste it. For nothing would ever erase the trauma of THAT TIME I FED HIM STRING CHEESE.

I kept trying with the cheese, and finally he started eating it again. And all was good. Until I sent Jason to the grocery store one week. And he came back with a block of cheddar cheese instead of the snack sticks. But there is no difference! Plus it is cheaper! So I gave him some of that cheddar cheese.

Yeah. It was another month before Noah would eat cheese again. I...I don't know either, but I know I sprouted about three wrinkles just typing all that out.

Today I loosened the dog's collar for the third time in a month, since she's on a steady diet of waffles and Goldfish crackers and lentils and chicken and macaroni and peas and carrots and cereal bars and probably horked-up pieces of our checkbook.

We've had a few successes -- milk and yogurt smoothies are a hit, and he not only loves Trader Joe's Green Plant Juice, he loves it enough to let me sneak cartons of Gerber vegetables into it to further boost its veggie power. And...um...one time he ate a bug!

I read Linda's recent Toddler Eating Gaaarrgh Angry Smash post about Riley's habits (macaroni and cheese! what I would GIVE for a child who ate macaroni and cheese! or chicken fingers!**) and Katie suggested frozen vegetables, right from the bag. First I thought: gross. And then I thought: Squish Test! that will pass the Squish Test!

He ate handfuls of frozen corn the first day I gave it to him. Handfuls! And I wept with joy! I called Jason and immediately told him about how brilliant I was: corn! frozen corn! I totally thought that up myself and single-handedly, I have saved our child from rickets. Now please pick up some frozen peas on your way home; the ones in our freezer expired in 2003.

Now he's just shoving the corn and peas up his nose and in his ears.

So my question is: if something sprouts up there, should I just pull it out or use the weed-wacker?

No, haaa, I'm kidding. That is a joke. A very exhausted joke. My real question is...hmm. I don't know.  I don't even hope to win this fight, I just want to stop fighting. Since the fighting I've done has just made it so much worse. I've gotten mad, I've stormed out of the room. I've pretended that I don't care either way. I've begged and pleaded and applauded each and every bite.

Basically, this has become a Thing because he senses that it's a Thing and I've made it a Thing. I don't want it to be a Thing anymore.

How do I not make it a Thing?

I feed him all three meals most days and by dinnertime I am fleeing to the computer to ASK THE INTERNET FOR ADVICE. And that's the first sign of total flipping insanity, y'all.

And yet...

Do I keep trying? Do I keep offering new and/or previously rejected foods? Or do I just give him what he'll eat and be done with it? Do I go to every possible length to get a good meal into him or do I just (gulp) toss food down and let him and the hunger pangs sort it out?

Help me, Obi-Wan Internetobi. You're my only hope.

Well, except for my pediatrician. Or maybe a trip to the bookstore. Or even a decent Google search. But after that? Only hope. All the way.

**the Karma! it burrrrrns!

Comments

Tracy

veggie burgers? my 1 year old loves them! they have a lot of flavor and of course packed with vegetables.

mswas

It is certainly a THING! I've got one kid who'll eat pasta and one kid who'll eat peanut butter. If they'd both eat both, I'd be a happy camper.

This too shall pass, and then you'll have something else to write about.

That being said, try not letting him see you watch him when you give him something new to try. Give it to him and act like it's no big deal. If you can watch him out of the corner of your eye while cleaning up in the kitchen, or watch him through a mirror or something, that works too. No reaction from you might possibly get a few bites into him.

Plus a few bites might be all he really needs - his serving size is a lot smaller than yours.

Good luck!

Tc

I didn't read every comment cause I'd be here all day! :)

But like most of them I say don't worry about it. It is a never ending phase. My Gabby is 4 and some times she doesn't eat, like at all it seems! And other times she eats more than her daddy and I combined (let me tell you it is something to see a 3 year old almost finish a pizza by her self (pizza and other "fast foods" are a treat not a normal I swear she isn't a rolly polly)). And she's strange. She will eat whole dill pickels and will not eat them any other way. Just keep trying and don't make a big deal out of it (hard as that is) One day they will love corn then the next it's "eeeeeww I don't like corn"

nonsoccermom

Totally, totally normal (but definitely frustrating). My kid is 4 and he still does this - something that he loves one day is repulsive the next. I really hate the guessing game.

About a month ago he ate a strawberry that had turned sour, and now he is suspicious of all strawberries. I gave him some last night and he had to ask if they were the strawberries that he likes, or are they yucky.

Good idea serving the frozen veggies, by the way. I'll have to give that one a try and see if it works on mine. He will not eat any vegetables, except salad drenched in so much ranch dressing that it negates any nutritional value...

Good luck - let us know how it goes.

the reluctant ADDult

I've always said, if it weren't for Progresso Lentil soup and Chik Stiks (Worthington Farms, veggie, drumstick looking things) Turner would have starved to death. Oh, and he loved dried papaya, go figure.

My pediatrician at the time told me a child will not starve themself. I took great comfort in that. Now T's sixteen, still eats sparingly, but at close to six feet tall, I guess he came out all right. Plus, he has triceps that could break the windows out of my car.

Let's hear it for high sodium diets!

Noah will be fine (is fine.) He's getting plenty of nutrition. Not to be gross, but I would imagine that something is coming out the other end, right? I was always shocked by how much would come out when I thought absolutely nothing was going in.

atomic

Really? You're asking the internet for advice? You must be upset. Har.

Here's what I do: I ignore it. My two-year old eats once a day. Sometimes she won't eat for four days straight and on the fifth day she'll eat 16 times. And I ignore it all. And I'll be honest. I ignore it because I'm too busy feeding myself. No high road here, I'm just lazy and self-absorbed. So I ignore my kid's eating habits. But you know what? It works. Kid still eats anything, except beans, assuming she wants to.

Sonia

I'm a mother of a 16 months old girl.We went through the fase of "no eating". That's how I solve it: 4 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, evening snack and dinner), NO SNACKS BETWEEN MEALS. If she doesn't eat what's in her plate she won't eat anything else. She'll be more hungry for the next meal.
I suffered a little the first couple of days but she ended up eating all and everything (veggies, fruit, meat, fish, chicken, bread, cheese, yogurt... you name it!)
Good luck!
Sorry for my english, I'm an amalah fan from Barcelona!

KJ

The name must have something to do with it. My nephew Noah is the same way. For his entire life (age 2 to his present age of 5) he's eaten 3 things. Mac & cheese, hot dogs and PB&J. Will NOT eat anything else. I got him to eat Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal once because it smelled and tasted like a cookie. That didn't last long.

I agree with others. If he's starving, he'll eat. And he's getting food, so he's getting nutrition.

My cousin was the same way and when he hit like 13, he couldn't stop eating. And now at 21, still can't stop eating.

But watching my sister-in-law go through this, I know how hard it is. Hang in there.

Robyn

My son Jake is 3 years old. He has only just recently even been hungry. When he was a baby, he would take an hour just to drink 2 ounces form his bottle. He shunned everything that was not bread or cheese related. My husband and I have had our tears and arguments until we are blue in the face. Then, one day, he told us he was hungry. He said "mommy, my tummy is making a noise". And we all gazed in wonder. Then, he tried some of his food after being asked only once. He said "Ok daddy". And popped it right into his mouth. And lo, the angels began to sing. It has been a very long and bumpy road, but he is starting to come out of it. He is old enough now that he can help me make dinner which seems to help. He doesn't even question it if he helped make it. It just goes right into his mouth. Now, what we do is mox it up a little. Two nights in a row we'll try a new food or a previously rejected food, then he gets to eat macaroni and cheese. THen, 2 more nights of new foods and then a night of cheesy quesadilla.

It will be a long haul, but eventually your child will start to eat real food. I will gurantee you that your pediatrician will not be worried about his poor eating habits. Kids just go at their own pace. Of course, now that Jake is a "big boy" he must eat what we have prepared for dinner or go to bed without. I can't remember the last time he went to bed without.

Patience!! Your loving guidance will help steer him towards the good side of the force!

Christine

Hi, long time reader/lurker here. You hit a nerve with me on this entry and I just wanted to commiserate.

My daughter Kara is 14 months old and will barely eat anything and I mean almost nothing. She has a feeding tube (long story, heart surgeries --> severe reflux --> food aversion) and did not eat or drink literally ANYTHING for months (just formula through her feeding tube).

We are finally at the point in feeding therapy where she will drink a little water from a sippy cup, eat a wagon wheel here or there, and usually eat a few bites of purees for lunch and dinner.

It is SO frustrating, as a Mom all you want your kid to do is EAT, DAMNIT!! In months of feeding therapy, the one thing I have found is that the bigger deal and more stressed I am at mealtimes, the less Kara eats and the more she freaks out.

So, my advice would be to relax as much as you can during mealtimes (I know easier said than done) and this phase too will pass. Everyone has given great advice and it's reassuring to know that I am not along and this is a worry of many Moms.

katbliss

I put out a "snack" tray everyday all day. I take a muffin/ cupcake tin and put different snacks in each little bin: carrots, dried blueberries, Kashi bars broke up, pirates booty, apples slices, etc. all healthy stuff and I leave it at a very low level... my 20 month old snacks all day. She hated to be fed at an early age and insisted on feeding herself. Now I don't fight with her at all. When she is hungry she eats. Try it!

Deb

My kid is now 17 but I remember this. Guess what? Hunger rules all, and kids can smell a power struggle a mile away. Give him what he'll eat (plus the viteymen), and then, shrug your smooth and creamy shoulders. You and Jason eat what you eat in front of him, comment to each other that, "hmmm, delish," but not in a smarmy-trying-to-put-one-over-on-the-kid way, and he will come around. You seem like an awesome mom, Amalah--he won't starve.

AmyM

Ahh, the first baby paranoia. Awesome. My first wouldn't eat any meat products, and I was extremely worried about that.
My kids' doctors always say that toddlers will eat when they are hungry. Their growing has leveled out for a bit, so they don't need as much food. Just offer it to them and if they don't eat, it's ok. Eventually they will. I've followed that advice, and have no emaciated chilren to date.
I tried the Be Creative approach. Make butterflies out of sandwiches! Pretend the broccoli florets are trees! Use cookie cutters to make shaped pancakes! Blah, blah, blah effing blah. Too much work. Shaped food makes just as much of a mess.

sue

this to will pass..my son was also a picky eater.a green food was a real battle. fast forward..today..6'plus..210 lb
lineman... not a bit of fat..
get ready..mixing bowls become ceral bowls..a box of ceral can be a snack..not one but two sub sandwiches..and one can go into debt buying chinese.
when they are young food is just another control battle..if they are hungry they will eat..just somedays it seems to go on forever...have to go my son just pulled out a can of cinnamon ..I guess it time for a snack..yes they will eat the entire can.

Lindsay

"Help me, Obi-Wan Internetobi. You're my only hope."

hahahaha i love it!

sue

sorry that was a can of cinnamon rolls..please excuse spelling and typos..I have teenagers..

~*M*~

My dh is very picky. His mom never made him eat what he didn't want to. THAT is a pain in the ass.

They can't starve themselves at this age. Just keep offering him a variety of foods and he'll sort it out...while you bite your tongue and sit on your hands ;)

Emmie (Better Make It A Double)

I'm a little late to the game here, but here’s what makes sense to me, and what is working well with my almost 2 year old twin boys:
1.Toddlers eat a highly various amount of calories from one day to the next. That is totally normal, and not a problem.
2.It is your job to provide healthy, balanced meals.
3.Itis his job to decide what to do with what you put in front of him (though unfortunately, you do have to help him keep it out of his nose and off the floor)Entering into a power struggle with you makes it impossible for him to tune into what his body is telling him, plus it drives you un-necessarily crazy. Make it his choice to eat or not to eat what you’ve offered.
4. Try very hard to avoid the “but he doesn’t like that” trap. Just keep offering it, along with a bit of the current favorites. Many kids will surprise you after a while and suddenly eat all of that broccoli or whatever. At our house, on Tuesday its’ “Muh brukkwi! Muh! Muh!” On Thursday, it’s “Bukkwi! Puh! I smite you and the hand the offered this eeeevil bukkwi!”
5.If you have done those things, let it go. You have done your job. Leave the spoon on the tray and let him decide what to do with it or not do with it. If he is healthy and doesn’t have serious food issues (like texture issues or failure to thrive or something), then all is well. It really, really is.
6. A tip that sometimes helps: re-name what you’re offering him. My boys won’t eat cauliflower, but they will eat “polar bear trees”. Same goes for my husband, which is a little childish IMO, but again, whatever.
7.Avoid the “just one more bite” trap too. He needs to learn how to fill his tummy with food (and the right amount of food) that feels good both while it’s being eaten as well as a half hour later. That has nothing to do with the totally arbitrary “clean plate club”. (The generations brought up under that creed are none too healthy either.)
8.If throwing food is driving you nuts, give him another alternative to keeping it on his tray. For example, offer a little bowl to put the food he doesn’t want into. Consider a clip on chair or booster so that the first thing beyond his tray isn’t a tempting precipice from which to hurl things.
9.They can’t go on a jag of a particular kind of food if you never offer it to begin with. We give them mac and cheese, but they’ve never had it plain, so they don’t know what they’re missing if we put pureed veggies in it. They don’t ask for cake and cookies and such, because they don’t know to ask for them. The other day, N found a box of Milk Duds and ate a few. He asked for them for three days. Why would I do that to myself on purpose?
10.Involve him. Hand him a rag to help you clean up. We have a drawer from which they can grab their own bowls and cups and utensils. As soon as they were physically able, they learned to climb into their own seats. Feed him a little autonomy along with the meal, and he may not be as ready to engage in a power struggle by the time he sits down to eat.
11.This too shall pass. Not all picky toddlers become picky preschoolers, much less adults. Most will grow out of it, and survive living on cheese and crackers and yogurt just fine. Get their iron checked if you’re worried about that. I think they derive some sort of weird nutritional benefit from whining and tantrums.

Tracy

Yeah, I'm sure it's already been said in the previous 117 comments, but I'll still throw my two cents in.

Yes, keep trying, just change it up a bit. Instead of elbow macaroni, try shells, or the rotini kind, which my kid always thought was cool. AND...shhh...sometimes you can sneak veggies in there too.

And hotdogs - shhhh - it's protein - chopped up are usually enticing. Especially if you let them play with ketchup with their fingers. (Yes, my kitchen was ENTIRELY washable, ceiling to floor)

But I feel your pain. We stil have this fight EVERY DAY with my husband's TEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. One time, she'll love whatever it is, next time, it's POISON AND WILL KILL HER IF SHE TOUCHES IT! (And you think it's annoying when a toddler does it. Lemme tell ya. At 10? You decide it might be ok if she chooses to starve to death.)

And we won't even discuss cheese. Hubby's 8 year old had a "furry cheese incident" (not in MY fridge), and will never eat cheese again. Poor kid. More for me, tho!

Andrea

You've probably already gotten way more advice than you know what to do with by now. I can only say I stand beside you in solidarity to not raise a non-eating child. I can only tell you what I did. I kept introducing and re-introducing foods. It took a few times to convince my son what he liked and didn't like. Also, I know a girl whose son has a sensory problem with food and she said a normal child can refuse a food up to nine times before they'll try it. So I'd go with the things I knew he'd eat, but also foods I wanted him to try (again). And Flintstones vitamins.

It went on like this for months. His weight gain slowed to a trickle. He bottomed out at the 10th percentile on that whole chart mess at the pediatrician's office. Then one day a couple weeks ago, he just decided to eat. I didn't change anything in how I dealt with meal times, but he decided he was going to start eating and did just that. Weird. But I'll take it. Chicken nuggets and all.

And Obi-Wan Internetobi? BRILLIANT!

I hope you found some useful tips you can use from the Internets.

Keri

Umm, relax? Keep offering a variety of foods and keep foods that he likes at the ready. Don't make eating an issue. If he doesn't eat what you offer, just offer another dish. Don't plead, conjole, etc. It's a toddler stage where they learn to control what they want or don't want to eat. It will be over before you know it and Noah will be eating more foods once again.

Tracey

I don't know if you're desperate enough to get through all of these comments, especially since I'm sure my advice has already been offered. But here goes:

Two pieces of advice I was given during this stage with my 2. One is that your job is to OFFER food, not to get him to eat it. You can't force a baby to eat, so you are totally off the hook. Nothing you can do, so just keep offering food and he will eat it, eventually.

Second piece of advice is to buy a many-sectioned plastic food container (we used something meant to store embroidery supplies) and fill it with tempting edibles in bite-sized portions. Granola chunks, avocados, goldfish crackers, fig newtons, peas, bananas, noodles, cheese, whatever. Keep it in the fridge and show it to the kid every couple of hours. He will eat something -- part of it will be the novelty and part of it will be the sheer volume of options. Good luck!

Emily

I think I have a 4 year old that uses osmosis to get nutrients from air. Some weeks he eats nothing then BAM it’s non stop. Did I mention that he is in the 95th percentile for height and weight? Our job is to put healthy food in front of them - their job is to eat. We have no control - he'll be FINE.

Beret

Don't make it a "thing". Give him what he wants to eat, and let him eat as much or as little of it as he wants. Let him be in control of what goes into his body and he won't have food issues later in life.

My daughter was SUCH a picky eater. She ate Nutrigrain waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 4 months straight (no eggageration). I always heard that advice of offering healthy things on their plate but truthfully? I got SO TIRED of throwing food away I stopped offering veggies altogether.

Now she's 5 1/2 and surprisingly she's been trying new foods on her own timetable and we're fine with it. She hasn't had a vegetable in 3 years (no joke) and is as healthy as they come. She does take a vitamin everyday and will eat a select group of fruits.

The biggest thing is not to make mealtime a battle. He eats or he doesn't. Big deal, he'll still grow up just fine, and you'll be less stressed.

Mika

My son had the same squishy test for a while and here are some ideas for crunchy yet somewhat nutritious foods that he might like, that you can get at Trader Joe's. In the fruits/nuts section, they often have several freeze dried fruits. Here in our stores they usually have strawberries (in tubs), and mangoes and pineapples (in bags). Good luck!

Nikki

Arggghh... I soooo feel your pain. My 13-month-old daughter is having similar issues. And, it's exacerbated by WICKED case of reflux that we just diagnosed shortly before her 1st birthday. At that point, she was refusing to eat because it was painful-- and let me say, I felt AWESOME when I found out my child was in pain and I didn't know, just thought she was being stubborn re. the food... sigh. Anyway, I've got nothing to add, just support to the chorus-- you're not alone! Every time the kid gets a quarter cup of mac and cheese in her, the angels chorus sounds and I weep with joy.

Felicia

I'd love to tell you it'll magically get better, but my kids are 5 and 7 and ridiculous to feed.

My daughter likes SOME pasta...mini cheese raviolis and tortellini but ONLY with Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce. Which I can't find at our store. I have to bulk order it on the internet.

My son doesn't eat pasta, which is fine because he has diabetes and the carbs are BAD! But he is supposed to eat protein with each meal and snack and the dieticians would say "give him pb and crackers or cheese and crackers" and I'd be all "um, he doesn't EAT peanut butter and he only likes cheese on pizza." What kid doesn't eat peanut butter??! So for a year and a half since his diagnosis he eats hamburgers, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mini pancakes and Life cereal. That's pretty much it. Except he loves bananas, which are the most carb-dense fruit out there.

Food and kids will always be a struggle I've decided. But my hubby, who had to be bribed to try pizza as a kid, now eats salmon roe and quail egg sushi and raw horse when in Italy. So, I dont' know what my point is....

Mary

I have a 2-year-old who will eat ALMOST anything. That means he'll eat whatever is on MY plate, even if he has the exact same stuff on his plate. I guess he gets enough to eat.
I've decided not to make a Thing out of it. He loves doing things to make me shriek, and I don't want him to associate meal time with "Let's screw with Mama's head some more".
My stepkids basically tell their mother what's for breakfast/lunch/dinner every day because she lets them dictate what they're eating, and I am NOT about to raise my kid to think I'm a short-order cook.
So my assvice? Don't beg. Don't whine or plead. Just cook a meal, put it in front of him, and let him figure out the rest.

Molly

Okay, I did not read all the thousands of posts and I am sure you already got this advice, but I will go ahead anyway because my daughter is nicely playing alone and I can indulge.

The best thing my pediatrician told me when my daughter went through some TERRIBLE sleep issues was "You can't make your kid eat, sleep or poop, so don't waste the energy trying. You can only set them up with the best environment to eat, sleep and poop."

Second, a nurse friend always tells moms it is more of a control thing than an eating thing. He will not starve, if he doesn't want it, then fine. But that is what is being served, take it or leave it. You have regained control because you now don't care and you are no longer making ten different meals or doing that funny dance you do when he finally takes a bite. You are only enjoying your meal.

Life got easier for us once the lure of dessert was enticing. And remember pudding is packed with calcium!

Hang in there, you are an AWESOME mom!

jody2ms

As a 4 time mom, I can tell you what worked for us.

You make breakfast (lunch and dinner as well), you place it in front of him to eat. Walk away and empty the dishwasher, blog or take a secret shot of gin from a paper bag.......if he eats it great. If he doesn't after a certain amount of time, remove the plate, clean him up and let him out of his high chair. "All done!"

The next meal is snack time....do the same thing.

Same with lunch and dinner too.

Do not take the plate away and present him with something else in an effort to get him to eat. You will be preparing 6 plates of food at each meal, and he still won't eat anything. And smart little bugger that he is, he will catch on to this and hold out for what he considers the good stuff.

Give him a balanced meal of veggies, fruit, cereal, pasta or a meat and he will eat what he needs.

It cuts all the stress in half and removes the food issues. And he won't starve, I promise.

lara

my 23 month old isn't a fan of using a spoon, so i just let him drink his yogurt (regular yogurt) right out of the container. i mix it up for him and then hand him the container. i do the same with those little applesauce containers. he doesn't always take it, but sometimes the novelty of drinking his food helps. this is a messy technique, but he's washable :)

Elizabeth

He'll eat! The vegetable and fruit serving sizes for toddlers are TINY, and you can count anything-will he eat muffins? Banana, carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, all can be made into muffins. But that Plant Juice sounds like it's giving him plenty of veggie servings. Will he drink apple juice? I know "they" say that whole fruit is better than juice, but it does count as a fruit serving. Hang in there, you've got lots of Mom friends going through the same thing!

Silly Hily aka The Hilarazzi

I don't have much advice as I am going through the same thing with my almost 3 year old. Only, we are dealing with the potty training shit on top of the I'll only eat pasta shit. So yeah, it could be worse. Because potty training? If you think this is giving you wrinkles. Oh honey, prepare! I don't mean to scare you, only give you warning because nobody told me of what hell potty training would be.
This will probably pass, like most things with kids do, and he'll probably grow up to be a well rounded eater. Or he'll live on Cheerios, yogurt, and cheese. Either way, he'll be fine and so will you. Good luck.

Stephanie

Shit. I am much to lazy to read the 1000,000,00000 responses, so i am sure someone already has said this. For fruit, try raisins...we tried them on a whim, and the boy (6 days older than Noah) just can't get enough of them. bannana's too. but only if he can take a bite of the whole bannana. Don't try to cut that shit up into small size peices...that is just unacceptable mom!

bd

Do you still give him whole milk in a bottle? I had to cut back on the amount of milk I was giving my diva so she would eat more. Now it is just 1 in the morning and 1 at night.

Right now, the 18 month old diva will only eat foods that she can feed herself. No help from me, no matter how messy. She is done about halfway through the portion that she SHOULD eat, the rest the dog gets. I just keep mentioning foods for her to eat until she says "ok" (saying "no" to everything else) and then that is dinner. Right now it can be chicken or "fishy" (goldfish crackers" or "apple" for applesauce spilling most of it on the floor for the dog, the rest between her fingers for the cool, squishy feeling. At least she gets some food in. Then when she says "out" to get out of the high chair, she is done. I just don't argue about it. Sometimes it is string cheese and raisins with a sippy cup of 99% water and splash of red gatorade so she thinks she getting juice. Noah will come around. He will eat when he is hungry.

Janel

My daughter went through the same thing when she was Noah's age. She would pick at her food, love something one day and totally reject it the next. After the first couple of weeks of that I did what jody2ms did, I just fed her whatever I was eating and if ate it, great and if she didn't, I didn't make a big deal out of it. She was, like Noah, drinking lots of juice. I checked with her pediatrician and he said that as long as she was healthy (good poop and whatnot) I shouldn't worry. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but she did her little fasting stunt during the winter and as soon as spring hit she was eating again.
I know it's hard and MADDENING but Noah will get over it soon enough and start eating again. Hang in there!

Adela

Wow, I was just reading through this since I am going through the same and bumped into the comment from the mom whose boy has diabetes. And we think we have it tough. I can't even imagine the stress I would be going through. I will light a candle to the food gods from all of us. Hang tough.

mama speak

I didn't read all the advice, but I have a 3 1/2 YO who eats everything (knock on wood) still. The way we have approached the food thing is to put a little of everything we're having on her plate. She must try everything, if she trys it and declares she doesn't like it that's fine (even if I know she likes it), she gets told it's good that she tried. If I know she likes it she also gets reminded that she does like it, but she doesn't have to eat it today. If she doesn't finish her food that's fine too, but NO SNACKS. The food get wrapped up into the fridge, if she wants anything between meals she can have the rest of her last meal. This works partly because she wants snacks which include things as good as fruit and as bad as candy. I don't make a big deal out of it either way and she typically eats more then I do in most sittings.

You're right you've turned it into a power struggle and you will not win against a 2YO. Seriously, he'll get hungry and eat, but set some boundries and stick with them.

Note: also will not make something special/different for my kids for meals unless I KNOW they probably won't like it (ie--spicy chili). If they ask for something specific that's what they get, they do not get to change thier mind. Also, now that she's old enough my daughter does things to help prepare (setting the table, pulling out things from the fridge, putting shredded cheese on things, etc...) Noah may not be ready for this, but it helps a lot when they can help.

michelle

if you notice a pattern of his waking up screaming when you put him down for a nap right after lunch, he could be having a bit of reflux - of course they generally have to acutally put something into their stomach to get the reflux - good luck!

mswas

OMG whoever wrote: “Bukkwi! Puh! I smite you and the hand the offered this eeeevil bukkwi!”

hysterical

Here's a great book - someone mentioned that you should try to be creative with the food. Charlie and Lola rule!

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child

Lily

My brother and sister were born when I was 10 and 12, respectively, and then when they were 2 and 4, my parents divorced. I was alone a lot with toddlers (built it babysitter?) The kids stopped eating anything unless it had either a) ketchup or b) barbeque sauce. As long as one of those sauces was involved, they'd eat veggies. Just an idea--I know they both contain massive amounts of sugar. They really liked dipping whatever it was in the gooey sauces, even squishy stuff.

Maeven

As many others have already stated, do not stres over this. It's a control/attention issue. He is pushing Mama's buttons, which is fun, and has your whole undivided attention as you hang on every bite of food that goes into his mouth, more fun!

Offer up a few choices per meal, re-offer previously rejected foods at later meals, but give it to him and then you do your own thing...eat your meal, blog, clean house, whatever... When 15 minutes are up, he's done, and no between-meals snacking!

Slip some pediasure into those smoothies he likes, or crush up the vitamin into the smoothies, whatever works, just so you are reassured, hehe

One of these days he's grow out of the phase, or his body will go into another growth spurt, and he will eat something.

Meanwhile, you won't be catering to his whims and he won't be planning all your menus in years to come.

Georgia

I really feel badly for you, and wish it were easier for you...but I appreciate this post because you've single handedly made me realize why mothers glare at me when I say "I can't wait to have a baby, I bet it's so much fun!". It all makes sense now.

jennp

Ellyn Satter. Go to Amazon and order How to Get Your Kid to Eat. . .But Not Too Much.

This is my real-life profession (with a real Ph.D. and license), and you can't go wrong with any of Satter's advice. If you find it hard to implement, find a therapist or nutritionist who deals with feeding issues (check children's hospitals) and have a sit-down with them.

For what it's worth, he's completely normal, and this will pass.

Ally

When we got to this point I put the kid's food in front of him and left the room. He knew it was bugging me and nothing was eaten if I was sitting there, no matter how nonchalant I tried to be.

kellie

Newsflash. Most toddlers don't eat.

Yeah, yeah - you're going to have your moms who claim that *their* toddler eats everything, or eat all organic, or likes YoBaby but doesn't like technicolor yogurt with sprinkles, or truly enjoys the sushi, or whatever but most toddlers I know just don't eat.

I drove myself *bonkers* with my oldest daughter, who at 18 months just mostly stopped eating. I read all of the books (How To Get Your Child To Eat, But Not Too Much, and all of those), I asked the other moms that I knew, I asked my mom and her mom and my aunts, and I read everything I could online about it. All of the advice was drastically different but what I *did* glean is that kids have hungry days and then they have what I like to call "milk and lint" days. You know, because they follow their hunger cues, like we probably should all be doing but we've learned to "clean our plates" and that chocolate is good.

Anyway, after that I just backed off about it. I started giving her a multivitamin every day. I made sure she had enough to drink but not too much, so that she would get hungry. And then I started plonking the food down on her plate - usually a little of whatever we were eating, making sure there was at least one thing on the plate that she was familiar with and was bland enough.

Oh, and also - I gave her *really* little portions. Like a spoon of peas, a thumb sized piece of chicken, and a spoon of pasta/rice/carbs. It looked like a pathetic amount of food but big portions seemed to turn her off, even of foods that she loved otherwise. She could always have more if she wanted it. When she was 2.5, we started the "one-bite" rule, which worked fairly well.

Anyway, she'll be 7 next month, and I'm happy to say that she's a pretty good eater now. She's still not fond of spicy and she'd really rather not eat a casserole, but she'll eat most veggies and fruits, she does not have a sweet tooth, and she will take a bite of fairly gross (to her) things willingly.

My now 2.5yo never got nearly as picky because I just refused to play that game (though I get she's 2, and therefore I try to at least offer things that are whole and bland). They aren't going to starve themselves.

The Other Ali

I think I need to call my Mom, um, NOW.

And apologize for being such a ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS about eating as a child. I had no idea (until I read your entry) the stress I must have caused her as I lived on little more than frozen peas, tater tots and probably whatever color Play-Doh looked appealing that day for the first 6 years of my life. Sorry Mom!

So, no assvice, save this: I now love Thai. And sushi. And quesadillas and seafood, and all the things I threw the most hellascious tantrums about. (I even hated anything that resembled trees for awhile. Broccoli, aparagus, caulifolower, etc. I know, I was weird, I'm dealing.)
FYI: It totally WAS a power trip between myself and my Mom--and guess who won. (Hint: not me.) I ate when I was hungry enough and am now healthy and LOVE trying new food.

He will be fine. You will be fine. Take a bath and make Jason feed him dinner.
Assvice concluded.

Tali

If any of this advice is helpful, please let me know. I have my own problems. Only it's with my boyfriend and he's 23.
Please save some poor poor girl lots of frustration in 20 years and solve this before he starts dating.

Starbuck

I have a friend whose son has allergies to many foods. Therefore he is quite limited in what he can eat -- rice, not wheat, products; dairy, not soy; no tomatoes (including ketchup and taco seasoning), corn (in any state of being) or nuts. Understandably she is having food issues, too.

Her pediatrician reminded her that all he needs is protien the size of his palm which is about the size of a quarter or half-dollar. Not a lot. One tablespoon of peas (or bananas or whatever) for each year of age. Again not a lot. She also gives him Carnation Instant Breakfast and that is loaded with protien, vitamins and minerals. Like at least half of his daily needs.

Also, one of the hardest things to remember as a mom is that Noah will not starve himself. As a mom your job is to offer him nutritious meals 3x a day. His job is to eat it. Maybe give him fewer choices -- just yogurt and fruit for breakfast, cheese and crackers for lunch, diced chicken and vegetables for dinner. Because you know he likes these foods and is really just trying to assert his independence by rejecting them.

For your own sanity, I'd say you need to win this battle by standing firm and restricting his choices. Decide what to feed for lunch. If he rejects it, don't try to find something he will like. Just take him out of his high chair and let him play Then, when he decides he is hungry, offer him the same food. Eventually he will quit fighting about it.

If that doesn't work, give him jelly beans.

Jessica

Food/eating is the one thing that toddlers know they can control (except for their diapers, but be happy Noah hasn't figured that out yet!) and so they do.
You can't let yourself turn it into a power struggle. Put the food on his plate/tray and walk away. If he doesn't eat anything so be it, take him down and try again at the next meal. If you take the struggle out of it, he might actually give up.
That said, everyone who said that toddlers don't need to eat as much as we think are right. My pedi always says to look at their food intake over the whole week, rather than a meal or a day, to see if there is a balance.

CeCe

Advice a nutritionist gave me:

Feed the kid only at set meal times with only water in between (ie, no juice or milk) and only give them milk at the end of the meal, up to a maximum of 3 cups worth per day. They'll starve themselves for a maximum for a couple of days. She also said that it can take a kid up to 18 tries to decide if they like a food item or not.

Lori

I have not read all of the previous comments, but I'm guessing there are some similarities. Both my girls went through this. It actually created much tension in my household with my oldest because her dad wanted me to feed her only what she would eat and I wanted to feed her a variation of whatever we were having for dinner. I asked my pediatrician who told me, "no child has ever starved to death if you put food in front of them. Don't make it a battle. If she won't eat, wait til the next meal, eventually she'll get hungry." What I didn't realize was that it wasn't about the food with my kid, it became a power struggle. I stopped fighting, problem solved. When I faced it the second time around, things went much smoother. They are 14 and 16 now, and very healthy, so I can guarantee that at least in my case, this approach won't kill them.

Jessica

A friend of mine is going through something similar with her one year old. He will only eat cheerios and pureed fruit. I have a now three year old who went through the same thing and after much trial and error I learned....let him eat the damn cheerios. Keep offering the other stuff and pretend that you don't give a crap when he rejects it. I think half the time it's the kid wanting to do the opposite of what mom wants. Eventually he will eat that indian food again...and the heavens will open up and the angels will sing. Good luck!

Mrs. Flinger

Er, well, :: cough :: seeing as how I'm number four billion eighty five to comment, I feel a bit better saying I have no advice what-so-evah. As in, "WOW! Your kid even eats CHEESE! Sometimes!"

We're down to yogurt (only the pink squeeze one) and cheerios (only the pink yogurt flavored ones).

Amanda

So I dont even know if you will read this or not, but here goes...I am a pediatric occupational therapist and currently my caseload consists of many kiddos who arent eating anything but a VERY FEW food choices (one kid = only cold pediasure and apple juice). Most kids do eat 2-5 foods though. anyway, i am doing a feeding program with them that has been quite successful with most other kiddos I have treated in the past. It is the SOS Feeding approach, developed by Kay Toomey out of Denver, CO. I would be more than happy to help guide you thru this process if you are interested. Good luck!

Melodie

I have two boys (4 and 3). The 3 year old used to eat everything and anything. Now, I'm lucky if I can ram a cheerio down his throat. I've often wondered how they can survive on 1 cheerio for 3 days. But i digress. What I have discovered is that he won't eat for like 3 days - then BOOM - he's eating again - then he's not eating for 3 days etc and etc. The 4 year old has a texture thing (this is HUGE) and can't eat big bites of anything. He only started eating chicken because I cut it up really really small. What it basically comes down to is, he'll eat when he's hungry. Offer foods that don't require a spoon (my youngest eats yogurt with his fingers), try small bites of fruit (like berries! and raisins!, and let him help prepare the food (if you can) - like cheese and crackers. Remember "if he's hungry, he will eat." Good to know that all mothers with toddlers go through this. :)

Erica

Just ignore him. I know that sounds harsh, but just do it. Trust me. I have 3 little lovelies. Keep giving him some foods he will eat and the ones he used to eat and maybe throw in a new food for the hell of it. Eventually he will get over his texture "thing" and eat. My oldest will still not eat mashed potatoes or applesauce and he is 8. We all like different things and he is starting to develop those likes and dislikes. hang in there...key imprints on the head are not fashionable!

marymuses

Forgive me if some of this info is a repeat; I didn't make it through all the other comments. Someone in the beginning referenced a book and said the rules are that you decide what, when, and where your child will eat, and your child decides whether or not he'll eat what you give him. True enough. I'd add that it typically takes ten to twelve times of presenting a food to a child before they decide to even try it. If he throws what you offer on the floor, simply remove him from the table as if he's all done, clean him up just as you would if he'd actually eaten, and go on with your day. At the next mealtime, offer him food of your choosing again, and if he rejects it, same story. He will get hungry and eventually eat something when he figures out that this is the system. It will probably take far longer than you want it to, and he may drive you crazy with worry, but I promise you that he will be fine. I've been through this scenario with a lot of kids, and as far as I know, they're all alive and willingly eating at mealtimes today. This is hard, and you are completely justified in being frustrated and at your wit's end, but it will pass.

Whitney

Totally a power struggle. Does it suck when you kid actually gets the better of you? I freaking HATE it.

But, he will not starve himself. He will eat. Lots of hugs. I would not be handling it as well as you.

*hugs*

Amalah

By the way...I have read every. single. comment. and cannot thank you guys enough -- there is so much good info here and so many fantastic suggestions...and also just what I needed to hear, which is to LET THIS GO ALREADY, CRAZY MAMA PERSON.

I will probably not get to a eating update until after SXSW...although dudes! How tempted am I to not tell Jason the New Feeding Plan Of Nonchalance and see how completely psychotic he is by Monday?

Stacy

Hey there. The deal is that your child can live on kitchen fumes for days whilst you slowly go insane (and sometimes go insane not so slowly). Remove the mama-anxiety: offer variety and choices (not to many of the latter). Stick with finger foods and if your boy will still drink milk, let that fill the gaps. My child gave up milk at 16 months. It was dreadful until I discovered yogurt smoothies. He was basically a veal calf for several years. But he's 7 now and seemingly healthy. And we don't fight about food, which is the most important part of the equation.

This too will pass. Seriously, it will.

Moira

I feel the burn of the karma too.
This will sound weird, but my 2 1/2 year old LOVES chips and salsa. I give her the baked chips, and she can handle medium heat salsa. Salsa is a serving of veggies, and while it might not pass the Squish Test, there is dipping fun!

Carmen

Okay, I don't have the time to read all the thousands of comments ahead of me - you're just too popular, Amy! I have no advice to offer; I can just commiserate that I'm in the same place.

My 11-month old son Kieran may be the death of me with respect to eating as well. After chowing down tons of food in the first few weeks of eating solid food, he then decided to go on a two month long solid food strike that nearly sent Mama into the loony bin. The sight of a spoon would send him into screaming fits. It was awful. He finally started eating again, but wow - what a picky eater.

So far his favourites are:
- yogurt
- oatmeal with apple and cinnamon (Heinz)
- pesto & cheese tortillini
- eggy toast with cheese
- bunny-shaped pasta.
But please note the bunny-shaped part is important for pasta. Bunnies? Yes, please; bring 'em on. Shells, no. Elbows, heck, no. And it must be a white cheddar sauce. Otherwise, nope. He just picks stuff up and squishes it around in his hands, looks intently at it and then places it back on the tray. And then I obediently bring out the bunnies or tortellini.

He also will shovel back pieces of grapes, apples, and pears. Oh, and Cheerios of course. He turns his nose up at meat and vegetables though. And anything (other than yogurt or oatmeal) that you try to feed him with a spoon.

I've taken to deluding myself into thinking that Baby Mum-Mum vegetable flavoured crackers, Gerber Toddler Sweet Potato Puffs and Heinz Sweet Corn Puffs are vegetables. And he'll eat those.

My point: I feel your pain. And I'm sure that my situation won't improve as Kieran gets older.

drea

so: I read about half the comments, and while I find all of them very informative, I have homework to get to.

At any rate, my current favorite snack is frozen edamame thoroughly coated with salad dressing (a vinegarette is good). I have a feeling this would pass the squish test, and while I get a kick shooting the beans out of the pods, Noah may or may not. So try both and see what he likes.

Good luck, and Gods' speed, indy.

domestic_slackstress

The only foods my picky schmicky eldest kid of three (age 6) likes are: pizza, toast, quesadillas and garlic bread. No veg. No fruit. No happy for mommy. No fat on his body either. Skin and bones.

Eva

I STILL won't touch ketchup and maintain some aversion to brown foods (ew!they leave sticky crap on plates!) aand a HUGE distrust of eggs and have spoon issues and I'm THIRTY (and employed with friends and husband and a normal life and everything). As a kid? I ate no vegetables unless you count french fries or the piece of iceberg lettuce on a McDonald's hamburger. Hang in there and have fun at the SXSW conference and relax already!

Judy

Don't worry about it. They all do this. If they continued eating and gaining weight at the same rate they do in their first year, they'd be giants. He'll start eating again. When he's 15 and demolishing the entire contents of the refrigerator in two hours, you'll look back at this and laugh.

Debz

I think your site is great, so funny and I felt compelled to coment on this entry although I have never commented before! I have a two and a half year old who, on the whole is not bad compared to some other stories I've read!! I have found though, that whenever I give her something new, if she says that she doesn't like it I don't make too much fuss or else she plays on the attention. Just ignore, say "that's fine" but don't automatically offer something else. When they're hungry they will eat what's in front of them but if you always give them what you know they will eat then they will hold out for that. It's a battle of wills!! Hang in there!

mike

I suspect Noah is trying to fatten up the dog, and one day, will make his move. If I were that dog, I'd be watching out for snares or LEGO guillotines.

kel.

Fresh fruits and veggies taste better frozen than the pre-frozen, store-bought kind.

I wonder if he'd like frozen blueberries or grapes?

oz

I don't have it in me to read all 170 comments thus far to this post, and I have no doubt that I am repeating the content of approximately 165 of them. Anyway! NOAH WILL NOT STARVE HIMSELF. Not even just to spite you. He has, as you wrote, come to understand that this thing he can do - this rejecting food thing - is very much fun because it makes your face do weird things. I also get frustrated with my 18 month old who will (similarly to Noah) only eat grains and dairy with any (dare I say it?) consistency. But fruit? Veggies? Pshaw! I just put it from my mind and go about my business. And she does eat some dried fruit every couple of days. Mostly, I give her some food off of my plate because she is more likely to eat that than anything else. Dispense with the pureed fruit and give him the real thing. He will be more likely to eat what he can feed himself. And don't look at him while he eats. You see, that is so boring, and you couldn't really care less about it. Again, he won't starve himself. That's what I tell myself so that I can muster up some nonchalance about it all. HE WILL NOT STARVE HIMSELF.

alice Bradley

I can't relate to this at all.

bwa ha ha ha ha.

The best advice I've received from my many many Internet friends: Ellyn Satter's book, How to Get Your Kid To Eat (But Not Too Much). It saved me. Get it!

mswas

I must post on your site more often! Further up in the comments, I posted that one of my kids won't eat pasta. Well guess what she ate and loved last night????!!!!

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