Hoping to gain some tips for my very picky 16-month-old who quite literally does not eat anything

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Post by Guest »

Hello, new member!
Hoping to gain some tips for my very picky 16-month-old who quite literally does not eat anything. I would consider both of my kids high needs - my oldest has SPD and I believe my youngest does as well, however my first had no issues with food, so this is all new to me. (**She is still breastfed, but she does not breastfeed enough to interfere with meals. 3x a day max**)

A few key points:
  • - She prefers to eat on the floor. I know that is a choking hazard and isn’t a good habit. But some days in desperation I let her. She will squat and eat from her plate on the floor.
  • - Refuses almost everything. Shakes head no and signs all done even if noticeably hungry.
  • - Gets favourites but then eventually refuses the favourite too.
  • - Her “safe” foods are yogurt, cottage cheese, plain bread, and Annie’s white mac and cheese. She won’t eat any meat, vegetable, sauce, nothing. Strawberries are sometimes okay.
At this point I don’t even know how she is growing because she will. Not. Eat. Food. Doc is not concerned. She’s chunky. Hitting milestones. But it just scares me to see her go hours without food.

Any suggestions?!

Post by Sara »

My 2 y/o has SPD. High chairs were too anxiety inducing from the start. Our OT suggested picnic style on the floor or whatever he was most comfortable with. I found that letting him eat on the couch with a plate on a little tea tray and blanket underneath for mess worked well. He’s recently been open to eating at a small weaning table on the floor.

We watch TV during meals to help reduce anxiety and it helped him to be more open to trying new things even if he ended up spitting those things out. We also work with a nutritionist who said to lean into whatever his preferred food was that month (every month or two there seems to be a new obsession food).

That means buying all different flavors and different brands of that preferred item to at least give him that exposure until he grows tired of the food. That has helped us to be able to bridge to different foods. There were several months early on where all he ate were various flavors of yogurt melts and breastmilk.

We still have limited safe foods that he’ll eat consistently but he’s come a long a way and is more open to trying new things under relaxed circumstances. Sometimes if I let him think he’s stealing something off my plate vs fixing him his own plate that works well also. Small, non-intimidating portions, toothpicks and other fun serving methods.

I set up a little snack area where he has full access to go pick out a snack at any time he’s hungry with pouches, snack bars, puffs, goldfish, etc. Having that autonomy and independence has helped as he’s gotten older. Sorry for rambling - trying to get all my thoughts down! It’s so hard watching them refuse food most of the day.

Post by Toni »

My 16 month old son only eats a couple of bites per meal. He will try all foods and doesn’t have any safe foods that he will eat every time. He’s very small and not chunky at all. I’m trying to just accept that he doesn’t have a big appetite. It’s been very challenging.

Post by Sarah »

In India and Japan and I’m sure loads of other places it is perfectly normal to sit on the floor to eat there are also plenty of cultures where longer breast feeding is more common. I would continue as you are and not worry about where she eats too much. You can watch her to make sure she is okay. She is clearly benefiting from the breast nutritionally and if she hasn’t got into eating ‘properly’ yet she needs it. So don’t worry about that interfering. I’m sure she will drink less when she is ready. Also your list of foods doesn’t sound too terrible. a bit short on fruit and vege though? My little one hardly ever eats fruit or vege and therefore struggles with constipation. When constipated he barely eats anything. Is this something your daughter suffers with? We have medication for constipation and since getting it more under control he eats more consistently. Hugs.
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