Help my 19 mo old (17 month corrected) won't eat

My son is 19 months (17 months corrected). He is not wanting to eat. At every meal he won't open his mouth and protests the entire time. I do not understand as only about three weeks ago he would eat about anything i gave him. Whatever we were having I could make it bite sized and he would eat. Now he does not want anything except milk and we basically have to force into his mouth.

Any advice would be great.

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Are you giving your son choices about what he gets to eat? Is he just unhappy with not having choices?

Are you spoon feeding him or letting him control the food through self-feeding (e.g., putting pieces of food in front of him)?

Has he had issues with reflux before? A doctor that we met in the ER a few months ago said that his son developed reflux at 1-1.5 years old.

Have you changed anything in his feeding routine? A new chair, a new spoon, a new bowl? My son's OT was working with a child who stopped eating at 1 year adjusted b/c her parents had lost "the spoon" that she was used. She associated that spoon with eating and refused to eat off of anything else. It took a year to create new, positive associations with other utensils. Consequently, our son's OT said that we should mix up the colors of our bowls and use different color spoons, so that our son would be flexible about eating.

If the problem persists, you might want to consult an OT who specializes in feeding habits.

Good Luck!

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He might be just chosing milk over other foods, because that's what he wants. He'll get hungry enough given a period of time, he'll eat the table food.

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I have the exact same problem as you so know what you are going through. My son is 14 months, 11 months corrected. He also went through a stage when he was eating bottles of food and would eat great. Now as soon as the spoon comes near him he just cries and throws a huge tantrum. Some days are better than others but nethertheless it is totally frustrating cause even the good days aren't very good if you know what I mean. I guess we just have to keep trying our best. We have tried everything, changed food, changed bowls, changed spoons. He has reflux so this is the probably cause, he doesn't drink that much milk either so it is a huge worry.

Hang in there, hopefully we will get it right soon.

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My daughter who is 18 months (15mo adjusted) goes on "food strikes" when she is teething, it usually lasts for a couple of days then she goes back to eating. I find that during those days if I just pick one food to put on her tray at a time she sometimes will nibble at that.

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My 19 month (15 1/2 adjusted) is starting to get a little picky. She used to eat just about anything but now meal times are a bit more challenging.

The two things that I have found are that she likes to have her own fork or spoon, sometimes when I just put food on her tray, she won't eat it until I get her a fork to try (even thought she does most of her eating with her fingers.)

Also I have found that with the exception of Yougurt, which she will never eat, one day she will eat something and the next she might shun the same food so I just keep giving her choices. I try to give her a little bit of three or four foods at each meal so she is getting a broad selection of foods and so that if one thing isn't appealing at that time, there are other choices for her.

One thing I have heard is that it is important to keep exposing kids to different foods. If they push it away one day - keep offering it time after time and eventually they will probably eat it. I have seen from experience what happens when you assume kids don 't like something. My six year old nephew has so many food issues, I wonder somedays how he has grown so much over the years. He will not eat any fruit and vegitables are pretty much limited to corn and an occasional green bean with a little spagetti sauce on the side for good measure.

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I am going through the exct same thing with my son, who is also 19 months (just over 15 months adjusted). We had a speech therapist evaluate him recently and she said it's a control issue. My son recently went almost 4 days where he only ate one meal. He was to the point I had to start giving him baby foods again. My ST said that she doesn't usually see that until the babies are around 2. Her advice is to just try different things. I'll give you a few ideas here, but if you want more you can email me at One thing she said to do is to take the pressure off by letting the baby carry the food around the house. I've started sitting on the floor when I eat and I let my son come play in my plate. He doesn't eat just real good that way, but he will take one or two bites which is progress. Also give him a regular fork when he eats. Another thing we are trying is finding a sauce my son likes. So far we've tried ketchup and ranch. He likes the ranch dressing and will lick it off of whatever we put it on. He won't eat the food yet, but hopefully he'll take that step soon. Our ST also suggested figuring out what food the baby really likes, for Aedan it's mandarin oranges, and giving that to him for every meal. You have to not worry about nutrition so much, but at least the baby is eating. She also suggested that if I was worried about the baby's nutrition to give him pediasure. I, more than anyone know how frustrating this is because at 19 months you can't reason with them the way you'd like. Hang in there, it's just one of those preemie stages to get through. Just wait potty training is coming up soon. Let me know if you'd like any more ideas.

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We had this issue with Jude ST suggested we do not force him and leave food out in his reach when we are with him. This occurred recently right after he turned 2 Now there is No fighting - we still try the one bite of something at dinner and he has to sit there when daddy and mommy eat.

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My former 26 weeker who is now 28 months actual does exactly that EVERY time he is teething. Sometime it's lasts for as much as 10 days. He'll refuse almost anything and eat very very little and then almost as suddenly he'll eat everything I set in front of him and want more! I know that I used to get frustrated and worried but I've learned just to be patient and not force him.

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My 17 month old (actual - he was 2 month preemie) is going through that little phase, too. Last week he was voracious, trying new things. This week he only wants cheese and crackers, banana, and yogurt and milk. Old favorites like mueslii and corn and chicken are out the window. This is normal. Our 10 year old went through it to. She used to love spicy ethnic food when she was a baby. Now she won't touch it.

To make sure our son is getting what he needs, we supplement with Pediasure (or the store brand equiv) and give him a variety of finger foods so he has choices. It's also helpful if I distract him by dangling a toy or making funny faces while I poke a bite of food in his mouth. It works for us.

Also, now that he is a toddler, our son is more interested in seeing how quickly he can get out of his highchair so he can get back down to play and run around. I think that factors into his food picky-ness. .. . Funny - as I type this, I hear him telling my husband "down, down" from the other room. He was just having a snack. Ha! Point illustrated!

Hang in there!

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