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just turned two years never eaten solids

(54 Posts)
DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 07:58:30

I give up, ds refuses point blank to eat solids and every day for the last year I have binned the apple slices, corn, cucumber, melon, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, banana, chicken nuggets, toast that I have cut attractively, served, to no avail. I have put one item on his plate, all on his plate, a few on his plate etc. Tonight when he screamed at me, I screamed back. He is now in front of the tv while I have a gin&tonic and type this. He is our 2nd boy of 2children. We are doing the same stuff we did before. With the exception that he is still taking milk from a bottle.

I give him milk from a bottle 3x a day, he will not drink juice or water or diluted juice from the £20 worth of beakers that we have bought over the last 18mths. He chews them. He has milk upon waking, porridge 2hours later, milk after a nap and after his bath. The rest of the time he will ONLY eat pureed food including all meat, fish, fruit & veg. Mostly home-made and everything from home-made curry to shepherds pie. Pureed only. Slightest lump and he vomits. He is always given lumpy food, he never chews he swallows as soon as the lump is discovered he either stops eating or vomits every meal. He will eat any amount of bland or spiced food provided it is pureed.

There is nothing physically wrong with him whatsoever. If the food is sauce based like spag bol he will open his mouth willingly, but heaven forbid that there is a rogue piece of texture.

He barely speaks other than, ta da, ta & bye.

He never says mummy or daddy and probably won't until he eats something solid as so far his tongue is just there for decoration. My compost bin is full of wonderful food, thrown in disgust on the floor, spat at me or simply ignored. He is give loads of praise every time he even looks vaguely interested in food, he has forks & we encourage touching his food (regardless of the living hell the kitchen has become). We eat with him and only at the table with no distractions. He has never eaten snacks or treat food. He did eat cheerios every morning for a week with milk and for reasons best known only to himself he stopped after 5 days.

He tips all cereal onto the floor and he has been given every type just to tempt him. He refuses all dehydrated fruit whether in bits or whole.

I'm fed up. He's not, clearly.

We entertain, distract, praise, ignore, whatever it does not work and I am nothing if not consistent in my approach especially as I want my 6year old to know that I am fair with them both.

He is a healthy weight, he is active and fit.

He sleeps like a dream, from 6.30pm every night until he's woken, that's right, WOKEN the following morning at 6.30am. He has a minimum 3hour nap every day and always has done. He has a sunny disposition and the dirtiest laugh. He is easy and an ideal little boy, an absolute dream and his older brother was the same. So why doesn't he eat solids or speak?

He's now being referred for speech therapy. It will come as no surprise that eating solids and speech are directly linked.

I know I'm lucky having two such good sleepers and lovely happy children. But if I have to push another carrot through a sieve I will scream.

He will eat beige food such as bread sticks and crackers and toast crusts (he will not eat toast or crust with butter or any jam/honey etc on it. His favourite chew thing is a week old baguette.

All our furniture and books have bite marks in them, including the rest of the family. He will eat stones and cardboard and I am forever tipping him upside down and hauling things out so he doesn't crack his jaw in half, poison himself or choke.

Cutting out the milk only results in him not drinking at all. Then he starts to get dehydrated and has become constipated on only those occasions we have denied him access to it.

It would be great to hear from some one with a two year old who has had success.

DeWe Sat 14-May-11 08:09:53

My cousin was like this. She would actually get her own bottle ready including warming it up in the microwave. She was/is perfectly healthy and ate solids fine by the time she went to school. She didn't even eat pureed food at 2.
They were advised to keep offering small plates of solids, and that's what they did. Gradually she ate fine, I think the first thing she started to eat was ham, and then tried chips a few weeks later.
I remember going to feed the ducks one day after she'd refused the bread on her plate and noticing that she was eating the stale bread we'd brought!
She's training to be a doctor now.
But, food issues with texture and lack of speaking can be signs of something else. Have your brought it up with your GP?

WobblyWidgetOnTheScooper Sat 14-May-11 08:21:01

Oh you poor thing that sounds so stressful.

You said he eats some bready foods - so he is eating some solids. Is this a recent improvement?

Does he feed himself the purée or do you feed him?

TanteRose Sat 14-May-11 08:37:41

you must be exhausted sad

I did a quick google of non-eater, 2 years old, and this came up

one of the things that was mentioned is that because of drinking so much milk, the child's iron levels were low, and this was suppressing their appetite.

not sure if this is relevant, but maybe have iron levels checked when you visit the GP.

good luck - you obviously don't need to be told that he is picking up on your anxiety....he is using food to gain control over something/over you, because its the only way he knows how at 2 years old...

I hope your GP gives you proper support with this

TanteRose Sat 14-May-11 08:39:46

sorry, just read your OP again - it doesn't seem that his appetite is suppressed, as he will eat the purees, right? ignore me....blush

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 08:43:10

He will feed himself yoghurt and the occasional breadstick or cracker but tbh it looks more like teething on the dry food than actually 'eating'. If its not yoghurt I haven't got a cats chance. I'm sitting here this morning with lovely creamy porridge with apple & banana puree all mixed in. A favourite, but typically he is refusing first mouthful. We know once he has the first mouthful he will wolf the rest down and the change in behaviour is dramatic! Have given up and given him a yoghurt & spoon. And he's now eating happily. Ds 1, Mummy 0.

LIZS Sat 14-May-11 08:43:54

Could he have other issues apart from speech ie sensory (if he still uses his mouth to explore and perhaps is behind speech wise) Does he understand even if he doesn't express himself verbally ? Did he hit other milestones ?Worth asking the SALT if she thinks he needs further assessment .

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 08:48:21

His iron levels are great, he either has a beef/lentil or chicken dish for lunch and the opposite for tea. He eats all green veg except lettuce (I haven't dared puree that!). His diet couldn't be healthier, sadly its just mush. I would be more concerned about the milk intake if it were affecting his appetite, but his appetite is huge, its just mush. Grrr to lovely ds.

ratsnapper Sat 14-May-11 08:48:47

I remember seeing a documentary about this ages ago - basically they stopped the purees completely and only offered solid food at each meal. Food was served and eaten or removed with no emotion/praise from the parents. I think you would need a high level of support with this approach as the boy on tv had to get really hungry and lose some weight before he started eating solids, which he did after a few days.

mnistooaddictive Sat 14-May-11 08:55:39

This must be really hard for you and you have my sympathy. What I have to say though (in a sympathetic way!)is as long as he knows refusing what you give him will get a yogurt or purée there is no incentive to change. You will have to be really hard and hold back the tears. Offer him solids and if he doesn't eat it, bin it but give nothing else. Do not give extra milk and offer water in a cup. It may take a few days but he needs to know you are serious. Do not react or beg if ge won't eat it. Give him 10 minutes then throw it away.

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 08:55:59

Thanks Lizs, he's now eating the yoghurt carton! All other milestones met, but this sensory stuff & verbal communication is definitely linked - in my mind anyway. I can't wait to pin an expert down & see what they say. You raise a really good point about what he understands too, I really don't know. He will tantrum when we say no, he will be joyful & inquisitive when playing, but I really don't know what goes on in that pretty little head because he doesn't say anything or gesture apart from a 'want' 'go away' 'clapping' (when something has made him laugh) or 'bye'. I'm going to make a big effort today to see if he's trying to talk other ways and how oblivious we are to it!

mnistooaddictive Sat 14-May-11 08:57:22

Do you give him the spoon it do you do it for him? Let him exore good with his hands if necessary before letting him feed himself.

mnistooaddictive Sat 14-May-11 08:58:25

The muscles you use to speak are strengthened by chewing so they are very much related!

MumblingRagDoll Sat 14-May-11 09:04:45

I just wanted to say that i feel so bad for 3 year old is very difficult about food....not as bad as your DS but because I know a little of the stress, I know just how hard this must be.
Do you have any help and support?

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 09:17:06

I give him the spoon and let him crack on with it, unless he's inviting me to feed him which is about a 50/50 ratio. Trust me, he explores! At the moment his chair, the table, his clothes, his hair & hands are all covered in banana porridge. Just not his mouth. My dh is good & with both take turns to carry the stress. GP & HV haven't been bothered up till now because of his weight, alertness & general excellent health. But now he's 2 he's getting referred for SALT. Stones and wood bark are his favourite things to shove in his mouth, despite real food being on offer (even mini-milks). I have the scars to prove it (constantly having to retrieve the latest dangerous thing out of his mouth). Show him a carrot or slice of apple and he screams, I'm sure the neighbours think I'm torturing him. In some ways its funny because he sees me getting the veg out of the fridge & screams, cutting it he screams, put it on table he screams. Never once have we put it in his mouth! We sit like morons around the table eating carrots & slices of apple going oooh, ahhh. We've even roped in elder ds while we parade 'how to eat'. Mmmm we all go, he laughs along with us. But that's it. He won't ever try it himself.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 14-May-11 09:17:52

After googling, I came across mention of "Apraxia of speech" which seems to be a developmental issue which can also affect how a child mnages food...

Obviously I am not a doctor but I wondered if the link might be useful to you so you could look at the symptoms....I found

this site too which is a sort of info and support site and yo might find more's USA but still may be informative.

Obviously only an expert can diagnose...but I know that when I'm worried about my DC I look for info online which can set my ind at rest.

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 09:32:24

Thanks ratsnapper, that's essentially where its at this week, although I have given in this morning and let him have a yoghurt. I've drawn the line at removing fluids though but he gets no more than 3 bottles a day and that's that. He is a very healthy weight at the moment and taller than average for his age. For nearly a year he has had identical food to us presented to him, after we have finished eating and he has played with it and become frustrated because he's hungry I usually blend it and he eats it happily then. But its wrong on some level. So we're trying exclusively 'proper food' and no mush (with the exception of porridge) and I probably shouldn't have let him have the yoghurt? I'm really thankful for all your responses, feels a hang of alot better to share!

Iatemyskinnyperson Sat 14-May-11 09:46:30

Hi there. Sorry ye are going through this stressful time. Have you considered further assessment? Are his play skills appropriate for his age?

ratsnapper Sat 14-May-11 09:46:42

Hmm.....really difficult. Not sure about the yoghurt - maybe save it for a reward when he tries a bit of something else?

The SALT should be able to help you a lot (used to be one myself pre-kids) as part of their remit is eating and drinking difficulties as well as language development. There are SALTs who specialise in swallowing difficulties although from what you say it doesn't sound like there is a physical swallowing problem. The SALT might want to do an oral examination of your ds. It was a fairly common scenario when I was working to see 2 year olds with delayed language development who were eating hardly any solids - it's strongly related. Typically they were drinking heaps of milk and had little appetite left over for solid food. When I saw children like this I usually involved a clinical psychologist if possible and we worked together. When are you going to see the SALT?

tethersend Sat 14-May-11 09:53:43

Did you see a programme a couple of weeks ago about children with food phobias? I will try and find it. It was fascinating. Your son vomiting when he eats solids sounds very much like a phobia, but I'm no expert.

The treatment offered to children in this programme was simply to remove the stress at mealtimes by offering only food you know they will eat (even chocolate or crisps) and then introduce one food at a time. Of course, this was all under clinical supervision; it was staggering how much of an impact removing the stress from mealtimes had on the children.

tethersend Sat 14-May-11 10:19:52

It was called 'my child won't eat' and was on itv2 on 30th April, althouh it could have been a repeat. It featured Dr. Gillian Harris from Birmingham university. Very interesting.

WobblyWidgetOnTheScooper Sat 14-May-11 11:49:44

I think that was a repeat (we don't have tv any more so don't know what was on) as I recognise the title - did it include a little boy who would only drink milk from bottles and ate no food, or something like that?

trailingspouse Sat 14-May-11 11:54:21

I seem to remember what happened in the end was he went to nursery and it sort of broke the cycle, i.e. mum wasn't there to always give him milk/purees, different people serving the food etc. It all ended well!

treedelivery Sat 14-May-11 11:59:43

My only little tip (as a mum of 2 who eat like birds and are utterly painful in that department) is this: if throwing away the lovingly prepared expensive food is getting to be a stressor in its self, which it did for me, well then offer them less food of lesser quality.

As soon as they begin to actually eat then up the quality and quantity.

My example is this - I actually cried when I threw out a lovingly prepared locally sourced somewhat organic 'many veggie rice with chicken dish' for the 20th time. It was delicious and took ages to make. I work, struggle to manage life and generally couldn't cope with the idea that all that work was snubbed.

I spent about 3 months relying on Tilda microwave butternut squash rice (99p in Asda and one packet served 4-6 meals to my girls). I'd shred some chicken, perhaps pre cooked or left over, into it.

As soon as they dd1 came around to this type of meal I went back to mostly making my own. We are still working on dd2, who is 2.3 and mainly lives on formula.

At least I didn't have to see lovely food going in the bin, just food I had no emotional involvement with.

Sounds loony but it helped me. You are not alone!

DianaDors Sat 14-May-11 12:03:38

Hi, totally against my instinct to let him have the yoghurt, but then he'd had nothing all morning, so for want of a better idea I gave it to him. He has since refused any bread crusts or other food. Dh has him out for a play at park while I type. Poor ds must be starving as by now he would be having his lunch. On a typical day he would have bowl of readybrek made with milk, banana & apple (pureed) then a bottle of milk and 2small crackers (never mind being offered apple, melon, carrot batons, slices of cucumber) 3hrs after breakfast. 5hours after breakfast he will be offered ham, cheese, cucumber, melon, carrot batons, apple, raisins, corn, pieces of cereal all on a plate (although sometimes just one item at a time just incase I'm overwhelming him with choice). This always fails. After 20mins - half an hour I give in and give him last nights tea that I've blitzed. This he eats all of and with gusto. However if there is a rogue lump towards the end (small lump even) he will gag and vomit the entire meal. He only ever gets custard, yoghurt type thing AFTER meal and nearly always with pureed fruit. This is repeated with the evening meal.

Today, he has had a mini yoghurt, those really small ones that come in packs of 6. Nothing else.

I never use milk as a food substitute, its only offered after food and his afternoon nap. In the afternoon its only 120mls and he gets nothing else till 4.30 when he's starving mad for yet another pureed meal.

They are back from the park, I have offered no carrots etc like I usually do. Lunch today is mashed potato, home-made with no salt, broad beans softened & skinned, steamed fresh carrots and lincolnshire sausages. He has swiped the sliced sausage and eating the inner. I am aghast, they are high in salt which will make him thirsty and not a terribly good source of nutrition (he has about an inch worth in his hand as I type).

Typically beige food. The broad beans & carrots neglected. Mash ignored.

Bites are miniscule so far, fingers crossed!

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