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20 month old DS barely eats - what's up?

(4 Posts)
bt98 Fri 06-Jun-14 14:58:03

Hi everyone

Over the last few weeks my 20 month old boy has gradually cut down his food intake to barely anything.

First he stopped eating his big bowl of porridge in the morning. Then he started skipping lunch. Now he wont touch his dinner either - he's not even playing with it. It's like he's just never hungry.

He's been a fairly good eater in the past. He's been eating independently for a good few months now. We sit as a family for dinner, and have a good happy routine around meal times.

Now he often wont touch his plate. He even turns up his favourite snacks, so a nibble of a banana or a cracker is what sustains him for half the day.

He still enjoys his cow's milk - 150 mls (~5 oz) at mid morning, mid afternoon, and before bed. Not an excessive amount, always after food is offered.

At first I thought I'm just being paranoid but then I wrote down all the things he ate yesterday and saw how little it has become:

- three bites of toast with pb
- 1/4 avocado
- small pot yoghurt
- 450 mls (~15 oz) milk total

He's 95th percentile for his height and around 40th for his weight, as a result he's always looked very slim.

Does he really not need more calories than this?

We walk for 1 hour a day with the dogs, he plays energetically around the house. He sleeps 10 hours at night and 3 hours in the afternoon.

His health seems perfectly fine. Developmentally, he is just starting to talk and has been pushing his bedtime back too til 9pm. Is there a connection?

Should I be concerned or is this a phase? Would it help if I start tracking his weight?

Thank you for your advice!

Toastmonster Fri 06-Jun-14 17:25:17

My DS was exactly like this and I personally found it was all to do with the times of his meals. It got to the point he was hardly eating anything so I started giving him his dinner at 4 / 4.30 and he started eating the lot. Even now at 3.8 years he still has his dinner early as he simply can't cope with a 'late' normal tea time meal. He then has a little supper, maybe toast and banana / yogurt at 7 then bed at 7.30. Maybe just try rejigging the times and see if that helps. I felt terrible at first that he was eating alone and not at the table with all of us but it was better for him and I'm sure in time we can meet in the middle. Also don't force the issue as I think it just makes it worse and offer an alternative a bit later on. I think most children go through this phase, some worst than others. Good luck

avacat Fri 06-Jun-14 23:09:22

That does sound very little. Have you tried cutting down on the milk and offering water instead?

Jaffakake Sat 07-Jun-14 22:06:37

Personally I think it's probably a bit too much milk. At that age ds had a tommee tippee cup of milk in the morning and one at night/tea time. Other than that it was all solid food. I know a lot of people offer their kids snacks but I found ds ate better on 3 meals a day 8:30, 11 & 4. I know it's hard to cut back on the only thing you feel they're eating though.

I wouldn't be concerned unless it goes on for ages. Everything seems to be a phase. Ds, nicknamed 'human dustbin' by one of his nursery workers has gone through the odd phase of eating only fruit purée or yoghurt after being ill or after a growth spurt is over. I don't think any dr in the land would think what you describe as a problem providing his weight doesn't drop & food isn't an 'issue' I.e. He tries & isn't scared, so to speak.

Ds also tends to eat better when the focus isn't on him & there's no pressure to get done in a certain time. We do family lunches at the weekend & always join him with a cup of tea at dinner time so he's not on his own. Picnics in the park, or eating in the garden when the weather allows shakes it up a bit so life doesn't become boring.

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