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12 month old eats almost nothing

(10 Posts)
belinda31 Sun 08-Nov-09 22:52:12

My little boy (turned 1 last week) has always been a difficult eater. He has been through long phases of drinking very little milk etc, and was hell to breastfeed. He loves milk now though, but nothing much else. He has never eaten much breakfast, but now has literally nothing after his milk, (i try toast, porridge, bananas, etc) and last week he dropped lunch too (he licked cream cheese off a rice cake and that was it, for about 3 days). He eats a relatively big supper but only really likes pasta with some sort of sauce (apart from tonight when he refused that and cottage pie and ate only 1/3 of a pear) and i'm just getting a bit worried that he has no appetite and will not get what he needs. The only thing he eats with abandon is cheese. And pears.

I haven't done anything about moving him to cows milk yet as I thought maybe formula was better (he's on follow on milk) if he's not getting nutrition from food, but maybe i'm wrong?

Any tips? Ride the storm? And what about letting him just not eat anything and go hungry rather than poking spoons in his face and offering him 4 different options at every meal - oh dear I bet that is bad...

Any ideas gratefully received!

Taramuddle Sun 08-Nov-09 23:05:24

I shouldn't worry if he seems healthy and is growing ok, my dd was 18 months before she'd really eat any sizeable portions of food. I just fed her bits and bobs throughout the day rather than expecting her to eat 3 square meals.
The other thing that seems to reduce appetite hugely is teething & colds!

cece Sun 08-Nov-09 23:09:04

Are you making him special meals or is he eating with the rest of the family? At one he should be just having what everyone else is having. Maybe this might encourage him?

My other tip is try not to show how much this is stressing you out. It then becomes soemthing else completely!

Invite other children around for a meal or go to a cafe to act as good role model.

skydancer1 Mon 09-Nov-09 03:48:22

Just wanted to sympathise as my DS (now 3) was like this until he was about two and a half and it used to drive me spare though in the end I did my best to hide these feelings from him! He's still a 'fussy' eater but now a strapping 3 yo with a growing appetite. I'd say 1) Don't worry, he will eat what he needs, young children do not starve themselves and 2) Don't get into eating battles with him. Offer food regularly, leave him to it (aside from help cutting/peeling) and take it away when it becomes obvious it isn't going to be eaten. 3) Offer one thing and don't go running around making numerous alternatives (been there blush) and no poking spoons in face/pressurising. Just offer and leave. He'll soon eat more happily when it is not a big deal/good attention wheeze. You really do have my sympathy - it's so natural to worry about your child's nutrition and sufficient intake - but it sounds as if your LO is getting enough. Oh and you don't say how much milk he still has but loads of milk might discourage eating solids. Good luck.

sandcastles Mon 09-Nov-09 04:13:12

How much formula is he having? Formula is very filling & tends to take a while to digest, so first I would try to offer milk after meals if possible or make sure that he isn't having too much, too close to meals.

Don't get into the trap of offering him several options at meal times.

belinda31 Mon 09-Nov-09 07:29:08

Thanks everyone - very encouraging.

He drinks milk three times a day - I make 8oz in the morning but he drinks about 5oz (but sometimes 6-8!) and I've been giving that when he wakes and then waiting an hour or so before breakfast, but it doesn't make any odds. This morning I'm trying feeding him food first, but he is simply not hungry - pushing shreddies around in a bowl and excitedly dripping his water cup into the bowl and dangling it over the high chair watching water drip out.

Then he has nothing till lunch but eats no lunch, then he has 5oz at half two/3ish, and used to drink that till the last couple of days, and then he has supper at 6, when he usually does eat quite a bit, (except for last night when he ate at 8pm after we were stuck in a traffic jam for hours on the way home and wasn't hungry at all (or tired, he slept for 2 hours in the car!)) and then 9oz of milk after his bath. So, about 19-22oz, that's just over a pint I think. So he consumes by far the majority of his nutrition just before he goes to bed.

He currently has green snot pouring out his nose, which I know will make for a weak appetite. I am ashamed to say I never know when he's teething, i guess he could be.

He's very keen on grabbing the spoon if I'm spoon feeding him but never even considers putting it in his mouth. I have noticed with things like toast, he's unwilling to bite off a little bit, he'd rather pull off a minute piece and put it in his mouth - maybe that's sore teeth?

Anyway, I am sure he'll pass through the phase, and I will try to eat with him more, I know that's better for him, but his timings (though it doesn't make much difference since he's not really hungry ever!!) are normally earlier than mine.

Thanks all.

B

skydancer1 Mon 09-Nov-09 07:50:33

I'm glad you feel encouraged! Milk intake sounds normal to me for his age - but cant remember to be honest. Just realised he is only just one so he probably does still need spoon feeding a fair bit as he probably wont have enough hand control for sloppier consistencies - but I still think the more 'laid back'/hands off approach to feeding him you can manage the better. Yes colds are often a total put-off for eating as noses get so blocked. It's true social eating is really helpful but not always practicable. And I just think at that age their stomach size is really small and it's more natural to eat little bits at a time.

maxybrown Mon 09-Nov-09 08:00:53

My DS still hardly eats at 2.2 but has loads of energy (not hyper at all, just energetic!) Green snot won't help him no, is he reguarly like this? (I didn't mean that in an accusatory fashion btw just interested!)

My DS was very very keen to feed himself and at one was doing it basically all himself so I thought that was why he wouldn't eat much, but he would NOT let us help him, HE had to do it! But slightly diffrent for you. I presume he is gaining weight though? Although my DS didn't gain weight for 9 months this year but didn't lose so they weren't worried. He fluctuates from 2nd percentile (looks very healthy though I have to say) to at the min he is er...can't remeber, but a bit higher up anyway! lol. Also if his nose is terribly blocked, he won't have taste or smell, so no desire to eat.

skydancer1 Mon 09-Nov-09 08:24:05

I think I found this article helpful, or maybe just reassuring. Anyway stomach size about the size of your child's/hand fist http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T030800.asp#back

LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 09-Nov-09 11:17:56

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