432737 tn?1358549432

18 month old eating habits

Jack just turned 18 months and has suddenly gotten to be very picky/uninterested in meals. He has breakfast and lunch at daycare Monday-Friday (and he always seems to eat there) - so I just have to worry about meals on the weekend and dinners before bed.

His former faves:  macaroni and cheese, chicken pieces, steamed veggies (carrots, green beans, corn), ravioli, fish sticks, pancakes, eggos, poptart (without icing on top), bananas, etc. He never was a big fan of chicken nuggets.

Anyhow, lately I will set a meal in front of him and he just plays with it, smushes it, throws it around, smears it, stares at it, tries to stand in his high chair, etc. He won't even go for bananas, and they were always his favorite! It's like the only thing I can get him to eat are raisins!
He will eat if he can use utensils - but even though he's pretty good with them, most of it winds up on the floor and I still feel like he's not getting enough in his actual belly.
Maybe it's the age, but I'm starting to freak out that he's not eating enough at home.

Anyone have any new dinner/lunch ideas -- or any thoughts about this? Any other June/July 09' babies doing this!?

Hope everyone had a great holiday and happy new year! Heather
6 Responses
615752 tn?1361867986
Also happy holidays and new year to everyone too :-)

I have read that at around the age our tots are at, they can start to rebel with food or more that they know if they don't eat, that they will get a reaction out of us. I can understand how you feel, sometimes Medina doesn't want to eat and it annoys me but I try to remain calm.

Breakfast is our worst meal time, she basically eats only two things - toasties with margarine and vegemite (it's an Australian yeast extract) or scrambled eggs. She used to love her muesli which I used to mix with pureed fruit, but no way, not any more. So I'm running out of breakfast ideas.

Have you tried interesting spaghetti shapes like farfalle (bows) or fusilli (spiral twists)? Medina never liked them and then she started day care last September and started to eat them, now she loves them especially the spiral twists with different colours. I try to eat with her sometimes and she feeds me and vice versa which is also fun. Medina loves couscous and orzo (risoni, a rice shaped pasta). I make her orzo with a bit of cream (plant alternative) and broccoli, with a pinch of salt and pepper and she gobbles it up every time I make it. She is a big rice eater but she loves rice with pumpkin (or squash) and shredded poached chicken, or sometimes I just add some minced meat and some veggies such as carrots and zucchini.

I don't put alot on Medina's plate, I put 2-3 spoonfuls at a time and then when she wants more I put some more. She is thankfully eating well at the moment, but all kids have phases, they come and go.

And another thing, I have noticed that when they have a very good breakfast, lunch and sufficient snacks, that dinner is the worst meal. When we notice that Medina plays with her food, we take her down because it's usually a sign she's had enough.

Maybe he isn't hungry or is he snacking too much in between meals? Some tots snack alot now that they are on the go.

Good luck and it will get better :-)
94902 tn?1330479667
We are going through the EXACT same thing!!  It seems that all of Cash's favorites are now the things he refuses to eat!  Basically he doesn't want anything that I prepare, but he will eat one of those Gerber Lil Entrees anytime - which annoys me bc I want him to eat homemade foods not prepackaged.  He does all the things that Jack does - he will refuse to open his mouth, feed his food to the dog, shake his head and say "no", spit the food out, rake the food out of his mouth with his fingers, mash it up on his plate - anything but eat.  I am hoping its just a phase but it has been going on for a month now!  This is a huge shock to me and DH bc Cash has always been a really good eater and would eat anything I put in front of him up until this point.  It has frustrated me so much that we are to the point that I just let DH fight with him every night to eat.  In return I take the diaper, bathing, bedtime duties - LOL!  Let me know if you find a resolution, but I'm hoping this too shall pass.
Oh, and Cash is starting daycare next week (my MIL has been keeping him in our home up until this point) so I'm stressing about that as well.
550943 tn?1330727580
I'm having problems too with dinner. Lilly louds breakfast and lunch but dinner she barely touches and must feed herself too.

She wants to eat yogurt and fruit the whole day so I have started giving her dinner at lunch and bread, yogurt and fruit for dinner.

I also find when she doesn't snack much during the day, she will eat more dinner.

Lilly too plays with her food and lots ends up on the floor. I mentioned this to my heath nurse and she said they will not starve themselves, they will eat what they want when they want and its a stage they all go through.

Nice to know but doesn't stop us from worrying!
432737 tn?1358549432
Thanks for all the posts! It is nice to talk to everyone again! I know we're all very busy these days, but it's nice to know I can go back to my girls for some advice! Or even just to vent. :)
I think I'm getting worked up because like Cash, Jack has always been a great eater! He loved green beans so much waitresses would comment whenever we went out to eat! Jack would munch up an entire side of green beans and everyone would marvel, what a great child! Now, those green beans are on the floor and we are scurrying out the door with take out boxes!
I also get annoyed and confused because when I pick Jack up from daycare, MOST DAYS, his teacher will say "Jack ate all of his breakfast and lunch!" and say how he just loved eating this and that. Then I'll fix the exact same meal on a weekend, and he won't touch it! I think he eats more when he's surrounded with all his buddies, who are also eating! We sit at the table (Jack's high chair also at the table) for dinner to give him the same atmosphere (most nights) but it doesn't seem to work these days.
He'll eat raisins and yogurt, etc. at night like nobody's business. It is true Tiger, I guess he wouldn't let himself starve...so I probably need to take a deep breath and relax! But these phases can test me..haha.
After making two meals for Jack tonight, I gave up and gave him a poptart. He ate half and wanted down. That was that. Oh well. I guess he'll survive!
Ladybug -- Cash will do great at daycare! I remember bawling my eyes out when Jack was 10 weeks and I had to start him at daycare. It took about two weeks before I was OK with it, but you have a headstart on me with Cash being with your MIL...you are used to being away..just not used to the daycare part.
Cash will catch more colds, but he will also make some great friends! and have little parties during holidays, paint pictures that get hung on the wall...etc. Jack's a little social butterfly and I know daycare is the reason --other than having totally awesome parents :) ha.
Please don't hesitate to message me about it!
   --- Heather
615752 tn?1361867986
That may be the case that Jack is rather social. Kids tend to eat better when they see others around them. Do you know any other Mums with toddlers? Maybe you could invite them over and see if he eats when other tots are around. Just a suggestion :-)
Avatar universal
My 18 month old boy will wake up about twice, at least to eat before new mornings. Is that normal?
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