by Gayathri rajendran (Cincinnati, OH)
I just bought your book because I was desperately looking for help. My son is 13 months old and is almost 20 pounds. He is at the very low end of the curve.
Both his father and myself are not very big and so I find it acceptable that is on the smaller side. But the issue is with his eating, like Galen, he also does not put anything in his mouth, I still spoon feed him and he eats very picky anything from purees to stage 3 to toddler pieces of soft meats and fruits.
How do I get him to pick up his food and eat? He is so picky, I often have to sit him in the high chair and do a song and dance for an hour to get him to eat a small meal.
It is very stressful for me. I wake up worrying and worry all day about planning his meals and trying to make him eat his calories. If I try to give him any food in his hand, he tosses it right away. He never learned to hold his bottle or sippy either. Is this normal or have I not given him adequate opportunity? I nursed him till 10 months and then he has been on formula. I am desperately trying to get him to not take more than 18 oz but sometimes it can go up to 24 oz a day and the rest of it is solids. I try very hard almost all day long so he can eat more solids and consume ,less formula (baby’s only and pediasmart).
I am open to feeding him any kinds of meat. please advise on how I can get my son to eat and enjoy and thrive well to grow happily. I really need help ! Thanks much in advance. Also what are some top of your choice nutrient dense foods for my picky eater? He is very active and on target for his development, started walking at 10 months and has started talking little words and big jabbers now.
It’s very good that he’s active and on-target for development – that is a good sign that he’s healthy and growing well, and just needs a little help with eating.
First and foremost, I would recommend talking to your doctor or calling your area’s Early Intervention hotline to see about getting your son assessed. He may just need a little extra help with some of his motor development and feeding skills. I tend to like to stay away from doctors, but having some outside help for Galen was invaluable to me.
Secondly, when Galen was visiting the feeding clinic I was told the most important thing is to get calories into the child so they are able to grow well, then worry about “moving up” in steps towards “normal” feedings.
For us, at that time, it meant using completely pure/smooth baby food purees – equivalent to a Stage 1 baby food. We also used several tricks to encourage Galen to eat more of his food – I share those in the “Picky Eaters” report that you got with the book so be sure to review that.
I understand how you feel about being so frustrated dancing about for an hour trying to get your little guy to eat. One of the things that helped me the most was our occupational therapist’s advice to start using a timer. 20 minutes and that was it – if he ate, he ate during that time, but after that, it was time to clean him up and get down from the high chair.
This lowered my frustration immensely and it helped Galen because he wasn’t trapped in the chair for as long.
At that time things were very stressful. I was so worried about how much Galen was eating, and spoon-feeding him every bite felt so frustrating too, especially when other babies around him were eating anything and everything they could get their hands on!
We worked with Galen until we got up to meals of about 5-6oz of smooth purees 3 times a day. He also had around 4oz of whole milk 2 times a day, then got to where he’d drink 9oz of whole milk 2 times a day. He also still breastfed during the day.
Initially I used a homemade formula recipe for his milk – you’ll find that in the supplement and also here: Recipes for Homemade Baby Formula. As he started gaining weight I switched to just whole milk with coconut oil added to it. Then to just whole milk, which he still gets today.
When I began making his food, I would make him what we were eating, but I thinned it to a puree with the best heavy cream I could buy to pack in the calories. I also added butter for flavor and calories. Heavy cream, butter, coconut milk, nut butters, whole cheeses, whole milk yogurt, cream cheese, egg yolk, sour cream, canned fish packed in oil and avocado are all good high-calorie foods.
Carbohydrates are also good to help pack weight on your baby – prepare them with lots of cream and/or butter or other fatty foods to give him energy and calories. Sweet potato, banana, carrots, squashes, etc. are good. Any fruit really is a good choice. I would again, mix with butter or cream.
Usually I would blend whatever meat and veggie we were having for the meal, and add butter and cream to that.
I would start by getting him to eat what you can – if you need to completely spoon feed him, go ahead and do that.
With Galen we were able to move up gradually to chunkier foods as he got to where he’d consistently take in 4-6oz of pureed food at each meal.
It has been a long, slow road. Galen is now 24 months and he is finally eating really well, and eating everything – he will even chew up meat chunks now 🙂 I love watching him eat.
Take things slowly with your son and again, don’t hesitate to call his doctor and/or Early Intervention. Sometimes an occupational therapist who specializes in feeding issues can really make a huge difference.
Best of luck with your baby and let me know if I can help with anything more.