Feeding a One Year Old


uponstarz

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My baby boy is picky.. always has been... He's got a personality just like his Dad. If he wants it and you don't give it to him, he'll scream and cry until he can't see it anymore... Last night, it was his brother's homework folder. If he doesn't want it, then he DOESN'T want it... Don't even try. I never wanted to let him eat anything processed or "bad" - including crackers & cheerios. When seven months rolled around and he still wouldn't eat, I tried a graham cracker... When 8 months rolled around and he STILL wouldn't eat, I gave in to the cheerios. From there, he went to all the "bad" foods. He was starting to eat pretty good (in terms of amount and eating three meals a day, not quality of food). Now, at 12 months, I am trying to pull the crackers, cheerios, and other foods away and... he's not eating. He's hit and miss, actually. I am not sure if it is what I am offering because sometimes he just rejects EVERYTHING (even if it isn't "healthy"). He is still breastfeeding.. so I am not TOO concerned just yet... But I am starting to worry a little bit - am I doing the best thing for him as a parent?

He will eat a food one day then totally reject it the next... Some of these hit and miss foods are:

Chicken

Ground beef/turkey

Sausage

Steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots

Apples

Bananas

Cantaloupe

Strawberries

Watermelon

String cheese (I don't like that he eats this so much but I feel it's better than nothing)

He's been eating maybe 1 meal a day for the last two weeks... Sometimes he will just eat a couple of "small" meals... more like snacks. He had eczema as a baby... and I tried yogurt (before I decided to start changing diet).. He ate it twice (at the same time as eggs, doh) and ended up with a rash. I do NOT want to give him yogurt again... and don't see a need to supplement with dairy products since he's still breastfeeding. Him and my 8 year old both LOVE string cheese though, so I have been allowing that from time to time. I've tried offering eggs again but he seems to be rejecting them... and I haven't ruled out that they do not cause a rash just yet.

I know I need to be consistent... I've read offering the same foods every day... I will try that but any additional advice would be GREATLY appreciated!! In fact, someone affirming that him eating very little (sometimes close to nothing) is better than snacking on Cheerios & crackers all day would be VERY helpful!! Thank you!!!

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I'm guessing you don't know this, but babies under 1 (and maybe even older) do not have to eat anything other than breast milk. That is where their nutrition is coming from. The solids you feed them is for experimental purpose only, not a part of their nutrition. I'm wondering if your baby was just not ready.

This is tough love here, but you might need it. You're the boss - not your kid. Trust me, I have a VERY demanding 2 year old who has been known to throw 1-2 hour long tantrums over one stupid thing she didn't get. Just last week she literally ripped out a strap in her jogging stroller because she was mad I wouldn't let her keep the stuffed animal she picked up in the store. So, I'm not just some lady who doesn't know what I'm talking about. ;)

Don't give your kids foods you don't want to feed them. Just don't. They cry, they cry. Whatever. You're the boss. You're breastfeeding still? That's great. Your kid's getting nutrition he needs. I don't understand this mentality that the kid is pretty much forcing a parent to feed him unhealthy foods - especially when we're talking about a 1 year old. It's just time to be the boss. Your kid doesn't eat what you are giving him for dinner? Well, he must not be hungry enough (and it is likely that he's not). I'm sure he'll eat next time you feed him because then he'll be hungry. You set up an expectation when you cave into fits. Basically, you're teaching him how to manipulate you by doing that. That only makes things harder for you.

Since you asked, it is not doing the best thing for him as a parent when you give in to his fits and "just feed him whatever he wants." Most kids are picky eaters. Heck, mine who would eat every vegetable under the sun a year ago will now only eat like three vegetables - but I feed them to her at every meal. Also, I've read and am experimenting with the concept that it takes 10 times for a kid to finally try something new on their plate. This has actually been very true for my daughter. We've put brussels sprouts on her plate a dozen times and a couple days ago, she finally tried it.

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CaseyD -

Thank you. It's not that I don't believe any of those things... But when you come in to contact with sitters (I work) and Doctors, they tell you otherwise. It's hard to silence out people that are conforming to the Food Pyramid, especially when YOU don't know the facts yourself. When he started at the sitter's, she was also pushing food very much because she feels that kids NEED to eat (she was licensed by the state and knew her stuff - based off of the Food Pyramid). I was not informed enough about food myself... and what is good/not good... In fact, I am still only learning and will be starting my first Whole30 on Friday. I am definitely one of those who cave because it's too much and too hard to work, have two kids (one 8 year old who is very active in baseball and a 1 year old), keep the house clean, cook, AND spend quality time with the family. It was always easier just to grab something quick and already cooked. I am TRYING to change this.

For the record, I don't give in to his fits and feed him whatever he wants... It has just been what he gets is what he has for options and if he doesn't want them, then he doesn't eat. I just wanted to be sure that I am doing the right thing.. and that, in this scenario, no food would be better than junk food.

I do send his breakfast, lunch, and snacks to the sitters... and, for lunch, I got him to eat about 3/4 of a piece of salami (uncured, nitrate, nitrite free.. need to double-check the rest of those ingredients, though I'm pretty sure they were okay when I bought them) and some grapes... I had to eat with him... and take whatever he offered me (which is fine by me). He had grapes with lunch today... Last night he would only eat cantaloupe, today he is ONLY eating grapes. Thankfully I am able to go eat lunch with him and nurse him... Double thankfully that he is still VERY attached to nursing.

Thank you for letting me know that this is not abnormal and I am not the only parent experiencing this. It helps more than you know!

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UponStarz -

Good for you for making this change. It may be challenging at first (mine were 1 and 2.5), but eventually your kiddo will be the one who eats all the broccoli off the veggie trays at birthday parties ;0)

Keep offering whatever Good Food you're eating (and he's ready for) and you'll build the right habits.

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What CaseyD said! Trust me. I was a push-over with my kid. He is now 26 and doing well. In retrospect, I would not have worried so much on a daily basis if he wasn't hungry, because he would have been by the next day. If I had it to do over I would have removed dairy from my diet before, during and after my pregnancy. I would have had a calmer baby. Ah, we live and learn - hopefully!

If you are fortunate enough to be breastfeeding, and you are eating paleo, he is being well fed. Maybe you could try preparing some yummy broccoli with olive oil for yourself and start munching at it, being sure to vocalize "yumm, yumm - this is so good." The trick is, like with a cat, don't look at him, don't ask him if he wants any. Just let him see you enjoying your treat. When he comes to you with interest, then you can offer a bite. Let us know if this works! :)

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