My 16-month old is not a fan of this thing.


Camille Ho

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Sooo...when implementing this Whole30, Hubs and I knew that it was going to be for our whole family. We have a 16-month old who is still breastfeeding, but is fairly regular about his meals.

At least he was before we started.

Now we're lucky if we get him to take a bite of something before shaking his head and throwing it on the floor. Hubs is seriously considering supplementing him with cheese or crackers, while I'm trying to tell him that he'll eat when he gets hungry enough and won't voluntarily starve himself. Right?!

I know that we're the parents and that we need to make these good choices for him, since he is incapable of that right now, but it's kind of disconcerting when your kid doesn't really eat all day. He's definitely upped his breastmilk intake during the day, which I know is directly related to not eating solid food, but I don't want to go back to the nursing habits of an infant. I was working on night-weaning him, and, well...let's just say all the hard work that's gone into that has been pretty much decimated.

Anyway. I don't know if I'm looking for advice or just encouragement, but either would be helpful right now.

Thanks!

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I made baby good for all 4 of my kids. They all loved sweet potatoes. My daughter turned her nose up at most veggies on their own (she's 9 and still does it). I would make a big batch of veggies (steamed) and purée them with a little stock. He might not like some of the spices you're using. What about hot dogs? I have found grass fed compliant ones at WF. My boys loved broccoli. Load him up on foods he will eat. Kids don't usually care about variety as much as we do. How often is he nursing? Was he self-weaning before you started? His lack of appetite could be unrelated to the food. Maybe teeth are coming in. Maybe he's getting sick. My babies always knew when I was pregnant again and seemed more clingy. Keep trying. You're right, he'll eat when he's hungry.

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I don't have any advice since my kids are now 24 and 27 :) Seriously though, I do wish I'd known about all this when my kids were young because now they both eat crap diets, are unhealthy and I have zero influence over them. Is there anything he liked eating before, that would be compliant? I do remember when my daughter was being weaned she was a nightmare trying anything new and could only deal with a new taste every couple of weeks. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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You are right. He will not let himself starve. I don't have kids, so it's hard for me to really give you advice here, but Mod Robin has a lot of great insight and techniques that's she's posted about this topic. I'd do some searching and filter on her posts for just the Whole30 for kids section.

Some highlights:

Give him choices: "do you want compliant food X or compliant food Y?"

Don't stress out if his choices are almost always ignoring an important macronutrient. (like protein or something). It will all even out.

Keep offering the food choices even if he says he doesn't like it.

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I would say not to compromise. YOU are the parent...he will eat when he gets hungry enough. As for the weaning, I would stick to the schedule you were trying for otherwise (even though it's nutritious) it's like giving the cheese and crackers and giving in. I know this may sound harsh but again he's 16 months old...you know best and you are not harming him. My kids are 19 and 23 now and I took them off dairy, wheat and sugar when they were 2 and 6 (in 1995, it was so out there people though I was abusing my children!) and it was the hardest thing I've ever done but you CAN do it!!!

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This is a temporary phase, but he didn't mentally prepare to switch like you did, so this is his way of offering feedback.

Instead of offering one food, you could try offering a few at a time. Put little cut up bits into an ice cube tray: sweet potato, avocado, hard-boiled egg if you are serving that, a few soft meats, maybe a dip of sauce to make it fun.

When he's hungry, offer food first and nursing later, and no nursing at night if you were on that schedule. Let him wake up hungry and see a plate of food first thing in the morning.

Hugs, this too will pass.

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the encouragement!

We did a Baby-Led weaning approach when we introduced solid foods around 6-months and he's done fairly well with that. I grew up with a semi-twisted relationship with food due to my mom's weight and dieting issues that I then took on to myself, and the LAST thing I want to do is give him a complex as well. So I've always tried to be low-key about it, offer him a few options and then leave it.

It's just that sometimes the "perfectionist parent" in me takes over and I feel like I've got to get SOMETHING nutritious down him or I'm being a bad mom! Which I know isn't the truth, but, again, it's the perfectionist side coming out.

We usually offer him whatever we're having, which has always worked before, so I think I'll just stick with it and leave it. Now that we're eating well, we're eating a variety of foods at each meal, so he definitely has options to choose from.

As for the night-weaning, I'm just going to stick to my guns, even if it makes me tired. Sigh. That's one of the reasons I started this Whole30 in the first place--I am severely lacking energy! He was nursing 3-4 times during the day (but they were mostly 4-second "checking in" times), but he's upped it to at least five, and usually for a good 5-10 minutes at a time (which doesn't sound like much, but this kid can drink. milk.) I'm not ready to wean him completely, so I'm okay with him nursing during the day, but I also don't want to be his primary source of nutrition, either. I think it's taking a bigger toll on my body than I realized--I've been a LOT hungrier the last two days than I was the first few days of this, and it's got to have something to do with milk production.

Anyway. Thanks again, and keep the suggestions rolling. Also, as a side question, what do you all do for snacks when you're out? We used to have a bag packed with crackers and things, but that's obviously not going to work. He doesn't have enough teeth to really chew veggies yet, unless they're steamed soft, so I am kind of running low on ideas for snacks for the diaper bag...

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In terms of Paleo snacks (but not w30) there are some delicious muffin recipes in Practical Paleo that my kids love (made with coconut flour--the gingerbread muffins are the best and have 3 cups of carrot in them!)

My kids Aren't doing w30 but I do have them off soy, oats, dairy and gluten (and nuts due to allergy). The transition was hard for the 4 year old but the 20 month old has done well. I try to make sure I offer their favorites frequently. They love broccoli so we eat a lot of broccoli. I still have lots of variety and they've opened up to lots of things they didn't like before. I like to (try) to include at least one thing per meal I know they will eat. Then when they finish what it was they liked and ask for more, I ask them to eat a bite off whatever else ison their plate (chicken, sausage etc) before getting more broccoli.

Good luck with the weaning!

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I have a 19 month old, and I have raised him paleo from the get go, although he does get yogurt--plain, whole fat greek yogurt, and occasionally soaked oatmeal (ala NT) with it for breakfast. Maybe it is because I have made all his food, and he has never gotten jarred stuff, he has a pretty wide palate. He LOVES avocado, kale, spinach, pork, chicken, cranberries, all the other berries, grapes, apples, bananas, shrimp, chili (paleo ones from around the 'net), stews, eggs, MUSHROOMS he adores, broccoli, both raw and cooked, squash both winter and summer, sweet potatoes.... I could go on and on, the only thing he hasn't cared for is green beans.

My son loves to watch me cook, so maybe if you included your son in that? I have 'supervision' when I scramble eggs, I let him push the eggs around in the pan and he likes to throw in spinach leaves--yes, his favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms--maybe have your son help in that way and it might help expand his food horizons?

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I love all the thoughts people have given but here is my head scratching thought. Maybe it isn't that he doesn't want food but rather your milk is more nutritious and he's craving it. Many things pass though breastmilk and you may have more delicious and/or healing breast milk that before. It's just a thought but nursing during the day a little longer and being strict at night may heal his little gut from your prior diet faster that less nursing, paleo nibbles and crackers supplements.

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