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Old 05-04-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
happysmileylady
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Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

My 19 month old refuses the vast majority of table foods. Without even trying them.

What will she eat:

Most cookies. I haven't found one she will turn down, but we also haven't done many.

Most bread foods...when she feels like it. There isn't one that I have come across that she outright refuses, but she only actually eats a bread if she feels like it...so probably about 60% of the time it's offered. If she doesn't eat it, she will poke it and play with it, just not eat it. These bread products include regular old sliced bread, homemade slices of dinner bread, bagels, english muffins, buns, pizza crusts and garlic bread. The only bread product I have seen her refuse consistantly is breadsticks. These products include most flavors you can think of..banana bread, garlic pizza crust, etc etc.

Yogurt-any flavor, any time of day, any kind. Loves yogurt

banana mashed up with a fork or pureed in the processor. She WILL NOT eat a banana sliced up at all. Not to pick up herself or be spoon fed and will not even touch a whole banana in the peel that's been opened.

apples, pears or strawberries chopped up in the processor. I try to keep these as chunky as possible when I blend them. She will not touch any of them in whole or sliced form at all. Won't pick them up and literally pushes her tounge out to keep anyone from putting them in her mouth.

Most jarred baby food fruits, and a few veggies. Will not eat jarred green beans, peas or mixed veggie blends, but will do sweet potatoes, corn and carrots. She will also do nearly all fruits or fruit and yogurt blends.

Baby food oatmeal, but not regular oatmeal. Surgared, with fruit, plain...she will do any of that in babyfood form, (ie gerber baby cereal) but refuses all versions of regular oatmeal.

Occasionally, she will eat a chicken nugget or a fry from McDonalds, but she won't eat them in any other form...homemade fries or nuggets are a no go.

I did once manage to get her to eat a pot pie mishmash, with gravy, turkey, peas, corn, and some rice, all mixed together but not really mashed up. I think she did about 5 bites before she realized it was real food and began to refuse. I haven't been able to get her to eat any more since.

That pretty much covers it.

She will NOT eat noodles, at all. She will not eat rice, at all, She will not eat cheese, at all, she will not eat eggs, at all, she will not eat meat, at all. She will not do whole/cut/raw/cooked veggies at all. She will not do any other whole or mashed fruits other than what I listed above (blueberries, pineapple, cherries, etc etc) In addition, she will not drink water or any form of juice, and her milk/formula cannot be fresh out of the fridge cold, unless she's really hungry. It needs to be warmed enough to remove the chill. She also refuses any and all attempts at sippy cups.

When I say she refuses these things, I don't just mean she tries it and spits it out (though she does that too) I mean she throws things on the floor when she has the opportunity (and yes we do discipline for this, holding her hand, telling her no, etc) and she completely avoids any attempt to bring the stuff to her mouth. She doesn't say the word "no" yet, but she uses every single other form of body language to communicate that's what she means. All attempts at sippy cups, even ones that are as close to bottles as you can get with the soft spouts, are dropped, with a look of disgust, as if they burn her, then cries ensue for her regular bottle.

Except for food however, she's EXTREMELY oral. Everything else goes in her mouth. A particular favorite to put in her mouth is books and paper, which she does actually eat. Another favorite are shoes, particularly the bottoms Anything else in her reach, from tv remotes, to pens to toys big and small, ANYTHING, goes in her mouth. And she chews it, not just sucks on it. Oddly, she refuses a pacifier. Things she can't put in her mouth, she licks. Windows, walls, furniture...I have caught her licking a floor mat at my sister's cake shop multiple times, often enough that we have gone so far as to put it up when we visit. I also caught her licking a bathroom drain once.

My mom jokes that if you put a piece of whole fruit on her tray and a piece of lint, she will throw the fruit on the floor and put the lint in her mouth...and really, it's true. Even if it's a food she's never seen before...which I don't understand, how does she know the difference between the food and the not food, when she's never see the food item before.

I have continued to try and try, and tried to be as relaxed about the whole thing as possible. She's growing, she's not fussy and I think she's getting plenty of nutrition from milk and/or formula plus whatever we can manage to get in her. I have done everything from setting it in front of her and ignoring her, to trying to force it in her mouth (which of course doesn't work at all, but yes, I have tried it once or twice.) And continue to offer, try new things with her etc.

I am just really getting frustrated by now. She will be 20 months old on the 12th of this month. I have a new baby coming in October and I can't be nursing the baby and spoonfeeding the other one and still be providing any sort of real food for anyone else.

Suggestions, ideas?

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Honestly? I think I would get a sensory evaluation. You can probably get a good one on Google to check out before talking to your pediatrician.

I'm not saying she has an oral issue, but I'd say it sounds highly likely. And from what I can tell, this is one of the easiest to deal with. But probably the most frustrating since it concerns the health of your child.

Chances are, she's fine. But if she does have oral aversions, it would be helpful to find out now. And even if not, I'm sure some of the techniques you can find online would work for your kiddo too.

I'm sure some of it is habit and 19month obstinence (I've got a 19month old!).
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

Have you tried pouches? It's not much different from jarred baby food, but at least she can eat them by herself without you having to spoon feed her. My 2 year old is a super picky eater as well and if I can't get a good meal in her I end up giving her a pouch just so I'm sure she's getting enough nutrition. She will never refuse a pouch. Ella's Kitchen and Plum Organics have a lot of great varieties that combine fruits and veggies.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Oh golly my DD loves pouches. I call them her 'squeezy fruit'. If she knows one exists in the vicinity, she will tear apart the diaper bag to find it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

I agree with Emily. It sounds like she needs to be evaluated. I would start with your DR.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
Honestly? I think I would get a sensory evaluation. You can probably get a good one on Google to check out before talking to your pediatrician.

I'm not saying she has an oral issue, but I'd say it sounds highly likely. And from what I can tell, this is one of the easiest to deal with. But probably the most frustrating since it concerns the health of your child.

Chances are, she's fine. But if she does have oral aversions, it would be helpful to find out now. And even if not, I'm sure some of the techniques you can find online would work for your kiddo too.

I'm sure some of it is habit and 19month obstinence (I've got a 19month old!).


It could also be some kind of disorder completely unrelated to the food that's making her behave that way. Sounds like really unusual behavior for a child that age.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

So, a small update...

Try try again right?

After posting this I had to go get some milk and picked up some more babyfood. I HATE buying it, I am so tired of buying it, but sometimes convenience wins out. And, try try again, I bought some jars that she has rejected multiple times.

One thing I picked up was macaroni beef, which was basically little bits of beef, in tomato and cheese sauce, with little tiny round noodle Os. IOW, it's beef a roni, in simple baby form. And, she ate 3/4 of the jar. The first bite went in and right back out, I don't think it even actually hit her tongue. The second bite though went in, and stayed in. She made a "eww gross" face, and gave a little shiver, but she chewed and swallowed. The third bite, she actually opened her mouth for. I was really happy. Still spoon feeding, but steps.

Also, yesterday, we had NO bottles clean. NONE. And, DH is lazy, didn't want to wash a bottle. So, he took the bottle shaped sippy cup that has the soft tipped spout and filled it with milk. She dropped it at first, but he didn't give in and just set it to the side. After about 10 minutes, she wandered up, and took a sip. She didn't drink much of it overall, at least half the cup was wasted. But again baby steps.

Along the same lines, DD2 left her regular sippy cup on the table a bit ago, DD3 wandered up and took it. She kinda tossed it around a bit, but she did take a few drinks out of it.

However, she did completely refuse to even allow the mac and cheese dd2 had for lunch to even come near her face. DD2 was done, I tried one cheesy noodle on a spoon, DD3 kept turning her head away, pushing the spoon away, etc.

But, try try again. We will keep trying. We may still call for an eval...or not, I dunno. Evals make me nervous, my experience through friends with special needs kids that that sometimes things can get a little overboard and/or get overly complicated than they need to be.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #8
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Well yay

I wouldn't worry about the eval stuff being a pain. Ours took about an hour and was in our home (which is a plus in my mind) and was just a series of questions (which is why I bet you can find a series on google). And I learned SO much. My DD was decided to not have a sensory issue, but I got to learn about why kids do a lot of things (she's a toe walker which is why the eval was ordered).

But only do what you're comfortable. I still think you could probably use a lot of the tricks that moms of children with oral aversions use to introduce their kids to new textures and tastes. I just find that knowing if your kid has an actual mental aversion to things helps you gauge how hard to push new things. Whether its straight up defiance or something that seriously distresses them.

But either way - yay!! I'm glad that it appears habit and something you can hopefully fix with a little mommy tough love.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:10 AM   #9
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

I know it is hard to have a child with eating problems. My DS1 is such a challenge that way. I think he was still at least 80% breastfed at almost two years. He just had little interest in food. Would not touch it, ever. If I would not feed it to him, he had to eat it with a fork. Even those fruit bunny things that are like gummy bears. About a year ago, he started touching food finally. He now eats a really good variety if foods, and will even give new foods a try. But with 'messy' foods, like yogurt, he does still ask to be fed and won't do it himself. I agree having her at least evaluated. If nothing else, it will put your mind at ease, and may give you some tools to help deal with the issue.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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Re: Tired of spoon feeding my 19 month old

If your daughter looks healthy in all other fashion, I would give her food atleast once a day and not feed her during that meal. Pick a meal when she is in the best mood...

I was trying to get my daughter to feed herself with the milk bottle. She would sit and refuse to hold the bottle. I let two weeks go by and kept getting frustrated.

I decided to start with just one meal at first so she would still get good nutrition for the rest of the day. I decided that the first feed in the morning, would be a good one to experiment With. She is hungry first thing and also easiest since she is not tired.....

I would keep the bottle in front of her.The first time she had half a bottle and then waited to be fed but now she drinks it on her own. I still partially feed her last feed. I knew if she skipped one meal, she will be hungry in the next meal and will catch up. She is ten months old now and at least has the concept of self feeding.

I hope this helps.

The other thing is I would check on this, I am not sure if it is an old wives tail but they do see if the child is eating dirt there could be deficiencies.

Good luck
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