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  5. 3 year old refuses to eat meals - has NEVER eaten a real meal.

3 year old refuses to eat meals - has NEVER eaten a real meal. Lock Rss

I'm wondering if anyone can please help me.! I am at my wits end.. DS will be 3 in April. He refuses to eat meals. This is not a recent development, this has been ongoing since he first started to eat food. When he was a baby he would throw the food off the high chair. I would give him cooked vegetables, a sandwich, lasagne, spaghetti, everything would end up on the floor, uneaten. Except snacks, fruit. As time has moved on, DS has progressed to sitting at the table with the family in a big chair but he still refuses to eat. I have tried to let him sit on his own, watch Tele, anything to get him to eat but nothing works. I explain that he needs to eat real food to grow big & strong, he tells me he doesn't like real food & that he grows when he sleeps. He has utterly no interest in eating meals. His 2 year old sister eats anything I put in front of her. I sit them at their own little table to eat together, but DS refuses & will scream & cry if pushed. Right now I offered him some toast for breakfast & he's run off screaming that he doesn't like toast. (But he does, sometimes?) I am going insane. DS will eat lots of fruits, nuts, muesli bars, lots of healthy snacks, but all he seems to like are snacks. He won't even eat pizza. I asked his doctor who was not at all concerned & said he would start eating when he saw others eating. Ummm, hasn't happened in almost 3 years, starting to be extremely concerned. It is upsetting for everyone when we try to have a nice family meal & DS carries on like his legs have been cut off if a plate of food is put in front of him. He was born 33+2 (7 weeks early) & had a feeding tube for the first 3 weeks of his life. He then moved on to bottles, but it's like he's always had an issue with eating meals. He is perfectly capable of chewing, swallowing, he can eat treats when given them by his grandparents! His staple meal is sweet potato chips, but the idea that he lives on them is so disheartening. The amount of food wasted is ridiculous. Even when I try feed him a dinner of snacks, like blueberries, pineapple, pistachios& cheese he will cry & say he only likes pistachios (even though they are all his favourites). I will tell him to just eat what he wants to but he will leave it all & eat nothing. Worrying about my stubborn little man. Any advice or similar stories would be so appreciated. smile
My son is exactly the same (he's 2.5). He's never eaten properly. Refused all solids from 6-12 months. He would scream as soon as we put him in his high chair and clamp his mouth shut and turn his head. After then he was exceptionally picky (until he was 18 months old he literally only ate yogurt, cheese, rice, bread and puffs and absolutely nothing else). We've probably only had one or two meals in total in his life where he has actually eaten what we've eaten in the same meal.

The thing we've found most helpful is to stop worrying so much about what he actually eats. Peer pressure as he gets older will make him want to eat more normally. What we do now is present him with a range of relatively healthy options and he just selects from it. We found as soon as we stopped trying to get him to eat what we wanted and gave him more control over his meals he became a lot more willing to branch out and try new things. We offer him a list of options at every meal and he just says no or yes and we make him what he asks for. We don't serve him our meal but always ask him if he wants to try it and sometimes now he'll say yes. His diet certainly isn't great even now (eg he has never eaten a single piece of fruit in his life) but he continues to grow well and his doctor isn't worried. It's a lot less stressful for us and I think for my son too.

Good luck. I know how difficult it is and yes he still waste a lot of food!!!
Hey there

We've put together some tips for picky eaters from recipes to other tips to get your little one to eat here:

Let us know how you go!
Our daughter sounds very similar!! When we started her on solids as a baby, she ate everything and anything we feed her, then she hit 11 months and wanted to feed herself, and all the healthy foods she used to eat went out the window and she refused pretty much everything!! She is now nearly 3. She is the same as your boy where she snacks really well, eats snacker bars, raisins, bananas, apples, fruit etc. and eats plently of food, but eats absolutely no dinner food. She lives off sandwiches, toast, yoghurts and fruit pouches from the supermarket and has never eaten any meat, ever. Our girl is a very strong girl and its very hard to get her to do anything she doesn't want to do. We've tried all sorts with her eating habits too and the more we tried, the harder it seemed. Even her daycare said they have never seen a kid refuse so much different kinds of food, and refuse them for so long. We spoke to a nutritionist and she said this behaviour in toddlers is very normal and not to worry. She said consistency & persistent is the key, and they will eventually try new things when they are ready. Keep giving them new foods, keep encouraging them to eat and give them the same foods every night, even though it seems so pointless because they never touch it. Eventually they will get curious enough to try it. Our little girl still doesn't eat decent meals at dinner time, but she doesn't push the plate of the table like she used to or flat out refuse, she's slowly getting more curious and interested. One day Im sure we'll crack her! smile Good luck with your boy! Toddlers sure can be challenging.
Sorry to hear must be so hard x, Maybe try to give him proper meals but in a way that it looks like a snack? For example cut the toast into strips and put it in a zip lock bag and show that its snacks? Have you try making food look exciting like make smiley faces and scenery things? Hope this helps.
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