My 15-month-old is refusing to eat: Advice?

My son is a little over a year old (15 months) and is refusing to eat. His diet and health haven’t changed; in fact - nothing has. He just doesn’t want to eat. On the rare occasion that I’m able to get a spoonful of anything in his mouth, he spits it out. I mentioned this to his doctor a few times, and all I got was “if he doesn’t want to eat, don’t fight him. He’ll eat when he’s hungry,” which makes sense…but it’s been three days since he’s eaten anything solid (in fear of him becoming malnourished and lacking vitamins, etc. I’ve been giving him a cup of breakfast essentials - I always try to feed him solid food first, and I try for a good long time before just handing him his drink). Today I decided not to make him his breakfast essentials and just wait it out. I thought maybe he’d get hungry and eat. NOPE. All-day, this child had water and a couple of Cheerios. I hate to admit, but I held his mouth open and put some food in…he ate it. He ate a spoonful of rice while I held him down and forced his mouth open. So I thought, great he’s eating! Nope. Because as soon as I let him go, he didn’t want anything to do with food. WTH? I know this isn’t normal. But he’s been gaining weight normally, everything seems fine, so no one else is anywhere near as concerned as I am…help…

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Holding him down is only going to make him think of food as a bad thing. It’s normal for them to “not eat” just keep a decent assortment of things out for him to snack on or try. His mouth could also be bothering him it’s really not too concerning until he actually starts dropping weight or any other “symptoms” listen to the Dr. Or find a different Dr. For a second opinion if it’s bothering you that much

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My kiddo had sensory issues that impacted what and how much he ate. Is he sensitive to sounds or textures?

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Did you breastfeed? My niece was like this til she was about 2 or so I’d say for SURE! Is he atleast drinking?

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Normal. Kids can go through that. Or It could be that they are constipated. Both of my children have belly issues. Most children can.

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Does he have any constipation problems? That could be a factor if so.


Kids go thrugh these phases, do not traumatize him by holding him down and forcing him to eat. He will eat when he is ready. Try to analyze what he is eating, too much milk, to many snacks but forcing him will only make him worst. You can give him Pediasure, try fruits and make his favorites but plesse do not force feed hin. Does he have all his teeth?

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I would check his teeth first. If no issues there, it could also possibly be a texture issue. A lot of kids with autism for example have issues with food. Hopefully it is just a stage, which is also very common. Whatever you do, just don’t force feed. That will be more traumatizing.

You wouldn’t want to be held down to eat anything

Our pediatrician said as long as they are still growing at a good pace then don’t worry.

My son is over 2 and still does this. Today he ate a bowl of cereal and that was all. Yesterday was 2 bites of cereal and 1 bite of apple. He will starve before eating something he doesn’t want. You cannot bribe the child either :rofl:

For all the Karens…do not bother commenting. He is my 3rd kid. I’m not going to traumatize my child and give him issues with food for life because he doesn’t want to eat. He eats if he wants to. I don’t need to hear about limiting his fluid intake or anything else.

There is no “normal” with toddlers. Except that there is no normal.

We are all in this parenting thing together

Having a similar issue with my 4 year old, I just make sure he has food he likes, fruits, veggies, apple sauce, jello, black olives, yogurt. And plenty of fluids. Next time I got to the store I’m going to get him some pediasure. I had to do it for my oldest when he was 4 when his grandpa died suddenly.

Has he been tested for food allergies? He may have a grain allergy that gives him stomachaches…

Just make sure he stays hydrated and dont force feed him…
When he’s hungry he will eat

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Trust me, he will let you know when he wants something

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Dont force feed him!!! That will do more harm than good. My 2 year old does the same thing. Honestly offer him foods you know he will eat even if it’s not super healthy. Have him help you make food. Like yogurt and fresh puree fruit and make yogurt pops. Peanut butter and apples. Finger foods. Veggie straws, baked chips or fruit chips. Make smoothies and add protein powder safe for kids. Make it fun. He will eat at some point. Hang in there :two_hearts:

If he’s still eating baby food, he’s probably over it. Try different foods.


Lol both of my brothers were this way, and lost a lot of weight. From eating everything to just cereal. It’s probably their hormones and Metabolism getting stronger. I see a lot of boys going through that🤷‍♀️

Has he got white spots or patches in his mouth or on his gums.? Is he teething. Did he perhaps burn his mouth with something too hot. ? Are his tonsils swollen or is he having any problem swallowing.? Is there any coughing, gagging, tummy upset, constipation, loose bowel movements. Any sign of ear aches? Any fever? Please don’t force anything as he could aspirate and then you got more issues. Check out some of the things I have asked you about. Have nutritious snacks. Finger foods. Best wishes.Oh are his glands in his neck swollen or anywhere else.

My daughter went through that for almost a year. I took her to the doctor and he told me that she’s not going through a growth spurt. When she’s hungry she’ll eat. When she starts going through a growth spurt, I won’t be able to stop her from eating. And he was right!!!

Leave a snacking plate on his level all day with a variety of non choke able foods on it and just ignore it, you’ll be pleased to see it will probably work great! I’ll bet he grazes and tries each thing out of natural curiosity and not feeling pressured to eat or practicing control over you since he probably senses the power struggle food is becoming. Make sure to give him lots of water as well since constipation is a big issue w boys at that age. Try a variety of textures but all healthy options, cheese flavored kale chips, cheese crackers, cut very small pieces of fruit, tiny chucks of granola bar, shredded turkey and cheese. I hope you try it, it’s worked for both of my boys and they both went through this phase at the same age. For them it was a constipation and food control combo. This worked. Good luck!

I daughter is having the same problem and the doctor said to give her pediasure

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