Why won't my 15 m old eat ANYTHING?!?!

by Aminah
(whitby, ON , Canada)

My 15m old boy born at 8 and a half pounds will not eat anything. He didn't gain weight from 9 to 12 months, since 12m he has gained 1 pound and is at 20 pounds now.

I have been to dieticians, doctors etc hundreds of times with my daughter who has special needs so I know a lot of what the "text books say", I know all the high calorie food tricks, but he doesn't want to eat period, even ice cream and when he does eat, the max for a meal is 5 bites ALWAYS.

He hates milk or formula, I breastfed exclusively for 6m, then introduced him to all the pureed veg, fruit, meat etc and it all went fine, I still breastfed him a lot until he was 12 months then I had to stop for medical reasons but he handled that very well. I tried since he was 6 months to get him to take some formula but never had any success.

I know he has bad habits, like he will not sit in any highchair or any type of feeding chair to eat. He likes to do evertything himself and gets mad when we try to feed him so we let him have a little bowl with a tiny bit of whatever we're giving him with his own spoon and he plays with it and is willing to let us then feed him, but never more than 5 bites. I give him things I know he likes as finger foods, but he mainly plays with it, may eat 1 bite and throws it on the floor when he gets bored. Even after barely eating all day u would think he'd at least eat something, no interest.

He's not filling up on liquid, he gets no more than 14 ounces of water/pediaure and calcium fortified OJ and i've read that the minimum for fluids is 16oz. He is NOT constipated, his stool are more loose than anything and I wonder if it's because he drinks a lot of juice or because he has a food allergy? (dairy or wheat?). He likes eggs and that seems to be the one thing I know he'll eat every day, but even that has to be fed to him half at a time usually.

His height and head have increased pretty normally, it's just the weight has been going in a straight line or dipping a little as opposed to going up. I don't know if he's failure to thrive but in like 5 months he's gained 1 pound. He has no symptoms of any health issue.

ANSWER: If you really don't feel it's a health issue. try getting an evaluation from a speech therapist and start feeding therapy to get him to accept food.

You didn't mention if he is meeting his other milestones, but if he seems aversive to other things such as bathing, brushing his teeth or hair, or touching certain textures, behavioral therapy may be beneficial.

I would also consider getting him tested for food allergies, though, because it may be an allergy to milk or wheat which often does not have very obvious symptoms. You also may want to look into getting him tested for delayed gastric emptying since he will only eat 5 bites then automatically stops.

I hope this helps, and good luck!

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