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18-month old refusing to eat main meals

Hi ladies,

My son has always been a good eater, but about 10 days ago he stopped eating his main meal. He cries & wants another container to spoon it into and plays with it but none goes near his mouth. He goes to a nursery 3 days a week & is still eating fine there. I have moved his main meal to lunch as that's when nursery does it, given him all of his favourites, tried him in different seats, given him it with & without a drink. His drink just gets poured over his food. If he doesn't get something he wants from the side he becomes hysterical. I'm so worried, don't know what to do. This morning I missed out his snack so he hasnt eaten since 8am, but he has just refused a plate of fish & mash that he used to love.

Has anyone else experienced this? Really at a loss at what to do image



  • Hi hun,

    How is Lo with teeth? Are they all through? If not could be dollars irritating him. Try anbesol on gums. It could also possibly be naps. Play around with nap times before / after lunch. Lo may just be to tired to eat.

    Lastly only other thing I can think of is self feeding? Is he feeding himself? If not try 2 spoons one 4 him one 4 you.

    They are the only practical things I can think of to try but please believe when.I say sometimes our little darlings Go through stubborn phases for no reason at all and he will he fine I'm sure. I know my ds has done this a couple of times x x
  • My lo is 17 months and going through similar stages, she'll go from eating great and everything in front of her to fussing and just playing or throwing it! Very frustrating but doctor has previously advised me not to give her alternatives or extra snacks and that she won't starve - only to worry if she didn't eat anything at all and seems ill or lethargic in her behaviour. So far tbh if she IS hungry it doesn't seem to bother her and she still sleeps ok! (phew!)

  • My son is 31 months and still goes through phases of eating and then not eating, even when I give him his favourite foods. I've just learnt to let him get on with it, he gets a warning that if he doesn't eat that there's no pudding / yoghurt and nothing til lunch / dinner / bed, whatever the next meal is. Asked the HV once about it and she said a toddler will never let himself starve so I just keep that in mind and let him get on with it.

    I also find that he eats really really well in nursery, usually has 2 or 3 helpings, in fact they tell me when he's only had 1 helping as it's so unusual. so at least I know three days of the week he's eaten really well.

    He also eats really well when we eat with my husband (he works shifts) or like on the weekend we were at my in laws and he ate every meal and had extra, whether it was down to us all being sat down at the table I don't know but think it definitely helps.

    If you get really worried you could reward him with stickers, just until the problem stops?
  • Thanks for your replies ladies. He has improved, it's just a bit hit & miss (rather than total refusal!). He likes to take part in the meal prep so I generally give him some sauce/milk to add to his food.

    My son is the same with nursery & eats well there so that 3 days a week covered!

  • My son is going through this as well. I just remember if he's hungry he'll eat. Wouldn't mind if he was trying it and pulling a 'yuck' face, but he's just trying to hand me back the plate/bowl! x
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