Get real solutions for when a toddler refuses to eat that you can start using today, and learn about why toddler eating habits matter. You’ll also find food ideas for picky toddlers inside!
Terrified. Overwhelmed. Confused. When you’ve placed another meal in front of your toddler and they’ve refused to eat it again, you’re likely feeling all of these different emotions. Those feelings only intensify when you’re around another toddler that’s eating well. You can’t help but wonder why your toddler won’t eat.
As an occupational therapist that specializes in feeding, I’ve worked with a lot families that have a toddler refusing to eat and I know often times the next thought is that you’ve done something wrong.
This is almost NEVER the case. Unfortunately, the idea that you should’ve done something differently or are doing something wrong now is often only innocently perpetuated by friends, family, and possibly even their doctor. When toddlers don’t eat, people get confused, and naturally want to place the blame somewhere.
If you’re currently blaming yourself or feeling guilty in any way, let’s put an end to that now, because I’m going to let you in on what a lot of parents and professionals don’t know and that’s why toddlers refuse to eat and how to help them!
Toddler Eating Habits
First, we’ve got to talk about the nature of a toddler because this absolutely plays a role in their eating.
Once babies become toddlers at one year old, their growth slows down from the insanely accelerated pace as a baby and that means they actually need less calories. It is completely normal for toddlers to eat less or seemingly to not eat a lot. You can check out more in Toddler Portion Sizes.
On top of their need for less calories, toddlers are often new walkers and want to explore their environment. They’re interested in everything and curious. While they’re absolutely adorable at this age, it’s also an exhausting time for parents. You’re moving every knick-knack in your home, table tops are bare, and safety gates are in place because they’re into everything.
Many toddlers can’t be bothered with sitting because of this need to explore, and that includes when it’s time to eat!
To make it even more challenging for toddlers to eat a full meal, their attention span leaves a lot to be desired. They’re easily distracted (which can be used to your advantage), but for some toddlers, this can create the perfect storm to refuse to eat.
That means that a toddler’s eating habits are often:
- Quick – They don’t want to be seated for long. Or, they may have a hard time sitting to eat at all. They usually don’t eat a lot, which is normal.
- Exploratory! – They may like to get messy or squish their food.
- Picky – If something looks new or different, they’re likely to avoid it. This often results in throwing food on the floor. Head to Stop Throwing Food on the Floor for some specific tips!
Why A Toddler Refuses to Eat
It’s 100% normal for a toddler to refuse to eat – sometimes. This happens because of those normal toddler eating habits, it’s part of the stage they’re in, despite how annoying and worrisome it is to their mama.
But, some toddlers refuse to eat ANYTHING or mostly anything. Ever. This is a different situation, and is likely caused by some other factors – none of which are your fault:
1. Difficulty learning to eat table foods – More babies than most people realize don’t make a smooth transition to eating real food after their baby food. Some get stuck on purees or even refuse those as well and continue to rely on their milk or formula. If a toddler never learned how to eat, they likely have no desire to do so at this point.
The good news is that you can still teach a toddler to eat table and finger foods. It takes some time and patience, but I’ve got a step by step guide for you over at How to Transition Your Toddler to Table Foods.
2. Sensitivity to textures – Some toddlers are so sensitive to different textures that they’re either very limited in what they’ll accept (i.e. only crunchy foods) or just won’t take anything because the texture is so overwhelming to them. This can be difficult for us to relate to, after all, the texture of eggs seems just fine to you.
But, their brain is telling them that it looks, feels, or tastes yucky.
Other signs that your child is sensitive to textures is that they don’t like getting messy or will gag when they smell/see/touch/taste foods. Often, they’ll also not like to have their hands dirty. Learn more in Sensory Issues with Food.
3. Can’t chew well – It’s quite easy to overlook, because chewing is something we take for granted. But, some toddlers never learned to chew well or can’t move the food around in their mouth. When toddlers are struggling with this, or their oral-motor skills, they’ll often have food fall out of their mouth, gag after chewing, or lose track of the food in their mouth.
4. Grazing – Because of the toddler eating habits we talked about above, letting your toddler graze on food throughout the day seems like a good solution, and you may have no other choice right now. However, constantly eating a bite or two of food throughout the day never allows them to get hungry and they don’t learn to eat a new food.
I know it can seem like the only option sometimes, but breaking this habit is important for teaching your toddler how to eat at meals.
5. Underlying medical – If none of the above reasons feels like what is going on with your child, it’s possible there’s some underlying medical reason they aren’t wanting to eat. While it’s usually the last thing I consider, unless there’s obvious signs, it’s worth considering if your toddler has silent reflux, allergies, or possibly some other medical reason for refusing to eat.
Reflux and allergies can greatly affect appetite or make it painful to eat, and there are lots of other medical possibilities, as well. To get to the bottom of it, check with your child’s pediatrician, or schedule an appointment directly with a pediatric gastroenterologist.. You can find some additional recommendations for spotting food allergies in kids from Healthy Children.
*If your child is 3 years old or older, check out 5 Reasons Kid’s Refuse to Eat for additional details.
*Come learn the 3 Keys to Turn Picky Eating Around in my free workshop! We’ll send you a free workbook too!*
Are They Just Being a Picky Eater Toddler?
After hearing these deeper causes of a toddler refusing to eat, you might be asking yourself, “What if my child is just being a plain old picky eater toddler?” And, the answer is maybe.
The reality is that most toddlers are picky eaters. It’s a normal part of development that starts between 1 and 2 years old and lasts through age 3-5 (sorry to be the bearer of bad news!) Being a picky eater toddler means that they refuse some foods and have other favorite foods that they prefer and usually eat well. It does not mean that they always refuse food. If you’re here because your toddler almost never eats, it’s more likely one of the reasons from the previous section is in play.
How to Help the Toddler Refusing to Eat
Okay, let’s get to the nitty gritty. I want to share with you some of my best and most impactful feeding expert tips, ones that you can start using today.
One caveat though: be patient.
That may be the hardest advice to hear because you may be at the end of your rope with your toddler refusing to eat. I get that, but making the effort to dig a little deeper and not only be patient with them, but be patient in waiting for these tips to take hold, will get you on the path to your toddler eating!
Affiliate links used below. See full disclosure.
Here’s the tips for the toddler that refuses to eat:
- Get them on a schedule – Where they only have milk with their meals or shortly after. Pop over to How Much Milk Does My Toddler Need, if you aren’t sure how much they should be drinking in a day. And, if you’d like a sample, I have a sample Feeding Schedule for 1 Year Olds.
- Schedule meals so that they’re 2-3 hours apart – Avoid grazing on snacks or other foods in between so they’re really hungry when they sit down. It only takes a few cheerios for a toddler to refuse their next meal.
- Give small portions and try to stick to foods that they seem to like – If you have no idea, think crunchy, this is low texture and actually easier to chew, if it’s a meltable crunchy food. Puffs, graham crackers, and cheese curls, are all good starters.
- Choose a spot to have most of your meals, the consistency of eating in the same place will help them adjust to the routine – Ideally, this is in a high chair or strapped booster seat. If your child has a total meltdown sitting at the table, then Check out How to Keep Your Child Seated at Meals.
- Let them get messy! – Yes, this is super important, albeit annoying to tired moms, because toddlers need to explore. And, it’s even more important if your toddler seems to not want to get messy. Remember how we talked about being sensitive to textures, this will help them NOT be sensitive. The more they play in and touch different textures, the better. An excellent way to do this either through specific messy play or sensory bins.
- Eat together – Even if they’re currently refusing to eat, sit down and eat while they sit there, if only for a few minutes. Focus on the meal simply being a positive experience, even if your just chatting with your toddler for a few minutes while they have some food on their tray.
- If you think your child is having trouble chewing or swallowing food, check out my Oral Motor Skill Activities – Blowing whistles, bubbles, or chewing on teethers may be just what your child needs to strengthen these skills.
- Change something unexpectedly to grab their interest – When your toddler refuses to eat the food you put in front of them, one of my favorite tricks to pull out and take advantage of their short attention span is to change something up. I may get out a different utensil that’s more colorful, and say “Oh, did you want the airplane fork?” And then I’ll stick their food on it, lay it on their tray, and act like I don’t care what happens next.
- Or, I might cut it differently, saying “Oh, here’s a little piece” – This doesn’t always work, but it does more often than you’d think and is worth a try. Get creative in changing up some small aspect of the meal to shift their focus from refusing or crying to at least acknowledging their food!
- Use a divided plate – Picky eaters and toddlers get worried that their food is going to be ruined if it touches something else. In part because mixed textures taste different and can be more difficult to chew, but also because they’re worried it may taste different. The divided plate you see in the pictures above is from Target, but we use these ones too and I love them!
Foods for Picky Toddlers Refusing to Eat
While every toddler is unique and has their own food choices, there are some foods that may be more likely to be eaten that others. When I’m working on feeding as a therapist, these are some of the specific foods I’ll focus on as we make progress. But, if your toddler never ate table foods, you’ll want to start with those meltable crunchy foods.
Or, if your child has a few foods they do eat, you’ll want to build off of them, introducing foods that are similar. This is a popular feeding technique that’s often referred to as food chaining. You can learn more about this powerful picky eating tip here.
So, generally speaking, here are some specific food ideas for picky toddlers:
- Thin apple slices
- Frozen peas
- Thin and crispy chicken nuggets (I personally love the Dino Nugget brand, they pique toddlers interest because of the shape and are low texture with the bread crumbs and amount of chicken inside)
- No-hull popcorn
- Garlic bread (not to heavy on the garlic)
- Toast with butter
- Bread sticks
- Plain noodles
- Bacon crumbles
- Pan fried quesadillas (start with just a little bit of mild tasting cheese in a tortilla and make it a little bit crispy)
And, if you want to get even more inspiration for toddler meals, check out these lists:
- The Essential One-Stop Guide for Easy Toddler Meals
- The Ultimate List of Baby/Toddler Meal Ideas
- The Greatest Toddler Breakfast Ideas, Easy + Healthy
- The Most Awesome Toddler Lunch Ideas You Can Find!
I know the food is what most parents focus on and I get it, so I made this quick little video just explaining in some more detail how to find the best foods to feed your toddler, whether they’re picky or flat out refusing to eat. It’s important to find out which of the two categories your toddler falls into…
Need More Help for When a Toddler Refuses to Eat?
As I already mentioned, a lot of toddlers that never learned to eat table foods now seemingly refuse to eat all foods. If that’s the case with your child, grab our free printable pack: Teach Your Child to Eat Table Foods. I’ll deliver the simple steps you need to take right to your inbox.
Get the Free Table Foods Printable Here
And, if your child is hardly eating anything and you’re concerned about their growth and nutrition, I highly recommend talking to your doctor and/or looking into feeding therapy for you toddler.
Did You Pin This?
If this guide on toddlers refusing to eat has been helpful, pin it to your toddler or parenting board. It’s packed with lots of info and you may want to find it again!
Citations and References for this Article:
Teaching Chewing: A Structured Approach Nicholas Eckman, Keith E. Williams, Katherine Riegel, and Candace Paul (The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2015) https://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1867108
Learning to eat: birth to age 2 y Leann L. Birch and Allison E. Doub (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/99/3/723S/457749
Parental Influence on Eating Behavior, Conception to Adolescence Jennifer S. Savage, Jennifer Orlet Fisher, and Leann L. Birch (US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, 2008) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2531152/
Food Chaining: The Proven 6-Step Plan to Stop Picky Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Child’s Diet Cheri Fraker, CCC-SLP, CLC, Mark Fishbein, MD, Sibly Cox, RD, LD, CLC, Laura Walbert, CCC-SLP, CLC (Da Capo Press 2007)
Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges! Lori Ernsperger, Ph.D. and Tania Stegen-Hanson (Future Horizons, Inc 2004)
Alisha Grogan is a licensed occupational therapist and founder of Your Kid’s Table. She has over 14 years experience with expertise in sensory processing and feeding development in babies, toddlers, and children. Alisha also has 3 boys of her own at home. Learn more about her here.
Thanks. I really needed to read this today. It made me realise that my toddler is normal and I’m doing the right things to encourage her to eat.
Hi Ayesha! So glad you found our post and received some comfort from it— you are not alone and you’re doing awesome!
Hi some great tips to try as my 13month old has started refusing food. He was baby lead weaned from the start however I feel like it started to go downhill after I started spoon feeding him to encourage him to eat more. He then caught norovirus and refused food completely which is to be expected when poorly but now recovered he’s become more fussy. I physically have to place bits of food into his mouth now. He has always hated his highchair he has ezcema so do feel he is uncomfortable in his chair at times and something kicks off as soon as he is put in there. So sometimes I avoid feeding him in there. I will try to persist with using the chair and get into a routine of letting him feed himself but what do I do if he cries and refuses food? Do I just take food away and try again a few hours later even if he hasn’t eaten anything? He does have CMPA, egg and peanut allergy and has 3 bottles of oat milk a day. He is due to start nursery in a few weeks and I’m worried he won’t eat anything there as I know they won’t have the time to encourage his eating. Sometimes when I place food in his mouth he will eat it and then literally a minute later I put the same item of food in and he pulls a face and pushes it out of his mouth? Any help is greatly appreciated 🙏
Hi my 16 month old refuses to eat anything she doesn’t know about. She would maybe lick the food or just put her mouth on it but that’s it. She’s loves yogurt and pouches. I want to get her off of the pouches so she can eat real food. She might eat a beef patty or some pasta here & there but not much at all. I feel stuck on what to do please help.
Thanks for reaching out! Have you discussed this with your pediatrician? It’s always good to consult with your doctor, just to make sure everything is okay. It does sound like she may have some sensory issues or oral motor issues that could potentially be preventing her from chewing/swallowing/eating different textures of food. To help with this, try some oral motor exercises- we have a list of them here! Using a toothbrush to brush the sides of her mouth can also be helpful with desensitizing reflexes and strengthening those oral muscles. Continue to practice and offer foods, but be sure not to pressure her.
My toddler is 2 next month & in the past few weeks has gone off all previous foods he enjoys. He was a good eater & would feed himself sat at the table, a bit messy but that didn’t bother me! He now throws an epic tantrum the second he’s put in his high chair (except for breakfast) & flat out refuses to have even one spoon of his previous favourites. I don’t really know what to now? I feel like he’s slipping into grazing now everyday & I don’t think that’s ideal. I’m becoming very stressed about the whole thing
Hi Lyn! Thanks for reaching out! Perhaps trying to implement a feeding schedule might help with his appetite. Try having designated meal/snack times, with 2-3 hours in between each meal or snack. In between that time, only offer water. Hopefully, this will allow him to feel hungry enough to eat more at mealtime. You may also try minimizing distractions during mealtime, so that he’s focused only on eating. For more in-depth help, I highly recommend checking out our upcoming FREE picky eating mini course! Sign up here!
My 18 month old only wants food that blended or noodles. She won’t eat rice or any other food. She’ll occasionally have a biscuit or bread, but that’s it. I’ve tried everything. I’m currently pregnant and back at work and want to get her off this way of eating to help make our lives easier. She also occasionally keeps the food in her mouth (even the blended foods) and I’m lost for ideas
Hi Haja! Thanks for reaching out! Have you discussed this with your pediatrician? It’s always good to consult with your doctor, just to make sure everything is okay. It does sound like she may have some sensory issues or oral motor issues that could potentially be preventing her from chewing/swallowing/eating different textures of food. To help with this, try some oral motor exercises- we have a list of them here! Using a toothbrush to brush the sides of her mouth can also be helpful with desensitizing reflexes and strengthening those oral muscles. Continue to practice and offer foods, but be sure not to pressure her.
I just came across this article.
My son is 17 months old, still breastfeeded at night (in the process of stopping, but is very hard as he never took a dummy or bottle and I have nothing as a conforter) , he was never keen on food, refuses all foods, apart from breadsticks, crackers, nuts, soya milk, apple, pear.
Once I stopped the day breastfeeding, he won’t eat almost anything in the day, drinks water from a cup and only has some of his favourite foods when is very hungry normaly late afternoon, then waits for the night so he can breastfeed. ( still every 2-3 hours like a baby)
I tried weaning him completely hoping his eating will improve, but he will cry for hours at night and was very nervouss so
I decided to keep going and slowly reduce the number of feeds.
He is doing well on the grow chart and is an active toddler.
I think I tried everything to make him eat and I just don’t know what else to do. Not sure if the breastfeeding is the problem.
Hi Ramona! Thanks for reaching out! It’s very common for a breastfed baby to prefer breastfeeding over eating food. Since you’ve already taken away the daytime feedings, and he still isn’t eating much, try to avoid giving snacks throughout the day so that he will be hungry for mealtime. And when he is hungry, try offering him the same meal everyone else is eating, without any pressure. If he still struggles, you may try offering the meal with 1 of his favorite foods. Whenever you’re ready to stop breastfeeding altogether, we have a blog post that can help with tips!
There’s some great information here but like 99% of every site that discusses raising/caring for children, they all act as if women are the only ones out here doing it. This site is no exception;
“despite how annoying and worrisome it is to their mama”
For all the Me Too movements and demands for equality, I see this narrowmindedness on a daily basis. It would be nice if a single site acknowledged that women are not the only ones raising children.
Thanks for reaching out. We absolutely understand and know that there are many many wonderful caregivers including fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers and foster parents out there. The do wonderful and important work with the kids they love. We work with many of them on a regular basis through our programs. Writing always has some limitations. Our intention is never to exclude families or caregivers. We do appreciate you mentioning this.
Jeez, if this is all you have time to be worried about, I envy you, really I do!
Hi, my baby is 1 years old and she refuses to eat all sorts of food she is currently living from formula and some days she even refuses the formula. I have tried everything and my last resort now is to seek medical help
That sounds really challenging and probably a little scary for you as well! It’s really great that you’re seeking out help and talking to your daughter’s daughter about it. Feeding therapy can make such a difference if you guys end up going that route! You might check out our free table foods workshop for a few suggestions as well. It’s a great resource. You can save your seat HERE.
My son is 18 months old. All he drinks milk all day or eat chips, cookies or fries. Doesn’t like to eat anything at all. I fed him purées from 4 months to 10 months. But when he got 11 month old he stopped eating purées or anything else. He just doesn’t open his mouth and cries if I try to feed him something. Now again I have to get up in middle of night and feed him milk cuz he gets hungry. I don’t know what to do.
That sounds really stressful for you guys! You might try offering milk with meals along with new foods and at least one food you know he will eat. Our free table foods workshop is a great place to start. You can save your seat HERE.
My daughter is the same she is 17 months old and only eats chicken nuggets, crisps and still drinks formula milk 3 times a day. She hardly eats.
I am going to try giving her some garlic bread and plain noodles like suggested on this post and see how it goes
Hey thanks for reaching out! We hope that makes a difference. Let us know how it goes! Our free table foods workshop is also a great resource. You can save your seat HERE.
Mygrandson is 20 months old and has been a problem eater since his premature birth,feeding him from a bottle was a nightmare chords the first year he hated the bottle and it took nearly 2 hours to feed. Now he’s been on jar baby food for a year and will not eat anything else. The nutriciaonalist vcommented that he really should be eating normal foods so we’re trying to introduce lots of new foods, this week he’s only eaten small snacks like 2 dried crackers and half a weetabix. He’s drinking loads more water but my daughter is so stressed as he’s just refusing everything now. At our wits end .help please
Hi Sheila! Thanks for reaching out! First, we always recommend discussing any concerns with your pediatrician, who can make sure everything else is okay in terms of your child’s health and eating. Your Doctor could also potentially refer you to a feeding/occupational therapist for more hands on help. Next, because he prefers purées and struggles with solid food, it could be that he has difficulty chewing/swallowing and needs extra help with sensory and his oral motor skills. Try some exercises to help with this! Brush the insides of his mouth in between meals, sip from straws, make silly faces. For sensory, allow him to touch/feel/play with his food. Remember to promote a no-pressure environment with mealtime. Lastly, we have a free table food workshop that can help make transitioning to solids much easier! Save your seat here!
Hi my son is 6 years old we have been dealing with his limited eating habits and diet since he was 3. We did a feeding program and had just about every test you can think of. Just last week he fell to floor and was unconscious. We rushed him to the hospital to find out that he was dehydrated. It’s very exhausting I keep thinking he’ll grow out of it but here it is 3 years later and still the same. He’s never had a slice of pizza, a slice of bread, not even a McDonald happy meal(not that it’s the best) but nothing kids normally eat at his age he’s never had it. Some things did ring true for me reading this article. Like my son does not like to get his hand dirty what so ever. His hands his feet his whole body etc. we can’t even enjoy places like the playground.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, we understand how hard this can be. It does sound like from what you are saying there is some sensory components for the underlying cause of why he’s not eating. I’d try to get him touching/playing with different textures (outside of mealtimes first) as this is a great step to work on eating. We do have a free workshop if you haven’t seen it yet, as it helps you with the first steps for picky eating with some great information. You can save your seat here
My 28 month old toddler only eats fries, noodles, bread and lots of apples, watermelons, oranges and bananas. He refuses to try new food. He drinks lots of mild and diluted apple juice and still breastfeeding. How do I get him to try new food so that his diet is not limited?
Thanks for reaching out to us, we know how hard and frustrating this can be! I’d first try working on getting him to play/touch new foods (outside of mealtimes) as this can be a great step in the right direction and the first step to eating. We do have a Free Workshop that will walk you through some steps to help! Save your seat now!
My grand son only drinks apple juice & chocolate milk( ovaltine)
He is 4 years old now .I’m so worry about his nutrition , Dr. Says it’s ok. Mother is frustrated, he goes for day care,comes home & is starved wanting his chocolate milk. Of course his constipated.
I worry he will develop some serious illness. But I’m just the grandmother ,I just visit. Love to have an article that i can send my daughter that comes from a professional like you. My advice is of no value,it causes tension.
Thank you so very much for your help
Hey thanks for reaching out to us! I’d look at providing information for our free workshop as this will be helpful with information needed for eating. You can provide the family with the link or for you: yourkidstable.com/free
Any suggestions in the article would be great too!
I have a 4 year old son who is the same and I am worried sick. He will go days just in chocolate milk ovaltine then finally give in to me and eat a chicken nugget. He spits out most of the nugget though. He too gets constipated and holds it when he has to go. Right now he has massive diarrhea. I haven’t pushed taking away his bottle because we had started the process when I put them (he is a twin)in preschool and just as we were making progress the corona thing happened and just demolished everything we were doing. Thank you for your post, it lets me know that we are not alone and we can figure this out together.
I have a 22 months old ..who suddenly stopped eating solid foods.she is a picky eater from the beginning .we tried giving her finger food ,some rice etc..she was resistant to try those first so and to force her to eat in the beginning.then she was ok for a while, but now she stopped eating solids.the only thing she takes is milk 180 ml 4 times a day.she s getting weaker day by day.i am trying different foods every day now.nothing works. I don’t know what to give her now.
My 17 month old is doing the same. How did it fix?
Hi Diva and Varsha,
We’re so sorry you’re having these struggles! It can be really frightening for a parent to watch their child refuse food. We’d definitely suggest reaching out to your child’s doctor to ensure they’re getting enough nutrition. Setting your little one up at a high chair or booster seat during mealtimes and placing a little food or a pre-loaded spoon on their tray for them to feed themselves (vs. you feeding them directly) can be a helpful place to get them back into the routine of eating. Our free Table Foods workshop is also a great option full of other suggestions. You can save your seat HERE.
My son is the exact same! It’s so worrying , I don’t actually know what to do to get him to eat! Even if his eyes light up when you give him something he likes he’ll have maximum 5 bites of it and he’s finished! He’s 15 months and only weighs 16lbs!
When our kiddos don’t eat, it can make us so worried. You’re not alone, so many other families have these same challenges. You might check out our free table foods workshop. You can save your seat HERE. It has some great suggestions you can start using right away. Reach out with any questions!
Hi I tried to find the Dino nugget brand, but can’t find it. Is it Tyson or yummy by chance?
Also, I have a 17 month old. He eats a wide variety of fruits and veggies, but is pickier with meats. He will not eat chicken whether it’s grilled, meatballs, nuggets etc. his go to is tacos, meatloaf and turkey meatballs. Sometimes he will eat salmon. When I try to make other variations of meatballs (pork or chicken) he will take one bite and drop it out immediately. Any suggestions?
Both of those brand actually make a dino nugget! Meat can be harder as they do have to work a little harder to chew it. I’d try cutting it up smaller and have him utilize toothpicks(if you think he’d be safe enough with them) or animal shaped food picks to pick up the pieces this can make less work for him in smaller pieces and make it more fun for him to eat. You can then work up to bigger pieces.
Reading this article I know now my toddler (2 1/2) focuses on the look and feel of the food I give him. But I’m running out of things to feed him and he’s been pushing away the foods he was eating. He doesn’t want Dino nuggets anymore, quesadillas, hot dogs, fries and a few other things. The things he would eat he’s refusing now and he started skipping meals this week. I’m so stressed, I finally decided to take him to his pediatrician because I don’t know where to go from here. 🙁
We are with you and understand how difficult this is!! It does sound like there is a sensory component based on him focusing on look and feel of the foods. I’d try to do some food play, outside of mealtimes, to get him comfortable with just touching a variety of foods! You can find some great information and more suggestions here. Secondly, take our picky eating quiz to see where you child falls, as well as it will provide you with some suggestions on what to do based on the type of picky eater your child is! Take our quiz
Thank you so much Alisha! I am a new occupational therapist at an outpatient clinic and have found your articles so helpful! I have been getting MANY feeding cases with kids of all ages and your resources have been great 🙂 Any tips for a new therapist with feeding therapy? thank you!
Oh that’s awesome! Head to my post on oral motor skills, I’ve got a special cheat sheet for therapists!