Thursday, April 14, 2011


To put it bluntly, Finn is a crappy eater. What I wouldn't give for Finn to snarf down everything in sight like some babies I know... Since he was born I take him to get weighed every few weeks. Lately he has been doing a lot worse when it comes to gaining weight (he's basically leveled out). I took him today and he weighs 14.2 lbs and he'll be 11 months on the 18th of this month.

For those of you that have had picky eaters or kids that just don't eat much, what did you do/try??? What foods seemed to work? Here's a list of things that we've already tried...

  • doubled the concentration of his milk
  • solid pears, peaches, carrots, cottage cheese, kiwi, mango, and pretty much any other food in solid form. He just barfs it all back up. Or seals his mouth shut like an iron trap.
  • letting him feed himself. He'll grab anything we set in front of him unless it's food. I'm not kidding. The only exception is if it's crackers or cereal (dry things).
He does like yogurt, sweet potatoes, avocado on toast (sometimes), and prunes or anything else sweet. I really want him to have more of a balanced diet, so sometimes I won't give him the foods he likes until he eats something that he doesn't really like. By this point he's usually screaming because he's so hungry and he cries while he's eating the detested food (probably not the best move on my part). With your kids, do you just give them what they like no matter what, even if they eat only sweet potatoes 3 x's a day?? What do you think is better?

I know he's going to be a small kid. But that's not the point. The point is, that if he fails to gain weight (failure to thrive), other problems can arise. Why else would doctors be so worried about kids that have this problem? The first 3 years of life are very important for a kid's growth and development. So telling me not to worry doesn't help. I'm going to worry until the problem is fixed and we know what's going on.

Well, enough stressing for the day... (: Smiley face makes everything better! He has a follow-up appointment next week so that we can hopefully come up with another game plan with his doctor. Wish us luck! And I'm more than happy to welcome any tips from parents whose kids have also been picky/poor eaters.

Here's a recent picture of the little man at my sister Rachel's birthday bash.

And tell me this is not one of the best songs! I love songs with rockin' piano beats!


Nichole said...

Wake is the same way. At his 1 year visit he was only 16 pounds. I started giving him whole milk at about 9 months. And then when he still wasn't gaining I would add cream to his milk. This helped a little. Have you tried nutella? It is high in calories. I put it on bread or crackers for him to feed himself and I stir it into his oatmeal for breakfast. Good luck! Being a mom to a skinny baby is hard.

Dan+Alli said...

He's so dang cute!! Those suspenders are too cute on him! Cody has actually gotten really picky lately. What I do is mix something he loves like yams with something that he doesn't love so much but he should be eating. He also will only eat things if they are the right texture. So I just mash everything up. They really are still so young. I think they just need time. Pretty soon they will be scarfing down everything, i'm sure of it. Like he used to LOVE blueberries. Won't touch them now. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Feed him whatever he will eat as much of it as he wants. Balanced diets are something to worry about later in life. He's a good looking kid!

love ya!


Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary,
Just curious, have you checked out Ikea for fabric? Even if you had to buy it in a table cloth (or something similar), that might be a good place to look.
: )
If I find some, I will get it for you, without any reward!
A friend!

The Kynastons said...

Oh Hilary...I feel for you!! It is sooo stressful to have a crappy eater. Here are a few things that helped us:

- Have you talked to the doctor about starting him on whole milk? When Macie switched to that when she was a year, she started drinking WAY more because she loved it so much more than disgusting formula.
- Try things over and over again. I heard that it can take 3 (or maybe 5?) times for a kid to try something before they like it. Some thing that Macie initially hated, she learned to like.
- Try everything (I'm sure you already do this) that age Macie's favorite foods were tomatoes and peas...things I wouldn't have expected her to love. Granted, they didn't have very many calories, but at least it was something.
- I had to sort of get over my phobia of Macie loving "kid food." I was really anti- mac 'n cheese, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, etc....but then the doctor told me that I needed to be feeding her as much fat as I could in her diet. So I started buying that stuff (most of it you can find healthier versions of) and Macie LOVED mac n' cheese and hot dogs and spaghettios. I can almost always count on her eating those things. The doc also said to always put butter on whatever I could to get more fat in her - veggies, toast, etc. Anyway, it just took awhile for me to adjust my mindset because I have been so scared of her only wanting to eat unhealthy foods and not liking the good stuff...but she still loves veggies and fruit and I just have to remind myself that she NEEDS the fat and calories.
- This probably isn't age-appropriate for Finn yet, but for future reference....toothpicks are my new best friends. I bought some colorful ones and I'll cut up Macie's food and then stick toothpicks in it and she thinks it's the coolest thing ever. Things that she initially refuses to eat, she will gobble up when I turn it into "suckers" on toothpicks.
- Have you tried giving him things with lots of flavor? For example, we made curry one time and I didn't think Macie would like it because it was a little spicy, but she totally loved it. She also likes things that have garlic in it...anything that is strong flavored she seems to enjoy. I feed her a lot of pasta with flavorful sauces.
- And lastly, (this is a NOVEL, sorry!!) I wouldn't worry about Finn wanting to eat sweet potatoes all the time. They have tons of vitamins in them and at least he doesn't just want candy all day like some babies I see ( friends fed their 6 month old licorice, etc...and he would NEVER eat normal food anymore.) Good luck, and if I ever think of any other things that helped with Macie, I'll let you know!

Gwendolyn Fullmer said...

Just a thought but have you looked into a pediatric chiropractor? Henry had horrific colick and reflux and kept getting ear infections. After talking to my CNM, certified nurse midwife, she recommended a chiropractor here in Orem that she'd taken her son too. It worked wonders for Henry and his appetite hugely improved, no more reflux, and he's only had one ear infection since.

The Hendricks said...

When I was having problems with Wyatt (still do) eating good foods i heard about this book
She blends up all the veggies and stuff into the other really yummy food kids love and that's how i've gotten wyatt to eat normal foods. But i agree with josh. Feed him whatever he will eat that's high in calories and worry about the rest later.

Jessi said...

hilary-my little brother was a 'failure to thrive' baby and the doctor finally told my mom to feed him whatever he would eat whenever he would eat it. this consisted of chocolate milkshakes, easy cheese, and cheetos. gross, i know, but it helped him to {slowly} pack on some pounds...

Maggie said...


First, you are a good mother to worry. Worrying is part of the job and I get so frustrated when people tell me not to worry about things with my kids.

Second, I agree with Josh. Charlotte loved anything and everything so I was shocked when Greg really didn't. It just takes time.

Here's what my food science side can tell you. Babies come out perceiving tastes and flavors more strongly than adults. That intensity sort of peaks at around 8 and then starts to go down. Which lends some validity to Grandma Jane's keep trying it method. Also there are individuals who are super-tasters, meaning that tastes are just more intense for them throughout their lives than the rest of us. I'm not trying to say that Finn is a super-taster, I don't know, I'm just saying that this sort of thing exists.

I'm assuming with his Galactagosemia, or whatever that was, he can't drink whole milk so you're going to have to find other fatty foods he likes. And feeding them sweet potatoes every meal for a while wont hurt them. Charlotte ate so many of them she turned orange, literally.

I personally, would worry about making food an issue this young. There's so much that he can't tell you about why he doesn't like something. Also, there's so many things in his world that he can't control, he CAN control whether he puts something in his mouth or not. I don't think I would want to take that little bit of power away from him.

In six months or a year when you can communicate with him is when I would start to talk to him about why we eat healthy and what that means.

Sorry this was so long. Also, you can throw everything I said out the window if it doesn't help you.

Birrell Family said...

We were just talking about Finn today. The girls were telling me about his eating habits... yes they all track you too. In a perfect world, kids eat everything in front of them. I know very few kids that do. Our kids didn't. Feed him everything he likes and as much as he wants. Many times, the variety will come later. Conrad went through a period of eating ketchup. He would just dip his french fry into the ketchup over and over again, wanting seconds and thirds of more ketchup. He never ate his fry. I felt like a horrible grandma. Somehow they live through all of this and grow, all on their own timetable. I don't think he will be small, probably tall like his dad :)
Let us know how he does... he is truly so cute!

mer and mel said...

Dylan was similar for a while but is better now. Does he not like the texture or is there some medical reason that makes him throw up chunkier food? Will he eat the pureed dinners that combine a protein and veggie? Dylan LOVES the baby puffs and likes a little rice cereal or baby oatmeal mixed with his veggies. He's not really a fan of any fruit but applesauce right now, but I take what I can get. You could try mashed potatoes with a lot of butter (and no milk if he can't handle it) I say if you find something he likes, keep on giving it to him. Try to find 3 or 4 foods that he will eat, adn give him one of each each day so that he doesn't just eat the same thing all day long. You could also try gradually mixing a little bit of something he loves with something he doesn't love as much. Also, if he has a hard time drinking enough formula, try putting a little sugar in it so sweeten it. It's not the best thing, but if it gets him drinking....... I hope your appointments go well and give you the help you need- it can be so frustrating! He is just so darling!