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"When should I be concerned about my toddler's nutrition?"

ZocdocAnswersWhen should I be concerned about my toddler's nutrition?


My 18 month old daughter is notorious for NOT eating solid foods! She ate pureed baby food briefly at 6-8 months of age, but ever since then she refuses everything but the bottle.


Picky toddler eating habits are one of the most common reasons for parents to seek the advice of a pediatrician. In most cases, you can rest assured that your child is perfectly normal and that some simple changes in your approach to feeding times and feeding behaviors can help. The first step is to reassure yourself that your child is growing well.

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You can accomplish this by talking with your pediatrician and taking a look over your child's growth charts. As long as her growth is OK (which it probably is) then you do not need to worry too much about any potential medical implications of her eating habits. Assuming that she is otherwise healthy and growing well, then the next steps are to modify behaviors. First, and most importantly, you will have to take the bottle away. This is because toddlers are notorious for enjoying juices and liquids over solid foods. As long as her stomach is full with liquids she will never feel the need to eat solids. She may be angry at first, but she will quickly learn to eat when she becomes hungry! Another behavior to limit is "grazing" in favor of regular meal times, as again snacking tends to cut down on a toddler's overall food intake by suppressing hunger.

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