2 year old hardly eats

by Marie M.
(Fairbanks Alaska )


Hi, there... My daughter will be 2 in May. Up until last summer she was eating everything!




And almost over night she stopped, all she will take is and on occasion not all the time: avocado, hall a bacon slice, shredded cheese, strawberries, grapes, rice cakes, sometimes a noodle soup, a pepperoni, popcorn, goldfish crackers, pediasure milk.

I’ve tried cutting all snacks and milk and waters, tried giving her all the options on her tray to include what the entire family is eating, tried a new high chair, tried the “well is she’s hungry she will eat” (and no she won’t eat, she just will sit there and cry, get so frustrated that she will grow her food off the tray.

Ive talked to her pediatrician, he recommend a book called “food fight” white souls be to le by Friday. He wants me to call him after I’ve read the book. And maybe maybe refer her to have a swallow study if she starts loosing weight.

She some times will only lick the above mentioned food and sometimes she won’t even touch them. Like today it’s 2pm here, all she’s had to eat is 3 tea spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt, a handful of popcorn, two bites of a rice cake, and some pedia sure milk. (And she licked a slice of bacon)

Guys, please help, I feel clueless, I don’t know how to help my baby, if I try to feed her myself she shakes her head violently and starts screaming and covering her mouth. I just want to help her. I don’t feel like the pediatrician understands the level of worry and frustration.

Any positive advice would be helpful please!



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Jun 18, 2018
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Rejects most food but is thriving
by: Anonymous

Look up ARFID. My grandson, age seven, whom I am helping raise, was never a big eater, and we spoon-frd him until age 22 months (he would otherwise not "dig in," or else would toss a lot of food to the floor). However, he did love oatmeal, yogurt, beans and rice (no meat), milk and at least a dozen other foods. So we didn’t worry.

Then, one week, at about 21 months, he began to adamantly reject foods— yogurt, beans and rice and finally, to our great concern, he no longer would allow oatmeal in his mouth. But still ate CRISP cornflakes with milk. THEN, he ate his cereal SEPARATELY from the milk so cereal would stay crisp.

Over the next few weeks, he narrowed his food down to cracker-like (crisp) foods. He ate graham crackers, goldfish crackers and the occasional (CRISP!) french fries. But stopped the cereal and the french fries only lasted for a short while.

After a couple of months of this, we knew it was getting worse so we took him to a pediatrician. ("Just a phase," "Don’t worry." ). Then we bought books and discovered ARFID (formerly called Selective Eating Disorder, and btw, not yet addressed in medical schools, apparently!). He still drank milk, and ate crackers, while we experimented with every technique possible to get him to eat (NEVER try force-feeding! We did for one bite, two or three times and each time he gagged, screamed and threw up). We read all we could find on this disorder and learned that a child can aspirate food and die if forced to eat!

We finally, on our own, realized he had ARFID and took him to an eating clinic in New York City. Worthless trips. The specialist , in spite of bribery, charm, playfulness, rewards and bribe NEVER got a bite of any food past his lips. She literally told me after the fourth visit, "I give up!" "You might want to take him to a live-in treatment center (and gave me the name if one) where they force them to est.". What?!!! No WAY!

His Mom and I then put him on a 3x daily, delicious supplement milk drink (Carnation Breakfast Essentials) and for the past six years, he has THRIVED on that and various cheese crackers (Pitares Booty cheese puffs being a favorite) and also plain milk and apple juice. He did finally accept a CRISPLY TOASTED cheese sandwich this yer—made just right, one slice of American cheese on white bread—toasted in oven. . And he will eat (only) vanilla ice cream.

He rejects all candy, fruit, cakes, pies, cookies, (except Oreos) and will eat only the too-sweet icing off his birthday cupcakes. Period. So, for six years he has only accepted milk, (a few types) crisp, cheese crackers and ice cream and toasted cheese sandwiches. No pizza or chicken nuggets or fries and not one vegetable or fruit.

He is old enough now to understand the importance of trying new foods and we coax him in a gentle way—with rewards at he end—to try a tiny bite of something new. A bite if pizza, a tiny thin slice if apple, mac and cheese—and he really does try—but the gag reflex takes over the second a new food touches his tongue. He is very bright and says it’s the texture.

(An adukt with ARFID said it was like a combination of being fed "worms and barbed-wire!"). I will end here. Our little boy is very happy with his foods and people comment that he is NEVER sick; misses no more than one day of school yearly, gets regular dental and medical checkups, , is very strong and sturdy and at age seven, wears size 10s and is the biggest and strongest kid in his class—all lean, tight muscle and no extra fat!

Apr 13, 2018
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Other symptoms/diagnoses?
by: Mary C

Does your daughter have any other symptoms other than not eating? Does she have other SPD symptoms or diagnoses? Have you had her stomach checked for acid reflux or something else? Many times children do have these symptoms, but it is so hard since while so young they don't know how to communicate it?

Please know that there are children out there who do not have these problems but just don't like to eat much - my niece has no other symptoms but at 12 still only likes McDonalds chicken nuggets, pizza, pasta noodles, and a few other things. She is thriving despite it.

I hope the above help you think about your child and come up with something as it may apply.

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