Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Picky Eater

Question: My son is going from baby food to solids, and he turns his nose up to fruits and veggies. He wants to eat meat and buttered pasta only. What is a health nut to do? He is 14 months. He loves his bottle, which we have cut down to three times a day. Yogurts a hit to. Edward

Answer: Sounds like your son developed a gourmet palate somewhere along the line! Baby foods are mainly fruits and veggies with some meats in between. What sort of baby foods was he eating?

At 14 months, children usually like to imitate adults at mealtime. They enjoy the company as well as using their own power to feed themselves. ( finger foods).

Because they don't have a full set of molar teeth for grinding up their food, care must be taken so as to not give them foods that need to be chewed well before swallowing. Hot dogs, nuts, hard foods, etc.

When parents say "my child eats like a bird" " and only eats cereal and crackers all the time," I ask them to simply take 3 days and write down EVERYTHING THAT THE CHILD EATS! Amazingly, they usually run out of paper because they are frequently eating very small amounts of food all day! I don't know any child, especially a toddler, who will sit down and eat three meals a day!

Although it appears that your son only eats 2 types of food, when you actually take a good look, you might be surprised!

There have been quite a few studies with respect to the food intake of children. The result - if left on their own to choose, given that they are offered a variety of attractive foods, they will over a number of days, choose a pretty well balanced diet. It only seems like they're eating a couple of foods. It's almost as if their bodies instinctively try to maintain or replace certain nutrients their bodies need during that period of time. There are some children who have a definite dislike for certain foods, preferring one over the other. Perhaps, they developed a "taste" for certain foods because they were given the opportunity to taste it often (maybe at the dinner table).

At 14 months, you may want to encourage him to drink from a cup instead of a bottle. Liquids taken frequently will prevent solid foods from being enjoyed. Liquids may fill him up enough to prevent the hunger sensation.

Try the 3 day "write down everything you eat plan." You might be surprised. Talk to your son's pediatrician to see if a vitamin/mineral supplement is necessary. Remember to bring the menu! That will help! Enjoy !

Dr. Betti

Also see:

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  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • More questions and answers
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.