When my son was under 11 months old, he ate a lot, but I don't know what changed when he reached 1 year old. It seems like he doesn't like to eat. When we give our son food, sometimes he tries to taste or eat it a little, but then refuses to eat it. I heard from a neighbor that the he may be bored with the food, so we served him different food, but he still doesn't seem to be interested. We also tried to change the way we gave the food to our son, but that didn't solve the problem either. One thing that keeps me a little more calm is that lately he more often asks to be breastfed. Maybe this is caused by his eating less solid food.

I've heard that this phase is pretty normal for all children. What has actually happened to our son in this phase? What makes him not want to eat the food we give him? He has asked for food, but then doesn't eat it. Is it enough that we focus on giving him more in breastfeeding? Because when he doesn't eat as much solid food, he asks for breastfeeding more often.

  • Get him checked for stomach worms. Ensure that he drinks "enough" water per day. Also, I have heard that iron and vitamin B12 deficiency may be a cause of lack of hunger. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 11:01

2 Answers 2


If he won't eat he's probably not hungry. Around one their growth slows down and they eat a bit less, and if he's still getting breast fed then he's probably getting enough calories from that he doesn't need solid food. So if you want him to eat:

  • Stop breast feeding and bottle feeding so he will be hungry for solids
  • Introduce a variety of foods, and make some of them finger foods so he can eat them himself
  • Don't try and force-feed, that will put him off food. Kids that age want to take more charge of their eating, so encourage him to eat himself
  • 2
    I would add, that you let him eat finger foods and foods he can serve himself as often as possible since that gives interest for him and practice in developing his fine-motor skills. If he starts losing weight, see a doctor. Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 17:50
  • 3
    I'd add tge caveate that stopping nursing is a pretty individual family decision. Rather than stopping limiting nursing to set "meal" times the same way solid foods should be limited to set times would have a similar effect. Calories from solid food meals would not be made up as easily from nursing then. As for bottle feeding, usually stopping bottle feeding is on a timeline provided by a pediatrician and has its own challenges.
    – justkt
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 12:23

Ellyn Satter's Division of Responsibility in Feeding is extraordinarily helpful here. For toddlers through adolescents it is:

  • The parent is responsible for what, when, where
  • The child is responsible for how much and whether

Parents' feeding jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food
  • Provide regular meals and snacks
  • Make eating times pleasant
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior
  • Be considerate of children’s food inexperience without catering to likes and dislikes
  • Not let children have food or beverages (except for water) between meal and snack times
  • Let children grow up to get bodies that are right for them

Children's eating jobs:

  • Children will eat
  • They will eat the amount they need
  • They will learn to eat the food their parents eat
  • They will grow predictably
  • They will learn to behave well at mealtime


Your responsibility when your child goes through a low-eating phase is to continue offering the kids of foods your child should be eating (with consideration to their preferences without your becoming a short-order cook) at mealtimes and age-appropriate snack times. When your child chooses to eat a bite or two or not eat at all, relax. Put the food away. Wait until the next meal or snack time. Offer again. Don't force your child to eat more or less than they desire as this just sets you up for feeding battles. Just relax, manage your feeding responsibilities, and let your child manage his or hers.

Do know that when children are going through major developmental changes they may temporarily lose interest in food. If this is the case it often comes roaring back with a vengance once the developmental changes are over.

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