I have just weaned my 11-month-old baby and I'm concerned he isn't eating enough - he only drinks about 4 ounces of milk and 4 ounces of diluted juice a day. I offer him liquids all the time, but he refuses to drink. In the past, you've suggested numerous ways to sneak high-calorie foods into a reluctant eater's diet, but do you have any suggestions for a reluctant drinker?
You have a discriminating and determined infant! But he does need to get more calories and calcium so I think it's worth coaxing him to drink about 16 ounces of milk per day. (He should drink formula until he's a year old.) Try giving him formula or milk in a cup to see if the novelty increases his interest, and add extra milk to his cereal and other dishes. Also try getting someone else to offer him a bottle - he probably associates you with breast milk. Skip the juice - it's sweeter and may make him even more reluctant to drink milk - and try enticing your reluctant drinker with smoothies. Mix fruit, yoghurt, sugar and crushed ice in a blender. You can use formula instead, or blend a can of evaporated milk with orange juice and fresh apricot juice. For other recipes, see Feed Me! I'm Yours by Vicki Lansky or the Yale Guide to Children's Nutrition, edited by William V. Tamborlane. If your child's urine is normal - it doesn't smell too strong and isn't dark yellow - and he isn't constipated, then he's getting enough to drink. You'll have to watch your child's calcium intake and growth after trying some calorie-packed, calcium-rich foods. Add dry milk solids to his food if he isn't getting enough. My best guess is that your little boy will start to drink formula or milk when he gets used to being weaned. I bet it's hard for both of you to give up breastfeeding. Don't push too hard or too obviously - he'll just resist even more.