M.U. asks from Tampa, FL on June 19, 2010
Getting 1 Year Old to Eat Regular Food
My 1 year old son has been eating earth's best jar food since I started him on solids at 6 months. As he began to approach his first birthday I have been trying to get him to eat "real food" pureed by me, and finger foods. He will eat pureed fruits like apples, pears, bananas, but that's about it. He also loves yogurt. If I give him anything with chunks, however, he gags on it every time and refuses. He has 4 top and 2 bottom teeth. Everyone keeps asking me if I've tried to give him various cut up fruits, veggies, cheese, etc... but every time I try to prepare something by steaming, cutting up, mashing, he refuses to eat it, so I resort to the jarred food which he likes and is easy to feed him. Earth's best uses all organic ingredients and doesn't add anything unwanted, so I feel ok about feeding it to him. But I would like him to transition to real food. Anyone else have dealt with this problem?
J.L. answers from San Diego on June 19, 2010
He has to get used to the other foods but as long as you will give him the food from a jar, he will continue to gag on the more chunkie food, he won't let himself go hungry, he will eventually eat what you put in front of him, as long as you don't give him, my kids started eating regular food at 9 months, so it's not that he can't handle it, it's just its different than what he is used to. J.
H.P. answers from Orlando on June 20, 2010
Your baby is not ready to eat food with chunks yet. Give him some time & try again in a few weeks. It doesnt matter how many teeth he has. He will let you know when he is ready. When people ask you about feeding him food, just smile & nod. Your son will dictate when he eats them.
R.J. answers from Seattle on June 19, 2010
3 things to try:
- Boil thick carrot slices in chicken stock until they mush in between your fingers. Kids love the fats and proteins from chicken stock... and since the carrots mush into puree in your mouth with just the pressure from your tongue... they're a good in between food.
- Finger foods. Like the carrots above and other things that turn into mush in your mouth. Cherios are the old standby... but if he won't gum them... try bite sized wide noodles. They wet and slippery, and if they get swallowed whole, no worries. Also muffin CRUMBS (also, feel free to get them wet first). The whole idea being things that don't require chewing, but can be picked up. Try these things yourself first. If you can swallow without chewing... you've got a winner. The chewing will come in time.
- Finger Foods part 2. These are really dips. Things like hummus, curries, mashed potatoes, deviled egg YOKES. Also things that can be swallowed without chewing but... are more dip a finger in and lick it off.
J.D. answers from Philadelphia on June 19, 2010
i just wanted to say that the number of teeth don't matter, babies mash food with their gums.
not sure about the food though... I made my own babyfood right from the start, so my girls never had to transition from jarred food. good luck!
R.M. answers from Tampa on June 21, 2010
He's one. This is all new to him. Don't worry. He will transition to "real" food, but it's going to take time, repetition and you being a sneaky cook. It sounds like he's eating really well and healthy right now. Great job Mom. Seriously. Now you just need to get creative on how you can sneak new stuff in there, meaning use the stuff he likes to do this. Use what he likes as the "sauce" to the new item you're trying. Meaning, real banana chunks covered in yogurt. Whole wheat noodles or egg noodles, cooked really soft. He may like this as finger food. Then graduate to using your mixed veggie jarred food as the "sauce". Shredded cheese? Try that. He may like it because it's super fine. You may have to puree some meat into/with your jarred veggies to get it in there at first too.
We can sneak anything into my daughter if we mix it with food she likes, ie: cooked carrots in yogurt or apple sauce and ground chicken pureed. Know it's frustrating to cook something to find out he won't eat it, but he'll come around. Just give him some time.
J.M. answers from Orlando on June 20, 2010
My kids never liked the chunky baby food either. I'd start with other finger foods--does he eat Cheerios? Those star things that Gerber makes? How about some cubed bread? Since those are all soft and will "melt" in his mouth, that might help him get used to the texture of solid food. Then you can add things like ripe banana.
S.B. answers from Redding on June 19, 2010
He's a year old and he's not used to anything else. Something that isn't smoothe will feel foreign to him, whether he likes the taste or not.
Have you tasted the stuff you're giving him? I'm just asking, because my kids HATED jarred baby food. It's so bland, I couldn't blame them. But, if your son is used to things that are bland, introducing things that have more flavor might also seem weird to him.
He's old enough to try picking things up for himself. Put some things in front of him and have some patience. It always amazes me....a little kid will pick up rug fuzz and put it in their mouth, but they can be weird when it comes to introducing new foods. Put some different things in front of him and let him explore. Let him feel things with his fingers. They will inevitably end up in his mouth as part of exploration. He doesn't have to be spoon fed. My kids had little plastic cutlery and I let them have it just to chomp on or get them used to putting it in their own mouths to get used to the feel and the grip on their own. Heck yeah...they can make a mess, but that's why Dollar Store plastic tablecloths were invented, in my opinion. Put them under the high chair and let the kid have at it. No messes on the floor to clean.
Again, just my opinion, but let him explore foods and feeding himself.
I witnessed a meltdown of all meltdowns when a friend invited me and my son out to lunch and she, as a matter of habit, started breaking his food up into mush and that kid FREAKED! He started hitting her and kicking her and throwing his food and yanked her long hair. She excused herself to the bathroom and left us sitting there with him. My son, not knowing what else to do, pushed his chicken nuggets over and offered them and he sat there and ate them like nothing ever happened. He didn't want his food all mashed up and that was the day she started letting have pieces big enough to hold by himself.
These things just take practice, trial and error, and introducing more things.
Let him hold things, lick things, put things in his own mouth.
He'll get the hang of it.
R.W. answers from Tampa on June 20, 2010
At that age there are finger foods you can give him. My girls always liked peas from the can. I would just open them up and put some on the high chair tray. They would play with them and then eat them. Steamed carrots that are soft are good. There are a lot of children that don't like cut up food. They want to eat it the way you eat it. Have you tried sweet potatoes? You may also want to have him checked by a doctor to make sure everything is okay with this throat. If you make food fun it will help..
K.M. answers from Tampa on June 20, 2010
Too soon for him- relax! It isn't a problem, kids like different things at different rates, and he will reach for your food when he is ready.