10 answers

Help with 14 Month Old Having Issues with Food Textures

Hi Moms,
am wondering if anyone's child has any sensory issues when it comes to eating certain textures of food, and if so how they have overcome this? Can you tell me some techniques you have used that have worked? I have a 14 mo old that seems to be going through this with mushy textures and won't even allow a spoon near his mouth. I am working around this with crunchier textures, finger foods, but am hoping the mom's out there with experience can give me some advice, steps on what they have used in the past that have worked. Really appreciate all yr help.

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Hi D. --

It's not uncommon for toddlers to have issues with certain food textures. As long as he's not avoiding food groups, just change up what you're offering.

At 14 months he's more than capable of eating lightly steamed veggies like brocolli (my kids called the tops trees), green beans, carrot circles (sliced in half for safety), etc. Raw fruits cut in smaller pieces are also great. And have fun with a "colorful plate of food," it just may make him a more adventurous eater.

Best of health,

My daughter hated being spoon fed with textured food at that age too. She was OK with totally smooth food.
I just gave her lots of finger food to eat herself - pieces of meats, fish, chicken, cooked veggies, fruit, bread sticks etc etc. There is a school of thought that this is the best way to wean toddlers anyway and you shouldn't bother with all the mushing up food once they are past the age of one.
Once she was old enough to feed herself with a spoon she started to eat more textured food then. Now she is 4 and eats a variety of foods and is entirely independent at the table. I wouldn't worry about it. If he is taking finger food and crunchier textures etc, then he's doing great. SOme kids just hate the lumpy baby food!

My son was like that until 16 months & then one day he just wanted to try it & he never looked back. He now eats me out of house & home (he's 2) Your son may not yet be ready for food with texture yet. He will let you know. My advice. Keep offering - don't push & he'll eventually be ready

It sounds more like independence issues. My daughter will not let me put a spoon near her mouth either and she prefers to eat with her hands. I would suggest finger foods and let him feed himself and see how that works. Most kids with sensory issues will only eat the puree'ed "mushy" stuff and nothing else.

My daughter loves scrambled eggs, so I make them with cheddar cheese, cut up broccoli flowers and throw a little wheat germ in it and cut it up for her and she feeds herself.

It is really important at this age for your son to feed himself and it seems like he is telling you that. Just make sure when you prepare food it is cooked well (no raw vegatables) and cut small enough so he won't choke.

Hi D.,

I am a little confused. Does he like mushy and not chewy textures, or does he not like mushy?

For my little one, I used crackers in her softer textured food. Like yogurts, her baby food that she ate occasionally. I put ritz or unsalted saltine crackers in the dinner and not so sweet stuff, and baby crackers (arrowroot), graham crackers, or even those gerber melts (mixed berry, strawberry), and gerber finger foods (shaped like little stars) in the sweeter stuff. She loves them in yogurt.

Just break them up into smaller bite size pieces and put into softer food, so he has something to "chew" on. This will also help to fill him up a bit more at meals.

Don't forget to make sure he is getting plenty of table food at this age, just is smaller bites that he can chew easily. He is also at the age when there should be no more pureed or food from a blender.

Good luck

My daughter just turned one and we have had some issues with her eating too. She went through a period where she would gag and seem to almost throw up after eating not quite enough (so we thought) food and we just stopped feeding her at that point. Eventually she grew out of it. But even though it was a trying time, she was getting enough food and realized that if she was hungry, she shouldn't do that. I wish there was a way to get around it, but I think that it's just something that kids go through and you might just have to wait it out. Good luck to you!

Let him play with his food. It will help with him getting used to the textures. And have him evaluated by an OT (occupational Therapist) They can help you with that.

D., I have had that problem with my third. He had sensory issues with mouth and hands and it was hard and I had to pray and thaink about it and it came to me one time, I let him taste a cookie that I broke up and once he tasted it, it was oreo, he had that look that he liked it and I broke it up and he looked at the food like I want to eat that but she won't pick it up and that got him to feed himself. I don't like giving my children cookies at such a young age, but that was the only thing that would make him pick up any food and once he realized that it was great to be independednt bregardless of the feel, he had to pick it up and now he's much better with things in his mouth and in his hands. He hated grass to sit in it but after being exposed to it all the time, he got used to and dealt with it. If you have continued problem with it, you may want to seek early intervention about it and see what they can do to help that area. I wanted to do what I could before calling the early intervention and finally it worked out. He now used the spoon when for the some time he wouldn't and wanted me to fee him and I was like you are at the age where you need to learn to do it yourslef regardless how messy he was going to get. They have to get the practice and use of his hands and his mouth. He gagged for some time with certain foods and so I delayed some food textures and let it go for couple or three months and try abain and see if he understood the proper way of chewing some foods. He may not like the mushy foods anymore.

It is very common for toddlers to have texture issues when they are trying so many new foods and learning to eat "adult" food. Did he eat baby food?? He may just be sick of that texture and is having fun exploring other foods. Continue to offer him a variety of flavors and textures with each meal. He is not to young to start using a spoon himself. Let him have a toddler spoon with a big, easy grip handle (or a "Little Dipper" spoon... great for learning with foods like applesauce or yogurt). Show him what to do, but just let him explore. He may be interested in it if he does it himself. Also, let him use finger foods to dip in mushier foods, ie. graham cracker sticks in yogurt etc. Just be creative and don't give up... it can take a long time for kids to be willing to try a new food.

My daughter would not get near table foods (except Cheerios) at 15 months. I had her evaluated and learned that she had other sensory issues too which I didn't think of as so unusual, but collectively with her feeding/textures issues...amounted to a minor case of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). She is getting Occupational Therapy, and her eating has come a long way in 4+ months of therapy at the NYU Swallowing Disorders Center. Now at 22 months she still prefers to be fed (because she doesn't like the feeling of food on her fingers), but she will use a fork for a few bites if she is really hungry and we are too busy to feed her at that moment. It's still a process to get her fully on table foods at every meal and to completely self-feed, but she has made great progress since I sought out professional help. By the way, the dry/crunchy texture (like Cheerios and baby/toddler puffs) is often the easiest "table food" texture to accept for children with sensory issues...so keep offering Cheerios several times a day to practice with chewing skills and self-feeding. I am so happy that I did not wait to see if she would "outgrow" the problem, because I have heard of 5-year olds still eating baby food puree. Plus, I didn't want her lack of chewing to affect her oral muscles for speech development. Talk to your pediatrician about getting your son evaluated for his sensory sensitivities.

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