35 answers

Helping Transition to "Real" Solid Foods

My daughter is 8-1/2 months old+. We started rice cereal when she was 4 months old and veggies and fruits at 6 months. She has now tried almost all of the "jarred" baby foods and definitely has her favorites. Our pediatrician told us we could start giving her cottage and grated cheeses, yogurt, tofu, meats, and cooked egg yolk at 7-8 months. She likes the yogurt but gags and spits out tofu and even (recently tried, at the suggestion of a friend) very soft rice watered down/flavored with chicken broth. I know from experience with my first daughter that it is hard at first to start them on "real" solids but I am wondering how to ease her into these foods. I also tried giving her a couple of those Gerber puffs but she just played with them and threw them down off her high chair! She loves her cereals and fruits and some veggies, too, but naturally I'd like to see her start eating some "real" solid foods. I know a few babies her age are already eating rice, ground beef, ground turkey, tofu, and fish! So is it kind of sad that my poor daughter is still eating "baby food"? I feel like we are way behind! Does anyone have any tips for me on how to make this transition from smooth pureed food to the more chunky textured stuff? I also just hate to see her gag! Any advice??

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Does she have any teeth? If so, how many? I watch an 8 month old right now and she is still on baby food with only 4 teeth. My doctor told me with my 2 sons to wait until they are a year old with solid foods. And you still need to mash the food, if they don't have all their teeth. Gerber and Beech nut make a stage 3 baby food and there is small chunks inside the food. If you still want to try solid foods, try the toddler food it is located where the baby food is in grocery stores.

I always liked avacado for my kids. Lots of nutrients, soft so small cubes are easy to eat/mash, and very portable. I would throw one in my bag and have a good snack for the kids. It even comes in its own bowl! You just need a spoon. It goes well with cottage cheese too. Good luck. Dont rush it, she will eat when she is ready.

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Hi C.,

I started offering my son food at 6 months and he wanted nothing to do with it. He didn't really start eating until he was 9 months old. We moved to the Dominican Republic and I was terrified that he wasn't going to be eating the right things. One day he just started eating. Now he scarfs down rice and beans every day for lunch, plantains, noodle soup, carrots, apples, cheerios, fish and he did like tofu when we went back to the states. I had to let go of worrying about every little thing that he was eating. I became a little more adventurous in what I would offer and less concerned about what other people's kids were doing. If I start worrying about that now and judging his development level against everyone else, when will it end?!
Your daughter is not going to eat baby food forever. Eventually she will catch on that there are other things available. But give her a chance to develop in her own time. Another thing we recently discovered is that my son doesn't like eating alone. He eats when we eat and if we try to feed him when we are not eating he looks at us like we're trying to pull something over on him. I'm not sure if you're eating with your daughter but it might be something to try. She will probably be interested in what you're eating and you can feed her right off of your plate.

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If she is gagging then she might not be ready for the texture. 8 1/2 is still really young I never worried too much about that stuff until mine were 1. Anyhow good luck

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She's not going to try the real foods unless she is hungry, so I would suggest putting them on her tray at the beginning of a meal. Cheerios are a favorite first finger food for most kids. And since they have a big hole in the middle, less likely to choke on them. But while you are preparing her "baby" food, put tiny chunks of food on her tray to play with and maybe try putting in her mouth before feeding her. If she is hungry, she is more likely to try new things. For first chunk foods, my kids loved bananas (although can be hard to pick up), avocadoes, soft cooked peas, soft cooked green bean chunks, really ripe peaches cut up, kiwi, melons, pretty much anything soft that you can cut up into tiny pieces works well. Baby carrots cooked in the crock pot almost always come out super tender, and also meat cooked this way is a great way to introduce to first timers. My kids also liked potatoes and scrambled yolks at this age. Once my kids got a taste for table food they started refusing the jar food and had no interest in being fed by me. It makes mealtimes take longer and they are messier, but both my kids were eating the same foods as us by about 10 months. Makes eating as a family so much nicer too, since you are all sitting eating the same meal etc. For hard fruits and veggies that you want to try to introduce the flavor of, they sell these mesh things that you can put food into and they chew on them and can only get the tiniest chunks out of or sometimes just juice from them, but they are great for teething if you put cold carrots in them or apples etc. My daughter loved hers and I loved it for car rides when she was teething to keep her occupied for a good chunk of time and not cranky. One other suggestion, try not to force the issue of her eating things. The last thing you want to do is set up a power struggle around food. Good luck and follow her lead. Once she actually tries stuff you will know what she likes and doesn't like. Just keep offering her variety and eventually she will start eating it.

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From everything that I have read and heard Dairy is supposed to wait until 1 year. Don't be in such a hurry with whole foods. She's still very young. You're not way behind! My son is 7 months old and we're still on mostly stage 1 foods, although we do some stage 2 and some homemade baby foods which inevitably come out a bit chunkier.

1 mom found this helpful

Does she have any teeth? If so, how many? I watch an 8 month old right now and she is still on baby food with only 4 teeth. My doctor told me with my 2 sons to wait until they are a year old with solid foods. And you still need to mash the food, if they don't have all their teeth. Gerber and Beech nut make a stage 3 baby food and there is small chunks inside the food. If you still want to try solid foods, try the toddler food it is located where the baby food is in grocery stores.

Try not to worry or compare your daughter's development. I'm sure she's just fine, perhaps just finicky. She knows what she likes and doesn't like, at least for now it's a short list of likes. She'll gradually want more variety, I'm sure.

I would suggest taking real solid food and cutting it up really small & puting it in the baby food & bulking it up a little. I started puting small amounts of ground turkey in my daughters squash. I also learned with my 18 month old that is really does take 15 tries of a new food for them to develop a taste for it. I really wanted her to eat blueberries and she kept spitting them out or throwing them on the floor. I really do think it was the 15th try and she ate an entire bowl & now begs for more. Just hang in there and keep introducing it.

You got lots of great responses, but I just wanted to add my support and nod of agreement to what others are saying. My son still ate baby food until about 15 months old even though I gave him tiny bits of whatever I was eating around the age your daughter is. I would mash up banana or give him Cheerios, but he didn't really start table food (what we call "real" solids) until well after age 1. He's now 21 months old and eats just about anything! He also goes through his phases where he doesn't want a food that he's been eating every day for months (ie: yogurt), then will start eating it again after a few weeks.

Just trust that you're doing great!!! Remember she's only 8 months old :) It definitely sounds like these other mothers are far ahead or maybe their babies are. Watch your daughter for signs that she's ready. She'll definitely let you know!

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