13 answers

How to Transition to Solid Foods

My son is a healthy eater who still nurses four times a day. He eats pureed foods three times a day, and there aren't many foods he won't eat. I'm wondering how to make the transition from pureed foods to fully solid (cut up) foods, as he is much more picky about them. He will eat dried fruits, bits of my sandwich, cheese, and Cheerios, but he won't eat cut up bits of meat or veggies. When is the appropriate time to make the switch, and how do you go about it?

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I highly recommend Super Baby Foods. It discusses transistioning and gives great healthy recipes. I give it as a gift to many of my friends that are expecting. It was given to me and I loved it.

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I would offer finger foods first at "meal time" and then finish with a jar of food...that way he'll be more interested in the food. When I was switching my daughter to finger foods I made her solid food slowly get thicker and have chunks in it. I think this is an option in jar food, but I'm not sure b/c I made my own. That is another option...just start mashing up whatever you're eating. My daughter absolutely loved mashed banana with a little bit of applesauce or mashed avocado...both of which are thicker foods.

Good Luck!

We couldn't get our son to eat meat either. Our doctor told us to keep offering it, but meat is something that many babies just don't like the texture of. We made sure he had plenty of cheese, yogurt and beans ( just rinse them right out of the can and smash them between your fingers so they don't choke) He also would eat lunchmeat torn up small. I didn't want him to have it all the time b/c of the sodium but I gave it once a week. As far as veggies, I just steamed and cut up carrots, and greenbeans really small and smashed the peas between my fingers too. He also loves steamed sweet potatoes. I'm pretty sure we started at about 9 months also.

Seriously, just keep offering! My daughter is 22 months and she's still weary of new foods. But by about the 3rd time I offer them she usually takes a bite (and very very rarely outright rejects something). Try offering an item for 3 days, and if he's not interested lay off of it and try it again in a week or two. Don't put too much on his plate, or else you'll be throwing a lot away at first!

I second the idea of letting him have foods cut into sticks that he can grasp (soft cooked carrot sticks, for example). It's much easier for them to grasp, and there's less of a chance of choking than with diced foods.

Hi J.,

I would continue to offer a variety of foods. Try cutting some veggies in 'stick' shape. It's easier for babies to handle honestly. Then soft cook them, let them cool and give it to him. Don't force him to eat it... but let him play with it, stick it in his mouth etc...

My daughter is 9 months old. We never put her on purees. She's been eating veggies (per the above method) since she was 6 months. She hasn't rejected anything I've given her to date and she's had quite a variety of veggies and fruits. Every kid is different and he will eventually get there. Just be persistent. Keep offering.

Also, as a side note... I would look for organic O cereal to give to your son. If you look at the ingredients, Cheerios actually has some not so nice things in it.

Hi J., My name is M., I am a mother of 3. I breastfed all 3 of my children for the first 6 months before adding any solid foods. The pureed baby foods are easy for babies to adapt to but table foods can be a little touchy. Babies get so used to the smooth texture that any other type of food is strange and they can gag easily. I would start him off with regular unsweetened jar applesause, small bites of banana toast, cream of wheat cereal or oatmeal anything soft that he wouldn't have difficulty chewing. Most babies at 9 months don't have any back teeth so the rely on nibbling and tongue action. Other suggestions are mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, cooked carrots, green beans, etc... You could hold off on meat products until 1 year to 15 months. All of my kids had a hard time chewing meat, the texture feels funny. Ask your Dr. about eggs and cheese. Some Docs say yes others no. Yogurt is another good tablefood to start, the cultured bacteria is good for them. Well I have gone on enough. Good luck with what ever decisions you make, start slow but eventually try him on all kinds of foods and hopefully he will become a great eater instead of picky. I would recommend to continue the breastfeeding for as long as possible, good for both of you. I nursed my babies until 2, last year was morning, nap and bedtime.

I would just keep offering the cut up veggies and a bit of meat....babies love finger food. He will figure it out. He does have teeth, right?

Persistence! Sounds like you're off to a great start already by offering him Cheerios, dried fruits, cheese, etc. Just keep trying little bites of new foods here and there and he will learn to love them. There's no "magic age" where babies need to be on just solid foods. My son was 15 months old before we had him completely off pureed foods. He was very reluctant to eat diced veggies, so we continued with the pureed until he finally started accepting them.

If he eats his veggies pureed but not in pieces, gradually make it thicker or add small chunks to the puree, so he has to chew. Soup is one of the best things to feed your baby. You can boil together all the meats/veggies you want him to have, add some alphabet noodles, and make sure everything is really soft. You can spoon feed him until he's interested in picking up the chunks himself. He's still young and still learning how to use his fingers. My 14 month old still gets spoon fed on occasion. I love watching my girls feeding skills develop. Good luck and have fun.

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