19 answers

Six Month Old Not a Great Eater

Hi, have you ever just felt like "throwing in the spoon?" We have a fun loving 6 month old who does not have much of a desire for baby food, and recently has started not drinking as much formula or breastfeeding as long as she used to. She would rather chew on her high chair straps, or the tray than take a bite of cereal mixed with anything she remotely has showed interest in. She is a smaller child as it is and so I'm worried she isn't getting the nutrition and healthy eating habits she needs. I've tried serving food warm and cold, but needless to say, she really only eats well for us maybe one meal a day at dinner. This is probably very normal...But would love any suggestions.

What can I do next?

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Hi i found out that my daughter was the same way. she started eating more when i started making her home cooked food. she absouloulety hated baby food from jars. Try giving her some chicken stock with veg, mayebe some rice too. You can blend it in the blender just so its easier to swallow. I think she will like it!

my oldest didnt like baby food at all and she took very little formula, shes still a tiny girl but i was like that... as for my 2nd baby shes a chunker and eats like crazy ever kiddo is different. I would try to offer more food less often wait until shes hungery (crying) and then feed her, i dont know how often you are offering food but it may just be that shes not hungry

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My daughter (now 19 months) was on the smaller side too. Like you, I was always worried she wasn't eating enough. She lost interest in babyfood pretty quickly too. Some things she would eat that you could try are whole milk plain yogurt with a little baby food/cereal mixed in, cottage cheese, applesauce, and mashed avocado. She especially loved the avocado and still does! As long as your doctor tells you she's growing enough, don't stress yourself out. A book I have (The Working Gal's Guide to Babyville, by Paige Hobey) offers these tips:
(1)get rid of your mealtime distractions: no tv or cell phones. Just sit with your baby and help her eat.
(2)let your child take the lead; and,
(3)follow a regular mealtime routine.

Good luck!!

Oh yes we have definetly and sometimes are still there!!! My middle child is a complete non-eater most of the time. He has his select things I know I can get him to eat and that's about it. Add on top of that, he can't eat pasturized dairy!! He is now over 2 years and has been like this since forever. When he was a baby up until 1yr. he would only eat 2 oz of formula every 2 hours!!! And try to get him to eat his baby food! Ha! At 6 months just keep trying as hard as you can to get her to eat. Find something anything she likes and go with it. For my son it was sweet potatoes and he like those little puffy things. At 2 my son has a bigger variety that he likes that I can honestly say when all else fails he'll eat it. But a lot of the time now I make him eat what I serve or don't eat. At 6 months not an option she doesn't understand! Just keep the faith and keep trying....

Both my kids have always been good eaters, but I do recall times when they would do what you are describing - and I would start to fret and then panic, thinking they were giving up nursing already, or whatever. Sounds like yours is really working on a tooth and my experience is that that becomes top priority - as soon as one surfaces they'll go back to eating/nursing more. I think it just hurts to eat and drives them batty until it's through - so I had to learn to just be patient and keep a lot of chewy toys in the fridge. Also, if you can be patient at dinner (hard with everything else going on in the house! ;>), maybe handing over the spoon every other bite so your child can chew on that would help? (one for the child, one for you, and just get yours in there when you can). It won't last forever and when they are really hungry they will eat.

Hello I currently take care of 2 2 year olds (not from the same family).

The little girl eats like a pig. She would eat all day long if I let her. She eats anything.

The boy on the other hand is like your child. He eats good maybe one meal a day. Here he only will eat chicken nuggets and maybe 3 or 4. Not much. He does also eat frosted (must be frosted) animal cookie/crackers. Then with breakfast foods it's only Trix.

At home he has only recently started eatting other foods but I cannot get him to eat them here. I offer whatever I eat to see if he might. He just mostly plays with the food and I just hate to have to waste it.

I feed the little girl only because they do not bring her a change of clothes and I do not want her getting too messy. I leave him in PJs until after lunch because he will only eat if he feeds his self. I was hoping by feeding her he would get jealous and allow me to feed her too. Just doesn't happen.

My kids also had odd eating habits and I recall the dr said they will eat if they want it and was not too concerned.

One of my grandsons went through a phase and would not eat but they narrowed it down to his meds. It gave the food a bad taste and he really lost way too much weight. The dr was concerned and stated if he did not stop loosing weight they were doing to call Child Protective Services. They never did but what are you suppose to do? Force feed your child?


I know how you feel. My 6 mo old girl is a pretty good eater, but selective about when and how often/much she eats. Some days she won't eat solids at all, other days she will eat three times a day. Usually I can count on one good feeding mid-morning. Just keep offering her food and don't fret if she doesn't take it. I mix her food up in a small tuperware container so that I can put it in the fridge for next time if she doesn't eat it now.

She was never too fond of the rice cereal (it has zero flavor), but does like the oatmeal. For fruits and veggies, I make my own (baby food is so expensive!). It's really very easy. Steam your veggies and then puree them with a blender, hand-held stick blender or food processor. The fruit you just puree and buy plain old applesauce (no sugar added). Freeze the pureed food in ice-cube trays (except applesauce, that can stay in the jar), and then put them in zip-lock baggies or tupperware containers in the freezer. They'll keep for a real long time.

Veggies are not her favorite, but we keep trying. There are days when she eats them and days she doesn't. Sweet potatoes are her favorite, but she's eaten carrots and green beans as well. She loves fruit! So far she's had bananas, applesauce and peaches. She likes the consistancy a little thicker, so I mix in the rice cereal (she won't eat the cereal plain anyway and it helps me use it up).

Don't worry, she will eat if she's hungry and the breast milk/formula has all the nutrients she needs now anyway. Solid foods are for fun right now. If you are concerned about nutrition, you can always add vitamins to her milk/formula once a day (she probably won't take the vitamins on their own, kind of yucky tasting).

Good luck, keep trying and just be patient.

A little about me: I am a stay at home mom with a 5 1/2 (Girl), 4 (Girl), 22 mo (Boy), 9 week (Girl).

Yes I can completely relate. My oldest was never one to eat baby food. She would eat about two bites and then quit. She refused to take anything from a bottle except juice until 9 mo. I decided to stop breast feeding at 13 1/2 mo, because I was several months pregnant with the next and I had the flu very bad. I decided I could not keep up with both my children. My daughter liked dry cheerios. She would go for days and only eat dry cheerios. I even tried feeding them with formula or breastmilk. I feed mashed potatoes made with formula. She also liked whole green beans that were cut very small. Unsweatened applesauce was also a favorite. I know I through out more baby food than what she actually ate. She also did not sleep well. Her first two consecutive full nights of sleep was at 2 1/2 years old. She was a horrible teether. She brought multiple teeth at a time. We are now dealing with allergy issues. I believe she is allergic to citrus, pork, and wheat.

My second daughter was fine. She would eat almost anything. She loved to sleep. She would take anything from a bottle. This was nice.

Then there is the case of my son. When he started off he did not know when to stop eating. He would breastfeed until he would throw up. Then I started timing how long he breast fed and feeding more often. Oh and by the way he didn't tell me he was hungry either. I watched the clock constantly. For months on end he hated to eat at lunch time. It wasn't until about two weeks ago that he started eating normally. I use that work lightly. Most days I count how many tablespoons full of food he had. Even at 18 months two -four bites may have been concidered a good meal. He still has a limited diet. He loves his fruits and veggies, but any sort of meat is a challenge. I have found that Ketchup helps alot. He also loves to sleep. He was an awesome teether. If it wasn't for the drooling I don't think I would even know that he was teething. I got him to start eating by distracting him with a favorite video. Time of day and distractions can effect a new eater. Some children cannot handle distractions while others seem to need it.

My youngest daughter I can not give much advice about since she is only 9 weeks.

I would not worry much about your daughters lack of desire to eat. I have found with my children that eating food varies. I do not agree with the saying that the will eat when they are hungry...because my son never did. The more hungry he was the less he would eat. I learned to judge how they were doing by their diapers. As long as my children were still wetting and pooping I was not too concerned. My childrens habits were also effected by growth spurts, teething, and sleep. Try feeding her more often or even at different times of the day. Have you tried the pre-made cereal that comes in a jar? My children liked this when they would not eat it out of a box. Don't give up! Don't ever give up! But don't stress out either. She will be fine and hopefully this is just another bump in the road. Another chapter in that book of motherhood. Everyone experience is different.

Sorry I know I wrote a book. But feel free to ask question.
And remember you are not the only one with a picky eater.

Hi i found out that my daughter was the same way. she started eating more when i started making her home cooked food. she absouloulety hated baby food from jars. Try giving her some chicken stock with veg, mayebe some rice too. You can blend it in the blender just so its easier to swallow. I think she will like it!

Some kids aren't ready for solids at 6 months - that's just an average. Breastmilk is actually much healthier and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics should be their primary nutrition until age 1 anyway. So just try to relax a bit and she'll start eating when she's ready.

Good luck!


My baby just turned 9 months today and all this week she has been not eating or drinking her formula. She is chewing on everything. I know she is teething but you do still worry that they are not getting enough in them. I was told by other moms that you can give them liquid drop vitamins. So that is what i did was buy some of that for at least right now until i get to her doctor appointment on Monday.

Hello M.,
I am no expert and if you think you daughter is not gaining and growing well, please seek professional help. However, I had a similiar situation with my little girl. She had no interest in solid food until she was almost 8 months old. She did always nurse well though, and never had any growing issues. The first thing I got Dani to eat was the yo-baby organic yogurts. She has eaten a whole container each morning since I first gave them to her. She is now 11 months old and eating everyting!! good luck!

Hello M.!
I have a son who is almost three and is still a picky eater. His pediatrician seems to think it is normal for babies and toddlers to go thru this phase of not eating much. I was told that as long as he was eating the equivilant of one good meal a day, all would be ok.
Something though to look for...just kind of watch to see if you notice her losing weight. As long as she is not, she should be fine.
Also we use Nutripal drinks. They come in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors. They have the nurtients that they sometimes lack when not eating well. And can be used in place of one of her daily bottles or nursings.
Best of luck!!!

try puree fruits in veggies in the blender. mix her formula with 2% milk.. my kids ate solid foods at her age. they didnt like baby foods either. try mash potatoes, soft foods, puddings and such. best of luck to ya!

At 6 months old, although starting food here is important, it should be no means take the place of a single bottle. That being said, give her time. Make sure she is getting enough of the formula in, and worry about that one meal a day that she is really eating. Try feeding her food before the bottle and see if that helps. Don't try to feed her unless she is acting hungery. Maybe her feeding schedule has changed some, and she is simply not hungery at the time your trying to feed her. Ya know just when they have a schedule down it changes because they grew, are growing or are getting ready to grow some more. Follow her cues and make sure she stays hydrated! :) Best of luck!

Just remember, everything is a phase. Ask your pediatrician for vitamins. They are gross, but you won't need to worry so much. Secondly, maybe she is ready for chunkier food. Try boiling carrots and a little sugar water until they are nice and soft, cut them up and put them on her tray so she can feed herself. I also found baby peas when my kids were young. They are smaller than regular peas and less of a choking hazard. My kids like to eat peas and corn frozen. What about teething biscuits? I wasn't much of a rule follower when it came to food. My oldest started on milk at 5 months because of just this reason. The doctore didn't have a problem with it. I nursed her when I was at home and when I was at school the sitter gave her milk. Give her a taste and see if she likes it. Yogurt and frozen gogurts work well too. I'm sure there is more I could think of, but this should be a good start. Good luck!

my oldest didnt like baby food at all and she took very little formula, shes still a tiny girl but i was like that... as for my 2nd baby shes a chunker and eats like crazy ever kiddo is different. I would try to offer more food less often wait until shes hungery (crying) and then feed her, i dont know how often you are offering food but it may just be that shes not hungry

I am in the same boat as you. My 6 month old daughter will NOT eat solids. I tried the rice cereal for about a week and she ate it fine. Then I introduced veggies mixed with the cereal and she has turned her nose up at it ever since - that was about 4-5 weeks ago. She won't even eat the plain rice cereal anymore. I am ready to through in the spoon as well. She is still nursing very well though. I posted a request on the same issue about a week ago and got no response. I was sorta bummed. She had her 6 month check up today, in fact. I told her of my concerns and she said that it is OK that she is only nursing. It isn't common but it isn't unheard of for a 6 month old not to eat solids. She did say that since she isn't getting vitamins in the solid then she needs to be on a multivitamin. She recomended Polyvisol. If you can only find it with iron she said that is OK. She said any drug store would have it. You can get it over the counter. I am going to pick some up tomorrow. I hope you have better luck than me.

M.,if your baby is not losing weight and is having her check-ups you can mention this to the doctor,but many times babies and toddlers go through times of "not eating". Then a "growth spurt" will hit and they eat and eat. My pediatricion used to say, unless he felt something was abnormormal, "he'll eat when he's hungry". It worked with all my kids.

She will eat when she gets hungry. Totally normal. Both of my kids have gone through these spells. A good growing spell will really get her eating more. My 9 year old still eats lots sometimes and won't eat anything others! My pediatrician did point out that if they are drinking too much (especially juice) that they will eat less. I had to take juice away from my first daughter when she was about one and only offer her water until after she ate. It worked. Good luck. B.

Is there any indication that she might be teething? This is usually a good sign. Or she might just be taking a break. Sometimes they will be super good eaters and then the next day wont eat a thing for what seems like weeks.

Good luck!

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